How to tack a dinghy aft on a boat and tacking when sailing along with sailing single handed or solo tacking tips and techniques. Zigzag course in sailing.
How to tack a dinghy starts with the helmsman selecting a landmark in the direction in which the boat is about to sail using this as the new point to aim the new sailing tack. The helmsman decides when to tack and he and the crew must turn the boat, trim the sails, and move their weight across the boat while keeping it upright.
The helmsman checks that the new course is clear and the crew is ready. When tacking while moving across the boat, the helmsman changes hands on the mainsheet and the tiller, manipulating both at the same time. The tacking procedure differs with aft mainsheet and centre mainsheet systems. After tacking, he checks sail trim, boat balance, and the new course.
The crew is responsible for releasing the jib sheet, picking up the new jib sheet, and moves across the boat sheeting in the jib on the new side.
The sailing tack is a prolonged luffing-up manoeuvre where the boat turns sufficiently for the sail to fill on the opposite course. The sailing tack occurs as the bow of the boat passes through the eye of the wind and is complete when sailing on the new course.
As the boat is turning towards the wind, the sails lose their driving and heeling forces, so the skipper and crew move inboard toward the centre of the boat to keep the boat upright.
As the boom crosses the centreline the skipper and crew should pass under it moving across to the other side. As the sails fill with wind the skipper and crew sit on the opposite side to counterbalance the heeling force of the sails powering up.
The tacking procedure from a [ beam reach ] to the opposite beam reach involves turning through 180°. Turning through a large angle provides the helmsman and crew extra time to cross the boat prior to the sails filling on the new side. It requires the boat to be sailing fast prior to the tack giving it sufficient momentum to complete the turn.
A [ close-hauled tack ] is when the boat turns through only 90°, the tacking procedure happens quickly compared to tacking from a beam reach to a beam reach. This requires the crew and helmsman to cross the boat swiftly before the sails fill.
The boat must be sailing fast before the tack, and must be steered firmly through the turn, or else it fails to complete the tack, stopping head-to-wind being "in irons". As soon as the boat is pointing the right way, the helmsman centres the tiller and the crew sheets in the jib on the correct side. The boat is now ready to continue its course.
When the tacking procedure fails the boat may end up "in irons" . Several reasons why a tack fails:
[ Escaping from "in irons' ] requires the helmsman to push the tiller towards the side of the boat in the direction where he intends the bow to go with the crew pulling the jib to the opposite side of the boat filling it with wind - the technique is known as "backing the jib". The boat moves backwards with the rudder acting in reverse while the backed jib helps to push the bow in the required direction.
Although you are able to sail close-hauled along the edge of the no-sail zone, if turning closer to the wind, into the no-sail zone, the luffs of the sails start to flutter and the boat eventually stops. Correct by pulling the tiller gently towards you and bear away from the wind and resume sailing. Try not bear away too far otherwise you lose valuable distance. Reaching a point upwind within the no-sail zone requires following a zigzag course known as beating to windward.
Sailing a zigzag course, the boat starts on a tack then tacks onto opposite tack, making progress to windward with each turn with a series of short tacks or a smaller number of longer ones depending on the distance.
Sailing as close to the wind as possible requires sheeting in both sails tight and luff up gently until the luff of the jib starts shaking then bear away slightly then repeat to sail along the edge of the zone.
This how to tack sequence applies to a [ centre mainsheet system ] being tacked from a reach to a reach.
This how to tack sequence applies to an [ aft mainsheet system ] , where the helmsman must cross the boat facing aft changing hands on the tiller extension and mainsheet before the tack.