Points of Sail
Points of sail are general reference terms used to describe the direction a boat is sailing in relation to its angle to the wind. Learning the terms and the characteristics of each point of sail is very important when learning to sail. Each point of sail has its own personality. Some are more difficult to sail than others while some are more efficient and provide for faster speeds. It is the responsibility of the skipper and crew to understand the characteristics of each point of sail and make the proper adjustments to the sails, centerboard (if equipped) and the crew’s own positioning inside the boat to ensure efficient sailing no matter what course the boat is on. These adjustments are a continuous task as every time the boat changes course, its point of sail also changes. This article is intended to get your feet wet on the various points of sail so you will have a better understanding of how to better harness the wind on your next sailing adventure.