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  • Writer's pictureCLICKANDSAILING

Conceptos básicos de navegación 1

Basics of navigation in San Blas Below we list a series of notions that every person who goes to sea with a sailing boat must take into account in order to navigate correctly and without setbacks.Basic navigation concepts When sailing, you always have to be sitting on the windward side of the hull, which is the side where the wind comes from, and on the stern, but not at the end, since you have to leave room for the movement of the rudder. The rudder is held by the tiller or by the stick with the hand that faces aft and with the one that faces forward the sheet of the mainsail is grasped. You must not drop these two objects while navigating.


Basics of navigation in San Blas
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Depending on the wind you have to sit inside or on the outer edge of the helmet or in case of a lot of wind leaning back or even hanging from the harness. The purpose is that the boat is flattened with respect to the surface of the sea. Thus, with a lot of wind and sitting inside, it would heel (tilt) to the leeward because the force of the wind is greater than that of the crew, and on the contrary, with little wind and sitting on the outer edge, it would list to windward because the force of the wind in this case is less than that of the crew. Basics of navigation Closing the sail is called hunting and it is done by pulling the sheet. On the contrary, to grind is to open the sail, you have to drop the sheet.


You have to carry the inflated sails, all of them full of wind but without going too far. If you take a direction and the sail flaps, you hunt until it stops wrinkling next to the mast. You constantly have to check the part of the two sails that is furthest forward, there you can see if they catch the wind badly when they are lightly trimmed.
Basics of navigation in San Blas
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It is very important that during navigation we always look ahead, beyond the bow, constantly to avoid collisions, collisions or run overs. Our safety and that of others depends precisely on the attention we are paying. – If you bring the rudder towards yourself to windward, the boat will go to look for the wind. – On the contrary, moving the rudder away to leeward, the boat will go to find where the wind is coming from. To steer the boat, you it does with the rudder, which is similar to the steering wheel of the car:– if you bring the rudder towards yourself to windward, the boat will go to seek the favor of the wind.– on the contrary, moving the rudder away to leeward, the boat will go to find where the wind is coming from. To steer the boat, you use the rudder, which is similar to the steering wheel of the car:– if you bring the rudder towards yourself to windward, the boat will go to find the wind. – On the contrary, moving the rudder away to leeward, the boat will go to find where the wind is coming from. To steer the boat, it is done with the rudder, which is similar to the steering wheel of the car: – If you take the rudder towards yourself to windward, the boat will go to find the wind. – On the contrary, moving the rudder away to leeward, the boat will go looking for where the wind is coming from. In this way we will be directing our boat exactly to the place we want. What we have just done, with respect to the wind, is called luffing, which is when the bow of the boat goes to look for the place where the wind is coming from. On the contrary, it is called arriving when the bow is going to look for the same direction of the wind (where the wind is going):



Basics of navigation in San Blas
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Upwind: It is the course that is closest to where the wind is coming from. The wind enters through the tack and to make the most of this entrance, the sails will be closed to the maximum. The boom is at the height of the fin, which is the aft side of the hull. It is one of the most difficult courses to carry out but very necessary. If you have to go against the wind then you do several zigzag beats, it is the only way to go upwind.


Through: This is the easiest course. It sails at 90º to the direction from which the wind comes and it is received through the hull. That is, the boat is perpendicular to the wind and the sails half open. This course is the one that the beginner must follow first, to port and to starboard of the wind, since he returns to the same starting point.

Basics of navigation in San Blas
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Largo: On this course the wind is received at 135º and it enters through the hull fin. The sail is still more open than in the beam and the daggerboard can be raised a bit. It is the course in which the boat is going faster.

Downwind: The wind is received from the stern of the boat and the sails are completely open, that is, perpendicular to the hull. In this position, the sails can be one on port and the other on starboard, this is called donkey's ears. It is possible to raise the daggerboard completely since it does not do much of a job here. Course deviations must be corrected as it is easy to lose course and it is possible to gybe inadvertently, which can be dangerous as the sail changes sides abruptly and the boom can hit the sailor's head hard.

We could say that the two extreme forms of sailing are upwind and downwind; There can be nothing more different than the two systems of forces that intervene there. While upwind the sailboat is balanced and has a tendency to maintain the course (therefore it is in stable equilibrium) on the downwind everything contributes to the boat going off course. We could say that the two extreme forms of sailing are the upwind and the downwind; There can be nothing more different than the two systems of forces that intervene there. While upwind the sailboat is balanced and has a tendency to maintain the course (therefore it is in stable equilibrium) on the downwind everything contributes to the boat going off course. We could say that the two extreme forms of sailing are the upwind and the downwind; There can be nothing more different than the two systems of forces that intervene there. While upwind the sailboat is balanced and has a tendency to stay on course (therefore it is in stable equilibrium), on the downwind everything contributes to the boat going off course.
Let's see what happens upwind: the thrust of the sails gives a resultant with great lateral thrust and little propulsive thrust, but the anti-drift effect provided by the keel or daggerboard allows the boat to move forward.

Let's confirm here that the lateral thrust of the sails and the drag of the submerged profile have to be equal, or else the boat would drift laterally. So we have a first equilibrium. But if we say that the sailboat sails in a stable equilibrium, we are referring more to its willingness to stay on course, against the tendency to separate from it that it registers when it goes aft.

Let's imagine that the sailboat luffs too much, either due to its natural tendency, because of a failure in the rudder or because of a wave: if the sails are trimmed correctly, the main one will be the first to suffer the slip produced by the genoa. Even if it also breaks at the luff, the effective center of sail will move forward, which, combined with the loss of speed of the sailboat, which will make it slide sideways on the water as its drift plane becomes less effective, will help to make it return to course. .

If the sail balance is correct, also when the boat falls too much, the effectiveness of the genoa will decrease, as it is covered by the main. The sail center will move towards the stern, giving the boat a desire to luff and returning it to its initial course. This automatic movement may not be very apparent on today's boats due to the large surface area of ​​the rudder blade, which in many cases is offset. As the rudder is mobile and affects the course in such a notable way, its effect can be on the balance of the sailboat. By tying the rudder in a fixed position, balance is more easily observed.

If we go from upwind to quartering, when loosening the sheets, we will find that the boat has an even greater tendency to luff. Why is this due, if it seems that when the sheets are loosened the sail center moves forward and therefore the boat should be more manageable? A small drawing allows us to see how, when opening the sails, the center of thrust goes to the side and produces a turning moment that forces the boat to go luffing. This is a point of imbalance that can only be offset by operating the rudder.

As for the balance sailing downstream, physics also contradicts the first impression and shows that it is the most unstable and complex. Let's assume that a sailboat sails pushed by the wind without reaching its maximum speed, with the mainsail and the spynaker raised. The first thing we see is the balance between the two opposing forces of the thrust of the sails and the brake caused by the passage of the hull in the water. If the thrust is greater, the ship will accelerate, as the speed increases, the resistance will increase, so that when both are equal, equilibrium will occur.


Any small incident that throws the boat off course can very easily throw it off balance. As long as the thrust of the spynaker and the main are in line with the center of gravity of the boat and therefore the point of brake application, the boat will go straight. But it only takes five degrees of heel for the mainsail and spy to pull over to the side and luff the boat up. If no one corrects this at the helm, the spy can become empty; the greater then will be the only propulsion force that will make the boat luff up until it is crossed to the wind.

Navigation preferences
How can we prevent boardings? Do we know the "way preferences" at sea? These basic questions can sometimes be complex questions that give rise to risky situations when we are faced with them. Most of the accidental collisions that occur at sea are due to ignorance of these simple premises that we show you below. To find out who would have preference in these situations, all you have to do is pass over the boat you want to know the preference it would enjoy. How can we prevent collisions? Do we know the "way preferences" at sea? These basic questions can sometimes be complex questions that give rise to risky situations when we are faced with them. Most of the accidental collisions that occur at sea are due to ignorance of these simple premises that we show you below. To find out who would have preference in these situations, all you have to do is pass over the boat you want to know the preference it would enjoy. How can we prevent collisions? Do we know the "way preferences" at sea? These basic questions can sometimes be complex questions that give rise to risky situations when we are faced with them. Most of the accidental collisions that occur at sea are due to ignorance of these simple premises that we show you below. To find out who would have preference in these situations, all you have to do is pass over the boat you want to know the preference it would enjoy.
When two sailing vessels approach each other, with the risk of collision, one of them shall keep out of the way of the other, in the following manner:

– When each one of them receives the wind from opposite sides, the one that receives it will stay away from the defeat of the other.
– when both receive the wind from the same side, the vessel that is to windward will keep clear of the track of the one that is to leeward.
– if a ship that is blown to port sights another ship to windward and cannot determine with certainty whether the other ship is blown to port or starboard, it shall keep out of the other's track.
The simple observation of these preferences of passage will save us real trouble in the case of finding ourselves in any of the possible situations proposed.

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