3 Reasons You Should Learn To Sail On A Small Boat

Posted on: 29 June 2016

Being able to maneuver a boat through the open sea is a goal that many people share. Without proper training, sailing can quickly become a deadly activity. While it might seem easier to learn how to operate a larger vessel, there are some significant benefits to be had by learning to sail on a small boat.

Here are three reasons to consider small-boat sailing lessons if you want to be a better captain in the future.

1. Small boats are more reactive to wave patterns.

When sailing in a small vessel, the pattern of the ocean's waves can more easily affect how your boat performs. By opting to start out your sailing experience with lessons on a small boat, you will be able to learn the effect varying wave patterns have on a boat.

Feeling your small boat react to breaking inlets or large waves will allow you to better identify what a larger boat can or can't handle as you negotiate open-sea sailing situations in the future.

2. Small boats require greater awareness of environmental conditions.

Captaining a larger sailing vessel has its advantages when it comes to being able to rely on technology to chart your course. Since a large vessel is able to withstand more variance in environmental conditions (wind, wave patterns, etc.), learning to sail on a bigger ship can cause you to develop a lack of environmental awareness.

You must remain constantly vigilant of your surroundings when sailing on a small boat, since any change could cause the boat to capsize. Honing your awareness of wind speed and direction, and wave direction and type on a small vessel will help you keep your head out of the cockpit in a larger vessel and reduce your reliance on electronic sailing devices.

3. Small boats allow you to learn to navigate into port without engine power.

Many sailboat captains rely on their engines to help bring them into port, since docking a vessel using wind power alone can be incredibly challenging. Smaller vessels often aren't equipped with engines, so you are forced to learn how to navigate close enough to port to be pushed in by your tender without the help of an engine.

Developing this valuable skill can prove essential when you make the transition to sailing a larger vessel. Engines can (and do) fail, and being able to apply the wind-driven docking skills you learned on a small vessel to your larger ship could save you money on towing fees in the future.

If you are thinking of learning to sail, be sure that you take the time to consider the benefits of learning on a smaller vessel, such as with Trillium Marine Services.