Learn how to sail in 20 minutes


When we started getting into sailing we started watching youtube videos in the hopes of learning how to sail. There were a few instructional videos out there but most of the sailing channels focused on the travelling in general, with the sailing itself just a small portion of the vlogs.  Fun to watch, we did learn a lot about sailboats, life aboard and how beautiful all those exotic places were, but not extremely useful in terms of, well, actually learning HOW to operate a sailboat.

This morning I stumbled upon a video from The Dutch Seaman on youtube and I loved it. In just 20 minutes he manages to explain the basics of sailing, using a mixture of wonderful drone shots, video, humor and crude ms paint graphics (yes, really).

I do recognise there is more to sailing than just what he covers in the video. Leaving a dock can be done in a multitude of ways and is dependent on, for example, the current wind direction. From personal experience I also know that a portion of “old salties” love to make sailing as complicated and academic as possible and they are sure to disagree with the content of the video. I quickly skimmed the comments and I read one comment from someone claiming the title was wrong because he used an engine and electronic equipment. Some sailors really do seem to believe that using anything invented after the 19th century is considered cheating. While I respect those using only paper charts, a sextant and cruising without a fridge (kudos to you if you can do this!), I feel it is more and more becoming a niche within the sailing community instead of ‘how it SHOULD be done’. Newer inventions like the furling system, autopilot and digital navigation opened up the (sailing) world and made it possible for a lot more people – like us! – to buy a boat and get out there.

All that said, I do really recommend for all our friends, family and possible future crew members of Blue Pearl to watch this video a couple of times to understand more of what we do and why, when we are out sailing. So maybe when you do come on board to sail with us in the future, you know what the heck we are doing (and maybe even help!).

Just keep the 80/20 rule in mind. You can probably learn 80% of sailing fairly quickly, but for the last 20% you can take YEARS to master all the ins and outs to perfection (if that even exists; just ask those “old salties” and notice that everyone has their own version of how it should be done!) and you will need to be on the water for it. A work in progress for us without doubt! 

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