Fast Track to Cruising How to Go from Novice to Cruise-Ready in Seven Days

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-12-10
  • Publisher: International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press
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The complete how-to program for aspiring sailors with big dreams and little time From two expert sailors, authors, and teachers who have helped more than 100,000 adults take the helm comes Fast Track to Cruising. This armchair-to-anchorage program takes first-time sailors off the dock and onto open water-in as little as seven days! Based on the Offshore Sailing School's "Fast Track to Cruising" course, this program starts with sailing basics and moves quickly through daysailing to cruising. Part I highlights key information in outline form. Part II provides a fuller understanding of the concepts behind each technique. This fast-paced guide helps readers: Learn sailing and cruising basics in as little as seven days Develop steering, sail-handling, and anchoring skills Tackle navigation, engine maintenance, and radio operation Gain confidence sailing at night and in strong winds

Author Biography

Steve Colgate founded the Offshore Sailing School in 1964, offering beginner through advanced sailing courses in Florida, the Caribbean, the Northeast, and the Midwest.

Doris Colgate has been a sailor for more than 30 years.

Table of Contents



Day One: Getting to Know Your Boat

Chapter 1: The Language of Sailing

Important Words to Know

How to Measure a Sailboat

How to Describe a Sailboat

Standing Rigging

Running Rigging

Sails and How to Describe Them

Chapter 2: Start Sailing

Sailing Comfort is All about Preparation

Getting Aboard

Getting Ready to Sail

Getting Underway


Make Yourself Comfortable

Chapter 3: The Points of Sail

Finding Wind Direction

Your Boat is Always on a Tack

Cycling Through the Points of Sail

Changing Course Downwind

Sailing toward the Wind

When Tacks Don’t Go as Planned

Day Two: Building Confidence and Skills

Chapter 4: Wind and Sails: A Powerful Team

Wind Creates Lift

Two Sails are More Efficient than One

The Effect of Heeling

Using Telltales

Wind Flow on a Run

Jib Leads

How Sails are Made

Sail Controls

Reading and Using the Wind

Chapter 5: Balance and Stability

How Weather and Lee Helm Affect Balance

How Sails Affect Balance

How Weight Affects Balance

How the Keel and Hull Shape Affect Stability

How to Control Stability

Determining Speed

Sailing Dinghies

Chapter 6: Handling Heavy Weather and Rescuing Crew

Sailing in Heavy Weather

What to Do in a Squall

Crew Overboard!

Day Three: Going and Coming with Ease

Chapter 7: Mooring, Docking and Anchoring Under Sail

Mooring Pickup without a Motor

How to Anchor Under Sail

How to Dock Under Sail

If You Go Aground

Chapter 8: Right-of-Way Rules and Navigation

How to Determine if You are on a Collision Course

Rules of the Road

Navigation Basics

Day Four: Getting Familiar with Bigger Boats

Chapter 9: Segue to a Cruising Boat

Cruising Lingo

Learning the Systems Aboard

Proper Engine Use

Maneuvering Under Power

Chapter 10: Getting Underway

Before You Leave

Leave the Dock in Style

Setting Sail

Safe and Efficient Winch Use

Tidying Up on Deck

Chapter 11: Basic Maneuvers Under Sail and Power

When and Where to Tack

How to Tack a Cruising Boat

How to Jibe a Cruising Boat

Dousing Sails at Day's End

Day Five: Settling Down for the Night

Chapter 12: Docking and Mooring a Cruising Boat

Approaching a Dock

Picking Up a Mooring

Med-Moor Docking

How to Back in from a Preset Mooring

Shutting Down

Chapter 13: Anchoring Your Cruising Boat

Anchors and their Holding Power

Where to Anchor

Setting Your Anchor

When Two Anchors are Better

Anchoring in Deep Water

Special Circumstances

How to Get Going Again

Day Six: Techniques for Successful Cruising

Chapter 14: Sail Trim for Cruising

How to Steer Comfortably

When Wind Velocity Changes

Why Sail Shape is Important

Mainsail Control and Shape

Proper Genoa Trim

Control in Heavy Air

Chapter 15: Safety and Health Tips for Cruising

How to Avoid Being Seasick

Other Health Conditions You Might Encounter

Equipment Failures Can Cause Accidents

Tips for Going Up a Mast

What to Do if Someone Goes Overboard

What to Do if You Go Aground

What to Do if Steering Fails

A Collision Can Ruin Your Day

Sailing at Night and in Restricted Visibility

Day Seven: Gone Cruising!

Chapter 16: Navigation: Knowing Where You Are and Where You Are Going

Becoming a Navigator

How to Use Charts

Where You Can and Cannot Sail

Understanding Variation and Deviation

What is Dead Reckoning?

How to Avoid Hazards

Other Tips for Navigating

Navigating in Current

Satellite Navigation

Chapter 17: Creature Comforts and Other Tips for Cruising

Your Dinghy

Use of Water Aboard

Cooking Aboard

Marine Toilets

Dealing with Garbage

Safety Below

Tips for Swimming and Fishing

Communicating between Boats

Chapter 18: Cruise Ready!

About Bareboat Chartering

What to Pack for Your Cruise

Customs and Currency Abroad

Cruising Courtesy

Beyond Chartering

Appendix 1: Seven-Day Study Program

Appendix 2: Tips and Checklists



Rewards Program

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