Sailing

Monday, 13 February 2017 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Sport
Reading Time:  7 minutes

Trimaran L'Hydroptère in Long Beach © Thomas Lesage/cc-by-sa-3.0

Trimaran L’Hydroptère in Long Beach © Thomas Lesage/cc-by-sa-3.0

Sailing comprises wind propulsion of a craft by means of sails or other airfoils and steering it over water, ice or land, depending on the type of craft. A sailor manages the force of the wind on the sails by adjusting their angle with respect to the moving sailing craft and sometimes by adjusting the sail area. The force transmitted from the sails is resisted by forces from the hull, keel, and rudder of a sailing craft, by forces from skate runners for an iceboat, and by forces from wheels for a land sailing craft to allow steering a course on a point of sail with respect to the true wind. While there are still some places in the world where sail-powered passenger, fishing and trading vessels are used, these craft have become rarer as internal combustion engines have become economically viable in even the poorest and most remote areas. In most countries sailing is enjoyed as a recreational activity or as a sport. Recreational sailing or yachting can be divided into racing and cruising. Cruising can include extended offshore and ocean-crossing trips, coastal sailing within sight of land, and daysailing.

Maritime history is the broad overarching subject that includes fishing, whaling, international maritime law, naval history, the history of ships, ship design, shipbuilding, the history of navigation, the history of the various maritime-related sciences (oceanography, cartography, hydrography, etc.), sea exploration, maritime economics and trade, shipping, yachting, seaside resorts, the history of lighthouses and aids to navigation, maritime themes in literature, maritime themes in art, the social history of sailors and passengers and sea-related communities. There are a number of approaches to the field, sometimes divided into two broad categories: Traditionalists, who seek to engage a small audience of other academics, and Utilitarians, who seek to influence policy makers and a wider audience.

Trimaran L'Hydroptère in Long Beach © Thomas Lesage/cc-by-sa-3.0 Newport Sailing 2009 © chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-3.0 Ships near Blue Lagoon - Malta © larrylurex German Sailing Grand Prix 2006 - Team Shosholoza, United Internet Team Germany, BMW Oracle Racing © VollwertBIT Kingston Harbour Sailing Race © Gwyneth Davidson Ice sailing on Lake Hemmelsdorf © Jan Kuchenbecker/cc-by-sa-3.0-de Sailing Boat Badrutt's Palace Hotel © Bphstm/cc-by-sa-4.0 US Sailing Team in Catania, Spain © U.S. Navy
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German Sailing Grand Prix 2006 - Team Shosholoza, United Internet Team Germany, BMW Oracle Racing © VollwertBIT
Sailing for pleasure can involve short trips across a bay, day sailing, coastal cruising, and more extended offshore or ‘blue-water’ cruising. These trips can be singlehanded or the vessel may be crewed by families or groups of friends. Sailing vessels may proceed on their own, or be part of a flotilla with other like-minded voyagers. Sailing boats may be operated by their owners, who often also gain pleasure from maintaining and modifying their craft to suit their needs and taste, or may be rented for the specific trip or cruise. A professional skipper and even crew may be hired along with the boat in some cases. People take cruises in which they crew and ‘learn the ropes’ aboard craft such as tall ships, classic sailing vessels and restored working boats. Cruising trips of several days or longer can involve a deep immersion in logistics, navigation, meteorology, local geography and history, fishing lore, sailing knowledge, general psychological coping, and serendipity. Once the boat is acquired it is not all that expensive an endeavor, often much less expensive than a normal vacation on land. It naturally develops self-reliance, responsibility, economy, and many other useful skills. Besides improving sailing skills, all the other normal needs of everyday living must also be addressed. There are work roles that can be done by everyone in the family to help contribute to an enjoyable outdoor adventure for all. A style of casual coastal cruising called gunkholing is a popular summertime family recreational activity. It consists of taking a series of day sails to out of the way places and anchoring overnight while enjoying such activities as exploring isolated islands, swimming, fishing, etc. Many nearby local waters on rivers, bays, sounds, and coastlines can become great natural cruising grounds for this type of recreational sailing. Casual sailing trips with friends and family can become lifetime bonding experiences.

Long-distance voyaging, such as that across oceans and between far-flung ports, can be considered the near-absolute province of the cruising sailboat. Most modern yachts of 25–55 feet long, propelled solely by mechanical powerplants, cannot carry the fuel sufficient for a point-to-point voyage of even 250–500 miles without needing to resupply; but a well-prepared sail-powered yacht of similar length is theoretically capable of sailing anywhere its crew is willing to guide it. Even considering that the cost benefits are offset by a much reduced cruising speed, many people traveling distances in small boats come to appreciate the more leisurely pace and increased time spent on the water. Since the solo circumnavigation of Joshua Slocum in the 1890s, long-distance cruising under sail has inspired thousands of otherwise normal people to explore distant seas and horizons. The important voyages of Robin Lee Graham, Eric Hiscock, Don Street and others have shown that, while not strictly racing, ocean voyaging carries with it an inherent sense of competition, especially that between man and the elements. Such a challenging enterprise requires keen knowledge of sailing in general as well as maintenance, navigation (especially celestial navigation), and often even international diplomacy (for which an entire set of protocols should be learned and practiced). But one of the great benefits to sailboat ownership is that one may at least imagine the type of adventure that the average affordable powerboat could never accomplish.

Read more on American Sailing Association, World Sailing, Wikivoyage Cruising on small craft and Wikipedia Sailing (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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