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6 Skills You Develop on a Sailing Boat

6 Skills You Develop on a Sailing Boat

When you take to sailing for the first time, the mental and physical requirements can feel a little bit overwhelming. However, this is the same with any new endeavor, and the truth is, this sense of fear or trepidation is perfectly healthy for a sailor. After all, to venture out on the ocean without these fears or concerns is likely to result in carelessness and incompetence.

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With this in mind, here are some of the essential skills you can expect to develop on a sailing boat:

Personal and Practical Skills That You Can Learn on a Sailing Boat


Teamwork is essential on a boat and a skill which is developed over time. Leaders are always important to a team, and this is obviously where the skipper comes into play, but every other member is just as important Book2Sail covered this complately. In many ways, manoeuvring a sailing boat can be compared to a finely tuned machine in which every cog, big and small, plays an important role in getting the boat from one place to another.

Leaving your comfort zone

There is a lot to be said about leaving your comfort zone and persisting with activities with which you are not accustomed. After all, there is no way to overcome discomfort except facing up to it, and there is much to be learned in the process. For example, many sailors are afraid of getting lost in the ocean that in time, they can learn to navigate the sea until they feel comfortable with the knowledge that will avoid this happening. That being said, there are many aspects to sailing which involve leaving the comfort one and each one should be seen as an opportunity to build confidence.

Learning to Tie Knots

One of the best things about sailing is the opportunity to learn practical skills. In this respect, knots are such a useful piece of knowledge, and the process requires little more than practice and replication. Whether this is a bowline, half-hitch, reef knot or the figure-of-eight; these knots are crucial for securing the boat and ensure the safety of everyone on board.

Wind Conditions

Change is the one constant on a sailing boat, and this is certainly true about the weather. In terms of the conditions, the wind is arguably most important and determine the speed or direction of the boat. Quite often, spending time on a boat is even better than reading theory, for, through the first-hand experience, sailors can learn how to interpret the wind – an incredible skill to master.

Fixing Minor Repairs

Something strange happens when you spend time at sea – you learn to be increasingly self-sufficient and self-reliant. That is to say; you realize that there is nobody else to get the necessary tasks done on board and the only way forward is to get them done yourself.

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In this respect, sailing has a subtle way of encouraging sailors to learn about the inner workings of the boat and provide solutions to problems which come up along the way. In many cases, this will often relate to minor breakages or malfunctions, and with none else around, the sailor will usually find a way to fix the issue through sheer will and determination.

As you can see, there are many skills to develop on a sailing boat, and while some aspects such as navigation are slightly more technical, the above skills can be learned with little to no prior experience.  Indeed, you will learn and grow on a sailing boat, but the only way to find out how much – is to get out there and start.



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