Do you know the nautical terms "ready about?"

Aziza Ahmed

5 Mar 2022

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”
It’s true… All you need is the skill to adjust the sail.

It’s time to “Ready about”


Do you know what it means?


“Ready about” is a nautical term that sailors used to give a command to their crew to change the course of a ship by tacking.


"Ready about” is the order to prepare for tacking.


And when you hear the term “tacking,” do you wonder what it means?


Tacking is when you change tack (direction), going from side to side – it’s a sailing term.

Tacking is the process of turning your boat around so that it heads in the opposite direction. This can be done for a number of reasons such as


  • avoiding obstacles

  • changing course

  • or reaching a destination.


Did you know tacking is an old technique?


In the 1st century CE, the Greeks began using sails that allowed for tacking and jibing. The technological advancements are believed to have been introduced by Persian or Arabic sailors.


So, tacking is not a new skill, it’s something that has been done by sailors for centuries.


“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”


It’s true… All you need is the skill to adjust the sail.


When you're sailing a boat, there are a few things you need to remember in order to tack it successfully.


First, make sure you're at the right angle to the wind - if you're sailing too close to the wind, you won't be able to make any progress.


Second, make sure you're heading in the right direction - if you're going the wrong way, you'll only end up spinning in circles.


Finally, use your body weight to help swing the boat around - lean into the wind and push the tiller in the opposite direction. This will help get the boat moving in the opposite direction.


As an aspiring sailor, Don't stress over tacking. Once you get the hang of it, you'll realize that it's not that big of a deal, and you won't let worrying about it keep you from going upwind. Just like everything else in sailing, once you're familiar with it, it's fun to do!


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