Page name: TD - Sailing [Logged in view] [RSS]
2006-06-27 10:57:13
Last author: Grey Wanderer
Owner: Grey Wanderer
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Well, here is my little page, trying to help you understand sailing. Don't go thinking I'm an expert, but also don't think I'm just consolidating facts I've found on the net. I live on a modern sailboat and have my bareboat charter certification. But still, that might be a disadvantage since I use terms and take things for granted that you may not. So don't hesitate to correct and question me, even if you aren't sure. I have a lot of resources (we've got a whole shelf of sailing textbooks), so I can probably find an answer more easily than you could on the net.

This page is definately in progress, so be patient please.

The Ship

The Sized

   In general, the longer the boat, the faster it can go. Displacement hull boats (boats that can't plain, or skim along the top of the water instead of plowing through it) have what is called 'hull speed.' This is a speed that they can't go faster than, due to their drag through the water. The longer the boat, the faster the hull speed, and the faster they can go.
   The ammount you can store is limited by size also. Always assume that you can store about twice as much as you think you can. Keep in mind that food goes bad, though. Don't have your sailors eating fresh fruit several months out at sea. Even potatoes start sprouting. Dried fruit keeps way longer.
   The larger the boat, the heavier conditions you are willing to go out in. No ten foot boat is going to be out in twenty foot waves. In modern times, noaa, the national marine weather service issues warnings. They are, in order or severity:
        i. Small Craft Advisory- This means that small crafts (no legal definition of 'small crafts') should not be out on the water. The conditions are different in different areas, but the wind is usually about 20-30 knots (nautical miles per hour. I use it out of habit, a knot isn't too far off from a normal mile-per hour) and the seas are are above 5 or 10 feet.
        ii. Gale Warning- Winds are between 34-47 knots. 5.5 meter high waves. Get out a tape measure, that's big.
        iii. Storm Warning-Winds are 48 knots and above. The only warning higher than this is a Hurricane Warning, and that is only if it is an actual hurricane, not just hurricane force winds. Waves are above 9 meters.
        iv. Hurricane Warning- This one is only issued for an actual hurricane. Winds are 64 knots and above. Waves are 14 meters.

A word on waves: Waves are scary, and they always seem much bigger in real life. Next time you're writing a storm, get out a tape measure. Also, water is hard. A boat has to go up and down the waves. If it smacks into the side the boat will tip to go up the wave side-ways, which is often tipping a lot more than you like.

The Material

   Most boats are made out of wood, fiber glass, or metal. Wooden is a very fluxuating material. It shrinks and expands with humidity, and gets water logged and eaten by insects. I'm not going to go into construction here, but larger wooden boats must have very thick hulls. Wood also floats, but all that means is that you are more likely to find pieces of your sunken ship floating back up.
   Fiber glass is easier to work with than wood, and isn't affected by water and insects. It's lighter, and thinner, but also more brittle. If something small(like the corner of a dock or a coral head) punches at it it can make a hole. Most modern boats are made out of fiber glass.
   Metal hulled boats are very heavy, so metal hull probably means slower boat. However, metal is a lot harder to dammage.
The Rig

II. The Parts
   a. Below Decks
     1. The Cabins
     2. The Galley
     3. The Storage
     4. The Head
III. The Sailing
IV. The Conditions
V. The Crew

Sources: Noaa. Noaa is the national marine weather service. Their home-page is
The Beaufor Scales. That is a table that has wind speed and the corresponding wave height (along with other information.) One of the places you can find the Beaufort scales is

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2006-03-28 [iippo]: This is excellency, can't wait to see it progress.

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