I've been fascinated with sailing from a young age. It truly is the one mode of transportation that has built human culture and trade. It's not only the most efficient way of transporting goods up to this day, but it's also the most enjoyable.


That's why I've dedicated a part of my life to learning about sailing, in order to sail smarter, faster, and smoother - it's the reason my website is called ImproveSailing.


I've sailed an old Cornish Crabber and a double-handed dinghy. The Crabber was a slow but very satisfying boat. The dinghy is faster, has more of a thrill to it, but nothing beats slow and steady cruising for weeks on end across the great lakes of The Netherlands (- which is where I live).


My dream is to own a sea-worthy vessel and sail the world seas. I'm still young (only 28) so there's plenty of room for improvement. Until then I will continue to learn, and nerd out about what I've learned here, on this website.

All Articles by Shawn Buckles

Gaff rigged white schooner

17 Sailboat Types Explained: How To Recognize Them

In Beginner Info
Sailboat motoring at dawn

How To Get Your ICC Certification (in 8 Countries)

In Sailing Guides

What You'll Need to Charter Bareboat in Greece (Requirements)

In Destinations

Best Action Cam for Sailing: Our Top Picks for 2019

In Recommended gear
Dawn over the Mediterranean Sea with golden buildings

The Exact Bareboat Charter Requirements for Italy

In Destinations

How To Live On a Boat For Free: How I'd Do It

In Sailing Guides

The Exact Bareboat Charter Requirements in Croatia

In Destinations
Man on sailboat holding green line

9 Ways to Learn to Sail for (Practically) Free

In Beginner Info

Get Your Favorite Sailing Magazine Cheaply

In Recommended gear
Dirty freshwater tank with black streaks and grass

How to Clean Your Boat's Freshwater Tank (Plastic & Aluminum)

In Maintenance & Tips
Blue Industrial Marine Diesel Engine

What’s The Life Expectancy of a Marine Diesel Engine?

In Maintenance & Tips
Atolls of the Maldives at dusk

22 Beautiful Sailing Destinations for This Winter

In Maintenance & Tips

Best Marine Compass: Going the Right Way Cheaply

In Recommended gear

Best Marine GPS Chartplotter: My top pick for 2020

In Recommended gear
Canal lock in city of Amsterdam with old buildings

Average Canal Lock Size: UK, the Netherlands, France

In Beginner Info

The Average Cost of Replacing Risers and Manifolds

In Beginner Info
Old man works on boat engine

How to Clean Marine Exhaust Manifolds (The Best Way)

In Maintenance & Tips
Sail instructor tows seven dinghies with a powerboat

How Much Do Sailing Lessons Cost?

In Beginner Info
Sailing regatta with dozen sailboats in race

Is Sailing a Sport? (Spoiler: yes, it definitely is)

In Beginner Info
A sailboat at anchor from above in clear blue waters

Must Have Maintenance Products

In Recommended gear
Aerial view of vulcanic island of Hawaii

Sailing Guide: California to Hawaii (San Francisco, LA & Seattle)

In Sailing Guides
Bow shot of black wooden cruising sailboat

41 Sailboat Cruising Essentials for Long Trips

In Maintenance & Tips
Steel self-taling sailboat winch on blue background

3 Ways to Convert Your Winches to Self-Tailing

In Maintenance & Tips
3 Sailboats with dark sails under dark clouds at sunset

Is It Dangerous to Sail in a Thunderstorm?

In Beginner Info
Sailboat in front of NYC with Bermuda mainsail and Jib

Guide to Understanding Sail Rig Types (with Pictures)

In Sailing Guides
Map of the sailing seasons around the world

The Sailing Seasons Around the World (with Map)

In Sailing Guides
OVNI aluminum sailboat at anchor in calm bay

The Pros and Cons of an Aluminum Sailboat

In Beginner Info
Sailing safety gear hanging from rail on boat

Sailing Gear Essentials: the Ultimate Packing List (and PDF)

In Sailing Guides
Sunset over sea

How Far Can You Sail In One Day?

In Beginner Info
Two-masted, classical sailboat sailing under power

How Much Fuel Does a Sailboat Use?

In Beginner Info
Small boat in blue water of marina

How to Board a Boat With Confidence (in 5 Steps)

In Maintenance & Tips

45 Gift Ideas for Sailors: What We Wish You’d Buy Us

In Recommended gear
Wooden boardwalk in marina with boats tied up on either side

How Much Does it Cost to Dock a Boat for a Year?

In Beginner Info
Sunset in calm waters from a boat with small outboard motor

How to Calculate Outboard Motor Size for Sailboats

In Sailing Guides

The Different Types of Marine Navigation

In Sailing Guides
Lean sailboat in blue, protected waters with just the mainsail up

Average Cost of Buying & Owning a Sailboat (With 4 Examples)

In Sailing Guides
Beautiful white gaff-rigged cutter with gaff top sail and two staysails

How Much Do New Sails Cost?

In Beginner Info

13 Reasons Why Sailing is Better Than Powerboating

In Maintenance & Tips
Coastline filled with colorful houses, with a small lighthouse and sailing yachts offshore and a mountain in the back

9 Practical Tips & Locations for Sailing the Mediterranean

In Maintenance & Tips
Sunset with clouds and mast

25 Interesting Facts About Sailing You Probably Don't Know

In Maintenance & Tips
Cruising yacht with mainsail, headsail, and gennaker

The Ultimate Guide to Sail Types and Rigs (with Pictures)

In Sailing Guides
Birdseye view of beach and coastline with lots of small sailboats

Different Types of Sailing and Racing Explained

In Sailing Guides
Small sailboat in middle of huge blue sea

What Is Bluewater Sailing?

In Beginner Info
Sailboats docked at sea marina with lighthouse in background at dusk

How to Convert your Freshwater Boat for Saltwater Use

In Sailing Guides
Italian sailboats with blue sails competing in sunny weather

How Are Sail Numbers Assigned? (And how to pick yours)

In Beginner Info
Hawaiian ocean with vulcanic mountains

How Long Does it Take to Sail from San Diego to Hawaii?

In Beginner Info
Sailboat in coastal waters with desert hill in the background

The Difference Between Freshwater and Saltwater Boats

In Beginner Info
Smooth water sailboat panorama with dusk setting in

What is the Average Speed of a Sailboat?

In Beginner Info
Sailboat in Tropical shallow water

How Long Does it Take to Sail Around the World?

In Beginner Info
Chartplotter and compass at wheel of the boat

What’s the Difference Between a Chartplotter and GPS?

In Beginner Info
Sailor's point of view heeling into the sunset

What’s the Largest Boat One Person Can Operate?

In Beginner Info

What is the Ideal Wind Speed for Sailing?

In Beginner Info
PFD and buoy on board of boat

Ultimate Guide to Required Safety Equipment on a Boat

In Sailing Guides

How to Use a Boat Compass (Complete beginners guide)

In Sailing Guides

How Long Does it Take to Sail Across the Atlantic?

In Beginner Info