Useful Resources for Absolute Beginners

Written by Shawn Buckles in Resources

Online Courses

Before buying anything, you want to figure out whether sailing is for you or not. To do this, I suggest to get started on some good free sailing courses. I've ordered these nine tips in a way that makes (financial) sense.

Free Courses by NauticEd

NauticEd is one of the best-known names in online sailing education. And they offer two introductory courses FOR FREE.

Get two FREE sailing courses from NauticEd

You'll get Basic Sail Trim & Rules of Prevention of Collision at Sea. These will give you a good overview of what you need to know before boarding a sailboat.

Paid Courses by NauticEd

After that, I recommend taking the Skipper Rank course.

This course is a lot more advanced and will talk you through sailing a mid-sized sailboat (23 - 50ft). I think it's a great, comprehensive course.

It will go over all the core sailing theory: Weather and Sea Conditions, Anchoring and Mooring, Slip Departure and Return, Communications & Navigation, Coping with Emergencies, Sailing (of course), and many more.

It has over more than 20+ hours worth of material and will give you all the basic knowledge you need to start sailing in real life.

Check out the Skipper Rank course here

After the online courses, you can plan actual real-life sailing lessons that will build on your theoretical knowledge. The lessons are available around the world. I recommend getting at least two sailing lessons to get a feel for the boat and the basics of sailing. More on this later.

Sailaway Videogame

This might sound silly to some, but to me, it actually makes a lot of sense.

There's a great sailing simulator called Sailaway. It's just your ordinary videogame - you can download it from Steam, and start playing. But it is more of a simulator than anything else. So I thought it might be useful in learning how to sail.

So does it? The short answer is yes.

It really mimics the sailing experience quite well. Also, the tutorials are at the same time sailing theory lessons.

But here, the same goes: it remains theory - until you get out on a boat and do it for real.

Digital is great: it's cheap (practically free) and comfortable. It's great to explore new interests. But after 50 hours of Sailaway, three sailing courses, and just over $ 100, it's time to get real.

Good Beginner Books

Books or resources you've found useful?

How to fast track your sailing experience?

My 'How To Fast-Track Learning to Sail' Book