Raising sails

Setting sail for the first time

We first need to hoist (raise) the main sail before we can set sail. If you've never done it before, it's more involved than you might think.


How to slow down your boat reliably

Once you've raised the main sail, you'll want to be able to reef them. Reefing means reducing sail area by partially lowering your sail. It's the most reliable way to slow down your boat.

But beware: there's a delay. Reef your sails well before time.

Using a spinnaker

Specialty sails for light air

If you have very light air (low wind speeds) you may want to use spinnakers or gennakers. These are big balloon-shaped sails you can use to catch more wind.

These don't generate lift as your normal sails do but work like a kite instead.