- LOOK ROUND AND MAKE SURE YOU WON'T GET IN ANYONE'S WAY AS YOU TURN
- Ease a handful of mainsheet and place the mainsheet under the thumb on the aft (back) hand (that's holding the tiller) to effectively cleat your mainsheet (don't use an actual cleat). Now you have the tiller in your back hand with the mainsheet trapped under the thumb and the other hand is free. (Note that as a beginner, it is often recommended that you do not cleat your mainsheet, as in the event of a capsize, after righting the boat, it can sail away before it is manned or become very difficult to right).
- Push the tiller away from you and put your front foot across the dinghy. Crouch while you are doing this. You will be now facing backwards.
- As the boat starts to turn place your free hand onto the tiller and lift the mainsheet free in the hand that prevously held the tiller (remember you tucked the sheet under your thumb)
Key point: Swing the tiller extension round so that it moves accross the boat before you move accross. As the boom comes over step over to the other side of the boat and sit down.
- As the sail starts to set stop turning and sit down. (Actually you need to stop turning just after the bnoom goes over but just before the sail sets becuse it takes a moment for the boat to stop turning
Reminder: You changed hands at the strat of the tack - all you have to do is sit down and steer. Everything should automatically be in the right place. LOOK FORWARDS AND STEER!
- If you do this right you are now sat down with the mainsheet in your front hand and the tiller in the back hand (you swapped hands at the start of the process so the end of the tack is very simple)
Get in the habit of giving commands (i.e. Ready about, Lee-oh), even when you are alone. It makes it much easier to remember when others are with you. You don't want to make any major course corrections that effect the rigging without letting everyone aboard know what your are about to do. In most dinghies tacking or jibing creates a great deal of movement. Besides, you always want your passengers on the windward side to help level the boat. Your passengers should also know what they are expected to do before you manoeuver the boat.
Make sure you duck and crouch, otherwise the boom will hit you in the side of the head and possibly knock you out of the boat, or at least give you a bad headache!
Rememeber you must alwasy be weariing a buoyancy aid.