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Other Common Words A Phrases

    • Beat: to sail upwind, as near as you can. You are 'beating' the force of the wind which wants to blow you the other way.
    • Bear Away:to alter course away from the wind
    • Cleat: fitting that holds a rope in place. Mainly found in two forms on dinghies; the 'clamcleat' where you feed the rope through and then pull down to make it stick in the grooves, or the 'camcleat' which consists of two rotating cams mounted together. Again the rope goes between them. Cleats are found on more powerful boats where you need help to hold the sheets (qv). Shrieks of 'uncleat!uncleat!' mean you have a rope stuck in a cleat and are going to capsize if you don't release it soon. Spinnaker sheets are rarely cleated as you need to be playing the spinnaker the whole time.
    • Crew: Person at the front of the boat, controlling jib and spinnaker (if fitted), balancing the boat and providing assistance both mental and physical to the helm.
    • Gybe: to turn the boat so that the back end goes through the wind. Usually the boom goes across very fast, this is the tricky turn when the wind is up.
    • Headed: to be forced away from where you want to go while on a beat because the wind has changed direction. Usually means you need to tack.
    • Helm: person driving the boat, sitting at the back and controlling tiller and mainsheet.
    • Hike: to lean out of the boat to balance it. To do this you tuck your feet under a hiking strap fitted in the bottom of the boat.
    • Kite: Another name for spinnaker.
    • Leeward: (pronounced 'looard') the side of the boat furthest from the wind;usually the side the sails are on.
    • Luff Up: to alter course towards the wind. Or 'head up'
    • Port: the left hand side. Remember that 'port' and 'left' both have four letters, and that drinkable port is red, and so is the colour used to indicate a port rounding.
    • Reach: to sail across the wind. The fastest direction - faster than with the wind behind you. This is because of physics and also fun!
    • Starboard: the right hand side. A boat on starboard tack is sailing with the wind coming over the starboard side, i.e. the sails out to port. This tack has priority over port tack. If someone yells 'starboard!'they mean 'I'm on starboard tack, you're on port tack, you give way because that's the rules.'
    • Tack: a) to turn the boat so that the front goes through the wind b) either starboard tack or port tack - the way you are sailing. (Gosh, this is hard to explain...)
    • Trapeze: device to allow the crew (or helm) to stand out of the side of the boat for more righting force. The trapeze usually takes the form of a ring attached to a wire on the mast, and the crew wears a harness which hooks on to this ring. Trapeze boats are usually very powerful, hence the need for extra righting force. Some boats have twin trapezes where both helm and crew need to stand out on the side; however these boats are generally a bit big for Island Barn. Trapezing is not too difficult to learn and is a load of fun, so if you're offered the chance, give it a go!
    • Wear Round: when it is windy it can be very difficult to gybe without capsizing. The slow but safe alternative is to turn the boat by tacking instead, which means going a long way round but increases the odds of staying up. This is called 'wearing round'.
    • Windward: the side of the boat nearest to the wind. Hence the crew sits to windward to balance the sails which are to leeward.

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