Once you’ve been out on the open water with your sails in the wind, it’s easy to fall in love with this beloved sport and pastime. Sailing involves mastery of equipment and an understanding of wind and water — and it produces a feeling of freedom that cannot be duplicated. To sail is to carry on a rich nautical tradition of harnessing the power of the wind and sea. The links in this guide will take you to some of the very best sailing resources on the Internet. Connect with sailing organizations, find out how to get certified, and find tips and tools for all sailors from beginner to expert.
These are some of the top sailing websites and digital magazines out there. Look to them for expert tips, timely articles, buzzing communities full of fellow sailing-lovers, and access to lessons — including certification classes — and organized sailing trips. Most also offer paid subscriptions which include printed magazines and access to additional services and publications.
Cruising World — Cruising World is a very high quality online sailing magazine. On it you’ll find articles, videos, sailing tales, equipment reviews, tutorials, and a lot more.
Sailing World — This online magazine is home to loads of constantly updated articles and guides to keep you in the know about all things sailing-related. Read about competitions, get gear reviews, and find lessons in your area.
Sail Magazine — Sail Magazine keeps a great site, filled with helpful articles penned by expert sailors, information about different boats and gear, beautiful photos, and more. There’s even a marketplace for buying, selling, and trading boats and equipment.
Sailing Anarchy — This cool sailing site features news, articles, and videos — along with a well-populated forum that’s always alight with conversations about everything from general discussions and boat-specific threads to fix-it tips and fun contests.
This section has lots of great resources for the beginner sailor. Use these materials to get yourself acquainted with the sport a bit before board your first boat. Learn the lingo, find out what’s expected of you aboard a sailing vessel, and take a quick course in sailing history — all for free — using the sites and pages listed here.
How Sailing Works — This “How Stuff Works” article provides an excellent synopsis of sailing. Read about history and statistics, the specifics of how sailboats work, and how to stay safe in bad conditions.
10 Beginner Sailing Terms — Do you know your starboard from your port? Bow from aft? If not, read through these basic sailing terms to help you understand the lingo you’ll hear on a sailboat.
How to Tie Boating Knots — Use this illustrated guide to learn about the different types of knots used by sailors. Print it off as a guide to help you practice.
Sailing for Dummies — This installment of the “For Dummies” series covers all the basics (and beyond) of sailing. Learn what tacking and jibing are (and how to do them), identify and understand sail positions, and get a rundown of waterway traffic rules.
Sailboat Types — Not sure of the differences between a sloop and a catamaran? This article, from the Rutgers University website, takes you through the different kinds of sailboats.
Sailing is a relatively safe activity, especially when the proper protocols and best practices are followed. Always be courteous to other marine traffic, and make sure you are familiar with the risks involved with sailing. Use the following sites and pages to help you be a responsible sailor. You’ll find equipment requirements, safety checklists, marine weather reports, and even a guide for sailing safely with kids.
Federally Required Sailboat Equipment — Get to know the ins-and-outs of US sailboat equipment requirements. Fines for violating them can be hefty — and it’s dangerous to sail without the proper gear, so get to know this information before you set sail.
NOAA Marine Weather — It is imperative to track weather conditions when planning any maritime travels. Keep this page bookmarked for real-time marine weather reports, watches, and warnings from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.
Virtual Safety Check — Use this US Coast Guard safety check to make sure your vessel is water-worthy before setting sail. It covers everything from boat identification requirements to fire safety precautions.
Get Your Kids Sailing — This simple and informative article will answer some frequently asked questions about taking kids sailing. How safe is it? What kinds of sailboats are ideal for taking children aboard? How young can kids start sailing? All these and more are answered here.
If you want to delve deeper into sailing and join up with a reputable club or organization, check out the links below. These renowned groups are hubs for news and events happening in the sailing world, and they all offer hands-on classes and group sailing ventures. You don’t have to be a member to enjoy all of the great resources offered on their sites, either.
International Sailing Federation — Check out the ISAF website for all the latest sailing news — along with articles, photos, and tutorials. You can also find information about certification courses.
Seven Seas Cruising Association — This group requires a fee-based membership to access many of its services which include online classes, invitations to group events, newsletters, and more. You can take a free virtual membership tour to see how joining might benefit you.
Modern Sailing School and Club — Modern Sailing offers all kinds of learning opportunities — from introductory sailing lessons for the beginner to official Coast Guard captain certification courses. Sign up for a class and learn to sail. Once you’ve become a seaworthy sailor, you’ll be invited on club sailing adventures. You can also access safety tips, event calendars, and newsletters on the site.
US Sailing — Visit the official site of the US sailing team to find out about team happenings, industry news, and upcoming events. You can also check out a wealth of safety information, pro tips, and more.