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Steven R. Van Hook

Sailing Toolkit

Featured Articles on How to Sail
Sailors share their very best sailing secrets and tips.

Top Tips for Better Sailing
Here are time-tested tips to keep your sailing day exciting and safe, gathered over the years from old seasoned salts and from those who sometimes learned the hard way.

Sailboat Passenger Do's and Don'ts
From what your passengers should bring (and not!), to coping with seasickness, and keeping your sailboat crew entertained, able, and whole.

Single-Handed and Solo Sailing Tips
The ability to sail single-handed is a big boost to your comfort and confidence levels, but requires a well-trimmed set of skills. Here's a primer list of tips and tactics to have at the ready.

Sailing Reference & Resource Texts
It's fun and frequently enlightening to take a quick glance at the bookcases of other sailors. Here are some of my all-time favorite sailing reference books and resources sitting handy on my shelves.

Sail Trim Simulator
Here's a cool educational tool from the helpful folks at the National Geographic Society on how to trim a sail based on a range of headings in various winds.

Boater's Toolbox
Practice a safe docking in multiple marina layouts, complete a safety study course, then brush up on your VHF radio technique; courtesy of BoatUS Foundation.

An essential sailor's weather service with user-selected regional reports on winds, swells, radar, etc.

Sailboat Lines and Knots
Lots of details on different types of lines (ropes), with useful video how-to's on tying essential sailing knots (reef, sheet bend, bowline, clove hitch, figure eight, cleat hitch), courtesy of US Sailing.

The Beaufort Wind Scale
Wind forces as defined by Sir France Beaufort of England in 1805, describing conditions in escalating magnitudes of appearance on sea and land. 

Navigation Rules of the Road
Exhaustive detail on international and inland navigation rules for powerboats and sailing vessels, courtesy of the United States Coast Guard Navigation Center.

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