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Learn to Sail and Safety at Sea Videos

UK Sailmakers is committed to helping you to improve your sailing skills and safety. On this website, we publish an ever-growing collection of Learn to Sail Videos, Articles, and Safety at Sea Videos.

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How to Set Outboard Leads

For the most powerful jib trim when reaching, you’ll need to set an outboard lead to control leech shape and keep the slot between the main and jib open. Learn how to reach faster.

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Easier Spinnaker Banding

This video explains the UK Sailmakers velcro Spin Stop system that help crews band spinnakers faster and in a more environmentally friendly way than with yarn or rubber bands.

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Setting Halyard Tension

Being able to repeat fast sail trim requires sailing by the numbers. This video shows your halyards to that crew can get the halyard tension right, race after race; genoa hoist after genoa hoist.

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Spinnaker String Takedown

Spinnaker take downs can be intimidating, but when you have a handful of methods available, you will always have a good option. This video teaches the belly-button retrieval.

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How to Center your Rig

The first and most important step in tuning the rig is to get the tip of the mast over the center of the boat. If the mast is off to one side, it will cause the boat to go better on one tack than the other.

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Extra Height with Inhaulers

Boats designed with non-overlapping jibs can point higher and go faster by installing inhaulers that move the lead position inboard to get the leech of the jib closer to the mainsail.

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Setting the Pole Height

Setting the height of the spinnaker pole controls how the luff of the spinnaker breaks. This article tells you what to look for when positioning the pole properly.

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The Cruising Spinnaker Trailer

This clip from UK Sailmakers’ 17 minute video on the cruising spinnaker go over how to jibe the asymmetrical pole-less cruising spinnaker with just two people.

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Asymmetrical Spinnaker Jibing

Some quick tips for jibing an asymmetrical spinnaker faster. Not only does this video teach how to move the spinnaker faster, but it also teaches how to turn less in the jibe.

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How to use leech and foot lines

This a two-minute tutorial on how to use leech and foot lines teaches how to stop sail damage from the edges of the sails fluttering. By stopping edge flutter, sail life can be extend.

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Quick Stop With Spinnaker

The key to a successful man-overboard recovery is to stay close to the victim in the water. Here is how to do a quick stop recovery when the person goes overboard while the spinnaker is flying.

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Quick Stop With Spinnaker – Part 2

While video’d over a decade ago, this clip shows an unpracticed crew in heavy air. What they did right and not-so-right offers some good lessons in how to do a successful MOB recovery.

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Quick Stop Upwind

The key to a successful man-overboard recovery is to stay close to the victim in the water. Here is how to do a Quick Stop recovery when the person goes overboard while sailing upwind.

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How to Deploy a Life Raft

Many sailors have carried life rafts on and off boats, but few have seen how launch, inflate or enter one. This video Winslo Life Raft’s Chalres Daneko shows how it is done.

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How to use Storm Sails

Boats going to sea need to carry storm sails, but more importantly, the crew needs to have practiced ahead of time. In a storm you don’t want to be looking at the trysail for the first time. 

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Care of Inflatable Life Vests

Inflatable PFDs with built in harnesses are safe and comfortable. Most offshore sailors now carry them. But lives depend on annual checkouts and schedule maintenance.

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SOLAS-Grade Signaling Flares

This video shows you how much brighter SOLAS flares are compared to those that meet the recreational boating standards. When you need to be seen, SOLAS flares are the only choice.

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Fighting Shipboard Fires

A shipboard fire can quickly become an abandon ship situation. This video teaches how to fight those fires to save your boat. It was filmed at a hands-on Safety at Sea seminar.

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Man-Over-Board Recovery

The hardest part of recovering a crew overboard is getting the person back aboard. This video looks at several different methods. The best method is to use the Life Sling and a winch.

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Drogue Steering

Losing the rudder is a common reason for boats to be abandoned at sea. This video shows a method for steering a boat under sail as well as under tow. While some methods meet the rules, they are not as robust.

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Proper Reefing Procedures

When over powered, there are two options for reducing sail area: change to a smaller headsail or reduce the size of the main by reefing. Reefing is the fastest.

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The Life Sling is the safest and most secure way to bring a Man Overboard back aboard. This video shows two different ways to use this lifting harness at the end of a 150-foot line.

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The letterbox takedown is the safest spinnaker drop when sailing offshore or in heavy seas.This video shows how to set up and execute the tack down maneuver.

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Tweakers and Twings

Tweakers or Twings, two names for the same sail control, are used to deflect a spinnaker sheet down to control leech tension on a spinnaker or flying sail.

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Dousing The Cruising Spin

Using a dousing sock is a fool-proof method to douse a cruising spinnaker. The sock works easier once you know the tricks. Watch to learn how to tame these big sails with just two people.

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Power Free Instruments

Non-electronic wind indicators like telltales and the wind vane at the top of the mast need to be your primary instruments for what the wind is doing. They don’t need electric power.

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Stretch-and-Blow Spinnaker Douse

The Stretch-and-Blow Spinnaker Douse allows you to sail practically right up to the leeward the mark with the sail drawing fully. This takedown is uncomplicated and easy for the crew.

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How To Avoid a Gybe Broach

When sailing dead downwind in heavy air on a boat with a symmetrical spinnaker, control of the boat eventually will become a problem. Watch for tips on how to stay under control.

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The Mexican Takedown

The Mexican take down is a jibe drop. As the boat to jibes to round the mark, the spinnaker is over sheeted, then dropped onto the windward side of the jib, keeping the sail on the deck.

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Hanse 470E Sail Test

Come along on a shake down sail as a Swedish boat owner learns about his new X-Drive performance cruising sails from UK Sweden’s Mikael Olesen and Oskar Skoting.

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Singlehanded Asym Jibe

Watch as UK Sailmakers’ Adam Loory figures out how to jibe the 180 square meter asymmetrical spinnaker by himself on his own boat. Good thing that there was not much wind.

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How To Lead a Staysail Sheet

Finding the optimal position to lead a staysail sheet to on a boat with no toe-rail and few pad-eyes can be hard. This video shows a creative solution for getting the proper sheeting angle.

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How To Duck Another Boat Well

I have lost more places on the race course from my fear of ducking another boat. I have since learned that ducking a starboard tacker will put me in the lead on the following cross.

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New Thoughts on MOB Recovery

For years we have been taught how to pick up a MOB under sail. Watching students fail on 9 out of 10 attempts got me thinking of new ways to rescue sailors. Click to read my article.

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Proper Pit Procedures

This video shows proper pit person procedures by an experienced crewmember on the Reichel Pugh 77 JELIK. Notice how she keeps her eyes on the bow team at all times.

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How To Set a Storm Jib

This video covers how to set a storm jib in stops. This system controls the sail until it’s broken-out so that the clew and its sheets won’t whip around and hurt the person trying to set the sail.

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Lessons Learned from the 2022 Pacific Cup

Listen to a conversation with UK Sailmakers Northwest’s owner Stuart Dahlgren about the 2022 Pacific Cup Race. Stuart, who skippered his Santa Cruz 70 WESTERLY, covers his sail inventory and much more.

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Seahorse Magazine Sail Design Article

The editors of Seahorse magazine worked with UK Sailmakers on an article that explains some of the latest technology behind today’s latest and most innovative sails and UK’s ability to apply those tools.

Lessons Learned from Team Christopher Dragon

Lessons Learned from Team CHRISTOPER DRAGON

This is the second podcast in UK Sailmakers Lessons Learned series. This 21-minute video is a discussion with Andrew Weiss, owner, and skipper of the Italia 11.98 Christopher Dragon…

Racing Rules of Sailing Rule 20

Lesson Learned in the Protest Room

Rule 20: Hailing

Part of winning sailboat races is knowing the racing rules of sailing —and I’ve been taught many of them in the protest room. It turns out, as in the following case, it’s not only important to know what they say, but what they dictate on the course.

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