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Learn to Sail 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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Letterbox Takedown video

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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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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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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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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J111 CAG Letterbox Takedown

The letterbox spinnaker takedown is the safest spinnaker drop when sailing offshore. It keeps people off the bow, keeps the forward hatch closed and it prevents the sail from getting away from the crew.

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Spinnaker Takedown Gone Wrong

This video shows a spinnaker takedown going wrong. Whatever could go wrong, did, except the last moment when everything went perfectly right. And the hellride all ends with an unorthodox letterbox to save the day!

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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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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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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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Late Main Jibe

This video shows a late main jib by letting the spinnaker fill in first before letting the boom swing to the new tack.

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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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Spinnaker Staysail

In the right conditions, a spinnaker staysail will increase your speed up to three quarters of a knot, without changing your rating one bit. Staysails are free sail area. The spinnaker staysail, also called the Dazy Staysail, is a tall, narrow, high-clewed very light sail used under a spinnaker, symmetrical or asymmetrical.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Code Zero Sailing

While the code zero is a weapon on the race course, it also makes cruising and daysailing more fun. This weekend it added a good two to three knots of boat speed since it is more than twice the size of my boat’s non-overlapping jibs.

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The Cruising Spinnaker Trailer

The Crusiing Spinnaker from A to Z.

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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.

How to claw you way back

Comeback Hacks

We’ve all been over early and had to restart after the fleet has sailed away or we have to comeback from missing a big shift. Mike Considine of UK Sailmakers Chicago offers some great comeback hacks for getting back in the race after you fell behind.

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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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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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Judging Crossing Situations

How to judge if you are crossing another sailboat.

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