10 Things I Learned on Part A Training... 

  1. The front (pointy end) of the boat is called the bow, the rear (blunt end) is called the stern  
  2. The left side of the boat (when you're facing forward) is Port ( I remember this from passing the Port to the left). The right side (when facing forward) is Starboard  
  3. There are 3 main places you attach the sails to:
    • The  Forestay (the cable that runs from the top of the mast down to the bow)
    • The Inner forestay (another cable that runs from the top of the mast to the deck inbetween the mast and the Forestay
    • The Mast - the big pole in the middle of the boat that all the other cables (standing rigging) are attached to
  4. If you value your life you need to make sure you are standing the correct side of the mast (pending wind direction) - or fore or aft of it (see I'm sounding like a sailor already)
  5. In order to hoist a sail you "sweat" it up by hauling on the rope (halyard) that's attached to it's top (head) with all your might at the mast
  6. I seriously need to build some muscle before my next Part B Sailing training
  7. The ropes that haul the sails up are called 'halyards' and the ropes that attach to the bottom corners (tack and clew) and help alter the shape of the sail are called 'sheets'. Sometimes the same rope can be used for different jobs which then means it's called something else - all horribly confusing!
  8. The final tensioning of sails is done by loading the halyards or sheets onto a winch
  9. If you value your fingers and thumbs you need to learn to load a winch correctly and if you don't want the skipper to throttle you, you never leave a winch handle lying on the deck
  10. No-one in fact, ever uses the term "Avast Belay"

See also Part A Training Diary and Part A Training Photos