The wind:

The wind is caused by a depression or anticyclonic situation.
In the context of a low pressure situation, the winds blow counterclockwise, in a direction that tends to return towards the center of the low pressure area.

Conversely, in the presence of an anticyclonic flow, the wind will blow clockwise, with the tendency to move away from the center of the anticyclone.

On nautical charts the wind is represented by vectors (arrows) which can be accompanied by flagpoles indicating the strength of the wind; for example, 2 flagpoles represent a speed of 20 knots.

The state of the sea:

The weather reports also communicate the state of the sea and the height of the waves in meters. As a rule, the height of the wave motion is also indicated, since it too can represent a danger. This height is rated on a Beaufort scale from force 0 (calm) to force 12 (hurricane).


In weather reports, precipitation is indicated like this: fog, mist, frost, drizzle, rain, snow, hail, storm, thunderstorm, tornado, dew and ice.
Navigation can be particularly tough in hail conditions, and especially in poor visibility. Each of these conditions is represented by a different color on the card.

The tides:

The weather reports also indicate the tide times. The times of low and high tide are accompanied by the height of the water. Before leaving or returning to the port it is essential to know the height of the water, and the necessary calculations differ according to the high or low tide.

For those equipped with electronic navigation software, these values ​​are represented by colored triangular hourglasses; the tip of the upper triangle indicates the rising tide, the downward point the ebbing tide. The divergences between the tides determine the action of the current. It is easier to reenter an estuary with a rising tide, as the tidal current will pull the boat in the right direction.


Whether it is for a regatta or a long crossing, you need to arm yourself with patience and, above all, follow your own pace. Band of Boats offers you some advice before taking the helm!

Eric TABARLY believed it took 30 years of sailing experience to be considered a pleasure sailor. Whether it is for a regatta or a long crossing, you need to arm yourself with patience and, above all, follow your own pace. Learning the art of sailing on a sailing boat is long, but being able to sail alone or take your children or friends on a cruise is a great satisfaction. Band of Boats offers you some advice before taking the helm!

Immerse yourself in maritime literature
French literature is full of maritime tales: Alain GERBAULT and Bernard de MOITESSIER are the first explorers to have collected nautical miles alone or with a crew on a sailing boat. These stories show us the joys that are shared at sea, but also the difficulties encountered in bad weather. Page after page, you learn the techniques to limit damage to the boat… what’s more important?

Subscribe to specialized magazines
The specialized press in the field of sailing includes numerous interesting and practical articles to learn how to maneuver and sail. He even dedicates entire sheets to learning, with extremely precise items such as the adjustment of the sails, the taking of the mainsail to reduce the sail in an emergency, the recovery of a man overboard …

Go to a sailing school
Federation-recognized sailing schools are an excellent way to learn to sail safely. The instructors, with an adequate degree, follow your progress based on your results and your navy. Their strong point is to have different types of sailboats (light sail and cabin cruiser). You have to learn to master them and make them perform in any weather condition.