First-Time Sailing: 5 Common Mistakes You Must Avoid

white and brown sailing boat with sails

Although sailing is mostly seen as a recreational activity, it has now even become a form of sport. If you enjoy sailing or you merely want to try it out for the first time, keep in mind that there are certain points that you need to know. First off, this outdoor activity is not as easy as it looks. You’ll be surprised at how complicated it can get when you’re out there, and your companion is shouting various terms that you haven’t even heard of in your life yet. Second, it takes lots of practice and time sailing to be good at it. 

If you are planning to go out sailing for the first time, here are five common mistakes you must avoid:

Not Having Enough Knowledge About The Boat

If you don’t know much about the boat that you will use, then you will have a hard time sailing it. Know that it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the boat as much as you can before you head on to the water. Study the boat and learn its parts; you can also ask the owner about tips and tricks to make sailing it much easier. 

Being Too Confident

Many newbies often make the mistake of becoming too overconfident when it comes to sailing. Sadly, this overconfidence puts them in trouble when they’re already in open water. Most of the time, this has resulted in failed experiences or even possible injuries. Keep your confidence in check and be open to learning new things from experienced individuals. 

Sailing Too Close To Other Boats

Sailing too close to other boats, especially if you’re a beginner, is a big no-no. However, many beginners tend to do this. If you’re one of them, be sure to avoid doing this because it is easy to catch rigs when going by another boat, and this can result in damages to the boat’s structure. 

Pulling On A Loose Line

The tail of a line may seem tempting to pull but be sure not to do so. If it’s a halyard, the loose end will climb the mast, and this will outweigh the line running up. The only way to recover from this is to get on top of the mast. 

Steering The Wrong Way When Backing Down

It’s difficult to back up a sailboat, and if you’re new to this, it’s likely you won’t be able to tell which way to turn the rudder; many beginners end up steering the wrong way when backing down. What you need to do is push the tiller toward where you want the bow to go so that the stern will move in the opposite direction. 


Indeed, if you want to be a good sailor, you must first learn from your mistakes. However, several common mistakes can be avoided, especially if you’re going sailing for the first time. From the information given above, knowing these mistakes will also help you learn more about proper sailing practices. 

As sailors, you have a lot going on simultaneously, and even if you know the basics, not everyone is built to be a sailor at their first try. For this reason, remember to be patient with yourself. If you really want to be good at it, you can be, as long as you’re determined and you’re willing to learn. 

When you are ready to take on the open waters, make sure that you have the proper sailing gear and equipment. If you are looking for reliable equipment for water activities in St. Louis like sailing, be sure to visit our store today to place your order!