Small Sailboats – The Best Sailing has to Offer!
When it comes to boat selection, there are a lot of factors to consider. But if you really want to be a good sailor, small boats will teach you far more than their bigger, more comfortable sisters and, in my opinion they are much more fun to race!
If you look at the best sailors in the world – Dean Barker, Jimmy Spithill, Sir Ben Ainslie, Russel Coutts, arguably all accomplished “big boat” sailors all learned in small boats and still practice and train in them.
The learning process for a physical activity like Sailing, and like many other things, works best when involving all the senses. You can sit in a classroom and learn about sailing (learning visually and aurally), and then you can go out and experience sailing (physically) and apply what you’ve learned in the classroom.
What small boats do is give you a more physical connection to the boat, which amplifies that part of the learning process. The Tiller is a direct, non-mechanical link to the rudder. The mainsheet is a 1:1 or 1:2 not a 1:16 connection to the sail. You don’t (shouldn’t) cleat the main sheet so that you feel the wind pressure in the sail. The boat is nimble and transmits information to your body through the seat of your pants. Because it is so light, every tiny input to your direction and sail trim results in a detectable change in the attitude of the boat. That is where the learning takes place.