NAUPAR explains: how do you determine the best route?

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Lelystad, 26 May 2017 – A great sailing route entails more than just a specific sailing area or visiting port cities. The course, for instance, is extremely important in determining a route. Is the wind coming from the front, side or back?

The different courses

A course is the direction taken by the boat compared to the wind. With a sailing ship, different courses can be sailed. If the wind is coming from behind, we refer to this as "wind astern". But the wind can also come from the front, side or at an angle from behind. We have expressions for all of these phenomena:

- The wind comes from the front at an angle > close-hauled
- The wind comes from behind at an angle > quarter wind
- The wind comes from the side > half wind
- The wind comes from behind > aft wind

Where is the wind coming from?

To determine the exact direction of the wind, simply tap the captain on board on the shoulder. Prefer to figure it out for yourself? Have a good look around you. Chances are you'll be able to determine the direction of the wind by the trees, bushes and flags in the area.

Sailing areas and port cities

In most cases, you can simply sail to the sailing area and port cities of your choice. Only under extreme weather conditions do plans occasionally have to be changed. How exactly you arrive at these port cities and the route you sail depends on the direction of the wind and course determined.

The perfect sailing route? Determine it together with the captain!