Launching – Go and No-Go Zones
Beach Launching – the boat has been rigged and is floating in irons in shallow water. The direction of the wind, the location of the boat in relation to other objects and areas, and where the captain wants to go, determine what the point of sail will be. For example, the location of other boats, docks, buoys, swim areas, fishermen, shallow areas, etc. will influence the starting point of sail.
The wind may be coming from off-shore, cross-shore, or on-shore. In each case there will be directions and places the boat can sail (Go zones) and others it cannot or should not sail (No-Go zones). See Fig. 4-5, Go and No-Go Zones when Starting to Sail.
Given the wind direction and obstacles, the sailor decides if the initial point of sail will be a starboard or port tack. The captain then moves to what will be the upwind or windward side of the boat while keeping it pointed into the wind. He/she then turns the boat so that it falls-off the wind more than 45° gets in and balances the boat side to side and fore-aft.
The sail is allowed to move out and luff as the boat falls-off the wind. The sailor then takes control of the tiller and hauls in the sail with the mainsheet. The boat will slowly pick up speed and start to sail.
The above article is from Thomas P. Martin's excellent book, Sailing is a Breeze: Learning to Sail a Laser®, Sunfish® or Other Small Boat. You can save 20% by ordering here!
Author Thomas P. Martin