Our way to sail

Sailing boats - what is that?


For all who are interested in sailing we want start here with few common explanations about sailing and the used boats
  As you can write in Wikipedia. In opposite to the german definitions where you have a separation in so called  Jollen and Yachts you will find here a bit different categories:

A sailboat or sailing boat is a boat propelled partly or entirely by sails. The generic term covers a variety of boats, larger than small vessels such as sailboards and smaller than sailing ships, but distinctions in the size are not strictly defined and what constitutes a sailing ship, sailboat, or a smaller vessel (such as a sailboard) varies by region and maritime culture.

Following the german basic separation Dhingies are able to capsizal, that means they can turn. That happens if the wind pressure is on one side of the boad bigger to the sail than on the other side the water pressure to the fin. The boats cannot sink because they have a lot of buoyancy, which avoid that they sink even they are full with water. All other boats with a bottom (in german they are called Kielboote) cannot capsizal because of a big weight in their fin or somewhere else under water. Beside there are so much different types of boats which are described very well in books or in the internet.


At least all sailing boats have a similar built-up:

  • Hulk
  • Rigg
  • Canvas or Sail
  With the small sketch from german Wiki we would like to show the what is what. Sorry that it is in german, I cannot find another pic which explain it at the moment.
  The Hulk
  As written above we separate Boats mainly by the type and the form. Beginning with the used material for the hulk, which depends too if the boat will be used more for sport interests or just a family tour the boats will look different and will react different as well. Materials for boats are:
  • Wood (today quite rare)
  • Ply Wood
  • Steel
  • Aluminium
  • Plastics (specially the composite built)
  If you built up a hulk in a classic way with wood, this will consists by a skeleton, where lengthwise connections will  be built up with crosswise connections. The backbone will be built with the stem bar (german: Vordersteven) and the stern frame (german: Achtersteven). At the keel are the ribs connected. Further, to make the construction more stable you have some bracket plates (german: Bodenwrange). Lengthwise the stabilization will be done by the so called stringer. They are connected to the ribs (german: Spanten) as well. At the upper end of that ribs, they all will be connected with eachother with the so called Clamp (german: Balkweger), where the beam (german: Decksbalken) will be connected too. On smaller boats you will find the so called Mirror (german: Spiegel). [Source: OVERSCHMIDT/GLIEWE: Sportbootführerschein Binnen Segel und Motor]
  The hulk can show different forms like for example (sorry about the german kinds and types, I did not find how it is called in english):
  • Rundspant
  • Knickspant
  • Katamarane
  • Trimarane
  • Spitz- or V-Boden and many more
  All those forms have a different influence on the water and sailing. Here the lateral plan, so the part of the hulk which is under water, has a central signifiance. It works against the sideway drift.
  Further you differ between different bow (front part, german: Bug) and stern (back part, german: Heck) forms (Sorry again for the german types):
  • Yachtheck
  • Kanuheck
  • Plattgattheck
  • Gerader Steven (Steven ist der vordere Abschluß des Bugs)
  • Yachtsteven
  • Prahmsteven
  The Rigg
  The rigg (german: Takelage) is the standing rigg and parts of the running rigg of a Sailing Boat. More in detail this are the (standing) masts and the hemp ropes, which fix the masts (shrouts, stays), and the spars, blocks and fittings, when they are connected to the masts and spars, and the part of the running rigg which is needed to handle the canvas, but not fixed somewhere on the ship. Not part of teh rigg are the canvases itself and the sheets, even they are part of the running rigg. (Translation from the Definitions of the german Wikipedia)
  The Sail
  When you check in Wikipedia you will find the following definition of a Canvas/Sail:
A sail is any type of surface intended to move a vessel, vehicle or rotor by being placed in a wind—in essence a propulsion wing. Sails are used in sailing. Depending on for which boat type a sail was made you will find really much forms and different types. But a good separation, specially with small boats is the main sail and the fore sail. Depending on the size the fore sail can be a Fock or a Genoa (this sail reach over the mast and is used when the wind is lower).


Tipps for your own Sailing education

Sailing licences

Overview of the sailing licenses of the German Sailing Association (DSV)

Sailing Training Centers

AquaFun Bootsschulen
  We don't have experiances with this School, but it is the closest to our Village (located in Alzenau)

Education Pages and Tools


Nautic Laws

International Rules to avoid collisions (German: Kollisionsverhütungsregeln, KVR)
  German Sea Traffic Law (Seeschifffahrtsstraßenordnung, SeeSchStrO)


Pictures from our trips