Helmsman or skipper


Helmsman or skipperTo begin with, let the novice sit in a comfortable position, to windward of his tiller. The comfortable and convenient attitude is of no small importance, and it is as well to remember this at first and get into the habit of taking a natural and easy seat. We have known quite good helmsmen, who would learn little from these simple words, steer in the most awkward and strenuous positions. They suffer for it in the end, and towards the close of a long race are too tired to do themselves justice.

Sitting to leeward of the tiller is sometimes desirable in light winds, but it is not a good position for the beginner. This leeward style is a weak position in strong winds and especially in any sea, you lose command of the situation.

Take a comfortable and natural place to windward, and get your right foot, or both feet, in a place so that if you have to put on pressure you can set your foot against something that won't slip.

It is wrong to continuously have the foot or feet continuously pressed upon your foothold. This leads to strenuousness. You may be long in one position so let your attitude be easy and muscles relaxed, but such that at any molrent with wrist, arm, or leg you can, by getting a firm foothold, exert any pressure you require.