Learn the Lingo: Sailing Terms You Need To Know

 

Sailing is a skill as well as a pleasure, and you will not be surprised to know that it has its own lingo. So, if you are developing your nautical skills, and you would like to know the difference between ‘sheet’ and ‘ease’  – then here is our guide to the sailing terms you need to know before you hit the high seas.

Bow

The front of the boat.

Stern

This is the back of the boat.

Port

Port is to the left of bow. It also refers to the whole left-hand side of the boat (from the bow). The port light on a boat is red and marks the left-hand side of the boat.

Starboard

Starboard is to the right of bow. Similarly, it refers to the whole right-hand side of the boat (from the bow). The starboard light on a boat is green and marks the right-hand side of the boat.

Starboard view of the Kyles of Bute

Starboard on our Jeanneau 44i, sailing up the Kyles of Bute.

Mast

This is a vertical spar that the mainsail is attached to.

Boom

This is a horizontal spar extending backwards from the mast that the sail is attached to. It is adjusted in relation to the direction of the wind to set the sail to the best angle to catch the wind and propel the boat along.

Deck

The deck is the part of the boat that you walk on when you are outside “on deck”.

Deck of a Flamingo Yacht boat - the gorgeous Hanse 400

The deck of Tramontane, Flamingo Yacht Charters’ gorgeous Hanse 400.

Windward

When you sail, where the wind is coming from is very important, so this is one of the important sailing terms. The windward side of a boat is the side of the boat nearest to where the wind is coming from.

Leeward

Similarly, this refers to the side of the boat further away from the direction the wind is coming from.

Ease

To let out the sails.

Sheet in

To pull the sails in

Trim the sails

To ease or sheet the sails to the optimum angle in relation to the wind direction to create speed.

Head Up

To direct the boat’s course closer to the wind.

Head Down / Bear Away

To direct the boat’s course away from the wind.

Tacking

One of the most basic sailing manoeuvres when the bow of the boat turns through the wind, so the wind changes from one side of the boat to the other. You tack back and forth to get to your destination.

Sailing up the Clyde

Heading up the Clyde. Beautiful!

Gybing or Jibing

This is the opposite of Tacking. This time the stern of the boat is turned through the wind so that the wind changes from one side to the other. The boom of the boat changes from one side to the other.

Are you planning to set sail on the West Coast of Scotland this year?

Perhaps we can help you with one of our yacht charters now that you know the sailing terms!  Flamingo Yacht Charters is based in Largs on the west coast of Scotland. We offer a substantial range of yachts for hire  – one of the best ranges in Scotland. If you are planning a sailing trip on the west coast of Scotland, then please do get in touch to discuss your needs.  You can find out more about us at flamingoyachts.com or on our Flamingo Yacht Charters Facebook page.

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Top 5 Lochs to Sail in Scotland

 

The Scottish coast is the ultimate playground for sailors. There are lochs and anchorages galore to explore. Some of the Scottish sea lochs are particularly impressive because they offer a really heady mix of dramatic scenery and wildlife as well as being close to interesting towns and villages. You can find sea lochs up and down the west coast, so it’s been tricky to narrow the list down to our favourite five, but here they are:

Loch Fyne

Loch Fyne is Scotland’s longest sea loch. Like all Scottish sea lochs, it is special because of its wonderful scenery. From here you’ll see the beautiful Arrochar Alps, a collection of mountains, popular with walkers and climbers. There’s also picturesque Inveraray – with its stunning Scottish Castle, which is home to the Duke and Duchess of Argyll. The area is renowned for its seafood, with the ever-popular Loch Fyne Oyster bar further along the loch at Cairndow. (You will need to book ahead!). Loch Fyne is also famous for its wildlife – there are otters, seals and even dolphins living in and around the loch. On the western edge of Loch Fyne, you’ll find the Crinan Canal – linking Loch Fyne and Ardrishaig with the sound of Jura. There are fifteen locks along this canal  – peppered with good pubs and hotels. Enjoy! 

Sunset over Loch Fyne, Scotland.

Loch Fyne – our longest sea loch, home to Inveraray and Tarbet, wildlife, history and wonderful sea food.

Loch Sunart

The west highland loch is situated in the Ardrnamurchan peninsula. It runs from Strontian to the most westerly point of the British Mainland. Loch Sunart also offers some wonderful wildlife spotting opportunities – including otters and perhaps even sea eagles. If you go here, then there are some wonderful other lochs to explore whilst you are in the area, too. Read on!

Loch Sunart with Sandy Beach in the Highlands, Scotland.

Loch Sunart and the edge of the British Mainland.

Loch Linnhe

Further along the west coast is Loch Linnhe. Fort William sits on the banks of Loch Linnhe – and if you look up, you’ll see Britain’s tallest mountain – Ben Nevis. If the conditions are right, you might even want to spend a day climbing the Ben. If you are a serious climber, then there are numerous Munros close to the Loch. Follow the Loch south and then east at the Ballachulish Bridge to head for the villages of Ballachulish and Glencoe – two beautiful and picturesque settlements, surrounded by dramatic mountains, and steeped in Highland history. Sail south along Loch Linnhe towards Oban and the gateway to the Isles. En route you’ll pass Port Appin and the wonderful Castle Stalker – or you could sail to the connecting sea loch, Loch Etive – a remote and beautiful area, deep in mountainous terrain.

Sunset over Loch Linnhe in Scotland.

Sunset over Loch Linnhe

Loch Duich

Further north in the Skye and Lochalsh area is Loch Duich, it’s here you’ll see the famous Eilean Donan Castle –one of the most photographed buildings in Scotland. It’s situation where Loch Duich, Loch Alsh and Loch Long meet, and definitely worth a visit. Loch Duich is right in the middle of a rugged, beautiful and unspoiled part of the country. Popular with hill walkers given its proximity to the five sisters of Kintail mountain range, and with nature lovers – since it’s the perfect host for otters and eagles.

Loch Duich and Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle – one of the most photographed buildings in Scotland, near Loch Duich, Long Long and Loch Alsh.

Loch Carron

Further north again is Loch Carron, on the shores of the beautiful villages of Lochcarron and Plockton. Plockton has the appeal of a seaside village – there are even palm trees thriving along the shoreline. You’ll also find wonderful inns and pubs serving locally caught seafood, as well as art galleries, traditional highland hospitality and stunning views.

Loch Carron looking out over to Plockton

Beautiful Plockton on the shores of Loch Carron, Wester Ross.

Are you planning to set sail on the West Coast of Scotland this year?

Perhaps we can help you with one of our yacht charters.  Flamingo Yacht Charters is based in Largs on the west coast of Scotland. We offer a substantial range of yachts for hire  – one of the best ranges in Scotland. If you are planning a sailing trip on the west coast of Scotland, then please do get in touch to discuss your needs.  You can find out more about us at flamingoyachts.com or on our Flamingo Yacht Charters Facebook page.

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10% off your first booking when you join our mailing list!

 

Make your dreams of sailing on the West Coast of Scotland into a reality. We are offering a fabulous 10% off your first booking when you sign up to our mailing list.  Not only will you get 10% off a fantastic sailing holiday, you will also be the first to know about new developments and special offers and we will send you our newsletter packed with sailing info and tips.

Signup to Flamingo Mailing List

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Scotland’s West Coast Wildlife

 

Scotland’s West Coast wildlife is truly amazing! The wildlife in our waters make sailing here a nature lover’s paradise. Here are five types of wildlife to look out for when sailing on the West Coast:

Bottlenose Dolphin

The Bottlenose Dolphins are larger than the dolphins you can find elsewhere in the world. They are around 3 to 4 metres long and they will live in pods of around 10. They will swim up to 20 mph and you can usually spot them breaching – jumping up out of the water. They are frequently sighted on the Moray Firth in the north of Scotland, and on the west coast around Mull, the Firth of Lorne, Skye and Canna. They are resident throughout the year, but you are certainly more likely to see them in summer, as the sea conditions will be calmer.

Bottlenose dolphin breaching water - West Coast Wildlife, Scotland

Summer is a perfect time to spot Bottlenose Dolphins on the West Coast of Scotland. Keep that in mind when planning your sailing trip in 2018.

Minke Whale

This Baleen whale can be found in Scottish waters – off the west coast. It measures around 9 metres long, and can usually be seen on its own, or if female, it may have a young calf with it. It rarely breeches, but since it needs to breathe air you can see it near the surface of the water. They can regularly be seen in summer around the Small Isles – Rum, Eigg and Muck, as well as in the waters around Skye and Mull.

They can be quite nosey – so look out, as they may approach your boat.

Minke Whale - Wildlife on Scotland's West Coast

The Mike Whale is a regular in the waters of Scotland’s West Coast

Killer Whale (Orca)

According to recent research by Aberdeen University – the pods of Orcas that can be seen around the northern and eastern coasts of Scotland are visiting pods. However, there is a small pod on the west coast of around nine or ten, which seem to be resident. Orcas are instantly recognisable from their black and white markings and vast size. The pod on the west coast can be spotted around Skye and the Small Isles – Rum, Eigg, Muck, Canna. On the north coast – you can spot the migratory pods in summer around Orkney and Shetland.

Orca breaching from the water - West Coast Wildlife, Scotland.

Orca – there is a small pod of Orcas that frequent the western coastal waters of Scotland.

Otters

Otters are one of the most elusive mammals in Scotland. However, if you are on the West Coast of Scotland you have a good chance of seeing them in the wild. You can find them in freshwater locations, close to the shore, during the day. You’ll find them in and around the Isle of Skye and Mull.

Portrait shot of an Otter - West Coast Wildlife, Scotland

Otters, our elusive but beautiful west coast neighbours all the year round.

Sea Eagle (White Tailed Eagle)

Sea Eagles are absolutely stunning creatures. Majestic and massive – in fact it’s the largest bird of prey in the UK, with a wingspan of 2.5 metres in length, and one metre tall.  Amazingly, the sea eagle was reintroduced to the area in the 1980s after being previously hunted to extinction. You can see Sea Eagles in and around Skye, Mull and Rum, as well as along the West Coast of the mainland.

White Tailed Sea Eagle soaring in the sky - West Coast Wildlife, Scotland

The sea eagle is the UK’s largest bird of prey – and it’s home is the West Coast of Scotland.

See the wonderful West Coast wildlife for yourself:

Seeing Scotland’s West Coast Wildlife from the water gives one a different perspective. Add in the chance to see all this wonderful wildlife and you’ve got a really memorable experience. Flamingo Yacht Charters can help you make this happen – we are based in Largs on the west coast of Scotland. We offer a substantial range of yachts for hire  – one of the best ranges in Scotland. If you are planning a sailing trip on the west coast of Scotland, then please do get in touch to discuss your needs.  You can find out more about us at flamingoyachts.com or on our Flamingo Yacht Charters Facebook page.

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Christmas Gift Vouchers – Give the gift of sailing!

 

Give the gift of sailing. Gift vouchers.

Christmas gift vouchers are here. Looking for ideas for Christmas? Why not surprise that special someone with a gift voucher from us? Give the gift of sailing this Christmas! Call us today on 01475 686088 and let us help you to organise the perfect surprise.

Take a look at some of the gorgeous boats on our fleet

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Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust Round Britain 2017

 

Whether you have already booked or are planning to come sailing with us around the 20th of May, we would love you to join us in celebrating the start of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust Round Britain 2017. Cheer on the crew as they leave Largs Yacht Haven on their awesome adventure and perhaps even get the chance to meet Dame Ellen herself.  A great event, organised by a fantastic charity.

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New Addition to the Fleet – “Alcuin” – Westerly Oceanranger 38

 

New to the Flamingo fleet, we would like to introduce Alcuin, a Westerly Oceanranger 38. She is a great sturdy traditional style yacht, designed to handle coastal cruising and long passages in safety and comfort. Safe and simple to sail, she can be easily managed by a crew of two and can comfortably sleep 6 people.

She is available to book from 1st May. Contact us today for more information.

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Winter maintenance is well underway

 

We’ve been busy here at Flamingo over the past few weeks, making full use of the glorious crisp weather and blue skies to get our boats looking spick and span for the 2017 season.  We’ve got some exciting things happening over the winter months and are looking forward to unveiling these changes in the spring.   Stay tuned……

Posted in: News