7 Super Sailing Facts


Sailing is when vessels on water are propelled by the force of the wind through their sails. The average speed of a boat powered by the wind is around 4-6 knots or 5-7mph. Ancient sailors used sailing as a way to trade, fish, explore, fight wars, and invade new land. Although no one knows exactly when sailing began, archaeologists believe human beings learned to sail over 50,000 years ago. One sailing fact many get wrong is about Christopher Columbus. He actually wasn’t the first to sail the Atlantic blue to colonize the eastern United States, stone-age Europeans did it before him, bringing furs and trade from Europe. Read on for more interesting sailing facts!

7 Facts About Sailing

    1. Early sailors found that the trade winds and currents in the Atlantic became very reliable tools to get ships from port to port the quickest way possible. (source) The word ‘trade’ coming from the middle English word for ‘track’ or ‘path’.
    1. One person can operate a sailboat up to 35 feet in length. (source) Known as single-handed or short-handed sailing, some experienced sailors have even sailed vessels up to 100 feet long solo, like the record breaker in our next fact!
    1. The record for the fastest sailing speed around the world was set by François Gabart, a professional yacht racer who won with a time of 42 days 16 hours 40 minutes and 35 seconds. (source) He is set to break more records for singlehandedly sailing his new custom built 100ft trimaran around the globe in a race in 2023.
    1. “Feeling blue” was originally coined by sailors. (source) Many times the voyages were dangerous and captains would be killed or lost at sea, so sailors would sail blue flags, telling the world about the loss.
    1. Sailing has been an Olympic sport since 1896. (source) Great Britain currently holds the most Olympic medals in this 120-year-old sport.
    1. The three most important sailing knots to know how to tie are the Bowline, the Clove Hitch, and the Cleat Hitch. (source) These versatile knots will keep sails tight, keep your vessel at the mooring, and much more.
    1. The Maltese Falcon is the world’s largest private sailboat. (source) With a top speed of 20 knots, it comes to 289 feet (88 meters) long and has a crew of 18 on board to sail.

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