Sailing is a type of yachting, a kind of year-round water and wind sport and outdoor activity. The name comes from the words "sail" and "moving".

In sailing, you ride on the water in a sailing boat due to the power of the wind. A sailboat can also have a motor, but it’s needed only in emergency situations and for safety on long journeys. The crew, which may include one or more people, controls the sails into which the wind blows. Due to this, the yacht tacks — moves in a zigzag in the right direction, including against the wind. Sailing boats can be large, with several cabins or sports for one or two people.

You can go sailing all over the world but there are some more popular regions. For example, in Europe, these are countries of Croatia, Greece, Turkey, and Italy. They have interesting coastlines, many islands that can be seen from the water, as well as many marinas — specially designed harbors with moorings for pleasure yachts and small boats.

Sailing can be done all year round, but summer and the off-season are better suited for recreation than winter. On the other hand, in winter there are stronger winds, such as bora, which blows from northern Italy along the Croatian coast in the Adriatic Sea.

The main pleasure of sailing is to travel on the water for the purpose of recreation or sportive competition. There are several types of sailing competitions. The regatta is the most common. It's even included in the Olympics. But to go out on the water on single-handed Laser-class vessels, basic theoretical training and a life jacket are enough. Such boats often capsize, and you need to be prepared for this —  it's part of sailing. You need a license to sail on larger boats, go to sea, and make sea voyages. To get a license, you need to pass an exam in the theory and practice of ship management. There are many courses around the world where you can do this, such as IYT Bareboat Skipper or Inshore Skipper.


Text: Natalia Kirasheva, a travel and business author and editor from Moscow, Russia. She has a Bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Geography of Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) with specialties in Economic Geography and Tourism, and Environmental Management. Her favorite sports are windsurfing and snowboarding. Ivan Kuznetsov contributed to this guide

Cover photo: Markusspiske / Unsplash

Learn more about sailing and yachting in the

The beginner's guide to types and purposes of yachting boats

How to get first-time skipper experience in the sea

How to use the weather forecast for yachting. Three common mistakes

How to avoid seasickness duting a sailing trip

The collection of articles about sailing and yachting

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