Here is a thread discussion on Linked in that I thought I’d repeat here about teaching points of sail
What have you found to be the best method to teach new students the points of sail?
Andrew – sorry for the shameless promotion – but the NauticEd online interactive flash game we have called NED is the absolute best tool. I’ve had hundreds of excellent comments about how it works from customers but also from instructors. It is a FREE application we developed and we’ve made it so that anyone can embed it on their site for free as well. The game is at our sailing simulator page.
Thanks for the suggestions Grant. In practice, is NED a bit too complicated for students of a 101 class? What has been your experience. There are a few ideas that could be adopted from concepts in the book Emergency Navigation by David Burch that in many ways parallel Dan’s thoughts. Get the student to “feel the wind” and begin to experience simple cause and effect as it relates to the boat.
Regarding NED, there has two people who didn’t understand the point. But once interviewed they had not read the instructions (which are 1 paragraph long). Otherwise I have over 500 totally awesome wow keep it coming compliments.
Of course we at NauticEd never think about replacing online with practical experience – nothing like having the wind in your face for learning.
But I don’t think that any prudent and responsible educator would ever say that there is only one way to learn something. Some people learn best by reading on their own, some by video, some by feel. What NED does is give some one a real interactive feel of all points of sail and teaches “points of sail” at the same time. The efficiency meter across the bottom of NED allows someone to really see and dial in the proper sail set. t’s also a big advantage to instructors because the last thing everyone else on the boat wants is spending too much time on one thing. If that can be learned/assisted off the boat then that helps everyone. All in all, NED is just a tool. On top of that – the other point with NED is that it is fun and fun is what we all want to create to get people involved in the wonderful sport of sailing.
I showed NED to a 10 year old kid (who wins every regatta he enters) here yesterday and he got so excited about having the sailing clubs use it to teach other kids. I’ve been working on developing a kids version so that will be good. He especially liked the efficiency meter – he says that he races past good sailors all the time purely because they aren’t operating their sails finely tuned. NED is a really good tool to learn that – then see it happen in real life after.
The new kids version will have a window with the telltales in it.
One final point is that the FREE advanced version of NED is a game whereby people have to dial in the correct sail angels as fast as possible to get around a course. This acts to really “burn in” the sail angles versus wind with out thinking. This is a huge learning tool.
NauticEd gives NED away for free so that any one can embed NED on their site for FREE. I’d encourage all instructors to at least just add NED to their arsenal of tools for effective teaching.