Sailing Simulator - NED

NED is the world's best sailing simulator for teaching basic understanding of sail trim.

The advanced version of NED - is here. Follow us on twitter/NauticEd to learn about other cool tools like NED.

Before you play with NED, read this first.

The graphic below is representative of a real wind meter on a sailboat. You'll notice that the red triangle represents the relative position of the wind to the boat. On a real wind meter, the boat always faces up because you're always behind the meter. With NED, for simulation purposes and to give you a feel that the boat is turning when you activate the helm button, the boat turns with the helm but it immediately flicks back up to it's normal proper position. You'll notice the wind direction and the HDG (compass heading) have changed appropriately. Hover over NED's components to gain a better understanding before you start poking and clicking. Then, please enjoy our sailing simulator - NED. Additional instructions are below. Then play our advanced version to improve your sailing techniques. Please rate NED below.

Full instructions for NED are below.

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How to use NED – the Sailing Simulator

First - mouse over each of the elements of NED and you'll learn what they do.

NED is your virtual sailing instructor. NED will teach you how to correctly trim the sails on almost any sailboat with a mainsail and headsail.

Your sails will be correctly trimmed when your boat speed reaches its maximum for any particular wind speed and direction.

You can turn the boat into or away from the wind, let the sails out or tighten them up and you can adjust the speed of the wind.

NED represents the real world polar plot of a real racer cruiser sailboat. It’s the closest thing you can get to sailing instruction online.

Please play with NED. Once you've mastered NED – you'll be ready for real sail trim practice on the water.

NED is brought to you FREE by NauticEd – The World’s Most Advanced Online Sailing Education.


NED's Elements


Sailing simulator

The helm is controlled by the split button at the bottom center of NED.

Click the starboard split and the sailboat will turn to starboard. You'll notice the boat will straighten up once you have released the helm button. This is because on a real wind meter on a real boat the boat always stays pointing up and the meter tells you where the wind is in relation to your boat. Once the boat straightens up, you'll notice the wind angle and the heading will have changed according to how much you turned.

Hold the helm button down and the boat will turn 5 degrees every ½ second or so.


Sails are controlled by the winches which are located on port and starboard at the bottom of NED. The starboard winch controls the head sail. The port winch controls the mainsail.

NED gives you a number above each winch to represent the number of turns on the winch. The jib sheet is winched between 12 turns (all the way out) and 45 turns (all the way in). The main sail is winched between 5 turns (all the way out) and 35 turns (all the way in).

Wind Vector

The red triangular arrow located outside the wind dial represents where the wind is coming from. Click on the triangular arrow and you'll be able to adjust the speed of the wind. Initially, the wind starts at 60 degrees off your starboard bow.


The heading changes when you click or hold down the helm button. Initially you are heading north.

Efficiency Meter

The horizontal meter at the bottom of NED indicates to you how efficient your sails are trimmed.

If the meter is all the way to the left you have some trimming to do. If it's all the way to the right, your sails are perfectly trimmed and your boat speed should be maximized.

Heel Angle

The closer your boat is trimmed to 30 degrees off the wind and the greater the wind speed, the greater will be the heel angle. This represents the real world and there is nothing you can do about it except reef your sails. NED may incorporate this feature in latter versions.


The changing depth meter merely simulates that you are moving. There is no control here. However in the real world you should always watch the depth.

NED is brought to you FREE by NauticEd – The World’s Most Advanced Online Sailing Education.


A free sailing course about trimming the sails