Started Sailing

How to steer without a rudder?

I'm going to be doing my Dinghy Instrustor pre-assessment soon, and one of the things you have to do is sail without a rudder. I've never had to do this, except only limitedly with boat heel while sailing my laser. I hear that it's something to do with sail trim, but I don't understand how you can trim your main to bear away, surely you just keep heading up?? An explanation of this would be brilliant!
Also, any other tips about what to expect in the pre-assessment would be great!


I have done rudderless sailing on both single handed and two handed boats. On a single handed boat, to sail rudderless you do need to adjust your sail trim and your dagger board. As you know, pulling in your mainsail, make you turn into the wind. Pushing down the dagger board will also make you go into the wind. Letting out the sail and pulling up the dagger board will make you bear away from the wind.

It takes some getting used to and practice, but eventually you will get used to it, but as you correctly said, it is all to do with sail trim.

Best Regards,

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Oct 27, 2015
steer without a rudder
by: Joe Root

Great question and answer about steer without rudder. I will be very thankful for you. Your post is very informative. Keep it up!
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