Welcome to CSC!

The Cal Sailing Club is a non-profit, volunteer-run sailing club in Berkeley

Membership costs just $99 for 3 months ($89 for students and seniors) plus 2 hours volunteer work and there are no charges for lessons, equipment use, cruises, or other club activities. Note: Membership costs change to $120 for 3 months ($99 for students and seniors) on January 1, 2019.  Choose About CSC for more information, to join, See plans and pricing.

Once you've signed up, you'll need your Membership #  from your invoice or confirmation email.  If you forget that, check with the dayleader (they have the list of current members) or better yet, login again with your username and password and go to Account Info .  

Welcome aboard! Welcome to CSC!

Reminder to Members - Membership Dues Increasing January 1, 2019

As voted by the membership in the May 2018 GMM, dues will increase as of January 1, 2019 to cover increased costs. These are the dues and fees effective on New Years Day:

  • Quarterly Membership - $120 ($99 for students or seniors)
  • Annual Membership - $375
  • Quarterly Family Membership - $175
  • Windsurf Locker Rental - $400 for regular size windsurf locker, $600 for 1.5 size locker

Volunteeer hour requirements remain unchanged, including the number of hours for a free quarterly membership (10 in addition to your minimum volunteer hours, which depends on your rating - 2 for Junior and below, 10 for Senior and above).

We are also establishing annual memberships based on volunteer hours (30 hours in addition to your minimum volunteer hours).

Windsurfing Lessons Over for the Season

We're in the light wind season, so it's pretty hard to learn it now. Check back at the end of March.

New Windsurfing Links

A windsurfer in St Petersburg, FL, passed these on to us. Check them out here.

The Last Junior Fast Track This Year Completed!

7 new Juniors, 7 new Novices. Congratulations! We will start again with Fast Tracks in 2019 beginning in May.

Open House Dates for 2019 - Watch this Space

During Open Houses we offer FREE introductory sails to the general public aboard our fleet of keelboats and dinghies. Children must be at least 5 years of age and accompanied by an adult. Each Open House runs from 1-4pm on the dates listed above. More detailed information is here.

We schedule an Open House every month from February through November. The schedule for 2019 will be posted here by January 1.

Article Index

Step 7: Steering

Did you ever notice that there is no rudder on these darn things, let alone a tiller or wheel. A brilliant insight of Drake and Schweitzer was that a rudder wasn't needed!

Steering upwind is easy. Move the sail back and over the rear of the board (see Figure A). The foot of the sail may actually touch the deck of the board. Hold this position until the board changes direction: then move the sail back to the neutral position (see sailing stance). If you are having trouble making the board head upwind, you are not moving the sail far enough back and far enough over the board. The lighter the wind, the more you have to exaggerate this move. Be careful that you do not head up into the wind too much and get caught in the NO sailing zone (see below and Sailing Terms, Points of Sail).

Many sailors have more trouble turning off the wind (away from the wind). The maneuver is just the opposite of the above: move the sail forward and across the front of the board (see Figure B). Be sure to sheet in, because if you do not have power in the sail, you will not turn. After you change direction, move the sail back to the neutral position. If the wind is light, you must exaggerate leaning the sail forward and to windward. In order to move the sail far enough forward, it may be necessary to move your hands back on the boom.

If you have trouble turning the board off the wind, you are doing one of two things wrong: (1) You do not have the sail leaning far enough forward and across the front of the board. Lean the sail as much as the figure B above; (2) You are not sheeting in and therefore do not have power in the sail.

Where should you steer? To the next Whiskey Bar? For now, you should orient yourself to the wind, and sail in the green areas in the figure below. You will learn how to sail downwind (running) later. Avoid the NO sailing area. If you find yourself drifting sideways, or not moving much despite plenty of wind, you might be in the NO Sailing area. (Yes, the Bermuda Triangle exists.)

Now would be a good time to review stance: Are your knees bent? Is your butt in? Is your sail straight up and down or is it leaning out to leeward?

The theory of steering without a rudder

The sailboard is turned by moving the Center of Effort (CE) either in front or behind the Center of Lateral Resistance (CLR, see figure below). The CE is the center of the force of the wind on the sail. The CLR is the center of all the side-ways forces on the board. The CLR is located about approximately at the center of the centerboard. Think of the forces acting on the sail and board like a child on a teeter-totter. The CLR is the pivot point, the CE is the force (i.e. it is a child on one end of the teeter-totter or the other). If there is more wind force at the front of the board, the board will pivot and the bow of the board will swing downwind. If there is more wind force at the rear of the board, the board will pivot and point upwind.

Theory of Steering

The location of the CLR is determined mostly by the location of the centerboard. In high wind, you may have a tendency to point upwind. One way to counteract this is to move the CLR back by moving the centerboard partway up. When you raise the centerboard part way up, it will swing back, moving the CLR. (This trick also works with sailboats.)

The location of the CE is determined mostly by where you place the sail. If the board seems to have a slight tendency to head up or downwind, you can change the CE forward or back by moving your hands on the boom. For example, if you have a tendency to turn upwind, moving your hands back on the boom will have the effect of moving the sail (and CE) forward. Moving your hands forward on the boom has the opposite effect. Also, you can move the CE by moving the mast in the mast track forward or back. For example, in high wind if you continually tend to head upwind, move your hands back on the boom. If that doesn't do the trick, raise the centerboard about halfway up. Finally, you can move the mast forward in the mast track. (Move the mast back if you have a tendency to head downwind.)