Thinking about taking up sailing as a hobby? Don’t be overly concerned regarding the fitness level. Being physically fit is always a good idea but not necessary. Especially if it is the first time sailing, there are no specific requirements for fitness levels. While some physical challenges are involved in sailing, it is not a requirement to be super-fit or strong. An individual gets stronger as they go and quickly adapt to the physical demands of trimming sails and adjusting lines.

Sailors don’t need to be in great shape, to begin with; however, an individual requires enough strength and endurance to pull on lines steer the boat and even trim the sails. And sailing is a sport that can improve one’s physical fitness if a person wants it to. The job of sailing is not physically demanding, but there is a risk of injury if not feeling well or in poor physical condition. It is, therefore, safe to consult a physician before engaging in physical activity. Sailing on a larger vessel requires more weight and strength to move the boat around.

A knowledgeable trainer will assist in getting through this activity while also ensuring one’s safety. They will also adapt the lesson so that it suits a person’s skill level and fitness level — so even if not particularly fit, it is still possible to have fun and learn some new skills during the time on the water.

How physically demanding is sailing?

The level of physical exertion required for sailing depends on the type of boat. On a small boat, like a daysailer or trailer sailboat, one may need only to hoist the sails and steer the boat.

On larger boats, like coastal cruisers or offshore racing sailboats, there’s more work involved: A person will need to trim sails by pulling on lines (called “sheets”), adjust sail tension by pulling on halyards, and raise and lower sails. The bigger the boat is, the stronger one needs to be.

Sailing is also an aerobic activity that works someone’s muscles and lungs over time. If a person is not winded after running up three flights of stairs, they are probably in good enough shape to go sailing on a small boat right away.