How to Control your Sailing Ship

Using the main navigation page of the HUD.
Configuring your ship.
Hints on how to sail a boat.
If your boat has cannon.

The ship is controlled with the arrow keys on your keyboard. (Also the wasd keys if you are used to that). The left and right arrows are pretty intuitive, but many people are confused by the forward and back arrows. Pressing the forward key does not make the boat go forward! It just allows the sail to swing forward if the wind allows that. This may make the boat go faster if the wind is with you, or it may cause the sail to flap and you will loose speed. Here are the basic control keys on the keyboard:
LEFT-ARROW Turns the boat slowly to the left
Turns the boat rapidly to the left
RIGHT-ARROW Turns the boat slowly to the right
Turns the boat rapidly to the right
FOREWARD-ARROW Releases the sheet, the sail swings away from you
BACK-ARROW Pull in the sheet, the sail swings closer to you.
You can also change the set of the sails with a slider in the HUD.
PAGE-UP Each press and release of this button increases motor speed by 1, to a max of 10.
PAGE-DOWN Each press and release decreases motor speed.
The motor can go into reverse to a maximum of 5 astern.
Pressing both of the PAGE buttons at the same time stops the motor.
If your sailboat has no motor, the PAGE-UP/DOWN keys do nothing. The motor works with or without the sails, but it is best to furl the sails in the HUD before motoring. The sails see the apparent wind and a motor changes the apparent wind, usually in the wrong direction and subtracts from the effectiveness of a sail. You are better off using one or the other alone. Also note that Real Sailors rarely need to use the motor!

On motorboats where there is no sail, the FWD and BACK keys also control the motor speed.

Sailing in Mouse-Look Mode

The boat works in mouse-look mode for a very realistic feel. You can use the mouse to look around, up at the sails, or focus on the console instruments if you have those. However, in this mode the left and right arrow keys are always “shifted”, so the boat will turn very fast and be a little difficult to handle.