Sailing is the art of controlling a boat with great (usually fabric) foils called sails. By changing the rigging, rudder, and from time to time the keel or centre board, a sailor manages the force of the wind on the sails in order to change the direction and speed of a boat.

Mastery of the skill requires experience in varying wind and sea conditions, as well as acquaintance concerning sailboats themselves. While there are still some places in Africa and Asia where sail-powered fishing vessels are used, these craft have become rarer as outboard and personalized car engines have become available even in the poorest and most remote areas. In most countries people enjoy sailing as a recreational commotion. Recreational sailing or yachting can be alienated into racing and cruising.

Cruising includes extended trips, shor Throughout history sailing has been instrumental in the development of civilization, affording mankind greater mobility and capacity for fishing, trade, and warfare.

The earliest representation of a ship under sail appears on a painted disc found in Kuwait dating to the late 5th millennium BC. Advances in sailing technology from the Middle Ages onward enabled Arab, Chinese, Indian and European explorers to make longer voyages into regions with extreme weather and climatic conditions. There were improvements in sails, masts andrigging; navigation equipment improved. From the 15th century onwards, European ships went further north, stayed longer on the Grand Banks and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and eventually began to explore the Pacific Northwest and the Western Arctic.

Sailing has contributed too many great explorations in the world's trips within sight of land, and day.