If you are a newcomer to the world of sailing, you may be wondering about the vocabulary (Ready about! Hard alee!) or what gear you might need for a day on the water. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with some sailing basics before your first class, either by checking out one of the many books on the subject (The Annapolis Book of Seamanship by John Rousmaniere is an excellent place to start, and The Complete Sailor by David Seidman is concise and well illustrated) or through an online course. The American Sailing Association (www.asa.com) has a free online class called Your First Sail, which introduces basic terminology, the fundamentals of how a sailboat works, and some common commands. Offshore Sailing School (www.offshoresailing.com), which has locations in New York, Florida and the British Virgin Islands, offers an online course as well that not only covers the basics, but also goes over anchoring, navigation and docking techniques. NauticEd (www.nauticed.org) has a full sailing curriculum online, and once students complete a course, they're referred to a local sailing school for practical training. The company also has fun sailing games and apps to reinforce what you've learned.