“Tiller Towards Trouble”

My informant has been sailing since the age of 10. When she was first learning how to sail she was taught the phrase “Tiller towards trouble.” The tiller is the stick that controls the rudder, which controls the direction of the boat. Steering for children is one of the hardest tasks when learning sailing, as it is counterintuitive. When you turn the tiller to left you go right and vice versa.

When teaching kids, if they begin moving towards the dock, they are told to push the tiller that way as well, and they will begin to move away. Of course this is not soley used for children, it can be used for adults when they are first learning.

“Tiller towards trouble” is a simple phrase which uses alliteration, making it easy to remember. The use of the word trouble, a key word in a child’s vocabulary, adds to its memorability as well. Sailing is an activity that requires a bit of bravery as one must face the ocean, open water, waves, and wind. One must be brave to turn towards trouble, to learn how to avoid it, and in doing so, will become a better sailor.