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Index: Learn to sail
The degrees quoted for points of sail are based on where the boat is going in relation to where the wind is coming from. So for example if the boat is heading directly into the wind that is 0 degrees and directly away from the wind is 180 degrees. Points of sail are the same on either side of the wind. So if the wind is off the port side and you are 90 degrees it is a beam reach, off the starboard bow the same point of sail would be at 270 degrees.
The terminology used to indicate direction is important for communication with the crew on a vessel. Directions on a sailboat are in relation to where the wind is coming from.