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Sailing vessels such as sailboats but also landyachts are vehicles representing a real challenge for automation. However, the control aspects of such vehicles were hitherto very little studied. This paper presents a simplified dynamic model of a so-called landyacht allowing to capture the main elements of the behavior of surface sailing vessels. We then propose a path generation scheme and a controller design for a well-known and fundamental maneuver in sailing referred to as tacking. Simulation results are presented to illustrate the approach.