1. Use a Safety Harness and Life Jacket
In most instances, it is generally easier to fall out of a sailboat than a motorboat, which is why you always need to ensure that everybody has an approved life jacket. Today’s lifejackets are more comfortable than those of the past.
You should also make sure that your sailboat is equipped with a hiking strap or harness so that you are never thrown overboard. The harness will also ensure that you’re lower to the water to avoid the boom whenever you change directions. If you want, you can also enhance your boat’s comfort with cushions and seats from Wickenroy Pavitt.
2. Be Prepared for Emergencies
A boat captain should always have emergency supplies in the watercraft, but this is absolutely essential for a sailboat. The boat should also be properly stocked with both food and water before leaving the shore.
You should also have a comprehensive first aid kit on board so that everyone knows where it is located. It also helps to have extra hats and a bottle of sunscreen to avoid sunburns. Avoid hitting the water on an empty stomach since it can increase seasickness.
3. Assemble a Safety Plan
It is impossible to predict exactly what will happen when you are on the water, which is why you need to come up with a safety plan and give it to a person at the marina or a friend or family member back at home.
The safety plan you provide should have the following information:
- Your name and contact details, including phone number, address, and email address
- The names of the passengers and their contact details
- The type of sailboat, its ID, name, and related registration information
- Signal and communication equipment on board
- When you expect to return
- Your itinerary
- If there’s an outboard motor on board
4. Avoid Taking Alcohol
Consuming alcohol in the water is hazardous. While a sailboat does not move like a motorboat, it is still important to leave alcoholic beverages behind. Drinking alcohol can affect your reflexes and judgement, both of which matter when you are close to the water. The best thing to do is save the alcohol for when you arrive home from your sailing adventure.
5. Be Aware
People love sailing since it involves moving on the water with the power of the wind rather than a motor, which makes you feel more in tune with nature. Still, it is always important to be aware of what is happening around you and never zone out.
Simply put, it means being aware of every moving part of the craft, such as the spars and booms. It is also important to keep an eye on anything that isn’t tied down. It is also important to keep the deck of the boat clear and safely put the sails away to ensure that there’s no risk of tripping. You should also ensure you don’t step on a coiled line or you may quickly find yourself in a dangerous situation.
6. Take a Sailing Course
All boating requires both experience and skill, but it is particularly important to know how to sail when you are on a sailboat. Always keep in mind that you are not the only boat on the water and be aware of what is happening around you.
7. Know How to Swim
You might be surprised to know that many people on sailboats and motorboats don’t actually know how to swim. You should still be capable of swimming with basic strokes when sailing. It is also important for you to learn how to avoid undertow and rip tides, save energy, and know how to swim with the current as opposed to against it.
8. Consider the Risk of Capsizing
Smaller sailboats might be fun, but have a higher risk of capsizing. Larger boats usually have a keel with a heavy weight at the end that prevents capsizing in most instances. In a small boat, it is more common for a boat to be turned over by a significant gust of wind. Fortunately, there’s a little safety risk as long as you are wearing the right life jacket.