So, you decided you want to head out on a sailing adventure across the seas – who is going to be in charge? To set sail, you are going to need either a skipper or an experienced captain who can take the reins during your time at sea. Whether it is you that is in need of some advice, or you intend on sharing some tips to your future skipper, the following practical tips should be of great help.
The first step in making sure you have everything set up for your time aboard is acquiring the right licenses. However, this greatly depends on where you will be traveling to and from throughout the duration of your journey. Some places require you to have a skipper license to rent a boat while others will require seeing your Nautical CV (resume) in order to be able to decipher your skills in navigating the vessel. And yet other places, such as the Caribbean, do not require a license.
Once you are all set with the proper licensing requirements, you need to be sure you have successfully checked the predicted weather forecasts in your upcoming destinations. The weather has a great impact on how successful your sailing journey will be. Once checked, prepare adequately for future weather conditions.
This may seem quite obvious, but is still well worth the mention – be certain you are comfortable with your navigating skills before setting sail. Have a well mapped out plan of your destinations and every stop in between. Know the safest places to set anchor and make sure the rest of your crew is aware of them as well.
Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of you and your entire crew while on board. To ensure security throughout the entire duration of your trip, you first need to gather everyone together to review the safety procedures and precautions in case there is a situation like a man overboard. Check for a First Aid kit and be sure to have a satellite phone in the event of a real emergency.
- Have a backup route in case something goes wrong.
- In the summer, use gas lamps to light the boat instead of battery-powered.
- Choose a less challenging course if sailing with a beginner crew.
- Set up a ‘night shift’ schedule.
- Do not fail to update your logbook accordingly.