Last updated on August 22nd, 2023 at 05:28 PM
If you’re planning on setting out to sea on a yacht, then you need to take your safety seriously. The typically smaller sizes and leaning turns of a yacht compared to other boats make falling overboard more of a risk – and it might not be a laughing matter if you end up in the water.
If you’re wondering how to keep your nautical adventure worry-free, I’ve got you covered! Here, I’ve compiled my top seven safety tips to ensure your sailing experience is nothing short of amazing.
- Consider cover
Though they’re relatively rare, accidents do happen at sea – and they can mean danger to passengers, the ship itself, or both. You could look into yacht insurance as a way to give yourself some peace of mind before you set sail, putting in place measures to help deal with the consequences should something go awry.
- Know how to swim
It may sound obvious but a surprising number of people get on boats without knowing how to swim properly. This seemingly trivial skill could mean the difference between living or dying if you fall in the water or your boat capsizes.
It isn’t necessary for you to have the swimming skills of an Olympic athlete but you should know how to float and perform the basic strokes as a bare minimum for your safety when sailing.
- Carry lifejackets
Without a doubt, life jackets are your best safety precaution when sailing. Before you set out to sea, make sure that everyone on board your yacht knows how to fit and use them correctly.
- Stock up
It’s vital that your boat is well stocked with essential supplies in case of an emergency. Always carry plenty of water and food before you leave shore. You should also keep a fully stocked first aid kit on board and make sure at least one person on board knows how to use it.
- Do your research
Always do your research, regardless of how much experience you have. Get detailed charts of the area you’re planning on sailing and use them to study and plot out your course before setting off.
You should also check the weather conditions on the day and use this information to choose the best time for sailing.
- Have a no-wind plan
Believe it or not, there are times when the wind stops blowing out at sea. What would you do if your sails suddenly go slack in the water? You need a back-up plan.
Depending on the size of your vessel, this could be a small motor or even a set of paddles. Either way, you should always carry a radio so that you can call for help if you need it.
- Carry a torch
Failed navigation lights after dark is another common safety hazard. You should keep a torch on board as a precaution. Shining it on your sail to warn approaching vessels of your presence can help you to prevent life-threatening collisions in the darkness.
Keeping yourself out of harm’s way while out at sea can seem like a daunting task but, if you follow my safety tips above, you’ll be well on your way to staying safe while sailing.