Sailing is a great sport, leisure and pastime. But whether you’re riding the freezing waves of the arctic or cruising the mediterranean blue bad things can happen. Preparation is the key to averting all disaster. When traveling you need to assess all variables and ensure you have what it takes to succeed in your endeavour. Here are some tips to help ensure your nautical jaunt goes without a hitch.
Check The Weather
Of Course, you may think. But standard weather checks usually check out the weather in the location you’re heading too. Be more thorough. Check out the weather in other locations and factors that may affect it such as wind speed. It could be fine where you’re headed now but before long a storm could blow in from over land of further oceans. By doing this you can anticipate the weather and work out how nice or bad it is going to be for how long. It can get quite complicated, but if you spend the time with sailing weather prediction you’ll get to know how it works.
Ensure Your Charting Is Up To Date
Islands are formed and sucked away by the sea, ports come into and fade from existence and certain areas become impassable. You should know all of this from up to date charts which you take with you on your journey. It can sometimes be a chore, updating paper based charts and their storage can become a nuisance. There are other ways you can ensure correct up to date charting without the annoying paper burdon. ECDIS offers you a complete solution to paperless navigation, meaning you can use an electronic chart which is always up to date and ready to go. Proper charting keeps you legal, safe and far from lost.
Take Emergency Supplies
You need to ensure that if an accident takes place or you get lost that you have the right survival equipment on board to ensure you stay safe until help reaches you or indeed to ensure help reaches you. A first aid kid is a must, but be sure to by a sailing first aid kit which is more specific to a water based environment. Take a satellite phone too, one which has signal around the world. This way you can call for help wherever you are. You should try to get your hands on a flair gun too. By firing it high other ships miles away can see you’re in distress and come to your rescue, they are far more effective during the night.
Acquiring spare parts for your vessel is a no brainer. As things happen on the seas various items need to be replaced or patched up. One of the better spare parts is a patch up kit for a sail. A loose or ragged sail means getting to your destination will take far longer and be quite tiresome. If your vessel is purely motorised then take spare petrol, always bring more than you need. You never know what will happen, again, preparation is key.