Sailing provides a feeling of peace and freedom that no other kind of trip can match. Being out on the open seas will make you forget about everything you left behind, but for that peaceful feeling to last you must be ready for anything. These are some preparation tips for first-time sailors.
1. Make sure everything is working
Boat maintenance is crucial to ensuring your first sailing trip goes smoothly, as you do not want to find out something isn’t working once you are on the water. Among the routine maintenance that you should carry out is giving the winches a service and making sure there is no salt in the swivel bearing or blocks. Maintaining a boat is hard work, so squeezing some exercise into each day to get fit is advisable if you plan to sail regularly.
2.Research the weather and tide
Before you set off on a sailing trip for the first time, you should find out what the weather is expected to be like during the time you will be on the boat, as you need to know if there are going to be strong winds or rough waters. That way you can be sure to pack the right clothing and other essentials for the conditions, or alternatively…
3.Wait until the waters are calm
Although you can read up on it, sailing is something you have to master by doing, but you should ease yourself into it gently. One of the most sensible pointers for an inexperienced sailor is to hold off on taking that first trip until you can be sure of calm waters that are relatively free of other boats. It may be frustrating to have to wait, but the safety of yourself and anyone who is going with you should always come first.
4.Pick the right vessel
It is understandable if you are dreaming of being at the helm of a large sailing vessel, but in reality you are better starting off with a smaller boat. Many sailing training courses use keelboats of 22’. These are very sturdy vessels, but small enough to offer a newcomer plenty of responsiveness while they are getting used to navigating the water and learning how to work with the tide and the wind.
5.Take an experienced sailor with you on the first trip
Taking someone with sailing experience with you on your initial trip is our final piece of advice for first-time sailors. This could be a friend who is used to handling a boat or a professional sailing instructor, but it will ensure that if a problem arises you will have someone on board who knows what to do. You can always spend some time learning sailing terminology such as ‘gybe’ or ‘tack’ to ensure you are comfortable talking to them.
If you follow these five tips there is no reason at all why your first trip should be anything other than plain sailing.