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Updated by phelan-edward2 on Aug 31, 2017
Headline for 5 Essential Sailing Safety Tips
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5 Essential Sailing Safety Tips

Sailing is a challenging, adrenaline-filled sport with great health benefits, including muscle endurance. It is brilliant fun, however, as with any sport, safety is paramount and needs to come first. Furthermore, to have a smooth sailing experience, safety precautions need to be taken to ensure that you and others are safe while you are out on the water. Here is a list of sailing safety tips you should be aware of before setting sail.

Safety Equipment

Always check your boat to ensure you have the adequate marine safety equipment. Upon entering the water, your body can go into cold water shock, resulting in a loss of air in your lungs, and this combined with rip currents and unruly waves, can be deadly.

Wearing a lifejacket is the very first step to ensuring that everyone is safe at all times. The weather at sea can be unforgiving, and you should be prepared. Liferafts act as a temporary boat and come equipped with essential items like reflective tape, rescue quoit and lines. In the unfortunate event of a boat capsizing due to a rogue wave, liferafts provide an essential lifeline until the rescue services arrive.

Know the Rules of the Road

As with cars and roads, there are rules for boats and seas. Even in such an expanse of water, some think it impossible to collide with a boat as you can see it approaching.

However, bad weather conditions can make it hard to see oncoming objects. Also, if you are sailing with other boats leisurely or racing, it is imperative you know how to control your boat and know the rules when it comes to giving way to others.

Check The Weather and Tides

When checking the weather,it is beneficial to cross-reference with other websites as no one site ever says the same thing. Even then,bear in mind it is only an indication of what the elements will be like. Gale force winds and strong waves can cause mayhem on sailing ships,so are best avoided. The same goes for tide tables,cross-reference these as different online tide tables adhere to different conventions.

Boat Training

Whether you are doing this for the first time or need a refresher after a break, boat training can help you learn the ropes again. With the correct level of training, you will be able to enjoy the sporting challenges sailing provides. This training will also cover safety manoeuvres that will help in an event of a man overboard or a boat capsizing.

Plan and Share Your Journey

Plan your journey with your boat in mind, it is important to know if your boat has the capacity to make the journey. Create a float plan that will let your friends and family know crucial information, including the length of a journey, place of departure and the sailing route you plan to follow.

This way if you don’t arrive at your destination, or are gone too long, your friend or family can flag it to RNLI Lifeboats, if in the UK. As another precaution, write down names, numbers, descriptions of all crew members and any boat information.