6 Sailing Essentials

As summer has been yielding soaring temperatures of up to 29 degrees this year, and is not looking like it’s cooling soon, many people are choosing to take to the sea for respite of breeze and foam in yacht charters, dinghies, and sailboats of many manners. When I went on my first charter however, I was woefully underprepared, and since then I’ve become familiar with the most essential items to remember on any nautical excursion. Here they are!

1. Waterproofs

Absolutely imperative it is for you to take waterproof clothing with you. This is the UK remember, and the seas are not exempt from our typical weather patterns. As long as you take a quality anorak or even a decent poncho, you can avoid getting all cold and ill on deck when the rains come. My personal advice is take thermals, and waterproof gloves as well. And remember to dry all of your waterproofs off in-between use! There’s nothing worse than putting on cold wed clothes.

2. A Distress radiobeacon

The boat-owner or skipper will almost doubtlessly have sorted this out in advance, but it bodes well for you to be informed of its importance. In order to alert search and rescue services of an emergency, make sure you are equipped with an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB), which transmits coded messages at the distress frequency of 406mhz to satellite and earth stations so that the fastest and nearest rescue can be co-ordinated.

Pro-Tip: Take a GPS as well, to check on routes, potential obstacles, and keep a log of distances, speeds, and conditions if not only for an interesting keepsake!

3. Goggles

Clear-lens goggles can be a life-saver (quite literally, lest you get complacent) and can keep you effective even in questionable weather. Rain, mist, and hail, can all compromise your senses and thus your capabilities in a very unaccommodating environment. Even ski-goggles are a good substitute in a pinch, just remember how important it is to be mindful of safety at sea.

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4. Life-jacket

There should be some on-board, but it wouldn’t hurt to make sure. Bringing your own makes certain that you will have one that fits and works, as well as helping you dodge having to pay too much attention to the skipper’s health and safety speech (which you should be paying attention to).

5. Headlamp

Head-mounted LED torches really make the nights a lot easier. Procure a waterproof one and spend a little more than is totally necessary, just to make sure it’s up to any challenge you may face. Headlamps leave both your hands free to do any task so the amount of time you’ll save using them in the dark will easily justify spending a tad extra. Petzl do great quality products.

6. Camera

Whether it be a waterproof camera, a DSLR, or simply your camera-phone, you’ll regret not taking something to document the time. With beautiful fields of waves and white-horses stretching off to the horizon all around you, you definitely won’t find it difficult to find some picture-worthy sights.

If you are still new to boating and need to learn some essential boating skills, then check out theboatinghub.com