Being on the water can feel like you don’t have a care in the world. The sun beating down on your skin, the cool water refreshing your body, and the wind flowing through your hair, there is nothing that beats being on the water during a hot summer’s day. Some people enjoying fishing, boating, or even enjoy kayaking. But one activity on the water that most people are afraid to try is sailing. Sailing can give you one of the most enjoyable and psychical challenges that you have ever faced on the water. But the reward for learning to sail is like none other. There are a few things that you need to learn and be aware of while sailing. Of course, the obvious one like safety and how to sail is kind of important to learn. Sailing is a great way to get out on the water and experience a life skill like none other.
First off why you should learn how to sail. Well for starters it can be a great stress-relieving activity and help teach your mind to be calm and under control. Sailing isn’t easy to learn and takes a lot of concentration. As soon as you learn how to properly sail it is a great way to let all your distractions and stress out the window and just focus on the water and wind. Another reason you should learn how to sail is, that it is a great strength and conditioning exercise. It helps with your flexibility and if you are not a gym and weights kind of person but want to still stay healthy and in shape, then sailing might just be for you. The third reason you should learn to sail is that it is a great team-building exercise and helps improve your communication skills. Yes, sailing isn’t just a one-person activity. Bigger sails need more people to guide the boat and you can build a team around you and compete in sailing events. Sailing is a great activity for individuals as well as a team sport.
Now sailing is controlled by the weather and the water you are sailing on. The key and one of the most important things you need to know if the type of water you are sailing on. You need to know where you are going, how far you are going, the weather of the day and how it affects the water, and you need to know the wind pattern of the day. All these things you need to keep in mind before you go sailing and do your research because this is not only a smart thing to do for preparation, but it is a safety measure as well. You should always have on you a map, compass, or GPS of some sort to help guide you on while you are sailing.
Deciding what kind of boat, you are sailing on is also an important thing to know.
There are three main charter experiences you can choose from. There is the bareboat chartering where you are the one that does all the work on the boat. This is not for beginners and should only be done by an experienced sailor. The second charter experience is the skippered charter which should only be sailed on with an experienced and seasoned captain. The third type of charter is a crewed charter where you don’t have to do much, and you let the crew take care of the sailing. Once you learn and get a bit more experience the less you must rely on others to enjoy sailing.
Just like in any sport your gear or equipment you use is very important, and it is no different in sailing. Choosing the right footwear is the most important piece of gear you can choose while sailing. As you probably already know, water tends to make surfaces slippery and that is no different than while you’re sailing. Rubber-soled boat shoes that cover your toes are the best option to prevent injury and keep you are your best while sailing. You want to stay away from flip flops and street shoes as they will probably get water damaged and your toes in flip flops might be exposed to injury if you slip. You need to be aware of black bottomed shoes because they can scuff up the boat floor.
If you are planning a long trip on the boat, then you need to plan and pack all the essentials for the day. Being in the sun can drain a person’s energy and can cause the skin to sunburn. Just because you’re on the water doesn’t mean you are protected from the sun. You need to make sure you bring the right liquids, food, and sunscreen to prevent any damage to your skin. You also need to make sure you have the right safety equipment onboard and that every member on the ship has a certified life jacket on board. A safety kit should also be onboard filled with all the essentials for anything that may happen. This includes antibiotics, pain relievers, band-aids, and more. Another trick if you need to bring your belongings or things that are not waterproof on the boat then you need to bring a waterproof bag and keep those items in that bag. This could save your phone's life.
Knowing your sailing vocabulary and what to do on the boat is very important. Just like being good at anything else, the key is to know what you are doing and be able to understand what other people are saying on the boat. You need to make sure you know your role onboard and if you don’t then you need to ask questions and come up with a plan for everyone before you take off. You should also know every part of the boat and what it is called or referred to as if someone is calling for the starboard side and you don’t know what that means then your safety may be at risk. So, you need to learn the vocabulary of the sea.
The last thing you need to know about sailing is that you don’t need to be a hero the first time out. It is almost impossible to learn and be good at sailing the first time you go out on the water. Ask for help and make sure the first few times you go out on the water you have some experienced sailors with you to help you along your way and learn the ropes. Sailing is supposed to be a fun activity for everyone and for yourself. Remember to be safe, know your vocabulary, and always prepare before you go out on the water. If you do all of those things then sailing can become a fun adventure every time you go.