“You know what they say, “”you can’t discover something new unless you lose sight of the shore.”” The seas and the oceans have seized the souls of many sailors and adventurers for thousands of years. For those who love the sea, sailing is one of the best outdoor recreational activities. Vacations and weekends for many people are a sailing adventure out in the sea. All they need is a ship and a wheel to maneuver her through the cool blue waters, and they are good to go.
Recreational sailing is also known as yachting and can be further put into two categories namely: racing and cruising. Yacht racing is more of a sport in which people participate and compete with one another. There are multiple yacht and larger sailboats all of which have to race around a course marked by navigational devices such as buoys. Cruising is recreational. It is a lifestyle that people adopt. It involves living on a sea vessel for a long time while traveling from one place to another. Cruising trips can last from a few days to even months. It can be an extended offshore trip or a world trip.
The beauty of the sea and the prospect of sailing in it to experience nature are quite fascinating. If you have the inclination towards that kind of outdoor recreation, getting absorbed in the sea breeze comes naturally to you. You can spend days together, sailing, without even realizing it given that you have thoroughly equipped yourself with everything that you will or might need.
There are numerous sailing trips that are funded by the government while many go sailing on their privately owned boats. Nowadays you can even notice teenagers going for sailing adventures on their own. The sea is interesting and before you set out all you can think of is the fun you are going to have. But irrespective of how much fun you have every outdoor activity involves a certain amount of risks for which you must be well prepared.
A single sailing trip involves a lot of preparation, expenses, planning and risks. The level of preparation is the only factor that marks the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful trip. Before you plan to venture out to the sea all by yourself, make sure that you have gone sailing with someone experienced, someone who knows the sea.
Inspection, upgradation of boat and addition of necessary equipment are imperative to the preparation that you should do before setting out to sail.
1. A selection of boat – If you are going to get a boat for yourself be sure of getting one whose sister ships have outdone others in their performance off the shores.
-Don’t be tempted to buy boats with a larger size, especially if you are going for sailing for the first time. Bigger the boat gets tougher it is to be able to control and monitor it out in the sea.
-You must consider the boat’s capability in extreme conditions as there you can face extreme climatic conditions at the sea.
-Conduct a thorough inspection with by calling the professionals before going to sailing, and the inspection is that hull to deck joints should be bonded permanently, and they should not be just bolted.
-The bulkheads should not only be properly connected to the hull, but they should be attached properly all around the perimeter.
-All ports, hatches, deck lockers should be dumpy so that they can easily take a knockdown. Loads of rigs should also be transferred properly to the hull.
2. A checkup of every gear of boat – Even if the boat is new, every gear of boat should be checked properly.
-To Inspect propeller gear, rudder supports, and all other metal for electrolysis and integrity, the boat must be tagged.
-You should also carry spare propeller and key, spare zincs and cutlass bearings.
3. Paint the bottom – If you are going on an offshore voyage then the bottom of the boat should be painted with a modern copolymer. The advantage of these paints is that these paints scale away very slowly and also their performance is great when the boat is moving.
You must apply these copolymer paints in thick layers that are sufficient to give protection for a long time.
4. Check all fittings – If there is doubt in any fitting on the hull and deck, then those fittings should be resealed.
-There should be a careful inspection of all stanchions because the life of the crewmember is purely dependent on the integrity of the stanchions.
-Special attention should be given to plastic coated wires they might be having corrosion underneath them.
-Strong latches should be there on cockpit lockers that will hold them while knockdown.
5. Rigs – It is very important to inspect the rig before going on a passage.
-There should be an inspection of wages and fittings at regular intervals using a crack-detection dye kit.
-Before going on a passage, gooseneck should be inspected to check that it is robust, and it can easily rotate to align with the sheets as it is a weakest link present in the rig.
6. Sails – To make sailing easy and safe the roller-furling gear should be used.
-Before going to sailing, the systems of sail handling and their components should be thoroughly checked because it would be easy to fix them at the dock than at the sea.
-To make the sail stay on the mast after dropping slides should be there on the regular cruising mainsail instead of bolt ropes.
7. Running Rigging – If there is any abrasion or scraping, then it is the matter of major concern. If, by any chance, a line is damaged at one end then the area around a few inches from the damaged side should be cut off, and you should attach the snap-shackle again.
– In severe weather running rigging failures occurs most of the time so if there is any suspect in any lines then it should be replaced. The other thing that should be done is that if there is any scope to spread the load across the boat then it should be.
8. Clothing – The sea breeze is very cool. It can especially give you the chills during the night. Therefore, you must wear warm and waterproof clothes.
– To keep yourself warm and dry windproof and waterproof jacket and over trousers are recommended.
– You should also carry rubber boots and waterproof shoes for the same reason.
– Always pack an extra of everything, especially if you are going on a cruising trip and have planned to return in not less than a month.
9. First Aid – You know the golden rule: if you are going out for an adventure, never forget your first aid box. Same applies to a sailing trip. Never rely on the first aid boxes you buy from the market because they contain some generic medicines that won’t be useful if you have a need for one out in the sea. So make sure that you stock up the box with the following:
Sea sickness medicine
Gel for insect bites
Small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings
At least two sterile eye dressings
CrÃªpe rolled bandages
Sterile disposable gloves
10. Other necessities – There are a few other items that you must carry with you on your sailing trip. They include:
A small torch with fresh batteries
11. Food and Water – Having enough food and water to survive the sea is a must. If you are going on a cruise, then it is possible that your boat has a mini kitchen with a mini fridge and a gas stove where you can cook food for yourself. So it is essential to carry basic raw materials that include cereal, oatmeal, dried fruits, salami, peanut butter, toast, sausages, pasta, rice, powdered milk and other beverages such as coffee and tea.
Water is extremely necessary on your sailing trip. You must stay hydrated when you are in the sea, especially if you are going on a long trip that will last for at least a month. Water camphor is a great option for maintaining a constant water supply.
Long trips need a lot of preparation and calculation because once you are in the middle of the sea there is no way for you to get back and refill your supplies.
MREs or meals, ready to eat are a great option of ready to consume food and water. They are self-contained packs of food that is impact resistant and waterproof. You can get MRE packs that last from 3 days to even a year.
The best part about relying on MRE for your food and water requirements is that you can never fall short of them. Once you calculate how many days you will be out cruising, you can buy that number of MREs with a little extra in case of any unwanted emergency.
Each MRE has approximately 1250 calories packed into it. One packet of MRE has meals for an entire day i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack. Each meal has a dessert. The pack also contains water supplies for a day along with other beverages like tea, coffee and shakes. It has tissues and plastic eating utensils which include a fork or a spoon and a plate.
MREs are hermetically sealed. Therefore, their nutritional value remains preserved. Some MREs come with an internal self-heating system that is activated as soon as you open the pack. So you can save your fuel and eat self-heated food. You can get MREs directly from us or you can visit one of the closest stores next to you.
You can always have raw food, canned and preserved food for at least a week but make sure you have a stock of MREs before you set out on your trip.
12. Travel Permit – If your cruising involves visiting various countries then you have to have a travel permit for your vessel and yourself before you do that. You don’t want to be caught for trespassing and have your merry cruising be interrupted by stern police officers in a foreign country.”