On sailing holidays, it is important to adhere to rules, regulations and to the captain’s advice! So long as you take note of all of the information below, you are guaranteed to have a safe, peaceful and pleasant holiday.
Determine your route before you set out on your journey.
Before beginning your yacht vacation, the first step will be deciding on the sailing route and destinations. This is essential as you will need to know how many days the holiday will last, the places you will stop and where you will be able to stock up on food and fuel. Planning this meticulously is important in order to avoid having to sail at night and to reach the destinations on time!
Always pack lightly for sailing holidays.
The cabins and storage spaces on different types of boats are generally always fairly limited, so it is important to pack efficiently and bring less than you normally might. In any case, you won’t be needing as much as you would on a standard holiday! A beach towel, bathing suit, t-shirts and one long-sleeved shirt for colder weather is more than enough to ensure a comfortable holiday. To save space even further, you might want to consider bringing a foldable or duffle bag rather than a regular suitcase.
Pay attention to your shoe choices.
Shoes worn on the boat are important both for your own safety and for the safety of the boat. Walking around barefoot, with slippery sandals or high heels can easily lead to accidents and likewise, shoes with thicker or rougher soles may damage the wooden surfaces of the boat. Soft-soled shoes or a comfortable slipper are the ideal preferences. What’s more, don’t forget your sneakers for excursions on shore!
Remember to bring a pair of gloves.
If you will be heading off on a real sailing holiday with a sailboat where you will be captaining the boat yourself, gloves are an absolute MUST! When the boat is moving, wind exerts a huge force on sails and hence the ropes are also intensely strained. To avoid hurting your hands and damaging your skin, make sure you have gloves to better control the sails.
Always take precautions about the sun.
A yacht vacation is where you are truly closest to the elements, earth, water and sun. While basking in the sunlight is a delight and a healthy dose of Vitamin D, it can also be seriously harmful for the skin. On a sailing holiday, you’ll be exposed to the sun for long periods of time. For this reason, it is important to take good precautions, including bringing protection like sunhats, sunglasses and plenty of sun cream.
Take care to save water and energy.
On a yacht vacation, everything should be used in moderation. Storage is limited and you will spend most of your time out on the open water. Hence energy and water should be used carefully. Take care not to leave the taps running and keep your showers short! In addition, electricity should be conserved, so devices that absorb energy like phones, computers and televisions should be used at the minimum. When you are not below in the cabin, take care to turn off your electronic devices to avoid draining batteries.
Bring with you a small first aid kit.
Everyday accidents are common and can happen on a boat too. Make sure you are prepared with first aid supplies like adhesive plasters, gauze bandages and painkillers for times when you are away from land. It’s also wise to note that many people, especially first-timers, can experience nausea when spending a lot of time at sea. For a quick fix, breathe deeply and look far off into the horizon, seeking a stable spot. For a more guaranteed solution, you might want to speak to your doctor before your trip and bring along a suggested nausea medicine.
Use of tobacco products on the boat is generally advised against.
Smoking inside the cabins or interior areas of the boat is strictly forbidden. Even though it is allowed on deck, it is generally not advised as smoking on board can lead to accidents in windy weather.
Besides the information above, you should also pay attention to the following:
- Toilet paper and foreign objects should never be thrown into the toilet. Instead, use the provided rubbish bins.
- You should never swim or jump into the water while the boat is moving. Working propellers can lead to serious injuries.
- It is advised to keep all cabin windows closed while the yacht is cruising so that your bed and personal belongings in the cabin do not get wet.
- Pay attention to the hatches on the deck that open to the cabins below. Hatches left open could cause serious injuries.
- If necessary, valuables may be handed over to the captain for safekeeping at the beginning of the trip.
- When disembarking, check the boat several times to make sure that you have not left any of your personal belongings.
- For your health and safety, physical contact should not be made to ropes, porthole edges, hardware cables, floor doors, deck hatches, and propellers.
- Most of the time leave doors open as a precaution against fire risks and during cleaning operations.