Now that you’ve decided for a boat, before sailing you have to keep in mind some details to make this experience safely without unwelcome surprises. That’s why we’ve created this list of the most important tips to keep in mind when chartering a boat and be able to navigate safely.
1. Acquire a Nautical Guide of the area where you will sail with detailed information of the ports and marinas, with phone numbers and description of each service. The more complete is the guide the better will be. It has to show advices of the area, sailing, aerial photographs and other graphic nautical material. In future posts we’ll talk more extensively about guidebooks because there are many and very good, for now we recommend bluewaterweb.com which is one of the best.
2. Having updated weather information. This information is vital for safe navigation. Getting maps of the wind and waves evolution on a website like weather.com will allow us to draw the best route and get the safest anchorages.
3. All boats you’ll find on our website are fully insured, however you can do it with all your travel: cancellations, changes, lost luggage, etc … These travel insurances are usually cheap and can save you from lots of setbacks! Here we post this link that will be very useful for you.
4.Check the equipment and safety items on board. Before leaving the port you should check that the boat has all the safety equipment, rescue material, fire protection, navigation and prevention of spills, all them required by the law. We suggest you to check the fire extinguishers and check their expiration date.
5.You have to know and control the communications at sea. For peace of mind during your navigation it is good to know which authorities and relevant channels you need to contact if you suffer a mishap. Get this information at the port will not cost you more than 30 seconds, you can get this information easily.
6.Check the first aid kit, this is an important point especially if traveling with children. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on this blog because we are preparing a post dedicated to traveling with the littlest of the house, with tips and tricks to make safe and fun our family boat trip in either a sailboat or a yacht.
7.Although the first aid kit is not required if you sail less than 5 miles from the coast, all the boats we show in the webpage always carry it on board. For more safety it is worth taking your own first aid kit with medicines that you use to take as sickness tablets, antihistamines and anti-inflammatories.
8.Check the fuel tank. When chartering a boat the fuel tank deposit is always full and must be returned also in the same way. The fuel tank size of course depends on the size and type of the boat as well as consumption.
9.Bring a waste bag and never throw it in the sea. If you’re several days at sea it’s important to separate organic products to avoid odors.
Make a proper use of the toilet. Make sure that all the crew are well aware of the rules for using the toilet and its proper use in order to avoid clogging and odors that can ruin the navigation.
10.Save fresh water. We sail in a salty sea, so that fresh water is a precious commodity in our boat. The deposits range between 200 and 350 liters, so we should not waste it in showers and toilets. Nor when cooking!
11.Be careful with the consumption of the electricity. Depending on the boat you will only count with conventional plugs or 12V (such as car cigarette lighter). Beware not to waste the batteries and remember to turn on the engine if we didn’t do it for long time in order to recharge them. For the consumption of our small tablets and mobile phones we can always bring portables batteries like those and if we want something more renewable here there is a company that has everything you need, chargers and solar minipanels.
12.Generously fund the anchor leaving at least as many meters as the depth string multiplied by three. First make sure that the chosen place is sheltered from the prevailing winds and waves. If you want more information on the anchorage you can see this webpage with tips to do it safely.
13.Finally, do not forget to take care of your own physical safety. A good sunscreen will prevent you the risk of a heatstroke. We must protect the boat … but we must also take care of ourselves! To do this we recommend Neutorgena cream, one of the best 3 sunscreens for navigation according to most blogs.
These are the basic points to be able to rent a boat and go sailing, but surely you can think of lots more points because regarding security issues any precaution is not enough. Let’s continue next week!