Do you love spending tons of time out on the open waters in your sailboat?
Sailing is something that has, unfortunately, waned in popularity in recent years. While about 4 million people still go out on a sailing trip at least once a year, only about 1 million of them do it at least seven times on an annual basis.
But you shouldn’t let that stop you from enjoying sailing day trips! If you love to sail, you should make it a point to do it as often as you can.
You should also make sure you’re a confident captain each and every time you head out on your sailboat. Whether you like taking 1-day sailing trips or trips that stretch out over the course of a few days, you should take the necessary steps to ensure you’re ready for whatever the water might throw at you when you’re on your sailboat.
Here are some of the ways in which you can plan ahead so that you’re able to be the most confident captain you can be on your next sailing adventure.
Make Sure You’re Mentally Prepared to Captain a Sailboat on a Sailing Trip
If you have a lot of experience captaining sailboats on sailing trips, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about taking this particular step. But if you’re not super experienced when it comes to serving as the captain on a sailboat, you should make sure you’re up for the challenge.
To ensure that you’re able to be a confident captain, you’ll need to:
- Enroll in sailing classes
- Sign up to take practice sailing trips
- Spend time learning from seasoned sailboat captains
- Learn everything there is to know about the sailboat you’ll be sailing on
You need to do more than just buy a sailboat to turn yourself into a confident captain. You also need to educate yourself about sailboats and gain some experience as far as serving as the captain on a sailboat is concerned.
Decide Where Your Next Sailing Trip Will Take You
Once you feel like you’re mentally prepared to captain a sailboat, you can then move on to planning out your next sailing trip. You should sit down and decide:
- Where you want to take your sailboat
- How long you want to spend on your sailboat
- Whether or not it’s the right time of the year to sail to your preferred destination
Kick around some different ideas and do the necessary research on local sailboat destinations. It should help you decide on where your upcoming sailing trip is going to take you.
Map Out Your Sailing Trip From Start to Finish
After you’ve picked a place that you want to sail to, you’ll need to get a little bit more specific as far as how you’re actually going to get there. The last thing you want to do is set out on a sailing adventure without having a very clear plan in place.
You should bust out a map and create a plan for how you’re going to get from the dock where you keep your sailboat to the destination that you want to reach. It should be as detailed as you can possibly get it so that you know which direction you’ll need to start sailing in right away.
There is, of course, a chance that your sailboat may get knocked off course at some point during your trip due to bad weather, a change in plans, etc. But you should still have a plan for how you’re going to get your sailboat to where you want it to go.
Get Your Sailboat Ready for Your Sailing Trip
Are you 100% sure that your sailboat is going to be able to take you to where you want to go? You’ll struggle to be a confident captain if you’re not confident in your sailboat and its ability to transport you and your passengers safely.
You should work to maintain your boat at all times throughout the year. But you should be especially mindful of maintaining and repairing it right before a big sailing trip so that you know it’s all ready to go.
This article breaks down one of the many parts that you might want to install on your sailboat to ensure peak performance from it.
Figure Out Who Will Be Coming Along With You on Your Sailing Trip
Who is going to come along with you on your sailing trip on the day that you set sail? This isn’t a question that you should allow to blow in the wind right up until the last minute.
You should have a definitive guest list nailed down at least a week or two before your sailing trip. It’ll prevent you from trying to cram too many people onto your boat. It’ll also ensure that you have all the supplies that you’ll need on your sailboat when everyone shows up for your trip.
Pack Everything You’ll Need to Make Your Sailing Trip a Success
There are quite a few things that you and the others who will be going on your sailing trip are going to need to pack for your adventure. It’s important for you to make sure that you have these things safely stored on your boat prior to setting sail on your trip.
So, what kinds of things will you need to bring along on a sailing trip? Here is a list to help you get started:
- Waterproof duffle bags filled with warm-weather and cold-weather clothing to keep you comfortable regardless of the conditions
- Sunblock, sunglasses, hats, and other items to stop you from getting too much sun
- Dry bags designed to keep things like passports, money, and electronics safe
- Travel-size toiletries, including toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and lotion
You might also want to pack things like wetsuits, snorkels, goggles, and other things that you can use to explore the waters surrounding your sailboat.
Equip Your Sailboat With the Necessary Emergency Supplies for Your Sailing Trip
As long as you make the proper preparations for a sailing trip, you shouldn’t have to stress out too much about something going wrong. But there is always going to be at least a tiny chance that you could find yourself in an emergency situation.
With this in mind, your sailboat should have all the emergency supplies you could ever want and need. This obviously includes lifejackets. But it should also include things like:
- A first-aid kit
- A fire extinguisher
- A VHF radio
- Distress signals
- A bucket
In the event that you find yourself in the middle of an emergency, you’ll be a more confident captain when you know that you have these types of supplies on board.
Keep a Close Eye on the Weather in the Days Leading Up to Your Sailing Trip
In the days leading up to your next sailing trip, you should always monitor the weather to see what it’s going to be like. You may want to consider altering your plans if you see that there is a storm brewing in the area in which you’re planning to sail.
You should also do what you can to continue to monitor the weather once your sailing trip is underway. Even if it appeared as though you would have nothing but smooth sailing ahead when you first set sail, that could change in the blink of an eye.
You may need to maneuver your sailboat around a storm or turn around and head back home if you see danger in your path at any point. But whatever you do, don’t mess around and underestimate Mother Nature. You could pay the price for it later on.
Let Family Members Know That You’ll Be Away on Your Sailing Trip
If something goes terribly wrong during your sailing trip and you get stranded at sea, you want to have someone back home who can report this to the proper authorities. But this isn’t going to be possible if you don’t tell anyone that you’re going on a sailing trip in the first place.
You should let at least a few family members know that you’re going sailing. You should also inform them as far as where you’re going and how you’re planning to get there.
Even if you’re only going on a 1-day sailing trip, you should still be sure to tell your family members about it. They’ll know when to expect your return and will spring into action if you go missing.
You’ll Be a More Confident Captain on a Sailing Trip When You Use These Tips
Sailing is supposed to be fun and relaxing, not stressful. But you’re going to find yourself trying to battle back against stress at every turn if you’re not a confident captain.
You can increase your confidence by putting the tips found here to the test. They’ll help to point your sailboat in the right direction and ensure that you and your fellow sailors all have a great time on your next trip.
Check out the rest of the articles on our blog for more fun travel tips and tricks.