Sailing is an incredibly fun and enjoyable family activity, especially when you have a luxe yacht all to yourselves. Combine it with a couple of water sports and family activities, and you have a dream vacation filled with unforgettable memories. However, if you want to make your sailing trip as pleasant and delightful as possible, safety has to be your number one priority. So, here are some of the best tips that will allow you to have a better, more secure, and that much more memorable family sailing vacation:
1. Check the weather forecast before sailing
Before you leave the shore, always check the weather forecast, as well as the water conditions. While warm and sunny days might be perfect for sailing, the weather has been known to change drastically within minutes, especially at sea. That is why it’s essential to respect the weather and the waters, and only use your vessel when all the conditions are suitable. Remember not to stay out at sea for too long, either.
When at sea, be mindful of your radio and any warnings that might come in during your sailing trip, especially if you get any information about dramatic weather changes or dangerous storms. Staying up to date and being aware of any warnings or advisories will allow you to take action immediately, before you encounter any unfavorable conditions, helping to keep your whole family safe and sound.
2. Bring the necessary safety equipment
Apart from keeping your head above water and helping you stay afloat, life jackets could also help to prevent hypothermia, which is why every passenger on the vessel should wear one at all times, to ensure their safety. For the best results, it would also be a good idea to make sure each rider has a life jacket that suits their height and weight perfectly, which is particularly important when it comes to small children.
Besides necessary life jackets, don’t forget to equip your vessel with helpful gear that will allow you to quickly and efficiently deal with any circumstances that might come your way. This includes a first aid kit for medical interventions, whistles, signal mirrors and flares for emergencies, a fire extinguisher, as well as rope and a flashlight for convenience.
3. Find a reputable yacht sales broker
A family sailing vacation is most enjoyable when you have your own vessel, and the freedom to travel wherever and whenever you please. For that reason, it might be wise to look into some excellent motor yachts for sale, ones that are safe and reliable, while still luxurious enough to help you enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
Smaller motor yachts might be the best option if you’ve just stepped into the world of sailing, as not only are they more affordable, but they’re also great for exploring smaller beaches and marinas, while still providing you with all the comfort you need. Of course, if you decide to buy your own vessel, make it a point to find a dependable and reputable yacht sales broker, who will help you select the perfect fit for you and your family.
4. Always boat safely and responsibly
If you’re operating your own vessel, it’s your responsibility to drive as safely as possible. This doesn’t only mean driving at a safe speed and following local rules and regulations, but also taking note of the visibility, the density of traffic, as well as proximity to any navigational hazards, such as rocks and floating objects.
What’s more, you should make it a point to never consume alcohol while at sea, as it could easily cloud your judgment, compromise the safety of all passengers, and have an overall negative effect on your vacation. The same goes for using a mobile phone for calls and texts while boating, as it can be a big distraction that could also present a serious safety hazard.
5. Take an additional safety course
Although most countries will require you to have a proper certificate or license to operate your vessel, it might also be a good idea to take an additional boating safety course. As a high percentage of boating accidents are caused by operator errors, and not external factors, acquiring a boating safety certificate might be the best way to ensure safety and security at sea, which becomes even more important when you’re sailing with your family.
Above all, it’s crucial to use common sense when in the water. Apart from driving responsibly, and utilizing the skills and knowledge you acquired at courses, it’s also essential to stay alert while boating, as proper reflexes and responses are necessary for avoiding dangerous situations. Of course, don’t forget to inform your family members, as well as any other passengers, about the safety rules they should practice while sailing.
With the right preparation, and a few precautionary measures, any family sailing trip can turn out to be a fun and pleasurable experience, especially if you have the freedom and the convenience of your own vessel.