Whether for your boating holiday or a racing competition, this is the time of the year when we all use our boats the most - - at least in the UK and most of Europe! There are a few points to keep in mind before you set sail that will keep you safe and having fun on the Seas...
- Consider what storage and the weather has been like since you last sailed – and give the boat a good inspection before attempting any sort of trip, especially if the family is on-board.
- If any equipment looks like it may not be working properly, examine it, clean it, repair or consider replacing it before you plan to embark on your journey.
- If you are racing the boat, try and get the boat booked in for a service and have the hull scrubbed or have a hearty crew of friends help you with DIY!
- If you are trailering the boat to an event, you can power wash the hull when it comes out of the water.
- Don’t forget to inspect the trailer – especially if it has gone into salt water! It’s worth checking the bearings and the brakes of the trailer to insure it’s in good and safe condition. The last thing you want is to be driving dangerously or to break down at the side of the road with a lot of very angry drivers behind you!!
- Check safety equipment to ensure everything is in date and you have enough life jackets and provisions for everyone on board.
Now it’s time to plan your trip:
· Always have alternative destinations in case of weather and tide disruptions.
· If the wind is increasing you may want to get into a marina more quickly than you first planned, so know your safe ports along the way.
· If there is no wind, you may want to head in a different direction or to another location. Either way, flexibility is key as distance and time travel may change during your journey.
· Check with friends who have sailed your course before – or read the log books that give you welcome information about the course you choose.
· Tell someone where you are heading and check in daily with updates so you are easy to find if something does go wrong.
Above all - have fun and enjoy your sailing in these last great days of summer.