Sailing adventures are the perfect way to enjoy your free time, escape to the water on your own or with your family this summer – lungs full of fresh air and experiences to recount in years to come, the list of benefits are endless!
RS Sailing pride ourselves in creating a range of boats that require minimal maintenance and are quick and easy to rig. Use that saved time wisely by researching and planning your next sailing adventure to minimise faff and maximise fun! Don’t forget to take endless photos, sail to your favourite spot, anchor up, do backflips off the bow, have an alfresco picnic and enjoy the moment.
With everything that’s going on right now around the world please always follow your government advice when going afloat and take a considerate and conservative approach. We would suggest reading the Royal Yachting Associations resource ‘return to boating’ before planning any day sailing this summer.
Boat & Crew Check
Give your RS a once over before getting her anywhere near the wet stuff. Check lines for wear and tear, check shackles, split pins and the one everyone forgets – the bung.
Make sure you’ve got everything you need, we’d always recommend packing a dry bag that’s easily accessible and tied to your boat that you can put all the essentials in; car keys, first aid kit, sun lotion, mobile phone, spare clothing and a VHF.
Check whether you’ve had the right training to take on your adventure, take in consideration the crew you’ve got on board and the conditions you could face.
The weather is a topic of any polite conversation but when you are going for a sail it is paramount that you spend time checking the conditions you may face afloat.
Use a weather forecast to make judgements about your sail area, your ability and what you need to wear. Always be prepared to change your plans or head back to shore if the forecast takes a turn for the worse.
If you planning to set sail at sea check the tides, always! The tides around the UK are pretty punchy and can catch out even the most experienced sailors.
• Admiralty EasyTide – the UK government’s tidal prediction service.
• anyTide app – tidal and current predictions from the National Oceanography Centre.
The local Harbour Master website is a great source of information for your day out!
Visiting boats are usually required to pay harbour dues so keep this in mind. They may also be able to help with tips on parking, great places to sail and any local hazards.
Check out this great map which shows locations you can launch from in the UK – please check on the details.
Navigation can appear a complicated business but with harbours only getting busier, it’s never been more important to ensure you’re confident of your navigation while afloat.
Whether you’re a traditionalist with a chart or if you prefer the more modern app approach don’t get caught out with your nav!
Navionics is a great app for your smartphone!
If you need to travel to get to your sailing location, spend some time planning where you are going to leave your car and trailer. Premium waterside parking can also set you back a few bob so be prepared!
Top Safety Tips from the RNLI
• Always wear an appropriate lifejacket – it’s useless unless worn!
• Always carry a means of calling and signalling for help.
• Have an onboard safety briefing
• Always check the weather and tide times.
• Make sure someone ashore knows where you are going and who to call if you don’t return on time.
• Always sail in weather conditions appropriate for the conditions, your ability and to the environment you are operating in.
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