The start of the sailing season is upon us in the United Kingdom, and wow, it feels good. You’ve dug your sunglasses out of the depths of your kit bag after the first sunny weekend of the year, and you’re ready to get out on the water – whether it’s your first experience sailing or you’re an RS seasoned pro, we hope this blog inspires you to get back out on the water with some flair this spring!
If you’re lucky enough to own a dinghy, spring is the perfect time to give your boat a good MOT before getting out on the wet stuff. If your boat has been snuggly tucked away in a garage or battling it out on the water amidst the huge storms we’ve had this winter, now is an awesome time for some boat TLC in good time for the season ahead.
Top tips for getting ready for the sailing season from the RS Customer Care Team!
- Check for water in the hull and any components that keep the wet stuff on the outside like seals, bungs & inspection ports
- Check the spars for signs of wear and tear and all your standing rigging, halyards, shrouds and those dodgy split pins that you nursed through last summer
- Check the foils for wear and tear, especially your UJ
- Check ropes, sheets & blocks for signs of wear, especially those tucked away
- Check the sails for any snags, tears and mice nests in spinnaker socks (oh, it’s more common than you think)
- Give your boat a jolly good clean for that ‘spring clean’ feel and to get rid of any stubborn spiders who moved in during the winter months
You’ve got the boat of your dreams (most likely an RS 😉), your safety gear is stowed in your trusty grab bag, and you can pack a mean picnic to feed even the most ravenous of families, but you’ve got no idea where to go…
Did you know that the Royal Yachting Association has started collating some of the most famed dinghy trials from all over the United Kingdom? There’s a great mix of trials from Scotland to the South West to complement any sailing ability. Check them out here.
Don’t forget to stay safe whilst on your adventures; from passage planning, checking the weather and tide, to sharing your location with loved ones, the SafeTrx App has it all.
Many sailing clubs close in the UK for the winter period; sailors tuck their boats into their covers in early November and enjoy the winter like any normal person would, with long winter walks, roast dinners and warm fires.
It’s time to get back out on the water! If cruising with the family is your thing, why not set yourself a new challenge? Head on a longer trip, add a spinnaker to the mix or swap roles on the boat to keep developing your skills.
If club racing is your thing, why not head out early and recap those boat handling skills? Effortless roll gybes can seem particularly tricky after a few months away from the boat. If you’re a boat-handling hero, why not brush up on a few rules to dominate on the startline and mark roundings?
You’ve been out on the water all winter risking chilblains to get ahead of the competition. Your boat handling is on point, your boat is shipshape, and you are feeling race ready! You’re literally restless for the sailing season to start.
To win, you must first make it to the start line, so head to your Class Association website or Sailing Club and start entering events! If you’re starting to look toward the marginal gains that will see you on the podium this summer, then head to the RS Sailing Store. They can help you with anything from a new 6mm mainsheet for those light wind days all the way up to a brand new boat.
There’s nothing worse than racing in a small fleet, so make sure you’re supporting your Class or Club Fleet to inspire more people onto the racecourse – for you to beat. Maybe you could do a quick rigging talk, sell some of your old sails to another upcoming person at the club or support another sailor along to their first Open Meeting. There is no better feeling in the world than knowing you’ve helped bring another person into the RS racing community; well, apart from winning that is 😉.
First Time Afloat
Are you inspired to try sailing but have no idea how to have a go? Sailing Clubs and Centres around the UK host ‘Discover Sailing’ days. From 1 May, venues across the country are offering ‘have a go’ taster sessions for all – absolutely no previous experience is necessary! So why not find out how you and your family can get involved with sailing locally by visiting this page on the RYA website.
No clue what to wear? We’d suggest activewear with a splashproof coat and an old pair of trainers you don’t mind getting wet! Buoyancy aids will be provided to make sure you’re safe whilst afloat.
Enjoy your spring on the water folks, stay safe and #sailitliveitloveit!