Have you ever bought something big, something really big, (like a yacht) and then wondered what exactly you had gotten yourself into? Well, becoming a yacht owner is a lot like having a baby. It’s wonderful; but, at the same time, you may be left wondering “are there some important things I should know about here?”
If this is your case, go ahead and sail through our list of 8 important pointers before voyaging out to sea.
#1: Steer Slowly
Do you want to look like a pro even on your first run out to sea? Well then, slow and steady wins the race. Pilot your craft with grace: steer with slow, sure movements and you will be off to a great start in the world of classy yachting.
#2: Create a Yacht Launch Checklist
Create a yacht launch checklist with everything you will need on your yacht for smooth sailing! You might want to remind yourself about simple things, like keeping a VHF handheld on board (these are radios you can use to contact surrounding crafts or someone onshore for help in case of a storm: channel 16 is the international distress channel).
Be sure to check through your list as part of your final checks before launching. This can be very helpful in case anything slips your mind and has “missed the boat.” Nobody wants to be without on the waves!
#3: Prep Your Yacht for Launch Away from the Launch Ramp
Nobody wants to be that guy at the launch ramp who looks like he doesn’t know exactly what he’s doing.
Take our advice, and before backing your yacht into the launch area, make sure you have done all of the pre-launch prep that you can beforehand (such as attaching your dock line), so you don’t hold up any boaters who might be behind you.
Showing consideration for others is a wonderful part of the yachting world, and boaters and yachters alike will appreciate your understanding of this!
#4: Dress in Layers!
Pile on the layers when you go out to sea. It may be tempting to just jump out of bed in shorts and sandals and head on down to the water, and we don’t blame! Many experienced yachters know, however, that it’s a good idea to layer up when heading out to sea. The weather on the water can be vastly different from the shore.
With just a pair of shorts on, you may find yourself wishing for that snazzy-looking windbreaker you left behind! If it happens to be warm out on the ocean, it’s definitely easy to de-layer. But preparation can make you a comfortable boatman on this point.
#5: Pay Attention to the Weather
Be attentive to weather forecasts, and make sure you are flexible with your plans if the weather takes a turn for the worse. Rough seas can be hard to handle for even the most seasoned sailor, and you don’t want to be lost somewhere calling mayday on the deep blue sea! Check your local channel forecasts before setting sail!
Also, while you’re out, if the weather starts to get a little ominous, it might be a good idea to head back to the slip. Choppy waters are hard to navigate and may turn your adventure into a headache! Weather the storm in the marina for a much better and more relaxing experience.
#7: Check Your Anchor
Before sailing, check on your anchor and chain. Untangle if necessary and do a quick check of the links. You don’t want a tangled chain if you need to do a quick anchor drop sometime during your voyage!
Sometimes emergencies may require that you anchor quickly, but a tangled anchor chain can kind of slow that whole process down. Be smart, be prepared, and check on that anchor.
#8: Be a Good Navigator
While you are out at sea, you may get distracted by the guests on your yacht, the beautiful scenery, the lovely weather, and all kinds of other things. But make sure you have a destination plan and know your landmarks.
Also, keep in mind that modern technical equipment can be very useful for finding your way around, so having a working knowledge of equipment on your craft is definitely advised. Use landmarks and navigational tools to keep on track so you don’t lose your way!
#8: Follow Capacity Guidelines for Your Craft
It really is pretty helpful to follow the full capacity suggestions for your craft before putting your yacht to sea. “The more the merrier” is a true enough, but you might find a greater truth to be “the more the soggier…” in the case of an overloaded sea craft!
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