Sailing a luxury yacht with a crew or without is a beautiful experience. The unending blue sea around you, the clear sky above; there are only a few other things that could compare. On a recent sailing expedition in a Miami yacht charter as we sailed through the Atlantic, we realized how the experience may be daunting for beginners and those unprepared. And let’s not lie, the ocean is an unpredictable place to be in. You can never quite expect what may come at you on the bad days. However, there are certainly some points you could take into consideration when sailing to have a smooth ride and a pleasant experience overall.
Practice Your Sailing
If you are about to sail the yacht yourself, take your lessons! It is best to go on a sailing adventure after you’ve prepared yourself well. Learn how to sail and practice it in calm waters and places with light traffic first. The wind is key to sailing. Let your initial sailing experiences be in areas with a light wind in order for you to practice control better. As you get hands-on with maneuvering the calmer waters, gradually make your way upward. Some saying said that calm waters never made a skilled sailor, but they are definitely a great boot camp in your journey upward!
Aside from the usual boat equipment, the crew and people on the yacht will need safety equipment that must not be forgotten at any cost! Dressing with keeping the yacht ride in mind is important too. Life jackets for everyone on board are imperative. While you hope for the best, it’s also important to be prepared for the worst. Shoes with rubber soles are the ideal footwear choice so no one slips on wet decks. Carrying a hat, sunscreen and some basic medicines is a smart thing to do too! Keep your belongings in a waterproof backpack, or carry a smaller water-resistant bag for sensitive technology. Your cameras and phones will be thankful.
Enjoy your ride to the fullest! But do so responsibly. Do not step on ropes, sheets or any other boat equipment while on board. If you aren’t chartering the yacht yourself, do not let your fun be a hindrance to the one doing it. Be watchful of children and pets who may tend to be drawn towards yacht equipment and have an itch to fiddle with it. If you are sailing in a crewed luxury yacht, take note of the crew instructions. Accommodate the crew’s requests for the safety of the yacht and know they know best!
Learn The Lingo
The sailors have a peculiar way of communication. Learning a few basic terms can help you communicate with the crew and others on board easily. Sailor terminology can also come in handy when trying to communicate with other yachts or boats. Here are a few words you can start getting the hang of!
Bow & Stern– The front-facing side of the yacht is its bow, and the backside is known as the stern.
Starboard & Port– Defining left and right when you are in open waters may get difficult, so starboard and port are the terms! When you stand facing the bow, the side of the yacht to your right is starboard, and that to your left is port.
Windward & Leeward– Windward is the direction the wind is blowing in and Lee or Leeward is the direction opposite to the wind.
Understand Right Of Way
Imagine the roads without any traffic rules! To avoid the waters from turning into a traffic nightmare, there are certain traffic laws you are expected to follow.
Starboard over Port: When at sea, if you come across another vehicle the one on the Starboard track has the right of way over that on the Port track.
Leeward over Windward: A yacht going Leeward has the right of way over the one going Windward.
Larger over smaller: In most cases, a larger boat or yacht has the right of way over a smaller one
In general, use your common sense and the safety of all onboard your and others at sea. Keeping that in mind, make decisions for that would be the best for both parties. If this sounds intimidating, there’s always waters with less traffic where you could sail in peace!