Six Tips For Your First Sailing Trip

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From building your fitness and learning new skills to marvelling at beautiful ocean scenery, a sailing trip has so many benefits to offer. And there’s no better way to get a taste of the freedom sailing offers than to set off on your very own sailing trip.

But if you’ve never sailed before, where should you start?

Here are six tips for your first sailing trip.

Consider your options

If you’re a complete novice, then you’ll need a skippered charter. This lets you experience the thrill of sailing under the guidance of a qualified skipper, who’ll be responsible for your safety.

Alternatively, you can sail in a group of yachts on a flotilla sailing holiday. Again, you’ll be under the guidance of qualified skippers, but you’ll also have the opportunity to socialise with fellow sailors and visit a new location every day.

Choose your destination

There are so many great locations for novice sailors to take their first trip. The Amalfi coast lets you catch plenty of sunshine and enjoy Mediterranean cuisine. Or if you still aren’t sure if sailing is for you, you can dip your toes in closer to home on a daytrip in Cornwall.

Make sure you can swim

Before setting foot on a boat deck, it’s vital you know the basics of swimming. This may sound like a statement of the obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people try sailing without knowing how to swim. Needless to say, this skill could mean the difference between life and death if you go overboard. You don’t need to have the swimming skills of a professional athlete, but you should at the very least learn how to float and perform the most basic swimming strokes.

Stay safe

You need to make sure you have all the fundamental safety equipment when you go sailing. Without a doubt, the life jacket is the most important piece of kit, so you and everyone else on board should know how to fit and use one correctly.

It’s also important that your boat is fully stocked with essential supplies in case something goes wrong out at sea. You should have plenty of spare food and water stashed away. You should also keep a full first aid kit and learn the basics of how to use it.

Do your research

Always do your research before setting sail, regardless of how much experience you have and who else is on board. Always do your research, regardless of how much experience you have.

Get detailed charts of the local area, plot out your course and familiarise yourself with any hazards. You should also check the weather conditions on the morning of your trip and make a well-informed decision on the best time for sailing.

Plan your activities

Spending time out at sea isn’t just about navigating and hoisting sails. You’ll need to be prepared for some things to do during the downtime on your trip. Consider carrying some board games and cards so you can have some fun with your fellow sailors. You should also have plenty of opportunity to enjoy water sports, so consider renting a paddleboard or kayak when you’re closer to shore.

When it’s your first time, planning a sailing trip can seem complicated. But you can make it much simpler by following the six tips above.

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