First Time Sailors Fear Naught! Tips for Your Inaugural Boating Holiday

by Guest Contributor

12 June, 2018

It’s easy to understand why sailing has become more and more popular in recent years. The focus required to control the boat and the feeling of freedom on the open ocean are just two reasons why people return time and again to the high seas. For first-timers, a few days at sea might seem like an unnerving way to spend a holiday. Yet, with a little forward planning, preparation and sense of adventure, anyone can grasp the art of sailing and enjoy a holiday at sea.

1. Keep it light

Unless you are travelling on a super yacht, bear in mind that cabin space is usually extremely tight. Only pack the absolute essentials to avoid clogging up limited walkway space with unnecessary items. It’s also worth using a holdall or rucksack rather than a hard suitcase, as they can be folded away once you have unpacked.

2. Stay protected

The idea of sitting on the top deck with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair is probably the reason you decided to book your sailing holiday in the first place. However, being at sea does not mean you can forget to respect the sun and protect your skin. In fact, the reflection of the rays on the water intensifies the potential for sunburn and all it takes is a cooling sea breeze for you to forget your SPF and get a serious burn. Stay vigilant and make sure you bring enough sun cream, and a sun hat, after all – you want to make sure the is trip is memorable for the right reasons!

3. Plan for the worst

Noah Silliman / Unsplash

Noah Sillman / Unsplash

Whilst it’s important to only pack the essentials and be wary of the sun, you should be making room for inclement weather essentials too. Even if the forecast is sunny, things can quickly change at sea and to enjoy sailing in all conditions you’ll need waterproofs to protect you. Brands like Musto and Helly Hanson have sailing clothes with moisture wicking base layers and warm inner linings to keep you cosy and dry. Then you can enjoy the seriously exhilarating experience sailing in stormy waters without getting cold and miserable.

4. Keep your sea legs

Taking to the water can gives you a way to switch off from life’s stresses, and simply connect with nature. Although, if it’s your first time staying on a boat, you could end up feeling a little woozy. Make sure you have seasickness pills on hand just in case, so that if you do feel unwell, it doesn’t spoil your relaxed vibe. As well as the medication, try standing on the top deck and focussing on the horizon to restore your balance; spending long amounts of time in the cabin can exacerbate seasickness symptoms.

5. Don’t go sparko

Whilst a sailing trip is a wonderful opportunity to disconnect from your everyday life for a few days, you may want to bring your phone and other electronic goods on your trip. Remember that it can often be tricky to find a plug socket on board. If possible, bring battery powered chargers for electrical items to ensure that you can use them on your trip. If you are likely to have your phone on you whilst on deck, investing in a waterproof case is a clever idea too. Sailing is a truly unique experience and a fantastic way to see the world so once you have prepared for your first sailing trip, the only thing left to do is relax and enjoy yourself!

Read more from Ed at