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Things to Consider Before Going For Your First Sail

Updated: Aug 19, 2023

We all know that sailing is the best sport on earth. It's fun, we can go as fast or as slow as we want, we make new friends, and we learn new knots! When you're first learning to sail, though, it's important to remember a few key things before you head out on your lonesome..


First, what to wear. You'll want to make sure you're dressed appropriately for the weather. For example: if it's going to be cold out, bring extra layers of clothes and waterproof shoes or boots in case you step on deck or get splashed by a wave. If it's going to be hot out (and humid), make sure your sunscreen has SPF 30+.

It's also important to bring along rain gear in case of inclement weather, even if it looks sunny when you leave the house.

Communication devices

Second, bring along communication devices like a VHF radio or a mobile phone kept in a waterproof pouch so that if you do get lost at sea or hurt on land (or any other situation where you need help), you can call for help.

If you plan to take a VHF radio with you on your trip, make sure it's fully charged and in working order before heading out.

Life jacket or PFD

Finally, don't forget the life jacket! Life jackets differ from PFDs in that they are designed to turn an unconscious person onto their back and support their neck so that they can breathe.

Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) do not generally offer the same level of protection as lifejackets in terms of turning the unconscious person onto their back. They are definitely better than nothing and are also required by law, so make sure you take yours with you - it's not worth taking any chances with your safety.

Some questions to ask yourself:

Does someone know where I am and what time I will be back? This is probably the most important thing to think about when going out on your first sail. Make sure you have a friend or family member who knows where you are going and when they can expect to hear from you again. If they don't hear from you, they should know who to call (or who should be called if something goes wrong).

Have I packed food and water? This is always an essential thing to pack when going away from home—especially if it's just for a few hours! You might not realize how hungry or thirsty you are until it's too late, so make sure that if anything happens during your trip (like an unexpected storm, or you lose the rudder), then at least one person will be prepared for it.

After all that...

If you're still new to sailing, we recommend taking along a friend who has some experience. If that's not an option, there are plenty of resources available online (like our website) that can help get you started. The main point is, have safe!


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