50 Tips That Will Make Your Sailing Holidays Safer and More Enjoyable
Vacation time is undoubtedly an important part of our lives, and all sailors should be aware of the joys and hazards of cruising Greek islands with Kavas Yachting
Just because most of us get this opportunity only a few weeks every year, one could say holidays are sacred and nothing should go wrong as we should be careful:
- To not find ourselves in danger.
- To avoid injuries.
- And to not lose our security deposit for the yacht charter.
For these reasons, we have prepared 50 GOLD TIPS, presented below for carefree sailing vacations!
SAFE BOATING WEATHER
Optimizing the sail of a sailboat is essential to avoid straining the rigging excessively, which could jeopardize the integrity of the vessel and result in serious injury to the crew.
1. Have installed an application on phone (for free or at a minimal cost), which informs us of the weather, eg Windy (download here: Windy for iPhone, Windy for Android)
2. Do not sail out under strong wind conditions, so as not to expose the crew to danger.
3. Always reef our sails when the wind gets stronger so that the sail pressure remains within reasonable limits:
- 1 reef, as the wind builds to 15 knots
- 2 reefs, as the wind builds to 20 knots
- 3 reefs, as the wind builds to 25 knots
- Bare poles, over 35 knots
SAILING SAFETY TIPS
4. Have a navigation application installed on phone, such as Navionics.
5. Always maneuver around the harbor with the right speed, having the crew standing by the guard wires, ready to step in by moving the fenders as necessary for protection.
6. Move very carefully around the deck.
7. Keep an eye on any crew member moving around the deck when waves are strong.
8. During the trip, especially when using the autopilot, ALL crew members continuously check the horizon for other vessels, or floating objects.
9. The crew avoids the consumption of alcohol while the skipper does so altogether. Alcotests are carried out at sea, with severe consequences.
10. Avoid sailing after sunset.
COMMON SAILING INJURIES and HOW to PREVENT them
11. Before sailing out, Check the location of the pharmacy box on board and make sure it is properly stocked.
12. Do not walk barefoot around the deck.
13. Watch out for the boom when we change tack/ gybe.
14. Handle the winches with care, so we do not injure our fingers.
15. Keep a safe distance from the anchor chain when handling the control.
16. Climb down the steps from the cockpit into the salon, carefully.
FIRE PREVENTION ON BOATS
17. Before sailing out check the position of our fire extinguishers on board.
18. Avoid cooking at sea, especially in strong waves.
19. Always turn off the gas supply when not in use.
20. It is forbidden to smoke inside the boat.
21. Make sure you are informed about the morphology of the seafloor when approaching the shores.
22. Anchor at depths less than 20m, with an extended chain at least 4 times the depth.
23. When anchored on a rocky bottom, make sure to tie an anchor retriever to the anchor chain.
24. In the event that the anchor is difficult to break loose or stuck under a rock, do not insist.
Apply another method of hauling.
25. When sail out from a harbor or bay, retrieve the anchor by always following the initial course of chaining.
26. During overnight stays, the masthead light is on.
27. Using an app that monitors and alerts you about the movement of your anchored boat: Anchor alarm for Android - Anchor alarm for IOS.
SUN PROTECTION ADVICE
28. Always wear a hat and sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF).
Excessive exposure to the sun may cause sun burns and even skin cancer.
The lighter the skin tone, the greater the risk.
29. Try to not expose yourself to the sun's rays for more than half an hour each day, especially between 12:00 and 16:00.
PROPELLER ISSUES WHILE SAILING
30. Plastic bags that float on your way may stop our propeller or worse, shut off the water supply to the engine.
This will cause the engine temperature to rise sharply, so you must shut it off immediately!
31. Before turning on the engine, make sure that there are no ropes in the water with the risk of getting caught in your propeller.
32. Before departure, make sure that all items inside the boat are secured and that the dinghy is tightly attached to the deck (do not drag it behind while you are sailing).
You wouldn’t want to break a laptop, or the boat flashlight, or destroy the drawer with the cutlery as soon as the boat suddenly gets a steep tilt.
33. Make sure to continuously fasten the line of the mainsheet as it loosens due to change of track, throughout the gybing.
34. While the engine is set on reverse ('going astern') you should always hold the wheel, in order to avoid the wheel spinning in the wrong direction and cause the boat to hit something you did not wish to hit.
35. When beating to windward, do not let the sails wobble in the air.
36. Do not throw toilet paper in the WC basin, but rather in a small bag or bin next to it.
37. Keep the gangway at a safe distance from the dock when the boat is tied.
During the voyage, make sure that it will not come loose, but will remain secured in an upright position.
38. Cross the waves vertically at a speed that gives time to the bow to descend smoothly to the surface of the sea.
39.Take the outboard to the dinghy, having it always attached to the boat with a fine rope, so if lose it, it will stay out of the water.
40. Close all the hatches during the trip, regardless of the weather conditions, so they are not destroyed by the jib sail, and no water gets into the cabins.
41. Do not leave exterior cushions or towels spread out when you are not on board.
They are very likely to get blown away by the wind.
42. Store away the fenders every time you sail out.
HELP / RESPECT
43. Always help anyone trying to dock and if this happens next to you, call one or two members of our crew to the guard wires until the process is complete.
44. Do not bring plastic bags to the cockpit. It is likely that they will be dragged by the wind and cause problems to other vessels.
45. Do not throw kitchen or toilet wastes in a harbor or in a bay where other boats are moored.
46. Do not swim with a full stomach.
47. Always have a switchblade (knife with a folding blade) in your pocket.
48. Always have a thin rope in your pocket or paracord bracelet around your wrist, about 3m long.
As long as it not needed, it can train the crew on naval knots.
49. Make sure to give your holidays a fun twist, by:
- watching a play at an ancient Greek theater,
- a movie at a summer open cinema, or even by:
- visiting a Greek winery.
50. By renting a car, and without breaking the bank, you get to know the Greek islands "from within"!