Check out this awesome video of a perfect day of sailing in the Caribbean. This was recorded all in one day during a voyage from Bequia to Union Island in the Grenadines. Not only are there shots of handling the boat, but there are scenes on the beach and even some underwater shots from diving at Petit Tabac (a gorgeous little island that was a film location for Pirates of the Caribbean!). There are also some shots of fishing. This is about as good as it gets. Fantastic scenery, perfect weather for sailing, and great company!
The process of purchasing a sailboat can be an arduous one and it requires a bit of an education to make sure you get one that is right for you. Below are some tips to make the process go smoother.
Unfortunately, you can’t just buy one sailboat for all types of water so you need to think hard about where you plan on doing your sailing. Only some sailing vessels can be used on the open ocean and they tend to be much more expensive. If you aren’t planning to circumnavigate the globe and you plan on using your boat on lakes or in coastal waters, you are in luck because that is the situation for which most are designed.
You also need to look at how many people will be using the boat. If you aren’t planning on large groups then a smaller boat is probably going to be right for you. Smaller boats cost less and they are also easier to handle, which is great for beginners.
To further cut costs you may want to consider a used sailboat. Buying used can save you thousands of dollars. Often, the previous owner will have installed some extras that you won’t have to pay for when you take the boat off of his hands. On the other hand, if the boat is ten or more years old there may be some things that need replacing. You would be wise to update the instruments as they are very important for your safety.
You would be well advised to have an expert inspect a used boat before you buy. Sometimes there can be rot in a boat that is not readily observed by the untrained eye. For example, a fiberglass deck that looks perfectly fine will often have wood underneath as a brace. If water gets under the fiberglass the wood can rot and be quite invisible.
Owning a sail boat can be a wonderful adventure for you and your family and we wish you the best throughout the purchasing process!
Sailing is a wonderful sport and hobby that can be very fulfilling for you and your family. Whether you are day sailing or just taking a quick cruise there are some important things to consider. Below are some tips to make your sailing experience the best it can possibly be.
First of all, make sure you are taking the right clothing. Make sure you include a foul weather jacket no matter what the weather looks like when you go out. Weather can change quickly and nothing is more miserable than not being prepared. Besides that, a quick soaking from splash, or spray from a wave can turn pleasant weather into cold weather for you rather quickly! It’s also a good idea to bring a complete change of clothes just for that reason.
You may also want to bring some kind of a waterproof grab bag to hold valuable things like your wallet, car keys, cell phone, etc. That way if there is an emergency and you need to get off the boat quickly, you will have all of those essential items within reach and protected.
We also encourage you to carry a knife on your person while sailing. If your boat should capsize, sailing rigging can entangle you below the water. Many boaters have drowned in this situation, so it is important to have something on hand that can cut you free. Keep in mind that a knife won’t do you any good tucked away in a bag somewhere. You need to carry it with you, preferably clipped to your waist somehow.
Wrist strength is also very important to a sailor and it is a good idea to work on it. A sailer uses his or her wrists to raise sails, lower the anchor, brace yourself when coming about and the list goes on. Try using a racket ball or tennis ball to help with your exercise. Squeeze and hold it for ten seconds and release. Do several sets of this throughout the day and you will find that you can greatly reduce your chance of wrist injury while sailing.
Don’t forget to pay attention to the weather! Many marine stereos will let you tune into NOAA weather channels so that you can stay informed as to current local conditions. Weather is even more important to sailors than other boaters because the wind conditions and direction are so critical. You don’t want to find yourself out from shore with a strong wind blowing away from your destination. You may find it difficult to get back.
Learning to use an anchor properly is often overlooked, but it is a critical skill for a sailor. A sailboat will not stop on a dime and sometimes an anchor is your best bet for avoiding a collision. Make sure your anchor is available and that you can get to it within 10 seconds. It’s also important to keep it maintained properly. A tangled rope won’t do you much good!
Don’t forget to inspect your boat before you launch. Make sure everything is in proper working order when you are in a position to do something about it. Emergencies and accidents often happen due to failures of important equipment.
It’s important to remember that electronic equipment such as GPS or chart plotters aren’t always 100% reliable. It is a good idea to have a paper chart on hand as a backup, just in case your plotter fails. The kind of chart you need depends on the type of sailing you are doing.
Last, but not lease, we encourage you to practice and learn about the craft of sailing. Try practicing maneuvers close to shore. You might throw a fender overboard and practice retrieving it. That will help you develop important sailing skills. Practice makes perfect, as they say. It is equally important to read up on the subject. Get to know the equipment and how to handle many different types of sailing craft so you will always be ready.