Strong wind, squawking seagulls above your head, saline water all around and the delightful rocking of the sea around the clock. Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it? Either you’re an impulsive, living on the edge adventurer, or a peaceful soul seeking recovery and contact with nature — sailing is a multidimensional way of spending your vacation and get to know yourself better.
Regardless of your attitude and intentions, sailing trip is also a huge challenge — both in terms of physical and mental strength. It’s a one-of-a-kind, unforgettable experience worth every second of your careful planning.
You’re not sure if it’s a kind for recreation right for you? Or you have the very first voyage in the sea ahead of you, but you don’t really know where to start? Whether you’re planning sailing in Greece or in Northern Germany the basic rules are the same. To make the first boat ride preparation easier for you, we prepared a list of what to focus on foremost!
Planning the sailing trip budget may be tricky. There are many not so obvious costs to pay attention to. Making financial decisions for the trip as soon as possible will save you lots of stress and help you catch up possible shortfalls.
- Insurance Costs
Insurance is not the first aspect that pops up in our mind while thinking about vacation. And yet, it’s an extremely important thing to include to our sailing budget planning.
Make sure what exactly your chosen boat charting company’s default insurance package includes. Two of the most basic sailing related insurance terms are charter deposit insurance and charter skipper liability.
Charter skipper liability insurance is usually not included in the standard insurance packages. It’s more of a contract between you and a hired skipper. Such a contract releases you from potential costs of damage made by the skipper.
- Yachtsman’s Wardrobe
Clothes sound like a secondary element of planning the trip of the year. And yet, they’re necessary to make you feel fully comfortable in the extreme conditions of sailing.
The keyword for choosing pieces of your sailor’s wardrobe is waterproof.
Checking the weather forecast systematically may be helpful to imagine more or less what weather conditions are in the country or region we’re heading to.
And that would be it.
Weather, especially far outside cities, is unpredictable and Neptun can be really merciless. Provide your crew and yourself with solid, excellent quality clothes for sailing sports. You can find professional waterproof overalls and jackets adapted to different degrees of your sports skills and the local environment’s challenges.
Don’t risk wearing sandals or flip-flops on board. Choose solid, preferably rubber, closed-toe shoes. It’s extremely easy to slip on a moving boat and get seriously injured. Why provoke such situations with our thoughtlessness and inappropriate footwear?
Another necessary thing are waterproof sacks — all your clothes and technology should be wrapped up in them. There’re very little sadder things than wanting to change your soaking wet clothes and discovering that the rest of them got wet in a rainstorm, as well.
The water-resistance of clothes degrades over time. To help them last as long as possible, though, we can recommend you using clothes impregnants. It’s a special detergent you wash your clothes with — nothing complicated and will preserve your sailor’s wardrobe for years!
Collecting a solid crew is also an essential component of a successful sailing trip. Extreme ways of traveling demand a particular attitude, strength, and ability to adapt to demanding conditions. Such trips are usually tests for friendships.
That you get along well on a daily matter, doesn’t mean you’re also the best travel companions. It’s very common that suddenly when you hit the road, you just can’t stand each other. How to prevent such unpleasant situations?
- On-Board Policy
Establish specific rules that will be applying to your group of friends as the sailing crew. What’s ashore, does not apply to what’s onboard. You’re going to be a real sailing team, each of you will have a specific role and tasks to avoid conflicts and confusion. It’s all for your own safety and comfort! All of you should take the trip seriously.
- Respect Each Other’s Requirements
Obviously, there’s no time to be picky and keep complaining. But we should plan the trip regarding each other’s needs carefully. Allergies, diet preferences (e.g., vegetarian or vegan), physical and mental problems… They shouldn’t make anybody less of a great team member. Being a crew also means supporting each other. Stay empathetic towards each other, and take your time to work out all the important details together.
Remember, possible problems and medical conditions don’t have to exclude you or your friends from the trip. It may be another challenge, sure. But it’s also a precious experience that will bond you as friends and show that you really can trust each other.
- Skipper and Co-skipper
Don’t you ever take the risk of going on your first sailing ride as a single skipper! There should always be someone with documented sailing skills and experience onboard. You can either hire an independent skipper or a co-skipper to help you steer.
Always get to know a given country’s sailing regulations to avoid unpleasant surprises — including unexpected financial costs. E.g. in Greece, it’s obligatory to have a certified co-skipper on board!
Sailing trips aren’t just another kind of relaxing vacation. They can be a wonderful adventure, but also a very demanding and dangerous one.
Don’t rush things up, avoid last-minute decisions, and keep your common sense on guard. There’s no joking around when it comes to facing the elements of nature.