Sailing Safety

Why Sailing Safety

Sailing is one of the most fun things you can do on a boat, but it can also be one of the most dangerous. While it’s important to always have a life jacket and flares on board, there are other steps that boaters should take to make sure they’re safe at all times. The following Safety tips will help you sail Safely:

Sailing Safety - Virgin Island Sailing School

have a reliable radio on board

  • A reliable radio is an essential tool for any sailor, as it can be used in a variety of ways. For example:
  • If you’re in distress and need help, you can use the radio to call for help.
  • You can get weather updates from the National Weather Service or other sources that use NOAA weather radios.
  • You can use your ship-to-shore radio to check in with other boats nearby so that everyone knows where each other is at all times, especially if there are bad weather conditions or visibility problems—which are common when sailing on open water!

always have a life jacket for all ages on board

In many countries, life jackets are mandatory for everyone on board. Even in places where they aren’t legally required, you should still have a life jacket for each person on board the boat. The United States Coast Guard recommends that people wear a USCG-approved PFD at all times when sailing—even if it is just going from the dock to your anchor spot in the middle of an otherwise placid lake or bay.

Life jackets are designed to keep you afloat and help you stay face up in water so that you can breathe comfortably until help arrives. They should fit properly, but sizing varies based on several factors including age, height and weight (both yours and the person wearing it). Some jackets have adjustable straps so that they can grow with your child as he or she gets bigger; others come with different sizes available at purchase time so that they will fit correctly immediately (and be ready next year too). Fitting instructions are usually included with each jacket type; if not contact either the manufacturer directly or an expert at your local marine store who can assist with fitting questions over time as needed…

safety has flares and other signal devices available

Having flares and other signal devices, like a mirror or a whistle, readily available on board your boat is important. Don’t forget to have a reliable radio as well.

avoid boating when storms are predicted

  • In storms, thunder and lightning can strike without warning.
  • Storms can be very dangerous. They are unpredictable and can turn boats over, overturn vehicles on land and cause flash floods. If a storm is predicted for your area, avoid boating until the danger is over.

be aware of your location and that of nearby coastlines

  • Know the weather conditions and how they will affect your route.
  • Know what kind of boat you are on.
  • Know what kind of equipment you have on board.
  • Know the location of nearby coastlines, and how to identify them when visibility is poor or when you are in a fog bank or “whiteout” situation (i.e., no reference points).
  • Know where you are going:
  • Where does your compass point? Is it pointing north or west? (Find out by comparing it with another compass.) If so, then continue sailing until there is no land in sight; then turn around and head back toward shore again!

don’t boat when intoxicated

  • Don’t drink alcohol before you go sailing.
  • Don’t drink alcohol while you are sailing.
  • Don’t drink alcohol after you get back to shore.
  • And don’t do it at all if you are under the age of 21!

Never let safety out of your sight when you are sailing.

Never let safety out of your sight when you are sailing.

Safety should always be at the forefront of your mind. It is an important part of sailing, and one that is shared by both skipper and crew. Of course, you will have a dedicated safety equipment checklist, which is covered in another article on this site. But safety goes beyond simply making sure your lifejackets are up-to-date with all relevant information on them (which they should be). Safety also requires planning ahead for potential situations that may occur while sailing: storms, tidal streams or rapids; changes in tide or wind direction; lost anchors/lines; finding safe moorings for night time; dealing with mechanical issues like generators breaking down unexpectedly… The list goes on!

But the most important thing about being safe? You must never become complacent about it!


We hope you found this article helpful. Never let safety out of your sight when you are Sailing, and always be prepared for any situation that might arise.


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