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“You yourself rudder, sailor, ship” – what skills are useful for an independent yacht expedition?

What do you need to be able to do and know before going on a solo yacht trip? We answer!

Going on a yacht trip on your own is a great adventure, but you should prepare for it properly – both theoretically and practically. Here’s what you should know before setting sail!

Practice makes perfect!

Let’s start with the fact that a person who has only been on board a ship for the first time in his life should not go on a solo yacht trip. After all, even the most innocuous-looking voyage can quickly turn into an extremely demanding voyage, especially if you neglect or – even worse – completely skip any of the arch-important practical skills.

First and foremost, before embarking on a yacht expedition, it is essential to have at least a good grasp of the various types of work on board, as well as the safe operation of the vessel. Necessary skills will include rigging and clarifying the yacht, operating the sails, outboard engine and equipment on board, knowing how to moor the yacht or (always a useful skill at sea) rowing. One should also not forget the important skill of preparing the ship for sailing on more demanding sections of the route or during adverse weather conditions.

The function of the ship’s petty officer is familiar to virtually everyone, so it should come as no surprise that petty officer jobs should be mastered before a cruise. These include the ability to check the technical condition of a sailing yacht and make basic repairs to fittings and equipment. A good petty officer must also be able to tie basic sailing knots.

A solo sailing yacht trip, moreover, involves performing a variety of maneuvers. Among the basic ones are departure from the quay, approaching the quay or the so-called “man overboard” alarm. After mastering the aforementioned maneuvers, it is worth additionally enriching your skills with towing a single yacht, approaching a buoy and departing from a buoy.

Don’t forget about theory

At the same time as acquiring new skills, it is good to expand your theoretical knowledge of sailing. It will help to consolidate the relevant information when it comes to the operation of the yacht, which in practice will certainly affect the rapid response even to sudden and unexpected events.

The first sub-point to focus on is, of course, news about sailing yachts, their equipment and operation. First of all, let’s pay attention to the types of yachts, as well as their division by construction and operation. By the way, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to take some time to read sailing regulations or familiarize yourself with marine locality and elements of water rescue. Although book knowledge may seem useless in real life, it has sometimes helped sailing enthusiasts.

In addition, the theory of sailing (stability and buoyancy of the yacht, leeward and windward of the yacht, courses of the yacht in relation to the wind) will prove to be extremely important, which can be expanded by two other issues – the theory of maneuvering and meteorological knowledge. It is a good knowledge of how to steer a yacht, combined with extensive wind information, that can be key factors in determining the comfort and safety of a water journey.

main photo: unsplash.com/Ian Keefe

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