Yachting is a rather serious hobby that tends to develop into a lifestyle. And, before embarking on a sea adventure, you should seriously prepare. In this article, yachtswoman Egle gives some important advice to aspiring sailors. Egle lives on a yacht with her husband Nick, and the two have crossed the Atlantic more than once. So it was decided. You sell all the property you have acquired and move [...]
Yachting is a rather serious hobby that tends to develop into a lifestyle. And, before embarking on a sea adventure, you should seriously prepare.
In this article yachtswoman Egle gives some important advice for aspiring sailors. Egle lives on a yacht with her husband Nick, and the two have crossed the Atlantic more than once.
So it was decided. You sell all your possessions and move to a boat... Or you will go on a cruise at every opportunity - for several days, weeks, or even months. But as soon as the excitement of having such a delightful idea dies down, you start thinking.
And immediately a lot of questions arise, for example, where to start? How to Prepare? What else do I need to know? Why did I decide that life on a boat is for me?
Recently in a yachting group I read some good advice on how to how to prepare for life on a sailboat:
“Take the trash can and stand at three in the morning in the middle of the sprinkler in a dirty sweaty jacket. Take a shower every three days, and use no more than eight liters of water. Turn off the refrigerator, get up every hour at night to look out the window. Take a ride six times in front of the house before choosing a parking spot. It will be a good training session for life under sail! ”
Perhaps it sounded too harsh. However, whether you are planning to travel on a yacht with your family, best friend or on your own; or you are just starting a career as a sea captain; there are things to consider for both women and men before sailing for more than a day.
1. Reduce the number of things
Imagine moving from your huge, climate-controlled home to a small piece of land. And this piece also moves! And you constantly bump into each other and your things. Convenient, huh?
If you believe that you can survive it painlessly, then it is likely that you will take root on the yacht. But first, consider a few tips:
- Stop buying. Home decorations and garden furniture from Ikea won't fit into your 42 feet. You will definitely not need fashionable dresses, shoes and accessories. Depending on the area where you will be sailing, all you can wear is shorts and a T-shirt. Or overalls for difficult weather conditions. And remember: the less loaded the yacht, the easier it is to steer.
- Switch to e-books instead of paper ones. By the way, there are also waterproof models. On the other hand, you will need paper navigation charts in case the electronics fail.
- All of your kitchen equipment should fit in one cupboard. Yes, absolutely everything, even a hefty juicer that you used only once! If everything you need does not fit, it would be nice to buy folding tableware set - this will save a lot of space and unload the galley. Besides, non-stick pans require much less water for cleaning, which saves on the energy that the desalination plant consumes.
- Get used to less makeup. All you need is toothpaste, sunscreen, shampoo, and coconut oil for your skin. Of course, you may want more. But it won't fit into the size of your shower and, most likely, into your daily routine.
- To get rid of things, you will have to spend a lot of time. Place offers for sale on message boards, in special groups in social networks, regional newspapers. The money you earn will surely come in handy if something on the yacht suddenly goes out of order. What you can't sell - donate to charity. Of course, you can rent storage space for these things, but in reality, you are unlikely to ever need them again.
In short, imagine that you have to fit everything you need for life - bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, dressing room - in one suitcase.
2. Master new skills
Remember - if you don't have a couple of million dollars in your bank account, you need to make a living somehow. And if the current job cannot be done remotely, you should think about acquiring new skills before leaving:
- Learn to sew, knit, or other handicrafts. Good sewing skills can be especially useful at sea. On a yacht, you can sew a lot of useful things: winch covers, scoops, pillow covers, cosmetic bags, sail covers and so on, not to mention repairing your own sails. If you can do it yourself, then you will save tons of money. If you start doing for others, you will earn yourself some bread and butter. Alternatively, you can teach others how to sew or knit.
- Or you can try something completely different. For example, edit video for blog. Some sailors who live at sea start a blog on Youtube and thus earn a living. Perhaps you will become the next YouTube star? Even if you don't want to edit videos for yourself, you can become a freelancer and offer this service to other people. The same goes for your other hobbies.
- Depending on the region where you plan to travel, think about learning a languageto make it easier for yourself to communicate with the locals.
- Develop your mechanical and electrical skills. This will require diesel engine maintenance courses, boat engine maintenance courses, electrical basics, and any plumbing courses. Also learn about the different types of power tools and how to use them. Additionally, learn to do a little carpentry. And you will become so helpful that you will receive tons of different invitations even before you step on board your boat! There is always a lot of work on yachts. But that doesn't stop.
3. Learn new culinary skills
You see, you won't be able to visit the nearest store to buy even milk and bread in the middle of the ocean. Most likely, you will have shopping once a month. That's why will have to learn how to cook from what is!
- Cook with a limited amount of dishes Is a useful skill for the future yachting life. To conserve water for washing, try to cook everything in one pan.
- Learn a few recipes for your pressure cooker or multicooker - they will come in handy in difficult weather conditions.
- Skill in marinating fish, meat, vegetables and eggs priceless in the middle of the ocean. After all, it is a pity to throw away food, and there may not be enough space for everything in the freezer. Or even the freezer itself will not be.
- Study the question carefully placing and storing food on the yacht.
- Learn to bake bread, as you won't be able to buy it for a long time.
- If you spend a lot of time in the arms of a coffee machine, it's time to learn how to make coffee on a yacht.
4. Start home workouts
Naturally, this is not a treadmill. Think yoga, Pilates, balance exercises, pull-ups, push-ups, squats, planks, light weight exercises. By the way, how are you doing with swimming? Even good swimmers have a lot to work on. This is another way to build up your strength, stamina and endurance.
Come up with yourself "Mobile training"that does not require a lot of space or equipment. You definitely need to keep in good shape on the yacht. When training at home or at sea, keep in mind four rules that are equally important no matter what you do:
- Don't skip the warm-up. You don't want to hurt yourself, being in the middle of the sea, or anywhere else? To get started, run, jump to warm up the joints and muscles.
- Do the exercises correctly. If you've just seen a cool asana on YouTube, please don't try to repeat it yourself! I highly recommend finding a professional coach first before leaving and learning how to do it right. Do not leave this point until the last moment - it can take about a year before you learn how to do the exercises correctly.
- Stretch after exercise. This will help reduce the risk of sore throat and help you relax.
- Remember to drink water. Especially if you are doing cardio workout in hot climates - a bottle of water should be at hand.
5. Master sailing
Yes, before going on a trip, you need to learn how to sail!
- Start by reading special literature.
- Subscribe to YouTube channels on yachting. Personal blogs for yachtsmen and professional yachting blogs with reviews and instructional videos will come in handy.
- Subscribe to thematic communities in social networks. By the way, if you are fluent in foreign languages (or at least English), do not neglect the opportunity to communicate with foreign like-minded people.
- Listen to podcasts... It is very convenient to turn on an interesting recording during homework or playing sports, on the way to work - this way you will kill two birds with one stone.
- At every convenient opportunity practice... Even if the boat is far from your ideal, the experience gained is invaluable. The more you are in the marine environment, the more knowledge and skills you get, which in the future will help you choose your yacht and cope with the difficulties of your first independent cruise.
- Sign up for sailing school. Actually, this is the fastest and most reliable way to master the wisdom of yachting. An experienced instructor will explain all the nuances, correct mistakes along the way, and suggest the best solutions in each situation. In addition, here you will learn the VHF radio operator course, which will allow you to safely enter any marina. By the way, in some countries without such a certificate you will be denied renting a yacht.
- You have local yacht club? Join us! Most yacht clubs have a huge library of books and magazines, as well as weekly fees. You will meet good people and be able to take part in local regattas.
- Try to work on a yacht... If you are looking for a superyacht, then you will need a special license. Although the work itself will most likely consist of cleaning the premises and delivering champagne. Alas, a beginner can hardly count on the captain's bridge, but your goal is to look at the system from the inside, get used to being on board for a long time and observe the work of professionals.
So don't wait, follow your dream!
There are tons of ways to go to sea without even having your own boat.
6. Learn to read weather forecasts and navigational charts
When it comes to weather, it all depends on which part of the world you are in - each region uses different radars and models, so there are always different maps, websites and apps. For example, Windy.com is for the US and Europe, Swellmap.com is for the UK.
Learning to read navigational maps is just as important as knowing the traffic signs as you drive down a busy street during rush hour.
7. Learn to knit basic sea knots
The first step is to learn how to tie a bowline behind your back. And then - just bury yourself in this endless tangle! Learn how to knit the most popular seven sea knots, you can from this video.
8. Plan your actions in advance in case of an emergency on the water.
Of course, life jackets, rails and circles are very important, but I'm talking about something else now. Even if science says boating is good for your health, it's time to start thinking about your well-being before your foot touches the deck.
- If possible, take an emergency medical course... Learn to cope with the most common emergencies in the sea, such as hypothermia.
- Think about your condition and the health problems of your future team - if something happens, can you cope?
- Find out if you need additional vaccinations for the region where you will be selling. Some vaccines are given more than once, so don't delay until the last so you don't have to reschedule your plans later.
- And since we started talking about it. In advance get a medical check-up, visit your optometrist and dentist.
9. Keep an eye on the surrounding yachts to know exactly which one you need when you are ready
To this end, you can visit boat shows, monitor offers on online sites, and consult with more experienced yachtsmen. If you are completely vague about what you need, the following exercise will help.
Take a notebook and compose list of characteristicsthat your ideal yacht should have:
- How long should it be?
- How many buildings will it have?
- What budget can you set aside for purchasing and regular maintenance?
- What should be inside: how many sleeping places you need, whether you need a place for a washing machine or refrigerator, and so on.
So you get approximate yacht description, which suits you as much as possible, which will reduce the search to at least a dozen models.
10. Become Fanatically Clean and Tidy
Without daily cleaning, boats start to smell very unpleasant. First thing learn to fight mold... But do not overdo it with special products - some of them are dangerous to people and the environment. In general, environmental organizations advise avoiding products that contain the following substances:
- Ammonia - toxic if inhaled, swallowed, touched. Potentially fatal when combined with other chemicals.
- Antibacterial and disinfectants - contain a whole list of ingredients, from bleach to triclosan. Overuse of these types of agents can contribute to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
- Butyl glycol, ethylene glycol, monobutyl - very often found in most cleaning products, they are dangerous for the kidneys, liver and nervous system.
- Chlorine bleach - extremely strong, corrosive, potentially hazardous to eyes, skin and lungs. Doctors consider chlorine fumes to be oncogenic.
- Petroleum solvents - commonly found in many cleaning products as surfactants (surfactant, responsible for the formation of foam). Other derivatives, such as formaldehyde, can be found in a wide variety of household cleaning products.
- Phosphates - hazardous to aquatic life, often found in detergents, including dishwashing gel.
- Phthalates - salts and esters of phthalic acid. Some of their varieties are dangerous to health, because they can mimic estrogen, which leads to hormonal disruptions in the body. Their connection with the development of cancer and asthma has been proven. Phthalates are often disguised as “flavoring” or “fragrance” in various products.
Sounds creepy, right? However, specially for the needs of cruisers there is eco-friendly cleaning productswhich can be ordered at Amazon:
- Thetford Boat Wash by Wolf's Marine - a multifunctional product that removes even tough dirt such as silt, road film, dried insects or bird droppings.
- Concrobium - 100 % natural mold repellent, absolutely safe for people, animals and plants. It not only removes the fungus, but also prevents its appearance.
- Meguiar's Marine / RV Boat Wash - dishwashing detergent, safely removes scale, soot, dirt.
- Shurhold Yacht Bright Wash - for fiberglass, clear coatings, metal, rubber and painted surfaces.
You can also get a little confused and prepare homemade cleaning products based on soda, vinegar, mustard and other inexpensive ingredients available. There are a lot of recipes on home economics sites, you can easily find and apply the ones you need.
Washing ends - this is another story altogether. At first, it may seem like the easiest way to put them in the washing machine. But that's only if you have a couple of days off to unravel them.
Of course, yachting life is not for everyone. But when you still dare to take this step, overcome the difficulties on the path of a novice yachtsman, you will be rewarded with interest. Nowhere else will you see such exciting sunsets and sunrises as in the open sea, you will not feel the unity with two elements at once - water and wind. Seven feet under the keel!
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