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Sailing safely: essential preparations before setting sail

Before you set sail and embark on the adventure, there is one crucial rule: safety is the top priority. In this article, we will highlight the essential preparations before your sailing adventure that will protect you and your crew from risks and ensure that you can fully enjoy the freedom on the water. Your safe and unforgettable sailing experience begins here.

Sailing is not just a sport, but a passion that takes us to the open waters and promises adventure and freedom. But before you set sail and feel the wind in your sails, there is one important rule to remember: safety first. In this blog post we will look at the essential preparations you should make before setting sail to ensure not only your own safety, but also that of your crew.

1. Weather Check: Your Safe Haven

The sky is your constant companion on the water. Before you set off, find out the current weather and the weather forecast for your planned route. Strong winds, thunderstorms or dense fog can quickly become dangerous. Don’t put your sense of adventure ahead of safety. PS: The pre-Alpine lakes in Switzerland are particularly known for their rapid weather changes. Also remember to protect yourself from the sun.

2. Safety equipment: your lifesaver

Ensure that the legally required safety equipment is on board. This includes life jackets for everyone on board, lifebuoys, emergency flag, horn, fire extinguisher and a first aid kit. This equipment can make all the difference in an emergency.

3. Sailboat check: It's all in the details

A thorough check of your sailboat is essential. Check for possible damage or defects, be it to the sails, rigging, rigging or rudder. Even if your boat has an engine, don't forget to check it thoroughly too.

4. Knots and lines: safety first

Nodes are the connection between you and your sailboat. Make sure all knots are securely and properly attached, especially the sail knots. A detached sail can lead to a dangerous situation.

5. Sail Trim: The Art of Perfection

The correct adjustment of your sails is crucial for the handling characteristics of your boat and the speed on the water. Make sure the sails are trimmed correctly to get the most out of your sailing adventure. Oh yes, are you ready for reefing too?

6. Navigation equipment: Stay on course

Navigation equipment is your map on the water. Make sure GPS, maps, compass and other instruments are working properly. An unexpected change of course can lead to confusion. This also applies on the lake, for example in heavy fog. That's why determining your location is always important.

7. Liferafts and lifeboats: your lifeline

If you are sailing on a larger sailboat, make sure that the life rafts or lifeboats are ready for use and that you know how to use them in an emergency. Also instruct your crew. Everyone should know where the vests are, for example.

8. Means of communication: Stay in touch

A functioning means of communication, be it a VHF radio or a cell phone, is your connection to the outside world. In an emergency, it can be crucial to call for help in good time.

9. Sailing Plan: Share your trip

Tell someone where you are sailing and when you expect to return. This simple measure not only ensures your own safety, but also allows others to look for you if you need help.

10. Swimming Skills: Basic Knowledge

Safety starts with yourself. Make sure everyone on board has basic swimming skills and knows how to use rescue equipment.

11. Emergency plan: Prepared for emergencies

An emergency plan is like a safety net. Create a plan and discuss it with your crew so that everyone knows what to do in the event of an accident or emergency situation.

12. Alcohol and drugs: a no-go at sea

Alcohol and drugs not only impair your judgment, but also your ability to react. Never consume alcohol or drugs before or during sailing.

13. Insurance and documents: Play it safe

Make sure your sailboat is insured and that you have all the necessary documents on board, including your sailing license and boat documents.

The preparations before sailing may seem time-consuming at first, but they are crucial for your safety and that of your crew. Always remember: a safe trip on the water is an unforgettable adventure that you can share with your loved ones. Stay safe and the freedom of the open waters will provide you with unforgettable experiences.

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