Perhaps your typical exotic beach trips and packed hotel escapades aren’t really possible right now, or maybe not even to your liking, so you’ve decided to get or rent a boat and set sail, so to speak. The beauty of the open water, exploring hidden alcoves, secluded beaches and marinas, and stopping for a good seafood meal is sometimes all one needs to relax and unwind.
However, if this is your very first boating adventure, or you’d like to brush up on your packing and preparation knowledge for boating trips, this is a guide for you.
Preparation is indeed half the battle for boating, sailing, and yachting enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for an extreme holiday adventure on the waves or you’d like a quiet getaway with your family, you should make sure you’re ready for all scenarios. Here are a few essential tips to keep you afloat and allow you to enjoy your trip in its entirety!
Safety gear should top the list
Of course, you should first and foremost pack the safety essentials for any offshore adventure. Make sure that you have the right vests for you and your travel companions, and of course, test them to see that they actually work.
Other safety gear like practical OTF knives and first-aid kits for the right number of people should be on the list, too. Checking the forecast will also help you determine what other types of safety essentials you’ll need.
Pick the right boat for your adventure
Choosing the boat for yourself and your travel companions will make all the difference. Depending on the destination, your boating experience and skills, as well as your plan, you should purchase or charter a boat that suits your needs and the region you’re visiting.
For example, if you’re boating on your own or with your family, the right RIBCO inflatable boat can serve the purpose for exploring and day trips out to sea. Rigid, reliable, and easy to use, these boats are a solid pick for boating adventures with no more than a handful of people. For larger groups, you can go for something more spacious, just make sure that you know how to manage a boat of that size and speed.
Obtain the right permits and licenses
Do you plan to hire someone to actually operate the boat, or you’ll do it yourself? If so, do you have the necessary permits and licenses to safely operate a boat to begin with? Every country in the world has different requirements, so make sure that you know what kind of permits you need to enjoy your boat trip without ending up with a fine.
Add to that, if you plan to do some fishing, diving, or scuba diving, make sure that you not just have the right gear that works properly, but that you also have the necessary permits for these activities, too.
Prepare for emergencies
Not that the Titanic scenario is possible when you choose calm and friendly waters, but you should still be mindful of potential hazards, obstacles in the water, as well as boat safety protocols. A boat with an engine, for instance, can always be at risk of catching fire, so a fire extinguisher is a necessity, not an option.
Air circulation on the boat will prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, which is a possibility if your boat is gas-powered. Do you have a route you’ve planned? You should be able to share it with the authorities in the area, so that everyone knows where you are and that you’re safe.
Pack layers and know your destination
The weather might be fickle, but your wardrobe shouldn’t be. Check the forecast for the time of your trip, but be mindful of potential changes that could be typical for the region. Sometimes you expect sunny weather and get greeted by heavy rain, even if it’s just for a day. Also, even if you have a secluded, covered nook on your boat with all the protection you need, you should still bring layers of dry and waterproof clothing and footwear.
If you find yourself in the middle of a storm, your clothes will play a major role in preventing you and your family from getting sick or catching a cold. The same goes for sunburn and similar troubles. Packing light, but comfortable and breathable garments like linen shirts can help you stay safe in the sun, although sunscreen is still mandatory!
As you can see, your safety often boils down to what you pack in your suitcase, how you prepare for the boat trip to begin with, and how you educate yourself on your desired stops and visits. Get to know the climate of the destination you choose, but also be mindful of your own health concerns, if any.
In any scenario, you should be well-equipped to handle the boat itself, but also the different circumstances in which you might find yourself. This will make your trip worth repeating and give you plenty of practice for your next water-based adventure!