5 Essential Tips For Yachtsmen

Take regular exercise

It’s not all plain sailing— literally! —life out at sea can be demanding work, no matter what age you are. So keeping in good shape through regular exercise is important for even the most causal of yachtsman.

Speed, core and upper-body strength, balance and cardiovascular health are all areas which are regularly tested on the open water; all components which are well-covered in the Winter Training Exercise DVD for Yachtsmen and Motorboat Enthusiasts.

Sailing-specific exercises would be similar to that of a rock climber or a wrestler. Lots of focus on upper-body strength; exerting the power needed to change sails, hand-crank winches and move heavy apparatus. From hauling tons of equipment in 20ft swells on a 60ft sailboat, to pootling along in your own day cruiser— fitness is essential.

Maintain a strong core

We’ve mentioned the significance of good core strength in previous posts; for sporting activities like tennis or hiking and for its role in preventative measures against back-related injuries— a strong core is vital.

For a yachtsman, abdominal, hip and back muscle strength is equally crucial. As these are the main muscle groups being used when active on deck. Manoeuvring heavy equipment, cranking winches and even preserving balance when the waters are rough. These are all actions which rely on the strength of the core.

Lots of irregular, sudden movements, which, if you're not in good condition, can bring on any number of physical problems.   

Always maintain and use your life jacket

It’s difficult to emphasise how necessary a life jacket is to a yachtsman. From a safety point-of-view, a buoyancy aid dramatically increases chances of survival, from a few minutes to several hours. In an emergency, a life jacket will keep the casualty face-up so they’re able to breathe, even when unconscious.

There’ve been a few amazing tales of individuals surviving days out at sea without life jackets. Often trained forces men thinking quickly and using items of clothing as rudimentary flotation devices. I’m sure if you asked each of them, though, they’d have preferred a bright-orange inflatable vest.

Don’t skimp on quality and keep yours well-maintained!

Always keep an eye of the forecast

While ‘rough weather’ is a relative term for a yachtsman— one man’s raging storm might be another’s good breeze— it’s important to monitor the forecasts. With detailed weather reports available at the swipe of a finger these days, there’s really no excuse for getting caught out.

It’s also vital to understand how the various sizes and weights of yachts will behave in tumultuous conditions; be aware that whether your boat is trimmed or loaded can also have critical upshots on its fairing in choppy seas.   

Warm clothes and waterproofs must always be close by

It’s not uncommon in stormy or rainy weather that you’ll be required to go out on deck and change sails, so it’s imperative that you’re kitted out with suitable waterproof gear. Even in moderate conditions— let’s face it, you’re going to get wet!

Footwear is key, too. Invest in shoes that grip on both a wet and dry deck and are durable enough to protect the feet from any number of potential hazards. Don’t forget sun cream. There’re not many places to shelter from the sun’s damaging rays out at sea.

Posted by Garry Toms on August 1st 2016

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