The hard life of sailor in winter: 5 tips to face the bad season
- February 1, 2017
- Guides and advices
Sea passion never hibernates
Being sailors during the warmer months is easy but when the temperature begins to drop, the love for sailing becomes almost a conviction. Land sickness increases gradually day after day, and often translates into nostalgic moments spent watching photos and videos of the summer, pathological purchase of books, magazines and nautical clothing.
Here are our 5 tips for feeding your love of boating throughout the off-season.
1 - SET SAIL FOR WINTER BOATING
Crowded anchorages in the Aeolian Islands in August, the impossibility of finding a place in Capri harbor, you know what I mean? Well, in winter you can forget about this. There will be no swimming in isolated coves or dinners in the cockpit, but the bays are deserted, the marinas more accessible, in some cases at such discounted rates that they're almost free. If this is not enough there is the weather, which is usually more favorable. From October to May it's quite impossible to have completely windless days. Indeed, it's very easy to get sail with good breezes, for the pleasure of the most passionate sailors. More frequent disturbances? Yes, but also predictable and weather, even when it's bad, is paradoxically more stable.
Of course, the cold bites during navigation but you can face it with few simple expedients, starting from appropriate clothes. Thermal socks and warm winter shoes (classic rubber boots avoid water, not cold! ), a wool hat and a pair of padded gloves. For those who cannot stand the cold weather, we recommend thermal technical garments designed for winter sports, and in contact with skin, thermal underwear shirt and tights for the legs. All to be wear, of course, under a good waterproof jacket. Then, a good supply of hot chocolate (it takes five minutes to be prepared and gives you autonomy for several hours!) and a good bottle of rum that, as any good sailor teaches, should never go short! In conclusion, do not forget a warm sleeping bag. Preventing cold (that is, among other things, a formidable asset for seasickness) and, above all, not getting wet, you can sail without problems and enjoy alle the beauty of the winter sea.
2 – THE BOAT AS A BEACH HOUSE
Using the boat twelve months a year is a trend that is emerging among many boaters, but if you don't feel up to it, you can always use your moored boat as a beach house. In this case too, the cold problem can be solved with a bit of thought.
First of all, equip the boat with a diesel-powered heating system. People who try it cannot live without it anymore: it uniformly heats the boat, can be turned up while sailing and consumes little fuel. In the marina, you can also use electric heaters as long as you're attached to pedestals. In this case we can not dream of an uniform heating but, leaving all the doors open, the heat from the stove can be felt all over the space. And then, hot chocolate and rum, blankets and clothes in abundance. Once took the chill off the room, you can enjoy the sound of the waves and the smell of the salt while reading a good book, watching a movie or using your PC.
3 - WORKING FOR THE BOAT: MAINTENANCE AND SECURITY
As discussed in this post, winter may be the right time to do those jobs on board that you never had time do in the summer time. Small and large maintenance inside or outside, modernization, various modifications, installation of new instruments ... You can calmly focus on this and do a great job!
After refurbishing, focus on the status of your marine and boating equipment. Do you need new boat fenders? Is your pontoon sufficiently protected with suitable dock fenders? Can your mooring shock absorbers face the long winter? In all these situations InMare can help you, offering a complete range of marine supplies strictly Made in Italy.
Then, you can start to search for a new or better boat insurance which every year is a stumbling block to overcome. In fact, shipowners problem is how to find their feet in the complexities of the many different policies proposed by insurance companies, from the Third Party Liability (mandatory) to Boat, Yacht & Hull Insurance Coverage. Deal with the jungle of the boat insurance quotes may become a real job: do it early!
4 – RACES, AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET IN THE GAME
Put yourself on the line in some winter race is a good opportunity to show your passion, improve your skills and meet new people. You can choose to participate in some event from time to time or to commit to the whole championship (about every other Sunday).
There are two different ways to join races: paying boarding or becoming part of a team. The first option is certainly the most simple: especially during the most famous regattas there are a lot of boats offering paid places (usually charter, sailing clubs and yacht clubs). The second possibility is becoming a part of a private sailing team. In this case you have to speak directly with the boat owner (or one of the team members) and volunteer. In any case, races are fun gatherings to find new friendships or really valuable collaborations.
5 - JOIN A CLUB AN TAKES CLASSES
What better place than a club to enjoy the company of people who share your same passion for the sea? Yacht clubs, sailing clubs or the Navy League of your city: all these associations have offices all over the World. The payment of the membership fee (usually not too expensive) allows you to participate in numerous events (from nautical-theme dinner to meetings and races) and to gain useful facilitations.
Winter is also a good time to join a course. It may not provide the same thrill that leaving your dock does in warmer months, but it will add to your nautical knowledge, provide tips you can use on the water, and make you a better boater—which means you’ll enjoy boating even more once you get back to it in the spring. There’s a wide array of opportunities for winter boating courses: from state-required boating safety courses to basic seamanship, boathandling, navigation and piloting, weather, first aid to preparing for a captain’s license exam. You won’t be alone. Hundreds of sailors and powerboaters take advantage of the off-season months to sharpen their boating skills, meet other boaters, and broaden their nautical horizons.