My friend who accompanies me on my Moth sailing trips opts out whenever I go on night trips. He gives the most bizarre excuses and one day when I asked him about it, he finally confessed that night sailing frightened him terribly. He said that he planned his trips so he’d not sail offshore during night.
The very thought of sailing into pitch-black atmosphere scared him. While it is natural for children to fear the dark, it doesn’t look good in an adult. I said so to him. Nevertheless, he refused to go for an overnight trip. I told him how technology had made it easier to sail at night with the same comfort as in the day.
Further nighttime sailing has its own sets of benefits like:
- When you’re not on watch, it is easier to sleep, as it’s completely dark
- In peak summer, your bunk is cool and you may even have to borrow a sheet to be warm
- You can slow the boat at night and ride comfortably. The boat will have less bounce when compared to daytime sailing, leaving you to have a nice enjoyable ride.
- Detecting oncoming ships is easier at night. The navigation lights are easier to view and you can steer safe of the ships. We use marine led light bars bought at http://lightbarland.com/ to give better visibility at night.
- Reduce the sail before the sun sets. This way you don’t have to be on deck to lower or raise the main. Reduce the main sail to about two reefs. Even with this amount of sail, you can easily get 150 miles speed per day. The main is lowered when sun sets and comes up when the sun rises. This is a practical and sensible choice and keeps you safer.
- Navigation lights show whether a ship is passing by or is coming at us directly. It is safe to know about the lights. Vertically separated lights indicate that a ship will pass by on the side. In daytime, you have no such indicators and you’ll have to use the radar to know if a ship is nearing you. Being prepared for any emergency is must whether you are in the sea or on land. In the main land, when you need emergency lighting or in case of construction work, having an effective code 3 light bar is necessary.
- Using night vision binoculars helps you detect ships easily. The amplification of light helps a lot.
- We even use radar detection at night to monitor shipping nearby or to track squalls. Radar helps to be more aware of the surroundings.
- Night watch is interesting as we take turns so everybody is rested well.
Sailing offshore during night is safe and restful too. It is worth trying and you’ll find that it’s much safer than what you had expected and you may even start enjoying it. My friend was indeed surprised that he could actually enjoy sailing at night. He promised to give it a try the next time I planned a night trip.