Jul 04

Staying Safe While Sailing or Boating

Staying Safe While Sailing or BoatingSailing and boating in the US is an unregulated activity, so anyone can basically enjoy it. Most states don’t have strict rules that require safety courses or even license to do sailing or boating. In fact, many avid boaters and sailors have learned the hobby from friends or just by themselves – and many amateur sailors are unaware of the risks at sea.

It comes not a surprise that there are many people who are hurt or die in boating and sailing incidents every year. In many of these incidents, the mishap could well have been prevented with proper training, a little foresight and preparation.

Here let’s take a look at the essential things to remember to stay safe while on the water.

  • Firstly, know your boat’s capacity. What is the maximum number of passengers and cargo weight can it carry? Never exceed your boat’s capacity or you’ll run risk of capsizing.
  • Know how to operate your boat. If it is your first time, it may be best to have an experienced boater with you through the trip and avoid distant travels.
  • Be sure to know the laws about Personal Flotation Devices (PFD). As soon as you (or any passenger) steps on the boat, make sure to wear PFD. Aside from PFDs, equip your boat with throwable devices that you can use should someone accidentally falls to the water.
  • Equip your boat with other safety equipment such as navigation lights, fire extinguisher, sound signaling and visual distress equipment, and communication gadgets. You can get them from a reliable boat supplies or safety shop. If you can’t find one, you might want to consider using alternative, maybe a good doorbell can be used as a sound signaling device (there are some nice doorbell reviews you can find at http://doorbellbase.com) or a powerful fog light for visual distress signaling.
  • Check your boat regularly. Just like your car or any vehicle, your boat needs periodic inspections and maintenance to keep it running in perfect condition. For instance, you may need to change the engine oil or repair the rudder. Before heading out, always be sure to check the condition of the boat.
  • Always check the local conditions, the weather and the forecast. There are many reliable sources of weather and conditions; some you can access right at your smart phone. Take note of any possible weather changes that can happen while you are on the water.
  • Know the water hazards in the area where you would sail. Chartplotters often show hazard – make sure to read them especially if it is your first time in the area.
  • Make a float plan (or simply an itinerary of your trip) and leave it to someone you trust. It would alarm them in case you’re overdue and can’t be reached. Many sailors have been saved from being stranded on the sea after someone reported they’re unexpected delay.
  • Orient new crew or guests about the boat and any emergency plans in place. This would avoid unnecessary panic in case of unexpected mishaps.
  • Develop your own checklist that you deem appropriate for your boat. Sailors and boaters would benefit much from having a pre-departure check, much like a preflight check that a pilot does.

Sailing and boating is exciting and fun, but never forget to stay safe on the water! I hope these tidbits help make your next sailing trip fun and safe!

Nov 28

My Favorite Moth Sailing Destination

Last weekend I travelled to one of my favorite moth sailing destinations – Hayling Island Beach. Not many people actually go sailing in this part of the ocean on ordinary days, although it usually hosts many moth sailing events throughout the year.

There are a lot of reasons why I find this spot the best. For one, it is the most accessible from my place. The beach is just a couple of hours away from my home. This comes in handy especially if I want to spend short weekend retreats. I could simply hop on my truck and drive to the resort when I want to.

The road leading to the resort is well-paved. While driving, you can bask on the fresh sea breeze at the same time let your eyes enjoy the lush scenery. You can take your truck directly to the beachfront but there are designated parking spaces, especially if you want to stay much longer. On certain occasions, the beach swells with people. There are a many happenings that have been staged on the beach. On one of my moth sailing trips, there was a beach volleyball event; the following week, a concert. Usually, these are rare occasions and have always found them a pleasant surprise. They simply make the place much livelier.

I’ve seen countless beachfronts but I could personally say that this place has one of the most stunning views of the great Hayling Beach. At sunset, one can enjoy the panoramic view of the sea, complete with a silhouette from tall palm trees. It’s as if the palm trees have been meticulously trimmed, perhaps with a pole saw like the ones reviewed at PoleSawReport.com, to enable you to capture picture-perfect stills.

The place seems to be enveloped by the vastness of the seas. The soothing gush of water, the fresh sea breeze and the calming waves make the resort a personal favorite. Trust me, for someone who loves the ocean, I know you’ll love this place too.

But more than the scenic view and other features of this resort, the things that has drawn me back to this place for countless times are the memories I have with this place. It is here where I first learned sailing with my dad. Summer sailing excursions with my dad were among the happiest days in my life. He did not only teach me how to sail but also the love of the ocean. I remember riding my dad’s sail. It was just an ordinary sailboat but with some really colorful sail. He wasn’t really into speed or action instead he just wanted to leisurely cruise the seas. He loved the feeling of freedom that sailing offers. And this is one thing I’ve learned to too from him.

Looking back, I could say I’ve learned a lot of values in life in this picturesque beach. This strong personal connection makes me crave for moth sailing at Hayling Island even more!

Nov 23

The Best Tools For Boat Maintenance

ship-831795_1280Having my own boat gives me a lot of pleasure, but it’s also a lot of work. I go sailing every now and then, and the experience itself is worth all the trouble, but the fact is that owning it is a job that never ends. Apart from having to make sure that it never sails off without me and that it doesn’t get stolen, there are plenty of other things that I need to take care of on a monthly basis.

Since I’ve accumulated a lot of experience over the years, I’ve figured out some things that make maintaining my boat a lot easier. They all include specific tools, and I plan on sharing their benefits with all of you who either already own a boat, or are planning to get one. So here is the list of tools I believe every boat owner should have.

Digital multimeter

This one is great when you have to do precise measurements on the engine or electronics. Among other things, it can test DC current, AC/DC voltage, both transistor and diodes, batteries and resistance. What makes it even better is the fact that it has an LCD display that’s very easy to read. It’s definitely one of the must-have tools for boat maintenance.

Reciprocating saw

Although it’s not among the tools specifically designed for maintaining a boat, I’ve found it extremely useful over the years. It’s great for quick cutting jobs, especially when you don’t need it to be very precise. I personally like this one best: http://jasonsawreviews.com/dewalt-bare-tool-dc385b-18v-cordless-reciprocating-saw-review/, but there are plenty of other choices out there.

Air compressor

Now that you’ve finished reading Jason Saw Reviews, we can start talking about air compressors. These are essential for jobs like stapling, brad nailing and air brushing. If you want to do any of those things right, you’re going to need one of these babies. And you don’t need to worry about maintaining them, because they come with thermal overload protection.

Utility pump

Let’s face it, if you own a boat, there will come a point when you’re going to have to pump water in order to keep it dry and clean. And there’s nothing better to help you with this than a utility pump. Most can pump at up to 200 gallons per hour!

Boat trailer

Can you imagine moving your boat without one of these? I personally own a trailer that can accommodate a boat that’s up to 14 feet long, and it’s enough for me, but you can get an even bigger one. Most of them are equipped with rear signal lights that you can link to your car.

Trailer jack

While on the road, a boat trailer is not all you’re going to need. If you plan on leveling and stabilizing your trailer at some point, you should get yourself a trailer jack. My jack can lift a 1000 pounds in no time, and can be mounted to the trailer’s tongue as well, without making it hard to fold it away while traveling.

Nov 15

Shoot the Best Videos of Your Sailing Adventures

Shoot the Best Videos of Your Sailing Adventures The days of shaky, unedited vacation videos recorded with handheld videocams are over. With mobile devices now equipped with powerful video technologies, anyone can take videos, edit them and publish them instantly. For vacation-lovers, like myself, these gadgets are boon. They come in handy, allowing you to capture the moments anytime you want.

But if there’s one gadget that I consider the best for shooting my moth sailing adventures, it’s definitely a quadcopter. It was just by accident that I read some nice reviews about quadcopters from this website: QuadcopterGuru.com. I admit, I am not really into vacation videos but the amazing aerial shots from the quadcopter are definitely inspiring! After my first drone video, I instantly fell in love with it.

Drones allow high-resolution videos from an aerial perspective. It lets you capture the surroundings as well as the action. This is perfect for fast-paced sports and adventures, moth sailing included. Of course, if you are the one sailing, you have to bring someone to operate the drone.

While flying quadcopters are not really illegal, some people just are so negative when it comes to drones; often thinking that these RC aircrafts invade their privacy. To avoid run-ins with anyone else (and probably legal nuances), it is best to know the basic rules for flying quadcopters:

  1. Never fly beyond your line of site or at dark. (Even if the drone is equipped with lighting and a camera.)
  2. Don’t fly the aircraft more than 400 ft.
  3. Avoid operating a drone in highly populated areas.
  4. Never fly near airports, churches, parks, schools, hospitals, government facilities, and any kind of utilities such as water treatment facilities or power stations.
  5. Know the local regulations in your area about drone flying (such as if you need to register the drone or if you need local permit.)

Follow these rules and you should be free from any liabilities. As more and more people realize the excitement of using drones, the laws and regulations might change. It’s best to stay updated by checking with your local authorities. Usually, vacationers will not find such problems especially that majority of open areas don’t have flying restrictions. If you are new in a certain state or area, it is best to ask permission from local authorities. Flying drones is fun but you have to take rules seriously, lest you run afoul of the law and face felony charges.

If you are just starting out with drone-flying, a good model to practice with is the WLToys V262 quadcopter. Find out more about this inexpensive quadcopter by clicking this link. Start flying your drone now and capture the best videos of your adventures!

Oct 30

How Sailing Evolved With Time

How Sailing Evolved With TimeOne of the best and unique qualities of time is that it never stops for no one, for nothing. Since the very beginning of this world, one thing that has been constant for certain is change.

Change is an inevitable part of the journey that this world has undertaken and it is like so ever since. Some call it the call of time and some name it more scientifically as evolution.

Evolution has been associated with everything which is a part of this world. So why would sailing fall away from its reach? The definition and the meaning of sailing have changed ever since man learnt the way to glide through water.

The invention of floating vessels were a part of the most essential list that had to be incorporated by the early men to progress upwards on the ladder of civilization. Initially the idea of sailing conceived to accommodate men to travel long and distant distances in a shorter span of time. Slowly and gradually it was proved to be an effective way for transportation of goods as well.

During those initial years, the knowledge of the art and the science of sailing were of great honor and respect. It was a revolutionary discovery. Then the science moved to more advanced spheres and this made way for larger vessels to come to game.

Large kingdoms turned empires with the strength of their navy. One of the most vital things that showcased the supremacy of empires was and is still today is the power of the naval forces and the technology behind them that make complex machines traverse through waters.

Though gliding through waters is just a kid’s play nowadays with the high end surf boards available for all, from all age groups. And for those who are afraid to get into the water, one can easily not get wet by surfing on roads with the help of the amazing long boards you will find at http://longboardmafia.com/.

With the discovery of buoyancy and other such stuffs the science of sailing got a whole new meaning. Vessels now not only sailed on water but also moved in water like fishes away the eyes of all. These advancements were a great help for the armed forces. But the tradesmen too reaped a lot of benefits from it.

Companies like the East India Company were formed and almost all European powers went out to capture and gain the riches from the east. Apparently, the endeavor was noble and mostly they were expeditions for the academic pursuits, but gradually the grip of lust captured them all. But again the benefits of the discoveries and inventions of sailing stretched its borders wider than these.

Today as a part of recreation, sailing is a wonderful option. One can spend a long period of time sailing. Long vacations and trips can be arranged and one such on cruise filled with luxury and full of fun is a great idea as well.

Aug 10

Basics in Sailing

Basics in SailingI met a friend of mine recently at a party. We were very close during our school days, but had not been in touch since he went abroad for his studies. We had a great time reminiscing on our school days and the fun we had.

When I told him about my Moth, he was excited and wanted to know more about sailing. I invited him to come with me on my next sailing trip, so he could know about sailing more effectively. However, since he hadn’t been sailing before I thought it best to take him for a normal sailing trip first.

He agreed readily and we had a great time together. Here are some sailing basics that both experienced and novice sailors would benefit from.

  • Calm and uncrowded waters are best to sail in, if you’re just starting to sail. It’ll help you master sailing better, if you start practicing in low traffic and light winds initially.
  • To start with, a small boat is best to learn sailing. When you have fewer sails and lines, the boat will be easier to maneuver. The smaller size makes the dinghy more responsive. It is also great for practicing the trial capsizes.
  • A boat that is rigged with just a single sail is easier to learn, as there are fewer complications to deal with.

Safety tips

Some safety tips are the same regardless of the expertise you have. These include informing your departure to someone before the sailing trip, having a floatation device at hand and very importantly, you should know swimming.

Fortunately, the trip we had was a smooth one and we even managed to catch some really colorful fish. My friend wanted to take them ashore to add to his aquarium fish collection. He mentioned that he had a huge aquarium at home, which he maintained with care. He used only canister filters bought at http://canisterfilterguide.com, which provide a complete filtration.

Weather condition

Weather conditionYou should know the weather, tide, and wind conditions before you embark on the sailing trip. Adequate provisions, basic weather gear, and clothing should be brought along. When you are at sea, you need to be prepared well.

Sail control is another important thing that every sailor should learn. You should be able to alter sail settings, so you take advantage of the water and wind conditions. Sails in general should be flat relatively when there are strong or light winds, but full when you have moderate wind.

Capsize

Capsizing should be done deliberately, so you know how to handle the boat when it really happens. You need to do it both in an uncontrolled environment as well as a controlled one. First-hand experience teaches you better than just reading about it or hearing it.

You should know when boom will swing, so you can avoid being hurt or worse being thrown overboard. Whether you’re a passenger or crew, you should be conscious of the boom always.

Lastly, knowing the commonly used sailing terms is necessary. You should know the different terminologies such as starboard, port etc.

Why it is easier to enjoy night sailing

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Why it is easier to enjoy night sailingMy 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.