Anticipation is a key concept before going sailing. Whether you are considering renting or buying a boat, there is a number of things about the conditions of the vessel, its current legislations and their compliance you need to check.
As charter professionals in the Balearic Islands (link to home) we want to help you to make your boat trip as expected, with no mishaps or incidents. For this reason, we are going to point out the main elements you should check before starting your route:
· Check the weather forecast. Depending on the wind and sea conditions you may need to make some changes regarding the boat trip and the arrangement of the sails. You can check the weather forecast on different web pages or mobile apps.
· Check if there is enough fuel for the route you have planned. Nevertheless, it is recommended to have more than the necessary amount (an extra 30% is recommended).
· Communication is essential at sea. For this reason, you should connect and turn on all the communication tools in order to check that they work properly. Besides, you should know the pertinent channels and authorities you should contact in case you need them.
· According to the Ministry of development, one of the main things you should check before going sailing is the vessel’s condition. For this reason, you have to check its external and internal conditions. This involves its functioning, motor, safety equipment, possible cracks in the hull, navigation equipment, sails, ropes, fresh water and oil locking caps, lights and tap’s functioning.
· An authorized life vest has to be given to each member of the crew. The vest must be their correct size.
· Check that the boat has all the necessary safety equipment, rescue, navigation lights, waste prevention and firefighting according to the current legislation.
· Fresh water and food supplies are essential. It is also important to carry other elements such as suitable clothing, flashlights and spare batteries.
· Even though this is not obligatory when one is going to sail less than 5 miles from the coast it is recommended to carry a first-aid kit with basic medicines. Don’t forget to write down your insurance company and safety maritime numbers.
· Check if you have at least one basic tool kit for minor repairs.
· Another key point before sailing is checking the boat’s documents, as well as its corresponding insurance and taxes’ payments. Among the documents you have to carry with you are the Sailing certification and the necessary qualification to sail a vessel.
· Don’t forget any other regulation document (such as the civil liability insurance, which is obligatory for all recreational boats) and your personal documents.
· Prepare a navigation plan, for your own use as well as for others to know where you are going to be. For this reason it is important to inform about your expected departure/arrival time and the departure/destination port. In order to make your navigation plan you need maps, nautical charts, a list of lights and fog signals, anchoring areas and available mooring around the area you are going to sail. In addition to all these measures, the Maritime Safety Agency has launched an app that can keep us under control.
Maritime safety as well as the Ministry of Development have checklists you can download and review before casting off. Nevertheless, we recommend you to have your own list so you can personalize it according to your needs.
From our sales, charter and boat management business in the Balearic Islands we recommend you to take the necessary time to prepare your trip.