How Safe Can Sailing Be?
I am about to start some courses on yachting (in my late thirties) and have never been much of a sailor previously. I have just done my RYA lvl 1 and loved it, and am keen to get out and practice as much as I can. My next step is competent crew then hopefully day skipper.
However my goal is really just to sail around in some calm seas with the family, rather than compete or be too adventurous.
So my question is...is it always possible to avoid big swells, stormy weather, and gales, if choosing safer havens, or is that an inevitable part of sailing that I may as well get used to now?
Interesting question. I have not put a page up yet on yachting courses, so for those of you who don't know Competent Crew and Day Skipper are RYA Yachting courses.
In answer to your question if you can find a place to sail where there is no horrible weather, is yes. There a loads of places where it is usually (99.9% of the time) calm or breezy. A nice starting point is by the coast or round an island depending on where you live.
Find out from your local coastguard or weather service or even fellow yachters where a nice calm place to sail is in your area.
It is not an inevitable part of sailing that you have to be in a storm, thats just the most interesting to watch. Most of time (again depending on where you are), it will won't reach more than 20-25 knots near the coast.
Sailing is far more safe than say driving a car or even being a pedestrian on a road. I can't recall the last sailing accident, caused by too much wind or head on collision. There may have been, but it is very unlikely.
So have fun, stay safe and make sure you understand what you are doing before you just take a yacht out. Day skipper only allows you to take a boat out in the day time. You must return to a marina after the day, because you are not qualified to do night passages.
Thanks for asking your question! Best regards,