Dinghy sailing can be an amazing experience, but only if you have the right equipment. Dinghy sailing involves sailing a small boat by using five controls, so it can be quite demanding on your body. Here we look at the essential equipment to take on your next sailing adventure, whether in a dinghy or yacht.
When it comes to spending time out on the water, it’s important to select the right sailing clothing for the conditions and the activities that you’re going to be doing.
The demands on your clothing are going to depend on the weather conditions and how long you’ll be sailing for. If it’s a cold day and you’re going to be on a small boat such as a dinghy, then it would be wise to wear a wetsuit that is going to keep your core warm.
In most other conditions, waterproof clothing is going to be required and also a jacket that will block the wind. A spray top is favoured by a lot of sailors thanks to a combination of light weight, waterproof and breathable properties. Underneath your waterproof clothing, it’s a good idea to have quick-drying clothes as staying in cold and damp fabrics can be miserable.
If you’re not careful, you could quickly get blisters on your hands or they can simply become very sore. A lot of sailors will see a good pair of sailing gloves as essential. They will give you support across the palm and allow you to keep a strong grip.
Boating shoes are a good idea when you are sailing as they won’t leave a mark on the surface and will still give you a solid grip. There are specific dinghy sailing boots that give you that high level of grip but are also lightweight and quick-drying.
Safety when sailing is vital, and in order to make your time on the water as safe as possible, there are some essential pieces of equipment to have in your kit.
A life jacket is an absolute essential. The best type will depend on a few factors such as the size of your boat and weather conditions. Life jackets are often compulsory when yacht racing or cruising.
If you’re sailing a dinghy then it is advisable to wear a buoyancy aid at all times, which is usually compulsory if you are involved in racing. Fitting around your core, buoyancy aids are advised for a range of watersport activities and can also include support and protection for your back. Buoyancy aids offer vital assistance should you get into trouble in the water, however do not keep the wearer fully upright in the same way as a life jacket.
A good sailing knife is also essential as you never know when it’s going to come in handy. There are some great knives out there for sailing. You’ll want it to be able to fold away to ensure that it’s safe while not in use.
Another key aspect of safety is protection from the sun. Sunglasses for sailing are vital for bright days, as is sun cream. It can be difficult to find shelter when you are sailing and the sun can be punishing on your body unless you take precautions.
Sailing headwear is another essential piece of kit. The right hat can help to keep you warm and protect you from the sun. Sailing helmets are also advised for dinghy sailing to protect your head from impacts or knocks.
Whether you are on a dinghy or yacht, you will want your valuables protected. Placing them in a waterproof dry bag will allow you to have that protection. Having a great pair of binoculars is also very useful on a boat.
If you’re going to be heading out for multiple days, you need all your key items such as toiletries, chargers, and medication. Documentation is also vital such as licences, proof of ID and anything else that could be required.
As well as state of the art navigation with a GPS and a chart plotter, it’s also a good idea to take manual forms of navigation equipment in case they fail. Taking printed maps and a manual compass will help you to navigate if all else fails.
A flashlight is always important for a wide variety of different reasons as you never know when you might need one.
Also, most sailing boats will have a log in which you will state your itinerary and also any maintenance that has been carried out.
It’s important to take the details of your trip into mind and get yacht or dinghy sailing equipment to match. It could be that you have some downtime and want to read a book in peace, or head to a brilliant snorkelling spot for an afternoon of adventure. As well as the essentials listed above, you want to take whatever will make your trip memorable and comfortable.