With the winter season upon us, the obvious option seems to be to keep your boat out of the water, but this means no fun for sailors until the warmer weather returns in the spring. However, this doesn’t have to be the case as you can still enjoy winter sailing with the appropriate preparation and boat maintenance. Keeping yourself warm, safe and your boat up to speed are essential for a successful trip out to sea in the more extreme weather conditions you may face. Even if the marina is deserted, you can still use the off-season for time to practice and reinstate your enthusiasm. So, if you’re ready for a challenge, make sure you read our top tips for how to enjoy winter sailing!
Whether it’s replacing ropes or cleaning the bottom of your boat, it is important to properly repair and maintain it before you reach the spring season. Any current leaks or cracks on your boat will only become more dangerous in winter if not treated properly. Now is the perfect time to address any repair issues and give your boat a thorough inspection from front to back. When you are not sailing, it is important to keep your boat safely stored and insulated until you are ready for your next trip.
Appropriate Winter Sailing Gear
It often feels cold when out at sea at the best of times during the year, but during winter this is particularly important. Cold weather combined with wet clothes can lead to hypothermia which can be a fatal condition. We recommend investing in oilskins and high quality wetsuits to keep your body at the right temperature. Alternatively, you can wear sailing trousers and other warm layers to ensure you contain your body heat in the cooler weather. Keeping spare clothes on board is also an essential for winter sailing.
Frostbiting may not sound like fun, but in the winter weather it is one of the best forms of practice with your boat. Many locations hold events where you can race against other opponents for fun and it can develop your skills at the same time. If you wear the appropriate gear for winter, the cold won’t be much of a problem.
Improve Your Fitness
As we all know, fitness is something that can offer many benefits and for sailing, this is important to maintain good physical shape. Give yourself a head start for the spring sailing season by developing your own personal fitness regime to suit your needs. The hard work will benefit you in the long run.
Quality Practice Time
If there’s one thing that will help any sailor improve, it’s high quality practice time. Going for a sail independently or with others is a great way of improving your skills whilst the water is unoccupied. Also, if you can master your skills in winter, you will certainly be ahead of the game for the peak sailing season.
Don’t be put off by the colder weather as winter sailing can be a fantastic experience for improving your technique. Do you have any other tips for effective winter sailing?Let us know on the Mylor Chandlery Facebook page, Google + and Twitter!