At sea weather is always unpredictable. The more you know about the conditions prior to the journey will aid you in preparation and ultimately your voyage success. Get up-to-date weather forecasts and tidal information, consult charts and maps and work out where you can get fresh water, fuel and water. You should also know where you are at all times if you have to inform rescuers of your position.


Knowing the emergency procedures for events like man overboard or even abandon ship before you set out will help in dire circumstances. Study any emergency material on board for the yacht (if you’re renting) and learn where life jackets or emergency boats are kept. Similarly the correct working order of the radio or emergency beacons is vital for prompt rescue. Always take a mobile telephone with you, or better still a satellite phone and be aware of any national or local boat rescue outfits that maybe able to assist you.

Food and Water

Foreigner’s stomachs are always far more susceptible to illness so think twice before you put anything in your mouth. Take a good stock of stomach and dysentery medicines, bring bottled water and even your own food if you think there will be problems.


Personal flotation devices (PFDs) are very important for children at all times while they are on deck. If the sea gets rough children should stay in the cockpit and should never run anywhere. If any adults are performing an act that could put them overboard make sure they have a PFD on too.

Care in the Sun

When you are out on the water you will get a lot of sun, which you may not realize if there is a cooling breeze. Always wear high factor sun block and UV sunglasses. Wear a hat and keep well hydrated.

Local Currency

ATMs and currency exchange booths are available in major destinations and developed countries. In remote locations or developing countries they may not be. Ask before you leave to see what facilities are available so you can plan accordingly.