One of the most popular things to do when vacationing in the Bahamas is to charter a yacht or a boat. Whether you are an experienced sailor or a first timer, there are a handful of safety tips you should keep in mind when out on the open waters. Educating and familiarizing yourself with boating and yachting safety tips will not only help ensure your charter is free of danger, but it will also make for a far more pleasant experience.
The Bahamian waters are thought of by many to be amongst the best in the world, and for good reason. Boasting warm temperatures year-round and a moderate to light breeze, the Bahamas is a top destination for boaters of all experience levels. While many people bring their own boat or yacht to the Bahamas, there are also numerous options for chartering a crewed sail. When you step aboard a yacht that is manned by local experts, it can be easy to hand the reigns over and just sit back for an enjoyable time out on the ocean.
While this is undoubtedly the experience you are looking for, it is important to come prepared with boat safety knowledge. Professional crews will do their best to make you feel welcome and prepared for the unpredictable, but it is extremely helpful (and respectful!) for you to have at least some safety orientation before jumping on board.
The captain or crew of your specific yacht charter will surely go over safety tips and rules for that particular charter and vessel, but below you will find a handful of basic boating safety tips to help ensure your sail is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
BASIC BOATING SAFETY TIP #1: PAY ATTENTION TO THE WEATHER
While you may not always be able to predict what the open waters will do, it is important to check the local weather leading up to and the day of your Bahamas yacht charter. Listen to the local radio or TV, and if you notice darkening clouds or rough, changing winds, it may be a good idea to check in with your yacht crew to see if you will still be heading out onto the waters.
BASIC BOATING SAFETY TIP #2: HAVE A PRE-DEPARTURE CHECKLIST
Being prepared for any possibility or change in weather while out on the water is the best possible safety measure you can take. From knowing the rules and regulations for the area you are sailing, to making sure you have the proper gear with you, a pre-departure checklist is a must.
BASIC BOATING SAFETY TIP #3: UNDERSTAND THE PROPER USE OF LIFEJACKETS
Simply bringing lifejackets aboard a yacht charter will not suffice. It is imperative that everyone on board wears a lifejacket that fits properly throughout the duration of the trip. The majority of drowning incidents are the result of people failing to wear a lifejacket. Keep this in mind next time you hop on board; it could save your life.
BASIC BOATING SAFETY TIP #4: AVOID ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
It can be easy to get caught up in the tropical vibe of the Bahamas and want to have an umbrella-laden drink in your hand at all times. However, it is best to save the alcohol for after the yacht trip. It is important for you to be aware and as cognizant as possible while sailing, and avoiding alcohol is one way to help make sure that happens.
BASIC BOATING SAFETY TIP #5: LEARN TO SWIM
If you are going to be in and around the water, proper boating safety means knowing how to swim. Check out organizations such as Red Cross in your local community before traveling to the Bahamas, or ask your yacht charter company if they know of any classes before the day of your trip.
There are many things you can do to prepare yourself for the safest Bahamas yacht charter experience as possible, and the above mentioned tips are just a handful of them. Be sure to use your yacht crew and captain as a reference and remember: it is always okay to ask questions if you are unsure or need a little direction!
Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Grand Isle Resort & Spa and a clickable link back to this page.