As much as you might wish, it can’t always be smooth sailing out on the open sea. Storms come and they go, there is not much you can do about this fact. The best you can do is be prepared for them, this means knowing how to react when you suspect a storm is incoming and doing a little bit more than simply donning your waterproofs.
With that in mind, how do you ensure that you are as safe as can be when it comes to weathering a storm on the open sea?
Keep to Bow
You must keep your boat’s bow in the waves at all times. This sounds pretty simple, but this can be extremely difficult the choppier the water gets as conditions worsen. Losing power makes this even more difficult. In such conditions, it is much better to drop anchor in order to try and hold your boat in the waves. But, what if you do not have an anchor? It is possible to tie a rope to a five-gallon bucket and attempt to use this as a sea anchor. The better your knots, the more likely this is to hold and be effective.
Storms are usually accompanied by extreme winds, so all of your extremities and sails should preferably be tied down in order to ensure the safety of your boat. This will greatly reduce your drag and give you sharper control of your boat, even in spite of the awful conditions. The less resistance to the wind your boat has, the safer you will be in less than ideal conditions and so being able to make these changes quickly in the case of an emergency is essential.
Be Prepared for Lightning
A storm can be a scary situation to find yourself in – you have little control – but it is made even worse if lightning makes an appearance. There isn’t much you can do during a storm; however, you can take some preventative measures to make it less likely that you will be struck. You can do this by lowering any antennas, and storing fishing rods and any other types of conducting materials you may have on your boat.
If you do get struck, it is a good idea to be prepared just in case all of your electrical devices are fried. Keep your coordinates written down in case your GPS is fried; so long as another radio is working you will still be able to relay your general location. You should also remain in the cabin at all times during a storm; if you do get hit by lightning this will be the safest place to be.
Do you feel ready to take a journey on the ocean, no matter the weather? From safety goggles to raincoats, you can rely on our team of expert boat chandlers for all of your boating needs, call us on 01524 862010 and we will be happy to answer any enquiries you may have!