How to make the most of lockdown
Published 17:11 on 14 Jan 2021
Whilst the current lockdown prevents us from going out sailing for the time-being, there is much we can do to plan for a return to the water, to make sure we are ship-shape as soon as the starting gun is fired.
Why not use this enforced time at home to refresh nautical skills or acquire new qualifications. The RYA has several online courses to choose from, including navigation and seamanship, marine radio certification, and the ICC CEVNI test (for those who plan to navigate European inland waterways).
You can also study RYA-accredited theory courses through navathome.com with over 150 animated lessons, and a comprehensive free trial to see whether online learning is for you. With over twelve years of experience in online training, they can help you achieve your Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster Ocean theory training with top marks.
Alternatively, if you're new to the sailing world and curious to know what it's all about, start with the American Sailing Association's short, excellent, and informative taster video Your First Sail.
The winter months are always a good time to plan any essential maintenance for your vessel, for when lockdown measures have eased. This might be as simple as planning a day to clean and tidy up your boat, making sure she's fully equipped with all you need for the sailing season - including essentials like a good First Aid kit, flares, a torch, binoculars, marine charts, some emergency snacks and water, and enough lifejackets for everyone aboard.
Or your boat might need a bit more work to ensure she's sail-worthy for the season ahead. Now's the time to book a slot at your local marina or boat yard and, if necessary, budget for having your boat hauled out of the water so you can repaint and anti-foul the hull, check the through-hulls and anodes, polish and wax the topsides or decking, remove sails for repair or replacement, service the engine and so forth.
Plan for summer sailing
Finally, it's never too soon to start dreaming about your next trip, and stock up on the marine charts, inland maps, and guide books to the area you plan to sail to. Our next blog will detail some favourite spots for UK sailing holidays, so do check in again soon!