A dinghy is typically someone’s first experience with sailing. It’s an amazing experience that anyone would cherish for a lifetime, and if you’re interested in getting a dinghy sailing kit, you’re in for a treat.
However, any time you get on the water, whether you’re surfing, sailing, or just wading for trout fishing, there are some major risks you need to consider.
With a dinghy, you’ll be tempted to go out into deeper water where those risks are even bigger. So, we’re going to highlight three key safety tips that can keep you safe on the water.
Let’s get started.
1: Know Your Limits
First and foremost, you should know your own abilities and what you’re able to deal with on the water. That threshold will grow as you develop your skills, and you’ll be able to do more with each outing, but if you get too far ahead of yourself, you can very easily end up in a situation that you can’t handle.
Being honest with yourself and knowing your limits will protect you a lot more than anything else on this list.
2: Safety Equipment
When you go out on your dinghy, bring a floatation device, and preferably, wear a floatation vest. You might be an amazing swimmer, and you might think this isn’t necessary, but anything can happen on a boat. You could be injured in a way that prevents you from swimming such as a broken limb, animal bite, or even getting knocked unconscious. Those aren’t major threats while sailing, but they can happen, and a floatation device can save your life in those situations.
On top of that, you’re not preparing to swim. If you end up in the water, it’ll likely be because a wave or a stumble knocked you off the boat. You can end up disoriented and wasting precious time underwater trying to figure out where you’re at. That can be incredibly dangerous under the right circumstances.
Many municipalities even require the use of safety equipment while sailing on dinghies because of this risk.
3: Make Your Location Known
The ocean is a big place, and even lakes can be pretty big and hard to find people in. If you go out on the water, you need to make sure someone you trust knows where you’re at and when you expect to come back home. If something happens, and you’re not home on time, they will know something is up and call for help.
You can take this one step further and track your boat. A wave can knock you off course, or you can turn down the wrong channel, and you can end up lost and in need of help.
4: Use Common Sense
Finally, use your head a bit.
You’re on a dinghy; not a barge or cruise vessel. If the weather is bad, don’t set sail. If the water is too cold, and it can be dangerous for you to fall in, wait until it’s warmer to go sailing. If you’re a beginner who can barely handle your vessel, don’t ride on choppy water.
The water can be dangerous, but if you use your head and take some basic precautions, it’s incredibly safe.