Winter on the Yacht: Tips & Tricks for Boating in Cold Weather

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Even though most yachts are used during the summer, being laid up throughout the wintertime, the colder months still have plenty to offer for any avid boater. From migrating species in coastal waters to breathtaking sceneries filled with beautiful snow-capped mountains, winter sailing can truly be a unique and magical experience. However, the harsher weather can also come with certain dangers, which is why it’s necessary to be fully prepared and set the right conditions for smooth sailing. So, here are some of the best tips and tricks to follow in order to make yachting in wither more enjoyable:

Choose shorter sailing trips

While the winter months might present a more unique and exciting sailing experience, cold weather often comes with shorter days and smaller windows of daylight hours as well. For that reason, it’s always recommended to plan shorter boating trips if you’re not used to sailing during the winter months. In case you prefer going out for longer periods of time, however, make it a point to leave before dawn, in an effort to ensure there is still enough light outside once you return. Not only will this make for a safer and more secure yachting experience, but it will also help to make the entire trip more fun and pleasant for everyone on board.

Keep your tanks topped up

Considering the fact that fuel berth working hours are often reduced during the winter, and water supplies are even completely turned off in some marinas to shield the pipes from the cold, filling up your water and fuel tanks whenever you can is essential during the colder months. What’s more, keeping your fuel tank full at all times can also reduce the chances of condensation forming, while also preventing microbial contamination of the tank. In the same vein, keeping your batteries fully charged throughout the winter months can be crucial for smooth sailing, as diesel engines tend to consume more power in order to warm up during colder weather than they do in warmer months.

Contact a great broker

Yachts are large investments that require plenty of emotional decisions. Whether you are attempting to buy a new yacht or simply need help managing your current vessel throughout the winter period, having a reputable and dependable yacht charter broker by your side is always the best option. Apart from saving you plenty of time and money in the long run, working with a great broker will also give you access to tailor-made management services, as well as additional opportunities and luxurious perks such as trained and experienced crews, thus making sailing in cold weather an incomparably safer and more enjoyable experience.

Keep life jackets on hand

Even though lifejackets are an incredibly important aspect of sailing all year round, they might be even more crucial during the colder months. As it turns out, we only have approximately ten minutes before we lose strength and consciousness when the water is cold enough, meaning life jackets are essential for staying afloat even if you are a particularly strong and skilled swimmer. To that end, keep your life jackets in a dry and easily accessible place when they’re not in use, and make sure that everyone who is on board has a suitable life jacket when sailing in winter.

Dress for the weather

Staying warm and dry is truly necessary for combating harsher weather and turning a winter sailing trip into a more pleasurable experience. So, aim to pack a change of clothes to ensure you always have something dry to wear. Instead of choosing bulky clothing, opt for layering, as it’s the best way to ensure mobility and flexibility while still staying warm. Bring hats, gloves, scarves, warm socks, face masks, and spares of each, and try to wear waterproof options whenever possible. You might want to bring a pair of sunglasses as well, since the sun can still peek out during the winter, although slightly lower on the horizon.

Enjoy warm drinks and meals

To ensure you stay comfortable and snug when sailing in winter, hot beverages will be essential. Bring more coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or other hot drinks than you normally would, and keep them warm in appropriate travel mugs. Hot meals can also be of great help for warming you up, so attempt to bring some soup, crockpot meals, casseroles, or any other warm meal that will satisfy your hunger during cold-weather trips. A gourmet kitchen and a skilled crew on a luxury yacht could be ideal in this instance as well.

Evidently, life on a yacht during the winter significantly differs from the summertime. But as long as you adhere to proper boat maintenance and management, ensure you stay warm and comfortable at sea, and follow safe boating practices, yachting in the colder months can still be a fun and enjoyable experience.

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