10 common mistakes aspiring yachtsmen make
Denis Korablev
  • 26.02.2021
  • 223

10 common mistakes aspiring yachtsmen make

Yachting is a trendy outdoor activity that attracts travel lovers. For some, it is easier to practice in the chosen yacht club, someone goes sailing or takes tourists for work, and someone buys a personal yacht and goes sailing for pleasure.

But, both amateur yachting and professional sports do not forgive mistakes. Forgetting the big things, beginners often make mistakes that turn into big problems. Here we have collected the most common mistakes of beginner yachtsmen and provided tips on how to avoid them.

Beginner yachtsmen often make typical mistakes that could have been avoided by knowing some of the rules of conduct on board. On forums and thematic sites, you can easily find many articles and reviews that positively describe sea travel on a yacht, but you will hardly be able to find negative reviews and practically valuable recommendations.

Sloppy handling of ropes on deck

When starting their duties, inexperienced sailors often forget to prematurely disassemble the ropes and untangle them before starting to work with the sails. This is not correct, as a ball of tangled ropes looks ugly and can be potentially dangerous if you get caught with your foot, you can get injured. Therefore, always remove ropes before working with sails, and damaged ropes must be replaced with new ones in time.

Lack of thorough inspection of the vessel prior to renting it

Before yacht charter you will need to pay a security deposit, which must be returned to you in full, but only if the yacht returns to port without damage. Some unscrupulous companies make money by keeping silent about the existing damage and subsequently returning only part of the insurance. Therefore, it is necessary to inspect the vessel as thoroughly as possible (preferably during daylight hours) and only after that sign all the papers. If you are not confident in your abilities, you should enlist the support of an experienced sailor and check the ship with him.

If damage is found, they are indicated in the check-in list, which must be signed by you and an employee of the insurance company. This sheet provides an inventory of all property located on the ship's premises and on deck. As a rule, beginners cannot just immediately detect damage, which in the future can be presented as a reason for non-refund of the sum insured. It is especially important to check and start the engine, because this unit in the yacht takes on the lion's share of the load. Also, do not forget to request a diving magazine, which will indicate all damage that is present on the outside of the hull. And remember that if you handled the yacht carefully and there was no damage during the trip, then the insurer has no right to demand additional payments from you.

Do not use gloves

Gloves should occupy a special place in the yachtsman's wardrobe, since it is impossible to hold the ropes with bare hands. You should purchase special leather gloves that will reliably protect your hands. If you neglect gloves, you can injure your hands and even get burned. Always use gloves when handling ropes and winches on board, and it is best to have several pairs of gloves just in case.

Incorrect reading of weather forecasts

Beginners, when going to sea, pay attention only to the strength of the wind, but this is not the only indicator that needs to be taken into account. Be sure to take into account the CAPE index, gusts of wind, chance of precipitation and other parameters.

Invalid anchoring

Beginners, as a rule, cannot choose the correct depth, therefore they cannot anchor in the chosen place. Another mistake is the incorrect choice of chain length, which also affects the correct anchoring. And if you do anchor in a place where other yachts are adjacent to you, take special care when planning your stop so as not to become entangled by the anchors.

Wrong choice of rope length for tethering rubber boat

If the length of the rope is incorrectly selected, the rubber boat will hit the side of the yacht or the rope may wind around the propeller, which is extremely dangerous. It will be ideal if you always lift the boat aboard the yacht after use. We advise you to make sure that the rope connecting the rubber boat with the yacht is shortened before anchoring.

Sharp raising of the anchor

It is not uncommon for beginners to make a critical mistake, putting considerable effort in raising the anchor, which can result in a hole under the bowsprit. You need to carefully watch how fast the anchor is lifting and how hard it can hit with sharp ends on the yacht. It is best to raise the anchor at a slow speed, while marking several transition points. After lifting, make sure that the anchor is free of algae or other debris, then carefully place it in its original place.

Lack of action plan

A common mistake inexperienced sailors make is overconfidence when planning a trip. Therefore, they can make decisions at the very last moment, give conflicting commands to the crew members, which undoubtedly affects the coherence when mooring in the marina or participating in sailing competitions. You need to know that improvisation is not applicable on the water, and experienced yachtsmen always have a backup plan of action for any, even the most dangerous, situations.

Incorrect selection of equipment

Perhaps for someone it looks attractive to stand at the helm of the yacht, feeling the pleasant headwind and warm sunlight tangling in your hair, being on deck with a bare torso and barefoot. The first rule of thumb is to always wear special shoes. This is true as it is very easy to injure your foot or toe on the protruding parts of the yacht's assemblies located on the deck. Beginners often choose to ignore such simple safety rules and we recommend that you always use special shoes, clothing and a hat when working on deck.


Being at the sea for a long time, the person feels less thirsty, while the body loses much more moisture than when on land. To stay hydrated, drink plenty of water and bring an adequate supply of water or mineral water with you. You may also want to consider purchasing special closed mugs or sports reusable water bottles.

Tips for Beginner Yachtsmen

Despite the fact that young yachtsmen undergo training, it is useful for them at the very beginning of their journey to learn about possible mistakes, in order to avoid unpleasant and dangerous situations in the future. Consider tips and tricks that will help a novice yachtsman:

  • Throwing garbage into the water is prohibited;
  • You cannot use the radio for anything other than its intended purpose, otherwise the coast guard may fine you;
  • It is also prohibited to walk barefoot on the deck;
  • Leaning on a winch is also dangerous;
  • It should be a rule to close all cupboards and cupboards in the galley and cabin before leaving;
  • Throwing garbage in the latrine is also prohibited.

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