Sage Advice from a Salty Sea Dog

An interesting conversation with a former sea captain (and admitted “salty old sea dog”) provided us with some good reminders about safety on the water. And while the world has changed plenty since he first started sailing at 15 years old, much of his advice is still valid today. Below is a sampling of what he had to say.

  • Keep a collection of charts in a waterproof case and have them close at hand on each journey
  • Have a navigator, if possible
  • Take a safety course
  • Always tell someone where you are going
  • Never have alcohol on board
  • Have a working radio and radio direction finder
  • Know how to use your navigational tools: magnetic compass, parallel ruler, and land bearing compass

He also compares a car trip to a boat trip—you wouldn’t drive without a map and without knowing what roads to take. The same goes for a boat trip—don’t leave port without a chart and knowledge on where to go. Your GPS can fail and you need to know where you are at all times . . . especially in the dark.

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