What Should You Do During a Storm?
It is the nightmare of every boat owner to be caught up in a storm. But, sometimes it is inevitable. Therefore, it is essential to be prepared for a storm and to know the basics.
Things to do before your boat trip
1. You should always check the latest weather forecast before starting your trip.
2. Bring your own lifejacket, harness and PFDs to every boat trip. If you rent a boat, the boat facilities might only provide you a life cushion, which is not sufficient.
On the water
3. Do not count on the experience of others or take it for granted.
4. Reduce sail once you detected first signs of an impending storm. Use Sea anchors, warps and droques to slow your vessel down.
5.When you charter a boat, always rent boats with level floatation. It might be more expensive, however, it can save lifes.
6. When you are on the water, always check the sky. There are often very quick changes in the weather indicating that a storm is approaching. Weather forecasts are not always right and some storms can form and go undetected before they strike.
7. Sometimes it is better to stay in open water and riding out a storm instead of heading for land. Shallow waterways can be turned into very dangerous places and heading for land does not mean that you can avoid lightning to strike your boat.
8. Place your bow into the weather in order to take the sea with the least uncomfortable motion. You can try to run ahead of the seas when there is enough sea room downwind. You should be always slow enough for the seas to outrun the boat. If your boat is faster than the speed of the sea you will run the risk to lose control or broach.
9. Only experienced sailors should run off tends. Not everybody has the expertise to sail in the direction of the wind with reduced sail. This technique holds the danger that large waves might bury the bow causing the boat to capsize.
10. Do not panic! Try to stay calm, keep low in the boat and stay away from metal objects which are not grounded to your boat's protection system.