Eight Safety Tips for Sailing Alone

There are two types of people in the world. First are the people who can’t live without a companion and the other one seeks solitude.

This article is all about the people who love to go on a solo trip. Boating is fun with friends but sometimes sailing alone can also give you inner peace.

Why People Choose to Sail Alone?

A man sailing alone

Sailing alone or single-handed sailing has a great impact on some people. 

Others say that it’s a way of challenging themselves while others considered it as a “soul searching” activity.

Face your fears, they say but when it comes to boating you should be prepared mentally and physically before facing the single-handed sailing challenge.

If you’re planning to go on a single-handed sailing, keep in mind that your safety should be your number one priority. And with that, we listed eight safety tips for sailing alone:

  1. Life jackets will save you
Life jacket on shore

Even if you’re a swimmer and even if the weather is fine, make sure to wear your life jacket all the time. We all know that sea waves can rapidly change from calm to rough so it’s better to be prepared.

Your life jacket also needs to fit perfectly and should be coast guard approved to avoid any problems like slipping out of it.

  1. Plan ahead of time
A man planning with a map

Your trip may not go well as you planned it, but it’s better to have a plan.

Make sure that you check the weather days before your solo boating, study and plot your route, and have a checklist of the equipment that you need.

You should also familiarize yourself with all the rules and regulations of the place that you’ll be sailing and list all the local contact numbers that you can call in case of emergencies. Also, make an itinerary for your trip and plan your clothing and footwear for safe and comfortable sailing.

  1. Bring your emergency kit
Man holding a boat flare

VHR radio, whistle, fire extinguisher, signal flares, and a life raft. Think of the worst scenario that can happen and think what are the things that you need for you to survive. 

Some of you might say that this thinking is way too negative but this will mentally prepare you for emergencies that might happen in the future.

  1. Always carry your waterproof devices 
A Garmin GPS system on a boat docked at Daisy Farm Campground at Isle Royale National Park, Michigan.

Given that you’ll be surrounded by water, waterproof devices are very much recommended. If they’re not waterproof then you can place them on a transparent pouch to keep them dry.

Another tip is to keep your smartphones, smartwatches, GPS locators, and other devices close to you by placing them on a belt bag or any bag that you can attach to your body.

Since you don’t have someone to assist you, it’s better to keep your devices near you so it’s easier to use them, especially during emergencies.

  1. Prepare your food and drink
Preparing a snack

Eating a full meal and drinking enough water will help you focus on your navigation. You can also pack some easy-to-eat meals/snacks to make your life easier, as I always say, being prepared for single-handed sailing is the key to a successful trip.

Also, pick certain food and drinks that will keep you energized and awake.

  1. Get some rest
A person resting

Sailing alone can be physically and mentally tiring. Since you’re the only one on your boat, all the responsibility is in your hands.

Having enough sleep is a big help so you won’t get sleepy while sailing and of course, it can prevent you from any boating accidents such as collisions.

  1. Kill switch is a huge help

A kill switch is a safety stop device that gives you control to cut the engine off. This device is designed for solo travelers since it’s clipped to your body so you can easily pull and turn the engine off. 

This can protect you and prevent any danger once you lose control of your speed.

  1. Don’t forget to bring some knowledge too
A book and a glasses

Lastly, having the right knowledge about boating rules and regulations will help you prevent any accidents. As a solo traveler, it’s best if you’re fully aware and familiar with your boat.

If you’re not confident enough then you need to take some time to study and improve your boating skills first before exploring the sea alone. Single-hand sailing is no joke and can’t be learned overnight, it needs planning, proper training, and experience to come up with a great result.


It’s a great accomplishment to sail alone, some of you might include this on your bucket list but you can’t rush great things. Successful single-hand sailing needs a lot of preparation, sufficient knowledge, and years of experience. Once you have these three, then you’re ready to go.

Do you love sailing alone? Share your experience and comment below.

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