Sailing the Atlantic Ocean – whether you’re taking your yacht all the way across the ocean or just out for a few days on the open water – can be an amazing experience. From the dolphins swimming up to the bow to the star-filled, peaceful nights, there’s nothing quite like it.
Many yachts cross the Atlantic every year and, fortunately, most of them never have any serious problems.
However, accidents are always a possibility, unexpected weather conditions could throw off your plans, and unwanted incidents with criminal elements are a real concern.
Sailing the Atlantic requires some real sailing skills, the ability to adapt to new situations quicky, and all the right safety and security equipment. While you’re in for an amazing time, it’s important to remember that the Atlantic expects a lot from those who sail it.
You can handle it, though, as long as you take the time to properly prepare your yacht and develop the skills to stay safe out on the ocean and use the right security systems to keep your yacht safe while in port.
A Little Information Goes a Long Way
One of the simplest and most effective ways to increase your safety and reduce your risks is to carefully choose your route based on the most recent and reliable information.
When you take your yacht out on the Atlantic, make sure you keep up-to-date with everything from the political climate of your destination to any reports of issues that have been impacting sailors in that region.
This could include incidents of theft, difficult weather, or increased levels of piracy.
Don’t jump to conclusions, though. Make sure you read all the details of the available reports. There might have been some petty thefts at your intended dock, but was that simply because the yacht owners left their boats wide open? Did they have sufficient security?
Whatever the case, always get informed on the reputation of your destination so you can properly secure your yacht and even fit in with the local culture when you arrive.
What Are the Potential Concerns?
While most yacht owners never report any significant problems while travelling the Atlantic, there are always some possible concerns that should never be ignored.
First, the most commonly reported incidents on yachts are petty thefts. Simply put, modern yachts don’t exactly have a low profile, and there are a lot more of them out on the water than there were just a couple decades ago. This has made them something of a priority target.
With a little bit of common sense, though, you should be able to protect your yacht from this kind of attention, and the right security system should keep everything locked up tight.
There are, of course, other serious concerns, including:
- Unwanted intruders while in dock. This could include petty thefts or grand larceny. It could even mean intruders with malicious intent.
- Unwanted visitors on the water. Piracy is a serious problem in some parts of the world, and the Atlantic Ocean certainly isn’t exempt from it.
- Unexpected sailing conditions. Not every concern has to do with other people. Sudden storms can be very problematic for unskilled navigators.
- Breakdowns on the yacht. Despite your best efforts, a lot of things can go wrong with the ship and accidents can always happen.
There are several options for dealing with unwanted intruders, including acoustics and strobes and other non-lethal deterrents.
Security isn’t just about the technology, though. You need to always keep your wits about you and make the best decisions possible – especially when you’re out on the open water. Don’t try to be a hero if retreating to the panic room and signaling the authorities is the better option.
Safety while sailing the Atlantic is really a mix of mental focus, constant awareness, and the most recent security and monitoring devices.
After all, you may never run into turbulent weather while on the ocean, and you may never see a suspicious boat approach yours – but then again, you might. So, it’s critical that you’re prepared for anything.
Accidents and breakdowns can happen onboard, too, creating new hazards.
The simple fact is that the best safety measure is sufficient preparation. You should always follow the recommendations for safety equipment that should be on the ship, check the systems for potential breakdowns, and follow up on any alerts from your security and monitoring systems.
Use the Experiences of Others
Crossing the Atlantic is a huge and exciting adventure. A lot of people have done it in the past, and their experiences are out there for you to benefit from.
If you take some time to read about their experiences you can discover the unique and unexpected things they learned on their own adventures. You can discover what they wished they knew before leaving, and what they’d recommend for anyone else making a similar trip.
Remember, staying safe is all about staying aware, and these experiences are a great way to get ready for your upcoming trip.