Before the Voyage
- Read the Tall Ship Guidebook.
- Consider doing an online Course like the RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship Course
- Study the vessels kit list carefully well in advance making sure you know what to take with you.
- Look at the deck plans to give yourself some idea of the ships layout
- Learn about the ships type of rigging in the Tall Ship Guidebook.
- Check the information the ship provides on what will be expected of you, watch keeping etc.
- If you have any dietary requirements make sure this can be catered for.
- Any special requests have been asked and acknowledged.
- How to get there and back in good time. Take advantage of your travel to enjoy some time in your port destinations.
- Keep your packing weight down to control your baggage costs and the physical effort of carrying them. (Please note most ships only have a small space for your clothing and any rigid suitcases are going to be storage problem, Use soft baggage like a rucksack or sailors bag.
- Ensure your health and insurance are adequate for the entirety of your travel.
Once on Board
• Identify who will be in charge of you and let them know any personal requirements that you have requested.
• You should be shown to your accommodation and given a quick guide to how to get around the ship.
• Pay close attention to the safety and ship briefing.
o Make sure you know how to use the toilets ‘heads’. They are not always as simple as on the land. Getting it wrong does upset the crew that have to sort it!
• Ask lots of questions when suitable.
o When things are happening quickly it may be best not to interrupt but remember to ask when there is more time.
• Study the wind, where it’s coming from, how strong it is and the effects on the boat, sails, and sea.
o What the sea looks like, dark or light patches, smooth or rough, can tell you a lot about the wind state. See a full description in the Wind Speed Conversion Table in the Tall Ship Guidebook.
• Get stuck in. The more you do the more you will enjoy it. Be quick to volunteer and you will soon be called on to do lots of interesting things. You will not be asked to do anything that you have not be trained to do or is beyond your capabilities.
• The essence of tall ship sailing is to be part of it, everyone onboard has that common goal and by fully joining in you can have a wonderful voyage.