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How to Scratch your Sailing Itch During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Hello sailing friends, how are you doing? If like us you miss your beloved boat, frolicking on the water and having the wind and salt in your hair, we get it. I mean we really get it, so much so that we’ve come up with a bunch of suggestions to scratch your sailing itch during lockdown, social distancing or whatever measures you’re restricted to at the moment.

We’ve packaged our suggestions into 4 tiers:

  1. I’m okay but need a little nautical entertainment
  2. I’m starting to struggle, throw something nautical at me
  3. I’m desperately missing my boat
  4. The kids entertainment section

With each level our ideas and suggestions get a little more ridiculous and entertaining, we hope you find them as enjoyable as we do, if not just remember we too have been home for far too long, so we apologise in advance...

1. I’m okay but need a little nautical entertainment

Sailing games: we love them! From funny cards to sailing trivia you can not only improve your sailing knowledge and make revision fun, but you can play within your household, whilst keeping the sailing theme alive. Our partners over at NauticEd have some really cool ones that you can play for free on their website:

Cat NED the Catamaran Maneuvering Sailing Game: suddenly you’re a sailor in the Caribbean and you've got to dock the catamaran into the customs dock, get marine weather information, re supply the boat and head out - all inside 5 minutes. Oh and in the process you can’t hit any docks or other boats. You can challenge your friends to beat your time. You’ll have to do real maneuvers correctly to pass! Try it here.

Play Advanced NED the Sail Trim Game: in this game you're a sail-trimmer in a race and you've got to trim the sails as fast as you can to their best positions for each leg of the race. The skipper will be maneuvering the boat around the buoys and at every mark you need to trim the sails correctly.

The Virtual Regatta

This paid game lets you either compete for the best start line position using your best sailing navigation tactics and/or you can enter famous races such as Vendee, Fastnet and Sydney Hobart. As if that wasn’t enough you also get to race against thousands of rivals. So if you’re a racing sailor with a competitive side, this is the game for you!

Plot routes with savvy navvy

Okay we know you can’t go sailing just now but you can plan for when you do! With savvy navvy you can start scouting out the perfect anchorages and marinas and estimate trip distances with our routing algorithm and other sailing navigation tools. Research now, sail later.

Tie yourself up in knots

Make sure you look like a seasoned professional when you get back on your boat. Grab a piece of rope and start practicing common sailing knots until you can do them with your eyes closed! Remember it’s always best to practice tying knots onto or around something, otherwise you get used to tying them free handed and then wonder why you can’t tie a bowline onto a stanchion. Can you do all the knots, with your eyes closed, in our “essential sailing knots for sailors” blog?

Watch and read sailing books and movies

Watch, read, sail, repeat.

We just love watching sailing films such as Wind, White Squall and Maiden, to name a few. Here’s our team’s top 5 sailing movies to watch, pour a drink, open a bag of popcorn and enjoy.

Once you’ve gotten your fill of movie screen time, books can help scratch that itch equally well. There are some incredible books detailing stories of our greatest sailing adventurers, if you haven’t had time to read them all, now is your time. Check out our top 7 MUST READ sailing books! If you’re looking for inspiration, adventure, examples of human endurance, bravery and true grit, this list is just the thing for you!

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2. I’m starting to struggle, throw something nautical at me

Get creative with it.

Photos: Go through your stacks of sailing photos, organise them, pick the best one (yes we know that’s hard) and order it to your house on a canvas. Display it on the wall as motivation for the next time you’re out on the water!

Study for your sailing exam: have you always considered getting your day skipper, yachtmaster or other sailing qualifications and just never really had the time. Well now you have no excuses, this is the perfect time to do your theory preparations!  NauticEd have a range of sailing courses that you can take online and currently have deals for getting a free logbook with your sailing courses. In addition the American Sailing Association (ASA) also have a range of online sailing courses, check them out here.

Get nautical with home decor: home decor is on the rise since we’ve all had to stay at home more, so why not dust of your overalls and consider a chic home makeover. Who said your lounge couldn’t feel like a cockpit? Here’s a great Pinterest board for nautical decor themes and ideas (We love everything with marine charts on it.)

Build your own model boat: there are some great home kits for building your own model boat which you can then proudly display in your newly, nautically decorated, house. Check out sites like Hobbies, Amazon and Hobbycraft for ideas.

3. I’m desperately missing my boat

We apologise in advance...

Option 1: Make a makeshift coffee grinder in your back garden, start your grinder practice and get anyone you’re social distancing with to spray you with a hose. Shut your eyes and sure enough you can pretend you're out there on the water. Whilst your buddies laugh at you!

Option 2: Have a sea salt bath: yes that’s right a bath, stick a bunch of purifying salts in there and don’t do the rinse off at the end - hey presto, your sea salty like you just jumped off the boat from an evening round the cans. Sounds silly? Yes maybe but hey it would feel great!

4. The kids entertainment section

Now this is the fun part!

Play Pirate ships: you can dress your kids up like pirates and make boats out of cardboard boxes. Give each pirate a range of water balloons and have them “fire” at the other ship. Whomever has the soggiest ship at the end loses and has to walk the plank.

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Baking: a great way to pass the time and yummy too! How about making some nautical cookies or a cake in the shape of your favourite boat? Kids will love them and we’re sure you will too!

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