How to deal with seasickness

Faces turning green can turn your pleasure sailing trip into an almost unendurable experience for everybody on board a yacht. And yes, there are only two kinds of sailors when it comes to seasickness: the ones which were seasick, and the ones which will be seasick somewhen in the future.

But still we are not completely left stranded and the skipper can take some simple actions to decrease the risk of being caught with this unpleasant illness and therefore increase the fun for everybody on board:

8 possibilites to reduce seasickness on board

1. Competent briefing

It's very easy to scare your crew off when going to much into details and mention fancy examples. Keep the briefing as it says - B R I E F. And keep the crew informed throughout the trip.

2. Appropriate sail trim

The general rule "First time you think about reefing - REEF!" applies. You'll reduce power, movement and "violence" and make your crew being safer and feeling more comfortable (see also 5)

3. Keep people eating and drinking light

Quite often seasickness starts with being hungry and/or dehidrated. So ensure your crew is regularly eating and drinking LIGHT (fruits, tea, cookies, sandwiches, soup, vegetables, juice, water) If one of your crew is starting to feel silly allreday, hand out a CAROT. You'll be surprised...

4. Keep people warm/cool and comfortable

One of the key issues in becoming seasick or not is the personal well being during a bumpy (or rather any) trip. Make sure your crew is dressed and protected appropriate and that they feel comfortable throughout the time on board.

5. Make them feel safe and in control!!!

Again; keep your crew informed and BUSY. They will feel safer when understanding that the skipper actually knows his job and when being involved instead of just sitting there and create their own frightning scenarios. It can be very challenging for an unexperienced person to understand that it is absolutely normal (if not wanted) that this yacht is tilting over like this. It's no fun being at the mercy of an unsettled situation.

6. „Not being seasick is not a skill – it's pure luck!“

Do not make them feel as being weak if they become seasick. You might remember the subjects being talked about the evening before leaving the harbor for the first time. Sooner or later someone will bring up a story about seasickness and then another and another – „hahaha“ 'man I hope it's not me first...'.

7. Fresh air and the horizon

If someone feels a little silly or is known to be quite sensitive to motion, do not assign such a person to extensive chart work or engine repairs or anything else down below once underway. Obviously fresh air and a good 360 view helps a lot.

8. Medical treatment

If anything else was not working, skip homoeopathy and dig out the real stuff. Dosing a crew member might make her/him feel a little dizzy but it also might be the difference between „Oh yes, I liked sailing!“ and the other. And keep dehidration in mind. Over a longer period vomiting can become a serious issue!

This list of actions makes no claim to be complete. Any additional input will be appreciated. But still this 8 possiblities might keep you out of the worst troubles. Good luck and happy sailing!