HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST THE SUN ON A BOAT?

The dog days of summer are here, and boat trips are on the rise. 

Whether by yacht or sail boat, get out and reap the benefits of the sea air, the sun, and the summer heat!
But in these dream conditions, there are a few precautions to take, particularly concerning sun protection. Here you’ll find good habits to help you avoid all UV-related unpleasantness.

RISKS FROM SUN

In the summer, it is always pleasant to sail at sea in fine weather, but overexposure can seriously damage your health.

Due especially to sun reflection, the harmful effects are more serious on the water than on land.

Whether on catamaran or dinghy, continuous sun exposure comes from the water, sails, and the deck, all of which generate reflection. Despite wind or sea spray, UV rays are always present, and in these conditions it’s crucial to be well-equipped to fight back against the sun’s harmful effects.

In the short term you risk not only sunburn but also heatstroke due to over-exposure to UV rays. Long-term risks include eye damage and premature ageing of the skin.

APPROPRIATE BOATING GEAR

“check list” of ideal equipment 

Here’s the “check list” of idea boating equipment to protect you from the sun and let you sail in peace:

- As concerns sailing clothing (sailwear), it is advisable to opt for long and light products that protect you against UV radiation, while remaining comfortable and practical. For the upper body, anti-UV T-shirts and polos, that can be worn at sea and on land, are perfectly suitable. For the lower body, choose anti-UV shorts or trousers.

- Remember a hat for your head and choose one with a wide brim, such as a sun hat or baseball cap. Opt for one with ties in case of wind.

- To protect your eyes, a pair of polarising sun glasses will allow you to filter different UV rays. Choose sunglasses with category 3 or 4 lenses, depending on sunlight. Polarising sunglasses mitigate the reflection of sun from the water, but make reading screens more difficult.

- To finish, wear sun screen on any part of your body that is not covered. Choose sun screen strong enough for your skin and the level of sunlight. To keep your skin protected, it’s best to choose waterproof sun screen and remember to reapply every 2 hours.

 

MORE TIPS BEFORE SETTING SAIL

Along with appropriate boating gear, remember these tips while sailing:

- You should expose your skin to the sun progressively, and never suddenly over-expose.

- Avoid being out on the water between noon and 2 pm, when the sun is at its strongest.

- Drink regularly to keep hydrated an avoid problems with heatstroke.

- To finish, never let your guard down when it's cloudy, as UV rays pass through clouds.

 

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