Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

Sailing in the sun - good fun but deadly

by Sail-World Cruising on 4 Feb 2013
Sailing in the sun, good fun but deadly - photo by Anthony M Davis .. .
Whether you sail just for an afternoon, escape to tropical climes to sail your holidays away, or have let the docklines go altogether to be full time cruising, the sun will sometimes be your greatest friend, but also can be you deadliest enemy.

Sailors are like anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors - they tend to experience sunburn and skin damage more often than the average person.


This means it is essential that cruising sailor learn as much as possible about the potentially dangerous effects of ultraviolet radiation (UV), and the steps that can be taken to limit exposure.

Some misconceptions about UV:
UV levels are not linked to how hot or cold the temperature is. UV levels generally don’t change much from day to day whereas temperatures can sometimes change substantially. For example, if a cool change has blown through overnight, sun protection will still be required even though the temperature might feel a lot cooler than the day before. This is because you can't see or feel UV on your skin as you do with the temperature.

UV levels peak in the middle of the day, at solar noon (around 12pm, or 1pm during daylight savings), but can be at damaging levels for much of the day.

Usually marine activities require people to be outdoors for a prolonged period, resulting in a higher cumulative exposure to UV and therefore an increased risk of skin damage and skin cancer. While you are sailing you will be exposed to an additional 10% of UV reflected from the water, and another 10% reflected from your boat.

Reducing exposure to UV by the slip, slop, slap, slide and seek method:
Excessive exposure to UV from the sun is responsible for almost all cases of skin cancer, however the good news is that skin cancer is almost entirely preventable. Cancer Council has five key recommendations for reducing exposure to UV and preventing skin cancer.

1. Slip on sun protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible. This includes shirts with long sleeves, longer style shorts and pants, and don't keep your sailing gloves in your pocket - wear them.

2. Slop on SPF 30+ sunscreen. Ensure that it is applied 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every two
hours. Sunscreen should never be your sole form of sun protection - it should always be used in conjunction with other forms of sun protection.

3. Slap on a hat. You can't wear a broad-brimmed hat on the boat, but you can get the largest cap shade possible when buying your next sailing hat.

4. Slide on sunglasses - eyes need protection from the UV too.

5. Seek shade. Get under the dodger or bimini whenever you can, or for long range cruising, connect the dodger and bimini to create permanent shade in the cockpit.

Take some of this advice to heart, and you won't be the next sailor to experience skin cancer.

Did you like this article? Did you know that you can have all your non-competitive sailing news in one easy-read news magazine delivered direct to your inbox each week, simply by subscribing FREE to Sail-World Cruising? Stay up-to-date with what's happening on the water: everything from sailing adventures to new products, from rally news to new ideas and old tricks. Simply http://www.sail-world.com/CruisingAus/newsletter_subscribe.cfm!click_here now!
Ancasta Ker 33 660x82Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Barz Optics - Floaters

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted today at 5:58 am
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug
Rio Olympics - Fourth gallery of images the fearsome Niteroi course
Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds. believe it or not the sea conditions were worse inshore as the fleet encountered the backwashed Atlantic rollers
Posted on 12 Aug
Rio 2016 - Third image gallery of 470's braving the Atlantic Ocean
Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds
Posted on 12 Aug
Gladwell's Line - The challenges of Guanbara Bay
The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer course, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest of the 2016 Sailing Olympics. Over shadowed by a 1300ft tall granite and quartz mountain in the shape of a sugarloaf, the bay suffers from dramatic windshifts, and huge variance in wind pressure.
Posted on 11 Aug
Rio 2016 - Fresher breezes expected inside and outside on Day 3
Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Two of the fleet scheduled to race outside on the Atlantic Ocean course off Copacabana Beach, while the 470 Men and Women will race inside on Guananara Bay.
Posted on 10 Aug
Rio 2016 - Day 2 brings more tumult for some, salvation for others
The course area may have changed, but Brit, Nick Dempsey's performance early on stayed the same. The course area may have changed, but Brit, Nick Dempsey's performance early on stayed the same. He picked up where he left off on Day 1 in Race 4 of the Men's RS:X class on the Escola Naval race area to record his third win in four races. Poland's Piotr Myszka finished second with Brazil's Ricardo Santos third.
Posted on 10 Aug