5 must-have features for your sailboat

December 29, 2014

Although basic sailboats have much to offer, these five features can make a difference in both safety and comfort to improve your sailing experience.

5 must-have features for your sailboat

1. GPS chartplotter

Once you use a GPS chartplotter, you'll never want to be without it. GPS chartplotters allow you to map a course, ensure your boat is directly following that course and receive constant updates on weather conditions, ocean conditions and hazards, such as sandbars and dangerous currents.

  • GPS chartplotters also come with a man overboard button that allows you to quickly obtain the coordinates of the location where someone fell off your boat, an important safety feature for sailors.

2. A safe and comfortable sailing cockpit

Your cockpit is the place you'll be spending a significant amount of time helming, trimming sails, keeping watch or just enjoying the open water.

  • Your cockpit should have good depth for safety reasons and adequate drainage.
  • Also, make sure you have quick access to jammers, cleats and key parts of your winch system from your cockpit.
  • A seat that is about 35 cm high and 50 to 55 cm wide provides ideal support.
  • Adjustable seats are available on sailboat models, allowing you to change your position for maximum comfort.

3. Electric winch system

Electric winch systems are an amazing addition to any sailboat.

  • With the simple press of a button, you can sheet a jib even in high winds, trim a main sail with ease and execute other essential tasks on your boat.
  • These systems are particularly useful if you're short on crew, as they free up crew members to perform other tasks.
  • An electric winch system can also help prevent injury and maintain safety during rough conditions.
  • Ultimately, an electric winch system makes sailing enjoyable and far less stressful.

4. Wide and clutter-free decks

Wide decks on a sailboat are often an overlooked feature, but they can greatly improve your sailing experience.

  • With a wide deck, you can quickly access different parts of your boat without getting tangled or hindered, which can reduce stress and improve safety.
  • Organize your deck to provide easy access to winches, mains and masts.
  • Some boats are designed so that you have to climb on top of the cabin to access these features, which can be dangerous and unstable, especially in rough waters.

5. Reverse osmosis watermaker

A reverse osmosis watermaker is an especially valuable sailboat accessory if you're going on long sea voyages.

  • The system can turn seawater into purified drinking water through reverse-osmosis and remove bacteria and parasites from freshwater.
  • Although these devices are expensive and require proper maintenance, they can help reduce your reliance on large water tanks and give you safe drinking water no matter where you are.

Sailing out on the open water is a wonderful way to spend a summer day and by adding these features to your sailboat, you'll enjoy it that much more.

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