We have all read the stories and advice about seasickness clearing up
after three or four days at sea.
While they may be true they are not very reassuring for those who just
want to enjoy a day on the water, or I suspect for the long voyager on
the first day of sickness.
The few times when I have felt nauseous on board it has mainly been due
to the combination of the motion plus over indulging the evening before.
So, for anyone but especially those who are prone to motion sickness,
precautions should start well before going aboard.
Avoid eating anything that is inclined to cause a stomach upset such as
fried or spicy foods and allow plenty of time for it to be digested
Get plenty of rest and avoid partying too hard the night before, a
hangover is bad enough without exacerbating it with motion sickness.
While you should avoid drinking too much alcohol do drink plenty of the
And stay hydrated while on board.
Just as ballerinas have a trick to stop them becoming dizzy so we
boaters can help reduce the chances of seasickness.
Once on board you will be less likely to feel the worst effects of
seasickness if your eyes are seeing what your ears are feeling.
This is why going below is not such a good idea.
Laid on a bunk, the interior of the cabin will appear to your eyes be
steady when your ear is saying that you are anything but.
The same goes for reading a book, spending more than a few moments
looking at the charts, the compass or through binoculars.
Try to keep your eyes, working to interpreting the motion of the boat
and the waves, at the same time keeping your peripheral vision
out on the horizon and not staring at objects that your eye
will interpret as being stable.
Find the position on the boat where there is least motion but at the
same time allows you to see the horizon, this will normally be low down
in the cockpit.
While being out there in the fresh air is good, it is vitally important
Try to loosen up and allow your body to roll with the boat.
Take some deep breaths.
And try to keep busy, anything you feel up to doing will help distract
you from your discomfort.
If you feel drowsy a nap might help but don’t lie down or go below,
find somewhere in a corner of the cockpit where you can sit, wedge your
and keep well wrapped up.
There is a plethora
of ‘remedies’ on the market, but as I have
never had to take any I’m not in a position to recommend any.
the other hand, anyone who is inclined to suffer may find that one of
these remedies is the answer to enjoying time on the water.
Some of the medications can be bought other over the counter others
require a prescription from your doctor.
Stick-on scopolamine patches usually require a doctor's prescription.
The majority of these medications cause drowsiness and a dry mouth.
As with any medication the instructions for their use should be read
carefully and they should be taken with care.
Usually they should be taken well before you leave land so that they
have enough time to take effect.
There are also some herbal remedies containing ginger which
are reported to have a beneficial effect.
And then there are the wrist bands which use acupuncture pressure
points and are claimed to help some people.
the symptoms soon disappear when your system learns to compensate for
the swaying and pitching of the boat, though that my take a day or two.
the other hand when you do go ashore you my have to regain your ‘land
legs’ before you can adjust to being on terra firma again.
“She found out that having something to do prevented you from feeling seasick, and that even a job like scrubbing a deck could be satisfying, if it was done in a seamanlike way.
She was very taken with this notion, and later on she folded the blankets on her bunk in a seamanlike way, and put her possessions in the closet in a seamanlike way, and used 'stow' instead of 'tidy' for the process of doing so.
After two days at sea, Lyra decided that this was the life for her.” (Philip Pullman)
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I am perfectly aware that the majority of Wooden Boat aficionados are sensible folk. However, I need to point out that I am an amateur wooden boat enthusiast simply writing in order to try to help other amateur wooden boat enthusiasts. And while I take every care to ensure that the information in DIY Wood Boat.com is correct, anyone acting on the information on this website does so at their own risk.