Sailing away with a bunch of friends on your own boat is a dream come true for many of us. It is a comfortable way of travelling, having your own belongings with you without being too restricted with luggage space (hello more shopping please!)

However there are quite a few things to think about before setting sail, and here are a few of our tips given by Robert, our chief instructor at Prosailing Malta

If possible, try and combine your trip with a friend – this always works well and is peace of mind should anything happen half way through your crossing

Check and double check the weather before leaving – when planning a trip like this, it is important to have slightly flexible dates! Planning to leave Monday and returning on Saturday might not work, and although weather forecasts are now quite reliable, the forecast can change even when abroad, so the return date might have to shift by a few days.

Make sure to have the essentials on board – (and know what to do with them!!), having a spare primary fuel filter, fine fuel filter, oil filter, spare oil, spare coolant, spare belt and a spare impellor as a minimum together with a well put together tool kit – a set of screwdrivers, spanners, socket set, pliers, side cutters, allen keys, vice grip, cable ties, filter wrench, hack saw and possibly a cordless drill and grinder

Depending on your destination, ensure you have the correct charts, nautical publications such as pilot books, and chart plotters which are well updated.

Plan your itinerary, a few good places to have a bite to eat, and most of all ENJOY!

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