We have talked a lot in these blogs about how a private yacht charter can offer you everything a cruise ship can, and so much more, at what could be surprisingly comparable prices.
Yet, when comparing a charter vacation and a cruise, another point of resistance I often hear is, “well I get seasick, and I know I just will get sick on a boat that is so much smaller than a cruise ship.” However, the truth is, even passengers that are prone to sea sickness can totally enjoy the luxury and privacy you can only get from a charter yacht experience!
Dealing With Seasickness on a Charter Yacht
Before we get into how to avoid getting seasick, let’s understand exactly what seasickness is. Seasickness, or more accurately “motion sickness” is caused when your sense of balance is disrupted when certain kinds of motion sends your body conflicting signals from your eyes, ears, and other senses. The rocking or heaving motion of a boat is a common cause of those mixed signals. Today’s modern motor yachts have stabilizers and other design features that minimize that kind of motion and deliver a very stable ride. However, despite that, those who are prone to seasickness still can experience the problem even with minimal rocking. The key to still enjoying your yacht charter is to prevent seasickness, and there are many effective ways to do so.
Chose your destination carefully – If you know you are prone to seasickness, book a charter that will be in mostly calm waters. Fortunately here in South Florida we have the Intercostal Waterway, and many inland lakes and canals that provide for wonderful day charters in and around Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, and West Palm Beach, that do not go anywhere near the open ocean.
Medications – There are several medications that are very effective in preventing seasickness. The key is to take them before you board. Once seasickness takes hold, these drugs cannot help, but medications such as Dramamine and Bonine, prevent the condition by blocking those “mixed signals” that throw off your balance. These can make you drowsy. There is an over-the-counter non-drowsy formula of Dramamine available, or you can ask your doctor for a prescription for a transdermal patch. The patch is placed behind the ear, and lasts for a few days, slowly releasing the seasickness medication into you system. It is very effective, and eliminates the need for you to take pills every few hours.
Non-drug solutions – If you are not comfortable taking drugs, some people have gotten good results from acupressure wrist bands that supposedly block the imbalance signals to the brain. Like medications, these need to be put on before you board to be effective, and not once you are already feeling sick. Beyond that, eat light before you board, and try to minimize alcohol consumption.
What if I Didn’t Take any Preventive Measures?
Most people will not feel seasick when the yacht is still or in calm waters. Some people may not know or believe that they are prone to seasickness, and therefore did not take any proactive measures. If you are on board, and are starting to feel sick, or just want to try to prevent getting sick, here are some tips you can do once the charter is underway.
- Try to stay above deck
- Stay toward the center of the boat
- Look at a fixed point on the horizon
- Listen to music through earbuds
- If you can, take a turn at the helm. Steering the yacht can give you focus and restore equilibrium
There really is no reason to let seasickness cause you to avoid or ruin a charter yacht vacation, because there are many ways to avoid it. And, even if you should get seasick, remember it is a passing thing, don’t let it ruin your whole vacation. You will feel better as soon as the yacht stops moving. Even if you have not taken any preventive measures at all, on long-term charters, most people will get their “sea-legs,” and be less effected by the motion as the days go on.
Choosing the right charter experience can be challenging. If you would like to benefit from our expertise in these areas, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Charter Specialists, or call us at 954-235-3468