Beating Seasickness

Posted by Grant Headifen on December 20, 2008 under Crew, Skipper | Be the First to Comment

One of the best forms of cure for seasickness when sailing a sailboat is for the skipper to give up the helm to the ailing crew member. Strange and unnatural as it may seem this will usually work within 3-4 minutes. Why? Well you’ve always heard that a seasick person should concentrate on the horizon – and my dad always made me do this when he and I would go out fishing on his 16 foot cuttycabin in New Zealand. We’d sit out about 4 miles all day on anchor riding the swells up and down up and down. Uhw making me sick now. Seasickness is a nauseous reaction from imbalance in the inner ear with what your seeing from the surrounding environment and the body becomes confused. Concentrating on the horizon reduces that confusion. However, what is even better about sailing is that there is other stimulus inputs when controlling the helm. Not only are you concentrating on the horizon but you’re having to use your motor skills to control the boat. The brain activity defocuses from the confusion of the inner ear and concentrates on the job at hand.

This is an almost guaranteed form to instantly remove seasickness. Now there are other things you can do as well like the watch shocker, some drugs, patches and the age old tried and true ginger. I still go back to New Zealand to go fishing every year and one of the things my sister always has on her boat are ginger snap cookies (Ginger nut biscuits as they are called in Kiwiland). If you’re into natural, then ginger is a good place to start.

Here is a link to some great Ginger tea saschets that you can take on the boat to cure seasickness:

If you’re wanting to learn to sail and are afraid of becoming seasick – we can almost guarantee that when you’re behind that helm – you’re probably not going to suffer like you think. Come on – lets get out sailing. And skippers,  stop being greedy with the helm and give it up.