Wondering that sailboats often go (sail) offshore in seas or oceans and thinking whether sailboats are safe or dangerous than other boats. So, I did some research to find out, statistically, whether sailboats are safe or dangerous.
Sailboats can be dangerous, but the statistics show that the sailboats are 13.2% safer than other motorized boats (including both open motorboats and cabin motorboats) and 15.7% safer than personal watercraft. By that, we can say that sailboats are not as dangerous as all are perceiving.
Any sport or activity has its risks and dangers, but those risks or threats shouldn’t concern you from doing those activities. By doing it the right way and the correct way will give you a lot of fun and thrill. And you can completely turn it into a very safe and fun activity to do with your kids and family.
Although the sailboats are not entirely safe but compared to most of the boats such as jet boats, motorboats, including personal watercraft, etc. sailboats are a lot safer. Also, the statistics show that sailboats are around 13% safe than motorboats (including both open and cabin motorboats).
Since the sailboats often go offshore in seas or oceans, it doesn’t mean that they are dangerous (not safe) compared to other boats. Often bad weather can be hazardous for many boats, especially sailboats, which go in seas or oceans. Mainly those are only the things that can be hazardous for sailboats.
With that being said, let’s see some statistics of sailboat accidents, injuries, and deaths to get some idea about whether sailboats are safe or dangerous compared to other motorized boats and, lastly, some safety measures to take along with it as well.
Related post – Check my article on Is boating safe? To know statistically whether boating is safe or dangerous.
Interesting Statistics on sailboat accidents
The statistics below can be an excellent resource for understanding the significant causes of sailboat accidents. And by knowing the causes, you can avoid them by making slight changes in the way you ride, which can immensely reduce your risk of serious injury.
- From 2010 to 2019, a total of 43,058 boating accidents occurred (source). Out of which 3270 are related to sailboats, and 16,895 are related to motorboats (open and cabin motorboats).
- With that, we can tell that sailboats are a lot safer than other boats, especially motorized boats (both open and cabin boats) such as jet boats, personal watercraft, Bayliner, Pontoon boats, Jon boats, etc.
- From 2010 to 2019, a total of 6,482 deaths related to boating has occurred, among which 213 deaths are related to sailboats, which is significantly less compared to motorboat deaths that are 3,428.
- Suppose if we compare the deaths from kayak and canoe that are 1,298, which is 6 times more than the deaths related to sailboats. With that, we can tell that sailboats are a lot safer than non-motorized boats (kayak and canoe).
- Among all the deaths related to a sailboat, more than 50% – 70% of the deaths are caused due to drowning in the water, despite the fact that life jacket is most common among all the boaters.
- From 2010 to 2019, 10,575 personal watercraft accidents have occurred, which is 3.2 times more than sailboat accidents. With that, we can tell that sailboats are a lot safer than PWCs as well.
- Collision with recreational boats and fixed objects is another major cause for sailboat accidents, which can be prevented by proper lookout while boating and maintaining an appropriate distance between other boats.
- Among all those sailboat accidents, more than 40% of the accidents have occurred due to collision with recreational boats and fixed objects, which can be prevented easily.
Sailboats (auxiliary and normal sailboat), motorboat, and PWC accidents are given below in the table. By looking into the statistics, you will get to know the differences between sailboat accidents and other boat accidents.
|Year||Sailboat (Auxiliary and normal)||Open and closed motorboats||PWC|
You can see the accidents, injuries, and deaths related to the sailboats in the table below. By looking into the statistics, you will get to know how many accidents, injuries, and deaths occur in the past years and their trends.
Related post – Check my article on Is Jet skiing safe? (links opens in a new tab) to know statistically whether jet skiing is safe or dangerous.
Some of the safety tips to be followed while boating
Now you got to know some of the significant causes of sailboat accidents such as improper lookout, collision with recreational and fixed objects, drowning, etc. By making some changes to the way you ride, you can avoid some of them.
You can check one of my articles to know the Major causes of boating accidents (opens in a new tab) in a detailed way for each case (cause). Okay, let’s see some of the safety tips to take while boating, especially for sailboats.
1. Keep all the safety equipment in the boat
- Keeping all the safety equipment in the boat is essential, especially for a sailboat because they are mostly sailed in the middle of the seas or offshore purposes, so having all the boat’s safety equipment can help you out at the right times.
- A boat that goes on seas or oceans requires all the equipment such as VHF radio, EPIRB, and all the communication devices. And for a regular boat that goes on inland waters, such as lakes or ponds, most probably don’t require all those things; only a VHF radio is sufficient, and sometimes a phone with a proper signal is sufficient.
To know what all the safety equipment is required on the boat, check my article on Required safety equipment in a boat (opens in a new tab) to know all the required safety equipment based on where you will go for boating, such as in rivers or lakes or oceans.
2. Take help from crew to avoid inattention and improper lookout
- To avoid operator inattention while boating is by keeping all the things that distract you, such as using a phone or doing another work away while boating. You can take help from crew members (if any); otherwise, slow down the boat and do it carefully.
- By asking others (crew members) to do some works while operating the boat, you can avoid operator inattention and improper lookout, which makes you 25% less likely to die or injure in a boating accident.
3. Check the weather before starting the trip
- Weather is one of the things that concern many people when they think about boating. Like many people think (assume) that the weather is the only dangerous part when it comes to boating, but it is not entirely true; only to some extent.
- By checking the weather condition before starting the trip, you can avoid some percent of boating accidents, which will make you 20% less likely to die or injure in a boating accident.
- Not only checking the weather before starting the trip, but you also need to check it while sailing as well because the weather can change within minutes, especially in the middle of the seas or oceans; that’s where sailboats will go often.
Those are some of the safety tips to reduce the risks and dangers while boating. And some of the causes of boating accidents are simple causes, and most of them are easily preventable. Check my article on Boating safety tips (opens in a new tab) to know the essential safety tips in detail.
Still, there are many things to do to prevent boating accidents. Check my article on How to avoid boating accidents (opens in a new tab) to know more info about the prevention tips.
Safety is going to be the first priority to anyone, and by taking some measures while boating (operating the boat), you can do that. After making some changes to the way you ride the boat, you can prevent the majority of the boating accidents.
Sailboats can be dangerous, but the statistics also show that they are a lot safer than other boats. Boating (sailing) is a fun activity, and it is a safe activity until if you do something wrong or neglect the boating rules. Any sport or activity has its risks and dangers, but those risks or threats shouldn’t concern you from doing those activities.
By doing it the right way and the correct way will give you a lot of fun and thrill. And you can completely turn it into a very safe and fun activity to do with your kids and family.
So, doing a few changes to the way you ride will dramatically decrease the risk of injuries or dangers. With that being said, boating (sailing) is an enjoyable activity, and it is a safe activity if you do it the right way.