According to maritime law, the Captain is held accountable for the health and safety of the crew aboard their vessel. They are also held liable for illegal drugs or contraband of any kind found aboard.  This could get the boat impounded or confiscated.  Captain’s are also required to train their crew for emergencies and to make sure all proper documentation of every crew member is valid and held in a safe place while they are aboard.

General Safety

New guests get a safety briefing before getting underway. 

We cover important items that include:

  • Locations of life-jackets
  • Locations of fire extinguishers
  • Location of the EPIRB, and what that is

Stay Hydrated. It sounds counter-intuitive, but staying hydrated around all that water you’re sailing in, it’s often a full time job at sea.  It gets hot, you sweat a lot, and it’s easy to dehydrate. It’s also easier to feel seasick when you’re not hydrated enough. To counter this, we’ve got adult sized hydro-flasks aboard to keep liquids cold and easy to grab. Use ’em and drink up!

SUNBURNS SUCK. Bedouin has a big basket full of SPF choices. We’ve got lotions and sprays and sticks. Take advantage of it and don’t get burned. It’ll ruin your adventure. Plus you’ll likely earn nicknames you don’t want to be called for the rest of the cruise. 

**Years ago we had one of our favorite teenagers crewing aboard with our family and he forgot to SPF his feet. They swelled up and looked like giant Cheetos puffs. His feet wouldn’t fit in shoes and he had to go barefoot everywhere–even to restaurants in town. As if the sunburn wasn’t painful enough, we called him “Frodo” for the rest of his sojourn with us.

Remember, SPF is your friend–the rest of us sadly aren’t. It seems that if you get burned, you actually end up getting burned twice, since we can’t resist teasing people. 

Boat Safety

We provide Adult Life Jackets for every crew member. We’ll fit and familiarize you with them during our new crew safety briefing.

Line Handling Safety. Lines (ropes) slipping through your hands super fast will severly burn your hands and ruin your stay. Gloves are the best way to prevent this type of injury. We’ve got plenty of gloves on board Bedouin for crew to use.

Loose lines on deck are a trip hazard. Sailboats often have loose lines on deck and they create a trip hazard. On board Bedouin, we try to manage our lines and keep them neatly coiled when not in use, but when the boat is under sail, lines are often splayed out. It’s important to be aware of loose lines and the danger they pose. Tripping over lines is a common cause of injuries.

QUIET FOR THE CAPTAIN. There are times on board that are extremely important to have the topside calm and quiet so the captain can maneuver the boat in a stress-free environment. During critical points of maneuvering children should be sitting down and quiet so the captain is not distracted. It’s important not to stand in a place that will block the view of the captain or working crew.

These maneuvers don’t happen often but when they do, an adult should supervise kids and maintain a topside that allows the captain to hear working crew members and keep non-working crew out of the way. Watching and learning is always encouraged and the cockpit seating area or foredeck with an adult are great places to observe.

Quiet on deck is helpful for things such as:

  • Med Mooring
  • Docking

Safety Equipment Locations

Being aware of where the safety equipment is located on any boat, is worth the investment of time it takes to study where things can be found in case of an emergency.

Safety with Kids

Our Bedouin website is full of all kinds of great ways to prep kids for a sailing adventure. Kids who come aboard any vessel and know what some of the boat parts are called, have learned to tie a knot or two, and are already familiar with boat safety make the best junior crew. They learn to love sailing and they’re safer for it. In addition to all our other skill pages, here’s some safety skills with kids in mind.


  • Life Jackets should have a plastic whistle attached. This can be bought aftermarket.

When kids come aboard, we’ll do a safety briefing just for kids. We try to make it fun and occasionally test their knowledge with a fun impromptu SAFETY SCAVENGER HUNT or two. This helps to reinforce their familiarity with the location of our safety equipment.

Life Jacket jump-in drill. We’ll show your children how their life jacket works, how to get it on and make it fit just right, and the best way to enter the water when you have one on. We show them how to hold their life-jacket by pulling down gently on the collar while they jump in. This provides a safe time to practice so they feel comfortable with how their personal floatation devise works. Prepped kids are confident kids. Confident kids are safer kids.

Kids learn safety skills through repetition and routine. Periodically we’ll call out a 60 second life-jacket drill. We make a game of it to build a valuable skill. Once a jacket drill is called, everyone has 60 seconds to show up on the cockpit deck with their jacket properly on to show they know where it’s at and they know exactly how to put it on.

Kids are ACTIVELY SUPERVISED when the boat is under way. When the boat is underway all kids need to be supervised and have an adult assigned to watch them.

Kids wear life-jackets on deck when the boat in underway. 

Be aware of established NO-GO AREAS of the boat without supervision while the boat is underway.

Here’s a look. At the bottom of this page we have a larger diagram.

Hang on. When we’re underway, we teach kids to always have a hand on the rails when walking along the narrow passages topside. There are handrails all along the passage way and using them is just a good way to stay safe. One hand on the boat at all times.

Running on deck is dangerous. Everything on the top side is designed to trip you or stub your toe, running just makes accidents and pain occur at a faster rate. There’s a thousand bandaids in our first-aid kit, and you wouldn’t believe how fast they get used up just walking around the deck.

Loose lines on deck are a trip hazard. Sailboats often have loose lines on deck and they create a trip hazard. On board Bedouin, we try to manage our lines and keep them neatly coiled when not in use, but when the boat is under sail, lines are often splayed out. Teaching kids to be aware of loose lines and the danger they pose to tripping is important. Teaching adults not to swear around the kinds when they inevitably trip over lines is also helpful.

Swimming requires ACTIVE SUPERVISION AT ALL TIMES. Swimming in the ocean is very different from swimming in a pool or lake. Currents, depths, and sea life add to the hazards. Even if kids are confident in the water, wearing a life jacket can be beneficial. But having adult supervision is mandatory.

Honorary First Mate

Each day we like to appoint one of the kids to be Bedouin’s honorary First Mate. This is a great sea-skill builder and gives them an opportunity to help us run the boat. They’ll get to wear our official First Mate hat and help the captain run a tight ship.

Honorary First Mate Duties:

  • Wear the hat when on duty–it makes you look cool.
  • Assist the dingy driver-he may need help driving! Oh, and visit our knot skill page to learn how to tie the dingy up to a cleat. 
  • If underway, check on the captain to see if he needs anything.
  • Write morning updates on our kid’s dry erase information board:
  1. Today’s weather.
  2. Update Kid’s safety status:  turtle, dolphin, or shark.***

Safety Status***

Our daughter Cheyenne came up with a really great system for our grandkids to what the current status of the boat is without the kids having to ask all the time. 

She made it super easy for young kids to know when they need to have life jackets on or when it’s time for fun and water play, by assigning a water mascot for each of the three safety status levels.

Our daughter Chloe collaborated with her sister’s idea by personalizing three mascots and put them on simple laminated cards to post up on a dry erase board. It easily reminds our kid crew what the current safety status is.

Each day we choose an Honorary First Mate and they get to learn some crew skills.  They keep the status updates posted on our dry erase board so the rest of our pint-sized crew know what when life-jackets are required.


ANYTIME kids are outside the safety of the cockpit area, an adult needs to supervise. 

Here's Bedouin's three safety mascots:


Our turtle mascot is giving the thumbs up that is time to play. This means we’re safely on anchor and with adult supervision, it’s swimsuit time. This shell back thinks it’s a great time to get out all the water toys and have some fun.

Turtle time is awesome!


The dolphin mascot means we’re up on deck and the boat is getting underway or happily sailing. It’s an exciting time, but also a time when young kids need to be more cautious. 

When the dolphin is posted, if they’re outside the cockpit area, kids should have their life-jackets on and let an adult know they’re coming up on deck.

Lots of exciting things happen when we’re setting sail and underway, and for most kids, there’s some great skills to learn and practice up on deck. Knowing that all the kids aboard have their safety gear on when the boat is underway and busy, makes for a safer boat.


We actually love sharks, so Chloe made sure our shark mascot looked friendly but serious. When our shark friend is posted up on the board, it’s definitely a time to exercise caution. This guy is there to remind them that the conditions might be getting a little rough and that it’s time to be extra safe.

Safe means that the kids should be safely inside the boat, or if they choose to be in the cockpit, they must have an adult with them and their life-jacket properly fastened on. 

Older kids who have gained some topside experience and want to help on deck, can ask an adult if the conditions are still good enough for them to participate–with supervision sometimes these older kids can help.

When the boat is shifting around a lot, sometimes even the adults are required to be tethered in when working top-side. So our shark is posted to remind kids its a time for extreme caution and safety.

Smart kids know deck zones