How not to get sick on a boat

Seasickness is a common ailment even experienced sailors have to fight through. How not to get sick on a boat can be accomplished in many different ways, but not every remedy works for every person.

I have heard the stories of sailors who can will themselves not to become seasick, but I’ve never witnessed this magic trick firsthand.

The best thing you can do is be prepared to go through at least some period of seasickness and understand what to do when the feeling hits you or other passengers. I can honestly say that prayer and positive thinking won’t help in these cases.

Natural Remedies and Prevention

Many people anticipating seasickness will immediately stock up on over-the-counter motion sickness medications, but these options will often make you drowsy and you’ll sleep a good part of your trip away. Natural remedies are best because they have no side effects and they allow you to experience your trip.

 

Ginger

Ginger calms the stomach and does it gently. That is why ginger is often recommended to pregnant women suffering from morning sickness, which is not much different from seasickness if it’s severe enough. I enjoy drinking ginger tea (you can find both hot and iced tea with ginger now), but you can also find ginger gum, eat crystallized or candied ginger, or take ginger pills.

 

Lemon

Suck on a slice of lemon now and then to ward off the feelings of seasickness. The citric acid helps keep the stomach calm and prevents you from getting ill. If you’re like me, you don’t relish sucking on a lemon, but this can be solved by squeezing fresh lemon juice into a glass of room temperature water instead.

 

Cucumber

Eat some cucumber to help soothe the stomach and keep hydrated. Cucumbers are loaded with water and will naturally fight off queasiness. Eat just a slice or two and then wait to see if your stomach rebels and you’re back to hanging over the side of the boat.

 

Water

My number one suggestion is to drink a lot of water to prevent you from becoming dehydrated. Dehydrated, in turn, can intensify seasickness and make someone seriously ill, possibly requiring medical attention.

 

Medicaments and Patches

Drugs and patches work only in the sense that they convince you they are helping. In reality, the patch or a medication simply masks the symptoms you are experiencing. These methods also come with side effects that are almost as back as being seasick.

I recall taking a motion sickness medication once that made me fall asleep, but it wasn’t a normal rest, I felt like I had slipped into a coma the drug was so strong!

If you don’t want to spend the majority of your trip drugged, avoid these methods. Most sailors will find their sea legs eventually, so extreme measure aren’t necessary, and I consider these medications extreme.

 

Food and drink

Keep hydrated at all times, even if you’ve been throwing up regularly. Hydration will ward off cramps and keep your symptoms from worsening. Eating can be tricky, but if your seasickness has slacked off a bit, try eating a few crackers at first. Until you’re sure, you can hold food down, start slow before you get brave and eat a full meal.

 

Dealing with Seasickness

The key to dealing with seasickness is acknowledging that anyone can become seasick and be prepared for when they do. When you charter a vessel always:

 

  • Put sea band on your wrist
  • Stock up on natural seasickness remedies like ginger tea, lemons, and lots of fresh water
  • Recognize the symptoms of seasickness and respond quickly to catch it before it escalates
  • Stay cool and keep in the shade
  • Avoid doing things that will make the seasickness worse like reading
  • Stay hydrated
  • Keep a close eye on any passenger that is seasick

 

What are the Symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Cold sweats
  • Unnatural paleness (the face seemed to have drained of color or taken on a greenish appearance)

 

The Motion of the Boat

A good way to combat seasickness or prevent it is to learn the rhythms of the boat and anticipate its movements. If you are constantly taken by surprise by a wave or the motion of the boat, you are more likely to become ill. By learning the boat’s movements, you can prepare yourself and train your body to flow with the boat instead of tensing up and fighting against the motion.

 

Catamarans and Seasickness

If you know you are prone to motion or seasickness, or will have a passenger aboard who is, charter a catamaran. I learned this the hard way by taking a friend with a history of seasickness out on a monohull.

Monos are less stable than cats and will move a lot more, intensifying any feeling of motion sickness anyone is experiencing. A catamaran is designed to minimize the feeling of the motion from the water no matter the conditions, which helps seasickness enormously.

 

Conclusion

Seasickness is no fun, but it’s not a permanent affliction. Once you know what to do and find the best method that helps you, it’s little more than a minor inconvenience. I barely notice that twinge of seasickness I get now, but I still take precautions just in case. When you get ready to sail, the key in to be prepared and act quickly!

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Do you know or have you tried remedies for seasickness? Would you like to share your secret by living a comment below, I will love to know about it:)

8 COMMENTS

  1. Hello Daniella,

    I will be showing this post to my mother immediately. We went on a cruise a few years back and she was sea sick the whole time. These are some fantastic remedies and ways to avoid seasickness. I understand how upsetting it can be to be on vacation and have to worry about someone being seasick. I think next time I go on a cruise, I’ll try to keep myself hydrated instead of with an alcoholic beverage at all times. LOL

    Thanks for sharing,
    Diana

    • Hi Diana,

      Drink water and if you can, put a slice of lemon or ginger inside, it will certainly help a lot!

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a great day!

  2. Hi there Daniella,

    Thanks for the great tips and explanations of what the remedies do. Never knew there were natural remedies for seasickness. I love fishing and whenever I’m at the coast I always go out on a boat for some fishing. I don’t always struggle with seasickness but when it hits I’m out. Will definitely be putting some of these remedies to the test:)

    • Hi Xander,

      Yes, it’s a good idea to test these remedies, and I would be more than happy to know how you went through your fishing trip this time.

      Thank you for the comment

      Have a nice day!

  3. Thanks for all this information! 🙂 I heard that watching the horizon was a good antidote for motion sickness, is that true? I guess it’s all well and good saying that, but if you’re in a cruise liner where you spend quite a lot of time indoors it’s not so easy!!

    • Hi Tim,

      Looking at the horizon will help you reset the internal equilibrium, but not everyone wants to spend their whole time watching the horizon:)

      I would suggest you to apply what is writing in my article and I guarantee you a wonderful sailing trip!

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a great day!

  4. The best way to avoid sea sickness is to take the helm. The captain may have an problem with that, though. Luckily I don’t really get seasick these days, but I used to be a professional fish feeder.

    I was so bad that I even took prescription medication for a while. Another bad side effect of some meditations that they tend to give you dry mouth. I’m glad I no longer have to take anything.

    • Hi Chris,

      Yes, but the problem is that not everyone can take the helm:)

      Good to hear that you don’t get seasickness lately, you’ve surely got used to the sea today.

      Medicaments are very bad against seasickness due to their side effects. I would recommend you follow the suggestions in the article, these are natural ways to avoid being sick at sea.

      Thank you for the comment, I really appreciate and wish you a wonderful day!

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