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Aboard Leela we take safety very seriously.

Here are a few things to know:

Safe Conduct

  • Be extremely careful boarding and disembarking from the boat. Splashing in between the boat and the dock is very dangerous. You will be trained how to safely get on and off. 

  • Always have three points of contact with the boat; 2 hands holding on and one foot down or two feet down and one hand holding on. Bend your knees and stay low as you walk about the boat. Always be grabbing for the next stronghold as you move up and down the decks.

  • Pay attention to the action of the boat as it cuts through the water and move with it. i.e. she will bounce in the waves.

  • Listen to the Captain/Skipper’s orders and immediately respond. Acknowledge you have heard the instruction, i.e. “aye aye captain” or simply echo the instruction back, i.e. “sitting down”. This is so helpful because the wind can make it hard to hear and we want to know you’ve heard us.

  • On pleasure sails, do not over serve yourself. If you think walking drunk is hard on land…wait until you try it on a boat!

  • Watch out for each other and the boat. Sailing is not a see something say something kind of thing, it’s a see something do something kind of thing. This said, it’s extremely rare that anything will be an issue so worry not…we just want you to feel empowered to give each other a heads up on a potential something something.

  • Swimming in the harbor can be very dangerous due to electrification of the water by docked boats. Harbor authorities recommend you do not swim in the harbor.

Safety Equipment on Board

  • Life jackets: On pleasure sails in calm weather, it will be up to you whether you wear a jacket. For Skills Training classes and during heavy weather pleasure sails, you will be required to wear a jacket.


  • Leela is equipped with six Type I (think bulky orange) that are required by the Coast Guard and (6) lightweight buckle on Type II (more comfortable). These are onboard for your use at any time.


  • Throwable life preserving equipment: Leela has several throwable Type III cushions on board (Coast Guard requires minimum of one). We also have a horshoe life ring that hangs off the back for easy tossing should we have a man overboard situation (extremely rare). In the case of a person being both overboard and injured, we have a Life Sling that also hands off the back. This device can wrap around the person so that we can more easily bring them onboard.

  • VHF and Handheld Marine Radios: We have both radio types on board. These are used to hail the Coast Guard should an emergency situation arise. Or on the rare occasion when we need assistance from a sister boat, we can easily hail them. Instructions on how to properly talk on the radio are posted below right next to the radio

  • Flares: Per Coast Guard requirements we have at very least the minimum required day time and night time emergency signal flares and flag PLUS many more. Also on board are powerful flashlights with Morse Code settings.

  • Navigation lights: Leela has built in navigation lights for night sailing as well as an extra set of battery operated Navigation lights just in case.

  • Horn: Per regulations, we have a very loud horn, mostly used to celebrate at the end of the fireworks, but also used should we need to signal in the fog (1 blast every minute), or get the attention of another vessel (several short blasts in a row).

  • Emergency Tiller: Should the mechanisms within the steering wheel (Helm) fail, we have a back up tiller system so we can steer safely back to port.


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