Safety is the result of different factors working together. Although they interact we are used to splitting them up. For example; we test the safety of the car (MOT) separately from the skill of the driver (driving test) and we recognise that, although the driver might be competent, this is no good if his brakes don't work. We also know that, even if the car is sound and the driver is skilful, he might still come to grief because of bad weather or because he chooses to take a risk.

We are discussing canoe sailing safety under five headings:

  • The boat- seaworthiness and performance
  • Boat handling- sailing and paddling skills
  • Knowledge- wind and weather, the Beaufort scale, navigation, tides, etc.
  • Other equipment- what goes in the boat besides yourself.
  • Other subjective stuff- group dynamics, margins of safety, etc.


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