From Richard Jepsen, CEO, OCSC Sailing
Published on October 3rd, 2012
I agree with the premise of the article about the biology of sea sickness (in Scuttlebutt 3687). However, I believe the numbers quoted in the seasickness article don’t apply for sailing. Our experience with new sailors at our sailing school are almost reversed…10 percent are prone to seasickness. I’d say that the vast majority of our students on sailboats, even in 20-25 knots of breeze, avoid seasickness. Admittedly, it is inshore (SF Bay) but the waves are 2-3 feet and there’s plenty of motion.
Sailing just happens to be a different motion than what the Navy research (powerboats, offshore) points to. So, out in the ocean on a power boat platform, the numbers of people prone to seasickness can be high. But, sailboats tend to create MUCH less sea sickness in people whether inshore or on the coast. Also, our most sensitive clients have great success with the medications mentioned, especially Dramamine and Scopalomine. (We advise students to take half doses of Dramamine over time before and during their boating experience to maximize benefit and minimize side effects. Works like a charm.