A Doctor’s Advice on Boat Safety: Sun Radiation and its Risks

The ‘sailing doctor’ Jean-Yves Chauve shares his Boat safety: Jean yves chauvreadvice for how to protect yourself from a boating sunburn. When planning for boat safety, it is important to keep this in mind because the strength of sunlight is greatly increased by the reflection of the water.


All you need to do is look at the faces of fishermen to realise how aggressive ultraviolet rays are. The most dangerous type of ray are UVC, which are usually filtered by the ozone layer.

Boat safety: avoid sunburn onboard
The sun-damaged skin of a fisherman’s face

UVA rays promote immediate tanning, while UVB rays cause the skin to thicken and the production of melanin. A sailing sunburn is a real burn and this type of injury increases the risk of skin cancer such as carcinomas and melanomas.

Boat safety: sunburn

It is therefore imperative for people who boat to protect themselves from sunburn.

Here are a few simple preventative measures to take:

  • Wear colored and loose clothing, especially lycra
  • Apply high-factor sun block – choose according to your skin type

People with fair skin are most at risk. As well as sunburn, exposure to infrared rays may cause the body temperature to rise and subsequently can result in heatstroke. Heatstroke is very serious and the consequences can be severe.

To avoid this:

  • Stay in the shade as much as possible
  • Wear a hat to cover your head
  • Moisturise your skin regularly to help eliminate heat
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
Boat safety: Shade boat
Staying in the shade on a boat

Make sure you are prepared for whatever the weather holds – check the temperature forecast by downloading and overlaying free GRIB file data in your MaxSea TimeZero!

Read more of Dr. Chauve’s advice for boating safety in his three previous blog posts:


MaxSea TimeZero Free Weather Forecast Service

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