Motion sickness, or seasickness, can be incredibly uncomfortable and can ruin a sailing trip. People who get motion sickness might avoid travel or boating trips to avoid this feeling. This is not always necessary.
There are certain steps you can use to prevent or reduce seasickness or motion sickness.
Another way to avoid motion sickness is to ride vehicles that are smoother. A smoother ride has been known to be kinder to people who get motion sickness.
Catamarans are known to have a smoother ride than similar mono-hull vessels.
In this article, we will explain sea sickness in regards to catamarans as well as general knowledge on motion sickness and what you can do to prevent or reduce it.
Catamarans and Seasickness
People who are susceptible to motion sickness are less likely to get sick on catamarans than other mono-hull ships.
Catamarans cause less chance of motion sickness because they allow for gentler motion as well as being more predictable.
Catamarans can also prevent seasickness while in the hull.
In a mono-hull vessel, you are more likely to be susceptible to a rolling effect with the waves. While under the ship where you cannot see the waves or the motion of the boat, the rolling of the waves, or other movements you can be more likely to get seasick.
Catamarans are also less likely to make you sick due to the overall structure and design of the boat.
Catamarans are a multi-hull vessel with their living quarters based on the deck on top.
They often have separate twin engines placed away from the living quarters. This can help prevent seasickness by keeping the noise and fumes away from where you are staying. In contrast, mono-hull vessels have their living quarters close to the engine which can increase the chance of sickness.
Catamarans also offer better ventilation and vision in the living quarters. In a mono-hull vessel, the living quarters are set into the hull while in a catamaran they are situated on the deck. This allows for better vision while moving and the possibility to open windows.
Because of the decreased chance of seasickness, catamarans are often used for commercial or tourist vehicles.
In regards to tourism and commercial sailing, it is better to take people out on steadier vessels.
Ferries also utilize catamarans. Some people do not get a choice and must take a ferry regardless of getting motion sickness or not. Using a catamaran for ferries is the best way to reduce sickness among passengers.
7 Ways to Reduce or Prevent Seasickness On Catamarans
If you suffer from seasickness there are some things you can do to reduce the sickness or even prevent it altogether.
The first thing you need to know is what type of vehicle you are going to be on. This will help you plan for the journey and the degree of sickness you can experience. It will also help you to know your options.
There are basic things you can do to lessen the feelings of seasickness on catamarans. These Include:
- Eating lighter meals or snacks
Eating lighter meals and avoiding large or fatty meals can help reduce seasickness. This works because nausea can be worsened by heavy food sitting in your stomach.
- Avoid alcohol
Much in the same way as the above tip, alcohol can cause nausea on its own and this can exacerbate nausea felt from motion sickness.
- Ride close to the center of the catamaran
While on a boat you will want to sit in a smoother area. Smoother rides can reduce motion sickness. On a ship, the closer you sit to the middle the smoother the ride.
- Look toward
Keeping your eyes fixed forward on a boat can also help. If you start to feel sick, the best thing you can do is to stay in the open and focus on the horizon ahead of you. If being on the front of a vessel is not an option you will want to find any fixed point.
- Be the captain
It can also help if you steer the ship if possible. Most people who get motion sickness in vehicles find that driving or steering provides a distraction and requires focus in front of you that can help you fixate. This is effective both in sailing or driving a car. I myself get motion sickness and find that driving helps.
- Talk yourself down
For some people, telling yourself that you will not get sick can work. This is helpful when your motion sickness stems from anxiety about traveling.
- Try consuming ginger
Much in the same way you drink ginger ale when you are sick, this can help the nausea of motion sickness and travel.
If Nothing Works…
Some people have found luck with pressure point bracelets, but these do not work for everyone and there is not a lot of evidence of effectiveness.
If none of these work for you there are medications that you can take to help with motion sickness.
These can include medications to reduce nausea, or if needed put you to sleep in certain travel situations.
Over the counter medications can be used to reduce the feelings of sickness.
Dramamine or Meclizine can be taken a half hour to an hour before you think you might be sick. These can cause drowsiness so you will want to make sure you do not take them if you need to be alert or operate machinery.
If over the counter medication does not work, you can speak with a doctor to get prescription medication for this problem. They will be able to help you pinpoint your problem and properly treat it.
An instance of seasickness or motion sickness does not require a doctor’s visit unless you think you are also dehydrated. Dehydration is a dangerous condition that requires medical attention and the symptoms can be similar to motion sickness.
Overall, seasickness is a highly uncomfortable affliction that can make travel or recreational boating uncomfortable. Seasickness should not prevent you from traveling and otherwise experiencing these things.
With these tips and tricks, or medication if needed, you should be able to experience the travel and recreational experiences that can be provided on a boat. If you manage your seasickness you can do anything from ferrying to islands, snorkeling, sightseeing, and other exciting activities.
General Info On Seasickness
Motion sickness, which can sometimes be called seasickness while on the water, is caused when the motion that is sensed in your inner ear doesn’t match up with the motion you are seeing or the motion that you are not able to see.
These mixed signals between your ears and your eyes can cause motion sickness. The severity of motion sickness depends on the person and the vehicle.
Motion sickness is more common in children and pregnant women but anyone can get it.
People who suffer from motion sickness can get this while traveling in all manner of vehicles including cars, trains, planes, boats, or even on amusement rides or roller coasters.
If you suffer from motion sickness you can feel uneasy, sweaty, or dizzy. Motion sickness also causes nausea and vomiting. Other symptoms include pale skin, increased saliva, and other symptoms that come with nausea.
There can be other contributing factors to seasickness that is not purely based on the motion of a vehicle. These include anxiety, poor ventilation, inability to see out windows.
Luckily, we always have great ventilation on catamarans compared to larger boats with closed cabins.
You are more likely to get motion sickness if you are nervous or you feel anxiety about the method of travel such as on boats or in planes.
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Shelby Sullivan is our specialist when it comes to pontoon boats and recreational watercraft. She is often found sailing the freshwater lakes of Michigan. She is also a light-traveler who enjoys camping and traveling the world. Read more about Shelby here.