Sailing Games to Keep the Fun Burning During Your Voyage

General Info

So what are some sailing games to play ? When you are out on the open waters, there's a tendency for the never-ending expanse of water to seem boring. If there are no exciting events, such as sighting whales, or fighting a storm, calm seas can become monotonous.

This is the reason why you should have sailing games aboard your boat, so you can have some fun with the family as you wait to reach harbor, or some other fun happenstance occurs.

The best sailing games are those that will involve everybody in the family or group. These are games that are involving and pit every member against the rest. Board games are therefore very popular among sailing communities.

We examine some of the top sailing games which you can use to keep your family or crew happy, when everything else is too calm out at sea.

Board Games

These are the most popular sailing games since they can be played by several people. These games are quite immersive and follow stories which make them interesting to play. Here are some board games that you can enjoy when you are out at sea.

1)      Cluedo (Clue)

The game is based on a murder mystery and can be played by 3 to 6 players or 2 to 6 depending on which edition your play.The game was first published in 1949, by Anthony Pratt and has undergone various editions during its more than 70 years in existence.

Dr. Black, the main game character is murdered. (The American version calls him Mr. Boddy). In the game, the main characters are supposed to determine who killed Dr. Black and what weapon was used.

The players take up identities of 6 characters and each move around the game, collecting clues and drawing conclusions that bring them closer to solving the mystery.

The game has become very popular and there is a musical, film and various books written as part of the Cluedo franchise.

Although in 2008 the publisher tried to bring out a different spin off, fans and media criticized it until a new one was published in 2012, going back to the original formula.

The current version has one new character added: Dr. Orchid.

2)      The Settlers of Catan

The settlers of Catan, also called“Settlers” or “Catan” is a multiplayer board game that was first published in Germany, in the year 1995, by Franckh-Kosmos Verlag. The original name of the game was Die Siedler von Catan, and it is all about settling in this place called Catan. The players take on the roles of settlers who have moved into Catan, and are supposed to build something out of the place.

You take up roles of investing, trading and building the city. You get points according to the number of settlements that you develop. The player to first reach a certain number of points wins.Currently the game has various spin offs which have equally become very popular.Voted as the second best board game next to Chess, it seems to have become very popular within a very short time.

The game is very easy to learn yet requires a lot of strategy in order to win. The best brain teasing game you can enjoy when on your voyage.

3)      Risk

Diplomacy! Conflict! Conquest!

These are three words that epitomize the game of Risk. The standard version is played by 2 to 6 players, who take up regions on a map of the whole world. The political map has 42 territories and 6 continents, and you control armies which are supposed to invade the other territories.

Alliances can be built and broken down, as you all take strategies in order to conquer the whole world. This game is quite lengthy and can sometimes take days to complete. To cut down the time taken,the European version has specific secret missions for the diplomats to undertake and speed things along.

The game was first published in 1957, by a French filmmaker called Albert Lamorrise. The game soon became very popular and is the precursor of games such as “Axis & Allies” and also “Settlers of Catan”. The board game has become so popular that there are PC versions, Video Games and Mobile Apps for download.

The game has very simple rules, but the complex interactions makes it ideal for adults and children, making it a great game to play when sailing with the family

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4)       Trivial Pursuit

As the name suggests, Trivial Pursuit is aboard game, in which advancement across the board is based on answering general knowledge and popular culture questions. The game is played by 2 to 6 players,but you may also form teams, if there are more players available.

The questions are set on cards, which have been organized into themes and categories. There are questions that deal with Nature & Science, Geography, History, Entertainment, Sports and Literature.Correct answers are marked on the board using tacks, which you advance around a circular race-track.

You throw the dice, and then move you tack forward according to the number you rolled. The color of the box that you land on, determines the questions that you have to answer. (Each category has its own color). If you get the answer correct, you continue playing; if you fail, your opponents take their turn.

This is an exciting and fast game which will be great, even for short trips on your boat.

5)      Monopoly

Monopoly, as the name suggests is a game where players try to monopolize the game economy by buying up properties on the board and developing them into hotels and houses.

The Properties attract rent, when an opponent lands on them, and the aim of the game is to drive every other player into bankruptcy.

Community Chest and Chance cards can also be used to gain and lose money or power. You may also land in jail, or win a “get out of jail free” card.

Monopoly was first published in 1935, and designed by Lizzie Maggie and Charles Darrow. The original version sits 2 to 6 players, but there are versions that can take up to 10 players at a go.

The game is much shorter when there are more players.  Monopoly was a child of“The Landlords Game” originally created by Lizzie Maggie in 1903. Monopoly was a game meant to educate people on the economics of the time, where taxation and the economic theories of Henry George were on every tongue at the time.

Card Games

Apart from board games, there are several card games that can be useful to while away the time when out at sea.

1)      Poker

This is one of the most popular cards games in the world, and has grown in status to become an internationally renowned“sport”. Playing poker requires a lot of skill in reading the cards and your opponents. The game requires a lot of strategy and getting to know how to keep a “Poker face”.

There are numerous variants of the game,which are different according to the number of cards dealt, how many community cards there are, how many cards remain hidden by the payers and the betting process.

The game begins with a first round of betting, called the blind, followed by more betting rounds till the final showdown.

Players may fold their cards and get out of the round. They may also call or raise the ante. When the final round is reached, the players show their hidden cards, and together with the community cards, the winning hand is determined.

Poker is a great game for keeping your minds occupied when sailing over long distances

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2)      Rummy

This is a game where you match cards of the same sequence (rank) or the same suit. The objective is to form “runs” of three or more cards of the same suit, in sequence, or “melds” of three or more cards of the same rank.

Should a card be discarded and it is desired, it cannot be picked up unless the cards below are collected. This is quite an involving game and requires skill, game play, and plain luck to win. It is an exciting game that has roots going back into ancestral 18th Century China, from a game called “Khanhoo”.

The game has several variants, with Gin Rummy being one of the most popular. Other variants include Sai Rummy, Basic Rummy, Knock Rummy and many more.

Rummy can be played using one or more decks of cards, and once the other cards are dealt, the other cards remain face-down in the middle and are called the stock. One card will be left face-up in the middle and players discard cards here.

3)      Crazy Eights

This is a game played by 2 to 7 players and involves the shedding of cards. The cards are placed on a discard pile, and the first player to get rid of the cards is the winner. When there se less than 5 players, only a single card deck is used. When there are more than 5, then two decks are used.

The game was originally called “Eights in the 1930’s and became Crazy Eights in the 1940’s. The name was a mush-up of the way in which the military used to let go of soldiers who had mental health issues.

The game has several variants, all base around the notion of fighting or war. Some of them have rather extreme rules.The game allows players to invent and explore new rules, which makes it interesting.

Each player gets 5 cards (7 cards for 2 players) and the other cards are placed in the middle, with only one card-facing up. By matching the rank or suit of the top card, players discard the cards they have been dealt with. If you cannot discard a card, or have a number 8 card, then you have to pick more cards from the stockpile.

Video Games

 

Apart from board and card games, there are video games that can be immersive and entertaining when you are out sailing the open seas. We look at two of the most popular.

1)      The American Challenge

This is a sailing simulation game, ideal for those who love sailing, are out on a boat with friends and family and would like to learn how to sail. The game was developed in 1986 and allows two distant players to play the game and compete against each other suing the computer modems.

This is a realistic 3D game, where the player controls the sail, rudders and centerboard and observes direction and wind speed on the screen.

The boat responds realistically to the controls, so it is used as a training simulation at times. A player can play against the computer or play against another player via modem. The player forms the American team and tries to beat the Australian team.

As with all racing games, the conditions can't be predicted and this is what makes it very exciting to play, no matter how many times you try it out.

2)      Naval Action

This is a very popular online game in which players get to Captain their naval ships and fight against others in a global MMO game that is beautifully crafted after the most exciting period in naval history.

Captains navigate their ships using landmarks and compasses to navigate through 365 historical ports. If you do not have navigational skills, you might end up getting lost at sea. Remember, the game does not show you a large map, so you are basically sailing into the unknown,unless you can accurately use your navigational skills.

The water depth also matters and you can avid the deep seas if you do not want to encounter powerful heavy frigates,increasing your chances of surviving the voyage. Alternatively, you can become a powerhouse and command a frigate that destroys your enemy from trip to trip.

The physics of the game make for a realistic adventure, just like you would experience if you lived through that period.

In conclusion

Never have a dull moment when you are out at sea. Always have one of these games stashed somewhere on board. Remember,sailing is about having a great time, and such games would really add on to the magic of your voyage.

Alternatively, you might want to watch some top sailing movies if you find yourself bored or want to keep the screaming kids quiet.

Tony Nderi

Tony is a creative writer and has contributed many articles to the DeepSailing community blog.You can learn more about this site in the about  us page. We set this up for a community of sailing lovers all over the world. If you'd like to send us your photos or stories, we'd love to hear from you and share it with our community. Just use our contact form and we'll get back to you.

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