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Safe Skipper, A Practical Guide To Managing Risk At Sea

Safe Skipper Insurance

Safe Skipper, A Practical Guide To Managing Risk At Sea

Safe Skipper

About Safe Skipper

Whether out for an afternoon’s sail or embarking on a long offshore passage, there is always an element of chance and uncertainty about being at sea. To be responsible for the wellbeing of both crew and vessel, a good skipper needs to know their limitations and ensure they are operating well within the margins of safety.

Safe Skipper is a practical and thought provoking guide for yacht skippers of all levels of experience, full of invaluable advice and tips on how to reduce to the minimum the risks of mishaps and equipment failure at sea. There’s a wide range of information on seamanship, preparation, seaworthiness, gear, boat handling, leadership, teamwork, watch keeping, communications, navigation, weather and emergency procedures, all delivered in a highly practical, lively, non-preachy fashion.Included throughout are useful checklists, box-outs and case studies of accidents and their causes, with survivors’ testimonials and explanations of how disasters were avoided, or could have been, all of which provides valuable lessons for everyone who goes to sea.

Table Of Contents

Chapter 1


Principles of seaworthiness and seamanship
Avoiding personal dangers
Biggest dangers a yacht may encounter
Local v long-distance cruising
Margins of safety
Vessel checks: hull, rigging, ground tackle, engine, seacocks, gas system, electrical system
Safety briefings and checklists
Safety equipment
Passage planning
Weather forecasting

Chapter 2 

Boat Handling

On-board communication, leadership and teamwork
Crew management
Principles of collision avoidance
Importance of a balanced sail plan
Dealing with challenging tides and currents
Sailing to windward
Surviving heavy weather, towing drogues

Chapter 3

Communications at sea

VHF DSC radio
SSB radio, satellite phone, mobile phone
AIS, GMDSS, Inmarsat-C
NAVTEX and SafetyNET
EPIRB, Personal Locator Beacon, MOB beacons, SART
Single letter meanings, phonetic alphabet, prowords, International Code of Signals

Chapter 4

Equipment and maintenance

Engine maintenance, filters and spares
Fuel system, air supply and oil pressure
The cooling system
Avoiding and identifying electrical problems
Tools and spares
Safety and emergency equipment
Distress signals
Electronics and instruments
System networks
Fresh-water system
First aid kits

Chapter 5


First aid at sea, including common medical emergencies
Engine failure
Emergency steering
Holed hull
Man overboard (MOB)
Sending distress signals
Getting a tow

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