Select Page

Repairing chips and dings in gelcoat

The gelcoat topsides of a GRP boat can be pampered and restored to their former glory relatively easily when it is ashore. Gelcoat is only a very thin outer layer of the hull, often less than 1mm thick, so you should avoid cleaning it with highly abrasive cleaners, or an-ything that could potentially damage its surface.

Boating emergency – how to broadcast a MAYDAY emergency call

How to broadcast a MAYDAY emergency call   How to broadcast a MAYDAY emergency call if a vessel or person is in grave...

Preparing for sailboat cruising

Preparing for a sailing trip entails a lot of planning. In this blog, we take a look at some of the many safety aspects that a skipper needs to consider before heading off on a cruise.

Boat engine fuel system

If engines are installed and serviced correctly then most marine engines are very reliable, but one of the most important parts of the engine to check and service is the fuel system.

Antifouling for leisure boats – Part 4

Applying antifouling. Antifouling is best applied on a dry, calm day. It is best to apply the antifouling in the middle of the day to ensure the hull is dry and as warm as possible.

Wooden Hull Repairs

While wooden boat hull maintenance is mostly straightforward, it is always a good idea to take expert advice on any repair job needed doing to a wooden boat, unless you have done the job before and know what you are doing.

First aid at sea basics

At least one person on board should be trained in first aid and know how to administer the contents of the first aid kit, ensuring there are adequate supplies for the planned duration of the trip.

Essential Knots: Reef knot

Essential Knots: Reef knot Use: Tying two ends of rope together, often used for tying up a bundle of loose sail around the boom. Step...

Understanding boat engines

Irrespective of what kind of engine a boat is equipped with and who does the work, the regular care and maintenance of a marine engine is essential. The most common cause of marine engine failure is widely known to be lack of maintenance.

Jester Challenge 2022 – Sailing single handed from Plymouth UK to the Azores: Part 3 – Preparations

Jester Challenge – A modern experiment in old-fashioned self-reliance, self sufficiency, and personal responsibility. This is the third of a 10-part post where solo sailor, Bernie Branfield, shares his first hand account of his single-handed, 2022 Jester Challenge, from Plymouth, UK to the Azores, in his 26′ Invicta Mk2, Louisa.

Points of Sailing

The course on which a boat is sailing can be described by its angle to the wind, not to be confused with its compass...

A five day sailing cruise of the Solent, UK

Welcome to our virtual Solent sailing cruise – a five day sail in the south of England from Bosham Quay in Chichester...

Jester Challenge 2022 – Sailing single handed from Plymouth UK to the Azores: Part 10 – The Return Trip

Jester Challenge – A modern experiment in old-fashioned self-reliance, self sufficiency, and personal responsibility. This is the final instalment of a 10-part post where solo sailor, Bernie Branfield, shares his first-hand account of his single-handed, 2022 Jester Challenge, from Plymouth, UK to the Azores, in his 26′ Invicta Mk2, Louisa.

What boating skills should you have before you buy a yacht?

Many people dream of owning a yacht and sailing off into the blue yonder. What boating skills should you have before you buy...

Essential Knots: Clove hitch

Essential Knots: Clove hitch Use: Tying a rope to posts, bollards, rings or a guardrail. Step 1. Make a turn around the object and lay...

Marine engine electrical system

The typical basic electrical system associated with a marine engine includes a dedicated engine starting battery, a starter motor, a charger in the form of an alternator, a solenoid and some engine sensors and instruments.

Rudders and steering systems – Part 3

In the third of our three blog articles on rudders and steering systems, we look at how to replace rudder bearings and repair a water-saturated core.

Boat maintenance log

Keeping a boat maintenance log is an ideal way of reminding owners what needs to be done to a boat and when. Read on for some tips,...

Hull inspection – the annual checks

With the boat ashore for the winter it is time to do a hull inspection - the annual checks. Are there any scratches and chips in the...

The Boatyard Book – a boat owner’s guide to yacht maintenance, repair and refitting

The Boatyard Book is a fully illustrated 224 page practical reference manual that provides advice for boat owners on planning and carrying out annual maintenance, repairs, upgrades and refits of sailing yachts and motorboats, up to 20 metres in length.

Wooden Hulls – Part 2

It is important to ensure the essential hull maintenance of a wooden boat is done, even if you are paying others to look after your boat for you. The priority is to prevent rot from taking hold. The protective layers of paint and varnish over wood are far more critical than on GRP boats, where the topsides are painted more for cosmetic reasons.

ColRegs Nav Lights & Shapes, Rules Of The Road and IALA Buoys Apps

ColRegs Nav Lights & Shapes, Rules Of The Road and IALA Buoys Apps Make Learning Rules on iPhone, iPad, iPod and Android...

Steel and Aluminium Hulls

The two metals used for hull construction are steel and aluminium. These are both very strong materials and will last a long time as long as they are cared for, which primarily means protecting steel boats from rust and aluminium boats from electrolytic action.

Fire safety advice at sea from the Marine & Coastguard Agency

Fire safety advice for boaters Top fire safety advice at sea: 1. Fit smoke alarms, carbon monoxide and gas detectors 2. Turn...

Getting a tow for your sail or power boat at sea or on inland waterways

FREE tips from the Safe Skipper App for iPhone/iPad/Android: Getting a tow for your sail or power boat Plan how to secure a...

Welcome to the Safe Skipper website.

 

Safe Skipper is run by boating enthusiasts who also have a background in publishing and TV production, design and app development. As well as creating great content for the website, we’ve developed a range of popular boating apps that allow you to get safely out on the water whilst having essential information to hand, covering International ColRegs: Nav Lights & Shapes, Rules of the Road, Buoyage & Lights to knot tying, nautical chart symbols and first aid at sea – all information available to you when on the water, on your phone or tablet, when you need it.

We’re regularly adding new articles to the site, hope you’ll bookmark us and visit again soon.

Before you go, scroll down to our boating quizzes and check your boating knowledge!

Boat decks and superstructure

The deck of a boat is constantly exposed to the elements and should be inspected on an annual basis. Particular attention needs to be given to the overall condition of deck fittings such as the stanchions, cleats and chainplates.

Rewiring a boat – overcoming the challenges involved

Skippers need to have a basic knowledge of boat electrics, to avoid potential problems and to be able to solve them when they happen.

Sail care and maintenance – Part 2

At the end of the sailing season sails should be washed and inspected carefully for damage, including small tears, stitching failure, ultraviolet damage, stains and mildew.

Winch Servicing

It is not essential to service the winches when a boat is ashore, but if time allows I prefer to do this maintenance job when the boat...

Leaking decks

Leaking decks are perceived as a nuisance by some boat owners, but if leaks are ignored a much more serious situation may well be developing, especially in the case of boats with balsa or plywood deck cores. So deck leaks do need to be investigated and dealt with.

Understanding boat engines

Irrespective of what kind of engine a boat is equipped with and who does the work, the regular care and maintenance of a marine engine is essential. The most common cause of marine engine failure is widely known to be lack of maintenance.

Feeling anxious at sea

  Some people feel anxious at sea. Will they be seasick? What if they get caught in a violent storm? Could the boat...

Competent crew skills: mooring lines

Mooring lines are used when arriving or leaving a berth. One of the most important competent crew skills is to know how to...

First Aid Afloat – fish spine injury

First Aid Afloat - Here is what to do if somebody stands on a fish spine: • Check for dangers. Is it safe for you to enter...

Man Overboard Drill

How to respond to crew overboard under sail • Keep the MOB in sight • Tack into the heave-to position, do not adjust the...

I have just downloaded and am using ColRegs Nav Lights & Shapes app, a brilliant training and reference device

Verified user

Instructor

Beautifully produced and very simple to use, a cool learning tool

Charlie

Sailor

Nav Lights & Shapes app – downloaded by 1000s of seafarers worldwide. Just one of our popular boating apps to download from the appstores for Apple and Android devices.

Keel design – options to consider when choosing a yacht

Keel design is constantly evolving and nowhere is this more apparent than in modern racing yachts such as the Imoca Open 60...

The give-way hierarchy – sail boats and power boats

Who gives way to who at sea? Even seasoned sailors sometimes get this wrong and in a crowded harbour this can easily lead to a collision or at best considerable embarrassment for a boat that mistakenly thinks it has right of way over another.

Avoiding collisions at sea – how to stay safe on the water

Boats have many blind spots, including the headsails of sailing boats. Always keep a lookout, stay safe and remember that...

Safety Briefings – leave nothing to chance

Before giving your crew a safety briefing, it is worth considering the specific circumstances of the planned trip, the...

Boat Engine Safety Checks

  Boat Engine Safety Checks Every skipper needs to make regular essential boat engine safety checks. Below you will...

Understanding your boat’s compass

Article submitted by Mike Rossiter, Certificated Compass Adjuster. Since the magnetic compass was first used by the Chinese...

Electric motors and hybrid systems

In recent years there have been considerable advances with the development of electrically powered propulsion in the leisure marine sector. This includes developments with inboard and outboard electric motors, hybrid systems, lithium-ion battery technology as well as solar, wind and hydro powered generators.

How diesel engines work

The basic principle of a diesel engine is less complex than that of a petrol engine. No spark plug or ignition system is needed, making the basic diesel engine a comparatively straightforward system that results in fewer faults and has lower maintenance costs than a petrol engine.

Sailboat rig checks – Part 1

Sailing boat rigs need to be checked regularly to reduce the risk of rig failure at sea. In part one of Sail boat rig checks we run through a series of useful checks that owners and skippers can carry out.

Tidal terms and definitions

Getting to grips with tidal terms and definitions can seem a little daunting, even to the most experienced sailors! Here we look at some of the key terms and definitions associated with the language of tides.

Steel hull maintenance

A steel boat owner’s biggest enemy is corrosion. You don’t have to worry about osmosis or rotting timbers, instead rust is the number one issue that will keep you awake at night.

Sailing at the touch of a button

Easier and more controlled sail handling can also be achieved by powering up a furling mast. I came across some interesting solutions at the Southampton Boat Show this week on the Selden Mast stand, where they were running demos of their E40i electric winch and SMF furling system.

Boating emergency – how to broadcast a MAYDAY emergency call

How to broadcast a MAYDAY emergency call   How to broadcast a MAYDAY emergency call if a vessel or person is in grave...

Understanding tides

If you are used to sailing in tidal waters, you will know that tides can be both a benefit and a hindrance to the sailor. In many ways,...

Anchoring – getting it right is not always straightforward

If you can set an anchor correctly with confidence and know your boat will be safe in a secure anchorage, then you can rest...

Fire prevention on boats

  Fire prevention on boats - common causes of fire: • Smoking below decks • Galley cookers • Build-up of butane or...

Jester Challenge 2022 – Sailing single handed from Plymouth UK to the Azores: Part 5 – Boat Management

Jester Challenge – A modern experiment in old-fashioned self-reliance, self sufficiency, and personal responsibility. This is the fifth of a 10-part post where solo sailor, Bernie Branfield, shares his first hand account of his single-handed, 2022 Jester Challenge, from Plymouth, UK to the Azores, in his 26′ Invicta Mk2, Louisa.

Fractures, sprains and dislocations at sea

Moving about a boat at sea often results in a few knocks and bruises, but if a crew member has a fall or major bump and is in serious pain, they should be examined and treated accordingly.

Essential Knots: Clove hitch

Essential Knots: Clove hitch Use: Tying a rope to posts, bollards, rings or a guardrail. Step 1. Make a turn around the object and lay...

Boat Engine Failure – what to check

Engine failure If your engine fails or is overheating there are a number of things to check immediately: • Air filter...

Migrated Dec 23