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Jester Challenge 2022 – Sailing single handed from Plymouth UK to the Azores: Part 4 – Navigation

Jester Challenge 2022 – Sailing single handed from Plymouth UK to the Azores: Part 4 – Navigation

Jester Challenge – A modern experiment in old-fashioned self-reliance, self sufficiency, and personal responsibility. This is the fourth 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.

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How to operate a winch

Winches are drum shaped mechanical devices used to handle halyards, sheets and control lines. One of the important crew...

Boat electrics

All boat owners should have a basic knowledge of electrics, both to avoid encountering electrical problems at sea and to stand a chance of solving them should they occur.

Keel maintenance and repair – Part 1

Keels are designed to act as underwater foils that generate lift as the boat moves through the water, counteracting the leeward force of the wind and enabling the boat to sail closer to the wind. Keel maintenance and repair is essential for the performance of your 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...

Essential Boat Safety Briefing

Skippers Responsibilities Skippers are obliged to give a safety briefing to the crew even if they are a regular crew. At...

Top five windvane self steering installation questions

Top five windvane self steering installation questions answered by Sarah Curry of Hydrovane International Marine, courtesy of Viki Moore from Island Cruising NZ

Sailing to windward – how to take advantage of wind shifts

For most sailors, sailing upwind is the most exhilarating point of sail as you tack your way to your destination. Sailing to windward is a bit like zig-zagging your way up a mountain road through a series of hairpin bends – great fun but also calling for concentration and hard work.

ColRegs – avoiding collisions at sea

ColRegs - avoiding collisions at sea ColRegs Rule 8: Action to avoid collision (a) Any action taken to avoid collision shall...

Boating Rules of the Road – International ColRegs

    International ColRegs Rule 7: Risk of Collision Anyone who is responsible for a vessel at sea, from the...

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: Getting to the Start

Jester Challenge – A modern experiment in old-fashioned self-reliance, self sufficiency, and personal responsibility. This is the start 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.

Essential Boat Buying Tips for First-Time Boat Owners

The first question that comes to mind when thinking about buying a boat is: what type of boat? There are more than 20 different kinds, of different sizes, for different purposes, and different pockets. So, your first step is to decide your boat type.

How to ensure your boat is in proper working condition

In this article Eva Tucker from Volvo Penta presents a handy check list of all the things that you need to check regularly in order to make sure that your boat is in a seaworthy condition. Including maintenance, safety gear and electrical checks.

Passage Planning Advice & Safety for skippers

Passage planning helps you to: • Decide where to go • Calculate how long it will take to get there • Avoid bad weather •...

Medical Emergency at Sea

How to deal with a medical emergency afloat   If you are planning a boating trip, it is important to have at least one...

Antifouling for leisure boats – Part 1

Boats that are kept afloat can very quickly become a home for small marine organisms such as barnacles, weed and slime. Applying an antifouling paint to your hull is necessary to protect it from these micro-organisms, as a fouled hull can cause problems and will slow down a boat’s maximum speed considerably if left unchecked.

Fire prevention on boats

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

Stern gear maintenance

The stern gear of a boat needs to be checked carefully when the boat is ashore as this is something that can only be done when it is out of the water. The same applies for any maintenance and repairs that may need doing, so it is best to check it all over as soon after an end of season lift out as possible.

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...

How to improve a yacht’s upwind performance

There are several ways to improve the upwind performance of a sailing yacht. Read on for some useful tips including headsail reefing, heavy weather jibs and motor sailing.

Sterndrive maintenance

Sterndrives are a popular form of propulsion in the powerboat market, but require a fair amount of care and maintenance. The main factors to be aware of are salt water corrosion, lubrication and regular inspection of the bellows, the condition of which is vital to prevent water from entering into the hull.

Pleasure craft safety equipment recommendations

Safety equipment is an important part of boat preparation and it is advisable for all pleasure craft skippers to check their vessel is...

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...

Avoiding personal dangers at sea

In order to stay safe at sea, we need to know the risks we are facing and to be aware of any personal dangers we could possibly encounter. Here are six of the most common potential dangers individual crew members should be aware of.

Marine diesel exhaust checks

You should inspect the exhaust system for corrosion damage regularly, especially around the injection bend. If you have noticed the engine exhaust smoking a lot during the sailing season this can also indicate a number of potential problems.

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 plumbing maintenance & troubleshooting

A boat’s fresh water system needs annual maintenance to keep it in good condition. Some boats have far more complex systems than others, with pressurised hot and cold water, associated pumps, an accumulator, calorifier and pressure valves, all to keep a boat owner busy.

Light characteristics – how do navigators identify lights at night?

How do navigators identify the different types of light around our coasts at night and what are their characteristics?Navigating at...

Dripless shaft seals

Dripless shaft seals are designed to completely stop water from entering a boat’s hull via the stern tube. There are two main types of dripless seals known as face seals and lip seals which many boat manufacturers now fit to production boats.

Fire prevention on boats

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

First aid at sea – four common emergencies

In this blog we look at what to do in the event of a crew member choking, drowning, or suffering from hypothermia or fatigue. Knowing how to cope with them could well save a life, while not knowing could result in an avoidable tragedy.

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.

The give-way hierarchy at sea – who gives way to whom?

Whatever their size or type, all skippers have a responsibility to avoid collisions with other boats at sea.  It is...

Peer to Peer yacht charter – How can you monetize your boat?

There is a growing trend in peer to peer yacht charter. How does it work? People already rent rooms, cars and bikes from one...

Boat interior varnishing

Most boat interiors have a combination of varnished and painted surfaces including solid wooden joinery, plywood laminates with thin hardwood veneers and glass reinforced plastic. When making your assessment of what you are going to do, bear in mind that the varnishing process consumes a lot of time, especially if the existing surfaces are in poor shape.

Boat electrics

All boat owners should have a basic knowledge of electrics, both to avoid encountering electrical problems at sea and to stand a chance of solving them should they occur.

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.

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.

Propeller care and maintenance

Propellers are complicated and repairs should be done by specialists but owners can carry out checks and some routine maintenance themselves when the boat is in the boatyard. A propeller is critical to a boat’s performance, fuel consumption and ride, so it makes sense to keep a propeller in good working order.

How to predict wind direction and strength by reading a weather chart

Weather charts, also known as surface pressure or synoptic charts, contain a lot of information that helps weather...

Sailboat rig checks – Part 2

In part two of Sail boat rig checks we run through some useful rig maintenance tips and then finish with a brief look at what a professional rig check involves.

Boat engine basics

Boat engines come in all shapes and sizes and include inboards, outboards, petrol, diesel, electric and hybrid systems. Some engines are...

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.

Fire prevention on boats

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

Antifouling for leisure boats – Part 2

To prepare for antifouling, as soon as your boat has been lifted out and pressure washed, you need to check all the surfaces of the hull below the waterline, remove any remaining barnacles and check for blisters.

Avoiding personal dangers at sea

In order to stay safe at sea, we need to know the risks we are facing and to be aware of any personal dangers we could possibly encounter. Here are six of the most common potential dangers individual crew members should be aware of.

Navigation safety: a quick-reference mobile app to learn the ColRegs NavLights and Shapes

 Safety at SeaSafety at sea will always remains a topical and important subject that will no doubt dominate the syllabuses of nautical...

Essential Boat Safety Briefing

Skippers Responsibilities Skippers are obliged to give a safety briefing to the crew even if they are a regular crew. At...

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.

Know your Navlights & Shapes – essential for all skippers

Know your Navlights & Shapes International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (ColRegs) Anyone who is...

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.

Diesel engine winterisation

An inactive boat engine needs to be protected from corrosion during the winter, caused by the rising humidity levels through the cold months and the salty coastal air. This applies whether the boat is left afloat or hauled out over the winter. Read here about the two important stages of winterisaton for a diesel boat engine.

Pleasure craft safety equipment recommendations

Safety equipment is an important part of boat preparation and it is advisable for all pleasure craft skippers to check their vessel is...

Essential boat engine checklist

Boat engine checklist Engine oil level check Even if you have checked it previously, confirming the engine oil level is up...

Antifouling for leisure boats – Part 1

Boats that are kept afloat can very quickly become a home for small marine organisms such as barnacles, weed and slime. Applying an antifouling paint to your hull is necessary to protect it from these micro-organisms, as a fouled hull can cause problems and will slow down a boat’s maximum speed considerably if left unchecked.

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,...

Competent crew skills: arriving and leaving a berth

Skilled boat handling is needed when entering or leaving harbour. Crew tasks include preparing the mooring lines and fenders before docking and...