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Boat electrics and essential checklist

Essential boat electrics Small yachts and power boats have 12-volt DC (direct current) systems, although larger vessels will have...

Essential Boat Spares for Safety

  Boats Spares Tool kit What you carry in the boats tool kit will be useful for many boat repairs, but you might want...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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...

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.

Essential Knots: Sheet bend

Essential Knots: Sheet bend Use: Joining two ropes together. A sheet bend is particularly useful for joining two ropes of different...

Boat Handling – anchoring

Anchoring your yacht or motorboat Anchoring is one of the most important boat handling skills. If you can set an anchor...

How to tackle osmosis

Many owners of old GRP boats live in fear of osmosis, but what exactly is osmosis and what can be done about it? Osmosis comes about...

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.

A simple guide to understanding tides when passage planning

Understanding tides when passage planning When planning a trip in tidal waters, check the tides before going afloat. Use...

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...

Sailing & Motoring in Fog

Sailing & Motoring in Fog You can only measure the visibility accurately if sailing & motoring in fog when you have...

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,...

Seized fixings and fastenings

Maintaining a boat can be a rewarding experience but at times it can also be frustrating. A prime example of this is when you come across a seized fixing or fastening that refuses to budge. Read our tips on how to release and fix them:

Sailing Boat Rig Care

The rig of a sailing boat is put under huge stresses and strains so it is important for inspections of a yacht’s spars and rigging to be carried out at regular intervals.

Essential Knots: Round turn and two half hitches

Essential Knots: Round turn and two half hitches Use: Tying a rope to a pole or a ring. Step 1. Pass the end around the object. Step 2....

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...

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...

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...

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.

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...

Welcome to the Safe Skipper website.

We’ve been hard at work in recent weeks, making our great content easier to find and read, as well as a load of tech tweaks to make things run better.

Safe Skipper is run by a small number of 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!

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.

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...

Passage planning and pilotage

Passage planning and pilotage help skippers navigate safely from one port to another. A passage plan takes into account all...

Antifouling for leisure boats – Part 3

Antifouling is one of the least pleasant boat maintenance jobs to do, but it has to be done. The very worst job of all is removing the old antifouling as this can get seriously messy and is very hard work.

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...

VHF DSC radio – how best to communicate at sea

There are many ways to communicate with others at sea. What makes the VHF DSC radio the best form of short range...

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...

Galvanic and electrolytic corrosion

Galvanic corrosion is an electrochemical reaction between two or more different metals, in the presence of an electrolyte (note salt water is a good electrolyte).

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.

Essential yacht tender safety for skippers and crew

Essential yacht tender safety - the dangers inherent in using a dinghy to get ashore from a moored or anchored yacht are all too easily...

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.

The VHF DSC Radio jargon buster

AIS - Automatic Identification System This system is used by shipping. It allows another vessel or coast station to use...

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.

Learn ColRegs: Traffic Separation Schemes

Learn ColRegs Rule 10: Traffic Separation Schemes. (c) A vessel shall, so far as practicable, avoid crossing traffic lanes...

How to tackle osmosis

Many owners of old GRP boats live in fear of osmosis, but what exactly is osmosis and what can be done about it? Osmosis comes about...

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.

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.

Boat Improvements

My Boat - practical improvements Author - Mike Rossiter Most boat owners who have had their craft for any length of time will have made what they...

Understanding your mast and rigging

The rig of a sailing boat is put under huge stresses and strains so it is important for inspections of a yacht's spars and rigging to be...

VHF DSC radio – how best to communicate at sea

There are many ways to communicate with others at sea. What makes the VHF DSC radio the best form of short range...

ColRegs when sailing single handed

  Don’t neglect the Colregs when sailing single handed Sailing single-handed represents several challenges for skippers, not least how to...