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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...

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...

Sail care and maintenance – Part 1

When thinking about the care, maintenance and repair of sails it helps to have some understanding of the properties of the ever growing range of modern sailcloth and the fibres they are made from, as opposed to the traditional canvas sails of the past.

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....

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.

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 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.

Boat batteries

Under-sized battery banks are one of the key factors behind power failure at sea, as well as the premature failure of batteries, so make sure that your boat battery measures up to the use you want to put it to.

First Aid Afloat – jellyfish stings

  Wherever you are boating in the world I am sure you will be using a pilot guide to aid your navigation. Often in the...

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...

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...

You Need To Understand The IRPCS ColRegs To Pass Your Yachtmaster, Master of Yachts and Coxswain Certificate of Competence

IRPCS ColRegs Rules of the Road at Sea and Yachtmaster Learning, understanding and remembering the International Regulations...

Boat surveys

A full boat survey assesses the condition of the hull, mechanical gear and means of propulsion. The survey is carried out with 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.

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...

Sector lights, directional lights, leading lights – how do they differ?

Sector lights, directional lights and leading lights guide vessels safely through hazardous waters or narrow channels at...

Cleaning & polishing gelcoat topsides

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.

Understanding marine sealants & adhesives

Sealants, adhesives and adhesive sealantsThere is a bewildering variety of sealants, adhesives and even adhesive sealants available for...

Learn ColRegs: Traffic Separation Schemes

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

Boat engine cooling systems

Some boat engine breakdowns are unavoidable but those caused by lack of maintenance or regular checks can be avoided. Failure to maintain an engine’s cooling system is a well known example of this, so it is well worth spending time checking over the cooling system both when the boat is ashore and afloat.

Rudders and steering systems – Part 1

Rudders and steering systems. A rudder is one of the most critical parts of a boat. Rudder failure is a common occurrence on neglected or overworked boats and a very unpleasant and potentially dangerous thing to happen when you are out at sea.

Hourly Checks when sailing or motoring

  Hourly Checks Get into the habit of carrying out these checks and both yourself, your crew and your boat will be...

First Aid Afloat – how to deal with a fracture at sea

First Aid Afloat A closed fracture does not break through the skin. An open fracture is when the bone punctures it. A...

ColRegs Rule 14 – Head-on Situation

  ColRegs Rule 14: Head-on Situation (a) When two power-driven vessels are meeting on reciprocal or nearly reciprocal...

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...

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!

Weather forecasting tips

Most weather forecasts present a general picture of what to expect in your area over a given period of time. We rely on such...

Repairing a leaking hull-to-deck joint

If you suspect a hull-to-deck joint has failed, then being absolutely sure where the actual leak is occurring is of prime...

First Aid at Sea – strains and sprains

Strains and sprains respond well to rest and cooling. Wrap ice in a tea towel before applying. First Aid at Sea Strains and...

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...

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...

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.

Understanding your boat’s compass

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

Safety Equipment Checklist for Boats

Safety Equipment Checklist for Boats   Liferaft line attached The liferaft will not work unless the trigger line is...

Dag Pike’s Boat Survey

We're really pleased to be working with Dag Pike on some great new apps for iPhone & Android. Here'a a bit more about the first app: Dag Pike's...

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...

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.

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...

Saildrive maintenance

There are less maintenance tasks to carry out on a saildrive transmission than on a traditional inboard shaft drive system with its associated stern gear. However, there are a few critical things that require maintenance, as recommended in detail by the engine manufacturers, and should be adhered to.

You Need To Understand The IRPCS ColRegs To Pass Your Yachtmaster, Master of Yachts and Coxswain Certificate of Competence

IRPCS ColRegs Rules of the Road at Sea and Yachtmaster Learning, understanding and remembering the International Regulations...

Top Ten Tips For Learning The ColRegs Boating Rules Of The Road

Colregs Boating Rules Of The Road Skippers struggle to learn and remember the ColRegs Yachtmaster and Day Skipper course...

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...

Rudders and steering systems – Part 1

Rudders and steering systems. A rudder is one of the most critical parts of a boat. Rudder failure is a common occurrence on neglected or overworked boats and a very unpleasant and potentially dangerous thing to happen when you are out at sea.

Weather forecasting tips

Most weather forecasts present a general picture of what to expect in your area over a given period of time. We rely on such...

Tools and spares for your boat

It is wise to have a comprehensive and well-organised tool kit and a supply of spares for your boat. This is both for routine...

Tacking a sailing boat

Tacking is the sailing manoeuvre used to change a boat's direction through an oncoming wind. Tacking a sailing boat calls...

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...