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Always have an emergency grab bag to hand when at sea

Always have an emergency grab bag to hand when at sea

 

Grab bag:

In the event of having to abandon ship, it is recommended to have a designated waterproof bag to carry essential emergency items. 

These might include items already in use on the boat, as well as some already stored in the bag.

Emergency at sea – bag contents:

• Handheld GPS 
• Handheld VHF 
• PLB/EPIRB 
• Flares 
• Sea sickness pills 
• Torch and batteries 
• First aid kit 
• Thermal protective aids 
• Medication 
• Food and water 
• Ship’s documents 
• Personal documents 

(see Safe Skipper for more – the app for all boating enthusiasts)

Winch Servicing

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Care of boat batteries

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Essential Knots: Clove hitch

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Sending distress signals

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Tidal terms and definitions

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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.

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.

Nautical paper charts – a reminder of the basics

The nautical chart is an indispensable tool for navigation. A chart is a graphic representation of an area of the sea which might also include coastlines, estuaries and islands. All cruising leisure boats should carry up-to-date paper charts.

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.

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.

Finding your way at sea: waypoints

Any sea voyage needs a certain amount of planning before it is undertaken. It makes sense to think about where you are going, how you will get there and what factors might influence your plan. Planning the route itself is also critical. One of the essential parts of modern navigation is the use of waypoints.

Estimating your position at sea

Navigators use a combination of techniques to estimate their position at sea. The primary method used today is GPS (Global Positioning System), a network of 24 satellites that became fully operational in the 1990s and was originally restricted for use by the United States military.

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

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Weather forecasting resources and tips

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Five dangers a vessel may encounter at sea

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Antifouling for leisure boats – Part 4

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How to improve a yacht’s upwind performance

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Tips and advice for staying safe on a sailboat at sea

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Engine failure at sea – common causes and how to avoid them

Many engine failures are caused by lack of maintenance, resulting in fuel filter blockages, water pump failures, overheating and other breakdowns. Indeed, one of the most common reasons for marine rescue service call outs is for one of the most basic reasons possible – boats that have run out of fuel.

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...

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.

Keeping boat records and doing checks

A boat’s records should provide information about maintenance schedules, when major work was done and when equipment was replaced or added to the boat. Without this information you are left guessing when things are likely to need replacing in the future and also what the costs are likely to be.

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:

Feeling anxious at sea

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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...