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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)

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.

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.

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.

Care of boat batteries

Boat batteries need to be kept properly charged, which means never allowing the batteries to discharge below 50 per cent of their total charge. As well as the batteries themselves, keeping a boat’s charging systems in good shape will also help to keep batteries topped up to a higher level of charge.

Boat gas system maintenance

There are correct types of hose for marine plumbing, sewerage, exhaust, cooling and gas and all hoses should be checked regularly for wear and deterioration.

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...

DIY boat upgrades: Budget-friendly projects to enhance your (older!) boat

DIY projects that can enhance both the functionality and aesthetics of your boat. In this article, we’ll explore a variety of DIY boat upgrades that won’t break the bank but will significantly enhance your boating experience.

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...

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.

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.

Five dangers a vessel may encounter at sea

What are the main dangers a vessel may face at sea and what should skippers do to reduce the risk of these happening?

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...

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...

Safe Skipper – crew management tips

Effective crew briefings are a vital part of the good on-board communication that helps everything to run smoothly on a sailing vessel at sea, whether it is cruising or racing.

The dangers of running aground in a motor boat

The peril of grounding a motor boat is not only an inconvenience; it can lead to substantial risks for both the vessel and its passengers. . In this article, we’ll explore the potential dangers of running aground and highlight the importance of proper navigation and preparedness to avoid these hazards!

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

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.

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:

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.

Estimating and plotting your position at sea

This post covers how we go about estimating and plotting our position using traditional methods, when out of sight of land – covering Dead Reckoning, Estimated Position, Tidal Streams, Leeway and more…

Tidal heights and the rule of twelfths

For those skippers who need to make a quick calculation or don’t have access to specific tidal curves for their location, it is possible to make an approximation using a system called the Rule of Twelfths. This is a simple method used to estimate the height of tide at any given time during the tidal cycle. It is based on the idea that the rise and fall of the tide is not constant, but follows a predictable pattern than can be divided into twelve parts.

Seacock maintenance

If seacocks are always left open and neglected they can eventually seize which will prove a serious threat to boat safety should a connecting hose fail and the seacock refuses to close. There are three main types of seacock – ball valves, cone valves and gate valves.

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...

Marine toilets – care and maintenance

There are a number of different types of marine toilet, or heads. They fall into one of three categories – manual, electric and vacuum, the most common being the manual, hand pumped type. These have double acting piston-pumps which both discharge the waste and flush the toilet with sea water.

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...