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Know your Navlights & Shapes – essential for all skippers

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

Sending distress signals

In an emergency situation at sea, it is a top priority is to know how to send and receive emergency radio calls and alert others of your predicament. Likewise, if you receive a distress signal, you must be ready to go to the help of others.

Boatyard Health and Safety

Boat storage facilities are potentially hazardous environments and it is the responsibility of both boat owners and boatyards to ensure that the...

Going aground – what to do if it happens to you

When a yacht runs aground, it can be a stressful situation, especially on a falling tide in an exposed position with a swell running. There are several steps you can take to address the situation in order to ensure the safety of your vessel and its occupants. Here are some tips should this happen to you.

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...

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.

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...

Weather forecasting resources and tips

All competent sailors need to have a good basic understanding of how to interpret a weather forecast. They also need to be able to interpret the actual conditions they are experiencing.

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 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.

Boat Security: Protecting your vessel from theft & vandalism

Boats are susceptible to theft and vandalism. Protecting your vessel from these risks requires a proactive approach to boat security. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various threats to boat security and provide practical strategies and technologies to safeguard your investment and enjoy peace of mind on the water.

ColRegs Nav Lights & Shapes, Rules Of The Road and IALA Buoys Apps

ColRegs Nav Lights & Shapes, Rules Of The Road and IALA Buoys Apps Make Learning Rules on iPhone, iPad, iPod and Android...

Boat Handling – anchoring

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

Jester Challenge 2022 – Sailing single handed from Plymouth UK to the Azores: Part 8 – Arriving at the Azores

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

Fixing position at sea using traditional methods

This post looks at some traditional methods used for fixing a vessel’s position at sea, within sight of land. Electronic fixes using chart plotters are very straightforward to record, but if for some reason a vessel’s electronics are faulty it is essential that a skipper knows how to use traditional methods.

Rudders and steering systems – Part 2

One thing all rudders have in common is that they have three main parts that need to be checked: the rudder, or a steerable drive leg in the case of many power boats; the system that joins the rudder to the steering; the steering control itself.

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.

Stress cracks on GRP boats

It is quite common to find cracks in the gelcoat when inspecting the deck and superstructure of a GRP boat. It is important to differentiate between a gelcoat crack and a scratch.

Distress flares – which flare, how & when to use?

How to use distress flares at sea Flares should be kept in a waterproof container in an easily accessible location such as a...

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.

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...

How to read nautical charts

Whilst most sailors today rely on GPS to find their way at sea, nautical charts are a crucial tool for any sailor to navigate safely and effectively. Here is a reminder of some of the basic steps involved in reading a nautical chart:

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 Yachting + Power Boat Safety Briefing

Yachting Safety Briefing   Down below Lifejackets and harnesses - fitting, when to wear, clipping on Gas - risks,...

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...