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Essential Knots: Bowline

Use: Making a secure eye or loop in the end of a rope. Bowlines have many uses on a boat, for example to make a loop in a mooring line to go over a bollard, or to secure a jib sheet to a head sail. This is one of those very useful knots to go on practising until you can do it with your eyes closed! 

Step 1. Make a small loop near the end of a line.

Step 2. Pass the working end up through the small loop.

Step 3. Then pass the working end around the standing part.

Step 4. Pass the working end down through the small loop and pull tight – checking there is plenty of tail.

Tip: Imagine the loop is a rabbit’s hole and the standing end is a tree. Now imagine the working end is the rabbit. The rabbit comes up the hole, runs around the tree and goes back down the hole.

A one stop guide to tying and understanding all of the 50 most useful nautical knots!

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.

ColRegs when sailing single handed

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Antifouling for leisure boats – Part 2

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Understanding tides

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Understanding marine sealants & adhesives

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Weather forecasting tips

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Boat decks and superstructure

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How to operate a winch

Winches are drum shaped mechanical devices used to handle halyards, sheets and control lines. One of the important crew...

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...

Anchoring – getting it right is not always straightforward

If you can set an anchor correctly with confidence and know your boat will be safe in a secure anchorage, then you can rest...

Tools and spares for your boat

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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...

Rig check – how to prevent failure at sea

Regular rig checks prevent the risk of mast and rigging failure at sea. This includes regular rig inspections of the spars, ...

Essential Knots: Reef knot

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Dag Pike’s Boat Survey

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Safety Equipment Checklist for Boats

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Marine toilets – care and maintenance

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First aid at sea – four common emergencies

In this blog we look at what to do in the event of a crew member choking, drowning, or suffering from hypothermia or fatigue. Knowing how to cope with them could well save a life, while not knowing could result in an avoidable tragedy.

Navigation safety: a quick-reference mobile app to learn the ColRegs NavLights and Shapes

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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.

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?

Keel maintenance and Repair – Part 2

If you have ever witnessed a boat colliding with a rock or other submerged obstacle you will know that there is an almighty thump and the whole boat shakes and judders. While such hard groundings seldom result in catastrophic keel failure, something has to give and even the sturdiest keels can easily be damaged by such an impact.

Boating emergency – how to broadcast a MAYDAY emergency call

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