Select Page

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!

Steel and Aluminium Hulls

The two metals used for hull construction are steel and aluminium. These are both very strong materials and will last a long time as long as they are cared for, which primarily means protecting steel boats from rust and aluminium boats from electrolytic action.

Essential Boat Safety Briefing

Skippers Responsibilities Skippers are obliged to give a safety briefing to the crew even if they are a regular crew. At...

Boat maintenance log

Keeping a boat maintenance log is an ideal way of reminding owners what needs to be done to a boat and when. Read on for some tips,...

How to predict wind direction and strength by reading a weather chart

Weather charts, also known as surface pressure or synoptic charts, contain a lot of information that helps weather...

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...

Boat Engine Safety Checks

  Boat Engine Safety Checks Every skipper needs to make regular essential boat engine safety checks. Below you will...

Capsize – understanding the risks

A skipper should know how their boat will cope with rough seas. By working within known limits and understanding the risks,...

Keel design – options to consider when choosing a yacht

Keel design is constantly evolving and nowhere is this more apparent than in modern racing yachts such as the Imoca Open 60...

Sail boat rig checks – Part 2

In part two of Sail boat rig checks we run through some useful rig maintenance tips and then finish with a brief look at what a professional rig check involves.

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....

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...

Marine diesel exhaust checks

You should inspect the exhaust system for corrosion damage regularly, especially around the injection bend. If you have noticed the engine exhaust smoking a lot during the sailing season this can also indicate a number of potential problems.

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.

Know your Navlights & Shapes – essential for all skippers

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

Medical Emergency at Sea

How to deal with a medical emergency afloat   If you are planning a boating trip, it is important to have at least one...

Sail boat rig checks – Part 1

Sailing boat rigs need to be checked regularly to reduce the risk of rig failure at sea. In part one of Sail boat rig checks we run through a series of useful checks that owners and skippers can carry out.

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...

Safety Briefings – leave nothing to chance

Before giving your crew a safety briefing, it is worth considering the specific circumstances of the planned trip, the...

Antifouling for leisure boats – Part 2

To prepare for antifouling, as soon as your boat has been lifted out and pressure washed, you need to check all the surfaces of the hull below the waterline, remove any remaining barnacles and check for blisters.

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.

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.

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: 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...

Safety Equipment Checklist for Boats

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

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...