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Essential Knots: Clove hitch

Use: Tying a rope to posts, bollards, rings or a guardrail.

Step 1. Make a turn around the object and lay the working end diagonally back over the standing part.

Step 2. Pass the working end round the object and back through the loop.

Step 3. Pull tight   Tip: Learn how to tie and adjust a fender using a clove hitch – this is a job for everyone on board.  

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

   

Sector lights, directional lights, leading lights – how do they differ?

Sector lights, directional lights and leading lights guide vessels safely through hazardous waters or narrow channels at...

Tips and advice for staying safe on a sailboat at sea

Here we focus on how to stay safe on a sailboat at sea. We cover key things to ensure you have on board before you set sail as well as covering the most common cause of incidents on sailboats and how to deal with them.

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:

Boat ownership

Owning a boat is a big commitment that should bring no end of satisfaction for the owner as well as the owner's family and friends. In...

An explanation of the IALA maritime buoyage systems – IALA A and IALA B

What are the differences between the two IALA buoyage systems, IALA Region A and IALA Region B, and where are they used?   As recently as the 1970s...

Sailboat 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.

Cutless bearing replacement

Cutless bearings can last for many years but if the propeller shaft is out of alignment they will wear through more quickly. If you have noticed a clunking sound when motoring then it could be a worn cutless bearing that is causing the problem.

Boat Engine Safety Checks

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

Boat interior inspection and checks

While a boat is ashore, the most critical interior checks to carry out are those that concern the safety of the boat. This entails the integrity of all through-hull fittings and seacocks, the gas system and the electrical system.

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.

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.

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.

VHF DSC radio – how best to communicate at sea

There are many ways to communicate with others at sea. What makes the VHF DSC radio the best form of short range...

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.

Repairing chips and dings in gelcoat

The gelcoat topsides of a GRP boat can be pampered and restored to their former glory relatively easily when it is ashore. Gelcoat is only a very thin outer layer of the hull, often less than 1mm thick, so you should avoid cleaning it with highly abrasive cleaners, or an-ything that could potentially damage its surface.

Jester Challenge 2022 – Sailing single handed from Plymouth UK to the Azores: Part 10 – The Return Trip

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

How to ensure your boat is in proper working condition

In this article Eva Tucker from Volvo Penta presents a handy check list of all the things that you need to check regularly in order to make sure that your boat is in a seaworthy condition. Including maintenance, safety gear and electrical checks.

Boat engine basics

Boat engines come in all shapes and sizes and include inboards, outboards, petrol, diesel, electric and hybrid systems. Some engines are...

Jester Challenge 2022 – Sailing single handed from Plymouth UK to the Azores: Part 7 – Motivation

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

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

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

Know your Navlights & Shapes – essential for all skippers

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

Winch Servicing

It is not essential to service the winches when a boat is ashore, but if time allows I prefer to do this maintenance job when the boat...

Peer to Peer yacht charter – How can you monetize your boat?

There is a growing trend in peer to peer yacht charter. How does it work? People already rent rooms, cars and bikes from one...

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...

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,...