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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. Make a second turn.

Step 3. Take the working end over the standing part, tuck it between the two parts to make the first hitch.

Step 4. Repeat the previous step to make a second hitch. Pull tight.

Tip: Practice tying a rope to a mooring ring or a post using a round turn and two half hitches.  

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

   

Avoiding personal dangers at sea

In order to stay safe at sea, we need to know the risks we are facing and to be aware of any personal dangers we could possibly encounter. Here are six of the most common potential dangers individual crew members should be aware of.

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.

Passage planning and pilotage

Passage planning and pilotage help skippers navigate safely from one port to another. A passage plan takes into account all...

A five day sailing cruise of the Solent, UK

Welcome to our virtual Solent sailing cruise – a five day sail in the south of England from Bosham Quay in Chichester...

Sailing Boat Rig Care

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 carried out at regular intervals.

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.

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.

Repairing a leaking hull-to-deck joint

If you suspect a hull-to-deck joint has failed, then being absolutely sure where the actual leak is occurring is of prime...

First aid at sea basics

At least one person on board should be trained in first aid and know how to administer the contents of the first aid kit, ensuring there are adequate supplies for the planned duration of the trip.

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.

Learning about diesel engine maintenance

Marine diesel engines are internal combustion engines that are designed specifically for use in maritime applications. These engines are commonly used in a variety of watercraft, ranging from small boats and yachts to large ships and vessels. Learn about marine diesel engine maintenance courses.

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.

Essential Knots: Clove hitch

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...

2023 Rolex Fastnet Race – Part 3

This is our third and final article about the 2023 Rolex Fastnet Race. It is a first hand account by Simon Jollands who was one of the crew of Lancelot II, a Beneteau First 40 skippered by John Gillard.

How to operate a winch

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

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...

Feeling anxious at sea

  Some people feel anxious at sea. Will they be seasick? What if they get caught in a violent storm? Could the boat...

Keeping boat records and doing checks

A boat’s records should provide information about maintenance schedules, when major work was done and when equipment was replaced or added to the boat. Without this information you are left guessing when things are likely to need replacing in the future and also what the costs are likely to be.

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.

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.

Understanding boat engines

Irrespective of what kind of engine a boat is equipped with and who does the work, the regular care and maintenance of a marine engine is essential. The most common cause of marine engine failure is widely known to be lack of maintenance.

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.

Competent crew skills: mooring lines

Mooring lines are used when arriving or leaving a berth. One of the most important competent crew skills is to know how to...

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,...

Getting a tow for your sail or power boat at sea or on inland waterways

FREE tips from the Safe Skipper App for iPhone/iPad/Android: Getting a tow for your sail or power boat Plan how to secure a...