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Essential Knots: Sheet bend

Use: Joining two ropes together. A sheet bend is particularly useful for joining two ropes of different thicknesses together and is very secure.

Step 1. Make a bight in the end of one rope (the thicker one if the two are different thicknesses).

Step 2. Pass the other rope through the bight…

Step 3 .…then around and under, leaving both ends on the same side.

Step 4. Pass the end of the second (thinner) rope under its own standing part. Pull tight.

Tip: Make sure that the two free ends end up on the same side of the knot. If they are on opposite sides then the knot is more likely to come undone.

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

Rig check – how to prevent failure at sea

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Boat maintenance below decks

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A five day sailing cruise of the Solent, UK

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Passage Planning Advice & Safety for skippers

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How to read nautical charts

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Repairing a leaking hull-to-deck joint

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Keeping boat records and doing checks

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Boat Handling – anchoring

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

The VHF DSC Radio jargon buster

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Nautical paper charts – a reminder of the basics

The nautical chart is an indispensable tool for navigation. A chart is a graphic representation of an area of the sea which might also include coastlines, estuaries and islands. All cruising leisure boats should carry up-to-date paper charts.

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

 Safety at SeaSafety at sea will always remains a topical and important subject that will no doubt dominate the syllabuses of nautical...

How to cope with an emergency at sea

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Learn ColRegs: Traffic Separation Schemes

Learn ColRegs Rule 10: Traffic Separation Schemes. (c) A vessel shall, so far as practicable, avoid crossing traffic lanes...

ColRegs – avoiding collisions at sea

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2023 Rolex Fastnet Race – Part 3

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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.

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.

What boating skills should you have before you buy a yacht?

Many people dream of owning a yacht and sailing off into the blue yonder. What boating skills should you have before you buy...

Jester Challenge 2022 – Sailing single handed from Plymouth UK to the Azores: Part 2 – Weather

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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...

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.

The Boatyard Book – a boat owner’s guide to yacht maintenance, repair and refitting

The Boatyard Book is a fully illustrated 224 page practical reference manual that provides advice for boat owners on planning and carrying out annual maintenance, repairs, upgrades and refits of sailing yachts and motorboats, up to 20 metres in length.

Tools and spares for your boat

It is wise to have a comprehensive and well-organised tool kit and a supply of spares for your boat. This is both for routine...

How a propeller works

Have a look around any boatyard and you will notice quite a variety of propellers – some have two blades, some have three and others have four or more. While most propellers are completely rigid some have blades that fold.

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?