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

Getting a tow for your sail or power boat

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 tow rope to your boat. The tow rope must be attached to strong deck fittings
  • As a rescue boat approaches, warn them of any debris or loose lines in the water
  • If you are being rescued by a lifeboat, follow their instructions – they are experienced in rescue techniques
  • If necessary back the tow rope with other ropes to lead to other cleats and strong points on deck
  • Avoid using knots or loops that cannot be released under load
  • Protect the rope from chafing using plastic tube, rags or fenders
  • When being towed in a small boat, you will need to keep the weight well aft to keep the bow up
  • If the boat is down by the bows you may need to be towed from astern
  • The towed boat should always steer to follow the towing boat unless the steering has been disabled
  • The use of a drogue to aid towing can be used

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.

Boat electrics

All boat owners should have a basic knowledge of electrics, both to avoid encountering electrical problems at sea and to stand a chance of solving them should they occur.

Narrowboating on the Kennet and Avon Canal

A recently cancelled sailing event I was due to take part in left us with a free weekend in the diary. Given that my wife and I were celebrating a bumper wedding anniversary and the weather forecast was for fine weather, we decided to hunt around for a last minute canal holiday.

Gybing a sailing boat

Gybing is the sailing manoeuvre used to change a boat's direction through a following wind. As with the tacking manoeuvre,...

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.

Light characteristics – how do navigators identify lights at night?

How do navigators identify the different types of light around our coasts at night and what are their characteristics?Navigating at...

Boat Engine Failure – what to check

Engine failure If your engine fails or is overheating there are a number of things to check immediately: • Air filter...

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...

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...

Seasickness – how can you prevent it?

Seasickness is a common problem at sea and affects both seasoned sailors and novices. What are the causes and symptoms of seasickness?...

Know your Navlights & Shapes – essential for all skippers

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

Essential Boat Spares for Safety

  Boats Spares Tool kit What you carry in the boats tool kit will be useful for many boat repairs, but you might want...

How to improve a yacht’s upwind performance

There are several ways to improve the upwind performance of a sailing yacht. Read on for some useful tips including headsail reefing, heavy weather jibs and motor sailing.

Boat electrics inspection checklist

With the boat ashore, here are some recommendations for carrying out a boat owner electrics inspection. Safety is always paramount so remember to do the checks with the batteries off. Wearing a head torch helps, make notes as you go and only tackle a repair if you are 100% sure you know what you are doing:

Essential Knots: Figure of eight

Essential Knots: Figure of eight Use: Stopper knot, prevents a rope from being pulled through a hole e.g. through a block or...

Sailboat 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.

Always have an emergency grab bag to hand when at sea…

  Grab bag: In the event of having to abandon ship, it is recommended to have a designated waterproof bag to carry...

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...

Wooden Hull Repairs

While wooden boat hull maintenance is mostly straightforward, it is always a good idea to take expert advice on any repair job needed doing to a wooden boat, unless you have done the job before and know what you are doing.

Boat engine basics

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

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...

Stern gear maintenance

The stern gear of a boat needs to be checked carefully when the boat is ashore as this is something that can only be done when it is out of the water. The same applies for any maintenance and repairs that may need doing, so it is best to check it all over as soon after an end of season lift out as possible.

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.

You Need To Understand The IRPCS ColRegs To Pass Your Yachtmaster, Master of Yachts and Coxswain Certificate of Competence

IRPCS ColRegs Rules of the Road at Sea and Yachtmaster Learning, understanding and remembering the International Regulations...

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.