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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

Top five windvane self steering installation questions

Top five windvane self steering installation questions answered by Sarah Curry of Hydrovane International Marine, courtesy of Viki Moore from Island Cruising NZ

Medical Emergency at Sea

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Antifouling for leisure boats – Part 1

Boats that are kept afloat can very quickly become a home for small marine organisms such as barnacles, weed and slime. Applying an antifouling paint to your hull is necessary to protect it from these micro-organisms, as a fouled hull can cause problems and will slow down a boat’s maximum speed considerably if left unchecked.

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...

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....

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...

Boat ownership – some fundamentals

Owning a boat is a big commitment that should bring no end of satisfaction, but the costs of maintaining and keeping a boat are significant and should never be underestimated.

Rewiring a boat – overcoming the challenges involved

Skippers need to have a basic knowledge of boat electrics, to avoid potential problems and to be able to solve them when they happen.

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.

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.

Sail trimming for cruisers

Sail trimming tips for cruisers. Whether racing or cruising, a well tuned boat will sail faster and tend to heel less than a boat with badly adjusted sails.

Boatyard Health and Safety

Boat storage facilities are potentially hazardous environments and it is the responsibility of both boat owners and boatyards to ensure that the...

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.

How to tackle osmosis

Many owners of old GRP boats live in fear of osmosis, but what exactly is osmosis and what can be done about it? Osmosis comes about...

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.

Steel hull maintenance

A steel boat owner’s biggest enemy is corrosion. You don’t have to worry about osmosis or rotting timbers, instead rust is the number one issue that will keep you awake at night.

Learn ColRegs: Traffic Separation Schemes

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

How to operate a winch

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

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...

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?...

Antifouling for leisure boats – Part 4

Applying antifouling. Antifouling is best applied on a dry, calm day. It is best to apply the antifouling in the middle of the day to ensure the hull is dry and as warm as possible.

Sending distress signals

In an emergency situation at sea, it is a top priority is to know how to send and receive emergency radio calls and alert others of your predicament. Likewise, if you receive a distress signal, you must be ready to go to the help of others.

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.

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...