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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

Going aground – what to do if it happens to you

When a yacht runs aground, it can be a stressful situation, especially on a falling tide in an exposed position with a swell running. There are several steps you can take to address the situation in order to ensure the safety of your vessel and its occupants. Here are some tips should this happen to you.

ColRegs Rule 14 – Head-on Situation

  ColRegs Rule 14: Head-on Situation (a) When two power-driven vessels are meeting on reciprocal or nearly reciprocal...

Wooden Hulls – Part 2

It is important to ensure the essential hull maintenance of a wooden boat is done, even if you are paying others to look after your boat for you. The priority is to prevent rot from taking hold. The protective layers of paint and varnish over wood are far more critical than on GRP boats, where the topsides are painted more for cosmetic reasons.

Propeller care and maintenance

Propellers are complicated and repairs should be done by specialists but owners can carry out checks and some routine maintenance themselves when the boat is in the boatyard. A propeller is critical to a boat’s performance, fuel consumption and ride, so it makes sense to keep a propeller in good working order.

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...

Dripless shaft seals

Dripless shaft seals are designed to completely stop water from entering a boat’s hull via the stern tube. There are two main types of dripless seals known as face seals and lip seals which many boat manufacturers now fit to production boats.

Jester Challenge 2022 – Sailing single handed from Plymouth UK to the Azores: Part 6 – Communications

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

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...

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...

Boat surveys

A full boat survey assesses the condition of the hull, mechanical gear and means of propulsion. The survey is carried out with the boat...

Boat Security: Protecting your vessel from theft & vandalism

Boats are susceptible to theft and vandalism. Protecting your vessel from these risks requires a proactive approach to boat security. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various threats to boat security and provide practical strategies and technologies to safeguard your investment and enjoy peace of mind on the water.

Estimating your position at sea

Navigators use a combination of techniques to estimate their position at sea. The primary method used today is GPS (Global Positioning System), a network of 24 satellites that became fully operational in the 1990s and was originally restricted for use by the United States military.

Safety Equipment Checklist for Boats

Safety Equipment Checklist for Boats   Liferaft line attached The liferaft will not work unless the trigger line is...

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.

Hourly Checks when sailing or motoring

  Hourly Checks Get into the habit of carrying out these checks and both yourself, your crew and your boat will be...

Tidal terms and definitions

Getting to grips with tidal terms and definitions can seem a little daunting, even to the most experienced sailors! Here we look at some of the key terms and definitions associated with the language of tides.

Navigating narrow channels

Navigating narrow channels can present challenges for boat operators due to limited space, restricted manoeuvrability, and potential hazards such as shallows, rocks, or other vessels. To ensure safe passage through narrow channels, it’s essential to follow specific strategies and techniques.

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...

Fire prevention on boats

  Fire prevention on boats - common causes of fire: • Smoking below decks • Galley cookers • Build-up of butane or...

Care of boat batteries

Boat batteries need to be kept properly charged, which means never allowing the batteries to discharge below 50 per cent of their total charge. As well as the batteries themselves, keeping a boat’s charging systems in good shape will also help to keep batteries topped up to a higher level of charge.

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.

Capsize – understanding the risks

A skipper should know how their boat will cope with rough seas. By working within known limits and understanding the risks,...

Safe Skipper – crew management tips

Effective crew briefings are a vital part of the good on-board communication that helps everything to run smoothly on a sailing vessel at sea, whether it is cruising or racing.

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.

Understanding your boat’s compass

Article submitted by Mike Rossiter, Certificated Compass Adjuster. Since the magnetic compass was first used by the Chinese...