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Fire safety advice for boaters

Top fire safety advice at sea:

1. Fit smoke alarms, carbon monoxide and gas detectors
2. Turn fuel off properly after use
3. Dispose of cigarettes carefully. Put them out, right out
4. Make sure appliances are installed and maintained by a trained fitter
5. Clean up fuel spillages straight away
6. Plan your emergency procedure and make sure everyone on board knows it
7. Avoid fighting a fire yourself
8. Get out, stay out and wait for the Fire and Rescue Service
9. If you are moored near land move everybody off the boat and call emergency services immediately
10. If you are off-shore move as far away from the fire as you can on deck. Get everybody into life jackets and make a mayday call
11. Keep fire blankets and extinguishers close to exits and risk points, such as the galley and engine area. Only use them if you know how to

 

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.

Understanding tides

If you are used to sailing in tidal waters, you will know that tides can be both a benefit and a hindrance to the sailor. In many ways,...

Sailing into fog – being prepared and staying safe

Most skippers will sensibly delay their departure, if fog is forecast. However, if fog begins to form when you are at sea it is important to be prepared, and know what precautions to take, to help make your vessel detectable or visible in fog and keep the crew safe.

Sailing into a storm

Weather forecasting has become increasingly accurate, but despite this, I was caught out recently by a forecast that considerably underestimated the wind strengths and consequently was sailing single handed in to a Force 8 gale, which proved to be challenging!

Learn ColRegs: Traffic Separation Schemes

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

Boat maintenance below decks

While most interior maintenance work can be done when a boat is afloat, some jobs such as servicing the seacocks have to be done ashore. It makes sense to do any major interior repairs and improvements with the boat hauled out in the boatyard.

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.

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...

Rudders and steering systems – Part 2

One thing all rudders have in common is that they have three main parts that need to be checked: the rudder, or a steerable drive leg in the case of many power boats; the system that joins the rudder to the steering; the steering control itself.

Dag Pike’s Boat Survey

We're really pleased to be working with Dag Pike on some great new apps for iPhone & Android. Here'a a bit more about the first app: Dag Pike's...

The give-way hierarchy at sea – who gives way to whom?

Whatever their size or type, all skippers have a responsibility to avoid collisions with other boats at sea.  It is...

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.

Safety Briefings – leave nothing to chance

Before giving your crew a safety briefing, it is worth considering the specific circumstances of the planned trip, the...

Seacock maintenance

If seacocks are always left open and neglected they can eventually seize which will prove a serious threat to boat safety should a connecting hose fail and the seacock refuses to close. There are three main types of seacock – ball valves, cone valves and gate valves.

First Aid Afloat – jellyfish stings

  Wherever you are boating in the world I am sure you will be using a pilot guide to aid your navigation. Often in the...

Cleaning & polishing painted topsides

The gelcoat topsides of a GRP boat can be pampered and restored to their former glory relatively easily when it is ashore. Gelcoat is only a very thin outer layer of the hull, often less than 1mm thick, so you should avoid cleaning it with highly abrasive cleaners, or an-ything that could potentially damage its surface.

Rudders and steering systems – Part 1

Rudders and steering systems. A rudder is one of the most critical parts of a boat. Rudder failure is a common occurrence on neglected or overworked boats and a very unpleasant and potentially dangerous thing to happen when you are out at sea.

Essential Boat Safety Briefing

Skippers Responsibilities Skippers are obliged to give a safety briefing to the crew even if they are a regular crew. At...

Rudders and steering systems – Part 3

In the third of our three blog articles on rudders and steering systems, we look at how to replace rudder bearings and repair a water-saturated core.

Rig check – how to prevent failure at sea

Regular rig checks prevent the risk of mast and rigging failure at sea. This includes regular rig inspections of the spars, ...

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.

Boating emergency – how to broadcast a MAYDAY emergency call

How to broadcast a MAYDAY emergency call   How to broadcast a MAYDAY emergency call if a vessel or person is in grave...

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.

Leaking decks

Leaking decks are perceived as a nuisance by some boat owners, but if leaks are ignored a much more serious situation may well be developing, especially in the case of boats with balsa or plywood deck cores. So deck leaks do need to be investigated and dealt with.

Passage Planning Advice & Safety for skippers

Passage planning helps you to: • Decide where to go • Calculate how long it will take to get there • Avoid bad weather •...