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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

 

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.

Steel and Aluminium Hulls

The two metals used for hull construction are steel and aluminium. These are both very strong materials and will last a long time as long as they are cared for, which primarily means protecting steel boats from rust and aluminium boats from electrolytic action.

Hull inspection – the annual checks

With the boat ashore for the winter it is time to do a hull inspection - the annual checks. Are there any scratches and chips in the...

2023 Rolex Fastnet Race

Safe Skipper’s Simon Jollands took part in the 2023 Rolex Fastnet Race – a classic offshore sailing event. This is the first of several articles on the race and focuses on the start.

Boat Handling – anchoring

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

How to ensure your boat is in proper working condition

In this article Eva Tucker from Volvo Penta presents a handy check list of all the things that you need to check regularly in order to make sure that your boat is in a seaworthy condition. Including maintenance, safety gear and electrical checks.

Antifouling for leisure boats – Part 3

Antifouling is one of the least pleasant boat maintenance jobs to do, but it has to be done. The very worst job of all is removing the old antifouling as this can get seriously messy and is very hard work.

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.

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.

Essential Boat Buying Tips for First-Time Boat Owners

The first question that comes to mind when thinking about buying a boat is: what type of boat? There are more than 20 different kinds, of different sizes, for different purposes, and different pockets. So, your first step is to decide your boat type.

Stress cracks on GRP boats

It is quite common to find cracks in the gelcoat when inspecting the deck and superstructure of a GRP boat. It is important to differentiate between a gelcoat crack and a scratch.

Jester Challenge 2022 – Sailing single handed from Plymouth UK to the Azores: Part 5 – Boat Management

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

Learn ColRegs: Traffic Separation Schemes

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

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.

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.

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...

Sailing to windward – how to take advantage of wind shifts

For most sailors, sailing upwind is the most exhilarating point of sail as you tack your way to your destination. Sailing to windward is a bit like zig-zagging your way up a mountain road through a series of hairpin bends – great fun but also calling for concentration and hard work.

2023 Rolex Fastnet Race – Part 2

Simon Jollands took part in the 2023 Rolex Fastnet Race. This is the second of his articles on the race aboard Lancelot II, a Beneteau First 40.

Man Overboard Drill

How to respond to crew overboard under sail • Keep the MOB in sight • Tack into the heave-to position, do not adjust the...

Cleaning & polishing gelcoat 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.

Sterndrive maintenance

Sterndrives are a popular form of propulsion in the powerboat market, but require a fair amount of care and maintenance. The main factors to be aware of are salt water corrosion, lubrication and regular inspection of the bellows, the condition of which is vital to prevent water from entering into the hull.

How to cope with an emergency at sea

A safe skipper will be mentally prepared for all kinds of potential emergencies happening at sea, including medical emergencies, engine failure, fire, a holed hull, capsize and dismasting.

Peer to Peer yacht charter – How can you monetize your boat?

There is a growing trend in peer to peer yacht charter. How does it work? People already rent rooms, cars and bikes from one...

Boat engine fuel system

If engines are installed and serviced correctly then most marine engines are very reliable, but one of the most important parts of the engine to check and service is the fuel system.

Common marine electrical problems

Most problems with marine electrical systems arise from four possible sources, a lack of maintenance, a poor standard of initial installation, insufficient battery capacity, or ineffective charging systems.
Water ingress is a frequent issue – salt water can corrode contacts very quickly. If connections are not scrupulously clean – or are loose – resistance will be increased, resulting in progressively reduced power.