It might surprise you to learn that how to prevent boat fails comes down to several critical pieces of paper. The secret weapon boaters use to combat engine issues, leaks, rigging failures, and everyday boat problems is the mighty checklist. If you’ve used checklists in your previous professional or home life, using them on your
Most new VHF radio users get their initial experience by calling another person or a marina. After making a few calls, using the VHF radio becomes second nature – just like using the telephone. Here are six easy steps on how to make a VHF Radio call, a video and a written example in addition
When my husband, Simon, and I purchased our first boat in the UK, back in 2012, one of us had to hold a VHF radio license. In the UK, it’s the only requirement necessary for owning and operating a boat. Simon took a VHF Radio course which enabled him to operate our boat and I
When it comes to boat safety it’s quite a broad category. You might immediately think that it’s just life jackets, a GPS positioning device and Man Overboard equipment but that’s only a very small tip of the iceberg. As with most things boating related, safety is yet another huge category to get your head around. Allow
One of the first things you need to know BEFORE becoming an active bluewater cruiser is to know how to send a MAYDAY. Sure, the VHF radio is equipped with a red ‘panic’ type button but that’s not necessarily going to save you. Your chances for getting help increase drastically if you follow up an
When it comes to sailing and sailboats there are several different ways to do a variety of tasks. Some captains and sailing schools preach one method and others preach another. Your best bet is to understand the options and then choose the system, or way, that works best for you. How will you know what
You’ll be surprised by the different questions that you’ll get asked when booking into foreign countries. Some require very little information and others want to know everything down to your blood type. Some countries have a couple forms and others have several forms and want three carbon copies of each form. And I’m not kidding when I say ‘carbon copies.’ In Trinidad they still use that blue carbon paper rather than a photocopier! Here’s the template that we use on Britican. We have a display book that holds all our documents mentioned in our Sailing To A New Country Checklist. On the front page, we have our easy reference Clearing Into Countries Cheat Sheet.
I’m ashamed to admit it but until recently, I wasn’t 100% sure about how to deploy our life raft. If you’re not familiar with what a life raft is, it’s a backup floatation device that can be used for survival if the boat sinks. It blows up to look like a neon orange floating tent and is packed with water, flares, and a range of other life-saving items. Before I get ahead of myself, this article is about three things that all liveaboards must know…And I mean MUST KNOW. Read more here…
Members only! As mentioned in my article, Three Things That All Liveaboards Must Know, I offer a free copy of the Britican Boat Safety Manual for members to use. This 15-page document will provide a template for your own boat safety manual. You’ll have to chop and change according to your own boat but the bulk of the information is standard.
The document covers a basic boat operating manual in addition to procedures for Man Over Board, fire, steering malfunctions, engine failure, collision, taking on water, the location of all thru-hull fittings, how to deploy the life raft, medical emergencies, grounding, and other procedures and boat rules. This manual can be used if you’re getting your boat coded for chartering purposes or to simply have in your navigation desk as a reference for the crew, guests, and passengers.
Most boat crashes and hull crunches happen when docking and leaving a dock. Why? There’s a variety of reasons. Some new (and experienced) boat owners misread the elements (wind, tide, current). Other’s misjudge the space available. And it’s very common for inexperienced marina dock hands or crew to mess things up with the lines. Boat handling leaving a dock is a key skill to learn.
Unfortunately, once a new boat owner has a crunch it can be quite a setback.
Sure, there’s a cost associated to a scratch or hole but the real issue is with confidence. We’ve met many new boat owners that have a few small accidents and decide to call it a day. Take a look at all the boats you’ll find in a marina on a perfect sailing day – many people want to live the dream, buy access to the dream and then lose steam when it comes to actually making the dream happen (leaving the dock).
The crazy thing is that there are very safe and easy steps regarding boat handling leaving a dock.
In fact, the steps that we use make docking and leaving a dock look like a breeze – even for newbies. Like so many things with boat ownership, having a blueprint or a checklist can help you make a success out of it more times than not. Below you’ll find a video where Simon explains the procedure, we then demonstrate leaving a dock and we also provide an alternative. Furthermore, you’ll find the steps written below the video.