Meteorology Courses – Why Learn This Core Sailing Skill?

Learning to read the weather is core to learning to sail. Whether being able to get an idea if it is safe to go on your sailing trip, or to judge the weather patterns for a longer passage, it really helps to know as much as you can about the science of meteorology. I’d even […]

Forget GPS – Learn Manual Navigation!

Posted on March 7, 2016 by under Boat maintenance, navigation, Passage Planning

  Last week it came out that the US Navy has added celestial navigation to its officer training programme again. The Royal Navy learned this the hard way recently with its newest ships losing all power at random times due to a design fault and being unable to navigate in sometimes awkward situations! With routine […]

The Importance Of Learning Marine Meteorology

Posted on January 4, 2016 by under Motorboats, Passage Planning, Sailing, Sailing Courses

This weekend coming I’m taking my partner on a sailing experience day to see if she could enjoy the sport enough for us to buy a Drascombe Lugger and spend the summer months cruising the Channel and south coast of England. My ideal weather conditions would be a southerly Force 4 in blazing sunshine so […]

Why Sail Training Never Prepares You For A Severe Storm

Posted on October 12, 2015 by under Passage Planning, Sailing, Sailing Courses

Northern Europe and the US East Coast storm season is upon us. Already a cargo ship has sunk with the loss of 30 crew in Hurricane Joaquim. For most people a Force 6 wind is what is termed a ‘yachtsman’s gale’. This piece will look at two shipwrecks in hurricanes and show how, no matter […]

Light Airs Sailing – 4 Skills To Learn To Tackle Dead Calms

Posted on August 17, 2015 by under Boat maintenance, navigation, Passage Planning, Sailing

All sailors have fond memories of a brilliant reach they have done in 10 – 12 knots of wind, sat on the windward rail with a beer in hand, watching the coast scream by as their yacht goes as quick as it is designed to go. Add in some sunshine and you have perfect sailing […]

3 Short Boating Courses To Consider Ahead Of A Longer Passage  

Posted on March 31, 2015 by under First Aid, navigation, Passage Planning, Sailing Courses

Going to sea is ultimately about self reliance. The further you plan to go the less of a chance of being bailed out should you really get into trouble. Even the fastest rescue helicopters can only go 150mph so 300 miles out to sea you’re 2 hours from being rescued, and they are limited in […]

Mathematics – Core To Good Passage Making

Posted on March 16, 2015 by under navigation, Passage Planning, Uncategorized

A lot of learning to be a good sailor is to get your head around the mathematics of a passage. Whether predicting where you will be on crossing a tidal stream or factoring in leeway into an upwind passage, or working out where to stow your provisions for a trip to effectively balance your boat, […]

Weather Forecasting – An Important Skill Of The Seafarer

Posted on March 9, 2015 by under navigation, Passage Planning, Sailing

If you’re from the temperate climes of the northern hemisphere, having a good grip on what the weather is doing is a core skill in being able to plan a passage out to sea. In northern Europe, processions of gales frequently wreck your plans for a trip out to sea, where even in the Mediterranean […]

Offshore Sailing – The Great Leveller Between Men and Women

Posted on February 23, 2015 by under navigation, Passage Planning, Yacht Racing

In previous blog posts we have looked at how disability shouldn’t be an issue preventing you from competing among the best. This post will look at how women have routinely out competed men in offshore sailing –  when racing offshore, it really doesn’t matter what gender you are, just as long as you can outfox […]

Navigation and Passage Planning: Essential Tools for Any Passage

Posted on December 9, 2014 by under navigation, Passage Planning, Sailing, Yacht Racing

Last week I reported on the Volvo Ocean Team Vestas Wind running aground on shoals 270 miles off Mauritius. The team have admitted human error in the accident, discussing exactly what happened in a press conference you can listen to here. Essentially the navigator didn’t spot the shoal on his electronic charting system so plotted […]