Anchoring & Mooring stern-to

The Mediterranean style of anchoring and mooring stern-to understandably presents the uninitiated with great dread. In fairness, it is not without its challenges. Even those experienced in the deft art of going astern to moor between two vessels do screw it up sometimes. Whilst pulling into an alongside berth shouldn’t generally attract too much attention, […]

Heaving-To & Fore-Reaching

What is heaving-to? It’s a way to stop the vessel in the water without using the anchor! Once she is pointing about 40-60 degrees to the wind she will have virtually zero forward motion. Instead, she will drift slowly downwind because the driving action from one sail is countered by the other being backed with […]

Spring Time

It’s Spring Time! Time to dust off your skills and remember this very useful manoeuvre. Many of you may think that springing off and onto a mooring is simple but having just completed my RYA instructor course it was interesting to see how even experienced sailors struggled with the planning, concept and execution of this […]


Why tow? Knowing how to tow is an essential skill for any yachtsman and is a part of your seamanship knowledge to keep in your personal toolbox. Helping a fellow sailor in need may be your main reason to tow, however, due to a mechanical failure or damage you may also find yourself requiring a […]

What Lies Beneath

The Royal Navy has been called in to deal with a bomb-laden wreck passed by thousands of sailors each year, writes Dick Durham. Each year thousands of yachts sail past the most dangerous wreck in the world and have done so for decades. Visiting sailors from France, Holland, Belgium and Germany as well as from […]

Keeping A Log

Only a few years back I went into a yacht chandler to look at the various ships logs that were available and I found, to my dismay, that they had none at all in stock.  Back in the day, when boat shows were still running, before the dreaded word Covid even existed, I went to […]

The Loneliness Of Command

All sailors are likely to be in charge of a yacht at some time or another, whether they are owner/skippers or simply in charge of a watch. But that does not make them the skipper, there can be only one skipper, and to quote a very regularly used phrase, ‘it isn’t a democracy’. Command skills […]

Setting Sail Part Two: Headsail

The Headsail Last month we focused on the mainsail but in this article we discuss the real driving force in the yacht’s rig, the foresails. Dependent on the wind angle, 60-65% of the sail power will be generated by the foresails, especially in the case of the Genoa. Additionally, if you trim your headsail and […]

Thunderbolts & lightning, very, very frightening

On our planet, there are 1.4 billion lightning strikes per year with certain geographical regions being more prone than others, such as within the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). The global sailing locations most likely to be hit by lightning are ‘lightning alley’ in Florida and Singapore. According to BoatUS Marine Insurance, the odds of a […]

Battling Seasickness

By Michelle Segrest Simply put, seasickness is pure misery.  Until you truly experience it, you can’t really say that you know what it feels like. You can say you’ve been queasy, or that you felt a bit dizzy. But make no mistake—when you truly experience seasickness, you’ll know it. If you’ve never been seasick, let […]