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Icom IC-M35We review the Icom IC-M35 handheld.  Read the full review here.

GMDSS A User's Handbook

By Denise Bréhaut

GMDSS A user's handbook








The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) provides a fast and efficient way of calling for assistance at sea, whatever the size of craft or its geographical position. Since it was first published, this book has helped explain the system for anyone using GMDSS and has been excellent pre-course reading for students.



SafaSail HatThe SafaSail Hard Hat looks just like a sailing cap, but will help protect you if you get a bang to the head.  See our review here


Environmentally Friendly Sailing

’It’s just a few pieces of litter, a small splash of oil, a drop of anti-fouling and some washing up liquid, surely that isn’t that big of an environmental deal, is it?’ 

One boat on its own may not have dramatic environmental impacts, but think about the impact of a fleet of boats, a large regatta or a harbour or marina full of boats located in a single area, and then the collective impact can cause far more intensive localised damage. 

The Green Blue believes individual actions, collectively, can go a long way to minimise any environmental impact. You can be one of those individuals and make our sailing environment cleaner, healthier and thriving with wildlife for you and others to enjoy. 

The Green Blue’s Environmental Outreach Officer, Kate Fortnam, shares her top tips on why and how you can make an environmental difference.  

Read more: Environmentally Friendly Sailing

Round the Island

Well, we did it.  The editor was skippering a Halberg Rassy 40 for a delightful family who wanted a day that was 'not serious racing, just enjoying the event'.  We had no spinnaker, so it was sail handling and tactics that would pay off. We couldn't see the start line as there were just too many yachts, and not wanting to push in to the mele at the apparent line, we held back at the start.  A lovely sail down the Solent, then avoiding the pile-up at the Needles took us too far to seaward and, as I discovered later, lost us some tide advantage. Then round St. Catherines, with a few tacks across the fleet (we were on starboard tack against the majority port, so apologies to those who had to scatter) to Bembridge, then a few more to avoid Ryde sands, and home.

A great day, with a lovely meal at the end of it in Hamble. We were placed 35 out of 41 in our class, so room for improvement but not a disgrace.  Glenn Smallcombe, sailing Quantum Leap, a Sunfast 37, beat the entire Sunsail fleet and came 8th in his class.  Well, he always was an excellent sailor. 

Tell us your Round the Island story on the Forum.


The Cruising Association - A Review

CA LogoIs membership of the Cruising Association (CA) worth the £118 annual membership fee?

That was the question back in October last year when Rosemary and Brian (currently in Tunisia) wondered about it aloud on our forum.  In response, the Cruising Association kindly allowed Sailers to have a good look around their website, join MedNet for a month, and generally have a poke about under the deck boards.

[Are you a member?  Comment on this review in our Readers' Forum]

Read more: The Cruising Association - A Review

Stuart Bradley new President of Cruising Association

C A logoVeteran cruising sailor Stuart Bradley has been appointed President of the Cruising Association, succeeding Sir Robin Knox-Johnston C.B.E.

Sir Robin has accepted a new position as 'Patron' of the Cruising Association. He was "very honoured" to accept and looks forward to continuing his involvement with the Association's 3,500 members. The appointment took effect from the AGM on 2 December. As Patron, Sir Robin will reflect the values of the CA and maintain a close relationship with the Association as a figurehead and ambassador.

Read more: Stuart Bradley new President of Cruising Association

Be prepared for Pirates!

Cdr Paul CookPaul Cook, former Royal Navy terrorism expert, and now Managing Director of International Superyacht Management Limited ( ) and PRC Maritime (Consultancy) Limited ( ) shares some expert advice on piracy avoidance for small yachts.

The continuing abduction of Rachel and Paul Chandler is a bleak reminder that piracy is on the increase, not only in the waters around Somalia, but across the globe.  And yachtsmen and women should be prepared to take avoiding action no matter which waters they sail in, says former Royal Navy Commander Paul Cook. 

Paul spent 25 years working in naval anti-terrorism.  He specialised in anti-piracy measures, and now as a Superyacht Captain, he advises on piracy prevention to owners and crew of all shapes and sizes of vessel.

Read more: Be prepared for Pirates!

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