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How to avoid expensive mistakes when you buy a new or second-hand yacht. 

Available on Amazon here

REVIEWS

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 CAP

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

Col Regs Anarchy over Lights?

TriColourMost of us will be very quick to criticise those who fail to observe the Collision Regulations.  You only have to read the Yachting forums to see the arguments about who is, or is not, in the right when it comes to an accident at sea.  We instinctively appeal to the Col Regs when we feel we've been wronged.

So why are we increasingly ignoring them when it comes to lights?

Earlier this month, I had to enter the port of Methoni, at the bottom end of the Peloponese,  at 2.00am on a moonless night.  It's an easy entry - a wide bay of a harbour with a gently sloping anchorage.  The only hazard is the jetty, which sticks out into the bay.  But that has a flashing green light on the seaward end, so it should be easy to avoid.  But when we went in, there were at least three flashing green lights dotted about the bay. And a flashing white, a strobe, and some collections of lights that were nothing I had ever seen before.  

 

The following morning, we discovered that two of the flashing greens were on the masts of anchored yachts, as were the strobes and the other oddities.

Turn to Port in a head-on motoring situation and you risk being run down by the ship that is obeying the Col Regs and turns to Starboard. Fail to keep a proper lookout on the bridge of a big ship, and the entire yachting community will turn on you.  So why are we increasingly ignoring the Col Regs when it comes to lights?  Is it a case of trying to remove the speck from your neighbour's watchkeeping eyes whilst ignoring the plank in your own?

I took over command of a yacht on a delivery passage recently. It wasn't until it got dark that I found the previous owner had strapped a white strobe light to the bow, which came on when it got dark.  It was too rough to send someone up to the bow to switch it off, so we spent the night flashing. Thankfully, we were in an area of the Mediterranean that was devoid of shipping.

There are good reasons to stick to the Col Regs when it comes to lights.  A tri-colour light the on masthead is unmistakable by a bridge watchkeeper - it's a yacht under sail - keep clear.  A red, green and white with a steaming light is a motor vessel under way - obey the Col Regs.  A single all-round white light is likely to be a ship at anchor - or a very small vessel. These lights are simple, clear, and unmistakable. And as professional seafarers, we should stick to them.  Setting up an array of Disney lights on your yacht isn't going to make you any more visible;  it just confuses the third mate on that coaster that has no experience of yachting.  And it might even lead to an accident.

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