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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

Man Overboard App for Iphone or Ipad

Man Overboard AppA rather nice little Man Overboard Application (App) for the IPhone or IPad has been produced by a British Sailor living in the USA. Designed for motor boats or yachts that are not fitted with chart plotters or GPS, it works like the MOB button on the Chart Plotter by giving you the position of the casualty in lat and long ready for the Coastguard, and steering you back to the point at which it was pressed.  At just under two US dollars, the app is available from iTunes worldwide here.

Produced by Adrian Stanway, CEO of Intelligent Maintenance - the company best known for its sailing maintenance software - the Man Overboard App has already reached more than 1000 downloads

The App is super simple. If someone goes overboard, you just hit the MOB button on your iPad or iPhone. Then use the on-screen coordinates to call in to the Coastguard. Follow the big on-screen arrow to get back to the MOB point. This App does its job, and does it well.  So many people go out on the water without any means of fixing their position, and without radio or safety aids.  But they have their iPhone.  And with this App they can get help.  It gets our award for brilliance and simplicity.

Adrian says:  "A man overboard situation happens more often than you think. A simple trip on some deck clutter; a knock from the boom; leaning back on a lifeline that snaps. Suddenly someone's in the water.  The problem is that even at quite low speeds, the boat can be 500 yards from the person in less than a minute. The remaining crew just cannot see the person at that distance and against the background of waves. It's always life-threatening and sadly, sometimes fatal".

 Some people are using the MOB App as a Man Overboard practice aid. All boaters know they should practice MOB techniques regularly but few actually get round to doing it. The App makes it fun to practice, especially for young people for whom using Apps is second nature. A popular way is to use a couple of fenders tied together to take the role of the MOB.

The key to a successful recovery is speed. The body loses heat 25 times faster in the water than in the air. It only takes 10 -15 minutes for body core temperature to drop to a point where arms and legs go numb and lose function. Sadly, swimming just wastes valuable body heat. That is why getting to the person a quickly as possible is absolutely essential.

At only two US dollars, the app has already passed the thousand sale point, and is set to grow.  As Adrian says:  "My experience shows that lots of people go off day sailing with nothing which would even let them know their position if they get into trouble". 

The App is really simple. When someone goes overboard a press of the red MOB button gives the coordinates to call in to the Coastguard. Once you are 10 metres away from the MOB symbol then changes to a big clear arrow for the crew to follow back to the MOB. Pressing the Info button at any time gives both current position, MOB position and the Course To Steer. The App can't allow for wind and tide of course but gives people a good chance of getting back to the MOB as fast as possible.

The App works super accurately using the 'Run GPS in background' mode available from the 'About' screen.

We rather agree.  The average chart plotter doesn't allow for tidal drift of the casualty - you have to do that bit of work yourself.  And we also agree that a lot of younger people (and some oldies) would find this not only a great deal of fun helping them train for MOB, but a potential life-saver if it actually happens.  It gets our award for brilliance and simplicity, and we think the App should pass the ten thousand sale point equally quickly.

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