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

Available on Amazon here


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

The Commodore Deck Shoe from Chatham

There are two reasons why people buy deck shoes.  

The first is a fashion statement; wearing deck shoes gives the impression of a life lived in the fast lane of brand-aware, high status yachting.

The second (which actually gives rise to the first) is that proper deck shoes really are designed for a purpose: to be the safe and correct footwear for use on board a yacht.  In other words, they're the right tool for the job. And as far as I'm concerned (and I'm a yacht delivery skipper), to do their job properly, deck shoes need several specific qualities:


  • They need to be able to grip a slippery glass-fibre deck in the wet, keeping traction so that you don't slip and slide around - it's a safety issue
  • They need to be able to take a regular salt or fresh water soaking and dry out again without smelling or distorting. 
  • They need to be comfortable to wear without socks. 
  • And they shouldn't leave horrid skid marks on a dry deck.

The 'fashion statement' deck shoes usually fail on all but comfort.  They may look good, but that's where their usefulness ends.   And some are positively dangerous because the sole acts like a water ski on a wet deck.

So if you're a serious yachtsman or yachtswoman, and you want a pair of deck shoes that really do work, your choice is limited.

The Commodore Deck Shoe from Chatham is a serious deck shoe for serious yachtsmen. I have tested it personally both at sea and on land, and it meets all of my criteria for a great working shoe. The sole is made of a non-marking material, and is cut to provide a safe grip on wet fibreglass.  The uppers are made from attractive leather, and thankfully don't have an inner fabric 'comfort' liner. So not only do they dry out quickly if you get them wet, but the absence of that inner 'cushion' means that there's nowhere for those horrible pongy bacteria to grow.  The result - a fresher smelling yacht and deck shoes that don't have to be banished to the foredeck! 

I only have one criticism:  the leather laces may look good, but they come undone very easily.  I've resorted to putting a dab of araldite on the knot so it's permanently done up.  But then I'm lazy, and can't be doing with double bows.

Despite this minor defect, they are comfortable, long lasting, and they look great.  They're a great working shoe, and a proper fashion statement because any serious yachtsman will recognise the wearer as someone who does it for real. 

At £59.00, they're nowhere near the most expensive deck shoe on the market, but for this yacht skipper, they're certainly the best of the bunch so far.

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