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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


Compact Marine Stereo, now with Bluetooth

MAV Marine StereoSince its introduction last summer, the Marine Micro marine stereo has been a best-seller to boats of all sizes.  Perfect for the dashboard of a RIB or small fishing boat, it has also been popular with owners of much larger craft looking to fit a self-contained entertainment point in cockpits and on foredecks.

 August 2012 now sees the introduction of the Marine Microblue - a new version available exclusively from Marine AV that incorporates Bluetooth functionality.  Users can now stream content from their iPhones and MP3 players direct to the unit and its speakers.    The unit also now has a Line Out socket for connection to an external amplifier if required.

Like its predecessor the Microblue can not only power up to four 25W speakers, giving 100 watts of total power, but also an integral AM/ FM radio with antenna supplied. The compact dimensions (105mm diameter by 41mm installation depth) combined with its IP66 waterproofing and USB socket make it ideal for almost anywhere onboard, while its solid aluminium chassis combined with tough rubber control buttons and high definition LCD display make it particularly suitable for exposed locations.    All it requires is a 12v power supply.

Marine AV’s waterproof USB / 3.5mm AUX input adaptor - the SEA-USBMINI - can be fitted alongside for added convenience when it comes to plugging in those non-Bluetooth external audio sources.

The Marine Microblue is available from Marine AV for £124.94 including VAT.  A ready-to-go kit including the Microblue unit plus a pair of 25W Sony speakers and a SEA-USBMINI adapter costs just £262.79 including VAT.

For more information and on-line sales, go to

Helly Hansen launches innovative new H2 Flow Technology

Helly Hansen H2 Flow JacketUnique technology to manage personal climate during all outdoor activities

August 2012 - Helly Hansen boasts an impressive heritage of innovation and first-to-market product solutions that have altered the way the outdoor industry approaches protection, performance and design. This winter, Helly Hansen has launched its latest innovation, H2 Flow Technology, which is set to transform the way that outdoor enthusiasts think about temperature management.

H2 Flow Technology stands for Hollow Heat Flow, and has been tested and proven by the Norwegian Technical & Nature Science University. The first product to feature Helly Hansen's H2 Flow Technology is the H2 Flow Jacket (SRP £130). The jacket is available for men and women, and can be worn as a mid-layer or as a stand-alone jacket. Manufactured using a whole new construction, The H2 Flow Jacket incorporates H2 Flow technology to create a unique insulation system that works unlike any other midlayer by using positive and negative spaces to ensure the body's temperature is easily regulated, based on activity levels and weather conditions.

Read more: Helly Hansen launches innovative new H2 Flow Technology

Yellowbrick iPhone App tracks global yachting events

Yellowbrick, the world's largest truly-global tracking provider will be tracking a host of exciting races and events taking place across the globe this summer. With events spanning the UK, Europe, the USA and even the other side of the world in Australia, Yellowbrick tracking means there's no need to miss out on the action no matter where in the world you are!

Tracking devices from Yellowbrick enable online supporters to follow real-time position progress of individuals taking part in adventurous treks, trans-ocean yacht races and many other ventures into areas where conventional communication devices will not work, thanks to its use of the Iridium Satellite network.

Read more: Yellowbrick iPhone App tracks global yachting events

Marine Blast - a Marine Directory App is born!

MarineBlast - the new Marine Directory in an AppMarine Blast Multimedia has just launched the first of its kind, a series of 'one stop' Marine Directory Apps for iPhone and Android platforms that enable individuals, businesses and event organisers operating within the leisure marine market to connect smoothly, and for free, to thousands of contacts within the industry. The Marine Blast Directories, currently covering England, Scotland and Wales, and with Ireland coming on stream shortly, also include listings for major global yachting events, as well as links to sailing news sites and regional sailing events with fresh content being added and updated regularly. 

Said Alistair Strang:  "Marine Blast Multimedia Apps were born out of our frustration at the lack of a really comprehensive Marine Directory that covered the UK whilst you're on the move.  We thought it would be a good idea to produce a comprehensive Directory of businesses and events in the form of an iPhone and a Smartphone App.

Read more: Marine Blast - a Marine Directory App is born!

IC-M91D, Icom’s first GPS Marine VHF/DSC Handheld

IC-M91D - Icom's first DSC Handheld with GPSIcom has launched their next generation of marine VHF models at the 2012 London Boatshow. Both the IC-M91D GPS Marine VHF/DSC Handheld and IC-M423 Compact Fixed Mount VHF/DSC models share a new common user interface and noise cancelling technology that are unequalled in VHF models today. Both models set a benchmark for all future Marine VHF radios.

The IC-M91D is Icom’s first marine handheld VHF with integrated DSC/GPS giving you the facility to send and receive DSC calls.

The integrated GPS provides another important benefit. The waypoint/compass function allows the boat owner to steer their way to waypoints within a route. A Man Over Board (MOB) function allows you to record time and position of the MOB just in case the worst ever happened. These features, dependant on the size of your vessel, could provide a central or back up navigation tool.

Read more: IC-M91D, Icom’s first GPS Marine VHF/DSC Handheld

SafaSail Caps

SafaSail CapI guess that just about every yachtsman who sails fairly frequently will have a nasty story about how the boom 'nearly' caused serious injuries.  Mine happened when I was at the chart table, trying to identify a light at night in a force 6 just off Kinsale in Southern Ireland.  The inexperienced helmsman messed up and accidentally jybed, sending the skipper across the deck.  Thankfully the skipper was a tall chap, and the mainsheet, rather than the boom, hit him hard across the shoulder.  I heard an almighty bang, and felt the yacht heel.  I thought we had lost the mast, and came up on deck to a certain amount of chaos. Thankfully, apart from bruises (both physical and to the ego), all was well.

But it doesnt always end that well.  Skulls are fragile things. According to the Coastguard and RNLI, being hit by the boom is one of the most frequent causes of injuries on board.

The problem with wearing a helmet, though, is that no-one else does. It's a bit like the old life-jacket argument - no one else was wearing one, and it felt silly, and a little over-cautious.

One sailor, Tom Tait, has come up with a great answer. He has produced a sailing helmet that looks like a yachting cap..  Which is why, when I spotted the new SafaSail Cap, I thought it was worth a mention.

The SafaSail yachting caps incorporate a hard injection-moulded shell for protection and foam padding for comfort and they meet the requirements of EU Standard Specifications EN812 (similar to building site bump caps).

A large peak protects against bright sunshine and we also offer a narrow peak version to enable the helm to look up and see the wind indicator at the top of the mast.

Until helmets are as common as life jackets, this might well be the answer for the prudent mariner.

The SafaSail Yachting Cap is available through Nauticalia priced at 24.99 click here.

New Chatham Deck Shoes a winner!

Chatham Deck ShoeA new sailing season is just around the corner.  Bottoms are being scrubbed, and gear is being checked.  And for some, it’s time to get that new pair of deck shoes.

We were sent a pair from Chatham’s G2 Professional range to review.  And we love them. The advertising blurb says that this shoe “bridges the gap between technical performance footwear and style. Using professional fabrics and materials, the G2 range offers everything needed from a sailing shoe – being comfortable, light weight and hard-wearing – whilst attractive enough to wear every day. Designed to be the most durable deck shoes money can buy, all models in the range come with a two year guarantee, a first for the UK footwear market.” Time will tell, but they are the most comfortable pair of deck shoes we’ve worn. Either with or without socks!

Read more: New Chatham Deck Shoes a winner!

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