Sail & Motor Yachts

We have created the following sail & motor guides to assist aspiring Yachtmasters, Skippers and Masters with the basic knowledge required to take a vessel from A to B from a practical point of view.

While we appreciate there are many different ways of achieving the same outcome, these are what we would consider best practices. If you feel you can add to a guide, please use the comment forms provided and our moderators will alter the content as they see fit.

It is always recommend that you seek professional practical and theoretical training prior to taking a vessel out by yourself. It’s not as easy as it looks!

Yacht Basics

General Seamanship

General Rope work

  • Knots
    • Clove Hitch
    • Reef Knot
    • Round Turn Two Half Hitches
    • Figure of Eight
    • Single and Double Sheet Bend
    • Bowline
    • Rolling Hitch
  • Benefits and use of the above knots
  • Splicing
    • Eye Splice
    • Chain Splice
    • Back Splice
    • Short Splice
  • Whipping Lines
  • Berthing
    • Bow Line
    • Forward Bow Spring
    • Forward Breast Line
    • Aft Going Bow Spring
    • Midships Breast Line
    • Midships Spring Lines
    • Forward Quarter Spring
    • Quarter Breast Line
    • Aft Quarter Spring
    • Stern Line
  • Berthing in heavy weather
  • Running new lines (mousing of existing lines)
  • Replacement of Stays
  • Rig tuning

Engine Operation and Maintenance

  • How to perform engine checks
    • Daily engine checks
    • Monthly engine checks
  • Understanding of fuel systems
  • Understanding of cooling systems
  • How to replace consumable parts, such as filters, impeller, pipe work e.t.c
  • Common problems
  • How to trouble shoot issues

Generator Operation and Maintenance

  • How to perform generator checks
    • Generator daily checklist
  • Understanding the fuel system
  • Understanding the Cooling system
  • How to replace consumable parts
  • Common problems
  • How to trouble shoot issues
    • Troubleshooting cheat sheet

Yacht Maintenance

  • Servicing a winch
  • Servicing Jammers
  • Furling Gear Maintenance
  • Windlass Maintenance
  • Rig checks
    • Rigging checklist

Electronics

  • Cabling, Fuses, Switching & Regulations
  • Typical Wiring & Battery overview (12v)
  • Typical Wiring & Battery overview (24v)
  • Shore power systems
  • Inverters
  • Wind, Solar and Tidal Generators
  • Capacity and consumption calculations
  • Trouble shooting electronics

Power Handling

  • How to check mechanical gear relevant to power handling (Engine, Cables, Morse, Rudder, Bearings, Pedestal, Quadrant, steering wires / chain e.t.c)
  • How to use the throttle and helm efficiently (Wheel and / or tiller)
  • How to determine prop walk and understand how it effects handling (Both forward and astern)
  • How to use prop wash to gain steerage
  • Types of propeller and their pros and cons
  • How to prepare a Yacht for departure
  • Types of lines (breast lines, spring lines) and their usage
  • How to use forward and aft going springs efficiently
  • How to use tide to your advantage (Steerage and Ferry gliding)
  • The use of natural transits to gauge speed
  • Turning in confined spaces
  • Arriving at a mooring against tide, with wind
  • Arriving at a mooring against tide, against wind
  • Arriving at a mooring against tide, cross wind (blowing on)
  • Arriving at a mooring against tide, cross wind (blowing off)
  • Arriving at a mooring with tide, with wind
  • Arriving at a mooring with tide, against wind
  • Arriving at a mooring with tide, cross wind (blowing on)
  • Arriving at a mooring with tide, cross wind (blowing off)
  • Departing a mooring against tide, with wind
  • Departing a mooring against tide, against wind
  • Departing a mooring against tide, cross wind (blowing on)
  • Departing a mooring against tide, cross wind (blowing off)
  • Departing a mooring with tide, with wind
  • Departing a mooring with tide, against wind
  • Departing a mooring with tide, cross wind (blowing on)
  • Departing a mooring with tide, cross wind (blowing off)
  • How to Secure to a dock once finished, with the use of bowlines and round turn two half hitches
  • What to do when it all goes wrong

Anchoring

  • How to check all gear relevant to anchoring (Anchor, Shackles, Swivels, Chain, Warp, Windlass, e.t.c)
  • Types of Anchor
  • Efficient use of the Windlass
  • Anchoring without a windlass
  • Tripping line (Positioning / Retrieval Line)
  • Anchor Snubber (Chain Hook & 3 strand nylon, Strop / Bridal)
  • Anchor Fouling
  • Standard Primary Anchoring
  • Tandem Anchoring
  • V-Configuration Anchoring
  • Fore and Aft Anchoring
  • The Bahamian Anchoring
  • Anchoring in an area with Poor holding, Limited space, Uncomfortable anchorage (Rolling Anchorage with swell / waves.
  • Reading charts prior to Anchoring
  • How to anchor on the spot
  • Heavy weather anchoring
  • Anchoring under sail against tide, with wind
  • Anchoring under sail against tide, against wind
  • Anchoring under sail with no tide
  • Drying a yacht out safely

Mooring Buoys

  • Types of mooring buoys
  • How to secure to a buoy using a lasso
  • How to secure to buoy with a pickup
  • Pick up a mooring buoy under power – against tide, with wind
  • Pick up a mooring buoy under power – against tide, against wind
  • Pick up a mooring buoy under power – no tide
  • Pick up a mooring buoy under sail – against tide, with wind
  • Pick up a mooring buoy under sail – against tide, against wind
  • Pick up a mooring buoy under sail – no tide
  • How to secure for long periods of time
  • How to secure if leaving yacht unattended
  • How to secure during heave weather

Other Berthing arrangements

  • How to secure to a wall
  • How to dry out at anchor
  • How to secure to piles
  • How to dry out on a wall
  • Fore and Aft Mooring Buoys

General Sailing

  • General wind orientation and awareness
  • Types of sail, materials available, sail plans and routine checks
  • Sail systems such as roller furling, hank onsails & tuff luff sails. In mast furling & In boom furling.
  • Hoisting, reefing and dropping sails under power
  • Hoisting, reefing and dropping sails under sail
  • The use of Mainsheet, Traveller, Kicker/Vang, Halyard Tension, Cunningham, Outhaul, Leech Line, Foot Line, Luff Line, Backstay, Topping lift, Headsail Cars & Sheets)
  • Points of sail
  • Sail trim, Upwind – Light air
  • Sail trim, Upwind – Medium air
  • Sail trim, Upwind – Heavy air
  • Sail trim, Reaching – Light air
  • Sail trim, Reaching – Medium air
  • Sail trim, Reaching – Heavy air
  • Tacking and Gybing
  • Heaving to, Crash Tacking and Crash Stoping
  • Sailing in confined spaces
  • Sailing in rivers and marinas
  • Heavy weather sailing – The use of Tri-sail and Storm Jib
  • Repair of sails and gear
  • How to decode the electronics – SOW SOG AWA TWA AWS TWS CSE GWS AWS VMG
  • Tidal wind

Spinnakers

  • How to ensure the spinnaker is packed correctly
  • How to setup the necessary equipment for flying a spinnaker
  • The differences and benefits between a symmetrical and asymmetrical spinnaker
  • How to launch, fly and recover a symmetrical spinnaker
  • Gybing a symmetrical spinnaker
  • How to launch, fly and recover a asymmetrical spinnaker
  • Gybing a asymmetrical spinnaker
  • Spinnaker tactics / cheats
  • How to repack a spinnaker
  • Other types of cruising chutes and downwind sails

Emergency situations

  • Improvisation of jury rigs following gear and / or rig failure
  • Emergency Steering
  • Engine Failure
  • Man overboard
  • Towing
  • Sailing onto a pontoon
  • Running aground
  • Dealing with fire
  • Dealing with a gas leak
  • Use of the life raft
  • Use of flares
  • Medical emergencies
  • High-line Helicopter Transfer
  • Transferring to and from a rib

 

Sail & Motor Guides

Sail & Motor Guides

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