Understanding your boat’s compass

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Article submitted by Mike Rossiter, Certificated Compass Adjuster. Since the magnetic compass was first used by the Chinese for navigation sometime around 1044, it has become an essential instrument on every boat, yacht & ship. There are a wide range of compass types, including Magnetic, Gyro, GPS, Astrocompass, Base plate & Card. For our purposes, the...

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A simple guide to understanding tides when passage planning

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Understanding tides when passage planning When planning a trip in tidal waters, check the tides before going afloat. Use almanacs, charts, tide tables and tidal stream atlases to gather all the data you need. It is advisable to have a written note of tidal data for your trip including: Your boat’s draft. The predicted times (in Universal Time) of high and low...

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Sailing & Motoring in Fog

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Sailing & Motoring in Fog You can only measure the visibility accurately if sailing & motoring in fog when you have another object in sight so assume that it is less than you think. It can take time to ‘see’ another vessel as you may not be looking directly at it when it first appears. Speed in fog You should be able to stop in half the distance of the...

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Learn ColRegs: Traffic Separation Schemes

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Learn ColRegs Rule 10: Traffic Separation Schemes. (c) A vessel shall, so far as practicable, avoid crossing traffic lanes but if obliged to do so shall cross on a heading as nearly as practicable at right angles to the general direction of traffic flow. (d) (i) A vessel shall not use an inshore traffic zone when she can safely use the appropriate traffic lane...

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An explanation of the IALA maritime buoyage systems – IALA A and IALA B

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What are the differences between the two IALA buoyage systems, IALA Region A and IALA Region B, and where are they used?   As recently as the 1970s there were more than 30 buoyage systems in use around the world. This caused confusion and accidents and it was after two fatal incidents in the Dover Straits in 1971 that the IALA (International Association of Marine...

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Passage Planning Advice & Safety for skippers

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Passage planning helps you to: • Decide where to go • Calculate how long it will take to get there • Avoid bad weather • Take advantage of favourable tides • Be aware of possible hazards, eg shipping lanes, tidal overfalls • Decide a watch system • Decide if the crew is experienced enough for the trip • Be prepared to react in case of emergency   A well prepared...

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