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ColRegs Nav Lights & Shapes, Rules Of The Road and IALA Buoys Apps

By on Jan 19, 2015 in Navigation, Preparation | 0 comments

ColRegs Nav Lights & Shapes Splash Screen For iPad ColRegs Nav Lights & Shapes, Rules Of The Road and IALA Buoys Apps Make Learning Rules on iPhone, iPad, iPod and Android Easier and Faster. With so many traditional ways to learn the ColRegs, thousands of skippers worldwide including RYA trainers and trainee skippers, are choosing to download our Safe Skipper sailing and boating apps on their mobile devices to help them learn, practise and remember the ColRegs with greater ease. The series of instructional apps comprises three graphically-led apps , each designed to help boaters and sailors master the ColRegs (Nav Lights & Shapes, Rules of the Road) and IALA Buoys & Lights on their mobile devices. Simon Jollands, author of the apps, took his RYA exams before smartphones and the iPad existed, and remembers finding it a real challenge learning and remembering the ColRegs.  It was this learning challenge, he says, that prompted him “to create a series of highly visual apps to make learning the rules easier for everyone.” Simon was delighted when we got permission from the International Maritime Organisation to illustrate the IRPCS rules. User feedback has been excellent and Simon says he’s “encouraged by the way training schools are recommending the apps to their students. We have further ideas for marine apps in the pipeline, and  the positive response from our community is giving us the impetus to create more apps for our users.” Safe Skipper apps are ideal for RYA Yachtmaster exam candidates and RYA Day Skipper trainees who are required to know the rules thoroughly, and need to know how to apply them practically. Candidates on the Yachtmaster exam will often continue their test into the night, where there is a high likelihood they will encounter collision situations for real, and the examiner will ask candidates to identify the various lights and shapes contained in the rules. Stephen Bateman says “it’s this kind of situation that’s driving skippers, RYA trainers and trainees to download the apps, which look stunning on an iPad or tablet. Stuart Batley, Technical Director, says “there are lots of ways to learn the rules, but what users genuinely seem to like is the interactive “test yourself” quiz section. The multiple choice quiz gets lots of good ratings, and, following popular demand from...

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Top Ten Tips For Learning The ColRegs Boating Rules Of The Road

By on Dec 19, 2014 in Navigation, Preparation | 1 comment

Colregs Boating Rules Of The Road Skippers struggle to learn and remember the ColRegs Yachtmaster and Day Skipper course instructors will tell you that skippers often struggle to learn and remember the collision rules, many finding it specially difficult to memorise the navigation lights rules.And if that weren’t tough enough, examiners mark down heavily on poor knowledge and lack of application of the navigation rules. So, what are the best techniques for learning the ColRegs and Nav Lights? During the time we were developing our series of apps we talked to skippers, trainees and instructors and discovered a number of helpful techniques that people like to use to help them learn or instruct the Colregs and navigation lights and rules. Here are the recurring ones: By rote: which means going over them time and again, until they sink in. (no pun intended!) By referring to a book or almanac (see recommendations for further reading below) By flicking through flash cards (available in chandleries) By inventing mnemonics and turning the rules into a rhyme or ditty (see an example below) By referring to an authoritative web site like the RNLI  or USCG Aux By listening to a CD or audio (MP3) By reversing the role of learner and becoming teacher, and instructing a someone who does not know the rules (It’s surprising just how much more you remember when you have to teach!) By writing simplified rules in tour own prose (see example below, but beware! This might make the examiner smile, but he / she will likely fail you!) By investing in a self-paced multimedia pack (similar the kit used in training centers) ColRegs Learning Method Number 10 – banish “dead time”!  Technique number 10 was barely mentioned until we spotted a gap and set about creating graphically-led self-help learning materials for people to use on their mobile devices (smart phones, iPods, tablets etc..) Working closely with professionals we co-created a series of apps aimed at complimenting and enhancing popular learning styles and techniques. When speaking to seafarers of all sorts we discovered a genuine need for an affordable and convenient ColRegs designed specifically for the small screen and to help people to learn and revise the navigation and boating rules “on-the-go” whilst they were on their commuter journeys and during other “dead time” in their daily routine. One advantage we saw when creating a series of apps covering Nav Lights, ColRegs, Rules...

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ColRegs – avoiding collisions at sea

By on Sep 12, 2014 in Navigation, Preparation | 0 comments

ColRegs – avoiding collisions at sea ColRegs Rule 8: Action to avoid collision (a) Any action taken to avoid collision shall be taken in accordance with the Rules of this Part and shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, be positive, made in ample time and with due regard to the observance of good seamanship. (b) Any alteration of course and/or speed to avoid collision shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, be large enough to be readily apparent to another vessel observing visually or by radar; a succession of small alterations of course and/or speed should be avoided…. (From Nautical Rules of the Road – ColRegs for power boating and sailing – a Safe-Skipper...

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Essential boat engine checklist

By on Sep 11, 2014 in Boat Handling, Navigation, Preparation | 0 comments

Boat engine checklist Engine oil level check Even if you have checked it previously, confirming the engine oil level is up to scratch will give you peace of mind on a passage. Cooling water check It is the same with the cooling water in the engine. Check the water level before you start up the engine. Spare oil on board Carrying some spare oil for the engine is a wise precaution just in case a leak develops. Fuel filter check If your primary fuel filter has a glass bowl then a quick check to confirm that there is no water or dirt in the bowl will give you peace of mind on the passage. Sea water intake filter check Most water intakes have a clear top so you can check that there is no debris or seaweed inside that might block the filter. Seacocks open You will often close the seacocks when in harbor so make sure that they have been opened before you start the main engine and check that all other necessary seacocks are also open. Loose equipment stowed and secured The last thing you want in the engine room and steering compartment is any loose equipment or tools wandering around when the boat starts moving in a seaway, so check that everything is secure. Battery and electrical switches The battery switches should all be open before going to sea and check that switches with multiple choices are set to the right position. Check the belt drive for the water pumps and the alternator A quick feel of the amount of slack in the drive belts will confirm that they will work correctly, thus reducing the chance of slipping or breakage when out at sea. Stern gland This may be of the type that needs greasing at regular intervals so make sure the greaser is full and screw it down a turn or two.   From the new app for iPhone & Android: Dag Pike’s Boating Checklists About the author: Dag Pike began his career as a merchant captain, went on to test lifeboats, and took up fast boat navigation, winning a string of trophies for powerboat races around the world, including navigating Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic...

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How to Avoid Collisions At Sea With The ColRegs

By on Feb 19, 2014 in Boat Handling, Navigation, Preparation | 0 comments

Every Skipper Needs Accurate Knowledge of the IRPCS ColRegs As a responsible skipper it is every skipper’s duty to learn and apply the IRPCS ColRegs. How To Avoid Collisions at sea Accurate knowledge and interpretation of the IRPCS ColRegs ensures that every skipper can avoid collisions by applying their responsibility, correct look-out, safe speed, action to avoid collisions, in traffic separation schemes, whilst overtaking, in head-on situations, crossing situations, action by give-way vessels, action by stand-on vessels and the proper conduct when vessels are in restricted visibility. What We Learned Reading ColRegs Puzzles Reading through the many ColRegs puzzles posted online in sailing and boating forums it has become clear to us just how often the COLREGS are breached when collisions occur, and how widespread poor understanding and interpretation of the ColRegs is amongst skippers. The forums and the questions asked are a great starting point for wide-ranging discussion and analysis on all aspects of collision avoidance, and we’ve concluded that what often separates a good skipper from a poor one is not just their skill and ability to overcome risk, but exercising the judgment to AVOID risk altogether. This comes with experience as well as training, you simply never stop learning the ColRegs. How to Learn The ColRegs There are lots of different ways to learn the ColRegs, and we chose to help skippers with that process by developing a series of easy-t-use graphically-led mobile apps to help skippers everywhere learn and apply the ColRegs and IALA systems We want all our users to enjoy a safe, collision-free passage at sea! Happy...

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You Need To Understand The IRPCS ColRegs To Pass Your Yachtmaster, Master of Yachts and Coxswain Certificate of Competence

By on Feb 19, 2014 in Boat Handling, Navigation, Preparation | 0 comments

IRPCS ColRegs Rules of the Road at Sea and Yachtmaster Learning, understanding and remembering the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCS ColRegs) is essential if you’re seeking to get your Yachtmaster, Coxswain or Master of Yachts certificate of competency, which is is often the ultimate aim of aspiring skippers. These are well known, highly respected seafaring qualifications worldwide, proving your experience and competence as a skipper. Unlike other courses in the international cruising programme, there is no formal training to complete in order to become a Yachtmaster. Instead, provided that you have sufficient experience and seafaring time, you can put yourself forward for an exam to test your skills and knowledge. How do you obtain a Yachtmaster certificate?  Preparation is the key. In fact, any instructor will tell you, the main reason for failure is a lack of preparation and poor knowledge. So, it’s a simple as that, you have to know your syllabus and be able to answer the questions to get your Yachtmaster certificate. What’s the best way to prepare for your Yachtmaster exam ? People have different ways of learning the ColRegs, but a common mistake is to try to remember the ColRegs without having understood and interpreted the rules first. So, you need to find materials that will help you with your own learning style. Visualising the rules and potential hazards and collision will often help people understand the rules and their application. That’s why, with permission from IRPCS, we developed series of graphically-led mobile applications to help people understand and interpret the ColRegs on their iPhone, iPad or Android devices. Our ColRegs Nav Lights and Rules of the Road at Sea apps provide skippers with what they need to interpret what other vessels are doing, who has right of way and what action they should take to prevent a collision, as specified by the IRPCS ColRegs. Every rule and definition is available at the touch of a finger, each scenario expertly drawn for quick reference. Why are the ColRegs so hard to learn?  They are complex and can take years to learn properly, so begin as soon as you can. Finding every opportunity for practice and revision can help. That’s why having the ColRegs Nav Lights and ColRegs Rules of...

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