Category Archives: Boat Rat’s Tip of the Week

The Snubber: A simple piece of cruising equipment with a big job

It was around 3 a.m. when I awoke to a building breeze pushing us back on our anchor and chain. From the warmth of my bunk I could tell the wind had veered as it was predicted to do, which … Continue reading

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Sailing Navigation Safety: Nautical Chart “Accuracy Indicators”

Here’s another great tip from our friend Captain John of skippertips.com… Turn on your chart plotter or study your nautical chart and you will see objects on land or water. But how accurate are these to use for navigation. That … Continue reading

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Winterization Advice and Checklist

Sadly, fall is the time of year when some northern sailors are forced into the unenviable job of winterizing. And if you do this job yourself, it can be hard to know where to start. Here is an excellent guide … Continue reading

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Bottoms Up: Tips for Your Next Bottom Painting Project

Is a bottom job coming up on your list of boat projects? Here are some DIY tips from George Day and Tony Knowles. Many production boats have cast iron keels, which have the bad habit of rusting once water has … Continue reading

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Use the Magic of an “Aim Point” to Dock Your Sailboat

Captain John from www.skippertips.com shares this essential docking tip. Two half-million dollar sport-fishing boats are tied up to a marina pier. And the dockmaster has just enough space to fit your small sailboat in between. Add wind and current to the … Continue reading

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How to Kill a Boat Fire in Less than 30 Seconds

We hope you never have to use these tips, but we know if there’s a time when you’re faced with the need for them, you’ll be glad you’re prepared. Captain John from www.skippertips.com shares his essential tips for putting out a … Continue reading

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Seven GPS Navigation Tips for Safer Cruising

Here’s another great cruising tip from our friend Captain John at www.skippertips.com! Tap into the hidden power of your nautical GPS. Set your GPS alarm functions to warn you when you approach dangers or cross over significant boundaries. Put these seven … Continue reading

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How to Time a Light for Safer Landfall

Here’s another great cruising tip from our friend Captain John at www.skippertips.com! Imagine that you are underway on a wet, windy night, straining your eyes with a binocular to sight the entrance buoy to the safe harbor four miles away. Four-foot … Continue reading

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Five Tips for Safer Sail Handling

Captain John from www.skippertips.com shares a few secrets he used on an offshore passage. If you are anything like me, sailing tips that cut the time you spend at the mast or on the foredeck are always welcome. Here are five … Continue reading

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Sailing Navigation Safety: Secret of the “Cocked-Hat” Position

Here’s another great cruising tip from our friend Capt. John of skippertips.com… Combine GPS, visual, or Radar for sailing navigation and you could come up with a triangular position called a “cocked hat”. You might think that you lie in the … Continue reading

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Five “Get ready now” Heavy Weather Sailing Strategies

In heavy weather sailing, sailing tips that save time and effort can be more valuable than gold when the rough stuff arrives aboard. Sure, you have jacklines rigged, crew in personal flotation devices (pfds), harnesses, and clipped in. And you’ve … Continue reading

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Do You Have Enough “Grabbable” Gear Aboard?

Here’s another great cruising tip from our friend Capt. John of skippertips.com… Look over most production sailboats or powerboats today, and you can bet you will see a lack of grab rails. I believe this could rank right up there with … Continue reading

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Sailing Navigation: Sector Light Secrets You Need to Know – Part II

Here’s Part II of last week’s cruising tip from our friend Capt. John of skippertips.com… Build on the light sector secrets for safe sailing you learned in Part I. Now you will discover how to use sectors to avoid rocky shoals … Continue reading

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Tap into Secret Sector Lights for Navigation Safety

Here’s another great cruising tip from our friend Capt. John of skippertips.com… Black night–no starlight. You strain through the binoculars to pick up the next light that marks the dangerous reef to starboard. There!! Just off the bow a flash … Continue reading

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Sailing Navigation Secrets: Do You Know Your “Navigational Draft”?

Here is another sailing tip from our friend Capt. John at skippertips.com… Sailing navigation safety in my eyes means the navigator must keep enough water beneath the keel–at all stages of the tide. But that’s not all. Navigation aboard a … Continue reading

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Up, Up and Away: Tips for Safely Going Aloft

Climbing a sailboat’s rig is not something that prudent sailors should have to do on a regular basis, especially at sea. But at some point, every self-sufficient cruiser will need to climb their mast in order to perform a rig … Continue reading

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Tips and Tricks for Your Next Charter

Charter vacations are by far one of the best parts of cruising. Showing up to a boat that you don’t own or have to do maintenance on, sailing through stunningly clear tropical water and strolling beautiful beaches is all part … Continue reading

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U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Seven Safety Tips for the 4th of July

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is urging all boaters to use extra caution while boating during the upcoming July 4th holiday. The 4th of July, along with Memorial Day and Labor Day, typically account for more than one third of … Continue reading

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3 Ways to Use Spring Lines When Docking

In difficult docking situations, spring lines can get you up to and away from the dock without a lot of bother. Here are three simple spring line maneuvers. 1. When the wind is blowing you off a dock as you … Continue reading

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Three Tips for the Anchorage

Anchoring out is one of the most rewarding parts of cruising on a sailboat. But with that reward comes some challenges and responsibilities when you get into the anchorage. Here are three tips for anchoring to help you calmly get … Continue reading

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