Category Archives: Boat Rat’s Tip of the Week

Get Prepared for Hurricane Season

With the official start to hurricane season on Saturday, here are some tips from the Coast Guard Auxiliary on how to protect your vessel. Stay safe everyone! The most important thing to remember when thinking about hurricane preparations is to … Continue reading

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Three Tips for Trimming Your Sails Upwind

A few years ago while leading a flotilla of six boats in the Caribbean one of our passage days between islands ended up being a long beat to windward. My plan for the day was to leave early in the … Continue reading

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Avoid Sailing Near These “Ship-Killing” Nautical Chart Dangers

Here’s another helpful sailing tip from our friend Capt. John at skippertips.com… Could you glance at any nautical chart or GPS plotter and pick out the wreck symbols at a glance? Sail too close to these hazards and your hull could … Continue reading

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USCG: Five Easy Ways to Stay Safe on the Water

This time of year is when boating accidents and mishaps become more frequent in the US. Please ensure you take the necessary steps to make your time on the water as safe as possible. A USCG sector says a recent … Continue reading

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Ready, Set, Launch

Many sailboat owners haul out annually, either to store them for the winter or to perform routine maintenance and paint the bottom. If the boat has been out of the water for a while and you (or others) have worked … Continue reading

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How to Properly Rig Your Jacklines

Here’s another helpful sailing tip from our friend Capt. John at skippertips.com… Learn to sail like a pro when you rig your boat for sailing safety. Not many things fill a sailor’s mind with terror like the fear of falling … Continue reading

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Maintain Your Boat’s Steering System

The steering system may well be the most overlooked and neglected system on your boat. That’s because it tends to work.  That is, until it doesn’t, which is usually in a narrow shipping channel or at two in the morning … Continue reading

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Docking Tips: Seven Ways to Protect Your Costly Sailboat Hull

Here’s another sailing tip from our friend Captain John at skippertips.com… What sailing gear could protect your hull inside a slip, alongside a pier or wharf, if you lost an engine inside a marina, when nested alongside another boat? What if … Continue reading

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How Masthead Lights Can Help You Pass Ships at Night

Here’s another sailing tip from our friend Captain John at skippertips.com… Nightfall. Calm, peaceful, light winds from the southeast. Picture perfect with an awesome canopy of stars above your head. What was that? Just off the port bow? There it is … Continue reading

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For Better Holding, Go All-Chain

When you take off aboard your boat to explore the coastlines and the world, you end up anchoring out a lot—if not most of the time. Relying on your anchoring system to keep you and your boat safe means that … Continue reading

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Tie This Super Sailing Knot in Seconds

Here’s another sailing tip from our friend Captain John at skippertips.com… What sailing knot could you use to tie off a main or headsail halyard, hoist yourself safe and sound aloft, tie off the foot of a reefed sail or … Continue reading

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Dock Like a Pro – How to Warp Around a Corner

Here’s another sailing tip from our friend Captain John at skippertips.com… Docking a boat will always be a challenge. But what happens when you need to moor your boat in a space at the end of a pier that’s shorter than … Continue reading

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Which Overboard Recovery Side Should You Choose?

Here’s another sailing tip from our friend Captain John at skippertips.com… Not many sailing safety issues chill the blood like the thought of falling overboard. But, even more dangerous could be the recovery itself. Why is that? You may have read and practiced … Continue reading

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Is it Towing or Salvage?

Broken gear, engine problems or other mishaps can force you to call a towboat – but is it “towing” or “salvage”? If you’re ever in doubt, the safest bet is to ask the towboat crew. That’s because there could be … Continue reading

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Develop a “Think Inverted” Mindset for Sailing Safety

Here’s another sailing tip from Captain John at www.skippertips.com… Now, none of us plan to face the ultimate storm at sea. Matter of fact, most of us will never set sail in an area where such storms are probable. But … Continue reading

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Catamaran Docking Tips

This time of the year, a lot of us are headed to the sunny south to charter a bareboat for a week or more. Some (if not most) will be chartering a catamaran and will have to get the hang … Continue reading

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Safety: Be Prepared for These Floating Monsters

Learn to spot and avoid objects at sea with this week’s tip from Captain John of skippertips.com… If you are anything like me, nothing beats standing watch on a sailing vessel or power vessel. Just you the sea, moon, stars and … Continue reading

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Spare Parts: Three Standing Rigging Essentials

If you’re planning to go offshore on your boat, you can expect gear will wear and sometimes break. And if you want to be able to fix a problem, you’ll have to carry the necessary spares and tools needed to … Continue reading

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Ten Sailing Tips for the 2013 Sailing Season

This week’s sailing tip is courtesy of Captain John from SkipperTips.com. Is your small sailboat and sailing crew prepared for the challenges that might pop up while on a coastal cruise this coming year? Have you thought through the “what … Continue reading

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Get the Most from Light Air

With the high price of diesel at the fuel dock these days, we all have to think twice about how often we run our motors and how far we can go before we have to fill up. Those of us … Continue reading

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