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Topsail Tattler

No snoozing, just newsing

Issue 162

5th February 2021

Boat Handling Under Engine – Part 5: “Getting to the pub unscathed”

It’s been a lovely day’s sailing, our pilotage cut the mustard and we’ve snuck into port just before the “Harbour Full” sign went up. But before we can take a sip of something ice-cold and refreshing we’ve still got to get the boat alongside and tied up safely. As this series on close-quarters boat handling draws to a close, Skipper Nic turns an eye to that final piece of the puzzle – getting alongside without becoming that evening’s gossip in the harbour-side taverns…

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Boat Handling Under Engine – Part 4: “Gliding, Warping and Winding”

Gliding, warping and winding sound more like the pastimes of a pilot, a Star Trek fan and a horologist but as the Skipper points out, they’re techniques that can also come in handy when manoeuvring traditional long keel vessels around a harbour too. This time they continue their series on close quarters boat handling under engine by looking at ferry gliding and a couple of rope tricks.

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Boat Handling Under Engine – Part 3: “Let’s turn this ship around!”

In the last article we looked at ways to get our boats heading backwards without offering too much entertainment to the harbour-side gawkers. However, the vast majority of us are going to feel far happier when we’ve got our little ships heading the “right” way once more. This time, as our series on close quarters boat handling under engine continues, the Skipper tackles turning around.

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Boat Handling Under Engine, Part 2 – “She doesn’t DO reverse!”

In the last Skills School we discussed ways to extract ourselves from our alongside berth without undue drama. But still we’ve got to work our way out to the fairway buoy before we can stow our fenders with confidence. Continuing our series on handling long-keel boats under engine, let us begin to look at some techniques that will see us out to sea with the minimum of fuss, beginning with that nemesis of all long-keel boat skippers; reversing.

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Boat Handling Under Engine, Part 1: The Getaway…

If there’s one area that seems to give folks more trouble than any other when skippering traditional long keel boats then it’s manoeuvring them in tight spaces. In the first of a series on close-quarters boat handling and mooring techniques, The Skipper looks at the first part of any voyage – the getaway…

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In Praise of Stupid Boats and Smarter Skippers…

I was flipping through the RYA members’ magazine and came across an advert from a well-known marine equipment supplier suggesting that as we now have smart cars and smart phones “it’s about time we got Smart Boats”. They are, of course, pushing their latest chart-plotter which apparently comes complete with “autorouting navigation”. It set me to thinking about whether all this technology is really such a great idea…

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