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Sun Sail
Joys of plotting
(5 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Colin Jones explains how you can join in the fun.

PlotterA CHART plotter (CP) is a great tool for reducing the frequency of those anxious moments on the water, when you are not sure of your exact position and life becomes a bit hairy. On several occasions, my own unit has prevented me from running into trouble, or else got me out of trouble swiftly and without fuss. But it's the pleasure that you can get from using it right that really does it for me. The most common CP task is the insertion of Waypoints. You can, of course, laboriously key them in as figures and so build up a list but a better way is either to use the CP's info box that displays the lat/long of the cursor's position and then store this in the machine's memory or simply move the cursor to your desired point and ask the CP to 'Insert WP at cursor'.

Plot your purchase
(4 votes, average 4.75 out of 5)

There is an array of mesmerising chart plotters to tempt you from your cash. Colin Jones gets you clued up on what to look out for...

Boat PlottersBUYING a chart plotter is a refreshingly simple exercise because it is a very fair market, in which the more you pay, the more you get. More cash means more navigation power and efficiency. In general terms, you also get more pixels per pound, allied to bigger displays, which are usually worth the extra outlay, especially for the pilotage of fast, open boats. The complexity in your chart plotter purchase stems largely from the fact that there is a choice of cartography (usually C-Map, Garmin or Navionics) and the fact that different plotters have different functions and their own variations on how to activate them. For the newcomer, that often means that you don't know which functions will be the most useful to you, until you have had the CP on your boat for a few weeks.

Using your VHF
(6 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Cocking up your radio protocol is hideously embarrassing and potentially dangerous. Colin Jones shows you how to get it right...

MARINE radio is no different from any other activity. If you are going to do it, you may as well do it properly. It means avoiding the embarrassment involved in getting roasted by professionals for bad radio procedure. It involves avoiding the scorn of the dozens of skippers, who 'earwig' transmissions because they know they will hear laughable nonsense. Unfortunately marine radio is managed by bureaucrats who love acronyms so, to help iron out the difficulties, what follows is a plain English explanation of their ugly convolutions... Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) is an international convention spelling out agreed measures to make seagoing safer and to speed up how to deal with problems.

DIY Interior Trim
Thursday, 24 June 2010 15:28


If there is one thing that lets many boat restoration projects down, it is interior trim. Many people can produce professional quality timber work for boats, but finish off the job by sticking carpet on the ceiling and cabin sides. Now I am the first to sing the praises of foam-back corded carpet as a soft furnishing, especially on steel vessels where its insulation properties will usually stop condensation dead but if it is used everywhere it looks pretty amateurish.

What About Vinyl on Boats?

Vinyl (or leatherette) is easy to work with and can be warmed with a hot air gun or hair dryer to make it more supple. It is also very easy to fix to thin ply, using stainless steel staples and a staple gun.

What Will £4,000 Buy You?
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)
Thursday, 24 June 2010 14:46

You may think that spending £4,000 when buying a new boat is quite a large investment, but in today’s world you could easily pay more than that for a wristwatch. In short, a good boat for £4,000 is a great way to get started in boating. It’s enough to buy genuine quality and to flirt with new boats as well as the used market. Boat Mart sent Stuart Field out to investigate some of your boat buying options . . .

Ribeye T350


For those seeking an ultra lightweight tender, or a small boat in which to potter around harbours, explore secluded waters (or purely in which to let the kiddies get safe boating experience afloat) the T-Series RIBs from Ribeye are superb. These new T-series tenders feature precision-made epoxy-coated aluminium hulls and two-tone Hypartex tubes.