What to take

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Life aboard

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Safety Brief

When ever we have new crew on board, or if the crew have not sailed with us for some time, we will always give them a safety briefing.
We always make sure that everyone is safe onboard and understands what to do in an emergency.

Gas Procedure

We will show you…

– how to safely use the cooker and any other gas appliances on board.
– how to isolate the gas supply in the galley and at the bottle and ensure that the gas is always turned off when not in use.
– the gas bottle location – we recommend that only skipper changes this unless they are sure another person is competent in doing so.
– the location and use of manual bilge pump – explain not to use the electrical pump or change the status on any electrical equipment.


We have a no smoking policy on board our boats, but we were smokers too… So smokers need to make sure they take care in disposing of their matches, cigarette stubs or pipe ash. And the most important one – ALWAYS SMOKE LEEWARD!
Smoking below decks is prohibited.


We will show you…

– the location of extinguishers and how to use them (Dry powder extinguishers are common on boats, they are messy but they do smother the flames and stops re-ignition).
– the engine room – if there is an automatic fire extinguisher in there – we will show you the location of hole for the hose of another extinguisher and explain to use this rather than opening the hatch which will then allow more oxygen into the compartment.
– the location of the “Fuel cut off” valve.
– the location of the fire blanket – It will be used as protection, or for putting out fires in the galley or if someone sets themselves alight. If someone sets themselves alight push them over so the flames are away from their face and then smother them in a blanket working from their face down. Do not roll them over as this will only spread the flames.
When using a fire blanket make sure your hands are covered and protected with the blanket.
– the fire buckets in cockpit lockers – Do not forget water, there is plenty around! but do not use on diesel fires and make sure that the electrical supply is isolated prior to using water on an electrical fire. Splashing the water on can be better than tipping it all at once.


We will…

– issue one to each person and show you how to put it on and adjust it to fit.
– make sure they know where is their lifejacket.
It is recommended that you wear it at all times.

However you MUST wear it:
a. At night
b. In fog
c. Strong winds – i.e. when sails reefed
d. In tender
e. Any emergency situation
f. Non swimmer
g. During MOB
h. Discretion of the skipper

– show you their harness “D” ring on the life jacket or separate harness and the safety lanyard
– explain that these should be used:
a. In strong winds – i.e. when sails reefed
b. When sea or weather conditions would make a MOB recovery difficult
c. At night
d. In fog
– show the location of the strong points on deck and jack stays and how to move around the boat using these points and the safety line.

Flares & First Aid box

You need to know the location and method of use of the first aid box & flares on board. In case of an emergency there is no time to show you!
It is a good idea to know if anyone has any medical/first aid training – so do let us know.


No paper down the toilet!!!

Don’t forget to put on your shopping list the nappy sacks as well, for the used toilet paper to go in, before it goes into the bin.

Deck Equipment

There is so much here that can be included…here is some of it:

Location and use of Liferaft and the HRU (hydrostatic release unit) if fitted.
Location and use of danbuoys, lifesling, rescue ladder, boat hook etc.
Actions to take in case of MOB – i.e. shout, point, throw. Explain that if they fall in they will experience cold water shock – emphasise the three points:
a) You are likely to gasp for air and then breathe rapidly, so protect your airway from waves and spray.
b) Your heart will be working harder, so don’t try to swim. Just relax until you feel your responses stabilizing.
c) The effects will be at their worst in the ¬first 30 seconds but will have gone within three minutes.
Anchor windlass hazards of use
Anchor locker cover and cockpit locker lids – ensure clipped back when open so it does not fall on someone.
Deck cleats are a trip hazard and notorious for stubbing your toe on.
Explain how to move around the deck safely – there is a good saying “one hand for the boat and one hand for you.”
Coach roof can be slippery use the treaded areas.
Genoa Cars are a trip hazard.
Winches beware of crushing and jamming fingers.
Winch handles method of passing, ensure not swinging.
The Boom is a hazard both at sea and in harbour. Use the traveller to position the boom off centre.
Sheets and halyards sometimes flap beware of eyes and fingers.
Shore power connections always make the boat connection before connecting to the electrical supply.
Ensure fenders do not cover the stern light on the night sail.
Berthing the vessel, no jumping, beware of potential jamming or crushing of hands and fingers, use fenders!
Method of starting, stopping and controlling the engine, this is very important.
Method of navigating to a suitable port of refuge.

Useful Information

Contact numbers – we keep these at the side of chart table and the crew are made aware of who to call in an emergency.
Sun protection, location of cream and advise on wearing hats/adequate clothing – everyone who goes to see should have the appropriate clothing including good waterproof clothing. Multi-layers are best and offer flexibility.
Shoes/boots on deck – these should be non-slip and non-marking – it is essential that people wear good shoes/boots on deck to prevent injury to feet and toes, a common injury on board is stubbing toes on cleats – this is very painful!
Drink plenty of water/tea/coffee etc. to keep hydrated and/or warm.


Any questions we didn’t answer?
Get in touch!