A Simple Guide to Boating Knots 
Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 01:46 PM
Posted by Administrator
Rope, knots and boating go hand in hand. Whether tying an anchor to a line or tying up a boat to a dock, the wrong knot will lead to trouble and the right knot, when properly tied, will hold under extremely heavy loads. We'll give you a few of the most common knots used in boating and do our best to tell you how to tie them.

The two half hitch knot is a very reliable knot and used most often in mooring. Pass the end of a rope around a post or other object. Wrap the short end of the rope under and over the long part of the rope, pushing the end down through the loop. This is a half hitch. Repeat on the long rope below the first half hitch and draw tight.

The anchor bend knot is used in boating to tie the rope to the anchor. Start by passing two loops through a ring and then placing the free end around a standing line. Pass the free end through the loops on the ring. Complete by making a half hitch.

The figure eight knot is ideal for keeping the end of a rope from running out of a tackle or pulley. Make an underhand loop bringing the end around and over the standing part. Pass the rope end under and then up through the loop. Draw tight.

A clove hitch knot is a general utility hitch when boating for when you need a quick and simple method of fastening a rope around a post, spar, or stake. Begin by making a turn with the rope around the object and over itself. Take a second turn with the rope around the object. Pull the end up under the second turn so it is between the rope and the object. Tighten by pulling on both ends.

When tied properly, the bowline knot won't slip or jam. This is a good tight boating knot. First, make an overhand loop with the end held toward you. Pass the end through the loop. Pass the end up behind the standing part and then down through the loop again. Draw tight.

A sheet bend knot is used in boating to tie two ropes together. It is easy to tie, strong, secure, and works well with ropes of differing sizes. Make a loop in the end of one rope. If one line is heavier than the other, make the loop in it. Pass the end of the other rope through and around the loop. The working end should exit the knot on the same side as the loop's short ended side.

Boating knots are important to learn for your safety on the water. When you know how to tie the basic boating knots, you will be safe and secure!

- Jill Smi
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Boating Adventures, Seasteading and Martime History 
Friday, July 22, 2011, 04:41 PM
Posted by Administrator

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Four Top Tips for Safer Speedboating 
Friday, July 22, 2011, 04:34 PM
Posted by Administrator
Speed boating is fun. But any activity on water is potentially dangerous, particularly if it involves an engine! So here are four top tips to make speed boating safe and fun...

1. Driving a speed boat, power boat or motor boat can be a bumpy affair, particularly at speed and/or in choppy water. It is possible for the helmsman (boat driver) to be thrown from their seat or even overboard!

This isn't a regular occurrence - at least it hasn't happened to me (yet!)

But because of this risk, a speed boat engine will come equipped with a kill chord. One end of the kill chord is attached to the ignition. The other end has a clip to attach to the helmsman's clothing.

If the helmsman is thrown from their seat or overboard, the kill chord attached to their clothing will become detached from the ignition and will automatically turn the engine off, bringing the boat to a halt instead of driving on out of control.

So never drive a speed boat, power boat or motor boat without the kill chord attached to your clothing.

2. It's not only the helmsman who could be thrown from the boat. Anyone on board could fall overboard, or the boat might capsize or even sink! So never, never, never use your speed boat, power boat or motor boat without wearing a life jacket or buoyancy aid.

A life jacket is preferable as it has a "cushion" behind the neck designed to keep the wearer's head face up and out of the water if unconscious.

Buoyancy aids don't have this. They are designed to be less restrictive to aid water sports activity such as wakeboarding, waterskiing, kneeboarding, sailing, etc.

Everyone on board should wear a life jacket or buoyancy aid at all times.

3. Some larger power boats, speed boats and motor boats will have a second small outboard engine attached to the transom. This is for use in an emergency. If the main engine fails, this small second engine will be able to get the boat back to shore, but not at any great speed.

Smaller speed boats don't have room on their transom for a second, reserve engine. So if you drive a smaller speed boat, I strongly recommend that you keep some paddles on board as your back-up "engine".

If you are out at sea and your engine stops and won't restart, it would be very difficult to paddle your speed boat against the wind or tide for any distance, but having paddles on board is better than nothing, as I found out (see point 4 below).

So I strongly recommend that you keep some paddles on board in case of emergency.

4. It is very exhilarating speeding across the open sea in your power boat, speed boat or motor boat but please heed this warning...

If no one can see you, no one can come to your rescue if you get in to difficulties!

Hopefully you will have your boat engine properly serviced and maintained and it will be reliable and dependable. But things can go wrong. If your engine should stop and not re-start and you are far out at sea and out of sight, you've got a problem.

So always keep as close to the shore as it is safe to do so for you and other sea-users.

This proved to be a very wise strategy when my boat engine stalled. I couldn't restart it and the off-shore breeze started to blow us out to sea.

Because we were fairly close to the shore, there were plenty of other boats about. We were able to paddle (using our "back-up engine" paddles!) to a boat that was anchored nearby and tie our boat to it. This prevented us from drifting until a passing boat kindly towed us to shore.

If we had been further out when our engine stalled, we wouldn't have been able to paddle to another boat and no-one would have been passing to tow us back in.

So always keep as close to the shore as it is safe to do so.

- M Boaden

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