Protect your decks!

Never use a jet washer on your teak decks! Teak is relatively soft, and a powerful water jet can damage the fibres.

Fitting new oil filters

When you're fitting a new oil filter, make sure you lubricate the O-ring seal with a little oil before you screw the filter on. If you don't, the O-ring may…

Springing-off, singlehanded

A snap-hook spliced onto the end of a warp, with a tripping line led to the helm, can make springing off a berth much easier for a singlehanded skipper.

How to re-use a glue brush

If you’re using a brush to apply contact adhesive, keep it in a large sealed tin with a little residue glue. The fumes from the solvent will stop it drying…

Engine trouble? Drain the carburettor

If your small outboard is unwilling to start, turn off the fuel tap and undo the carburettor drain screw – usually accessible without having to remove the engine cowling. This…

Stuck Pipes? Use a flannel!

If you’re trying to remove a stubborn pipe from a skin fitting, try soaking a flannel in boiling water, then wrapping it around the offending pipe for ten seconds to…

Weigh your lifejacket cylinder

You can check that a lifejacket cylinder hasn’t leaked by weighing it – most 150N lifejackets use a 33g cylinder, but the target weight will be engraved on the cylinder…

Economise when antifouling

When antifouling, you can save money and mess by putting your roller tray into a bin liner and taping it closed. Then, when you have finished, you can simply turn…

Chile to Cape Horn

Yachting journalist and TV producer, Digby Fox, crews aboard The Blizzard, a custom Radford schooner on a four-week voyage south from Puerto Montt, in the Golfo de Corcovedo.

Lifejacket test

Watch footage of the PBO lifejacket test in the RNLI lifeboat college pool

Liferaft test by PBO

Watch a range of lifejackets being tested in the RNLI's lifeboat college pool.

Preserve your electrics

If you have 3-pin 240V shore power sockets on board, seal them with a plastic blanking plug of the type used to stop children electrocuting themselves when you’re sailing offshore…

Prevent outboard corrosion

Try to flush your outboard engine through with fresh water when you come off the boat, and check your anodes frequently. You won't know about it until it's too late!

Protect your charging system

Starting the engine while shore power is still attached can damage your charging system (older boats mostly)

Avoid sunburn

Most suntan lotions take between 15 minutes and an hour to become active. Always apply early.

Video – PBO liferaft test

Prices of liferafts range from £500 to more than £2,000. Will the cheap ones costing under £560 suit your type of sailing as well as your pocket? Pat Manley and…