Who Gives Way, Adrift Powerboat or Sailboat under power?

Posted by Director of Education on April 29, 2016 under Bareboat Charter, Coastal Navigation, Crew, Maneuvering Under Power, Rules of Right of Way, Skipper | Comments are off for this article

If you like this post, please LIKE it on facebook. Thanks – it helps our waterways be safer.

This is a question in our FREE Navigation Rules Course which covers in-depth the International Rules of Collision at Sea aka ColRegs.

The Powerboat is adrift. Who gives way?

Who gives way

Using our nano forum technology, one of our student’s asked the question.

Q: Please help! In the image, a sailboat has a powerboat (looks like a cabin cruiser) to port, apparently adrift in this example. However, there are no sails deployed on the sailboat. The sentence beneath this picture says the powerboat must give way, making the sailboat the Stand on boat. Why is this the case? Is it because the powerboat has the sailboat to starboard? Is it because the powerboat is adrift? Is the sailboat under power or adrift? This picture is confusing me because it seems the sail boat is also either under power or adrift. It’s certainly not overtaking the powerboat from the rear. Can anyone help with this one?

Here is our answer

A:Powerboat rules apply. The power boat sees the power driven sailboat on its right (sees a red light) and thus must give way. Additional note: adrift is still under power regardless if the engines are on or off. Why is that? Well, how could the sailboat know if the engines on the powerboat are on or off? For consistency of the rules then, adrift IS underpower. Further note: the sailboat even tho stand-on still has the responsibility to not cause a close quarters situation. Thus, let’s say the power boat could not start its engines, then there is no problem because of the sailboat’s continued responsibility. Further note: the student also asks what if the sailboat is adrift. Well, that point is moot because both adrift would not cause a collision. However, even if the wind was pushing the adrift sailboat towards the adrift powerboat, technically both are still underway and the powerboat is still the give-way vessel. Further note:  if the powerboat was at anchor, then it is at anchor no longer underway.

Thanks to Perry G of Oregon for asking the question using our Nano forums “SeaTalk”.

On every page of our sailing courses, there is a SeaTalk button. Use this button to ask and answer a question. In particular, please help the community by answering questions when you see that there are comments or question on the SeaTalk page.

Have you taken our FREE Navigation Rules Course yet? By taking it and sharing it, our waterways become safer.

Someone on this planet must surely know everything. I’m yet to meet him or her however.

Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race

Posted by Director of Education on April 16, 2016 under About NauticEd, Bareboat Charter, Celestial Navigation, Coastal Navigation, Crew, Maneuvering Under Power, Rules of Right of Way, Skipper, Storm Tactics, weather | Comments are off for this article


NauticEd International Sailing Education is the proud title sponsor for the May 12th 2016, Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race. Two of NauticEd’s practical sailing schools, Island Sailing Club and Vancouver Sailing Club are a significant part of this title sponsorship and many of their students are participating.

Oregon Offshore 2016 Race

The race, in its 40th year is 193 miles long and begins off the coast of Astoria, Oregon and finishes in the harbor at Victoria, British Columbia.

As part of the education sponsorship, NauticEd is giving away 6 Captain’s Sailing Education Packages to 6 lucky participants. This represents over a $2000 donation to the cause of keeping people save on the water with advanced sailing education. View the contents of the Captains package below. This represents extensive and vital education for all sailors wanting to sail more than 20 miles off shore or over long distances.

All participants are encouraged to create a new account with NauticEd whereby they will receive 2 FREE NauticEd courses, Navigation Rules and Basic Sail Trim and a FREE sailor’s electronic logbook.

Students of Island Sailing Club and Vancouver Sailing Club are encouraged to join in on the race.

WINNERS: If you are a winner of one of the 6 Captain Education Packs, sign up for a free account at www.NauticEd.org/signin then send us an email. Once we verify with the Committee your prize, we will drop the 12 sailing courses into your curriculum. Congratulations!

ALL OTHERS: Set up a free account at NauticEd here Sign in to NauticEd you will automatically be given two free courses and a free sailor’s electronic logbook. You’re Welcome!

Island Sailing Club  Vancouver Sailing Club


Monitoring your Anchor Set

Posted by Director of Education on April 7, 2016 under Bareboat Charter, Coastal Navigation, Crew, Skipper | Comments are off for this article

After the anchor has set and adequate rode has been paid out, take time to ensure you are not drifting. And considering changing winds and tide height and tidal current, it is important to periodically monitor how well your anchor is set.

Check your anchor set manually and electronically. Do this manually by sighting bearings to objects on shore and determining that they are constant. Note that the boat will swing back and forth with the wind making it a little difficult to check that you are remaining steadfastly connected to the bottom. But, over time, you will get a feeling that through each successive swing, bearings to objects on the shore are not changing.

Using an electronic means will give you a more accurate determination of anchor set. If you have a GPS device, turn it on and turn on “show track.” Observe over time the history track of your boat. If the tracks overlay each other then you are holding steadfast.  You can also use an anchor alarm on your depth meter. To do this, you set the maximum and minimum allowable depths. If the depth goes out of this range, the alarm sounds. There are also Apps for your mobile device. Here are a few:


All about Inflatable Life Vests

Posted by Director of Education on April 6, 2016 under Bareboat Charter, Coastal Navigation, Crew, Skipper, Storm Tactics | Comments are off for this article

Inflatable PFD’s

Chances are that you will be switching over to an inflatable PFD pretty soon given that they are so comfortable.  Here the adult is wearing a Type II inflatable PFD while the Child is wearing a comfortable Type III PFD.


Inflatable PFD’s are available in a variety of styles (and colors) and are generally more comfortable and less bulky than traditional foam vests. They need to be worn on the outside of all clothing and weather protection for obvious reasons of gaining access to the inflatable tube and also allowing the water to activate the automatic release of the gas cartridge.

They come in different sizes for children and adults. International standards on inflatable PFD’s require them to be fitted with a whistle and reflective tape. For vessels operating at night they are also required to have a light attached. It is recommended that you buy PFD’s, especially child ones, with a crotch strap to prevent the PFD from rising over the head.

The air chambers are always located over the breast, across the shoulders and encircle the back of the head. They may be inflated by either self-contained carbon dioxide cartridges activated by pulling a cord, or blow tubes with a one-way valve for inflation by exhalation.

Some inflatable life jackets also react with salt or fresh water, which causes them to self-inflate. Some inflatable life jackets are only inflated by blowing into a tube. These are more dangerous and should be avoided because it is possible the person falling or being knocked overboard may be unconscious. The latest generation of self-triggering inflation devices responds to water pressure when submerged and incorporates an actuator known as a ‘hydrostatic release’.

Regardless of whether manually or automatically triggered, a pin punctures the cartridge/canister and the CO2 gas escapes into the sealed air chamber. However, there is a chance that these water pressure activated inflation devices do not inflate the life jacket if a person is wearing waterproof clothing and falls into the water face-down. In these cases the buoyancy of the clothing holds a person on the water surface, which prevents the hydrostatic release. As a result, a person can drown although wearing a fully functional life jacket.

To be on the safe side, a pill-activated inflation device is preferred. A small pill that dissolves very fast on water contact is the safest option, as it also works in shallow waters where a hydrostatic activator fails. This type of jacket is called an ‘automatic’. As it is more sensitive to the presence of water, early models could also be activated by very heavy rain or spray. For this reason, spare re-arming kits should be carried on board for each life jacket. However, with modern cup/bobbin mechanisms this problem rarely arises and mechanisms such as the Halkey Roberts Pro firing system have all but eliminated accidental firing.

Looking after your inflatable lifejacket

The care and maintenance of your inflatable PFD/lifejacket is your responsibility. Here are some simple tips to help you properly care for your inflatable lifejacket.

Have you read the instructions?

Your inflatable lifejacket should contain information on how to wear, operate and look after your device. It is important that you familiarize yourself with these instructions.

How do I look after my lifejacket?

Check the following for excessive wear, cracking, fraying or anything to indicate possible loss of strength:

  • zips
  • buckles
  • waist belts
  • all fastening mechanisms and devices.


Also, check that:

  • the gas cylinder is screwed in firmly so as to allow the firing pin to pierce the cylinder bladder
  • the lifejacket has not been previously activated without refitting a new activation device and cylinder
  • there is no rust on the gas cylinder


Important – Rust on the gas cylinder may damage the fabric of the cylinder bladder allowing the gas to leak over time.

Don’t forget to manually inflate the lifejacket from time to time. To do this:

  • open up the inflatable lifejacket to expose the inflation tube
  • inflate with dry air
  • leave it inflated overnight
  • check for loss of pressure the next day. If you believe there is leakage, contact the manufacturer immediately. If there is no obvious loss of pressure, deflate the inflatable lifejacket by turning the cap upside down and holding the topside (with the knob down) pressed into the inflation tube. This will open the one-way valve.
  • make sure all the air is expelled and the life jacket is repacked correctly.

What should I do with my inflatable lifejacket at the end of a day out?

If your inflatable lifejacket is equipped with automatic inflation, remove the bobbin or cartridge before washing to avoid accidental inflation.

  • Rinse: If it has been exposed to salt water, rinse thoroughly in fresh cold water.
  • Wash: To clean the outer shell of it, hand wash with warm soapy water. A clothing cleaning agent can be used for removing grease and stubborn stains.
  • Dry: Hang it up to dry thoroughly before storing.



If your inflatable lifejacket is equipped with automatic inflation remember to replace the bobbin or cartridge once the inflatable lifejacket is thoroughly dry. The bobbin can only be inserted one way and the cartridge simply screws in.

Bobbins and cartridges

Some automatic inflatable lifejackets are equipped with sacrificial water-soluble bobbins and others with sacrificial paper element cartridges. They are prone to accidental inflation if exposed to humid conditions for any length of time. If you have any difficulty, contact the manufacturer or place of purchase.

What if I have deployed my inflatable lifejacket?

If you use your inflatable lifejacket, you will need to replace the CO2 gas cylinder and the activation device once it has been used. It is recommended that you have your inflatable lifejacket serviced each time it is deployed. The inflatable lifejacket can then be checked for any damage which may have occurred during the incident. For automatic inflatable lifejackets, it is recommended that the bobbins or cartridges be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Does my inflatable lifejacket need to be serviced?

Your inflatable lifejacket should be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for full servicing details relevant to your inflatable lifejacket. However almost all manufacturers recommend at least annually.

Transporting Lifejackets on Aircraft

Is it OK to take inflatable lifejackets on commercial aircraft ?

IATA publish Table 2.3A regulating the transport of dangerous goods which states that: Subject to prior approval from the airline, self-inflating life jackets are permitted if they contain not more than two small cylinders with a non-flammable gas in Division 2.2 plus not more than two spare cartridges per person. They are permitted as: carry-on baggage, checked baggage, or on one’s person.

Not all airlines follow these rules, so consult with your airline well in advance and also allow additional time for check-in. We also question whether the average security check person knows this. So we advise you to call the airline ahead of your flight and check your lifejackets in your baggage if allowed.

ICC Assessments in Seattle, LA, Austin, Bayfield – June, July, August 2016

Posted by Director of Education on March 21, 2016 under About NauticEd, Bareboat Charter, Skipper | Comments are off for this article

ICC Assessments in Seattle, LA, Austin and Bayfield: 2016

NauticEd is on the road and doing ICC assessments. Here is the latest 2016 schedule.

Charleston: April 23rd and 24th  – Complete – 7 new ICC’s issued
Austin Texas: May 8th and 9th – Complete – 5 new ICC’s issued

Los Angeles: June 11th – 12th – 4 spots available
Seattle: June 18th and 19th – only 2 of 8 spots available
BayField Wisconsin: June 25th and 26th – 8 spots available
Austin Texas: August 5-6-7th – 8 spots available

Sponsoring Schools:
Island Sailing Club – Gig Harbor, WA Ph – 1 (503) 285 7765
Vancouver Sailing Club – Vancouver, Canada Ph – 1 (604) 805-9944
Yachting Education – Charleston SC  ph – 1 (830) 280 0881
NauticEd Home Office – Austin, Tx – ph 1 (512) 696 1070 info@nauticed.org
LA Sailing School  – Los Angeles, Ca – ph 1 (310) 889-7939
Superior Charters – Bayfield, Wi – Ph 1 (715) 779 5124

Why do you need the ICC?
The ICC is the only sailing license accepted by European Countries. It was created by United Nations to be the World’s International Recreational License. The list of countries requiring the ICC is growing. For now, it is most all of Europe including the popular chartering countries Croatia, France and Greece et al.

On top of that, the ICC is the pinnacle of sailing recreation licenses. Wouldn’t you want the best and the one that is accepted everywhere; an International United Nations license that you are proud to show off?

Get your European Sailing License

Created by United Nations; accepted everywhere.


How do you register?
(1) Send us an email – info@NauticEd.org to secure your spot. There are only 8 spots available in Seattle, 8 in Charleston and 4 in Austin. For Seattle/Vancouver, the RYA Assessor will not be returning until the end of summer. If you are at all interested, then contact us double asap – reservations will be accepted on a first come first serve basis.

(2) Prior to the assessment, you must have passed the NauticEd RYA Day Skipper Course. This is a 30-40 hour online class. If you are extremely experienced, it should take you about 20 hours to get through. The course is fun, light and entertaining. It is NOT defensive driving adult time out; you’ll really have fun and learn some amazing “stuff”.

How good of a sailor must you be to pass the Assessment?
The assessment will be conducted on the water. It is a practical test of your sailing ability with on the spot verbal questions while underway. You must be fully versed in Navigation including knowledge of tides and heading calculations based on current, leeway, magnetic variation, International Rules etc. You should easily and comfortably be able to make a passage plan. You must have knowledge of IALA-A and IALA-B, Cardinal marks, ATONs with respective night lights.

The RYA Day Skipper Course fully covers all the international theory knowledge you must have regarding Navigation and International Rules. If you pass that course you should not have any problem with the above requirements. The remaining is your sailing ability. We recommend that you discuss this with your local sponsoring sailing school either Island Sailing Club (for Seattle) or Vancouver Sailing Club (for Vancouver) to determine your sailing skills and if you need a

The remaining is your sailing ability. We recommend that you discuss this with your local sponsoring sailing school above to determine your sailing skills and if you need a brush-up or a pre-assessment evaluation.

The Assessor
Mark Thompson with Yachting Education is the Assessor. He is an RYA Sailing Instructor with over 20 years of instruction experience. Mark is one of the best, he is very patient and puts the student at ease. This will be a very low-stress environment.

The assessment is 6 hours on the water starting at 9am at the dock.

The cost of assessment will be $US300 per student. This covers the cost of the assessor’s time and his flight expenses. For Vancouver area students call Vancouver Sailing Club (above) regarding cost.

This will be a pass-fail situation. We highly recommend that you take the RYA Day Skipper Course seriously. This is not a 101 – 104 type sailing test. The ICC requires very high standards.

Register now by emailing us: info@nauticed.org

Why do an electronic sailors Logbook?

Posted by Director of Education on February 8, 2016 under About NauticEd, Crew, Skipper | Comments are off for this article

We recently were copied on an email from a school to one of our students that was encouraging a sailor to fill out their paper sailor’s logbook.

Paper? Really? – Actually I think it was really only because there was no understanding that an electronic 21st century thinking has been applied to sailing logbooks.

Here is our response back


Just to clarify the electronic sailor’s logbook.

The NauticEd logbook is extremely important. All charter companies no matter what your certification require a sailing resume when you charter from them. When you keep your NauticEd electronic logbook updated you are building automatically with NauticEd your resume of experience. At anytime you login you can click on your online sailor’s Resume and it shows you everything you have done and entered. All your courses, all your experience, all your school signoff’s and all your other certifications including your ICC (International Certificate of Competence).

This is in the format that Charter companies like. Every yacht Charter company accepts our electronic Resume.

On top of all that – our free iOS app allows you to update your logbook on the dock after a day of sailing.

We encourage you to use this system – plus at anytime in the future you can print out a hard copy if ever needed but who uses paper these days?

And another on top is that you can authenticate your logbook with our CrewMates system. You add CrewMates to your profile – then when you sail with them they can authenticate the outing. This is a very powerful system that Charter Companies like because of the Authentication to your entries. i.e. that are not just “Made Up”.

To send your resume to a Yacht Charter Company just give them your email address and your secret “logbook code”. The charter company goes to www.nauticed.org/student_verification – they enter those details and there is your resume for them to print out or file electronically. Job Done. (Go there now and see the example student).

Cheers All


Save a tree – use the NauticEd electronic Logbook – OH … IT’S FREE

Start your sailor’s logbook now – go to www.nauticed.org/signin – set up a FREE account and go to the logbook tab. It’s free – free – free.

Watch our video on a sailing certification versus a sailing resume.

Test Question: How to Determine Speed and COG

Posted by Director of Education on January 22, 2016 under Skipper | Comments are off for this article

Try to answer this coastal navigation question:

At 1035 your GPS indicated a position of LAT 41° 05.3’N and LONG 72° 33.7′ W. At 1103 your GPS indicates your position to be LAT 41°09.0′ N and LONG 72° 40.0’W. What was your SOG and COG?

Here is the excerpt of the chart that you will need

Answer: Posted below. But give it a go yourself first – really!

Consider taking the NauticEd online Coastal Navigation Course


See chart plot here

From the plot, the distance is 6nm.

Time is calculated by realizing that 1103 = 1063. Thus:

– 1035
0028 minutes

28 minutes is 28/60 hours = 0.467 hours

SOG (Speed Over Ground) = 6nm/.467 hours = 12.85 nm/hr (knots)

From the plot, and overlaying a Bretton plotter compass dial, the COG (Course Over Ground)  is 307.5 deg T

Boom Done!

SOG and COG example

SOG and COG example

Snap Test: How well do you know the rules

Posted by Director of Education on November 16, 2015 under About NauticEd, Bareboat Charter, Coastal Navigation, Crew, Rules of Right of Way, Skipper | Comments are off for this article

If you like this fun test – please like us over there —->
Thanks – it motivates us to build more.

P.S. There is one trick question.

How to gybe a sailboat single handed

Posted by Director of Education on November 13, 2015 under Bareboat Charter, Crew, Skipper | Comments are off for this article

I do this all the time, but I was out with a friend the other day and he was asking me to lead him through the details. I thought it was obvious but apparently not.

Oh – and if you like this little tip and it helps – please LIKE it and LIKE us over there  ——->
Thanks – it encourages us to write more tips.

So here is how to gybe a sailboat when you are operating single handed.


During a gybe, the aft end of the boat turns through the wind. After a gybe the sails are on the opposite side of the boat. Care must be taken, a gybe can be dangerous in higher winds.

During a gybe, the aft end of the boat turns through the wind. After a gybe the sails are on the opposite side of the boat. Care must be taken, a gybe can be dangerous in higher winds.

First realise this that when you gybe you are usually starting out on about 120 degs off the wind and you are going to gybe to the other side – again to about 120 degrees off the wind. Why 120 degrees  – it’s because it is about the most efficient point to keep both sails full – any further down wind and you start to shadow the head sail with the mainsail. And besides if you have taken our Electronic Navigation course, you’ll know that 120 degrees is faster speed towards a downwind destination than aiming 180 right at it – why – that’s another topic covered in depth in our Electronic Navigation course.

Anyway back on topic: 120 deg downwind apparent wind is approximately 135 deg true wind angle downwind (see Basic Sail Trim Course) which is  45 degs off the true downwind angle. You’ll be gybing to 45 on the other side, so a gybe is a 90-degree turn.

This is important to know so that you set a goal heading prior to the gybe. Pick a house, tree, cloud, something that you want to be aiming at when you come out of the gybe.

If you have an autopilot, turn on auto.

Right – so next thing to do is to set up your headsail. Take the lazy sheet onto it’s winch and crank on it decently hard and cleat off. You’re not cranking the sail through, you just want tension on the lazy sheet. You must do this so that the headsail does not wrap around the front of the forestay whilst you are managing other things.

Next – set up the main sheet. Crank in on the mainsheet to bring the mainsail towards the centerline. Leave the locking cleat open so that you will be able to let the main out fast as it comes over.

Ok you’re ready – check for traffic.

If your auto-pilot is on, tap the 10 deg button 9 times in the direction of the gybe (90 degrees – remember). If you don’t have an auto-pilot then turn the wheel/tiller a tiny bit and apply the wheel or tiller lock. Call out to yourself “Gybe-Ho” (that’s optional).

Man the mainsheet (leave the headsail alone, it will do its own job). As the boat comes around, you will feel the mainsheet get even easier to bring to center, do that. As soon as the mainsail comes across you must let the mainsheet out as fast as possible. This will prevent rounding up and excessive heeling of the boat. Lock the mainsheet cleat clutch as soon as the mainsail is out. Now get to the wheel or tiller and straighten the boat out on course.

Now release the windward headsail sheet and let the already prepared leeward sheet pick up the tension on its own. You’ll probably need to trim it in a bit. The more you originally bought in the lazy sheet at the start, the less you will need to trim now.

Easy Peasy!

Good tip? Please LIKE us and consider becoming a NauticEd student – we start you out with two free courses when you sign up for free here.


Annapolis Boat Show 2015

Posted by Director of Education on October 20, 2015 under About NauticEd | Comments are off for this article

This year The NauticEd Crew had a blast at the Annapolis Boat Show.

Here are a couple of fun video collages we took. They speak for them selves.

Anchoring issues? Watch this.