brush up on some of your nautical theory

Through my time teaching it often occurred to me that there was scope for more sailing related material than what was currently around. So here are some of my additions. I will be looking to build on this with new additions and hopefully one day a book.

There is various content on this page from instructional videos, maintenance, fun learning, onling quizes and short knowledge sharing blogs. You can find quick links to these below this intro.

As a lot of this learning is offered to everyone for free, if you find it useful or would like to contribute to more content then please consider to 'buy me a beer' using the link provided.


various links to my own youtube channel


The bowline is a most useful of knots on board. It can be used to tie sheets on to sials, halyards on to sails and the most common daily job of having loops in your dock lines.

Sometimes you can pre tie the loop (for dropping a bowline over  cleat), other times you have to tie the bowline through something (clew of a sail).


The figure of eight knot is used as a stopper knot on boats.

This means you tie it in the end of most of your sheets and halyards to stop then running out of the deck gear if you were to let go of the rope while using it. This saves have to re-run lines, losing halyards up the mast or having cars run down tracks.


Hand for using to tie coiled lines onto bars and also fenders ontothe railings or gaurdrails (though I suggest not using the gaurdrails).


Again a great knot for tying fenders on to stantions and bars. Much more secure than the above clove hitch.

Having the round turn on the stantion first also helps to take the weight out of the fender and so make the knot easier to tie.


The alpine butterfly I find is great for creating lashings on the sails for instance.

Also I use it for tying physical springs onto the lines when counteracting surge in harbours. The beauty of this knot is it allows forces in all directions and so allows springs to act as a dampner rather than an acutal link.


Such an underused useful knot on board. 

If you ever have a snag on a headsail winch then grab a smaller bit of line and tie this not towards the pressure. Make it off somewhere else, fix your main rope issue and re-attach to winch then you will be able to ease of your rolling hitch. All without having to let the sail flap!!


It is important to protect and look after all your ropes onboard and one of the ways to do this is to whip and burn the ends so that they cannot fray and come undone.

This is just a short tutorial on a basic whipping.


Too often done wrong. Practice this and you will always have tidy ropes ready for use.

This will also stop them coming undone and getting all tangled.

Look out for the forthcoming climbers coil 'how to' which I think is a better way to coil most ropes!!


The heating of the sun drives our a weather.

This is a little lok at how that all starts on a global scale.


Looking at the weather associated with the passing of a low pressure depression passing by our position.

This is the northern hemisphere version but all that differs for the southern hemisphere is the wind direction.

This weather is a common occurence on the west coast of Scotland.


Surface pressure charts are great for understanding weather on the larger synoptic scale.

Here we look at all the features associated with a surface pressure chart including fronts and isobars.


Some help on how to look after your yacht.

The absolute best thing you can do on your own boat is to keep on top of basic checks to ensure all your parts and systems stay in the best condition possible and do not get tired or worn out resulting in something more serious breaking.

Below you will find a downloadable pdf check list on what parts and systems you should be checking across the different areas of your boat. It is a long list and some jobs take longer than others while some can be done quite quick. While the list is pretty extensive it will not include everything and each boat or person may find extra's that need checked on top of this. The list is based on an average boat but it is pretty universal and can be adapted uniquely to suit your boats needs.

My suggestion would be take a read and have a look at your boat and see what makes sense and what doesn't then get in touch with me and we can arrange a hands on consultation meeting on board your boat to go through everything you need to check, exactly how to do it and what you will need. I will then leave you with a more in depth and unique to your boat yearly maintenance checks complete with 'how to's' so you yourself can continue to look after your boat in a professional manner.


Some useful learnings and fun puzzles.

A downloadable PDF of Yachtmaster level questions.

A fun colouring in picture of boat parts for the younger ones on board.

Paint by numbers


Test your knowledge with some fun quiz time!


Self authored blogs aimed to enhance your learning.


A short look at why you shouldn't ditch your charts over GPS.

Learn how the hippocampus part of your brain can help you stay safe on the water!

What weather forecast?

An answer to the often asked question of "where do I get my weather from".

A short example of why it is important to use mulitple forecasts to fully understand the situation.