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Diary Dates
◼ RYA Cruising Conference, 21 March, online, expert advice and updates on EU travelling, £10 for non-members, ◼ Thames Valley Boat Show, 9-11 April, at Penton Hook Marina, Surrey, ◼ South Coast Boat Show, 7-9 Ma
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New Gear
The chances are you’ve encountered digital switching already. If, for instance, you can turn on your boat’s heater using a smartphone app – a facility that has been available for a decade – digital switching will be involved. Equally, if you use Alex
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SEND US YOUR STORIES Email news editor Laura Hodgetts at, tel: 0330 390 6738 A ‘grande dame’ of the sailing world, the Contessa 32, celebrates her 50th year in 2021. Nowadays considered a classic, the 32ft racer-cruiser was first bu
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Practical Boat Owner
Email Editor Rob Melotti Features Editor Alison Wood News Editor Laura Hodgetts Art Editor Robert Owen Deputy Art Editor Daniel Franklin Production
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Why Cruise the Azores?
We pay for your published cruising stories and harbour updates. Email or write to the address at the top of page 5 The North Atlantic circuit typically sees two main ocean crossing periods: cruisers sail from Europe to the Caribbean
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Spring To Action
Marsali Taylor sails an Offshore 8M, Karima S. She’s a dinghy instructor and author of The Shetland Sailing Mysteries starring liveaboard sleuth, Cass Lynch. Spring is a tough season for non-sailing spouses; it turns their peaceful world upside-down.
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Practical Projects
Email your projects and tips to or write to us at the address at the top of page 5. We pay at least £30 for each one published John Jameson designed his own sprayhood safety feature When it is windy and our 32ft Westerly Fulmar, Jug
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Solo Sailor’s MOB Survival Lessons
A British yachtsman who was rescued five hours after going overboard in Australian waters has described his personal locator beacon as “the most effective life insurance you can buy after a quality lifejacket.” Ex-pat solo sailor Nigel Fox was rescue
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Zero Carbon Circumnavigation Attempt On Hold
Jimmy Cornell’s electric boat attempt to retrace the world’s first circumnavigation has been abandoned. However, the Elcano Challenge – which aims to retrace the Magellan-Elcano expedition under electric and sail power alone – is set to return to Spa
Practical Boat OwnerLeitura de 1 minsNature
BBC Shipping Forecast changes
Changes have been made to the way the BBC broadcasts the UK Marine Weather Service – including the Shipping Forecast. On weekdays there will be three broadcasts on LW and FM, 0048, 0520 and 1203, with one further broadcast on LW only at 1754. At the
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A Tribute To Tradition
Chisel by chisel, plane by plane, boatbuilding legend Joe Gelsthorpe is quietly parting company with his tools. He built his first boat when he was 12; up in the family attic where he crafted a 16ft canoe which he could only get out attached to a was
Practical Boat OwnerLeitura de 1 minsTechnology & Engineering
Electric Speedboat Is A ‘Gamechanger’
The first electric hydrofoil boat is now on the market. At cruising speed, the Candela Seven flies above the water surface on two underwater wings – hydrofoils. Propelled by a silent Torqeedo Deep Blue 50i electric motor, the boat has a top speed of
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Book Reviews By Marsali Taylor
By Jonathan Winter and others This glossy coffee-table book displays the diversity of Britain through 12 ports – some of the stops on author Winter’s journey in Nova, the first Stephen Jones designed GT35. The stop at each is preceded by the author’s
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The 12 commandments
1 Look ahead and act to prevent problems, rather than waiting to solve them. 2 Be comfortable handling lots of information and know how to prioritise according to the situation. 3 Always be calm (or, at least, appear calm). Never shout. 4 Leave other
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It’s Good To Talk
Sam Llewellyn writes nautical thrillers and edits The Marine Quarterly. He is currently patching up a 30ft ketch Thanks to the slatting and banging of a flat calm we have not slept for days and nights and days and nights. We are staring over the rail
Practical Boat OwnerLeitura de 4 minsNature
Make Your Own Local Weather Forecasts
Local winds and coastal effects are very difficult for weather apps to forecast. This is because the science of numerical weather prediction (NWP) relies on enormous quantities of data across huge areas of land and sea, which in modern times provides
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Closest-ever Vendée Globe finale
Yannick Bestaven, the 48-year-old French skipper of Maître Coq IV, is the overall winner of the ninth Vendée Globe. Despite being third over the line at Les Sables d’Olonne, Bestaven carried a time compensation of 10 hours and 15 minutes for his role
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Are You A Good Skipper?
A wise man (actually, a friend of mine) once said that a person’s true personality is revealed when mooring a boat. There’s a lot at stake; you may appear incompetent to others, and if you get it wrong, you can cause expensive damage to your boat – o
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One Too Many Maydays
It was a warm, calm sunny Sunday morning in August 1996 when we left our visitor’s mooring off Mixtow, a sheltered creek about 1.5km up the river from Fowey, Cornwall. What a contrast the weather was to the bedlam we’d experienced before we arrived t
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Waiting For The Tide
with the editor Many a true word is spoken in jest, which is why so many readers turn immediately to Dave Selby’s column every month. This issue he takes aim at the moneyed classes and their accountants: ‘As a fellow yacht owner I feel for Sir Philip
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Regional News
Send us your local news stories. Email PBO news editor Laura Hodgetts at, tel: 0330 390 6467, or write to the address on page 5 “Looking forward to the next hundred years, while we celebrate the past,” was the message from the Commo
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8 Brilliant Polish Yachts
This former Eastern Bloc country may seem an unlikely candidate to be a major boatbuilding nation, yet Poland produces a huge number of craft each year, employing around 20% more people than boatbuilding in the UK. Despite having little more than 300
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Dave Selby is one of the articles I read first every month, and as usual the March issue made me smile – and we all need that. But I did want to point out an inaccuracy: if Moses had just come down from Mount Zion it would have saved the Israelites a
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Double The Fun
When I crossed the Atlantic in a 25-footer in 1968, double-handed (DH) sailing was a very different game. We had no electronic instruments or VHF radio. A Seafarer echosounder, handheld RDF, streamed Walker log, transistor radio (for time signals) an
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DIY Dripless Shaft Seal
When I decided to give my homebuilt motorboat, Tudor Rose, a dripless shaft seal I could find no proprietary units that were suitable. I needed something to fit her stern tube, fit within the narrow moulded keel slot, fit the imperial shaft size, and
Practical Boat OwnerLeitura de 3 minsChemistry
How To Repair Gelcoat Damage
From rope chafing on cockpit coamings to impact damage after a winch handle has been dropped, gelcoat chips are an inevitable result of any boat that has miles under its keel. And repairing them is not as hard as you might think. With a simple but me
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10 Checks For Sailing Offshore
Have you ever thought of becoming a delivery skipper or crew? It’s a great way to earn extra funds and gain offshore experience. It’s also the perfect way to accrue nautical miles if you’re aiming for professional qualifications. However, sailing onb
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From Classic Boat To Kids’ Playhouse
Starting life in 1928 when she was launched from the stocks of William Crossfield’s yard in Arnside, Cumbria, the Nobby Empress was probably built by four men in six weeks. Such was the demand for the Morecambe Bay Prawners, traditionally called Lanc
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Ask The Experts
Here’s just a selection of the latest questions from PBO readers. Email or write to the address on page 5 and our experts will answer your queries How to configure an AIS Class B Q I’m installing a Raymarine Class B AIS transceiver to my Carter 30 ya
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The Influencer
Poland produced one of the most important experts in the design and safety of small craft in the later parts of the 20th century. Professor Czesław ‘Tony’ Marchaj’s influence was enormously wide ranging, encompassing spheres as diverse as the America
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