skipper's tips

We all takes risks sailing downwind without a preventer, but if it goes wrong, what will the coroner say? asks Tom Cunliffe

Pass your Yachtmaster

Tom Cunliffe: When the pips are squeaking, a cheaper mooring abroad becomes rather attractive, but is it worth the journey?

Tom Cunliffe

Life used to be so simple, didn’t it! It wasn’t all roses though. Back in the days before the general comforts of electronics, I had a few bad trips in…

Tom Cunliffe

I have a charcoal filter on the foot-powered drinking-water pump in my galley. It normally catches everything and I never suffer a bad cup of tea. At Easter, I was…

Tom Cunliffe

In this month’s ‘Skipper’s Tips’ I’ve mentioned how I hate blundering around strange harbours at night. The most colourful near miss to join the lexicon of frights leading to this…

Tom Cunliffe

This was my log entry for 25 March 1977: ‘1400 – Horrified to witness the formation of a waterspout about a mile to leeward. Started like a cloud on the…

Tom Cunliffe

Easter is upon us again, reminding me of the first time I crossed the Channel as skipper of my own boat. My wife and I set out for Cherbourg from…

Tom Cunliffe

One of my first jobs was at a sailing school near Marseilles. As the blazing, Mistral-swept summer gave way to more pleasant conditions, the place shut down leaving me with no…

Tom Cunliffe

When I was a nipper, the footwear favoured by fashionable British sailors was blue canvas pumps. Upmarket versions had non-slip rubber soles for grip. The rest of us made do…

Anchorages

‘The rain it raineth every day.’ So sang Feste, Shakespeare’s wise old clown, probably describing the state of affairs in Illyria some time around 1600. I suspect, though, that he…