The Complete Day Skipper: Skippering with Confidence Right From the Start

The Complete Day Skipper: Skippering with Confidence Right From the Start

by Tom Cunliffe


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A practical hands-on manual that covers the Day Skipper syllabus in a step-by-step learning system designed to get you straight on the water.

The Complete Day Skipper is a totally practical hands-on manual that covers the RYA Day Skipper syllabus in a way that reflects a skipper's growing experience at sea, beginning with yacht handling under power, moving on to boat husbandry and sailing skills, and from there to the realistic use of modern electronic navigation systems. Eminently readable and very down to earth, this fully revised sixth edition has become required reading for all skippers in their early years as well as more experienced sailors who choose not to venture far afield. As one of Britain's best-known instructors and writers on seamanship, Tom Cunliffe provides just the right blend of advice, instruction, inspiration and encouragement.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781472924162
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 06/28/2016
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.84(w) x 9.94(h) x 0.83(d)

About the Author

Tom Cunliffe may be a household name as a sailor, a TV presenter and a Yachtmaster Instructor Examiner, but he remains a family sailor by choice. Self-taught as a teenager in 'engineless' 25-footers, he has built a life around cruising with his wife and daughter to the faraway places of which dreams are made. Years of teaching offshore at the National Sailing Centre have given him a remarkable knack of explaining how skippering can be low-stress and safe, while never forgetting that, above all, it has to be fun. Cruising remains Tom Cunliffe's passion. He currently owns a classic 44-foot cutter, and has sailed his yachts with friends and family from the Caribbean to Russia and from Brazil to the Arctic. When not sailing or working, he grows roses and rides a large motorcycle. His website is

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction ix

Acknowledgements xiv

1 What's in a Boat 1

Boarding 1

The hull 2

The mast 3

The engine 4

The galley 7

Steering systems 9

2 Moving the Boat 11

Theory 11

Dealing with shore lines 14

Leaving the berth 19

Practical boat handling 20

Returning to the berth 25

3 First Ventures 27

Reading the chart 27

Aids to navigation 32

Venturing out of harbour 37

The wide blue yonder 41

4 Beginning to Sail as a Skipper 42

Theory of sail 42

First steps under sail 47

Sails and winches 49

Basic sailing 57

Exercises 61

5 Seamanship 63

Preparation for sea 63

Deck safety 64

Mechanics of stowing headsails 65

Sail selection and shortening down 67

Engine troubleshooting 71

6 Essential Navigation Theory 77

Position and distance 77

Direction 79

Tides 82

The electronic chart plotter - a caveat 88

7 Practical Navigation 89

Knowing where you are 89

Onward navigation 96

8 Arriving In Port 100

Pilotage 100

Choosing a berth 105

9 Etiquette 107

Flag etiquette 107

Rafting up 108

10 Weather 111

Beaufort wind scale 111

Visibility 114

Weather systems 114

Sources of weather forecasts 117

11 Making the Passage 120

Preparation 120

Conducting the yacht on passage 123

Living aboard on passage 126

Evaluating 129

12 Advanced Navigation 130

Further tidal height theory 130

Intermediate tidal heights 132

Cross-tide navigation 136

Compass deviation 143

Electronic chart plotters 146

Correcting charts 148

13 Fog 150

Safety in fog 150

Fog tactics 153

Navigation in fog 153

14 Anchoring, Mooring and Boat Bandung 158

Manoeuvres under power 158

Manoeuvres under sail 163

Further skills 169

15 Emergencies and How to Prevent Them 172

Keeping out of trouble 172

Man overboard 175

General distress, and search and rescue assistance 180

And Beyond… 185

Glossary 186

Appendix 1 Checklist or Leaving the Boat 190

Appendix 2 Measurements 191

Index 192

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