Jolly Parrot's Sailing Blog

Every summer about 1,600 small (and not so small) sailing vessels set westwards towards the Needles Channel in what is basically a mad dash to complete the 50-mile circumnavigation of the Isle of W

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That’s right. One week! Well, one week away from work anyway!
 

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Those of you that enjoy mostly cruising with a G&T either in hand (or in mind) may well be aware of something called the America’s Cup but have little actual knowledge of what

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There are few things as pleasurable as sailing the calm, warm blue waters of the Mediterranean with a group of close friends or family.

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Most RYA sailing courses require a combination of miles actually sailed and specific exercise

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Preparing a passage plan is no more than a formal visualisation of the voyage you intend to take.

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The Levanter is an Easterly wind experienced in the Western Mediterranean.

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The most critical information for a sailor must be to know what weather to expect when out sailing and what effect it will it have on her passage.

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Many beginners enter the sailing world each year and the vast majority of adults probably start sailing with a clear intention to eventually charter their own yacht to take family or friends on hol

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SOLAS stands for Safety of Life at Sea.

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If you live and own a vessel bought in the UK then you are wise to register it.

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All of us at Jolly Parrot Sailing are delighted to announce the arrival of the newest member of our

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Many UK-based sailors choose their home waters (in many cases the sheltered waters of the Solent) to take their RYA Yachtmaster examination.

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Yacht ownership brings with it many delights. Unfortunately, the annual anti-fouling regimen is not one of them. 

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The best way to stop a yacht deteriorating is, of course, to keep using her.

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Once a novice sailor has been bitten by the sailing bug, it quickly becomes apparent that in order to continue spending time on the water they need to do one of three things.

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Anchoring is one of the great pleasures available to the cruising yachtsman. There are few things better than relaxing at anchor on a fine summer’s evening in the company of friends or loved ones.

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The difficulty with starting something new is knowing…. well, where to start.

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As I write this article, sitting on the marina with an espresso and my second pan au chocolat in my hand, it’s a pleasant 16 degrees celsius.

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In today’s world of GPS enabled devices some will argue that the art and science of real navigation has been lost and in many cases, they’d have a point.

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Anyone with sea survival training will know that evacuating to a liferaft is a last resort measure and in most cases you should be ‘stepping up’ into a raft as your boat sinks below you.

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The RYA Coastal Skipper practical course is not a beginner’s course.

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Amongst some sections of society, sailing has an historic and, nowadays, wholly unjustified reputation for being expensive and elitist.

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If you wish to skipper or crew a commercial vessel, you will require a commercial endorsement to your

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There are more than 5 good reasons to charter a yacht in Gibralta

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If you have a helicopter coming to your aid you are likely to be sailing fairly close to shore as their range is not vast.

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You may register a boat for use at sea on the UK Ship Register.  Dependent on your needs, there are two options open to you. They are;

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If you do not hold an RYA Day Skipper Certificate you can apply to be ass

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In order to work at sea you must have a medical certificate.

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This is a question our instructors get asked an awful lot and, whilst it’s a reasonable enquiry, it betrays a slight misunderstanding of how we should approach our relationship with the sea.

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Many common phrases used by the seafarer have found their way into common usage by the landlubber. Many more are wrongly ascribed. Here is our list of the best;

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A CG66 Safety Identification Scheme is is the name given to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s free and voluntary scheme for registering UK flagged pleasure craft and vessels.

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In the UK, the Shipping Forecast is currently provided by the UK Met Office and is regularly broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on behalf of the British Maritime & Coastguard Agency.

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The cynics amongst us can regularly be heard at the bar recounting some old wisdom. Namely that the best two days of owning a boat are the day you buy her and the day you sell her.

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Whilst many of our RYA students own or plan to own their own yachts, many more only ever plan to charter yachts on holiday with their family or friends.

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We encourage families to attend sailing courses and jointly e

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If you hold certain RYA qualifications then you may apply have them commercially endorsed.

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AIS stands for Automatic Identification System.

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The RYA Coastal Skipper Course is the next step up from the

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Under Regulation V/28 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life as Sea (SOLAS) 1974 all vessels are required to keep a navigational log by law.

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The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the primary authority administering the tuition of pleasure craft use

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Unlike other RYA qualifications, you will find the Yachtmaster practical

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The simple answer is ‘yes’. However, if you have a non-tidal certificate then you must have the RYA Day Skipper or RYA Yachtmaster theory certificate as well.

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Interestingly, there is still no legal requirement in Britain that requires a private boat owner to have any qualification whatsoever before they take their loved ones to sea.  

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The International Certificate of Competence (ICC) was introduced by European Directive in order to ensure that operators of small leisure vessels operating throughout the waters of participa

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‘If you don’t know knots, do lots..’  is a well known saying on the water, but in reality, doing lots will make you no friends on the water!

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Most parts of the World are monitored by national coastguards.

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Those of us that sail in tidal waters will be aware of the shear weight of water that can run through in opposite directions every 6 hours.

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The old adage:  “If you can’t do knots, do lots” might be widely used, but you won’t be thanked on board if you have tied everythi

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The usual cycle of the passing of a depression or Low Pressure System is defined by the approach of a warm front as the warm air of a low pressure system of air slides over a colder high pressure a

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As with a Low Pressure System, defining a High Pressure System is relative to the air around it. The average high pressure system is about 1013 mb but this isn’t specific. 

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To become a Yachtmaster Offshore requires a level of knowledge and skill that will qualify you to take a vessel up to

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The vertical grid lines on charts and maps represent True North.

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If you are chartering a yacht in the Mediterranean, it’s likely that your packing will reflect the expected wea

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The RYA Day Skipper Course is designed to instruct and coach people with the

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Most yachts have an auxiliary diesel engine to allow you to more easily manoeuvre in marinas and to bring you home if the wind stops blowing.

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There is a requirement that candidates for the RYA Day Skipper Practical Course will have no less than 5 days and 100 nautical miles sailing experience logged prior to course start

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Being able to raise the alarm in the event of a distress situation is critical.

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If you are joining us for an RYA Competent Crew Course, we’re assuming th

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Exploring uninhabited coves and empty beaches is one of the delights of a sailing holiday, whichever part of the World you are cruising.

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Reefing a sail is simply the name we use for the process of reducing sail area.

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The RYA Competent Crew Course is designed to introduce the non-sailor to sailing and living on board a cruising yacht. 

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An International Certificate of Competence (ICC) is valid for 5 years. To be eligible for the grant of an ICC from the RYA you must first prove that;

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When joining any charter yacht it makes sense to undertake some basic safety checks in addition to the detailed appraisal of the inventory likely to be provided.

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After acquiring the sailing bug, most people decide that a formal qualification might be a good idea. Especially if they want to charter a yacht with friends or family.

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If we look at our headsail sheets it will become clear that rather than just run back to winches, they are first run through strong points on the deck known as ‘cars’.

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Most RYA Sailing certificates are valid for life once you have met the required standard and been granted the certificate.

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Victualling is the name given to meal planning and shopping for a passage on board a boat.

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If you’ve already completed your RYA Day Skipper Theory course, the last hurdle is the five day

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In simple terms, when you ‘gybe’ a boat you are doing the same as you did when you tacked. In other words, you are changing the side of the boat that is presented to the wind.

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The first thing to be said on this subject is that you should never be considering setting off on a journey in fog. Fog is rightly feared by professional mariners and has been for centuries.

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As with any other holiday or trip abroad, whilst not essential, it is prudent to take travel insurance during an

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Amongst the most important information a sailor requires is a weather forecast.

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The RYA Yachtmaster qualification has long been recognised by many as the premium sailing qualification for the experienced leisure sailor.

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It will be no surprise to anyone that the area of greatest concern to most novice sailors is close boat handling. In other words, parking the boat.

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As technology improves (and so does mobile phone reception) a variety of useful ‘apps’ have become popular amongst sailors.

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If you are facing forwards towards the front of the boat, then the port side is on your left and the starboard side is on your right.

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"Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolute nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.

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In sailing speak a tack can be any of three things! 

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If you are about to start an RYA Competent Crew Course in the Mediterranean it would be prudent to do a litt

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Even a complete novice can probably see that there is a clue in the title. 

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The Beaufort Scale is an Internationally recognised scale used by sailors to measure wind strength. Why is this important?

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Most people taking an RYA Day Skipper or RYA Comp

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Most of us are aware of the danger presented by the boom and mainsheet of a sailing boat. 

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As an RYA Training Centre, we offer a wide range of training courses to suit everyone from the complete beginner to the experienced sailor.

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An ICC Certificate, otherwise known as the International Certificate for the Operation of Pleasure Craft, is a certificate required by certain countries in Europe to establish a sa

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Sailing is a great opportunity to get away from it all.

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If you are about to start on your journey towards RYA Day Skipper you’ll need to make some preparations.

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It is easy to forget that for those new to sailing, the build up to your first week on the water can be just a little bit daunting.

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When sailing in a normal breeze (Beaufort Force 3 / Force 4) it’s likely that we would have a full mainsail and a full headsail.

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Messing about on boats has long been a popular way to unwind and relax after a hard week at work.

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'Mal de mer' as the French would say, is basically motion sickness. The disconnect between what your eyes are seeing and what your balance receptors are telling your brain.

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Learning to sail is a great way to meet like minded people and make new friends but sometimes we just want to get on the water

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