5 Simple Tips for Improving Boat Safety

Sailing and boating are wonderful pastimes, but it can also be a very dangerous environment and needs to be given respect. Whether you are messing around in a dinghy or racing across oceans – safety always has to be paramount. Champion sailor Alex Alley gives us 5 simple tips on how to improve boat safety.

“When I was learning to sail, I remember my father once said to me about the sea – ‘it makes a good servant, but a bad master’. It took me a while to understand what he meant, but I soon realized what he was talking about.

Safety has to be top of the list when boating. I once had to fill out a risk assessment form for a corporate sailing trip. It seemed that serious risks were everywhere, from falling overboard to being hit by the boom.”

boats-in-marina

By following a few simple rules, these risks can be easily reduced:

  • One of the top ‘rules’ for me is simply common sense – don’t mess around. If you run around the boat you are more likely to slip and fall – potentially over the side! The last thing any crew wants is a man overboard situation. It is one thing picking up a fender and a bucket during a drill – it is completely different picking up an unconscious person out of the water.
  • Alcohol and boating don’t mix very well. It impairs your decision making and can upset your balance and judgment. Although in the UK there is no specific law against drinking and sailing – it is a foolish skipper who does. Save the drinking for the bar once back ashore.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. That includes the weather and what to expect. If you are crewing onboard a boat, don’t always assume the skipper has seen everything around you. Make them aware of nearby boats and obstructions – they probably have seen them, but don’t presume that they have. There is nothing worse than running in to a buoy hidden behind the jib.
  • Sail within your limits. Often people get in to difficulty when sailing beyond their means. Too much sail up in strong winds makes the boat hard to control and likely to broach, which can in turn send crew and equipment over the side. It isn’t a fast way to sail the boat – generally boats are much quicker if they are more upright. It’s also safer and more comfortable.
  • Maintenance. It may not seem an obvious safety point at first, but worn or damaged kit can cause a lot of problems. Worn out equipment usually breaks when it is least convenient. A faulty spinnaker pole topping lift for example can cause the pole to drop on unsuspecting crew. Poorly maintained lifejackets and lifelines speak for themselves. Regular maintenance is the answer – prevention is better than cure.

Sailing is a great sport and past time and is there to be enjoyed by everyone. By using common sense and following a few simple rules it can also be enjoyed safely.

Learn more about Alex Alley, champion sailor and MaxSea partner.

If you have any tips of your own for what to look out for when purchasing a boat, simply leave a comment.

10 point safety checklist

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Release of Version 2.1.2 of MaxSea TimeZero Professional Range

We are pleased to inform you that a new update of MaxSea TimeZero professional software has just been released and is now available to your customers: v2.1.2.

Many new features and improvements are included in version 2.1.2 of the MaxSea professional software range. Best of all, this update is completely free for any TimeZero ECS/PLOT user.


 Please read the complete description of improvements:

 New Features in MaxSea TimeZero v2.1.2:

  • Possibility to import Marks, Tracks, Lines and 3D user data from ECC Globe.
  • Compatibility with the NMEA0183 “RSD” sentence allowing to display a radar cursor on the chart. This is useful to geo-reference the cursor of the standalone radar in TimeZero.
  • Possibility to import PTZ2 files directly into TimeZero v2.1. PTZ2 files are 3D files that were used in previous version of TimeZero (v2.0) and below.
  • Possibility to change the plotter background color when no chart is selected from the “Chart” button in the Ribbon. The background color can be selected from the “Plotter Display” Options.
  • New option to remove currents computation on the active route (ETA, Speed, HTS etc.). This can be useful when you don’t want any currents to be taken into account in any of the Route NavData and list information.
  • New Online AIS MarineTraffic integration providing more reliable and faster refresh time. Please note that a MarineTraffic account is required in order to activate this feature in TimeZero:

A range of other miscellaneous features have been added and various bug fixes are included in MaxSea TimeZero version 2.1.2. A detailed description of all improvements is available in our explanatory PDF.

Price: The update to version 2.1.2 is totally free for all current MaxSea TimeZero users.

Download: You can contact your regular MaxSea reseller to download this update. Alternatively, you may log into your MyMaxSea account and use the download link in the ‘Downloads’ tab.

v2.1.2 description
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NOAA Raster and Vector Chart Updates for the USA are Available Now!

These US charts have been updated and are available as of March 17th, 2015 in our Chart Catalogue:

MaxSea NOAA Chart Update List

The following NOAA chart versions are now available:

  • VECTOR – MWVSUSAMAP9.1 NOAA Vector Charts & USACE Inland Charts
US_NOAA_charts_coverage

Updated Information

  • Updated NOAA Vector Charts (S57): This Edition adds 70 new Vector Charts to the library as well as many other chart updates.
  • Updated NOAA Raster Charts: This new edition includes the latest chart updates that can be found on the NOAA paper charts.

Read full information about these chart updates in this PDF file.

Clickforexamples

NOAA charts are totally free of charge and you can download them through our Chart Catalog, to make sure that you’re using the most up-to-date chart data available for US waters.

Watch our new video - 5 Interesting Facts about Nautical Charts

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6 Tips for Fighting Motion Sickness Onboard

This month, world champion sailor Alex Alley gives us his tips for how to fight motion sickness onboard:

“One of the things I get asked about a lot when I am taking people out sailing for the first time, is sea sickness. Possibly the most debilitating thing that can happen to otherwise healthy people at sea.

 It is real and it can sap energy out of the most upbeat person – however, the advice I would give is – don’t worry yourself about it, it can happen to the best sailors.”

My 6 top tips for fighting motion sickness:

  • There are many types of medication on the market, a popular one is Stugeron. There are pills, wrist bands and patches. Each have their fans, however some also have their drawbacks in that they can sometimes make you sleepy.
  • You can help yourself by not going out for a big meal with lots of alcohol the night before you sail.
  • There are also things you can do onboard if you start to feel a bit queasy. Firstly, keep warm, most important. Once you get cold, your body starts to shut down and you then can’t help yourself.
  • DON’T go down below if you can help it. Once you lose sight of the horizon, it tends to make people feel ill. I’m told it is the mix of signals to the brain. Your eyes tell you nothing is moving (you’re inside the boat so have no reference), but your ears are telling you that you are moving (the fluid in your ears gives you balance). This conflict of information confuses the brain and makes you feel unwell.
  • Try and eat something plain, such as a ginger biscuit (ginger is supposed to help) or a piece of bread.
  • Finally, the best piece of advice I can give is to occupy your mind. Maybe take the opportunity to take the helm if you feel confident and someone can guide you. This focuses your mind and stops you thinking about being ill.
Seasickness_monthly_newsletter

It is not simply the movement of the boat that makes you sick. Many people say they get motion sick in a car as a passenger, but not as a driver. Tthe motion is exactly the same – so some other process must surely be at work! Perhaps it is driven by anxiety, or the feeling of not being in control?

I’m not a psychologist so I can’t say with any authority what the cause may be. I do however spend a lot of time sailing and I’d like to finish this article by referring back to my first piece of advice – don’t worry about it, anxiety will only increase the chances of you feeling ill, in effect you will make yourself feel sick!

Embrace the experience of sailing, learn about it and try and understand it, that way you will know what to expect, you will feel less anxious about it, you will have fun and trust me, you won’t be sick…


We would like to thank Alex Alley, MaxSea sponsor for sharing this advice with us. Alex is a round the world yachtsman, inspirational speaker and world champion. Learn more about Alex.


If you have any tips of your own for combatting seasickness, simply leave a comment!

 

MaxSea TimeZero Free Weather Forecast Service

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Raster Chart Updates for the Transat, Central America and Caribbean

The following 4 Raster chart zones covering the Transat, Central America and the Caribbean have been updated and are available to download in our Chart Catalogue as of January 29th, 2015:

Raster Chart Promo MaxSea February

Save on These Charts!

We are offering great discounted pricing on each of these newly-updated charts! Check out the promotional prices here!

Improvements

These chart updates include updated information (changes in ports, harbors, buoys etc.) as well as corrections to chart data. It is recommended to update your chart zones regularly in order to have the most up-to-date information for navigation. This is very important for safety on board.

Here are a few examples of the enhancements in these chart zones:

R50 lanzarote

R912 panama

You can find further examples of the changes made to these updates charts in our Facebook or Google+ albums.

Take me to the MaxSea Webstore

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Team Jolokia’s Reactions to the Rolex Middle Sea Race

The Rolex Middle Sea Race is one of the classic offshore sailing races, often mentioned in the same breath as other well-known races such as the Rolex Fastnet. It began in 1968 and 2014 was the 35th edition. 122 yachts from 24 nationalities took part, with boats ranging in size from 9.5 to 30.5 metres. This year, MaxSea partners Team Jolokia competed in the race, which began on October 18th, 2014.

Team Jolokia is unique in that it promotes the strength of diversity. Their crew is made up of people from different walks of life – seniors, young people, women and men, disabled or able-bodied, from all social backgrounds.

The race: 608 nautical miles long, starting at Grand Harbour, Valletta, ending at Marsamxett Harbour.

Rolex_Middle_Sea_Race_Route

Here are the reactions of a few members of Team Jolokia after the Rolex Middle Sea Race:

  • Stéphanie Chancelade, crew member

“During the race I was particularly impressed by Gaël (Renault), my shift supervisor. To see a paraplegic shift supervisor sailing at 40 knots with 6 metre bumps along the way was truly inspiring and I have to hand it to the guy!

He was very calm and a good teacher. He has so much experience and knows how to pass it on to the other crew members. The atmosphere was very good as a result and everyone found their own role within the team. Our race result was very respectable! At the end, the conditions were tough but we handled it. We finished in the first 20 boats, among a total of 130 – that’s really good!

We definitely have a boat made for extreme weather conditions but our crew was quite inexperienced with these conditions. We are proud of our race and our result!

What we saw in terms of human and sporting achievements was amazing. How many people in the world can say they have experienced what we experienced on a VO’60, with such a diverse group of people in unsteady seas? I want to continue to be part of it!”

team_jolokia_maxsea2Some of the Team JOLOKIA crew wearing MaxSea caps and t-shirts on board

  • Peter Meisel, skipper

“What a race! 36 hours going at 35 or 40 knots, all in sublime landscapes that were just breath-takingly beautiful. This route around Sicily is really exciting for a sailor!
The crew was ready to face these difficult sea conditions and never gave up despite the mountains of water that crashed against us.

I think we have again shown that diversity is sustainable. When we arrived, we once again earned the respect of our competitors, they now see that the difference is also a strength.”


We’d like to congratulate Team Jolokia on their performance and look forward to their 2015 races!


Learn how to train like an Ocean Skipper Free Guide

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MaxSea – FURUNO Seminar in Sweden

On November 25th and 26th, FURUNO Sverige and MaxSea hosted a seminar at the FURUNO Sverige office. MaxSea Regional Sales Manager Ferhat Dahak tells us about the event.

13 dealers from all over the country (17 people in total) attended this seminar. On November 25th, I presented  information on all the latest developments throughout our product line, focusing on:

MaxSea Furuno Sweden Seminar

On November 28th, a MaxSea training day was carried out with Swedish fishermen. 10 fishermen from the Gothenburg area, mainly trawlers, attended the training.

We concentrated on the following topics:

  • Layer Management
  • AIS/ARPA management
  • PBG and WASSP Modules

Furuno sweden1The presentation took place in a room with 5 computers, all running MaxSea TimeZero PLOT which allowed the fishermen to train at the same time.

Thanks Ferhat!


Find a reseller - MaxSea TimeZero PLOT

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