Skippers Newsletter 01-2014

Civil Service Sailing Association – Channel Sailing Division

SKIPPERS NEWSLETTER – Yacht Sea Essay of Hamble

Newsletter No 01/14


This is an occasional document issued by the Yacht Secretary, which will be placed on the CSD website and/or sent to all CSSA approved Skippers in CSD when there is new and/or important operational information to promulgate. There is no intention to produce newsletters on a regular basis. Each one is numbered in sequence every year so recipients can identify if any are missing.

Domestic Electrical System

Recent events have illustrated that it is necessary to emphasise the need to manage this system. There are two 110 ampere hour batteries supplying all the domestic circuits on the boat and it is vital that their charge state is managed to prevent permanent damage to the batteries. Skippers should limit the electrical circuits selected when under sail to those essential to the boat’s operations. The high power consumption circuits of Radar, engaged Autopilot, and refrigerator should be turned off or if essential then the battery voltage closely monitored and the engine run. The Autopilot is left on at all times as the heading information from the fluxgate compass is required by the plotter and other instruments. The higher power consumption results when the autopilot is engaged. Skippers should monitor the battery voltage on the meter particularly when sailing at night. If the voltage drops below 12.25 volts or the low voltage alarm sounds then start the engine immediately and run it at about 750rpm.

Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB)Reports:

Skippers are recommended to make the effort to regularly read the MAIB reports on various incidents even though they appear to relate to commercial ships. It is far better to learn from others misfortune to avoid the potential situations than repeat them. As an example the recent report on the grounding of the tanker “Ovit” (24/2014) illustrates the dangers of changing the Plotter settings. For ECDIS read Plotter. (See Raymarine Plotter paragraph below)

Stowage of Spinnaker and No.2 Genoa Halyards

Skippers are requested to stow these two halyards on the ring bolt on the port side of the mast base after ensuring they are not twisted or fouled on the rigging and the top genoa swivel bearing. The practice of putting one of the halyards into the inner forestay clip on the spreader should not be used as this causes terminal damage to the halyard.

Closedown Checklist

Skippers are reminded to ensure the boat is left in the state specified in the checklist. With the number of skippers using the boat it is only fair to leave it in the clean and ready state for the next skipper. Particular attention should be paid to the freshwater pump switch which should be left off. Also the Raymarine plotter MUST be returned to its agreed configuration (see below).

Care of Documents and Publications

The documents and publications on board are provided for use by all skippers and should be treated with care so that they last at least all season. In particular the pages in the Reeds Nautical Almanacs have been damaged and torn within a short period of time after purchase. It is suggested that the information required is extracted prior to departure in the dry and copied into the deck log or other pieces of paper. The practice of crossing through tide times is considered to be one of the possible causes of this damage and should cease.

Raymarine Plotter

The standard default set up of the plotter has been decided by the committee on the advice of Raymarine and Brian Dunton, the Plotter Course trainer. The practice of changing the settings and not putting the plotter back to default settings is considered potentially dangerous for follow-on skippers and should cease forthwith. After a route has been entered by whatever means, the route progress and its data can be read from the tabulated “DATA” page, To access make the following key strokes:

• Press “Page” Button
• Select tabulated “DATA” Page from soft (bottom) keys
• Select “Navigation” from soft keys
All the route information will be displayed in the table.
• Press “Page” key to return to the chart etc.

It is not necessary or desirable to change the “Databar Settings”, particularly as the vessel Lat/Long is configured to be displayed in the top left hand corner of the screen (the left most data item on the databar) and is therefore readily available should an emergency require it.

The route information is also repeated on the navigation page on the Navtex. Page through each page and the route info is shown at the bottom of one of the pages.

Adrian Barnes Yacht Secretary
October 2014


Channel Sailing is a division of the CSSA