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Powerboat Handbook

South Staffs Sailing Club Power Boat Handbook


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1. Introduction to our Power boats

2. Equipment List and functional checks

3. Start of Day procedures

4. Refuelling

5. Buoyancy Check and RIB tube inflation

6. Starting and Stopping the engines

7. Use of Fire Extinguisher Recommendations when on the water

8. Mooring the Boats

9. Anchors and Mark moving

10. Launching and Recovering the Boats (RIBs)

11. End of Day procedures

12. Final checks

13. Some basic "Dos" and "Don'ts"

14. Club Safety Boat Driver policy

15. Safety boat briefing - Driving, Rescue and towing Hints

16. Install and remove Pilot cover

Chapter 1: Our Power Boats

We currently have 4 Power boats at the club

18Ft Plymouth Pilot named Pontius

This is a 18ft Plymouth Pilot named Pontius. This is the Committee boat and has an inboard 12HP diesel Engine. See also the start of day and end of day procedures for refuelling, starting and stopping the engines.

RIBs K1 and K2

These are 4.6m Highfield RIBs. Both are fitted with 40HP Honda Outboard engines. Generally the boats are identical in layout and both fully equipped as safety boats. The launching trolleys are numbered but can be interchangeable.

Refuelling RIBs K1and K2

Please refer to the refuelling section under the Start of the Day procedures.

K1 has a portable tank and K2 an underfloor tank

Honda T40 inflatable (Aga-Doo!)

This is a rigid floor, soft bottom inflatable with a Honda 20Hp tiller steer engine. This shaped bottom boat has a good turn of speed and turning capability. It has plenty of space inside but is not intended as a safety boat. However it has sufficient equipment on board if needed to assist.

This boat has a separate portable fuel tank.

Chapter 2: Equipment Lists

Safety is a matter of common sense and state of mind, however, before going onto the water there are a number of things that you should consider. This includes:

Weather conditions - wear appropriate clothing

Boat equipment

Boat function checks

Safety boat equipment

- Anchor

- Paddles and boat hook (in correct clips where possible)

- Fuel - sufficient for current session

- Tow ropes

- Throw rope

- Tool kit

- First Aid kit

- Fire extinguisher in place

- Safety knife

- Spare kill cord

- Wire cutters

- Recovery Ladder

- Radio

Functional Checks

- Hull tubes inflated correctly

- Underfloor buoyancy tank empty and buoyancy bungs (in Transom) are in place

- Fuel lines not damaged or kinked

- Battery lines not damaged and battery master switch to ON

- Control cables not damaged or kinked (DO NOT operate unless engine running)

- Prior to launch, tilt engine approx 30 degrees using tilt switch on engine or remote control ( Note it is not necessary to turn on ignition to tilt engine.)

- Good radio contact between handsets and to the shore

Equipment List (Committee Boat)

- Anchor

- Fuel sufficient for session

- First Aid kit

- Fire extinguisher

- Boarding ladder

- Radio

Any issues please contact Steve Baker on or leave a message on white board in the boat shed on the back of the door in Peter's Shed

Chapter 3: Start of day checks


- Hull tubes inflated correctly

- Anchor - present and tied on

- Paddles and Boat Hook - in correct clips

- Fuel - sufficient for current session

- Underfloor buoyancy bungs in place

- Tow ropes, Throw rope, Tool kit Ladder and first aid kit- in place

- Fire extinguisher in place

- Safety Knife in place; Spare Kill cord in place


- Fuel lines not damaged or kinked

- Battery lines not damaged and Battery Master switch to ON

- Underfloor buoyancy tank empty

- Control cables not damaged or kinked, (do not operate unless engine running)

- Prior to launch, tilt engine approx. 30 degrees using tilt switch on engine

Note:- It is not necessary to turn ignition on to tilt engine.

Chapter 4: Refuelling



The majority of the fuel is stored in Jerry cans in the fuel safe.

Spouts are available in the fuel store if this helps you. Syphons should be in the front locker of each Highfield RIB.

If it is necessary to move fuel from one tank to another or to top up a portable tank, this should be done outside, with an extinguisher nearby. Please avoid doing this if possible.

If you note little or no spare fuel in the fuel safe please let the Bosun know. (

Honda 20HP outboard

This engine has a separate portable tank.

It is requested that the tanks are run (almost) out before refilling.

If it is required to fill the tank please use the process for K1 utilising a syphon (stored in K1 or K2)

If it is necessary to move fuel from one tank to another, this should be done outside, with an extinguisher nearby. Please avoid doing this if possible.

Honda 40 outboards

These are the engines are fitted to RIBs K1 and K2 the 4.6 meter Highfield RIBs.

K2 has an on-board tank under the floor. Tank is approx. 50 litres in total capacity. (2x normal portable tank). Fuel Filler is on the port side of the front locker (shown above).

Refuelling should not be attempted unless you have received instruction on the process. If the gauge is showing around one half full, you will still have plenty of fuel for one day's operation.

If the gauge shows around one quarter full, (boat static and on trolley or moored up), please consult one of the Sailing Committee or Steve Troke about refuelling unless you are confident about this activity.

The preferred method of refuelling these boats is to siphon the fuel from a Jerry can or another portable tank. The siphon is normally kept in one of the forward lockers. Fill with only ONE CAN. Do NOT attempt to top up tank. Do not attempt to top up with a second can as it is more than likely that you will overfill the tank and spill fuel. If you hear a gurgling sound when filling the tank STOP

K1 has a (semi-permanent) portable tank. As with K2 the preferred method is to transfer fuel from the Jerry can using the syphon. The tank holds 25 litres of fuel (approximately the same as a Jerry can) so be careful that you do not overfill and spill fuel. The gauge is not too accurate

Take normal precautions.

Battery isolator off, Refuel outside. No smoking/naked flame in the area etc etc.

Lister Diesel (Committee boat)

Fuel filler, Dip Stick and Opening key

It is important that this engine does not run out of fuel. Fuel filler is on the top of the aft deck. A measuring stick is kept on the rear thwart.

Fuel is kept in the fuel store in the large yellow plastic container. Use the funnel in the store to aid topping up, or syphon kept in the metal cupboard in the boat shed

If you do run out of fuel please consult someone who has sorted the problem out before.

The dipstick is normally kept in a hole in the rear seat of the boat. A full tank is designated by the green mark on the stick. The graduations are not necessarily accurate to the actual quantity of fuel in the tank. A full tank normally lasts several weeks so refuelling is not normally needed until it is under a quarter of a tank full on a linear check on the dipstick.

Chapter 5: Buoyancy & RIB tube inflation

K1 and K2 have under floor buoyancy which should be checked for its integrity each day. The committee boat, Pontius, has a bilge system which will need checking and pumping out if there is any significant water there. The T40 (AGA-DOO!) has a single floor and so does not retain water.

Highfield RIBs

These RIBs have a screw in drainage bung in the outside of the transom. The tanks should be checked for water at the end of each usage. The switch marked Bilge Pump does not do anything

Any water should also be drained at the end of the day by removing the rear bung and then replacing after use. The drainage of the rear deck can be facilitated by lowering the "elephant's trunk" drain.

RIB Tube inflation

If the tubes appear soft they should be inflated. A rule of thumb is that you should not be able to press the tank in more than 12mm with reasonable force. There are multiple valves on each boat. To inflate, unscrew the cap, insert the pump pipe (bayonet fitting) and pump to the recommended pressure.

Typical valve :- T40 Highfield

There is a gauge under the seat in one of the

Highfield RIBs to check for the correct pressure. This is indicated on the gauge dial.

The gauge for the T40 is kept in the cupboard in the boat house. The pressure is indicated on the valve

The caps on all RIBs and the inflatable are bayonet fittings

Chapter 6: Start/Stop

Honda 20 outboard (Honda T40)

To start:

Check that the fuel line is connected and full

Check the kill cord is in place - Cords are stored on key board located on the wall near the entry door of the boat shed.

Check the operation of the kill cord before the start of duty

Check throttle is set to MINIMUM

Pull choke fully out

Check that it is in neutral - DO NOT force gear selection when engine is not running

The engine will NOT turn over if not in neutral

Pull start cord until engine starts. Push choke in half way after short period

Allow engine to warm up before pushing choke fully in. Engine must be allowed to warm up before driving off or it will stall


Press Kill Cord Red Button or pull kill cord

Check operation of Kill cord before start of duty

Honda 40 outboards ( K1 and K2}


To start:

Check that there is sufficient fuel. (K2 Ignition MUST be switched on to check fuel gauge).

Check kill cord is in place - Cords are stored on key board on the wall near the entry door of the boat shed.

Check the operation of the kill cord before the start of duty

Check that the engine is in neutral - DO NOT try to select gears when the engine is not running.

Turn the key to start the engine. Release key when the engine starts

Allow engine to warm up for 2-3 minutes before driving off

Fast idle is available by raising throttle control lever on the remote control box. With this lever raised you will NOT be able to select gears. Return lever to off (fully down) position to get control of gears

Ignition Key

Ignition key is on the side mounted control box, as is the kill cord.

Fast Idle selection


Turn Key to off position

In an emergency the kill cord can quickly and easily pulled to stop the engine

Check operation of Kill cord before start of duty

Lister Diesel (Pilot)

Compression levers and throttle Compression Levers and Throttle

In START position in RUN position

To start:

Move throttle level to somewhere near maximum (to the rear of boat)

Move BOTH decompression levers to fully rearwards and turn engine over using hand crank

Get it turning as fast as possible and then move either lever to forward position

Keep turning engine whilst you do this. There is no rush

When engine fires move other lever to front position and reduce throttle.

If it does not start, repeat operation until it does.

If you cannot start engine, there is a cold start facility which may help. Seek advice on the location and use of this facility


Pull STOP cord on rear of engine cover gently until engine stops

Stop Cord

Chapter 7: Fire

In the even that a fire or unusual smoke is observed in any of the power boats the following steps are recommended

Do not remove engine covers. Do not attempt to fight the fire.

For the outboard engines

- Switch off the engine ignition with the ignition key and isolate the battery using the battery isolator switch ( K1 and K2 only)

- Switch off engine by pulling kill cord on T40

Move away from the source of the fire and radio for assistance

- In the event that the fire worsens and in particular approaches the fuel tanks before assistance arrives exit the boat and swim towards the nearest safe area.

- If it is not practical or safe for the assisting craft to come along side without putting themselves in danger. Leave the stricken vessel and swim to the assisting boat

For the diesel engine

- Switch off the engine with the Stop (fuel cut off) cord and if possible cut off fuel with the valve on the tank

- Move away from the source of the fire and radio for assistance

- In the event that the fire worsens and in particular approaches the fuel tanks before assistance arrives exit the boat and swim towards the nearest safe area.

- If it is not practical or safe for the assisting craft to come along side without putting themselves in danger. Leave the stricken vessel and swim to the assisting boat.

Chapter 8: Mooring

Please use bow and stern lines when leaving the boat unattended and especially when moored on the leeward side of the Jetty

Otherwise this happens, which damages the boats.

Only use the centre line as temporary measure when you are in the boat.

Stern Lines

The stern lines on the RIBs should be threaded through the rear moulded cleat with the large bobble on the outside of the cleat.

Chapter 9: Anchors & mark moving

This section is not concerned with anchoring which is part of the training courses

All safety boats and Committee boat are fitted with anchors for use during racing should the circumstances require.

Both RIBs (RIBs K1 and K2) have anchors situated in a forward space and are attached at the bow.

This attachment should be checked before deploying the anchor.

On recovering the anchor please ensure that all mud is washed off otherwise the boat gets very dirty for subsequent users ( which may be you!)

The system on the committee boat utilises a set of guide rollers to aid recovery.

The anchor on the committee boat can be deployed by removing the securing cross pin and pushing the anchor forward. Warp length can be set normally and a cleat is provided just outside the cuddy forward access.

Recovery needs a steady pull on the warp to raise the anchor into the guide rollers. Motoring up to the anchor helps recovery. If the anchor hits the guide rollers upside down please lower it until it swings the right way up. Dip into the water to clean off if needed and pull gently into the rollers. If this operation is rushed then there is a chance that the chain will jump off the rollers and jam.

Once the anchor is fully up, insert the securing cross pin.

The anchor on the Honda T40 is kept in the storage box at the front of the boat. Do NOT assume that it is attached before deploying the anchor. Find a suitable anchor point to meet the needs of the situation.

Incorrect anchor storage

Mark Moving

Marks will normally be set in line with the OOD's instructions. When asked to move a mark please ensure that the anchor/mooring weight is well off the bottom before moving the safety boat. Please DO NOT drag the anchor/mooring weight) as there is a risk that you might foul a fisherman's line.

The fishermen will only have lines attached near to the lake bed and so we can all exist in the same space without irritation both ways.

Please. If you use the boat hook to catch the mark mooring line, please DO NOT use the boat hook as a lever to recover the mark into the boat. This bends or breaks the boat hook.

If you bring the anchor on board please get the mud off the anchor before dropping it into the bottom of the boat or wash boat out at the end of the day.

Please leave the boats as you would wish to find them

Chapter 10: Launch & Recovery

The size of the boats prohibits putting RIBs away with rear guide rails in place. As a consequence, the RIBs must be stored or put away with the rear guide rails OFF. The boats are better launched without any of the guide rails in place.

Using the power winch to recover boats is intended to be a 2-man operation.One will operate the remote control situated in the doorway of the boat shed and also act as observer, the second will tail the recovery rope.The Remote Control operator should direct activities.

It is important that there is no one inside the yellow line around the power winch plinth when it is in operation.

Use of the power winch should only be undertaken by adult club members who have received instruction in its use.

Preparing Winch

  1. Switch on Isolator(s) noting red light on
  2. Get winch rope (in its bucket), lay out 1 metre of rope (clip end first) through rollers towards water
  3. Put 1 turn of rope round winch drum in clockwise direction (follow arrows on winch drum)


  • Use 1 turn of rope round winch drum to lower trolley without boat
  • Use 2 turns to lower trolley with boat
  • Use 3 turns to recover boat and trolley
  • Hold rope horizontally from drum when tailing rope and keep constant tension
  • Winch man wears sailing gloves

Powering Down Winch System at end of day

  1. Disconnect rope from drum and rollers. Store rope, clip end last in bucket.Return bucket to boat shed
  2. Turn off Isolator under control box
  3. Ensure remote control is in it cradle

Note: It is recommended that winch power is turned off between each session of use

Launching RIBs

To launch the RIBs:

Prepare the winch - switch on and lay out rope

Get keys and kill cord from rack near entrance door. Switch on battery isolator

Raise engine approx. 30 degrees and take off guide rails (if not already off)

Manoeuvre the trolley to the top of the slipway

Slacken the trolley winch strap but do not remove at this time

Attach power winch rope to trolley and drawbar clip

Put two turns of winch rope round the winch drum in a clockwise direction and take up slack in winch rope by pushing boat down the slipway.Do not hook rope onto carabiner at this time

Keeping tension on the rope, allow it to slip round the winch and reverse boat down the slipway into the water. Steer as necessary

Connect rope onto carabiner on drawbar when trolley is in the water up to the steering wheels

Disconnect trolley winch from boat

Continue to lower into water

Non winch man takes painter onto jetty to control boat

Float boat off the trolley and moor up

Do not drive the boat off the trolley

Recover trolley by hand or by winch and disconnect the power winch rope

Store trolley in boat house

Store winch rope in storage bucket

To recover the RIBs:

Fit all guide rails to trolley (rear guides are colour coded)

Turn on winch power and lay out rope

Connect power winch rope to trolley and through draw bar carabiner

Ease the trailer into the water (1 turn round winch) so that it is submerged half way up trolley winch post and allows the boat to be floated onto it

Raise the engine 30 degrees so that the prop does not ground on recovery

Loop painter round trolley winch post and pull boat onto trolley about 12" (30cm) from the winch. Cleat off painter on boat bow cleat

Recover the RIB using power winch :-

Put 3 turns of winch rope round winch in direction shown by arrow on top of winch (clockwise)

Ensure that no one is behind boat or near to winch when running

1 person will operate winch control and a second will keep tension on the winch rope (tailing).Take instructions from only one person (winch remote control operator)

Start to recover boat and stop when jockey wheels are out of the water. Connect trolley winch and pull boat further onto trolley. Winch man must maintain tension on the rope

Recover boat half way up slip and stop to drain water from hull.Winch man must maintain tension on the rope

Recover boat and stop at top of slipway near to marked line or when rope goes slack

Disconnect rope, remove guide rails and put boat into boat shed manually.Keep rails in sets on boat shed wall near to the relevant boat

Recover rope into storage bucket and store in boat shed

Power off winch

Lower engine and power off boat

Return keys and kill cord to rack by entrance door


If power winch is not available, there is a manual winch stored in the boat house

Put boat in boat shed on correct side

Honda T40

Launch and recovery is as for RIBs except there is no winch on the trolley and no provision/need to change the guide rails on the trolley.

Launch may best be done manually as current practice.

Recovery as for RIBs other than references to trolley winch and guide rails

Manual Winch

If insufficient manpower available there is a manual winch stored in the boat house. Note that this winch will NOT get the boat fully to the top of the slip. Manpower will be needed to get boat from winch into boat shed

Power Winch Operating Instructions Quick Summary

(These notes should be used in conjunction with the detailed operating instructions)

Power Winch Preparation

Turn on isolator(s) by/on Control panel, Power on Lamp will light, System is now ready for use

Thread clip end of power winch line through the rollers on the winch plinth. Leave rope bucket outside yellow area round winch. Always stand outside the yellow box when using the winch


Push RIB out of Boat house and park it near to the top of the slope. Connect the winch line clip to the shackle on the trolley

Put 2 turn of winch rope clockwise (direction of arrow on winch Barrel) round winch.

Take up slack on rope and push boat onto slope, keeping tension on rope round the winch

Let rope slip round winch and lower boat into water Steer as necessary

Attach winch rope to carabiner on trolley drawbar when steering wheels get to the water edge, and disconnect trolley winch strap

Then continue lowering boat into water with "steerer" using painter to control boat as it floats off

Float boat off trolley and recover trolley by hand or winch.

Disconnect winch rope when trolley is safely clear of the water.

Remove line from winch and store in bucket Store trolley in boat shed.

Recovery (RIBS)

Thread Winch line through rollers as for Launch

Fit Guide rails to trolley

Connect winch rope to trolley and attach carabiner clip on trolley drawbar

Lower trolley by hand or one turn round winch into water up to white line on winch post . Steer as necessary to get trolley near jetty Float boat onto trolley

Use painter to pull boat onto trolley as far as possible using T bar post and make off on bow cleat

Use 3 turns round winch barrel in clockwise direction

Press UP button on winch remote control to recover boat . Stop when jockey wheels out of water to pull boat further onto trolley using Trolley winch

When RIB is out of the water, stop to get water out. Do not forget to put bung back in!

Stop winch when trolley front wheels get to line on slipway or rope goes slightly slack

From this point it will not run backwards towards the water

Disconnect rope remove all guide rails and put boat away.

Store rails in allocated place on boat shed wall

Tidy winch line into bucket for next operation

End of Day

Return remote control to its clip and turn off isolators when all boats recovered.

Store winch rope bucket in Boat house in obvious place. Ensure all engines down, battery isolators OFF and keys and kill cords on rack by door

T40 Inflatable

Launch and Recovery Processes are basically

identical to RIB processes, except mounting point

on trolley is different, and there are no removeable

guide rails

Chapter 11: End of day


Anchor - present and tied on (Not T40)

Paddles and Boat Hook - in correct clips

Tow ropes, Throw rope, Tool kit and first aid kit- in place

Fire extinguisher in place

Safety Knife in place;

Radio returned to Club House


Boat and buoyancy drained and bung replaced

Ignition OFF

Battery Master switch to OFF (K1 and K2 only)

Keys and Kill cords on rack near door

Tilt engine fully down using tilt switch on engine K1 and K2) or tilt lever (T40)

Note:- It is not necessary to turn ignition on to tilt engine.

Chapter 12: Final Checks

Have You

Tilted engine down

Turned the battery isolator switch to OFF (K1 and K2)

Returned the Radio(s) to the charging point

Put the Horn Batteries on charge

Locked roller shutter doors at end of day

Turned all boat house lights off.

Chapter 13: Do's & Don'ts


  • Do check boat and equipment before starting out
  • Do allow engines to warm up before use
  • Do report any issues as they happen
  • Do check the fuel on the safety and committee boats
  • Do turn off the isolator switch on the RIBs at the end of the day
  • Do put boats on the correct trolleys (all are numbered)
  • Do pump up RIB tanks and trolley tyres if needed
  • Do moor up boats correctly using bow and stern lines
  • Do wear suitable clothing for the conditions
  • Do check that you have a working radio
  • Do always wear a life jacket or buoyance aid (Club requirements when on jetty or water)
  • Leave the boat as you would wish to find it.


  • Don't leave empty fuel cans in the boat house. It is a Health and Safety risk and could invalidate our insurance
  • Don't leave outboard engines tilted at the end of the day
  • Don't let the committee boat run out of fuel
  • Don't take equipment off for use on other boats
  • Don't drive the boats onto the trolleys
  • Don't drag the anchor when shifting marks.
  • Don't leave the boats without fuel at the end of the day
  • Don't leave it for someone else to do

Chapter 14: Driver matrix

Chapter 15: Safety boat briefing

This section outlines the responsibilities of the Safety Boat crew and also acts as an aide-memoire for those who do not do their duties very often and need a quick reminder of some of the more important aspects of the training courses. It is not a fully comprehensive summary of our training courses


Check out boat and equipment in line with recommendations

Check you are suitably clothed for the conditions

Check you have a radio and that it works!

Principle responsibilities

People before property

The single most important responsibility is to attend every capsize, this could be at a distance, and count heads and check that the crew is safe and whether they are in need of further assistance

Normally the sailing crew will right their own boat and carry on, however until a safe situation exists, the safety boat crew should monitor the situation

If the Safety Boat crew feels that someone is at risk (injury or hypothermia etc) then they should be prepared to over ride the sailing crew wishes and take the crew to safety. Abandoning a boat is not a risk as it is unlikely to go anywhere. It is possible to contend with multiple issues speedily by leaving the boat to its own devices (it will usually invert and anchor itself with the mast in the mud) and sorting out another issue


Your safety

Safety of crew being rescued

Safety of other crews

Prevention of further damage to this or other boats

Recovery of boats

Note that even when not on duty, club members ashore should keep an eye on water activities and be prepared to assist when necessary

Kill Cord

Wear the Kill cord at all times

Basic manoeuvres

note that these options are for guidance and are not exclusive. Creativity may sometimes be needed to accomplish them safely

Leaving Jetty Windward

RIB - Go off in Reverse or use Big Sideways Push and Go Ahead QUICKLY

Go Bow into jetty to swing transom out, reverse out and go ahead when clear

Pilot - Big Push Sideways and get Way On Before It Blows Back

Go Straight Ahead When Leaving Jetty

Leaving Jetty Leeward

Cast Off and reverse away Before Going Ahead

Cast Off and Drift Down Wind Before Going Ahead

Beware of the Transom when Getting Under Way

Arriving at Jetty

Approach at a Shallow Angle then

Option 1

Reverse Engine and apply Full Opposite Lock to Finally Stop Boat and bring transom In

Option 2

Come in slowly and do not use reverse. Small amount of lock will swing transom in

Moor Fore and Aft

Rescuing/Giving Assistance

People in the Water

Engine should be switched off when getting someone into the boat unless to do so could put the safety boat in danger (e.g. close to lee shore).

Best line of approach is from down wind to allow better speed control against the wind

Recover people either face in to side of boat and lift, or roll them onto the boat

Ladders are fitted to the boats and a tow rope with a loop in it for the casualty to stand in, often works.

One method of many

If in distress

Get to Shore Quickly

Keep Out Of The WIND ( Generated By the Speed of the Boat )

No HOT Drinks or Alcohol

No Artificial Heat

Dinghy rescue

If the crew are OK just standing by may be sufficient.

Approaching a capsized dinghy.

Almost inevitably with modern boats, it will try to invert. This will result with the mast stuck in the mud unless near to Mark 7 where it is deep enough to turn turtle.

If the sailing crew has got the boat level, you can help by pulling the bows of the capsized boat into the wind by pulling on the forestay at the stem head fitting. This will ensure that they come upright into the wind. Keep moving gently into the wind even when the capsized boat is upright as this will keep the boats stable and head to wind

If the mast has got stuck into the mud, you can try a rope around the shroud and pull in line with the mast until the boat comes level and then head to the bow to keep it under control.

Remember that you can help to keep the boat level by moving gently into the wind, as the sails will act as a wing and rise to the surface.

If the crew need s help to get the boat upright from this horizontal position, pull upwards on the forestay.

Remember that you will need to be near to the spreader level to get enough leverage and as the boat comes up you will need to move down the forestay quickly to maintain contact with the boat. Remember that you are likely to get wet and if you don't move your hand position down the forestay quickly, you could take off!

Sometimes you can help the recovery situation by rotating the capsized craft so that it bows are nearly into the wind. You can rotate the boat from either the bows or mast head. Beware inverting the burgee if operating from the mast head. For some reason this annoys the boat owner!



Theoretically you should have in place

Bow Line

Stern Line

2 springs running fore and after to take the loads

Practicality dictates that this ideal option may not be optimal, so select the number of ropes that you need depending on conditions . If winds are light (such as assisting craft home on a windless Tuesday night) holding onto the shrouds may suffice. Ask the helm to push the plate up and steer to follow you

Remember that the engine of the safety boat needs to be astern of the towed boat to give reasonable manoeuvrability when towing. Boats should be "Toed in" if possible


Take tow rope around forestay and then around the mast and get the helm to hold on. DO NOT MAKE FAST ON TO TOWED BOAT.

For OK dinghies it may be necessary to make a bow loop from their painter. If this not practical, use the tow rope only round the mast, BUT BE VERY CAREFUL AS YOU COULD FLIP THE TOWED BOAT

At tow boat end use the bridle to keep the rope clear of the engine. Don't make fast unless absolutely necessary . Ask dinghy helm to push the plate almost up and steer to follow you.

Final thoughts

In addition to hypothermia, Dehydration is a very big risk to dinghy sailors

Signs and symptoms:






pale skin, perhaps masked by exposure to sun and wind

stopping sweating is a sign of serious deterioration

thirst, or lack of thirst, should not be seen as a good sign of condition

Chapter 16: Install and remove Pilot cover

Start with putting centre lift dot fixing which is in line with centre seam of cover onto centre pin on cuddy roof

Fasten all fixings to both sides of cuddy roof

Work along one side and fit the elastic loops to the fasteners on the side of the pilot

Work your way to the transom pulling the cover over the king post and over the transom corner. Then connect as many of the loops across the transom as possible before getting into the RIB

From the RIB complete fitting all remaining fasteners


Removing Cover

Removal of cover is reverse operation. From RIB, take off fixings on one side and one corner. Get into Pilot and work your way round taking fixings off until you get to the cuddy. Roll up cover Take cuddy fixings off Fold cover and take ashore

Last updated 20:52 on 26 November 2023

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