Essential skills

  • Lights for boating
    A really helpful guide from the RYA to the lights carried by vessels can be found here:
  • Cold Shock
    Cold water shock is caused when you enter water below around 15 degrees, especially unexpectedly. The cold water can lead to gasping, hyperventilation and being really difficult to swim. There are some things that we can do to help manage it. The RYA, RNLI, RLSS and Professor Mike Tipton have some good advice
  • Sheepshank
    The sheepshank can be used to shorten a rope, or to take the strain off of a damaged section. It needs to be kept under tension and is often described as unreliable. This is because if the knot isn’t kept taunt, it can undo. Instructions for how to tie a Sheepshank can be found here:[…]
  • Timber Hitch
    he Timber Hitch is useful when towing a spar or log either afloat or on land. When used for this purpose, the Timber Hitch is often placed near the centre of the spar and a separate Half Hitch is dropped over the end of the spar to act as a guide Instructions for how to tie[…]
  • Cleat Hitch
    Attaching a boat to a cleat using “OXO” or a cleat hitch is an absolute core skills. Knots should be simple to tie, secure and able to be released when needed.
  • Overhand Knot
    The overhand knot is the simplest knot and-art of many others. It can also be used as a simple stopper knot. Instructions for how to tie an Overhand Knot can be found here:
  • Water Safety Training
    We have access to online water safety training through the RLSS. This can be found here: It’s a 4 part series which works through some hard hitting and really useful content around water safety, why it’s important and important skills and techniques. You will need to register for free with the RLSS, and then[…]
  • Throwlines
    Throw lines are a really important bit of safety equipment. They can be stored easily without the rope getting tangled and be ready for use. Most Ajax and Warspite throw lines are between 15m & 20m There is a really good article here with hints and tips:  The RNLI’s guide of how to use[…]
  • Round Turn & 2 Half Hitches
    This knot is the main one we use for tying up boats. The round turn takes the load and the 2 half hitches hold it securely. The names gives the way we tie it: A Round Turn followed by a half hitch and then another half hitch. Instructions for the Round Turn & 2 Half[…]
  • Sheet Bend
    The name of this note refers to the “sheets” on a sailing boat; which are the ropes which control the sails; from square riggers to racing dinghies. The knot is used to join two ropes together to lengthen them. instructions for how to tie a sheet bend: Looking for a more secure alternative? Try[…]
  • Clove Hitch
    The clove hitch is an important knot, forming the start of pioneering lashings, hanging fenders and attaching lines. It can also be used to tie off boats to bollards. Instructions for how to tie a clove hitch can be found here:
  • Bowline
    The Bowline is an incredibly useful knot. It provides a loop which won’t slip. This is used in a variety of settings, from mooring to attaching sheets to sails. Instructions for the Bowline can be found here: Looking for a way to create two loops? Take a look at Bowline on a Bight.
  • Rolling Hitch
    This hitch allows you to take the strain sideways. Its useful for setting up boat tows and relieving the strain on a rope. Instructions for the Rolling Hitch can be found here: