What do you call the rope of a boat?

Here are some interesting questions. Boat rope is a very important element in ships and you come across it everywhere in your boat. Many people don’t know that we don’t use the word rope in the boat, but we refer to it with other words. And it varies according to the type of use. In this article we will look at why the word rope has become a taboo for sailors and what the proper terms are.

According to tradition

From generation to generation, it is a tradition that there is only one ship’s rope on a ship. This is the bell. To this day, ships have only one rope on board? They still respect this custom. It has even become a saying.

According to seafarers’ vocabularies

According to the lexicon of seafarers, each rope has its own name. This individualism is due to the specificity of their respective uses. However, to designate the rope and avoid the word “rope”, the most used generic word is ” bout ” and it is pronounced as “boute”.

To designate heavy ropes, in 1358 the word cordage appears. However, we can use the word rope, if the rope is outside the boat as the following expressions:

  • “Rope fenders” to designate if we use it in fender,
  • “Rope fenders” if used in fender protection, “restraining ropes” if used in cargo loading,
  • “Fleeing with masts and ropes” when we are escaping the wind.

To differentiate each rope in a ship and avoid the word taboo, the maritime lexicon gives various names according to their respective role. So it’s all about the ropes inside the boat itself. Here are some examples:

  • Grelin: for towing
  • Mooring: to keep your position at sea
  • Tie down; to connect the bottom of the net with the safety net
  • Garcette: for mooring equipment
  • Halyard: to attach to a pontoon
  • Sheet: to adjust the angle of a sail
  • Stay line: to connect the top of the mast to the hull
  • Downhaul: to raise and support the boom
  • Topping lift: for manoeuvring adjustments

The word rope and the story of mutineers

In a boat, it is strongly forbidden to say or refer to the rope with this word. However, you can use similar expressions like buttons, manoeuvres. But why is this taboo or even forbidden?

Because seafarers sometimes rely on legends or stories that have marked their lives. One of these beliefs is the time of mutineers, i.e. people who rebelled. They were hanged with ropes. And since that time, this word reminds us of this dark story. And invoke what they were hung with. That is why this word is hardly ever used on board a ship.

How does a boat anchor work?

A boat anchor is a heavy weight that is placed in the seabed to stabilise a vessel. It is made of concrete, steel, stainless steel or aluminium depending on the type of material. It is used when anchoring. But how does an anchor work?

Characteristics of the anchor

Boat anchors come in a variety of forms. You can choose between permanent and temporary anchors. In the first case, they are attached to a dead body such as a buoy. They come in several shapes. The mushroom shape is suitable for a muddy or sandy bottom. They can support weights from 5 kg to several tons. This category is also characterised by screw anchors for fish farms and suction anchors for oil tankers.

As with permanent anchors, the temporary types also depend on the type of bottom in which they will be fixed. These are stowed on board the vessel. This category includes flat anchors, for sandy or soft bottoms, and ploughshare anchors, which are suitable for rocks. The grappling hook is also used in this area, but its use requires great care in relation to the coral.

How to anchor?

This device is used to counter the weight of the boat. The boat anchor is attached to a chain that links it to the vehicle. Anchoring is done in a few steps. Firstly, you need to locate the place where you are going to moor. This is to assess the type of seabed, but also the weather. Ideally, you should anchor in sandy or muddy ground. The tide also determines your mooring. As a general rule, the length of the chain should be three times the height of the sea. The pull of the chain also depends on the strength of the wind. If the wind is strong, you should let go of the chain.

Mooring techniques differ according to these conditions. The first method is to strike a line on the front of theboat anchor. This method makes it easier to pull it up. When the wind increases, the anchor is set with two anchors at the end of the chain. This procedure can also be replaced by the back anchor. In this case, the devices are placed on both ends of the boat. Finally, you can slacken your mooring. This keeps your yacht stable by using two anchors with chains at equal distances.

Successful anchoring

Certain criteria must be respected to ensure the success of the boat anchor. Firstly, the length of the chain must be 3 to 5 times the depth of the water depending on the weather conditions. The diameter varies between 8 mm for a 4.5 tonne boat, 10 mm for those between 4.5 and 12 tonnes, and 12 or 14 mm for larger boats. The traction of the latter must remain horizontal to keep your vehicle stationary. This force increases as the anchor sinks into the ground. In this case, make sure you choose the right type of anchor to use.

How to choose a bilge pump?

A bilge pump is a compulsory device on a boat that allows water to be drained from the interior. Its presence guarantees better safety at sea, especially in the event of water infiltration. Not only can it be used in case of an accident, but it can also discharge stagnant water into the boat during heavy rainfall. What are the different types of bilge pumps? Which bilge pump should you choose for your boat?

What are the different types of bilge pumps?

There are four types of bilge pump:

  • Offset turbine pump: This is a transcendent type designed for installation above the waterline. Its strong point is that it can withstand waste and salt water. This pump is available in 12 and 24 volts. Its bronze body allows for continuous use. It operates with a flow rate of up to 4500 litres per hour.
  • The manual diaphragm pump: As the name suggests, it is operated manually by muscle power. It has a flow rate of between 25 and 100 litres per minute. It must be maintained regularly, as it is too fragile. Generally, the manual diaphragm bilge pump should be accessible from the cockpit.
  • The electric submersible pump: Because of its watertightness, it is designed to be fully submersible. This model operates on 12 and 24 V with a consumption varying between 1.5 and 4 A. To be fully submerged, this type of pump must be placed in the sump or in the lowest part of the boat. It has a flow rate of 1500 to 4950 litres per hour. During the winter season, don’t forget to check the filter to ensure that the pump is working properly. Easy to handle, you have the possibility to handle it automatically by using an automatic switch.
  • The manual siphon pump: compact and light are the great advantages of this type of bilge pump, as it can have access even to small corners. In addition, it does not require regular maintenance. However, the flow rate is quite low compared to other pumps.

Which bilge pump should you choose for your boat?

Here are the criteria to consider before choosing a bilge pump:

The type of bilge pump is the first criterion to consider. If you want to use a manual pump, note that it offers a fairly low flow rate. However, if your choice is for an electric pump, you should consider the flow rate, as this will determine the power of your boat’s battery and the pump’s motor. However, the flow rate must correspond with the length of the boat.

  • For a boat measuring 3.5 to 5 m in length, a bilge pump with a flow rate of about 1900 litres per hour will be the best solution.
  • For a boat between 5 and 7 m in length, a bilge pump with a flow rate of at least 3000 litres per hour is the best choice.
  • For boats longer than 9 m, choose a bilge pump with a large flow rate and which operates on 12 V or 24 V. In addition, you have the possibility to install several bilge pumps in this type of boat. However, it is advisable to place the most powerful pump under the engine or in the sump.

Discharge height and space in the bilge should also be considered when deciding which pump is best suited to your boat. The best idea would be to oversize the pump if your bilge has enough space and can support the electrical installation.

But the brand also plays an important role in the choice of a bilge pump. To ensure the best quality, we advise you to look for models from well-known brands such as Attwood, Rule or Seaflo.

How do you moor a boat to a dead body?

A boat mooring can be done in several ways. This procedure consists of tying the vessel to a fixed point in order to immobilise it in ports. However, when there are a large number of sailors in the area, it is necessary to tie up to a dead body. How do you set up the manoeuvre in this case?

What is a dead body?

A deadweight is a concrete slab or heavy object that lies on the bottom of the water. It is attached to a buoy or trunk by means of a chain to allow boats to attach themselves to it. These are mainly located in secureboat moorings . They allow boaters to use a mooring technique perpendicular to the quay and thus save more space when disembarking.

Theboat mooring areas at a dead body are areas managed by an association. In general, the buoy to which you tie your vessel belongs to you all year round. However, the use of mooring lines and boat hooks is still essential in the manoeuvre.

The different methods of mooring a boat to a dead body

To ensure the success of the procedure, a number of steps are required. Firstly, you must prepare yourself to carry out themooring of the boat. This is the last step in the docking process. Before arriving at the mooring, your equipment must be in good working order. In preparation, you will need a hook. This is used to pull the boat towards the buoy or trunk.

This step helps to prepare the mooring. The deadweight should be close to the bow to get a better field of vision. This allows the captain of the vessel to adjust the speed of the vessel so that the crew can secure the mooring to the trunk. This step requires great care and communication between each member. Once the dead body and the ship are at a suitable distance, the crew can begin the securing. However, the vessel must remain stationary for some time to complete the procedure.

Manoeuvres to reach the dead body

If you are sailing alone, there are two methods you can use. The first is to moor your boat on a buoy facing the wind. In this method, you will have plenty of time to prepare your mooring while the boat floats along with the current. Take a rope from the front of the boat so that it connects to the cockpit from outside the rigging and stanchions. This procedure makes it easier to attach because you will not have to move the cockpit to secure theboat . You can also apply this method in reverse.

The second technique is used when the mooring areas have strong currents and strong winds. In this case, you must anticipate your manoeuvres. This requires prior observation of the boats already attached to the buoys, which is called dunnage. After this study, adjust the speed of your vessel so that you can arrive in neutral near the buoy.

What is the role of a boat flag?

A boat flag is far from being a simple boat accessory. Necessary to mark the nationality of your boat, this equipment plays important roles. This is why it is currently governed by standards and rules. What is a flag? What are its uses? What are its types? Find out everything you need to know about it in this article.

The different types of ship’s flags

Flags are undoubtedly among the most widely used visual signals. Presented in the form of a flag, this accessory exists in multiple types:

The national flag identifies the nationality or status of the vessel. It should be noted that this does not necessarily have the same appearance as a national flag. In the case of France, the national flag and the national flag have some differences. On the national flag, you can see bands with a much more pronounced width.

  • The courtesy flag
  • The “Q” flag
  • The club flag
  • The owner’s flag
  • The guest pavilion
  • The race pavilion
  • Regional flags

In addition to these, there are flags from the “International Code of Signals”, each of which has its own meaning. The choice of flag depends entirely on your needs. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice from an expert in the field to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Equipment for easy identification

The good reason to install a boat flag is to facilitate the identification of your origin. It is a sign of respect for the country you are entering. This is why in some cases its possession is an obligation. It should be noted that there are certain dimensions that must be respected for this accessory. These must be in line with the size of your boat. The choice should therefore not be made in any way.

For the national flag, there are standards and rules to be respected. This accessory is essential:

  • When entering or leaving a port
  • When sailing into port between 8am and 8pm
  • When anchored between 8am and 8pm, without having to go past sunset
  • At sea

A tool to facilitate communication

In addition to facilitating the identification of your vessel, a boat flag is also a good way to communicate. As mentioned above, each model has its own meaning. Some of them even have codes that highlight key words and letters.

Using a ship’s flag gives you the privilege of communicating with other ships, even those that do not speak the same language as you.

In addition to this, a boat flag is also necessary when participating in yacht races. It is a way of indicating that you are ready to race. A flag can be used individually or in combination. As you can see, the boat flags have many advantages. Before embarking, it is necessary to know the meaning of the vast majority of them.

How does a flare work?

Boat flares are pyrotechnic devices that can save lives. However, they are also products that must be handled with care. They can be dangerous to those who use them if they are out of date. They also need to be handled with care. To find out more about how flares work, follow these lines.

How a parachute flare works

There are currently 3 different types of boat flares that are approved:

  • The parachute flare
  • Smoke flare
  • Hand-held lights

The parachute flare is quite easy to use. It is a projectile launcher that will be sent into the air. To signal distress, this type of boat distress light will emit its red light at height. Because of their performance, these lights can be launched up to 300 metres high. The light is fully capable of burning for 40 seconds.

It is also important to know that the parachute flare can be seen from about 25 miles away. You must handle this pyrotechnic product with care. To do this, start by stepping back while keeping your arm more flexed over the water. Try to find a stable position. You can use this device during the day and at night.

The smoke bomb

There is also the smoke bomb which is known for its orange-red smoke. This product is quite capable of burning for about 3 minutes. Unlike the other types of boat flares, smoke flares can only be used during the day. The smoke will not be visible at night.

To use it, it must be struck over the water and downwind. Originally, this pyrotechnic device was used to inform the air rescue services about the strength of the wind and the state of the sea.

Hand-held fires

Hand-held lights are also one of the most commonly used boat distress lights. If you want to go coastal sailing, you should have these products on your boat. The hand-held light has a red flame at the end of the flare. This product allows the user to be visible to emergency services that are already alerted and approaching your boat.

A hand-held flare is capable of emitting light for approximately 1 minute. It has a visibility of 3 to 5 nautical miles. When using it, you have to be careful with small splashes. For this reason you should wear gloves to avoid burns. You should also avoid looking at the flame for too long to avoid burning the retina.

Some precautions to take into account

These boat flares must be handled with care. To avoid burns, it is recommended that you always wear gloves before each use. Avoid pointing your flare at other people. When setting off your flare, avoid looking at the flame.

After using your flare, it is important to immerse it in water and then you can store it on board. Before storing your products in your boat, always try to check if they are not out of date. Pyrotechnic devices must respect the expiry dates.

How is a circuit breaker connected? Where to install a circuit breaker?

Having a battery isolator is essential for safe sailing. It is the equipment that allows you to completely cut off the boat’s power supply in case of a problem. To ensure that this accessory can perform its role properly installed. Here is how to connect it correctly to the right place.

Things to consider before installing a circuit breaker

A circuit breaker is the accessory that gives you the privilege of switching on and off the electrical circuit on board. It is the equipment that avoids the risk of fire and electrocution.

Before starting the installation of your boat circuit breaker, it is of great importance to respect certain points. Depending on the model, there are two types of installation: flush-mounted and surface-mounted. The method of installation obviously depends on the type of your boat.

You should also be aware that a battery isolator must be fitted between the battery and the electrical panel. This is why it is of great importance to size the cable section and the lugs before any connection. For the proper functioning of your accessory, it is of great necessity to always choose good quality connection elements. Lugs and cables must comply with current standards. Finally, it is always wise to check the technical characteristics of the model.

The connection method for a boat circuit breaker

There is nothing complicated about connectinga boat battery switch . However, you must have a minimum of electrical knowledge. All you need is 2 cables and a 5A fuse. This equipment is then connected to the B- and B+ terminals of the alternator.

Some boats have alternators with separate regulators. In this case you can connect directly to the circuit breaker. For this procedure, the intervention of a specialist in the field is necessary. Also, during installation, the cables must be pulled carefully and securely so that no voltage is applied to the terminals.

According to DIN EN ISO 10133, this safety accessory must be connected to the + line of the boat’s electrical system.

The right place to install a fuse

In order fora battery isolator to perform its function correctly, it is of great importance to place it in the right place. It is important to know that this equipment should be placed as close as possible to the battery. Also, it is preferable to install it in a place within easy reach. This will ensure that it is easy to manipulate this accessory in case of a problem. Indeed, this safety equipment must be perfectly visible and accessible so that it can be activated at the right moment.

The way a boat fuse is connected can differ from one model to another. It is therefore advisable to always refer to the installation instructions. This will ensure that it is installed correctly.

What are the advantages of a solar panel?

You are planning to use a solar panel on your boat. You should know that this is a very efficient solution if you want to be autonomous in energy. As all professionals know, electrical energy is absolutely essential for a sailor’s equipment. In order to save energy, we recommend that you use a solar panel.

To meet your boat’s energy needs

This is the main advantage of a solar panel for boats. Indeed, this installation is fully capable of helping you to meet all the energy needs you will need on your boat. In fact, solar panels can be used as backup generators to run all the appliances on your boat. This provides an opportunity to save money on your main generator.

If you convert the solar energy into direct current and then into alternating current, you will have the chance to benefit from an efficient output for the operation of your boat. Also important because of the way it works, a photovoltaic solar panel is able to store the solar energy produced by the sun during the day. You can then use this energy later if there is no solar energy.

Other benefits

It is also important to know that the solar panels are able to keep the batteries charged while the boat is docked. Even if this period lasts a long time. This makes it the perfect solution during the winter. This solution will also prevent you from setting sail again with depleted batteries. The installation of a solar panel on a boat also offers you an opportunity to regulate your batteries.

Indeed, these installations are connected to a regulator that can detect low battery charges. If the batteries reach the set voltage threshold, the regulator switches on the charge. This gives you the opportunity to enjoy your appliances and batteries at any time. It is also important to note that solar panels are suitable for all types of boats:

  • Large cruising catamarans
  • Small sailing boats
  • Speedboats
  • Cabin cruisers
  • Etc.

The different models of solar panels for boats

In order to enjoy the benefits of your boat solar panel, we recommend that you choose the model that best suits your needs. When purchasing, take into consideration the efficiency and technology of your panel. By choosing polycrystalline solar panels, you will have the chance to benefit from an efficiency of between 12 and 14%.

These are very common. In addition, they are available at affordable prices. You can also opt for monocrystalline solar panels. This model offers an efficiency of 13-15%. These panels are considered to be the most desirable. This is due to their efficiency. In addition, they offer a good price/quality ratio. There are also amorphous solar panels. These models offer a low efficiency of 6-7%.

Which anode to choose for your boat?

Every boat has one or more anodes that must be changed regularly. This accessory protects metal parts such as the engine base, propeller, keel, daggerboard, hull, stern or spur gear against the harmful effects of corrosion. But how do you choose an anode?

What material should I choose for my anodes?

To choose the best anode, make sure that the material it is made of is suitable for the aquatic world. In addition, it must meet the mandatory purity standards. Indeed, the anode alloy must have a minimum purity of 99%. In addition, the iron content must not exceed 0.0014% to be more effective. If your boat’s hull is made of aluminium, magnesium (Hydral) anodes would be perfect.

What shape of anode should I choose?

There are many shapes of anodes to suit the metal parts of the boat to be protected. For a rudder, for example, a rose-shaped anode is usually chosen. For subbases and motors, washers, plates or carpets are often used.

Which anode model should be chosen for each environment?

You should choose anode materials according to the quality of the water you and your boat are sailing in. Regardless of the hull material of your boat (steel, aluminium or polyester), aluminium/zinc anodes are very effective. This option is perfect if you often sail in sea and brackish water.

If your vessel with a polyester or steel hull usually travels in clean fresh water, aluminium/magnesium anodes are the best choice. If your boat has an alloy hull, choose aluminium anodes. The same applies to movement in polluted fresh water.

Some tips for using anodes

Once you have chosen your anodes, there are a few things to remember.

  • Never paint your anodes with antifouling,
  • remember to maintain your anodes regularly. They should be brushed at anchor,
  • Vessels with wooden hulls should not be fitted with magnesium anodes to avoid damage to the ribs.

Other information to remember

Anodes are designed to be damaged first to protect the metal parts of the boat. These accessories disintegrate over time. If your anode is not deteriorating, it is obviously not properly installed. However, if it degrades too quickly, a piece of equipment may be acting as an anode in its place or there may be some electrical leakage.

However, it is not easy to determine normal wear and tear, as it varies according to the type of boat and its environment. It is therefore a good idea to replace your anode at every refit if you notice any particular wear. You should know that an anode should be replaced if it has lost 75% of its mass. To ensure the repair or maintenance of your anodes, call on an expert.

Which Epirb beacon to choose?

According to the law, the use of an emergency beacon on a boat is mandatory during navigation. This is indeed the case for the EPIRD type. As this equipment ensures your safety, it is of great importance that it is of good quality. However, there are many different types of EPIRD, which makes it difficult to choose. In order to help you, here is how to choose your EPIRB.

Understanding how an EPIRB works

In order to choose an EPIRB beacon, it is essential to know how it works. You should know that it is a piece of equipment that emits an alert in the event of a shipwreck. Also known as a boat beacon, it is placed in a stand or container. It is specific to a boat, hence the presence of the boat’s MMSI number on its hull.

When in contact with water, this beacon automatically starts sending a signal to a COPAS-SARSAT satellite network. The signal is a 406 MHz wave. For an EPIRB equipped with GPS, it is easy to find the position quickly. If the beacon does not have a GPS function, many satellites must take care of positioning the location so that the signal can be sent to earth quickly. The beacon’s MMSI number makes it easy for rescue workers to start the rescue operation.

Criteria to take into account when choosing a beacon

As you will have understood, an EPIRB beacon is essential safety equipment during navigation. This is why it is important to ensure its good quality before choosing it. Here are the criteria to consider before buying your beacon.


To be sure of being rescued at the right time, it is important to take into account the beacon‘s autonomy. This is the time required for the beacon to send the signal. Choose a model with a long autonomy.

The activation principle

To be able to send an alert signal to the rescuers, an EPIRB has 2 types of release systems. Some models are automatically activated when a container is submerged. Others, however, are manual and require the intervention of on-board personnel. Both types perform well. The choice between these two types depends on the comfort of use you want.

The size of the beacon

The EPIRB is available on the market in many sizes. A compact size does not take up much space and looks good. If you are having trouble finding the right size beacon for your boat, it is strongly recommended that you seek the advice of an expert in the field.

The technology used

Some advanced models benefit from AIS technology which contributes to their performance. This innovation makes it easy for emergency services to help you in the event of an accident.

Battery life

To ensure the reliability of the beacon at all times, it is of great importance to replace the battery regularly. In order to save money, it is advisable to use batteries with a long service life.