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Monthly Archives: September 2016

  • 132. Top Tips Tuesday - Magnetic Pull?

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    Strange that whenever on a non sailing holiday I seem to be inexplicably drawn towards the nearest boatyard, maybe looking for the abandoned boat that could be my next project? The other day, meandering through the yard at Gouvia marina, I came across a mast from a super yacht. It was fitted with four sets of enormous spreaders, each pair had built in LED spots to illuminate both the deck and the spar. As well as the ability to illuminate the complete mast it was fitted with all the bells and whistles one would need on such a big boat including these three halyard locks for the main, genoa and staysail, which, when engaged, would transfer the running rigging loads and free the large Harken winch on the mast for other duties. Perched on the top of the spar was the remains of a badly damaged Windex. To see it from the deck I think one would have needed superb eyesight or a bloody good pair of binoculars such as the Bynolyt Searanger II. Seeing these large locks brought back happy memories as the last time I played with or even used a halyard lock in anger was many many years ago on one of my International 14'S. Early twin trapeze days saw many a mast fall down, a very steep learning curve! Fortunately I was wearing my Gill bi-focal sunglasses so when I wanted to examine these super yacht locks in more detail the glasses were more than up to the job. Since Gill introduced these to the market some three years ago they have been the first bit of kit I pack when off seeking sun.

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    Casual chic has never been my forte so my 'on hols' day time dress is usually a twenty five year old tee shirt and a pair of Musto fast dry shorts, they are at least ten years old! Earlier this season I did think the shorts were on their way out as they had started to fall apart, fortunately Tear-Aid (which I wrote about in a blog the other week) came to the rescue and despite being hand washed three times these last two weeks, Tear-Aid is living up to its name with no sign of failing to hold this flimsy fabric together! Tear-Aid will be the second bit of kit I pack in the future, it has so many uses: repairing all sail fabrics from spinnaker cloth to high tech laminates, foulies, spray hood windows, inflatable dinghies, naming but a few.

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  • 131. Top Tips Tuesday - Don't Believe All You Read

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    My Tuesday Top Tip for this week (we're now on our Greek fact finding mission) is that one should not always believe what you read. Perhaps I should have got out and checked the parking first at the apartment we were staying at in Anthoussa before following the signs. Having driven through the 'tunnel'  and down the steep slope to the parking area I was then told to come back up and not to park there! Fortunately I didn't scratch the car as there was at least 3cm clearance on the corners, however, I now have two almost bald tyres because to get back up the slope we needed plenty of power thus loads of wheel spin and black smoke. Jeremy Clarkson would have been proud of my wheelie!

    There is no mention of this torturous route in the Greek Waters Pilot we have brought along with us as bedtime reading matter. It's an excellent read and unlike the parking sign it has my utmost confidence!

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  • 130. Top Tips Tuesday - Be Prepared With Boarding Ring Anti Motion Sickness Glasses

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    It's only three years late but she floats and there is, of course, loads more to do. However it's no more boat building for the next couple of weeks. In the anticipation that next year Hindsight will be berthed for at least some of the season in Gouvia marina Corfu, we the Storrar family are 'doing' a dummy recce. This Wednesday evening sees us taking the overnight ferry from Newcastle to Ijmuiden Holland, we then drive through Germany, Switzerland and then half way down the leg of Italy, we take the overnight ferry from Ancona disembarking next day at Igoumenitsa. Job almost done as Corfu is then just a short ferry crossing. Why drive you may wonder? Well Millie, the Lurcher (collie/whippet), will be coming with us and she doesn't like flying! It's probably my skill (or lack of it) that makes Jenny rather prone to seasickness when sailing on the North East coast, likewise my driving can surprisingly make her car sick, fortunately however, when we sold our last boat she brought her trusty Anti Motion Sickness Glasses back with her. An excellent product for those of you that suffer from any form of motion sickness and I can vouch for its effectiveness during a fairly lumpy North Sea crossing a couple of years ago. No great surprise I did today notice her Boarding Ring Glasses sitting next to a growing pile of holiday clothing.

    Ps, Boarding Ring Glasses are also available in a children's size.

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  • How to replace a deck hatch

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  • 129. Top Tips Tuesday - What Goes Up Should Come Down (in a controlled manner)

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    When I was a boy and that was a long time ago, our first family boat was a Yachting World Heron dinghy called Lollipop. Why Lollipop? Cos it takes a lot of lickin and yes we did win a couple of handicap races! Colour of the dinghy was, of course, red topsides and a white bottom! Every winter when she was ‘laid’ up, one of my jobs was to remove the forestay and shrouds from the mast and with them being manufactured in galvanised wire, coat them in lanolin. The beauty of galvanised wire is that its ‘appearance and handle’ tells you when its passed its sell by date, ie rusty and stiff! The problem of course with stainless rigging is that its still looks shiny after 15 or more years and if its about to fail gives you no warning! Ask around the yacht club bar or a marina and its regarded as a grey area, however, if you read the MECAL technical notes ( page 1 & page 2) they state, and I quote, ‘generally insurers are nervous of rigs that are more than 10-12 years old.’ This refers to a standard production GRP sailing yacht with aluminium masts and stainless rigging.

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    If you haven’t had your mast lifted out since she was in your ownership perhaps this winter is the time to do so. Once she is on the ground, not only can you go over the mast, fittings, pulleys etc with a fine tooth comb, you can also check out the electrical cables where they enter and exit the mast for signs of chafe and UV damage, check halyards for chafe and, why not at least consider changing the mast head navigation bulbs to LED or go the whole hog and fit a new unit if the lens is suffering from UV damage. As for the standing rigging, if you do not know the age of the rigging (you have bought second hand some years ago) it may be considered negligent by an insurance company or assessor if, heaven forbid, you had a rig failure.

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    Keeping a record of all your boat maintenance is essential for your peace of mind and ease of giving an accurate reply to queries posed by insurance companies, boatyard or just the odd job man who is doing a guvy job antifouling her, if you know the make of antifouling used last time there is no need to use a barrier coat of Primocon or the like. The Weems & Plath maintenance logbook is, I think, an excellent way of keeping track of all this.

  • MECAL Technical Notes

    MECAL TECHNICAL NOTE MTN 25-2 - page 1

    MECAL TECHNICAL NOTE MTN 25-2 - page 2

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