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Monthly Archives: July 2017

  • 169. Top Tips Tuesday - Ten Top Tips To Prevent A Man Overboard

    SP_deckharn

    Schools have broken up and your summer cruise is looming. However, have you worked out the 10 best ways to prevent man overboard? Consider this quote from the Essentials of Sea Survival, F Golden & M. Tipton 2002 'There are no circumstances when you are better off in the water than out of it'. Food for thought, certainly made me think when I first switched from dinghies to bigger boats.

    My thanks must go to the guys at Spinlock for allowing me to reproduce their thoughts on preventing a man overboard however I must confess that I have ‘strayed’ from point no 4 out in Greece when sailing or motoring in predominately light winds around the Greek Isles. Instead of wearing our trusty Spinlock 5D Deckvest Lifejacket & Harness Jenny and your scribe have opted instead for a couple of Spinlock Deck Pro Harness. Lightweight and easy to wear when the going gets hot. The only complaint that Jen has? Her suntan is not that even!

    Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 11.14.20

  • 168. Top Tips Tuesday - Stormy Weather, StormBag

    STORM-BAG-compact

    One of the first storm jibs that we ever made (after Alan Bax and I left Musto & Hyde sailmakers) was back in the mid seventies. It was destined for a rather pretty Harrison Butler and was, of course, a hank-on sail; needless to say the owner never used it in anger for some considerable time! On Hindsight, our Mystery 35, on our delivery trip from Marseille to Corfu we carried a storm jib in the guise of a STORM-BAG and guess what, little wind for the six days and what little there was on the nose so no need to use it however if we hadn’t carried one no doubt we would have needed it.  The storm jib we fitted to Dshigit (the Mystery 35 that I first fell in love with and set Jenny and I down the self build route) was a conventional hank-on storm sail. But why didn't we, seven years later, go down the storm sail route? Apart from the lack of performance  ie once you start rolling or furling your Genoa  that vital ability to claw to windward disappears rapidly and I am not talking about a few degrees! If you go down what I consider to be the old fashioned route... the 'inner forestay with a hank on storm sail scenario' yes you get a better windward performance than that from a furled Genoa. However compared to a STORM-BAG the cost implication of fitting an inner forestay which includes modifying the mast, strengthening the deck etc to ensure a strong anchorage plus some method of tensioning the new inner forestay will probably set you back  £1500-00 at least for your average 35 footer plus of course there is the cost of the sail. Over that shock? Consider the weight and windage of the inner forestay and the tensioner (over centre lever) the stowing of the forestay and then there is the safety aspect. There is at least a 1/2 hour out on the foredeck possibly in horrendous conditions away from the safety of the cockpit... it is a 'trip' forward to rig the forestay and tension it, back to the cockpit to collect the jib and then there is the hanking on (one hand for the sail, one for the boat?) of the sail, sheets to be transferred (rolled genoa secured) and then led aft and then that jib is hoisted behind a bulky furled genoa which is in itself creating turbulence. Why didn’t we go down the Storm Bag route for Dshigit? Sadly they didn't exist back then!

    Fitting the StormBag

    The STORM-BAG storm sail was designed as a safe, efficient but economical way of flying a storm sail from a furled genoa, safe in so much as minimum time on the foredeck, no chance of furled genoa coming loose, efficient - no turbulence as set on the furled genoa and with a blunt leading edge so much easier to keep the sail drawing in confused seas, less weight and windage at all times. Economical as no deck or mast mods needed, no inner forestay required nor tensioning device, jib sheets are self contained. Plus and its a big one, your existing genoa will maintain its designed shape longer as its not being used in strong winds! The STORM-BAG is available in five different sizes suitable for boats 20 to 60 feet long (custom models are possible upon request) it comes complete fully equipped with sheets, tack strop, snap shackles; its very compact and takes up very little space on a yacht. With today's weather being so unpredictable who knows when you might need one!

  • 167. Top Tips Tuesday - Get A Grip!

    167. Top Tips Tuesday - Get A Grip

    In last week’s blog (or ramblings of a simple sailor as Jenny calls them when she is correcting my spelling and grammar at midnight) I waxed lyrically about Josephine, the very pretty and immaculate 37 footer that was moored alongside us in Mandraki ‘marina’ Corfu. As well as doing a superb job of varnishing with Epifanes, incidentally my favourite make of varnish, Adonis was applying International’s Interdeck non slip deck paint on the coach roof. Its an excellent low textured non slip paint that I have been using and recommending for more years that I care to remember. Many of the dinghies constructed of wood that I fitted out for customers and raced over the years such as International 14’s, Enterprises, Flying fifteens etc got the Interdeck treatment on the ‘floor’. The other benefit of using a coloured non slip is that it brings to life the varnish work by way of a contrast. Brent, the owner of Josephine's choice of colour was cream for the coach roof, however, there are four other colours to chose from. If their colour palette is not to your liking Hempel have a range of five colours including a Navy (not reccomended for the Med I hasten to add).

    Kiwi Grip Deck Coating Application

    As the construction of racing dinghies evolved and we were fitting out GRP boats and latterly ones constructed using epoxy resins, for surfaces that we wanted to be non slip we used instead of an ‘off the shelf’ paint a mixture of epoxy, base colour and colloidal silica rolled on using in those days what was an Artex roller. In certain classes, like the high performance twin trapeze International 14, a very aggressive non slip surface is called for by helm and crew and by varying the mixture this could be achieved. We all, however, want an excellent nonslip, but for most of us ‘amateurs’ the thought of mixing epoxy, then colour and an additive is a no no. KiwiGrip which is a non-skid deck system fits the bill and a big plus (apart from no measuring/mixing required) is that if you have in the past replaced fittings, moved them or whatever KiwiGrip can hide a multitude of sins. KiwiGrip is a single pack, water based acrylic coating for racing and cruising yachts, it can be applied directly over a wide variety of surfaces with MINIMUM of preparation, The level of grip can be varied according to preference using the supplied textured roller, however for seating areas a smoother texture can be achieved using a sponge roller.

    Customer testimonial:

    Hi, Please find a few photos (above) of work on our Enlish narrow boat lying on the Canal de Deux Mers in the S of France. Kiwi Grip was bought at marinechandlery. Had to be careful re temperature and rain! But all worked well and successfully covered some ‘irregularities’ ! Best wishes, Mike

    The New Lizard Sailing Boot - Waterproof, Breathable, Excellent Vibram Soles, Inner lacing system for ultimate stability

    Incidentally, blogging about getting a good grip reminded me that boss man Andy Burgess who races sports boats (spends most of his time wrestling with a spinnaker pole on the foredeck) has been, over the last few months, using a pair of the new Lizard waterproof, breathable and light weight boots and is raving about them! They are of a rugged but lightweight design and apart from being breathable, they offer excellent traction over a wide variety of surfaces and are priced at only £189-95!

    Product report in Classic Boat Magazine:

    'It's difficult to be sure, but we may have never worn a better boot.  Totally Waterproof but breathable with sticky Vibram soles, adjustable (so you can wear thin or thick socks) and extremely lightweight, these Lizard Sailing Boots would absolutely make Christmas for a lucky someone.  There's a clever tightening system in the form of an interior drawstring that pulls everything in yet leaves the ankle with 360 degree of rotation.  Our tester, once he'd sailed in them, wore them round the house for days afterwards, simply because he liked them so much.'

  • 166. Top Tips Tuesday - Now Is The Time, Go For It!

    Josephine, the very pretty and immaculate 37 footer that was moored alongside us in Mandraki ‘marina’

    The other week we were fortunate enough to end up moored alongside this rather pretty yacht in Mandraki harbour, Corfu. According to Brent, her American owner, she was built in the UK in 1956 at a boatyard owned by Percy M See in Fareham Hampshire and this 37 footer was constructed of mahogany on oak frames. Being a nosy so-and-so I did notice the chap, who was working from a rubber dinghy alongside and varnishing the gunwhales, was using my favourite make of varnish. Later, speaking to Adonis the Greek guy (or 'god' of varnishing) who looks after the yacht in the owner's absence and was applying the finishing touches, he told me that in his opinion, Epifanes is the only make that stands up to the ravages of the Mediterranean sun. With its double U.V. filter and its low V.O.C/high solid formulation it makes for an extremely flexible finish that will not crack on wood under stress (ideal for older boats where there is a bit of movement!) Josephine is a credit to Adonis' skill in the preparation and application of the varnish and looks a million dollars. If you have put off your varnishing earlier this year through a lack of time or poor conditions now is the time to go for it!

    Varnish work onboard Hindsight using my favourite Epifanes

    Hindsight, our Mystery 35, has no exterior varnish work however all the interior woodwork including the cabin sole has been varnished by Jenny and I with Epifanes two pack polyurethane. Likewise the  bulkheads and heads compartment glass work with their two pack paint. Why did we use two pack as against one pack? Hopefully no movement of joints and, as Millie the dog will be onboard when we next go out in early September, we wanted a bullet proof scratch resistant coating! Incidentally we didn't want a high gloss finish (better to hide my brush marks) and used their satin finish. For the painted bulkheads and glassfibre surfaces in the heads we added International's Perfection matting additive to take away the gloss.

    Nellie Dean mid repaint

    Andy Laurence (our website guru) who purchased an Alan Hill designed Cutlass 27 just over a year ago, waited until the start of this summer before tackling his hull repaint job. Last week he just finished painting Nellie Dean* with Epifanes Nautiforte before the weather turned. If he had been able to get his yacht 'indoors' no doubt his choice of paint would have been Epifanes two pack however as he was subject to the vagaries of the North East climate and wanted to go for white he chose Epifanes Nautiforte. It's a one pack formulation, high gloss with a rapid film drying with exceptional flowing properties. It's non yellowing with excellent colour stability and a long lasting gloss. Andy's preparation on a tired looking hull, rub down with 240 wet and dry, followed by a coat of Epifanes Multi Marine primer, rub down and then the top coat, both coats applied with a four inch foam roller. Some folks tip off with a dry brush, Andy didn't and is delighted with the result as the image shows! His next step the PSP Coveline stripe on the topsides molding.

    Nellie Dean port side after repaint

    *Nellie Dean was NOT Andy's choice of name but being a superstitious old sea dog he decided to live with the name! Google Nellie Dean and you will find out that it was a popular ballad sung during the first world war.

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