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Monthly Archives: September 2017

  • 178. Top Tips Tuesday - More Of Our best Top Tips

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    With the laying up season drawing ever closer, already underway in the far North, I thought it would be worth reminding avid readers that if you want to keep a eye on your boatyard or marina electricity consumption over the winter months, maybe concerned that your near neighbour is 'borrowing' your supply or that you may be being charged for more than you are consuming why not consider purchasing a Metermaid as first blogged about in 'Check Your Winter Consumption'.

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    An excellent product that we started stocking this year after a thorough evaluation by our own staff and yours truly was the Tercoo rotary flexible stripper. We very quickly found it was a great time saver when our staff were tasked with refurbishing the cast iron keels on what had been a sadly neglected twin bilge keel Hunter. Incidentally I blogged about this superb product back in March ('Better late than never') after I used It on a rusty race boat keel and found it cut down our preparation time dramatically. On the strength of my recommendation we then sold a couple to a skipper who is stripping off all the underwater coatings from his steel 40 footer, his thoughts if I remember on the Tercoo was, "a brilliant bit of kit, almost makes it a joy to be removing rust and the various coatings applied by the previous owner!"

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    Speaking of time savers and underwater surface preparation, when we lifted Hindsight earlier this year to carry on epoxying the hull, we needed to coat the surfaces hidden by the cradle supports. Even though the boatyard who lifted her did an excellent job of washing her down we found that Starbrite Boat Bottom Cleaner made light work of removing the fouling that the marina wasn't able to. Read my blog 'Saved My Bacon' for more revelations on how good this product is! Incidentally it's also great for removing fouling from stainless steel prop shafts and of course propellers, assuming they have not been anti fouled.

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    Y10 is one of those products we sell bucket loads of even though it comes in a tub containing 300gms of this amazing product, it's great for removing rust stains from glass fibre (see images before and after taken on Hindsight as we enjoyed a leisurely lunch at anchor) Y10 is brilliant for removing the brown waterline stains that often appears on older boats, see my blog 'Before & After'

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    PS. Don't miss next weeks much longer article on laying up, it's full of excellent advice and written by the guys at www.marinechandlery.com; sailors with over 175 years of combined experience.

  • 177. Top Tips Tuesday - Much More Than A Yacht Chandler

    As chandlers, sail-makers, marine engineers and of course online retailers of all marine related products, even after a lifetime in the marine trade it never ceases to amaze me how various marine products we retail and our sailmaking sewing skills end up on all sorts of projects not necessarily marine related, for instance over 500 Whale foot pumps for use in military vehicles.

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    Zingaspray, a nice order for over 200 cans destined for the RAF. Our Liros ropes have helped keep a well known Sunderland based motor manufacturer rolling along and only the other week we supplied almost a thousand mtrs of 8mm solid Dyneema for the local windfarm.

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    In our sail loft, apart for the sails, covers and canopies we have manufactured roof blinds for cricket club indoor practice ‘ranges’, spinnaker nylon drogues for a company that inspects water pipes, mesh reflective covers that keep baby lobsters cool in the summer and every year we laser cut, print and sew over a thousand airbag components for a well known British sports-car manufacturer. Many, many years ago we manufactured a positive pressure cover for when the engineers were topping out the nuclear reactor at Hartlepool power station. They say variety is the spice of life so let’s not forget the sling shot pouches destined for Saudi Arabia.

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    Apart from all the yachts we re-rig (we would love to be given the opportunity to quote for your replacement rigging) our stainless wires hang sculptures in schools and colleges, all sorts of boats in various roofs and even planes, bikes and cars, and of course are used in all sorts of other applications like, brick blast retainers when the boffins are photographing at very high speed the way an explosive charge dissipates! Our stainless wires (balustrading) are used on various projects including over 3000 Mtrs of 8mm stainless wire and 400 Tensioners on the walkway of the Historic Royal Borders Bridge.

    One product that we get asked a lot for and we sell to both the retail and commercial market is Rydlyme. Only yesterday we supplied 100 litres to engineers working on a BT site in the Midlands. They were servicing some stand-by generators and wanted to make sure the cooling channels on the diesel engines were free from calcium, lime, rust and other mineral deposits. So, skippers, if your engine has been running a little warmer than normal and you are satisfied that the impeller is in tip top condition why not, this coming autumn, treat your engine, be it inboard or outboard, to a dose of the Rydlyme medicine? Even If your engine is just a few years old and running sweet as a nut and cool as a cucumber it would be worth adding a dose of Rydlyme to your engine servicing jobs list. As they say, prevention is better than cure. Please note that Rydlyme Marine is non–corrosive, but the application of this product may expose pre-existing under deposit corrosion (pitting, holes or similar damage) that can result in leaks in pipes, equipment or systems.

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    Speaking of deposits, and in this case rather smelly ones, perhaps now is the time to consider adding or treating your heads and the associated pipe work to a dose of LeeSan Leescale. Having spent many a happy hour ‘hammering’ the toilet outlet pipe (after removing it) to break up the lime scale, prevention is definitely better than cure!

  • 176. Top Tips Tuesday - When Waiting For Weather

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    Yesterday, sheltering below deck on board Hindsight in Mandraki harbour, which is just under Corfu town fort, and listening to the rain beating down with a 'little' lightning and obviously thunder got me thinking, has the weather broken yet in the UK, has Autumn arrived? Youngest daughter then WhatsApp'ed Jenny and I, saying there was no sign of her baby coming yet and then started complaining about the poor weather back in the UK. Next minute boss man Andy texted, weather is c..p here; no doubt you are enjoying fabulous sunshine and how about letting me have next week's blog on time for once so I can correct all your spelling, grammar and punctuation as I am short staffed on Monday/Tues! Having spent Sunday morning slowly working through the list of to do items (only thirty three still to do) and failing miserably it got me thinking about what has been our four most popular autumn Tuesday Top Tips over the last few years?

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    Number one without a doubt has been Wet & Forget, this superb product was first featured on my blog 'Flying off the Shelves' in December 2013. Spray your decks, canvas work or anything that turns green through lack of sunshine in the autumn or winter with a diluted solution of Wet & Forget and it won't! PS. It doesn't need any hard work; you wet the surface you want to protect and that's it.

    be2c1652-55fc-46ec-b1ec-1f2082dc05b5Second on my list is Freezeban. See My Top Tips Tuesday blog 'Lay Up For Winter' in which I advised that this non toxic antifreeze is an excellent safe product for protecting water pressure systems and calorifiers. Regular repeat orders would certainly confirm this, however beware last year our supplier 'ran dry' so don't leave it too late.

    As for my third TTT that was my blog on 'Winterising Your Marine Engine'. Don't forget that even though it's considered standard practice to fill your fuel tanks up to the brim help prevent condensation and of course the possibility of contracting the dreaded diesel bug, (especially  now they add a small measure of Biofuel to the diesel) Grotamar82 is the perfect product to help keep your fuel healthy 365 days of the year and your filters clear.

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    Tested out on my backside when we sailed Hindsight down from Marseille to Corfu, was an excellent product called Tear Aid which we import from Holland. The week before the delivery  trip I managed to tear the backside on my 'past their sell by date' mid-layer salopettes. Our supplier had none in stock surprise surprise when I ordered them so it was make do and mend. Over a thousand miles later my backside was still dry, the patches showing no sign of letting go so I have cancelled the order and will carry on with old faithful. Tear Aid which I blogged about in blog 'Wonder product' in August 2016, does what it says it will do. It repairs all sorts of hard to stick to materials, it's brilliant on acrylic canvas, so if you are leaving your canvas work on this winter to protect your bright work and it's looking a little thin on say a stress point, Tear Aid is more than up to it! Abrasion or a tear on foullies, it's brilliant. Cracked window on a spray hood or canopy a repair using Tear Aid will outlast the item!

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  • 175. Top Tips Tuesday - See No Ships

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    I am constantly amazed as to how many ‘good old’ Blakes Seacocks we sell and ship all over the world: in the past week seven to a skipper in the USA, same for Henderson watertight hatches (seems the popular choice that the rowers use when crossing the Atlantic and other large oceans) As for electronic charts, whilst the majority are destined to be used on yachts or powerboats under 50ft occasionally we get a ‘bulk’ order for a superyacht and they will often be purchased in multiples of three or four. We assume one for the bridge, one for the backup system on the bridge, one for the big say 45 foot tender and the last for the ‘small tender’ usually about 25 foot! As for seeing ships, since the price came down (how long will it stay down with the way the pound is falling?) Bynolyt binoculars have been flying out the door so fast that both the distributor and ourselves have been constantly running out of stock! The SeaRanger II has been the choice of the RNLI since 1999 and was awarded PBO’s best buy and at £179.95 inc FREE UK SHIPPING* is a great way to keep an eye on the shipping. Also down in price at only £199.95  is the new improved and fast selling Bynolyt SeaRanger III. Slightly heavier than the SeaRanger II it has larger lenses to allow in more light, resulting in a clearer, higher quality image. The SeaRanger III is, of course, used by mariners and also by professional and commercial end users worldwide. Like the Searanger II it has an integrated illuminated compass and built-in height distance scale.

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    Whilst the SeaRanger has a built in compass and height scale there are times when our little hand held compass comes into its own, easy to slip into a pocket it features a lanyard so you can keep it secure, has built in illumination and with a non slip rubber outer its easy to grip but tough as old boots! Folks I hate to say it both would make good Christmas prezzies.

    Plastimo Hand Bearing Compass

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