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Marine Chandlery

  • 180. Top Tips Tuesday - Winterising your engine 2017

    Winterising your engine 2017

  • 179. Top Tips Tuesday - Laying Up For Winter 2017

    Laying Up For Winter 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!"


    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'


    PS. Don't miss next weeks much longer article on laying up, it's full of excellent advice and written by the guys at; 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.


    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.


    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.


    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


    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?


    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!


  • 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.

    * Terms and conditions apply

    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

  • 174. Top Tips Tuesday - Us Hardy Folk

    70121bfc-e91d-4321-ba58-121e16a11061Us Geordie sailors in the North East like to quaff our Gin neat, rub Jack Daniels on our bald heads in a vain attempt to get our follicles to spring to life, use Balkan 176 vodka as our aftershave, remove Newcastle Brown ale bottle caps with our teeth and go trotting from hostelry to hostelry through the Bigg Market Newcastle upon Tyne in the middle of winter, wearing thin t-shirts or in the case of Geordie ladies the skimpiest of dresses (in Andy’s case a pink fairy dress on his rare nights out).  What we do like, apart from our nights out, is to cruise on the opposite side of the North Sea however by late August we toughies are usually back across the pond. So whilst its welcome news its come a bit late for us hardy folk to be told that the newly published 4th edition of the Baltic Sea and Approachesis available. Having said all that if you are already planning your 2018 summer cruise and the Baltic is your destination this pilot book is a must. The nine countries bordering the Baltic Sea offer an immense variety of cruising grounds, people and cultures. There are thousands of harbours and innumerable anchorages, and it would take an entire bookshelf, to cover them all in detail. The information contained in this book is therefore selective. It has been chosen for its value both at the planning stages - preparing the yacht, choosing the most suitable route, timing and communications etc - and again on arrival, when a general overview of each individual country is followed by specific harbour information.


    Mind you for those of you about to follow the sun and head South, destination the Canary Islands, perhaps join or shadow the next ARC the bang up to date Cruising Guide to the Canary Islands has been published at just the right time! Written by Oliver Solanas Heinrichs & Mike Westin, and having kept our Hunter Channel 31 first of all at Puerto Mogan, Gran Canaria, then in Lanzarote during the Summer months, Graciosa in the winter and finally settling in Gomera I wish It had been published when we first arrived all those years ago. What I like about the guide is the tips from local sailors on the best harbours, marinas and anchorages. Priced at only £27.95 it's of course bang up to date and with over 180 pages is worth every penny.


  • 173. Top Tips Tuesday - Dry Ship... Not On Your Nelly


    Apart from being a left-handed dyslexic, ‘asked’ to leave the Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Grammar School at sixteen having failed all my O levels as I was always bunking off to go sailing, I have a memory like a sieve when it comes to remembering certain things. I can, of course, remember all the details of the International 14's POW Thursday’s cup race back in the late seventies when we led for the first three laps and then got slowly overhauled by Mike Peacock: or the time when competing in Keith Musto’s Flying Dutchman at the European championships on Lake Thune when they had over twenty attempts to get the fleet off cleanly and the race was finally postponed to another day as the race officer ran out of cartridges for the starting cannon! But ask me for my mobile number or home post code (have only lived in the same place for ten years) and I am stumped. Fortunately Jen cannot remember our wedding anniversary either but as she said the other day it's like four life sentences without an early release for good behaviour.

    With Hindsight, our Mystery 35, now in the water in Mandraki harbour Corfu and Jenny and I getting ready to drive out to Greece (Millie the dog is insisting she comes with us) we are slowly working through the list of items we need to bring out with us to finally complete the ‘things to do.' Luckily Andy my boss gave us a leaving present when we had Hindsight shipped down to Marseille by truck; a Weems & Plath logbook and also one of their excellent Maintenance logbooks, open the front cover and the first page can be filled with information that you maybe don’t need every day but when asked for you need it fast! The Maintenance logbook has got blank pages for specifications, spare parts, section on it for boat's maintenance and separate repair record, blank pages for drawing on and most importantly a page at the back for additional information. Strange that Jenny has already written under ‘needed’, three bottles of Gin, couple of bottles of Port, cans of Fever Tree tonic, however what worries me that, if we say, each have two G & T’s per night a bottle is going to last maybe a week and a half and if we arrive Greece on the 4th September and leave Corfu on the 15th of October, even allowing for Jenny to fly home to see our youngest daughter's new born in the middle of September we are going to  run out of gin fairly rapidly. Looks like she will have to visit the duty free at Newcastle Airport on her way back out!

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  • 172. Top Tips Tuesday - Bragging Not Blogging

    IMG_1469So we won last Wednesday night, good boat speed, having said that half the fleet were on a summer break/participating in the Fastnet etc etc. Skipper had a smile on his face (unlike the previous Wednesday night when we went from first to third due to my tactical wizardry, the expression on Marks face was more like that of a slapped backside!) However, despite fitting a Soak halyard clip, trying it out before the race and then not using it for some reason best known by our foredeck man, we still got the spinnaker halyard caught, fortunately not when it was at a critical time! The Soak clip can be used with as small a diameter as 4mm and up to 9mm, strip the outer cover of a 12 mm? Whilst it will find more and more favour with the racing fleet methinks it will find a use on my Mystery when I decide to go for a hoist of our cruising chute.

    Writing about the Mystery (and if all goes to plan we will, at last, be 'cruising' the Ionian early September) I had promised a guy I met out there that if he was still interested I would bring him out three of the Clear Step outside lead furling blocks. He had admired them when moored alongside me in Mandraki harbour back in September! The Schaefer Clear step gives you a clear lead aft for your furling line, one less thing to trip on!

  • 171. Top Tips Tuesday - Greater Love Hath No Man


    As keen readers, especially those with a very good memory, may recall Marine Chandlery’s MD Andy Burgess saved the day last year when his better half Jill’s new car was scraped in the supermarket car park on its first outing (Top Tips no 120, 5th of July 2016). In that instance the excellent product Vistal Hard Surface Cleaner came to the rescue. Why the title of today's blog ‘Greater Love Hath No Man’? Let me explain... this time Andy had to rescue Jill’s new mobile from the upstairs toilet and what’s more try and keep it working! Early morning Sunday past, Andy had just finished showering when he ‘overheard’ an expletive from the bathroom so popped his head round the door and when he asked why this choice noun, he was shown the reason why. Apparently Jill was just hitching up her jeans after finishing her daily ablutions when she heard a splash and there was the aforementioned phone taking an early bath. With no regard to his personal safety our hero Andy plunged (his hand) in, rescued the Samsung Galaxy, hosed it down, immediately drove into work, popped it into a Gadget Saver,left it for eight hours and yes folks Jill’s mobile lives on.


    So maybe if you want to get yourself or your loved one ‘out of the s..t you may want to do as Andy has now done and that’s keep a Gadget saver next to the toilet as well as one on the boat!

    Mind you, your editor who does not live dangerously, (by keeping his mobile in his back pocket) should have given his own personal Gooper to first mate Martin before we went out to celebrate our safe arrival in Mandraki harbour, Corfu, the other week. Unfortunately Martin’s phone got so carried away with the celebrations later that night that it went for a skinny dip at midnight! The Gooper Dry Bag is 100% waterproof and so easy to use even if you are feeling a little under the ‘weather’. No fiddly little clips to undo if you have mislaid your glasses, maybe dropped them in the water along with the phone or if you suffer from arthritis like yours truly. As it says on the Gooper packet "Foolproof and fumble-free automatic closure ensures a waterproof seal every time" and  with the price of car keys these days at over £150-00 why not invest in a Gooper to keep them safe and dry?

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