Monthly Archives: September 2013

  • Oh Dear - How To Protect Against Electrolytic Corrosion Between Dissimilar Metals

    Never the twain shall meet, it's usually stainless steel fastenings thru an alloy spar or fitting that cause problems, note in the first image a cleat 'eaten away' due to a lack of a barrier such as Duralac or Tefgel being applied to the contact area of the body and the fastener. Second image is of ferrous bolts used in a marine enviroment, I certainly wouldn't sleep well at night knowing that my mooring lines were attached to a cleat secured to my boat using bolts such as these! Unsure of the metal of the bolts in your tool kit, a magnet or a compass will give you a clue, magnet will pick up ferrous fastners, likewise a compass will start to swing if a ferrous fastening is put next to it. Speaking of magnets I carry in my riggers bag one of those Sea Searcher Recover ones, its saved by wallet on a number of occasions, tools kicked overboard recovered within minutes.

    P1050414 P1050375


  • Demob Happy!

    Yes the days are ticking away and i've only two left until Jenny and I  jet off down to Greece to spend quality time sailing round the Isles. My leopard skin thong has been packed along with prezzies for the skipper and first mate. Now is the time for last minute checks ... What have I forgotten?  Foul weather gear; according to a prophet of doom who was in the chandlery a couple of minutes ago who happens to be flying out tomorrow and sailing down the East Coast, storms and lightning are forecast! I think I should take a copy of the classic, Heavy Weather Sailing by Peter Bruce or Tom Cuncliffes Heavy Weather Cruising. Having said that Storm Tactics by Lin & Larry Pardey or maybe I'll take the iPad that we won from International Paints 'Star Stockist' competition and keep up to date with Yachting Worlds E-Serise featuring Skip Novak and his storm sailing techniques. The first two can be seen below...

    Hang on a minute, i've just checked the Imray G1 chart, Phew... we are going to the West Coast, maybe pack another thong?

  • Well Done Ben!! - Click Here And Enjoy His Victory...

    CUP-articleLarge If like me you have nothing to do at night apart from make polite conversation, catch up on paper work, walk the dog, read the Sunday papers on a Wednesday etc, you may not have found time to watch last night’s final Americas cup action. This time I did make a special effort and what a final race, mind you my heart was in my mouth when the Yanks stuck their bows in at the first mark, talk about deceleration, methinks a few of the crew would have ended up with brown trousers! Our congrats of course to the guys on Oracle, and comisserations to the New Zealand Team Emirates. Whilst it was hailed by the skipper of Oracle as a ‘team effort, adding Sir Ben Ainsley to the group gave (in my humble opinion) the Yanks a vital kick up the butt. What award will Ben now receive from the government of the USA, the ESPY medal (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award) or maybe just a pat on the back! Like Formula one where the technology filters down and at some stage the driver of a average family saloon benefits, think disc brakes, fuel injection etc and now brake energy regeneration available on at this stage a limited range of cars, the ideas and technology used in the pursuit of trying to win the Americas Cup does eventually filter down to us yachties, double handed winch handles, electronics that give us more information, better performing bottom coatings, cordage with lower stretch, lighter stronger sailcloth.

    If you missed the action or just want to watch it again scroll to the bottom of this blog....

    15/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America's Cup - Final Match, Day 6

  • America's Cup Final 9pm Tonight - Click Here And Enjoy The Ride!

    You have probably read, watched or got thoroughly sick of all the America’s cups happenings to date however today’s final races between the Kiwis and the Yanks should make riveting viewing tonight at 9pm our time. From being 8 - 1 down the Yanks, now they have employed Ben Ainslie as tactician are now level at eight wins each, watch the action below or on the Official America's Cup YouTube Channel by Clicking this link.

  • Outwards & Upwards... Keep banging the drum!

    Boring? Yes yes I know I am. I keep going on about the need to keep an eye on what is happening in and on your boat as well as up your mast! Be it the shackle pin that needs tightening up, a clevis ring that has snagged and started to uncoil, mooring rope chafe (are they fit for purpose as we get into the cycle of windy autumn weather?) You need to keep a vigilant look out every time you visit the boat. If you don't take your mast down in the winter and we strongly recommend you do, you ought to climb your mast on a regular basis, start of season, mid and at the end, get up in the clouds and check what's happening! Have the lens on your nav lights suffered from UV damage, are new bulbs needed, signs of chafe on the cable entry or exit. The image below is of a three core cable used to provide power to an Aquasignal tri and anchor, customer advised that the tri was no longer working but the anchor was. No problems below deck, power was getting to the above deck Index Marine plug checked out with a multi meter, problem eventually found at the top of the mast, where the cable exits the mast. Further down the mast the deck and steaming light were causing problems, but that's another story.

    Tips and Advice: Outwards and Upwards - blog
  • Just over a week to go!

    image001Yes, it’s just over a week to go till Jenny and I  scurry off down the road to Manchester Airport, hop on a charter plane to Prevesa and hopefully meet up with our skipper and first mate in the arrivals lounge. My leather thong, which has provided sterling service over the years, has been rescued from the dogs basket once again. It should be okay once its it’s been cleaned down with some Dubarry footwear cleaner followed by a light rub over with their Leather cream. I do hope it still fits as my six pack seems to have relaxed and my waist line expanded! This year I mustn’t forget my trusty Musto Sunnies (left them in the spare bedroom under the bed?) , nor my Gill technical wide brimmed hat. As for my new Leatherman multi-tool , the cunning plan this year is to pack in our hold luggage as against leaving it in my fast dry shorts. ‘In the bin’ were the words uttered by airport security and I dropped my faithful friend into the weapons bin. Anything else? Yes, some prezzies for our hosts, the eleventh edition of Rods Greek Waters Pilot ( I had noticed last years that our skippers copy was a ‘little’ out of date) and for the boat, Universal Stone of course. Roll on next Sunday!

  • If You Have A Spare Couple Of Hours...

    The Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade If you have a couple of spare hours and are in the Tynemouth area you could fill in the time by wandering round the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade headquarters. The attached watch house museum displays artefacts, pictures and relics from old shipwrecks chronicling the history of lifesaving on our coastline since 1864.  Opening Hours - Tuesday to Saturday - 10.00h to 15.00h Sunday - 10.00h to 12.00h. For more information, visit the website -


    The Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade is a voluntary shore based coastal rescue service founded in 1864. We are a Declared Facility to HM Coastguard for Rope Rescue, Coastal Search and Rescue and one of the last remaining trained teams for Ship to Shore Breeches Buoy Rescue. Operating from our Watch House Museum in Tynemouth on the North East coast of England, we work closely with all the emergency services including the local RNLI, (to which we have no affiliation or connection apart from that they are a declared facility like ourselves). In recent years the Brigade has averaged over 120 callouts a year and these range from monitoring and gathering information on broken down boats to recovering cliff casualties from our coastline.

  • TRANSDUCERS -All you wanted to know but were afraid too ask...

    Transducers - Choose the right mounting style

  • She Sails Like A Freight Train Full Of Witches!

    One of our customers was in the chandlery the other day buying some Barton rudder fittings for his home built project which is being constructed from ply and glued together using West Epoxy. We got chatting about paint systems, and in particular yacht enamels. I told him about the Dutch Epifanes paints and of course local manufacturer International’s range of products and then came the interesting bit!

    We were discussing the boat he was building, Scamp, which was designed by American John Welsford. Welfords design features an offset centre-board to give a clear sleeping area. Another unusual feature is its under floor water ballast. Despite being only 12 foot long she has loads of useful storage space due to its forward cuddy. No doubt the builder of this particular Scamp will eventually need the aptly named Chimp bilge pump to shift that water ballast! Incidentally Scamp is an acronym for the small craft advisory magazine project and it was its editor Josh Colvin who came up with the expression ‘sails like a freight train full of witches'.

  • UV Radiation Linked To Death Of Mouse

    Today, my business partner Andy B copped out of his early North Sea swim and bare foot run along Tynemouth beach (He had muttered something about the cold Northerly blowing) As he has just returned from a week's rest and relaxation I thought he needed a little exercise and sent him to climb a 50 foot mast. His mission? To remove a halyard that had jumped the sheave at the top of the mast, replace the damaged sheave and possibly the halyard. Apart from climbing in his Spinlock Harness coupled to a Solent Topclimber, so he could get right to the top of the mast his riggers equipment pouch included a Leatherman multi tool, monel seizing wire (to mouse the shackle) PVC electricians tape, McLube and of course the replacement Lewmar block. When he finally came down from the clouds he was of course clutching the damaged block. Luckily the halyard was okay. It was interesting to note that the shackle had been 'made secure' or 'moused' by a cable tie that had eventually failed through UV degradation. If you ARE going to use a cable tie as a means of securing a shackle make sure that you use the UV stable ones, better still use Ormiston's seizing wire to mouse the item.


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