Monthly Archives: October 2013

  • On A Day Like Today...

    On a day like today, there is only one thing to get you going and that is to  have a great British Breakfast, bacon and eggs, sausage, mushrooms, black pudding, tomatoes, baked beans, hash brown and of course fried bread all cooked in a 'Boaties' square frying pan! If you already have one for your boat, why not buy your partner one for Christmas. Jenny uses one at home as does Andy's mum and they think that they are the best thing since sliced (fried) bread, if you will excuse the pun! Incidentally Boaties also do a great baking pan designed to fit most Marine cookers and an excellent little cook book.

  • Laying Up - How NOT To Do It?

    There I was last week, on my summer holiday in Greece, allegedly sailing round the Greek Isles (I think the only reason I was invited out was to help with the winter layup of Peter and Anita's Oyster on the last two days).  Alongside us in the Cleopatra boatyard, Prevesa, was a very nice Dutch couple who were putting the final touch's to their end of season preparations. Did happen to notice after the couple had gone that they had first of all wrapped the Harken winches in cling film, yes it will keep airborne dirt out, however it will of course trap moisture in! Noticed also they had done a great job of protecting the teak cockpit table (but not the teak in the cockpit) once again in a waterproof but not breathable material, recipe for mildew methinks? Halyards lying on deck, our advice... remove completely from the mast, wash in fresh water, dry and store below. Fenders wash and store below. Methinks it would be sensible of the couple to get the local sail maker in Prevesa to make up a breathable square sheet, reinforced edges and strong eyelets, manufactured in something like Weathermax, it's tough, very breathable, colour fast and will (once boat brought out of hibernation) fold up into a small space! However make sure you use something like the spinnaker pole to create a ridge pole effect over the cockpit to prevent it filling up with water! For next spring when they do their annual fit out, Meguiar's rubbing compound followed by their Flagship Premium will not only keep the gelcoat sparkling but will help prevent the blue stripe from chalking badly! For all the teak work, Teak Wonder ticks the box as far as I am concerned and if they happen to find some mildew on the boat when they return it in the spring, Starbrite Mildew Remover should do the trick!

    photo (14)
  • Oops! Lucky for this customer...

    "Oops those ruddy rocks kept getting in the way, however now I have just purchased a Garmin combined plotter/fishfinder hopefully I can stay out of trouble,Thanks to guys at Marine Chandlery for getting the prop from my Mercury outboard repaired in double quick time, saved me almost 50% on the cost of a new spinner".

  • Saved The Day... Sea Searcher Success

    Young Grace Metcalfe, skipper of the James Cook the Ocean Trust North East's 70ft ketch was in a pickle last Saturday. She rang us up to ask 'have we got one of those magnets that people use if their keys have gone overboard"? A very distraught Grace had managed to drop (slipped out of her hoodie pocket) her bunch of keys into the murky waters of the Royal Quays Marina. On the bunch yes, you have guessed car keys, house keys, roof rack lock and of course the boat keys. One of the crew were dispatched with haste to purchase said item the Sea Searcher Recovery Magnet, an hour later we were informed that recovery had taken place, apparently it had taken less than five minutes to bring the keys back to the surface! If you have keys and are near water maybe consider a Waterbuoy and if your car key is electronic (most are these days and cost a fortune) pop it into a Aquapac Keymaster and again attach a floating cork or Waterbuoy self inflating key ring.

    Car Keys Retrieved Using a Sea Searcher Magnet
  • And Speaking Of Epoxy...

    West System's G/flex 650-K epoxy repair kit is ideal for a repair such as this Hunter wooden rudder, perfect for creating structural repairs and will adhere to a wide range of substrates including alloy, plastics and of course wood. A unique feature of this epoxy (apart from its ability to structurally bond plastics) is its ability to adhere to damp wet surfaces, can even be used underwater. Wait 24 hours for full cure before subjecting a joint to any loads. The mixture will cure at 5 C but very slowly. An excellent CD comes with the kit, browse on your computer if you have time however remember.... in low temperatures warm resin and hardener to improve flow and mixing. Advice given to the owner of this rudder included... removing antifouling in the appropriate area(s) by dry scraping or with A/F remover, remember it contains poison so under no circumstances burn the coating off. Use eye/nose and skin protection. If possible use fine wooden wedges to open up joints and then use course grit sandpaper/wet and dry or hacksaw blade to remove dirt and the failed adhesive. If possible degrease with Acetone and then apply the epoxy. Job almost done... don't forget to repaint!

  • Dodgy Batch? Things to consider when mixing Epoxy...

    We sold a Plastic Padding two part epoxy 'kit' to a customer the other afternoon, came back late next day saying that he had mixed the two components as per the instructions, 7 am that day, eight hours later the mix was like chewing gum! I did ask him if it might be a temperature issue, he said no building was heated. As the customer is always right, I gave him a replacement, made sure it was a different batch no and was delighted to learn that this mix had cured within a few hours, later out of curiosity I mixed up some of the dodgy epoxy and was amused to note that four hours later it had cured problem solved and put the original tubes in our workshop for our own consumption, see 'chewing gum mix on left hand side of table, same batch on right hand side fully cured! When mixing epoxy/paint/resins in colder conditions its always worth making sure that the temperature of the components involved is not low (found later he had left the box in the boot of the car overnite) so it's worth remembering as temperatures start to drop, before use store at room temperature/stand in warm water, make sure that you mix as per the instructions, do NOT be tempted to add extra hardener and make sure you thoroughly mix! Surface temperature could be an issue so if working outside, consider a wind break/heat lamp or maybe both!

    Dodgy Batch
  • Garden Tools... Must Have (Close To Hand) Marine Tool Recommendations

    Many, many years ago I raced (not particularly well) against an American international 14 sailor called Larry Bates, his boat was called Garden Tools. One night after a few beers I asked him why he had named his 14 thus, seems he went out one day to buy some garden tools and came back with a boat which he kept at the bottom of the garden. Speaking of tools and in particularly the marine related ones, how many of us carry a decent sharp serrated blade rescue knife in the cockpit? Is there an adequate wire cutter in the cockpit locker that the weakest/lightest member of the crew can use. Marlin spike and shackle key are they to hand and have the new crew members been briefed as to where they are located! Boa-constrictor, invaluable for removing oil and fuel filters, not forgetting the sail makers friend the Speedystitcher.


    Picture 16
  • Great Performance,Great Value...

    In the recent Practical Boat Owner test, Barton's size three block wins test comparison! Proven to have the lowest frictional resistance in both plain bearing and ball bearing, great performance and of course great value. Check out the competition, Harken, Lewmar, Ronstan and Selden.

  • Cast Or Forged? Why A Good Quality Anchor Really Is Worth Its Weight In Gold!

    Picture the scenario, lee shore a falling tide and a freshening breeze, its then when the 'bargain anchor and chain' you purchased at the boat jumble doesn't seem so appealing. Yes, it was new and yes it was a copy but hey it was £200-00 cheaper, fortunately the money saved went on a new life raft! What's that saying, 'no such thing as a free lunch' and it's certainly true in the marine trade, be it anchor and chain, anchor warp and mooring ropes; Buy unknown makes and sometimes it can come back and bite with a vengeance, take these two anchors, the genuine drop forged CQR (bottom one in photo) hit our local marina lock gate at a speed of about four knots with eight ton of boat bringing up the rear, the other anchor a cast copy 'fell apart' as the skipper broke it out of the seabed, good job methinks he wasn't on a lee shore, falling tide and a freshening breeze! When you really need it, a good quality anchor is worth its weight in gold. We would always recommend trusted quality brands such as, Rocna, Manson, Knox, CQR, Delta and Fortress.

    Cast or Forged


  • Log(s), Not The Ones You Burn - The Importance of Keeping a Maintenance Log

    Being dyslexic means for me that trying to note down a telephone number over the phone can turn into a nightmare when the person at the other end says some like 'triple zero' or  'helps' with a post code by using the phonetic alphabet. Away they go, Tango, Golf,  Zulu. Combine this with a spectacularly poor memory (over six years in present abode and no idea of our home phone number, nor post code) and oh dear! Folks if I have to remember something, unless I write it down its gone three seconds later however, it's a excuse that  doesn't wash when I forget Jenny's birthday, fortunately she cannot remember the date we got married but can be heard to mutter at moments of stress 'four life sentences'.

    Having said all that you would be very surprised at the number of sailors young and old who enter our premises at the start of the fitting out season and say 'just having a look around and see what catches my eye' well for those guys I have a suggestion, before this season finishes why not invest in an early Christmas present for yourself and purchase a Weems and Plath or Adlard Coles maintenance logbook and start writing fast... What type of oil and fuel filter(s), prop shaft diameter? Which style of Volvo anode for the sail drive? Grade of oil for the gearbox? W

    hat type of bulb is used in the mast head tricolour? Is the deck flood baynet or two pins halogen? Then, underdeck mast wiring diagrams, a note about the leak on the fore hatch, What make of antifoul did Storrar sell me last year? Yes, write it all down and finally don't be that guy who pops into our sail-loft on the Tuesday before the Easter bank holiday and asks r

    ather sheepishly, 'Could you possibly repair this 'recent' split in my Genoa's sacrificial strip and by the way can we have it by Thursday afternoon?'.



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