Monthly Archives: April 2014

  • 9. Top Tips Tuesday - Furling: If It Doesn’t Roll, Don’t Force It!

    IMG_2048-1 You would be amazed at the number of skippers who, when discovering their roller reefing headsail is not running freely, resort to brute strength and sadly ignorance! One of the most frequent causes of dismasting is genoa halyard wrap. This can be caused by a number of factors, however, if you have trouble getting your reefing headsail in and out STOP and first of all look up. Maybe use your binoculars to get a clearer picture or use a digital camera (on zoom) to help ascertain what the issue is. Whatever you do, don’t put the line onto a winch and grind away cos the forestay wire will bird-cage, possibly fail and then the mast comes tumbling down! It may be difficult due to the sea and wind state but once you are safely clipped on try and get the sail down by easing halyard tension; this may well do the trick. The reason I mention digital camera on zoom is that you can often see what’s happening up aloft once safely back in your marina berth.


    Bird-caging caused by halyard wrap

    To prevent halyard wrap, you need to make sure that the foil is full length on the forestay as per the manufactures recommendation and the top swivel is almost to the top of the foil. If the sail is short in the hoist either use a strop at the tack or have us or another sailmaker remove the old luff tape and sew on a longer tape that moves the swivel to the top of the foil.  If no halyard diverter is fitted perhaps consider one, my personal choice is to go for a diverter fitted to the mast as against the disc type on the forestay. Make sure, of course, you have sufficient tension in the backstay, thus keeping the forestay/foil from sagging.

    If the problem isn't up aloft, check for an issue on the drum. Is there a riding turn on the control line, if not perhaps one of the lead blocks has seized and the line has worn a flat on the sheave? To prevent a riding turn  on the drum, our recommendation is, when pulling the sail out always maintain tension on the line, either by hand or if short handed the excellent Harken Stanchion ratchet block can be used. When furling or when you are finished for the day, once again keep tension, this time on the sheets.  For replacement lead blocks there are excellent bits of kit on the market, like the Schaefer ‘Clear Step’ Block which routes the furling line outboard of the stanchions or the Harken furling lead kit. Other good but lower tech blocks to consider are the Barton and Seasure ones. For relatively straight runs on  larger yachts the Spinlock  Stanchion blocks and eyes are a well made reasonably priced lead.


    For today and right up to midnight on Monday the 5th May 2014 we are offering at least 10% OFF all furling lead blocks.


    With many boats these days having a combined heads / shower compartment, keeping toilet paper dry (but handy to grab) can be a nightmare. However when we were fitting out the interior of our Hunter Channel 31 some years ago, we took the opportunity of flush mounting an Oceanair Dry Roll toilet roll cassette. Never a damp sheet in all those years and since then boatie friends of ours who have ‘enjoyed’ using our heads have now also installed the Dry Roll cassette on their own boats!

    Our Channel, for the majority of its life, (now sold) was moored in the Canaries where we enjoyed sailing in the sunshine in the marine trade’s ‘quiet season’. My first task on arriving was always sea cocks open and then pump seawater thru the toilet to get rid of the bad egg smell one always got. We tried lots of cures however whilst some of them helped to mask the odor, none of them ever eliminated that distinctive smell if the heads were not being used on a regular basis. For the new build Mystery (work in progress), two items that will be installed without any deliberation, Dry Roll and the relatively ‘new to the market’ Jabsco Toilet Fresh system. It does exactly what it says on the packet by pitting good bacteria against the bad. Dry toilet paper and no rotten egg smells, what more could a sailor want!

    For today and right up to midnight on Monday the 28th we are offering an 10% off these two excellent bits of kit.





  • Thinking of a new Imray chart? Buy now!

    Imray chart prices are going up on 1st May. So get your planning hat on and order now to beat the price hike.

  • 7. Top Tips Tuesday - Bad Taste In The Mouth? Not With Puratank


    With yours truly spending a lot of time down at the local marinas either rigging or working on spray hoods and cockpit covers, I have often been asked if I would like a cuppa. When I was a lot younger I used to accept the occasional brew, nowadays I prefer to say ‘no thanks just had one before I left the loft’ Why you may ask? Well, it’s surprising how many folks don’t sterilize their boats tanks and pipes at the start of the season, nor change filters or maybe don’t use Aqua Clean or Mega Tabs as a means of purification. In my time I have had some grim cuppas!

    For cleaning and purifying water tanks, water containers and pipes at the beginning of the season use either Puratank or Puriclean (Is your boat in a hot climate? I'd suggest twice a year) If you have either a Jabsco Aqua Filta or the Whale inline filter, change it once a year at the beginning of the season. Do that and I would be delighted to accept a cuppa!


    Today we are giving 10% off all the above products. If that doesn’t leave a sweet taste in your mouth, I’m not sure what will!!

  • Charts in time for Easter?

    Please note the Easter holiday cut-off for orders for paper charts, Admiralty, Imray, Dutch or books is Noon Wednesday 16th April.

  • 6. Top Tips Tuesday - Keep The Dirt Out With Turtle Mat

    Picture 8

    I first came across these mats many years ago when working at Earls Court Boat Show. 'Twas in the area where you had folk flogging all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff; sharpening stones, strange tools, water transfer devices, wonder pots, thermal hats and gloves and, of course, Turtle Mats. If my memory serves me correct, on the stand was a shallow tray containing mud, or something similar, and a guy walking thru the tray and then onto a Turtle Mat. Being a sceptical sort of bloke (took me nine years to propose to Jenny) I didn't bother to buy one at the time, however some months later we had a couple of fishermen in the chandlery with rather dirty boots and I instantly regretted that decision! Next year I made our first purchase, two mats for the chandlery and two for the sail loft. We still have those original mats, still going strong after all those years, as well as six more! They have now spread to our house, helping stop the dog leaving mud and sand all over the downstairs. On our recently departed Channel 31 we had a couple, one at the bottom of the companion way steps, whilst the other used to sit on the deck just next to the shrouds. Moored at Caleta del Sebo Graciosa, the deck mat certainly helped prevent sand getting on board and the companion way one kept the saloon floor clean and dry. The beauty of these mats is that they will absorb tremendous amounts of dirt and oil yet always come out of your washing machine sparkling.


    Turtle mats are available in three nautical designs and certainly get our nod. Normally priced at £29.95, for today only you can protect your floors for just £26.95

  • 5. Top Tips Tuesday - Don't Paint Your Anodes!

    photo 2Anodes and flares are a couple of items that you don’t like buying because you end up 'throwing them away' (incidentally we now take old flares in at no cost as long as you purchase the equivalent amount) Flares, as we all know, have an expiry date. Current stock is dated 12/17 and, as always, are competitively priced! However, why not consider an Odeo LED flare? The MK3 version has a six hour battery life. Batteries can be easily replaced and the 'flare' can be carried on a plane. Top tips Tuesday price £109-95

    Anodes if they are doing their job correctly waste away protecting skin fittings, P brackets and the like. On stern drive legs it is essential to keep a close eye on the anodes as they often are fairly small for the area of metal they are trying to protect and the recommendation is... more than 50% eroded on lift out, change without fail. What we often see is a skipper in the chandlery with anode that has been painted over, bad news indeed. If you for whatever reason need to fit anodes before applying the antifouling either mask off or get a bar of soap and rub over the area that paint may find its way to!

    LATE NIGHT OPENING OFFER – Great deals on genuine MG Duff anodes:

    ZD56 1kg disc anode, RRP £19.00, only £13.95

    ZD77 2.2kg pear anode, RRP £33.45, only £24.95

    ZD78B 4kg bar anode, RRP £66.95, only £49.95

    photo 1

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