Having fitted out, repaired and renovated more than my fair share of boats in the last forty odd years, it's not often that one comes across a product that makes life so much easier! The other month we were involved in the complete renewal of all the standing rigging on a twelve year old American built Island Packet. The yacht was in excellent condition for its age with the exception of the alloy mast collar which had, over the years, corroded badly. Once the keel stepped mast had been lifted out I rang the importers to ask if they knew what sealant/adhesive had been used to attach the collar to the deck, only to be told, "If you have removed the six screws and it doesn't budge don't bother cos you will never get it off!" At this stage I thought lets try Marine Formula by the Debond Corp. Ten minutes later the collar was off and on its way to the powder coater for refurbishment. Apart from the ease of removal there was no damage to the gelcoat/laminate. Since then I have used it on a seacock which had been bonded in with Sikaflex, once again a nightmare of a job made easy with Marine Formula.
Monthly Archives: May 2014
If, like me, you have a dedicated battery in the forepeak for a windlass or a bow thruster, it may be worth considering investing in one of BEP's new DVSR (Digital Voltage Sensing Relay) which allows charging of two independent battery banks from a single charging source. Simply connect between the 2 batteries and whenever the voltage on the main battery rises above 13.4V, the relay engages allowing the 2nd battery to charge. When charging stops and voltage falls below 12.9V, the DVSR will disengage isolating the two batteries from each other. Other benefits of the new DVSR include automatic dual voltage - handles either 12V or 24V with no setup required and very lower power consumption - only 1.8mA when disengaged and only 90mA when engaged. The DVSR is an excellent bit of kit and great value at only £59.95
Protecting Your Topsides
Living and working on the North East coast we seem to get more than our fair share of bad weather (having said that we were let off lightly last winter with almost no flooding), however, early spring its often strong Easterly winds and with it airborne sand, grit and then there is the deposits of salt! As a result it can mean higher than normal topside wear and tear through fender scuff. Fenders and the vertical surface(s) should be washed regularly with clean water to get rid of contaminants. To protect the topsides however we do recommend the use of a fender skirt, fender socks or better still both.
Of the fender skirts we sell 'off the shelf' some have a foam padding with an outer covering in an acrylic fabric, any colour you like as long as its blue, available in the one size of 2m x 0.7m. The acrylic skirts manufactured with no foam padding are available in two sizes and are limited to the colour grey, however, if you want to 'customise' or 'pimp' your boat our in-house loft will manufacture a skirt to your specification, padded or plain and as for colour anything goes... we can supply in literally hundreds of different colours from pink to black, lilac to burgundy and every shade between.
Close fitting knitted fender socks are available in navy or royal blue (other colours are available to special order) and two shapes either sausage or 'round' (again other sizes available to special order). Alternatively, if your fenders are an unusual size the Fender Roll covers, which come in a long tube, would be the ones for you. Simply cut to fit the length of your fenders and slide on. There is no need to hem this material, it will not fray or unravel. Don't forget however that both skirts and socks pick up and hold dirt which can over a period of time abrade the surface it is designed to protect, so regular washing with fresh water is to be recommended.
With very little effort fenders that look scruffy can, with surprisingly little effort, be restored to an almost new look. Universal Stone is the product that gets my nod to get them back to their former glory however on fenders that Andy uses to keep his sports boat topsides in good condition he prefers to use Polymarine Inflatable Boat Cleaner.
It has been over six months since Andy saw the junior version of the very popular and successful Boarding Ring Anti Motion Sickness Glasses (they are great for relieving the symptoms of motion sickness whether on a boat, car, ferry, train) at METS and placed the initial order for them. Well, the good news is that at long, long last they are in stock, but folks at the moment only available in blue. The children’s Boarding Ring Glasses come with ‘built in’ sunglasses that are hinged and can be swung out of the way on a dull day, "All the time in the North East" I hear you cry! With youngsters heads varying so much in size the side arms can be ‘fine tuned’ to suit, cutting them with a pair of scissors ensures a good fit and means you don’t have to worry about the glasses falling overboard. Writing about losing them overboard... you will be please to know that the Boarding Ring Anti Motion Sickness Glasses are supplied with an excellent clam shell case c/w hook for clipping on to say a waist band (incidentally the adult version now come with this style of case). The adult glasses have been selling like hot cakes, we export them worldwide, no doubt once the season is in full swing the kids glasses will be smoking out the door too!
In the good old days when we were primarily a sail making concern, in our 'spare time' we were Proctor (now Selden for those of you considerably younger than me) dinghy spar specialists, building spars up from bare extrusion(s). Our task, after cutting the spar to length, was to router out the sail entry, then to mark out, drill and rivet on the stainless steel spreader bracket, spinnaker pole fitting and the kicking strap eye. The day before we built a spar we assembled all the stainless fittings and painted on the reverse side (side next to the mast) a barrier coat of zinc chromate paste to inhibit electrolytic corrosion. Fast forward forty years and we are still using and selling zinc chromate paste. Tefgel, the new kid on the block, is an American product that has been making its mark in the UK recently, it's a great corrosion eliminator and anti-seize lubricant. This versatile product stops corrosion of stainless machine screws in aluminium, it's great for use in outboard motors, stainless machine screws into alloy castings. It stops seizing, you can assemble and disassemble items like headsail reefing systems which use dissimilar metals in their construction. It will also stop the galling (cold welding) of stainless bolts and nuts and stainless bottle screws not fitted with bronze inserts. This image was taken after we removed a spinnaker pole bracket from an elderly mast. Apart from the weakening of the spar due to the second hole, the 'talented' DIY mast modifier has omitted to apply a barrier between the dissimilar metals with, as can be seen, a disastrous effect!
Our TOP TIPS TUESDAY from the 15th of April certainly got you guys thinking – “When did I last sterilize my water tanks and pipes?” Since then, sales of Puratank, Puriclean and Aquatabs have gone viral (bit like the lurking viruses in this length of water tank hose).
One of our regular customers (strangely declined to be named) who has just purchased a yacht and brought this length of hose in today after reading our TOP TIPS TUESDAY no 7. Understandably he asked for some new pipe. Glad I refused his offer of a cuppa the other day!
With the Bank Holiday imminent if you haven’t already done so, now is the time to check your fresh water supply out, sterilise the tank and pipes and change that Jabsco or Whale filter. Speaking of filters there is a free filter (worth at least £25-00) received of the most awful manky filter that you have cut open, photographed and emailed. Closing date for this foul competition 1st June and as always mum's the word.