Monthly Archives: November 2014

  • 39. Top Tips Tuesday - Pin Wing, Pump Endcover Kit - "Makes Impeller Replacing Easy"


    The first time I had to change an impeller in a hurry was the stuff of nightmares, we had just cast off from the marina at San Sebastian Gomera, motored 100 metres, turned hard to starboard and were making our way down the separation channel when the engine alarm sounded. For those of you who have been fortunate enough to visit Gomera (one of the unspoilt islands in the Canaries) it is served by two ferry companies Fred Olsen & Naviera Armas and they moor up alongside the breakwater, some 200 mtrs away from the separation  channel. Fortunately the anchor held first time so we hoisted the black ball, in the process getting some strange looks from the guys at Canary Sail and others! It wouldn’t have been so bad if access to the water pump had been so poor and if one of the brass bolts had not decided to shear off. In hindsight the Pin Wing, Pump Endcover Kit that I had brought out on an earlier trip and had forgotten to put it on my ‘to do list’ would have taken most of the stress out of the situation and prevented the ear bashing that I received from Jenny.


    As it says in the advert ‘makes impeller replacing easy’. Changing impellers can be difficult with the pump often in a confined space and out of sight. By the simple method of replacing screw’s with wing nuts on threaded studs it can be done easily by hand. All kits are provided with easy to fit instructions.

    Check the table below to find out which kit suits your pump.

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  • 38. Top Tips Tuesday - Fix Hairline Cracks In Fiberglass & Gelcoat With MagicEzy Hairline Fix


    Oh how I wish MagicEzy had been around some twelve years ago... We had purchased a hull and deck moulding for a Hunter Channel 31 and I was happily fitting it out. Six months after we started working on her I noticed some hairline cracks had appeared around the base of the rudder post, apparently caused when they sprang the cockpit moulding from the mould, the cracks had only shown up when ‘dirt’ had got in. How I wish MagicEzy Hairline Fix had been around then as it was a time consuming task to grind, fill, flatten and polish.

    When a snake oil salesman tries to sell/wants us to stock a ‘wonder’ product, with 40 odd years in the marine trade I always insist on trying out the product and making my own judgement. However when the guys at the UK distributors (fine bunch of no nonsense folks that they are) said this is an excellent product I still wasn’t convinced, seemed too good to be true so had them send a sample up. I tried MagicEzy Hairline Fix on the area around three stanchion bases on an elderly Sadler 32 and was well impressed with the result. This product and MagicEzy 9 Second Chip Fix can now both be found in my tool kit!

  • Fishfinding and Sonar jargon-buster

    Fishfinding and Sonar jargon-buster

  • 37. Top Tips Tuesday - Damp Sheets? Not With Oceanair Dryroll

    There’s nowt that a sailor hates more than damp sheets and I am not talking about the ones on his bunk! Yes damp or soggy toilet paper is as much use as a chocolate fireguard! If you (like I) have a shower in the heads compartment, and haven’t already done so, why not put on your Chrissie list an Oceanair Dryroll. On our Channel 31 which we had for over 12 years (incidentally where the action video was filmed) we never once had a complaint from Jenny or my girls that the toilet paper was damp, sometimes missing, but never ever damp! Incidentally the Oceanair dryroll can be either surface or ‘flush’ mounted, which if I had the space behind on the Channel I would have done so.

  • November Newsletter & Winch Servicing Advice

    New Web Banner Image

    Yes it's Movember again, that special month when the handsome, hunky, hairless headed (well some of us) hapless hunks of Storrar Marine and Mo-sisters Claire* and Izzy dedicate their faces to a month of utter hairy happiness in the the growing of facial hair, MO, moustach and sideburns (but not a beard), all in support of the Movember charity. Skinflint Rob has, believe it or not, even gone as far as to buy himself a rather nifty electronic device to help tame and cultivate his growth. If avid readers would like to support us in helping raise money for this worthy cause please go to

    *Last year Claire helped us reach our total of just over £1000 by swimming/running/cycling the equivalent of an Iron Man triathlon. This year rumour has it she is going to undertake a similar challenge, keep looking back at our team page for updates and photos. Izzy, as the new kid on the block, is still undecided, no doubt she will be guided by Ms Green. See last years Mo growing efforts bellow.

    Team Storrar Morine - 2013

    For the first time in many years the North East has been blessed with unseasonably good weather. Perhaps the 'God' that controls the climate read my earlier ramblings (spring issue no 53) on sea frets and took it upon himself to prove me wrong. Mind you, whilst sea frets have been in their absence, it has been the hurricanes that have been affecting me! In August I fulfilled a long standing agreement that I would (with the help of two old friends and experienced sailors I hasten to add) sail a Mystery 35 from Newcastle to Helgoland and then, after a quick stopover, up to Cuxhaven and through the Kiel canal to the Baltic. Yes you have guessed it, we were chased into Helgoland by the remnants of Hurricane Bertha! 

    More recently, Hurricane Gonzalo upset my work schedule. My cunning plan was to fly from Newcastle to Belfast, pick up a hire car drive to a large National Trust property near Portaferry Northern Ireland; take an exact pattern of a 16 sided glass cupola then scurry back to our sail loft and get the girls to make up a mesh cover which, when secured in place, would act as a UV filter to help protect a priceless painting which is hung almost directly below on a wall. The cupola is approx 100 feet up on the roof of the property, with a sheer drop one side. Studying the forecast on the Monday lunchtime, winds of 80mph were forecast so I decided to bin the trip, much to the joy of the airline and the car hire company, no doubt, who charged a cancellation fee and probably sold the 'seat' to someone else. 

    Writing of strong winds brings me to tell that co director Andy's  defence of the hotly contested St Peters sponsored Tyne Bridge series was a little slow in starting, an excess of wind on Sunday the 19th meant that racing had to be postponed to another day. Sadly the current world and national flying 15 champion will not be joining the fleet this year, mark rounding will be a lot less noisy without his dulcet tones floating across the water.

    Trying out the sail in Largs

    Talented sail designer Chris Owen started his sail making career working alongside Alan Bax and I in the North East during the late Seventies. In those days there was no chandlery, rigging or cover making arm to the business, we were purely a racing dinghy sailloft. Chris left for pastures new after some three years however we always kept in touch, and when the original 'Storrar & Bax' partnership split Chris designed the sails that were used by myself to win the 1991 Flying 15 championships. These days its mainly bigger boat sails that we manufacture at our Coast Road premises they are, of course, designed by Chris and lovingly put together by our talented machinists. The image shows a radial mainsail that was built from top of the range Contender fabrics for a Beneteau 46, not only was the sail fast out of the bag but easy to trim. The genoa, once again of a radial design was  built from Contender fabrics.  Kevin, owner and skipper's comment after I spent the day helping him get the best out of them was, 'I didn't realise how far one should pull sails in'. Our sailloft 'sideline', which is technical industrial sewing, has seen some interesting projects leave the loft this year, fabric sling shots for a prototype children's game, hundreds of airbag covers for an iconic UK based sports car manufacturer, heavy duty battery straps for handling aircraft batteries and numerous Gazebo covers of various shapes and sizes.


    Last month we sent out our Laying Up 2014 email followed by our Engine Winterisation article, both positively received. In case you missed them here are the blog links:

    Laying Up 2014 -

    Engine Winterisation -

    For those of you who are a little green (me included) when it comes to servicing our winches we thought it would make good sense to reproduce the excellent article that Geordie boy Mark Gardner of Harken UK wrote for us some years ago. Its been written for those of you that have Harken Winches, however if your yacht is fitted with say Lewmar, Andersen or Antal the basic principles are the same. Winch servicing can make your job easier and safer, and your boat faster. 

    1.  Salt water will find its way into winches where it degrades the grease and can corrode the structure of the winch. A properly lubricated winch will drain freely. A blast of fresh water into the winches whenever you are washing the boat down will minimise any salt build up. 

    2.  A complete overhaul of a winch involves a complete strip down to the component parts, a thorough clean and de-grease, inspection, re-lubrication and re-assembly. Cleaning and degreasing is best done in a bucket of commercially available de-greaser. Use a small stiff brush to remove all of the old grease and oil. Be careful of plastic parts degrading in the de-greaser. 

    3.  A very important stage of cleaning is to flush the winch parts in hot water to remove any trace of solvent as this will degrade the grease you are about to put on. 

    4.  Inspect the winch thoroughly, paying particular attention to the pawls and springs. Replace any pawls or springs that are not working perfectly. These parts stop the winch going backwards and are very important! Lubricate with light oil such as Harken Pawl Oil (BK4521) DO NOT USE GREASE OR TEFLON SPRAY as this will make the pawls stick.

    5.  To re-assemble the winch in the correct way, check the pawl gears are fitted correctly. Use the exploded views (available on the Harken Web Site) to make sure you are correct. 

    6.  Re-lubricate the winch with Harken Winch Grease (BK4513) on all gear teeth, stainless roller bearings, and any other metal-to-metal wear surfaces. Brush the grease on with a small brush and work it into all of the gear teeth.

    NB: Remember the ring gear inside the drum. A winch without sufficient lubrication will wear out much faster and will lose efficiency. The risk of mechanical failure will also be higher. 

    7.  Use some anti-seize such as Tef-Gel on the fasteners to prevent any corrosion and allow easy removal for the next service. A well maintained winch is easy to service as it comes apart easily, is easy to clean, and is less likely to have any problems. 

    For more information and to download copies of the winch service manuals visit:

    After all that work perhaps you should consider investing in some protective winch covers. Avalible in a number of sizes off the shelf or we make up here in our sail loft to the colour of your choice. For more information call us on 0191 2661037 or email

    Boeshield T9

    Well not quite a tube but in an aerosol can, Boeshield T9 is a great product that we use ourselves all the time. Developed by the Boeing company for the protection and lubrication of aircraft components, it's a combination of solvents, lubricants and waxes. It dries to a thin waxy film that clings to metals for months. It will loosen rusty and corroded parts and is safe to use on paints, plastics and vinyl. Boeshield is of course perfect for spraying onto and protecting switch panels in hostile environments... like boats! Today, believe it or not, young Claire sold a couple of cans of the stuff to a customer with a beach 'shack' on a Caribbean Island with a large chandelier that needs constant attention to stop it going rusty, so she is going to give it the Boeshield treatment! I did offer to do the spraying myself, alas to no avail.

    Strong Stainless Steel Pegs

    Dear Auntie Fouling,

    On a long cruise even with my dirty habits I can still go through a fair amount of clothes, especially grunties. My partner (she of considerably higher hygiene standards than me) loads more. Washing smalls is no problem, however, the trouble is that up to now all the plastic clothes pegs that I take along snap within three weeks due to u/v degradation. Wooden pegs, if you're lucky, last five minutes before breaking or, in the first puff of wind they disappear, along with her knickers, as the springs are not powerful enough. Those that manage to remain attached end up leaving a rust mark on the fabric! Next year's cruise looks to be in jeopardy unless I can come up with a solution, and NO I am not taking his and hers paper underwear! Best, Simon Skids.

    Dear Simon Skids,

    I wholeheartedly agree with your partner's pantie predicament, I had the same problem until I told, in confidence, that nice, good looking very very elderly co-proprietor of Storrar Marine, that to my shock and horror 'I had been forced to go commando for the last week of this year's summer cruise'. To my surprise he immediately whipped out from under the counter an extremely large... box of very strong stainless steel pegs! The perfect answer to those who have seen their smalls fly off the guard rail. Auntie Fouling



  • 36. Top Tips Tuesday - Cure That Chafe - Mooring Line Chafe Protection

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    As the nights get longer and the winds get stronger (is there a poet in me) now is the time, assuming your craft is not out of the water, to think about mooring line chafe protection and to check your boat and lines on a regular basis. Attractive teak or varnished mahogany gunwales can in a very short time look battle scarred if the warp is working back and forth over the surface. With a glass substrate it may take a little longer but grooves can and do form. On my recently departed and sorely missed Hunter Channel 31, which we finished off from a kit some thirteen years ago, I used some odd pieces of alloy dinghy keel band to protect the glasswork around the fairleads, however these days, you can buy 'off the shelf' predrilled stainless steel rubbing strake in different lengths. If you are concerned about a genoa sheet which rubs against the cockpit coaming on 'its way' to a winch or say wear from a halyard, the No-Wear Chafe Guard pads are great for protecting the substrate. Manufactured from a flexible thin stainless they come with the underside coated with a strong adhesive (so it's a five minute fit) and if the damage has already been done i.e. grooves in the gelcoat, once the surface has been filled with Plastic Padding's Marine Filler they can hide a multitude of sins. If you want to protect the line, perhaps over a concrete quay edge consider using something as simple as a reinforced plastic hose or for something a little more 'high tech' try our Ballistic nylon chafe protectors. These can be applied to mooring lines already in place, even if both ends are already spliced. To lessen the strain on cleats/fairleads and of course mooring warps and to take the snatch or jerk out, consider using rubber snubbers, the type that gets the nod from me is the Kingflex, can be easily attached after the line has been taken ashore and the boat secured.


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