Monthly Archives: December 2014

  • 44. Top Tips Tuesday With Ann Summers (Mooring Compensators)

    Back in the summer of 2014, now seems a long time ago, Jenny and I were enjoying an idyllic couple of weeks in September on board Nimrod Peter and Anita’s ketch rigged Oyster, which is ‘based’ around Lefkas. As usual excellent company, super sailing, loads of sunshine and the occasional G&T. Half way through the first week, after an excellent breezy sail to another island in glorious sunshine, we had no alternative but to moor up alongside the disused ferry landing on the ‘new’ town quay (Peter’s first choice was bursting at the seams) Fore and aft lines were attached as were the springs when the skipper said  "I think we need the snubbers, with the forecast that we have it may get a little lumpy later, can you fetch them? They are in the lazarette", I trotted to the stern where Jenny and Anita were just pulling out the sail covers when convent educated Anita and now a happily retired school teacher said "Rob the 'Ann Summers' are in the port side of the lazarette". Well I must confess I had never heard snubbers or mooring compensators called by that name, but obviously I have lead a very very sheltered life! Anyway I pulled the Summers out and attached them to the bow and stern lines. The beauty of the Kingflex mooring compensator, which they had purchased some four years ago from our chandlery, is that it can be attached once your lines are in position unlike the majority of other makes that have to be threaded through. No they are not the cheapest on the market but in my opinion they are the best!

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  • 43. Top Tips Tuesday - At Last, An Antifouling For Transducers - Echo Antifouling

    If you fit transducers for a living or have a yacht or powerboat that has a through hull transducer, you are always faced with a quandary when it comes down to antifouling. If you read the Airmar (they supply transducers for Raymarine, Garmin, Simrad etc) installation leaflet they state, "you should only use a water based antifouling and never use one which is ketone based". By using any solvent based antifouling on the transducer you risk damaging it, the metallics impede the acoustic signal and traditional ‘thick’ antifouling reduces the signal strength! Until now, as far as we know, there has never been a product available that can be used with complete confidence however new to the market Echo Antifouling is water based,  it contains no copper and is a ‘thin film’ coating. Just what we have all been waiting for!

    Echo Antifoul

  • 42. Top Tips Tuesday - Keep The Dirt Off The Deck With Turtle Mat

    One of the best items I ever bought for work (and that was an awful long-time ago) was a couple of Turtle Mats, both were placed at the entrance to our sailloft. I was so delighted with them that we purchased two more a year later at the Earls Court show for the chandlery porch. As we ‘grew’ the company... retailing Mercury and Yamaha engines and opening an industrial rigging division, to control the amount of ‘muck’ that was on riggers and mechanics feet we kept buying more Turtle Mats. We now have eleven on site, its a right little 'bale' if thats what you call a gathering of Turtles! The beauty of these mats is no matter how dirty they get a quick wash gets them looking like new and they just carry on picking up the dirt.


    On our Channel 31, now sadly sold, which we used to keep in the Canaries, we had a couple of these mats. Absolutely brilliant at preventing the Sahara sand from working its way down below and a godsend when on one occasion a rather scruffy mechanic with oil on his boots came onboard to investigate what we thought was a gearbox whine. At home, Millie our border collie cross, thinks they are also great and carefully wipes her paws on one after her morning walk on the beach or after chasing cats across the flower bed in the back garden!


    My only disaster with a Turtle Mat was when I forgot to stow it away. The yacht, at that time, was berthed in Graciosa (small island off the top end of Lanzarote) there was a sudden storm and I ended up helping secure an absent owner's yacht that had come adrift, when I arrived back the mat that normally lives by the shrouds had gone! Shame the stainless steel clothes pegs which have a brilliant grip hadn’t been invented! I hate to say this but there probably is still time to give your boat a Turtle Mat or two for Christmas!

  • 41. Top Tips Tuesday - Protect Fresh Water Systems With Freezeban

    Sunrise SMC 091214

    According to the guys in the know we are in for a very cold winter whether that materializes or its ‘just a load of cold air’ who knows what will happen, however with the arctic weather the North East has experienced these last few days sales of Freezeban through our retail outlet have certainly started to climb!

    So you have drained the fresh water system down you think, the water tank is empty and no water is running out the taps however you can bet your bottom dollar that there remains in the water pressure pump, water filter, sink or shower head a small quantity of water. If the temperature inside the boat drops sufficiently (always more likely if she is out on the hard as against laid up in the water) you can end up with a large repair bill if, for instance, there is a small amount of water remaining in the water pressure pump, it expands and breaks the pump! Freezeban is a non-toxic antifreeze suitable for your boat’s water system. If you mix five litres of Freezeban concentrate with 5 litres of water it will fill an average fresh water system installation consisting of water pump, water heater, two hand basins, sink and shower. Incidentally, Freezeban will protect the system down to minus 15 degrees centigrade.

    When recommissioning at the end of the winter ready for the start of the season simply flush out with fresh water. Keep flushing until clear. Ensure no freeze ban is visible at any of the outlets before use.

    If you have not already got one, it may be worth also considering a tube heater to pop (if space allows) under the sump or in the engine bay. If unsure how to protect the engine block from frost damage you can check out our blog on winterisation.

  • NOTICE TO GARMIN OWNERS AND PROSPECTIVE BUYERS - Garmin Data Cards Discontinued 18/12/14

    Heavily discounted chart plotters that appear on the internet may not turn out to be the bargain of the year. As from the 18th of December 2014 Garmin Data Cards will no longer be available for the following chart plotters:

    192, 198, 276C, 278, 292, 298, 376C, 378, 392, 398, 478, 492, 496, 498, 2100 series, 2200 series, and 3000 series devices. 

    Should you require a chart for one of the above, please do not leave it till the last moment, let’s have your order sooner rather than later!


  • 40. Top Tips Tuesday - Wet & Forget - It really works and here is the proof

    I make no apologies for bringing up this excellent 'Top Tip' again as I had used Wet & Forget with great success to remove moss and mould in a non nautical environment and had blogged about it, however when I was working at Amble marina Northumberland in the middle of October I notice that opposite the yacht I was working  on there was an acrylic deck cover we had manufactured a few years ago that was now looking a little green (never mind the bird poo) I also noticed a green growth just inboard of the toe rail. This was the opportunity I had been looking for, took a picture on my camera then contacted the owner and asked him if I could spray diluted Wet & Forget on an area of the cover/ inner toe rail. Permission was granted and the ‘test area’ treated, some three weeks later I was once again at Amble and took a second picture, toe rail/deck clean and as for the cover well on its way to its original colour. The beauty of this product is that it does what it says with NO hard work, you just Wet & Forget, works great on all fabrics, rope, glassfibre and wood decks and can be used with confidence at home and in the garden.

    Wet & Forget - Now You See It ...   Wet & Forget - Now You Don't !

    Also we found these images on the Wet & Forget Blog...

    Wet & Forget - Before   Wet & Forget - After


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