Monthly Archives: April 2015

  • 61. Top Tips Tuesday - Let There Be Light - Cockpit Lighting

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    As the days get warmer and the nights shorter we sailors tend to migrate from the cabin to the cockpit after a day’s sailing. For me nothing beats the company of fellow boating enthusiasts whilst enjoying at least a couple of G&T’s and some nibbles (including Aldi’s peanuts’ at ½ the price of KP and just as good). Having said that I have, over the years, also enjoyed quiet evenings in the cockpit catching up on my reading when the temperature has been suitable and there has been sufficient light to see the page! However help is at hand as this spring we have seen a number of new products which I think will make your cockpit time more enjoyable, certainly mine. The first is an excellent  flexible LED strip, for either ‘permanent’ fixing to the sprayhood bar using say cable ties or alternatively velcro if you want to just attach when the mood takes you. For mounting under the boom or bimini use self adhesive velcro. Being LED, the current draw on your battery is minimal; there is also the option of a dimmer switch which gives you four levels of illumination.

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    Davis Instruments fully marinised LED rail lights, two sizes available which come complete with clamp or screw mounted options, are also worth considering. Both are solar powered so once again no worries about battery drain. New also on the market is a rather nifty inflatable solar lantern. Originally developed for remote communities in Africa, this technology is now available for boaters. It features either low or high settings as well as a ‘flashing’ mode! This coming Bank holiday weekend, yes ‘let there be light’ but let there also be no rain nor strong winds to allow us some evening cockpit time.


    Cockpit Lighting.

  • 60. Top Tips Tuesday - Dr Sails - Flexible Epoxy Repairs


    Your life in the Doc’s hands? Not quite but this product is almost a miracle worker! Relatively new on the marine market, Dr Sails certainly is an excellent item to keep in your tool kit for that unexpected emergency repair. Not only can it be used underwater but also at low temperatures (as low as -5°C). As for what it can bond, here goes... wood, metal, fibreglass, carbon fibre, rubber, leather, neoprene, plastic (except polypropylene, polyethylene, Teflon) sailcloth, both woven and laminate as well as most flexible window material. What for me is exciting, as a sail maker, is that Dr Sails can be used to create structural repairs on sails in load bearing areas, like a torn reef point, clew damage where the body of sail is pulling away from the patch or if say a webbing loop parts due to stitching failure (often caused by UV exposure).

    As can be seen from the image, one of our customers had such a failure on his headsail last year during his summer cruise, did a belt and braces repair, yes it got him home but the ‘mod’ did considerable damage to the anodised alloy top foil!

    Purchase some Dr Sails from us before the first May Bank holiday and I will chuck in some scraps of woven sailcloth, window material or laminate as a freebie!

    Dr Sails - Flexible Epoxy Repairs

  • 59. Top Tips Tuesday - Pimp Your Wheel - Leather Wheel Cover Kit


    Had a brilliant sail Sunday night and the bonus? We just made the pub before last orders! Cast off from City Marina Newcastle 6-50pm waited five minutes for the Millennium bridge to open and then motored down the Tyne past the  old Lloyds hailing station where we went head to wind, hoisted full main, bore off, unfurled genoa and settled down to a close reach to Schuuper’s home berth at the RNYC Blyth, perfect sailing conditions with 15 gusting 20, flat sea and a cloudless sky. No lobster pots were seen (makes a pleasant change) our only incident was being ‘targeted’ by some idiot shining a green laser beam over our sails off St Marys Lighthouse! I was glad that Pete’s wheel has been recovered with one of our Leather Wheel Cover Kits as in my haste to help Pete ‘escape’ the bridge I had forgotten my warm gloves!

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    If you want to 'pimp' your wheel cover, the Leather Wheel Cover Kit is supplied with all you need to complete the job:

    • Leather strip, pre-punched holes for easy sewing
    • Strong needle and waxed thread
    • Step by step instructions
    • Colour fast and resistant to mould

    Having now ‘sorted’ the wheel why not now consider covering your guard rail/pulpit/pushpit connection with leather as well? It will help eliminate chafe, stops split pins snagging clothes or hands.

  • 58. Top Tips Tuesday - Combat Those Pesky Gulls with the StopGull Seagull Deterrent

    StopGull Seagull Deterrent

    I was working on Easter Sunday (no rest for the wicked) down at our local marina and noticed, to my horror, a sprayhood that our loft had manufactured last Autumn covered in seagull poo. Unfortunately the skipper works away and as a result it was very heavily soiled. If you do have a problem with gulls (or starlings in the autumn) perching on your mast, mast head light, radome or whatever why not consider fitting a StopGull Seagull Deterrent. Ever so easy to fit even with the mast up,  they come with a self adhesive pad and are excellent value at only £4-95. For a radome maybe go for three of these translucent rotating deterrents should the dome be their favourite perch!  StopGull is also available in a long flexible strip for attaching to a bimini or a mainsail cover and only takes a couple of minutes to fit.

    StopGull Seagull Deterrent

    Incidentally if you have to wash your canvas work for whatever reason, under no circumstances use a pressure washer as it will damage the yarns and strip the fabric of any strength, wash in water below 30°C using a soft soap solution like Fabsil Universal Cleaner. Rinse thoroughly and then consider reproofing.

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