Monthly Archives: May 2015

  • 65. Top Tips Tuesday - Nice Cuppa Tea, Or Not! Cleaning Freshwater Systems


    Yes I do like my real ale and am partial to the odd glass of port (helps my 'evening weekly blog composition' with a glass or two at my side) however at work it’s a different story. A 'nice cup of tea' first thing in the morning always sets me up for the day, coffee at ten and then another cuppa at three. However if out in the marina setting a rig up or cover fitting its a different story, as when working on a customer’s boat and the owner is on board, if asked if I would like a cup of tea or coffee its always 'no thank you, will only make me want to go to the loo' Why? Because so many owners don't pay enough attention to their onboard drinking water! Contamination of your water supply may occur at source, to reduce the risk we strongly recommend that you keep on your boat a dedicated hose for drinking water only. Do not use a hose that has been left in situ on a marina pontoon, you may find that a seabird or rat has contaminated the end by attempting to quench their thirst! Once you have got your hose connected to the supply, make sure your young willing helper is not dragging the end over contaminated decking or has dropped it into the water before putting the nozzle into your filler!

    Puratank which contains no chlorine is excellent for cleaning tanks, pumps, pipes and taps, allow 24 hours and if you have not already changed your filter be it a Jabsco or Whale we strongly reccomend you do so,  as it leaves the water natural tasting and sweet smelling. It is sensible to add Aquamega tabs (water purifying tablets) which will destroy the organisms, which cause Legionella, Cholera, Typhoid, Amoebic Dysentery and Salmonella to name but a few!

  • 64. Top Tips Tuesday - Sweet Dreams With Happy Hooking - Anchoring


    For anyone that thinks there is nowt better than spending the night at anchor in a secluded bay, then Happy Hooking - The Art of Anchoring by Alex & Daria Blackwell is a ‘must read’ for those of you who are poor sleepers when swinging on the hook! The second expanded edition of The Art of Anchoring really does delve into the subject, it draws on first-hand experience of three Atlantic crossings and countless days at anchor on both sides of the Atlantic and throughout the Caribbean. The Blackwells share the knowledge they’ve gained and the stories they’ve witnessed. This edition covers over 30 different designs of anchor including, of course, the new generation anchors such as Rocna and Manson. There are also chapters on a wide range of subjects such as anchoring technique, moorings, tying up, rafting and anchoring etiquette (see related articles written by the author(s): Anchoring BasicsAnchor Selection). As they write and I quote 'after all, anchoring is a spectator sport so you might as well show-off your expertise with some happy hooking!' 

    As a final thought, if you have been unable to use one of the new generation anchors like the Rocna or the Manson due to the presence of the roll bar, why not consider the recently released Rocna Vulcan, the latest design from the Rocna stable’s Peter Smith. The new Vulcan capitalizes on already finely tuned design elements, infusing many of its elder sibling’s proven performance advantages for an extremely quick and reliable set across a range of seabeds combined with rock solid holding power.



    Breaking from the Original Rocna design, the Vulcan features a unique combination of shank and fluke geometry – including an innovative roll-palm™ (A) at the rear of the fluke – which self-rights the anchor on the seabed without the use of a roll-bar. This is assisted by the V-bulb™ (B) which extends fluke ballast downward to gain maximum leverage and efficiency. This development permits a larger fluke surface area than competing designs which rely on simple dead weight, while the concave fluke (C) is similar in design to the Rocna, directly equating to more holding power and security.

    The Vulcan’s shank shape (D) encourages self-launching and self-stowing upon retrieval on the majority of bow rollers, with a liquid smooth action, ensuring ease of use for all operators.

    In addition to the use of high tensile steel, shank strength is optimized by a unique I+V profile™ shank design (E), granting improved resistance to bending courtesy of a computer optimized I-beam geometry. This visually elegant innovation also improves setting performance, with the lower V edge (F) cutting into the seabed and minimizing resistance to a deep and secure burial.

    Rocna and Vulcan both have a lifetime warranty.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  • Anchoring Articles - By the Author(s) of "Happy Hooking - The Art of Anchoring

    Anchor Selection - By Alex Blackwell

    Anchoring Basics - By Alex Blackwell

  • 63. Top Tips Tuesday - Secure enough to prevent a M.O.B?

    Jackstay underside (hidden from UV)      Jackstay Topside (exposed to UV)

    Secure enough to prevent a M.O.B?

    Had a skipper in the chandlery on Saturday, brought in his old jackstays and asked us if we could make up a new set to exactly the same length, my reply "yes no problem I would agree the stitching looks well past its sell by date" his response, "Didn't notice the stitching, I just wanted to smarten up the deck!" Anyway instead of making a set up (turn around in our extremely busy sailloft doesn't match his equally busy sailing schedule) he purchased a set of Baltic Adjustable Jackstays and went away a happy skipper. Later that day, just out of curiosity, whilst I was in the sailoft I gave a sharp tug of the stitching, it failed with very little effort, even with my arthritic wrists! and as can be seen from the footage taken later whilst pulling the other end, just as weak!

    If you haven't already done so we do strongly recommend you spend half an hour checking the condition of your jackstays this weekend. Attachment points, be they U-bolts or folding padeyes (my preference) and securing shackles (check the monel seizing wire is still intact) and whilst you're at it even the industry standard hooks can occasionally fail to operate properly! As can be seen from the second image featuring a safety line, this particular one was recently condemned to the bin.

    Shackle Fail       Safety Line Spring Fail

    If the unthinkable does happens and you have to abandon your boat, for the month of May only we are offering free delivery (mainland UK only excluding Highlands) on all Seago liferafts.



  • 62. Top Tips Tuesday - Tried And Tested - Gill Sense Bifocal Sunglasses


    It’s not often that I am lost for a topic to write for my ‘Top Tips Tuesday’ feature, however if I am, a glass or two of port on a Monday night after my evening meal usually refreshes the part of the brain that is needed to start the thought process! Last Saturday morning I had to make my biannual visit to the optician and during my eye examination we were of course talking sailing (he is a keen flotilla devotee). The conversation got round to forthcoming holidays and I mentioned that, once again we are going out to the Greek Isles cruising on a friend’s ketch. I mentioned to John that I had taken one of the first pairs (in fact the Gill reps sample pair) of the Gill Sense Bifocal Sunglasses away on our Greek cruise last year and said at the time...'What a brilliant bit of kit’.

    Come Monday past I ate my evening meal grabbed a coffee and retreated to my command station sadly minus the bottle of port, subject matter was already there!

    The new Gill Sense Bifocal Sunglasses are, in my opinion, perfect for those who spend time on the water and don’t want the hassle of changing glasses to read the small print when in the cockpit, or lounging at the waterside tavern after a day’s sailing. They are available in two strengths +1.50 & +2.50, they float (but would the skipper go back to retrieve if you were racing? mine wouldn’t!) Other features of these excellent glasses, they include a hydrophobic outer coating which sheds water and reduces salt residue, they use oleophobic technology which when applied to the inside face repels finger prints, sun lotion and skin oils and, of course, they are 100% UV400 which blocks out harmful UVA, UVB and UVC radiation. Not only are we offering these glasses at a discounted price we are throwing in a free pair of glasses retainers worth over £6-00!P1060977

    A word about our pontoon "models" Trevor with the + 1.5 glasses is the ‘live aboard’ owner of the steel Dorothy Mitchell she is berthed at Royal Quays marina, Trevor is a RYA qualified sailing instructor and apart from working on his ketch spends his time on the water instructing and delivering yachts.

    Roger who is modelling the +2.50 glasses has yes a mistress but she is not the charter fishing boat (as can be seen in the background) but a drop dead gorgeous Canadian built Contessa 32, last year he was cruising in the Baltic and Netherlands, this year who knows?


5 Item(s)