Monthly Archives: August 2015

  • 78. Top Tips Tuesday - Cruising... "The Wild Atlantic Way"


    It may be a little late for some skippers and crew who have already started, or perhaps finished, this years Irish cruise however "Cruising the Wild Atlantic Way" will inspire water sports enthusiasts and landlubbers alike to appreciate the challenges and the rewards of cruising along the rugged and unspoiled west coast of Ireland, this excellent newly published book is written by Daria & Alex Blackwell (authors of the superb book 'Happy Hooking The Art of Anchoring')

    Ireland's untamed West Coast, dotted with islands, is one of the most challenging and daunting coastlines to sail; find out what it takes to cruise the Wild Atlantic Way. Learn the secrets of how to prepare, where to stop, and how to thoroughly enjoy this unique cruising ground. Norman Kean, Author Of Cruising Ireland and Irish Cruising Club Sailing Direction writes "It's a charming book, and it conveys a sense of the joy of discovery"

    Authors Daria and Alex Blackwell are lifelong sailors. They sail a Bowman 57 cutter rigged ketch, have crossed the Atlantic three times to date; visited many countries along the way. They have sailed up and down the West  coast of Ireland from Cork to Donegal, and consistently cruise along the west coast islands. The Wild Atlantic Way can be purchased for £27.95 Happy Hooking The Art of Anchoring is in my opinion the definitive book on how to anchor £15.95, or purchase both books at a special price of £39.95! Offer ends September 30th 2015!

  • 77. Top Tips Tuesday - Brizo! Back By Popular Demand (And At A Much Much Lower Price!)

    Some four years ago we were introduced to BRIZO and no it’s not a washing up powder but it does help to keep things clean! After field testing the Brizo at our local sailing club I then wrote an article in our July 2011 newsletter (issue 43) about the advantages of using this excellent bit of underwater cleaning kit and I make no apologies for repeating them, see below. So impressed was I with the performance of the Brizo, that I then took the kit out to the Canaries where it helped keep the underwater surfaces of our Channel 31 clean. What with only being able to get out to the yacht every three months or so we used to get more than our fair share of fouling, so the day after we arrived, out would come the Brizo and after a max of one hours effort the result was once again a clean  bottom, keel and rudder. When the time came to sell the Channel you could still get Brizos and I thought nothing of selling it on to the new Spanish owner, however soon after, the company selling them stopped and as footballers are often heard to say ‘I was gutted!’ The new Brizo is on for sale at £80-00 less than the original, quality is still the same however by careful sourcing of the various components the retail price is now only £150-00!

    The advantages?

    • I’m sure we don’t need to remind you of the costs of hauling out? A survey of 10 random marinas in the UK found that the average price of a haul out and pressure wash was £195.
    • It doesn’t matter whether you are using soft or hard antifouling paint because the Brizo can be used on either.
    • For the power boater, reduced fuel consumption as you can drop your revs off whilst maintaining speed.
    • For the racing yachtsman a cleaner bottom will give you that competitive edge on the race course.
    • For the cruising skipper more miles covered in a day’s sailing 1/2 a knot over 12 hours is 6 nautical miles, 24 hours 12 miles!
  • 76. Top Tips Tuesday - Chart Art, Preserve Your Summer Cruise For Posterity


    Yes I know its on a different ‘tack’ to my usual Top Tips Tuesday however, how often have you thought that it would be nice to have a visual record of your summer cruising area hanging on the wall of your study or lounge to remind you of those magical moments (possibly the slightly scary ones as well). With a lot of folks setting off or about to set out on their cruise it occurred to me that not an awful lot of you know about Chart Art. Chart Art is the brilliant new concept of internationally known yachting photographer Rick Tomlinson and his wife Annika, the licensee, with the rights to reproduce UKHO nautical chart images on canvas.  For your home or work place, Chart Art can provide a talking point or allow you to dream about maybe next year’s cruise. If you want to add your course sailed, taken from your GPS lat and long fixes during the week, favourite anchorages etc this can be done at a small additional cost, it gives added interest and makes for interesting conversations if friends or your crew come round for drinks or supper. Recent deliveries of Chart Art include one of the island of Jersey and the French coast for Jersey Customs and for the Scapa distillery on Orkney a chart of Scapa Flow for their boardroom.

    The Chart Art process uses technologically advanced 12 colour UV ink printed onto the finest 100% Cotton artist's canvas, which is sourced from some of the biggest international art suppliers. Museum Quality Artist's Stretcher Bars are made of the finest quality European kiln dried knotless pine, which has the advantage of being extremely hard wearing and not susceptible to warping that cheaper woods are prone to. Each bar features a rounded back edge which is designed to ensure that the canvas is always kept a full 1⁄2" (13mm) above the stretcher bar to ensure that there can be no ghost impressions on the canvas. These stretcher bars also incorporate ‘wedges’ which are placed in each corner and allow the canvas to be stretched extremely tightly over the frame. It also allows the canvas to be restretched over time, which can be of particular importance for the larger sizes we offer.

    Ordering is simple. Search our charts for the one you need, note the number then click on the charts link on that page, select a size, enter the chart number and that’s it! For custom chart areas call or email your requirements. A draft proof will be emailed for approval before the order goes ahead. As they are printed to order delivery is usually within 10 days.


  • 75. Top Tips Tuesday - Lift, Tap, Shake, Guess No Longer With The Dometic Gaschecker

    In the ten years or so that we kept our Channel 31 out in the Canaries it was only after three years that it became a guessing game as to how much gas we had on board. We initially used a Camping Gas spring balance, that 'rusted up' and then of course let us down badly over Christmas, so we then resorted to a lift, tap, shake and guess, not very satisfactory when it comes down to domestic harmony on board! Why didn't I use a Dometic Gaschecker? heaven knows, perhaps it wasn't around in those days. The Dometic Gaschecker indicator is of German manufacture, it allows one to accurately check the level of gas in all standard propane and butane gas bottles in a matter of seconds and could one day save your bacon, never mind grilling or frying it! Whilst we’re on the gas bottle subject, the Blue Performance gas cylinder tray is worth considering, stops those unsightly rust stain from marking the locker.

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