Monthly Archives: December 2016

  • 143. Top Tips Tuesday - A Rope Stripper, the perfect Christmas gift


    Jenny, my long suffering wife, has been telling me for more years than I wish to remember that she finds it increasingly hard to buy me, the guy who has everything, that perfect Christmas gift. Yes I certainly appreciate those thoughtful and often quirky stocking fillers such as a can of Fentimans tonic water and/or a bottle of Fever Tree, Terry’s chocolate orange ‘box’ and of course the Christmas edition of Private Eye. However, for my main prezzie, something that would set my heart beating faster, what could be better than a Stripper for Christmas and yes folks they do come in all shapes, sizes and prices. For me the Ambassador Marine Stripper propeller protector (having been onboard and seen one in action) is the one to go for, yes it's not cheap but when you consider the cost of a lift out, diver call out, maybe a bent P bracket or even worse, the loss of your boat its starts to look very good value for money! It's available in both a sail drive or a shaft drive version.

    My first prop ‘foul’ incident was some years ago when helping friends take their superb Dutch designed and built Breehorn 37 through the Caledonian canal when at the bottom of Neptune's staircase we literally ground to a halt. The second time we had a foul up, this was on another friend's yacht, I was so impressed with the way the Stripper coped with cutting away a lazy line as we fouled when leaving a stern to mooring in Sivota that I vowed then and there that one day I'm going to have one for Hindsight, which at that time was our work in progress project! Fortunately Jenny was aboard for both these incidents so when she asked me last December what I wanted for Christmas, I replied "a Stripper and make it a combined Christmas/birthday/semi retirement present!" Well my dream came true; what a joy my own personal Stripper, now ceremoniously bolted to the sail drive on Hind Sight August past. Yes I will still keep a close look out for the unmarked lobster pot buoys when sailing the North East coast this winter. If I do miss spotting one in poor visibility or run into that polythene sheet floating just below the surface, the stripper will save the day.

    PS. For keen followers of Top Tips Tuesday (or is it unfortunate ones) I regret to say there will be no more ‘words of wisdom’ till January 2017, so all it remains to say is have a great Christmas and New Year from myself, boss man Andy and all the team.

  • 142. Top Tips Tuesday - An easy 'How to' guide with West Systems

    This week's 'Top Tip' is an easy "how-to" guide on repairing the area around a stanchion base on a fibreglass boat. Lots of boats have damage around the stanchion base and if left they can lead to much more serious problems when water gets into the deck, not to mention the added risk to crew.

    Many thanks to West System Epoxy's Hamish Cook and David Johnson for their permission to use this article.


    We asked Hamish… How do you repair a stanchion on a fibreglass boat?

    Is one or more of your lifeline stanchions coming away from its base? It’s a common problem but it’s vital that it’s fixed quickly. A repair with thickened WEST SYSTEM® epoxy and fibreglass will do an excellent job, as our technical expert Hamish explains.

    There’s a lot of stress placed on the humble stanchion. Often knocked when docking, or shoved when setting sail, it’s not uncommon for them to weaken, or even wrench away from their base entirely. However, given the vital role that these posts play in crew safety, it’s essential that they’re fixed as soon as possible.

    On a fibreglass boat, fixing a stanchion base with epoxy is a relatively straightforward procedure. My colleague David Johnson has produced a video (above) talking you through the repair. Here’s my written step-by-step guide to assist you through the process.

    Step 1 – Grind away the damage

    The first step is to take out the stanchion and grind back the hole to remove all damaged material. When grinding, ensure you taper in to the centre of the hole; grinding a bevel around the edge will create an enhanced surface area for your epoxy bond, so that the repair is as strong and long-lasting as possible.

    Step 2 – Insert a backer

    Make sure you wipe the area clean with alcohol.

    Then, if the hole is deep (if you’ve exposed the inside of the boat), you’ll need to push in a backer which your epoxy resin repair will adhere to. We recommend using peel ply for this. Cut your peel ply to size and push it inside the hole, cementing it in with WEST SYSTEM epoxy thickened with WEST SYSTEM 406 Colloidal Silica. Leave it to cure.

    Step 3 – Apply thickened epoxy

    Mix up some more WEST SYSTEM epoxy resin and hardener and blend it with WEST SYSTEM 406 Colloidal Silica to a mayonnaise consistency. Use a small brush to apply this to the peel-ply-reinforced gap, pushing it well in and smoothing it around, so that it fills any irregular shapes. This will ease the transition to the fibreglass part of your repair.

    Step 4 – Apply fibreglass

    Once this has cured, the next step is to mix up some more WEST SYSTEM epoxy , this time adding some WEST SYSTEM 402 Milled Glass Fibre Blend. Push this mixture into the hole with a mixing stick first of all, before working it into the hole with a brush, stippling to feather out any spiky bits of the fibre and remove any air bubbles.

    Step 5 – Apply your peel ply

    To help compact the repair, apply some more peel ply to the fibreglass mix when it’s wet. Ensure the peel ply is nicely wet out by the fibreglass mixture. If you’re working in any sort of windy weather, you may wish to apply masking tape to secure the peel ply.

    That’s all there is to it. Once this has cured, you can grind it back, apply your gel coat and re-fit the stanchion. You’ll find this is a sound repair that will last a long time.

    Don’t forget to watch our stanchion repair video by David Johnson.

    Want to know more about fibreglass boat repair? We have a whole host of articles – take a look here.

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