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.