Monthly Archives: March 2017

  • 155. Top Tips Tuesday - Gin O'Clock - Lagun Yacht Cockpit Tables

    Push Pit/Gin Seat

    Its not quite the end of the long build road, but when Jenny asked me the other day how was I getting on with certain 'essentials' on the Mystery, like the two pushpit gin seats and the cockpit nibbles table I thought that seeing as it's a nice sunny weekend it would be nice to get the seats treated  before fitting them (saves having to clear up spills from the fibreglass). The Teak Wonder range of products are my favourites. For the pushpit seats, as the wood was fresh from the workshop, I used Teak Wonder Dressing & Sealer to maintain the golden colour before installing them on the pushpit, a second coat can be applied when dry usually after one hour and with the conditions on Saturday this is what I did.  To bring the cockpit seats and coaming up to scratch its going to be a case of applying Teak Wonder Cleaner, maybe Teak Wonder Brightner if the teak doesn't lighten enough and then the dressing and sealer.

    Lagun Teak Table Top

    As for a removable cockpit table some twelve years ago when fitting out our Channel 31 we made up a cockpit table that straddled the centre main track, worked well but often got in the way. For the Mystery we went for one of the excellent Lagun yacht tables, the table can be height adjusted, turned, spun around, folded and packed away and with no legs of its own, there is plenty of room to play footsie with the person opposite! The table can be bought in teak effect (Rimini) or white melamine, however please note the teak veneer option as per my images has now been discontinued. Its simple to install and comes with fasteners, backing plate and plastic wedges (see image below) for non vertical surfaces! Deploying the frame is easy as it slides into the mounting bracket, stowing it away after use is just as easy.

    Lagun wedge adjustment and leg (stowed position)

    Please note that with every complete unit we are giving away a stowage bag worth £45.00, deal or no deal?

    Lagun Table Stowage Bag Made Buy Storrar Marine Chandlery

  • 154. Top Tips Tuesday - Be Seen, Be Safe


    When I was a lot, lot younger, thinking myself to be a competitive dinghy sailor, I would spend hours polishing my bottom (Enterprise, National 12, International 14's and then Flying 15's). So sad I was that on one occasion I faired in with car bodge (filler) the metal hound bands on my wooden Enterprise mast! Did it do any good? Who knows but the feel good factor must have helped. When I started sail making, working at Musto & Hyde back in the early seventies, I was lucky enough to be offered the use of Keith Musto's Flying Dutchman to pursue my 'Olympic Dream'. This particular dinghy had the spinnaker pole stowage on the foredeck with twin troughs port and starboard. I remember at the Cork pre Olympic regatta at Kingston Lake Ontario being told by one of the class experts that once we 'sampled' the lake 'chop' we would have been far better off with the pole stowed amidships cos of all that extra weight forward, was it a psychological wind up?, who knows but we were certainly not the quickest upwind when it was lumpy! Now with me well past my sell by date I still do occasionally get the racing urge, Wed night racing at the RNYC and of course old habits die hard, keep weight out of the ends like stow the outboard amidships, likewise keep the crew out of the cockpit and get the foredeck guy off the bow pronto, smaller diameter lighter weight halyard, carbon battens.


    On the Mystery we deliberately located the raft amidships (still easy to deploy), my second hand Avon likewise, we are using Cruising Dyneema halyards less weight, windage and lower stretch and as for weight and windage aloft definitely no radar up the mast and no reflector either big or small permanently attached to the mast or rigging. You may ask why not fit a round tubular type, in my humble opinion they are a waste of space!

    92b5d5e1-7b85-49aa-9f7a-1d27565d7ba2On board Hindsight our first line of defence is a Echomax Active XS Dual Band RTE (radar target enhancer) at the tip of the mast, minimal windage and as for the weight only 573 grams When a radar pulse is received a switchable buzzer sounds and a coloured LED illuminates, green for X band, Yellow for S band.

    On top of that we will carry on board, to hoist on the burgee halyard, an Echomax EM230I inflatable radar reflector. It gives an astonishing maximum response of 25.6m2, folds down neatly to the size of a book and weighs just 413 grams! Great for racers as it exceeds ISAF, ORC & RORC requirements and for 'retired racers' like me who want to cruise in comfort with less heeling, less pitching and at a higher speed due to a more efficient mainsail. You never know that 1% extra speed through the water, never mind the reduction in leeway, could get you through the tidal gate or even better to the bar in the marina before they call last orders!


    A friend of mine who is a very talented naval architect made the following comment...

    "These days in particular yacht owners are encouraged to carry radar equipment or at least reflectors (and a plethora of other equipment such as AIS). The reality is a 30ft yacht has the same degree of requirement to be see and be seen as a 60ft yacht. Arguably to be equally effective both yachts need to carry the same equipment of the same size at the same height above waterline. However on the smaller yacht this extra weight aloft is going to have a much greater effect on stability; in particular reducing the yachts AVS, the angle of roll at which the yacht can no longer oppose heeling forces and come back upright"

  • 153. Top Tips Tuesday - Sea-Tag MOB Alarm For Under £80.00!

    Sea-Tag Man Overboard Wristband

    Hopefully by late May we will be onboard Hindsight, sailing  from Port Saint Louis to Corfu via the Straits of Messina. Let’s hope the sun is shining and the winds, for once,  not on the nose!  As I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs to maintain the classic looks of the Mystery our Raymarine chart plotter is mounted below deck, for navigation on  deck we will be using an iPad in a Gooper waterproof case (power for the iPad supplied via one of those superb waterproof Scanstrut sockets which is mounted on the instrument pod above the sliding hatch). As a sail maker and chandler of ill repute for almost fifty years my worst ever nightmare would be to see front page headlines in our daily paper which might read ‘local chandler didn’t practise what he preached and due to circumstances ‘beyond his control’ there was a major incident’! The sailing club bar gossip is bad enough when for once in the lead we sail over the spinnaker on a Wednesday night race or set the grass on the nature reserve sand dunes on fire during a flare demo!

    Sea-Tag Man Overboard Wristband and App

    Last week I wrote about lowering the ‘trip factor’ and with that in mind I thought that this week it would be a good to follow on with some words about a rather nifty bit of personal kit called  Sea-Tag, which comes into its own should you have the misfortune to part company with your boat. Sea-Tag is worn as a wrist band and in crew mode, no mobile network (GSM) coverage is necessary. Monitor your crew and let your crew monitor you by connecting wristbands to all apple or android devices on board using the free Sea-Tags app. The wristbands transmit a continuous signal to all the paired smart phones and tablets. If the signal is interrupted (by immersion or being out of range) the alarm on the phones/tablets go off. The Sea-Tags application displays the MOB’s position, the real-time position of the boat, and provides real-time updates of the heading and distance to retrieve the MOB.

    If you are a single handed sailor and there is mobile network coverage, in the event of a man overboard, your phone (left onboard) will send a text message (SMS) with the position and time of the event. The person on land can contact the authorities and communicate the last known GPS position of the MOB.

    Sea-Tags can be used on boats up to 15mtrs long, however they are not suitable on steel hulls or an exotic racer made from carbon! Batteries are good for 600 hours operation and user-replaceable.

  • 152. Top Tips Tuesday - Better late than never - Removing rust and paint with the Tercoo rotating blaster

    Removing multiple layers of antifoul

    Last winter I was a bit of a naughty boy and instead of listening to Jenny and concentrating on finishing the Mystery project, on a few Fridays and weekends I took time off and helped the Vounaki crew prepare the underwater surfaces of Mark's Albin Express in the hope that the crew, which includes yours truly, could end up with a smooth hull and keel and mount a 'serious' challenge for the RNYC Wednesday night series trophy races.

    Removing multiple layers of antifoul

    Earlier in 2016 Mark had bought the Albin from Scotland where she had been cruised for all of her life. Judging by the condition of the keel and the hull it looked as though the previous owner's idea of 'spring fitting out' was just to slap another coat of antifouling on regardless of the state of the existing finish!

    Over the course of at least three months we removed at least 6mm of badly applied antifoul which unfortunately seemed to stick like a limpet. As for the keel, which to put it bluntly, was in a hell of a state, rougher than a badgers a..., with large patches of rust and a very uneven surface. We tried everything to quickly and safely remove and prepare the surface for its first coat of Primocon, angle grinder, rotary wire brush and yes even a hammer and cold chisel, progress was so slow that we got very, very disheartened and had to retire to the bar on a number of occasions to lick our wounds. It's a shame we hadn't discovered Tercoo as it would have kept us away from the club ship as the triple disc will strip approximately 30 mtrs of steel.

    Tercoo Rotating Blaster for removing paint and rust

    Tercoo is a rotating disk for the removal of rust, paint, tar, epoxy, paint, adhesives etc from various materials such as steel, iron, concrete or stone. The result is a sandblasted surface with the appropriate texture suitable for the application of a new protective coating.

    Tercoo is a natural rubber disk with 12 hard metal (tungsten carbide) tips (pins). The tips are at a certain angle to the centre of the disk. During operation, the centrifugal force created by the rotational speed of the drill causes the flexible rubber disk to react in such a way, that a "hammer effect" is created with the tungsten carbide tips. This movement ensures that the tips clean the surface perfectly, removing all contaminants and other old coatings. The hammer effect creates no heat, so tough materials such as tar, adhesives and sealants will be easily removed. This is an entirely opposite concept compared to other tools. Other tools use friction to remove contaminants (steel brush etc) which produce a lot of heat and work ineffectively with bitumen based products, tar, adhesives, tectyl etc. In other words, it does not matter what the coating, Tercoo is always clean. If using Tercoo to remove antifouling our recommendation apart from making sure you have a good mask, eye and hands protection is to purchase the adjustable guide for GRP.

    The Tercoo rotating blaster in action - Paint stripper and rust removal tool from Storrar Marine Chandlery on Vimeo.

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