Monthly Archives: May 2018

  • 210. Top Tips Tuesday - Whip it or dip it?

    Splicing Modern Ropes

    Blog no 210 was, I assure you, not written after reading a few chapters of Fifty Shades of Grey on Jen's Kindle but it's a few words on whipping rope ends. If you have all the time in the world or, like me, you're sitting at anchor in Tranquil Bay, Nidri in the Ionian,  there is nothing more satisfying than going through your mooring lines etc and checking the condition of each one and that the hand whipping on the end is still in good condition and if it isn't getting out the whipping twine, palm and needle. For those whipping 'virgins' there are many excellent books on the subject of rope craft, however my boss Andy's favourite is The Splicing Handbook by Barbara Merry, no it's not that silver haired lady who cooks for a living! As for me, the new kid or author on the block, Jan-Willemstad Polmen, has brought out an excellent book, (published methinks less than two years ago) and has some excellent pictures and informative text on the subject of whipping. It is also bang up to date on splicing these 'newer high tech lines' as well as traditional braid on braid and the like.

    Splicing Modern Ropes

    If you are time precious you can of course rely on a 'heat set end' to keep the halyard, sheet or mooring line intact, the downside being that should one stand on the end of rope you can easily break the melted resin down! The bog standard lines such as braid on braidhalyards are easy to heat seal however the more high tech lines are a different kettle of fish as the 'melting point' is so much higher! Andy sells a range of gas powered hot knives which do an excellent job of sealing the end. Starbrite's Dip-It-Whip-It is also a great answer to sealing the ends of ropes, especially the loose weave style of line that doesn't have a cover on it! Of course Dip It & Whip It can be used on all low tech lines you may have on board.

    Dip it Whip it

    Which ever method you use, be it a traditional whipping, heat sealed end or painting on some of Starbrite's Dip-It-Whip-It (available in a choice of colours, clear, red, green, black and white) don't under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES open your tablet or iPad and Google whipping, you will be in danger of going way way beyond E L James's Fifty Shades Of Grey!

    Best wishes and happy whipping,


  • GDPR - How to validate your e-newsletter subscription

    You may have heard about the new General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR"), that comes into effect May 25, 2018. To help comply with GDPR consent requirements, we need to confirm that you would like to continue to receive newsletters ie. 'Top Tips Tuesday' and offers from us.

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    All the best,

    The marinechandlery / Storrar Marine team


  • 209. Top Tips Tuesday - Flare disposal Greek style

    Flare disposal basket in Greece

    If you want to dispose of your flares and you live fairly local to Andy's emporium, yes we can help you. We regret there is a  charge but it's a service we offer at a cost price of £2.50 per flare, same price we are charged! We of course carry a full range of pyrotechnic flaresif you are able to collect from our chandlery (sorry folks we cannot mail order them) but we have seen a slow switch over in recent years to LED flares like the Ocean Signal EDF1. It's the most compact electronic flare on the market and with features such as up to 7 mile visibility, waterproof to 10m depth and a minimum 6 hour operation life it's ideal to have in your grab bag as an alternative to hand held pyrotechnics and of course no worries about the 'shelf life' nor disposal!

    Ocean Signal EDF1 Electronic Flare

    The alternative is the newly launched ODEO Distress Flare. It's lighter and smaller than the previous Mk3 version however it still boasts up to 6 mile visibility and up to 9 hours operating life (when using lithium batteries) It's waterproof to an incredible 50m so is ideal for divers who if for some reason or other (strong tidal flow maybe)  get separated from the support vessel. Like it's predecessor it uses AA batteries for ease of replacement (recommended replacement interval is 1 year)

    Odeo Distress Flare

    Whichever you go for, remember that an LED flare is only a replacement for hand held flares and if you are going to be out of sight of land you should also carry rocket flares to complement the LED flare. I would point out, however, that if your boat is commercially coded then the MCA still insist on pyrotechnics with their end of life disposal implications. As for the flares in the basket out here sitting in 28 degrees, it will be interesting to see if they are still sitting in the boatyard when we return at the end of June!

  • 208. Top Tips Tuesday - Ankle bitters

    RYA G45 - Go Sailing - Activity  book for young sailors

    It was always going to be a tight schedule getting this blog to 'press' by it's Monday lunchtime deadline, what with last week's work commitments, assembling all the boat bits to take to Corfu and then there was the packing of the car, never mind a Saturday midnight drive down to Cambridge to collect crew, the Channel tunnel, and then there was the drive through France, Switzerland and Italy to catch the afternoon ferry that sails from Ancona to Igoumenitsa on the Greek mainland. Tuesday morning, after arrival, it's just a short crossing to Corfu. So why take the car? Well a brand new mainsail for a Hunter 42 for an English guy who lives in Italy (handover in the Ancona ferry port), a traditional manilla bow fender for a wooden classic yacht owned by an American, he's normally based in the States but cruises the Greek Isles. 15 Litres of Granger's Gold waterproofing for my old mate Pete. There was also, of course, my Hempel Ocean Performer A/F plus, for the saildrive and prop, Hempel's Silic One Propeller Antifouling Kit. Yanmar engine oils and filters, the trusty old Avon dinghy now complete with a bespoke bow dodger and finally my cruising chute and code zero.


    Anyway, driving down got me thinking as to how do you keep the ankle biters occupied once you get them on board. As a child I was weaned on the Arthur Ransome books, my favourite "We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea" however if the grandchildren ever come out for a holiday on the Mystery methinks that the logbook and activity book will help to keep the girls occupied.

    Books for young sailors

    If they do eventually come sailing there will be other things to consider such as safety netting, children's lifejackets etc. Now let's see if we can get an Internet connection on the ferry and let's see if that goes better than our ferry bookings! We ended up being denied access to the overnite cabin and bunks for the night but that's another story!

    Books for young sailors

  • 207. Top Tips Tuesday - All Norma's fault!


    A few weeks ago I was helping Norma, our number one long serving machinist, fold a rather large unyielding Halberg Rassey genoa in the sailloft and when we met at the head of the sail I noticed a 'bracelet' on her wrist, flashing madly! Being the nosy sort that I am I asked her what was the significance of the bracelet and why was it flashing. Turns out that the flashing lights on the Fit Bit were telling her she had already exceeded her daily steps target. She then showed me on her mobile phone this fact and also her sleep pattern for last night and the week before.


    So began mine and Jennie's love affair with our Fit Bits. There is, I can assure you, no element of competition between the two of us in the number of steps we do each day however I was gutted to be told the other day that even though I had done 17473 steps she had beaten me hands down with 21834; this due to all that dog walking she does morning and afternoon! However when it came to my sleep pattern I came out tops with a total of 9hrs 12mins sleep last Friday night. Why so much sleep? Because By 6-15am that morning I was trotting down to the beach for a dip in the North Sea, by 7-30 was at Royal Quays marina for a final fit of a winter cover for a large Beneateau, then I spent most of the day in the sailoft with probably at least ten trips up and down the loft stairs. Later that day a mast climb to carry out a rig check out on the same yacht which sails mid May, destination Corfu. The boat, of course, is berthed at the far end of the marina. By the time it came to shut up shop and having also had to winch young Robert to the top of an American Hunter yacht's mast to adjust the Windex arms I was, to put it bluntly, knackered! Got home, had something to eat and as the Fit Bit shows I then promptly slept in an arm chair from 8-22 till Jenny woke me at ten o'clock (that's the vertical red line on the display) I then watched the news, kicked the dogs (and me) out for a comfort break and off bed. Total sleep that night with another reasonably early start next day, data all courtesy of my Fit Bit!


    Jenny, my better half, unfortunately isn't the best of sleepers both at home or on our Mystery and has been found in the past, when I have taken a stroll to the heads at three am, reading in the saloon. However this year we hope that with the addition of strategically placed mooring compensators on the appropriate mooring lines, should we be tied up along side a tavern pontoon or in say Mandraki marina, she should hopefully have a better nights sleep.

    Unimar U-Cleat

    We will also be taking out to Hindsight a couple of Spiroll rope protectors that, according to the blurb on the packaging, reduce the 'noice' from a warp working through a mooring cleat' as that is another source of irritation for my good lady apart from my snoring!

    Spiroll rope protector

    The mooring compensators that I prefer are the ones that you DON'T have to thread the line through such as the U-cleat from Unimer or the Bungy ones, so they can be fitted later if there is a change in the sea state. Don't forget, of course, that mooring compensatorsalso help prevent shock loading on fairleads and cleats. If you have the time and inclination, why not spend a couple of minutes watching the Unimer video. Both the compensators I have written about have had favourable reviews, Sailing Today is very complimentary of the U-cleat compensator, Practical Boat Owner rates the Bungy and gave it a Best Buy Award.

    There are, of course, other makes on the market that absorb shock loading. Very popular throughout the marinas in the Canaries are the Plastimo mooring springs manufactured from plated sprung steel. They will not degrade from exposure to UV 365 days of the year, or almost 365 days as when we were on Gomera earlier this year we had for once poor weather and it was blowing a hooley for the ten days we were out there.

    Plastimo Steel Mooring Spring

    My Fit Bit did advise me via my phone the other day that alcohol can be a contributory factor in the lack of a good nights sleep, I wonder how that will go down with Jenny not as well as that last late night Metaxa methinks! Chafe can of course be an problem Spirollhelps by keeping warps safe however if it's glassfibre surface you wish to protect consider either our self adhesive No Wear Chafe Guard Pads, or our stainless steel rubbing strakes(available in 4 different lengths)  they are very effective in protecting a wooden toe rail/edge of the deck.

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