Monthly Archives: October 2018

  • 232. Top Tips Tuesday - Lokalisiert Und Repariert Lecks!


    I was a bit p..d off to put it mildly when in the middle of a Corfu lightning and torrential rain storm to discover that the hatch which had been installed by me six years ago was starting to leak, not from the cabin roof frame but between the glass and the alloy surround. Not much I hasten to add but in an extreme downpour a few drops every minute, disappointing considering that for most of its working life the hatch was covered so it wasn't sunlight as far as I could tell that caused it to fail. As we only became aware of this issue with only two days left before we returned to the UK it was a case of let's see if we can sort it easily with an application of CAPT. TOLLEY'S CREEPING CRACK CURE.


    Well, after digging everything out of my spares locker including the proverbial kitchen sink the answer was an emphatic no, Sikaflex, Geocel, Boeshield, G-FLEX, McLube, PSP REPAIR TAPES and so on were all there but no CRACK CURE! However there was a chandler in the village just outside of Gouvia marina that Jenny managed to find some in at not quite twice the price we sell it online and through our chandlery back in the UK!


    This penetrating co-polymer sealant is formulated to be so thin that by using capillary action it can find its way INSIDE fine cracks and set to a CLEAR flexible seal. Use it for leaking windows, portlights, decks, coachroofs, cracked planks, deck fittings, skin fittings or any other fine leaks! Preparation was simple, I cleaned the surface with methylated spirit, allowed it to evaporate off and then ran a bead of liquid sealant along the offending area. Next day I put the ‘repair’ to the test and connected a trigger spray nozzle to the boatyard hose turned the water on and sprayed the hatch from a variety of directions. Touch wood it's been a success, having said that time will tell but so far its looking good!

  • 231. Top Tips Tuesday - Winterising Your Outboard Engine

    It's that time of year again when we pull together our joint experience and expertise to offer you 'Top Tips' and 'Essentials' for laying your boat up for the winter. Below are the links to this years series of articles and offers. We hope your find them useful.

  • 231. Winterise Your Outboard Engine

    Following on from our previous Tips and Advice on Laying Up For Winter and Winterising Inboard Engines, this week Andy looks at Winterising Outboard Engines.



    One hopes the 'bottom end of your leg is in better condition than the image above shows, however, if it's not don't despair Starbrite's boat bottom cleaner will soon strip away the growth. Add the correct amount of fuel stabilizer to your fuel tank. If you have an internal fuel tank fitted in the boat, the best way to add the stabilizer is to add the correct amount (for the fuel remaining in your tank) to 1 litre of fresh fuel, mix thoroughly then add to the main tank. Next place your engine in a fresh water tank or connect a flushing attachment and run your engine for 15 minutes to get the mixed fuel completely through the fuel system and to remove any traces of salt from the cooling system.

    After you have stopped the engine and disconnected the kill cord, remove the plugs (beware they may be hot) and add a small amount of engine oil into each plug hole. Rotate the flywheel manually to distribute the oil in the cylinders then reinstall the spark plugs. Remove the thermostat and check for correct operation by dropping it into boiling water. Change the engine oil and filter as well as the gear box oil.

    At this stage its worth touching up any exposed alloy surfaces with the appropriate primer and correct colored paint. Spray Quicksilver Corrosion Guard on all external metal surfaces (except anodes). Finally, store the engine upright to allow water to drain out.

    Should your engine be fitted with remote controls and steering, ensure you grease all lubrication points as per manufacturer’s recommendations.

    One thing that’s worth noting is if your engine is still under warranty you need to check the terms as carrying out even basic maintenance like changing oil and filters may invalidate the warranty, particularly where your engine is subject to an extended warranty offered past the standard manufacturer's warranty.



    Add the correct amount of fuel stabilizer to any built in fuel tank(s), however, if it’s a small auxiliary engine with a separate tank or integral tank, empty contents into a petrol engine car AFTER carrying out the following procedure. Either place your engine in fresh water or connect a flushing attachment and run your engine in neutral for 10 minutes. Increase speed to fast idle then disconnect fuel supply. Just before engine starts to stall (and it could run for up to 3-4 minutes!), quickly spray Quicksilver Storage Seal into carburetor until engine dies from fuel starvation.


    The easiest way to drain the two stroke mixture from a small outboard's internal tank (once the engine is cold) is as follows.... Make sure the tank breather on the filler cap is closed then get a pr of needle nose pliers and squeeze the clip that holds the rubber fuel hose onto the carburettor or fuel pump. Once the clip has been removed, ease the rubber tube off and with a suitable container to drain the 2 stroke mixture into ease the breather open and the fuel will then drain slowly out. As we run a petrol car it was easy to dispose of the mixture into the fuel tank.

    After disconnecting the kill cord, remove the spark plugs (once again beware they may be hot) and inject 1oz of Quicksilver Storage Seal around the inside of each cylinder. Rotate the flywheel manually several times to distribute the oil in the cylinders then reinstall the spark plugs. Remove the thermostat and check for correct operation by dropping it into boiling water. Drain and replace the gear oil and at this stage its worth checking for any bare metal surfaces that may need treatment, first use the appropriate primer followed up with the correct coloured paint. Spray Quicksilver Corrosion Guard on all external metal surfaces (except anodes). Finally store upright to allow water to drain out. Should your engine be fitted with remote controls and steering, ensure you grease all lubrication points as per manufacturer’s recommendations.

  • 230. Top Tips Tuesday - Winterising Your Inboard Engine

    It's that time of year again when we pull together our joint experience and expertise to offer you 'Top Tips' and 'Essentials' for laying your boat up for the winter. Below are the links to this years series of articles and offers. We hope your find them useful.

  • 230. Winterise Your Inboard Engine

    Following on from our previous tips and advice on Laying Up For Winter, this week Andy looks at engines and winterisation covering inboards. Watch out next week for advice on outboards.



    At the end of the season we strongly recommend that you fill your diesel tank to the brim as this will help prevent a condensation build up, however, before doing so we suggest you also add the appropriate amount of diesel fuel additive like Marine 16. This, along with a full fuel tank, will help prevent the dreaded diesel bug.


    So, should you do your oil change now? Most experts prefer to do it at the end of the season, some say “best in the spring”. The main concerns are acids in the used oil attacking metal surfaces and sludge or debris settling and hardening in small oil passages. You should run the engine under load (in either forward or reverse gear) for at least twenty minutes before draining the oil and changing the filter. This warms the oil making it easier to remove as well as putting any particles into suspension in the oil so they are removed at the same time. Our mechanic has always used a Pela vacuum pump to remove the oil which is retrieved via the dipstick hole. It’s sucked straight into the pump’s container which lessens the chance of a spillage. Not quite so robust is the Seago Extract-It but it was still awarded best buy by PBO. On a tight budget? Consider the traditional brass cylinder type this may be the answer, however you do need to collect the oil in a separate container!


    If you are like Rob (of advancing age and suffering from arthritis in the wrists) and have difficulty in undoing the oil filter, the Boa Constrictor strap wrench takes the pain away! It's also worth investing in a packet of Uniwipe Ultragrime Industrial wipes, with 100 in the box its a convenient way to keep your hands clean never mind your surroundings and they're great for cleaning your tools too!


    If your boat is being stored on dry land, once she is up on the hard stand we suggest that you close the water inlet seacock, open the water filter and with the engine running pour in an appropriate antifreeze mix. Carry on pouring till you can retrieve the mixed antifreeze from the exhaust outlet. Once you have done this, stop the engine and turn off the diesel tap. If you intend to leave your boat in the marina or on moorings don’t follow this procedure with the antifreeze as you will pollute the water. In this case we would recommend draining the seawater system. Next, disconnect the starting circuit from the battery and consider taking all batteries home and storing in a warm place, however, if you are leaving the boat on the water make sure there is still a battery to run the bilge pump!

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    If the engine could do with a clean, consider cleaning it down with an engine cleaner and degreaser, this will remove any ingrained grease and grime. Don’t forget to keep on top of any rust spots; surface should be prepared with the appropriate primer than follow up with the correct colour paint. Spray all exposed parts of the engine with Quicksilver Corrosion Guard  then get a couple of oily rags and stuff them up the exhaust pipe and engine air intake. It should then be noted in your maintenance log so that you remember to clear these before starting next season.


    If you have access to shore power a tube heater will stop any moisture from freezing as it circulates warm air round the engine bay. Check, however, that a heater can be left unattended; some yacht clubs don't allow heaters to be left unattended in their boatyard.


    At this time of year it’s worth checking the condition of all water hoses and belts. Check the impeller (out of sight out of mind), the engine anode and of course the thermostat. Incidentally, to check a thermostat is working all you have to do is remove and place in a bowl of boiling  water and check it activates, depending on the make of engine it may either open or close when placed in the hot water so make sure you check the status before you drop it in. Throttle and gear shift cables can snap where the cable exits the outer casing so examine closely by gently flexing the cable and check for broken strands. If old, stiffness in the operation may mean the beginning of cable failure. Check along the full length of the outer casing for any signs of damage.


    Finally, for what it costs, a replacement primary and secondary fuel filter should be fitted regardless of the condition of the old. If you are using your onboard spares stock, don't forget to replace the spares whilst it's fresh in your mind, incidentally Yanmar now produce and of course we sell a spares kit, contents include oil and fuel filter, impeller, gaskets etc


    Loads more advice and tips can be found in Marine Diesel Basics. A great book which not only covers all you need to know about winterising your diesel engine but also maintenance, storage and spring recommissioning and he also covers sail drives, shaft seals, batteries etc etc. To sum up, an excellent book, superb illustrations and well worth the cost at £10.99

  • 229. Top Tips Tuesday - Laying Up For Winter 2018

    It's that time of year again when we pull together our joint experience and expertise to offer you 'Top Tips' and 'Essentials' for laying your boat up for the winter. Below are the links to this years series of articles and offers. We hope your find them useful.

  • 228. Top Tips Tuesday - Adonis On The Stern Deck?


    Poseidon was the Greek God of the sea, earthquakes, storms and horses and is considered to be one of the most bad-tempered, 'bit like me' says my better half? Having said that, would you have opened this blog if it was titled Poseidon on the stern deck? Probably not! Posing for this shot wasn't too hard, I managed to hold my breath and keep my stomach in long enough!

    The last couple of days we have been at anchor in Vliho bay around the corner from Nidri, no shore leave possible as the weather system worked its way past.  I'm so glad we have a Vulcan anchor, one of the new generation anchors (same designer as the Rocna/same holding power but no roll bar to foul our Selden bowsprit) on the end of our chain with a scope of 7:1, which according to the authors of that excellent book 'Happy Hooking, The Art Of Anchoring' is ok. Having said that, I would have preferred 8:1 however the room to swing was limited as there was an awful lot of folks sheltering. We didn't drag, however it was a night to stay on deck as there was a lot of movement! Fenders were deployed in anticipation, a large flashlight and horn joined us. Luckily no one made contact but there were a few near misses.


    Our heads compartment is set up for one to have a shower,  the mixer unit trigger head is on a hose so no problem, however with space being limited and if it's warm enough, I prefer to use the Whale unit in the cockpit. Yes it's cold water only, however as a tough old Northern git sailing in Greece (whenever Andy gives me shore leave) I can live with this! The shower unit also gets called into use when I have just had a swim or the cockpit needs a wash down.

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    The more sophisticated units have both hot and cold taps in a self contained unit which usually are flush mounted into the transom, the idea being you stand on the 'swim platform' and wash yourself down after a swim or if you want to keep the combined heads/shower area dry.


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