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264. Top Tips Tuesday - Make do and mend

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Out in the Ionian, a refreshing swim from the transom of Hindsight when at anchor is easy on the feet with our fold down stainless ladder (assuming the weather is good enough and the last four weeks have not been typical!) however at last it's looking up! With the warmer weather, a refreshing plunge from the shoreline in a secluded bay is a different matter. Small pebbles or larger rocks, take your choice it's very hard to find a sandy beach. To overcome this, last year I bought myself a pair of Crocs for this very purpose, however I also wear them ashore to keep grit out of my deck shoes. Last week disaster struck as one of the heel straps snapped on my Crocs as I was tugging it slightly harder than necessary. Well I can wear and walk with the damaged shoe but swimming with it is a challenge, fortunately they do float!

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I did price up a replacement pair in Nidri on the island of Lefkas, however balked at the price of 46 euros as the Crocs I bought back in the UK were a discounted style at fourteen pounds! So it was a case of delve into the starboard 'spares & repairs' stowage lockerand find a tube of Stormsure, an excellent product that, once cured, has amazing properties such as tremendous elasticity coupled with high strength! Back in England I have have used Stormsure to stick the sole back down on my old trainer, repair Jen's scruffy dog walking coat, her beach wellies also; and back in the sail loft permanent repairs on clear panels in sprayhoods where customers don't want to have the panel replaced. For that it's brilliant! Clear rear windows in convertibles, where you cannot repair them in the sail loft due to the permanently attached metal roof bars, Stormsure has been a godsend, giving convertible hoods another lease of life.

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In the locker can also be found a couple of packs of Tear Aid. The A sachet is the perfect repair tape for all fabrics and, in my opinion, far superior to spinnaker repair tape(clear so you don't end up with a patch work looking kite) As for repairing acrylic on biminis, spray hoods etc it's the only tape that I know that sticks permanently to acrylic canvas. As stated on the packet it's extremely strong, watertight, airtight, very elastic, does not fade, does not dry out and of course it's permanent! As for the B pack, has all the same features as the A pack performance wise, however this is the one for Vinyl and PVC repairs. Great for instant repairs on most inflatable dinghies, vinyl life buoy covers and of course clear spray hood windows. Back home it came to the aid of the grand children's paddling pool earlier this year when our dog Millie decided to join in the fun and punctured the inflatable side panel.

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As for a third vital 'repair' product we keep on the good ship Hindsight, a Gadget Saverpack. And judging by experience of one 'Liveaboard' that I was talking to last night in George's tavern on Kalamos (his track record being, dropped but recovered three mobile phones and one I-pad over the past seven years, all 'dead' even after 'drying out' in the sun) this handy pack may have saved his bacon on more than one occasion! As for the effectiveness of this, Andy my boss these days managed to save his wife's brand new Samsung Galaxy after Jill tried to flush it away! Read all about it on my blog 'Greater Love Hath No Man'.

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