Monthly Archives: July 2020

  • 315. Top Tips Tuesday - Escape Route

    image

    I don't 'normally' work Mondays but have done so for the last three, but that's another story. I left work at 4pm to call into our local marina to see, believe it or not, a man about a boat. Met and discussed with him a course of action and then got collared by another three customers! Result? Home after 6pm and still Tuesday's blog to write. Arrived home and Jen greeted me with the words "Power cut today, no internet and your dinner's in the dog!" I had been expecting her to say "Good day in the sail loft? Have poured you a glass of wine and dinner's on the table". My blogs are written on my ancient iPad then, after Jen has corrected my spelling, grammar and punctuation (which I blame on my dyslexia) it's sent through to boss man Andy for final approval and editing before being sent to Claire to add all the images and transform it into the blog which gets sent out on Tuesday. Last night's was written on the iPad, corrected then screenshotted and texted through to Andy for him to type out again before sending on. It's great when things go to plan but if not, do you have an escape route to get yourself out of trouble?

    image

    In the last 2 weeks we have sold 4 Storm Bags to participants in this year's ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to the Carribean). The Storm Bag is a very clever storm sail which is very easy to deploy should you get caught out. The beauty of the Storm Bag is it is very cost effective and efficient. Why? There is no need to strengthen the foredeck to take the load of an inner forestay, nor purchase one and the appropriate tensioner or modify the mast by fitting a tang to take it. No need to worry about the extra weight and windage! No need to spend 30 minutes or more on the foredeck attaching and tensioning the stay, hanking on the storm jib and leading the sheets aft. And finally no need to worry about the genoa unfurling at the height of the storm as the genoa is encapsulated by the Storm Bag. But and it’s a big but, by deploying a Storm Bag around a fully furled genoa its unique design of a sleeve makes for much improved performance over a conventional sail deployed directly behind a ‘rolled headsail’.

    STORM BAG SIZE GUIDE:

    image

    * In the absence of regulations, this table gives a recommended STORM-BAG ® for a given length of vessel. The development of each model was based on an average boat profile for each category. It is the responsibility of the user to select the sail which is best suited to their particular vessel. Bespoke sails can be manufactured upon request - contact us with your requirements.

  • 314. Top Tips Tuesday - Get A Grip Storrar!

    image

    I have, for many a year, prided myself on having a strong hand grip. Having said that, with the onset of arthritis in various body parts (male Storrar family failing) I have had to resort to mechanical aids in certain situations that require a wee bit of grunt. For some considerable time 'she who should be obeyed at all times' has been complaining of a dripping tap in the downstairs toilet and likewise the same in the upstairs bathroom. For me an occasional drip isn't a life-threatening occurrence however for Jen (poor sleeper at the best of times) it's a form of Chinese torture as she waits in anticipation for the next plop whilst struggling to nod off. The downstairs taps being nowt fancy were sorted remarkably quickly during the lockdown, however the upstairs drip was a bit more of a challenge. Despite us spending a fortune on some Jacuzzi branded taps when the bathroom was kitted out, Jacuzzi as a company were a waste of space when we e-mailed them for advice enclosing, along with the product code, an image.  As they were purchased ten years ago, "no information is available as they are now discontinued" was the charming reply, no suggestion as to point us in the right direction.

    Screen Shot 2020-10-26 at 22.42.55

    So, I managed to take the back cover plate off and gently prised off the small hot and cold 'hub caps' and removed the handles. But how to get to the tap washers or ceramic cartridges out, try and unscrew the tubular cover with my hands? No way Jose! With my Boa Constrictor marooned on the Mystery it was a case of borrowing the workshop's and within seconds of wrapping the rubber hand round the cylinder the cover was free giving access to the ceramic cartridge and that was when my real troubles began. We tried three local plumbers' merchants for a replacement, they just laughed and all said the same; "it's easier to buy a complete set of taps (but a hell of a lot more expensive) than find the correct cartridge as there are literally hundreds of variations!"

    image

    Well three hours later taking measurements, we did think we might have a match, ordered and yesterday we fitted them and ended up with a drip free night, not that it helped Jenny get a better night's sleep mind you, she was muttering something next morning about a certain person snoring! On the Mystery, what with very limited engine access, our very own onboard Boa Constrictor has been invaluable when changing the oil and primary fuel filters, without one I certainly would be struggling.

    Screen Shot 2020-10-26 at 22.43.59

  • 313. Top Tips Tuesday - All Hands To The Pumps!

    image

    Out of sight out of mind could be applied to many components on a powerboat or a yacht. We skippers and crew expect them to function but when the s..t hits the fan will they perform as required? Take, for instance, the diaphragm in the hand operated manual bilge pump, when was it last inspected? If its location is anything like the one we fitted to the Mystery it's bend your torso double and once I am in the lazzarete it's something that maybe will get put off cos it's a tad difficult to get to! However, speaking to one of the guys at Whale, it all depends on a number of factors; but they do say, and I quote, “Regular inspection of the pump is recommended. Rubber components should be replaced if worn or every three years regardless of condition.”

    Helping out in the chandlery this past Saturday serving and obviously observing social distancing, my first customer of the day gave me the 'inspiration' for this week's subject matter. 'Have you a replacement for this, I think it's past it's sell by date' Well for a second I thought, it was a Far East copy made from inferior material!

    image

    Well, as often the doubting Thomas in me was wrong, it was the remains of a very very elderly diaphragm from a Whale Gusher Urchin. Stiff as a board (bit like my joints first thing in the morning) and very brittle, judging by the discolouration it's suffered over the years from exposure to sunlight, the pump has been surface mounted methinks! Exit five mins later one happy customer with a service kit for a Whale Gusher Urchin. As well as the replacement diaphragm in the package included is a new outlet and inlet valve and four stainless circlips.

    image

    For the Gusher Urchin thru deck /bulkhead version the deck plate is included in the package so the pump can be mounted in, say, a locker. The plastic cover plate can of course be purchased  independently and used with other pumps in the Whale range.

    image

    I had to cover for Andy, my boss, yesterday for a few hours when I would not normally be 'part time working' and the first person I had to serve showed me a primer bulb and line for an auxiliary 6hp back up motor. According to the guy who had recently purchased the boat, the fuel tank was stored in the stern locker along with the primer bulb and fuel line. Like the bilge pump diaphragm, it was as stiff as a board, witness my good ladies boot attempting to flatten the bulb on the image below. Out of sight out of mind springs to mind!

    image

  • 312. Top Tips Tuesday - No Mans Land

    image

    Living fairly close to the Scottish Border (approximately sixty miles as the crow flies) we do, at times in the North East, feel that we are living in a quiet backwater. Is it because our three 'local' football teams haven't performed well for a considerable number of years? The track record of Newcastle (now under the ownership of Mike Ashley) is a single win, the 1969 Fairs Cup!, Sunderland, sold by American Ellis Short in 2018 to a holding company called the Maddox, last won a trophy in 1973 and that was the FA Cup Final, slightly better. As for the Smoggies, the nickname for Middlesborough FC, their last success was in 2004 in the Carling Cup final with a win over Bolton! But sadly, now they are languishing in the relegation zone of the Championship league (used to be known as the second division when I was a boy).

    Fortunately, when it comes down to 'stars' on the water, probably the most successful racing dinghy club in the North East has been Tynemouth Sailing Club at the mouth of the Tyne, a club which has produced numerous World, European and National winning helm and crew! All is not lost...

    image

    It does, however, seem that with the recent introduction of the new C-map Max-N+ Reveal chart EW-Y619 English Channel to River Humber and the chart EW-Y624 Scotland & NI-North Channel to Firth of Forth once again we Northerners have missed out on recognition!

    The text below is taken straight from the horses mouth so to speak, these new charts feature:

    Ultra-High Resolution Bathymetric Imagery – Superior identification of the sea floor. View the sea floor in a whole new light. Clearly identify sea floor structure, along with reefs and ledges to find the best fishing and diving spots. C-MAP Reveal will take your charts to the next level.

    MAX-N+ Reveal Chart Features include:

    • High-definition C-MAP Reveal layer on selected areas
    • C-MAP Reveal charts contain full C-MAP MAX-N+ vector navigation data, including new features like High Resolution Bathymetry (HRB), Custom Depth Shading, C-MAP Genesis Layer, Raster Layer and satellite imagery
    • Full-Featured Vector Charts – making navigation easier by providing accurate, up-to-date vector chart detail derived from official hydrographic office information
    • Custom Depth Shading – customise your experience. Custom Depth Shading offers many options. You can set a colour to alert you when you are out your safe depth, use a traditional paper-like view or create your own custom palette
    • Hi Res Bathymetry Layer – HRB helps you identify shallow areas, drop offs, ledges, holes and humps on the sea, river or lake bottom
    • C-MAP Genesis Layer – adds 1 foot depth contours compiled from Genesis social mapping, on top of the official charts
    • Easy routing helps you automatically plot the shortest, safest route based on detailed chart data and your vessel information
    image

4 Item(s)