Monthly Archives: October 2020

  • 328. Top Tips Tuesday - Must Be Good, Faslane Gets Through Loads Of It!

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    We, like a lot of other businesses, are finding that supplies of certain products are in short supply due to the Chinese import of Covid. I was in a decorator's merchants this past Saturday and they still haven’t got any Polycell Brush Restorer, Jenny ordered a 1Litre container some five weeks ago and apparently, they are still awaiting stock. Builder's merchants the same and as for our chandlery and the mail order arm one product we sell pallet loads of (especially in the winter) is an American product called Rydlyme Marine descaler and at the moment we cannot get enough! We sell in large quantities to the Royal Navy at Faslane on the Clyde on a regular basis but also a lot of our retail customers, both power and sail, purchase it to dissolve unwanted deposits in the heat exchanger and in engine cooling systems. Last week we finally received a half pallet load which we had been waiting for over a month. God willing or President Trump perhaps, we will see the balance of the order, another one and a half pallet loads turning up this week!


    In my blog of the other week you will have read that, when ‘on annual leave’ in the Ionian the other month, there was a minor earthquake, when I had the boat lifted some two weeks later I did notice that there was a lot more fouling from baby barnacles round the water intake than I had been used to seeing after only eight weeks in the water. An old local fisherman did comment (not to me I hasten to add) that strange things happen after earthquakes such as increased or heavy fouling! With this in mind I intend, on my next trip out to Hindsight on Lefkas island, to take a 5L container of Rydlyme with me, dilute 50/50 with water and offer the mixed solution up to the saildrive water intake and with the engine running circulate the mixture through the leg and into the engine cooling system. Haven’t worked out yet how I am going to capture the liquid as it exits the exhaust as you need to circulate this product for at least a couple of hours but more than a few months to work that one out!


    Rydlyme Marine is an innovative biodegradable descaler designed for the maritime industry to improve the performance of vital water systems by safely dissolving deposits, such as:

    • Water Scale
    • Calcium
    • Rust
    • Barnacles
    • Zebra Mussels
    • Tiger Shells

    Use Rydlyme Marine to dissolve unwanted marine deposits on heat exchangers, engine cooling systems, condensers and much more. It is non-corrosive to metals and materials commonly found on water operated equipment.

    Rydlyme Marine is non-toxic and non-hazardous. Unlike other descales and traditional harsh acids, Rydlyme Marine can be safely handled by personnel, you can even hold it in your hand without injury.

    With Rydlyme Marine, you can clean in place to reduce downtime and maintenance costs. There are no waste disposal issues as it is non-toxic and biodegradable in any concentration. It can be disposed of through normal sewer systems.

    Use Rydlyme Marine on recreational boats, such as cabin cruisers, power boats, yachts, mega-yachts, jet skies and more...


  • 327. Top Tips Tuesday - It All Filters Down Eventually


    If you’re not a petrol head, and I must confess I am a sort of one apart from my love of a life on the ocean wave, past wheels have included a very tired Austin Healey 3000 at the age of 17, an original Lotus Seven with a Coventry Climax power unit when I reached 20 (eventually sold to purchase my first of a long line of Int 14 dinghies). Jenny's wheels at the time (she was, in those days, a well paid teacher) was an MG Midget. Both cars then sold to 'hopefully' finance a Morgan Plus 4 with the rare Fiat twin cam engine. Then came a period of practical wheels, Volvo estates capable of towing double banked dinghy trailers loaded to the gunwale of the two boats with orders for customers sails, masts, booms and other goodies. Once in my sixties I tried to rediscover my need for speed, first a kit built Westfield and then a Caterham SV Roadsport just before I hit the big 70, trouble was at this stage I could climb into the cockpit but getting out was fraught with difficulty! The Caterham now gone but Jen's wheels, a Fiat 500 Arbarth, reminded me of my very early forays onto the Go Kart track as a spotty 15 year old youth! We do of course see, with evolution, components that have been on the cutting edge of high performance cars filtering down to production models; disc brakes, fuel injection, four wheel drive, pioneered of course by the 'father of the modern farm tractor' Harry Ferquson, in 1952 he built the R4 4WD prototype car. Nowadays we have energy recovery systems first developed for F1 cars but filtering slowly down. Likewise in yacht racing, over time, products or systems developed for the race track are common place on cruisers.


    Take the cunningham eye, a downhaul used to modify the shape of a sail, named after it's inventor, Briggs Cunningham victorious America's cup skipper in 1958, incidentally also a lover of fast cars! Carbon fibre used in aerospace, high performance cars, sporting goods such as tennis rackets and of course golf clubs, is a material that first appeared on racing sailboats methinks some forty odd years ago? Carbon spars are now common place in super yachts, production cruising yachts and of course in dinghies, light weight so less righting movement required and pitching, likewise carbon is used to add strength with very little weight gain to areas of the hull that are subject to high loads.


    One way carbon can make a big difference is in the attaching of blocks, Loups or lashing points to say a deck. In the past it's always been the case that with, for example an U-bolt, it's a case of removing headlining, drilling through the deck (possibly scooping out a foam core and filling the void with a mixture of epoxy and the appropriate filler like colloidal silica). Drilling holes, applying sealant to the hole (counter sink the outer surface and fill with sealant), attach fitting and when sealant has cured give the nut at least another turn, replace the headliner. Or purchase from our our online store a carbon stick-on loop, prepare both surfaces by abrading, then degrease, apply epoxy adhesive such as Gflex or Probond and stick down. These carbon stick-on loops have been tested to around 250kg as for the time saved, almost two hours if fitting a set of four if not longer. No issues of leaks and you ain't going to stub your toe on one! Great for liferaft lashings, barber hauler take off points etc etc. Time efficient and cost effective at only £19-95 each. We should have stock by the end of the month!


  • 326. Top Tips Tuesday - Bad Luck Comes In Threes... Or Does It?


    They say bad things always come in threes (Triaphilia for the superstitious). Well, as usual, I am the one who breaks the trend! Am just back from seven weeks in the Ionian and certainly the above is often correct, but hey, let's just add a couple more on. Hindsight was successfully launched early September and as I was on my own, I motored on my autopilot for ten mins fitting and adjusting the height of the three fenders to port, three to starboard and a big ball fender tied to the boarding ladder as I was going to be stern onto the pontoon. Misjudged the speed of my approach and I managed to crease the vertical stainless tubes of the boarding ladder. Yup, a brilliant start to what was supposed to be seven weeks of rest and relaxation. Once I had recovered (a little) from 'operator error' the shore power was hooked up, but minutes later a strange, 'not quite right electrical smell,' made its presence known just as the battery charger power supply tripped! Over a week later after sailing Hindsight up to Lefkas marina I had a replacement British designed and made Sterling charger fitted and no, the original was not a 'Far East' product!


    Once the fumes from the charger had dissipated, I thought 'nowt more can go wrong'. Let's put a new Purytec cartridge into the salt water feed of my traditional looking German designed and built metal toilet, pump some water through from the toilet bowl along with some holding tank treatment, job done. No such luck, the piston was seized solid, eleven months of inactivity had taken their toll! Maybe I should have fitted a Jabsco plastic one, would have been an awful lot cheaper and probably a lot more reliable! Ten days later replacement parts turned up, tis strange that Andy back in Newcastle dispatched a parcel to Singapore on a Friday afternoon and the customer received it on the Monday but parts coming from Germany to Lefkas in Greece, express delivery by a well-known international carrier takes ten days! In between discovering the toilet was seized solid and awaiting the replacement cylinder, Hindsight was lashed by a 'rare' hurricane-force storm, christened Medicane Lanos, whilst at anchor in Vliho Bay. Our Vulcan anchor held, others weren't so fortunate, with boats aground one sunk further South there was a lot more damage. Notice I put inverted commas round the rare as this is the second time in three years of Med cruising that we have come through a Medicane!


    Oh, by the way, there was also a local earthquake during the second to last week I was out there! At anchor I felt a tremendous jolt as though another boat had run into Hindsight, went up on deck, nothing in sight! 'Strange', thought I. Was only when I took the dinghy ashore to do some shopping that another skipper told me of that morning's earthquake! Well, I had Hindsight lifted out a week later and then discovered the sail drive anode had turned white, tremendous fouling of the water intake on the drive etc and when I pointed this out to a boat electrician who had come down to check out the newly installed battery charger he told me that, 'according to the local fishermen these earthquakes work in mysterious ways'. I can assure you when I launched Hindsight some six weeks earlier the two anodes were in excellent condition, rope cutter and prop blades bright and shiny. And to cap it all, after this rest and recreation vacation, I landed at Manchester airport a week ago at 11-30 at night in driving rain, collected my car key from the guy who drops your car off, walked three hundred yards in the down pour, pressed the button on the fob, exterior and interior lights came on, doors unlocked, heaved my battered old Musto wheely hold-all into the boot, got into the car, closed the door and still clutching the fob in one hand (doesn't have an ignition key) I pressed the starter button and lockdown occurred. Car would not start, all the doors buttons went down, windows wouldn't open, trapped inside! Four hours later I was eventually on my way across the M62 with visibility of 100 yards! Andy, I need another holiday fast!

  • 325. Top Tips Tuesday - This Stuff Really Works


    At last we have stock of DeBond Marine Formula again. It's been a long wait but this answer to many a frustrated sailor who is removing say a fitting bonded on with Sikaflex 291 is now sitting again on Andy's chandlery shelves. I was certainly getting worried to say the least as the last remaining container which I jealously guarded was 'feeling' very empty! As can be seen in the below paragraph it's brilliant in a variety of different senarios and I make no excuse in repeating a portion of a blog that I posted in May 2014. Since then I have used it in all sorts of situations where I have to 'DeBond' cured adhesives. I also discovered that in the sail loft it's brilliant at shifting the adhesive residue that is left on the sail when peeling off sail numbers!

    Having fitted out, repaired and renovated more than my fair share of boats in the last forty odd years, it's not often that one comes across a product that makes life so much easier! The other month we were involved in the complete renewal of all the standing rigging on a twelve year old American built Island Packet. The yacht was in excellent condition for its age with the exception of the alloy mast collar which had, over the years, corroded badly. Once the keel stepped mast had been lifted out I rang the importers to ask if they knew what sealant/adhesive had been used to attach the collar to the deck, only to be told, "If you have removed the six screws and it doesn't budge don't bother cos you will never get it off!" At this stage I thought lets try Marine Formula by the Debond Corp. Ten minutes later the collar was off and on it's away to the powder coater for refurbishment. Apart from the ease of removal there was no damage to the gelcoat/laminate. Since then I have used it on a seacock which had been bonded in with Sikaflex, once again a nightmare of a job made easy with Marine Formula.

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