Crew Gear

  • 323. Top Tips Tuesday - Fitted In The Nick Of Time

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    I finally got out to Hindsight on my tod, Billy no mates was the expression Jenny used, and why did I set off on my own? Concern for the boat's batteries was the reason. Last October, on the advice given to me some years ago from a seasoned sailor and sparky to boot who told me 'best to disconnect the batteries before you leave the boat as against leaving them connected to a charger'. Well I have followed his advice over the years and never had any issues, off to the UK, batteries disconnected in Oct 2019, due to go back out this year in early May, what could go wrong? A virus called Covid19 came and scuttled my early season plans so once things 'settled down' and we could venture to far away shores we decided that we would go out early September, get those batteries connected and charged and then go sailing just as we usually do. Tickets were on hold from our earlier travel so it was just a case of rebooking... or was it? Jen then started having second thoughts, sitting up in the sky in a tin tube with 200 odd passengers for a few hours didn't appeal to her as she has had a couple of health issues in the past. So here I am, writing this blog on my tod and having just ridden out my second Medicane in three years. Some folks know how to have fun! However, I'm very pleased that I got round to fitting the folding grab rail kit to the sprayhood just before the storm hit! Incidentally it was brought out to Greece at my good ladies request! It was a bit hairy going forward to check the condition of the anchor chain and snubber line at 2am in the morning in the pitch black with the boat being laid over and yawing widely.

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    Being on my own meant, however, that I could spent all my time doing those 'little jobs' which I never get round to do when Jen's out with me (we are too busy enjoying and socialising ourself when she's on board). On the list of things to do was a means of making it easier to go forward past the sprayhood in a breeze or a lumpy or rolling sea, so a relatively new to the market set of folding sprayhood bars came out with me. The package, as can be seen in the above images, comes with two hinged bars, available in two different lengths, complete with four split clamps and four tube ends, all of course in 316 stainless. As I was installing the assembly on the boat far away from Andy's sail loft, I also took a packet of Tear Aid with me to reinforce the four holes that I had cut in the spray hood, Tear Aid would also stop the raw edge from fraying.

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    As for fitting the two folding bar assemblies, it was the time spent making sure that I got the bars in the correct plane that took the longest. Once I was happy with the aesthetics it was cut four holes in the hood, reinforce the fabric then cut the bars to length and assemble once the clamps had been attached to the bars. The complete job was done afloat with the exception of the hacksawing of the tubes, I took them ashore and found a suitable object to hold them whilst attacking them! Another job crossed off the list and I hope a satisfied customer, Jen, when she hopefully comes out next year!

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    Incidentally, with the cruising we now do in the Ionian, sailing in a t-shirt as against a set of foulies the Spinlock Deckvest Lite+ lifejacket is our preferred jacket of choice. Much lighter than its big  brother the Spinlock Deckvest 6D. Obviously when the Medicane hit the other day it was worn even in the cockpit! It has the same buoyancy as it's all singing and dancing brother inc crutch strap and built in harness however it doesn't have a light or a sprayhood so it's almost half a kilo lighter. And folks, that’s not me in the below image. I ‘lost’ my head of hair many years ago!

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  • 322. Top Tips Tuesday - True Story (Luv My Ewincher)

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    The plug was pulled some months ago on the official 2020 Southampton Boat Show, in its place sprang up BOATS2020. Sadly this was cancelled literally at the last hour (less than a day before the official opening!) Apparently Southampton City Council decided the show could no longer go ahead due to the rising risk of Covid-19 and growing government fears! As for Jenny and I and Covid-19, this year's on the water activities have been frustrating to say the least as usually we drive down to Greece with all our 'goodies' including antifouling, polish etc to keep the UV damage at bay. Once that's out of the way it's island hopping in the sun! If you are frustrated by the on/off/on/off situation re the just cancelled show, we do have a cracking 'SOUTHAMPTON SPECIAL' to warm the cockles of your heart, if that's the correct expression, seeing the temperature gauge back in the UK is on the up again.

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    From today till the 4th of October we are repeating that fantastic offer we had the other month which helped kickstart our turnover and that of the manufacturer of the handle as we came out of lockdown. Buy an ewincher and we will throw in a spare battery worth almost £300 (incidentally when the last offer was running we had to place four more orders with the French manufacturers to keep up with demand) However before you discard this 'hard sell', take a minute to read the below email that my boss Andy was sent the other day, the guy in question sails the West Coast of Scotland on a forty five footer, with a big tall rig, fully battened mainsail, as for the weight of that sail, I should know cos his main and genoa are in our sail loft once a year for a 'wash & brush up' and they weigh a ton!

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    Andy,

    I wanted to give you some feedback about the ewincher you supplied. I had been thinking about buying one for a while and finally went ahead this summer. I bought it mainly to help with delivery trips when single-handed in these times of social distancing. My expectation was that it would help to limit jib sheet flogging by speeding up setting the genoa after tacking. Of course it does that, but the main revelation was the effortless hoisting of the main sail. It completely transforms sail management. Shaking out a reef after yet another squall in this stormy summer we're having, is no issue. The battery easily lasts for a day's sailing and the multiple charging options (boat 12v system and shore power) make it easy to keep it charged. Of course, the free spare battery that was on offer helped clinch the sale as the unit is always available. A secondary benefit is that I can ditch the cumbersome kit I previously used to climb the mast. Once I'd volunteered my son to go aloft to change the failed windex (Rob subsequently diagnosed a seagull strike), he was up there in a couple of minutes (literally) and had the unit changed for a new one in not many minutes more. The sheer versatility of the ewincher and its ability to deal with the "heaving lifting" jobs means that, even when fully crewed, there's no shortage of willing hands to manage the sails. I should have bought one long ago!

    Regards, Andrew

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  • 319. Top Tips Tuesday - The Air That I Breathe

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    Those of a certain age will remember a couple of classics from the hit parade from a considerable number of years ago, 'The Air  That I Breathe' was a recording by the Hollies and released in 1974 (showing my age again) it reached No.2 in the Hit Parade. The ballad was written by Albert Hammond and initially recorded by him on his 1972 album, 'It never rains in California.' It's since been covered by a variety of artists, my favourite version, of course, was by the Hollies. 'Every Breath You Take' was written by a Geordie (Sting) back in 1982, during what he later said was a 'mental breakdown! Interesting lyrics methinks but shame about the husky voice! With the Covid threat, we certainly have to be careful when taking a breath of air!

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    If you're like me, particular about the air that you exhale and breathe, and like me have forgotten on a number of occasions to 'pack a mask', why not consider buying one, or a couple, of BUFF's (wash and a wear?) and pop one around your neck from the time you leave your house or crawl out of your bunk till the time you get back in? Consider the benefits; firstly they are unbelievably eco friendly being made with 2 recycled plastic bottles! They are 'unbreakable', you don't get them tangled if wearing glasses, they're  washable and fast drying. They can, of course, be worn in a large variety of ways to protect you from the sun! The image(s) above is of course of your ‘handsome’ scribe wearing a Buff against the background of Jans famous ‘The liveaboard wife’ tea towel! Boss man Andy is on holiday with his good lady on the West Coast, currently sheltering from storm Francis and the below image is of his two girls wearing their Buffs, taken before the storm hit!

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    The trouble with most face masks if you ask me is that because they are not user friendly, they are liable to be forgotten, resulting in a 'refused entry' or a trek back and they certainly don't look smart!  You can easily break the ear loops,  with a lot of masks you cannot wash and reuse them. Plus, as stated above, most are not ECO friendly use and throw away!  For water based activity and socialising the majority of masks are certainly not practical! Buffs are extremely comfortable to wear being 100% seamless, the fabric has a four way stretch for improved comfort and elasticity. On a hot day a Buff will have a cooling effect, managing heat and sweat to keep you dry and comfortable.

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    Please note as of present, due to unprecedented demand, the junior size Buffs are not in stock having said unlike me with my big head my good lady just pulls her Buff over her ears and it stays in place!  As for colours and patterns it's a case of what we have in stock and they are moving fast!

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    For more inspiration on how to wear your Buff. Watch Henry's quick demo below.

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  • 311. Top Tips Tuesday - Cutting Edge

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    My father always carried a pocket knife on his person, maybe it was something to do with his generation and him being the son of a Scottish village joiner. As for me I do carry a knife with me almost all of the time, however it's not for personal protection or whittling wood as I never joined the scout movement. My knife is on my car key ring and it's the 'baby' of the Leatherman range. It’s correct title, appropriately enough, is the Leatherman Squirt. Even though it is only 57mm long when folded it packs a big punch with it’s pliers, knife, scissors, file... in fact nine tools in all! I cannot count the number of times it has got me out of trouble, such as, a simple task like sending a tape measure up a mast to measure say a halyard and the shackle pin is wound up tight and the pliers have been 'borrowed' from my riggers kit bag. On many occasions the little Squirt has saved the day, open it up and there is an excellent pair of stainless steel pliers to hand. Small yes but perfectly adequate, not to mention again the, knife, scissors etc etc.

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    On the Mystery we do have a Leatherman Wave just inside the companion way, if working up at the pointy end or going aloft it's first into the zipped pocket of my Musto shorts, however our emergency deck knife is secured to a vertical tube on the pushpit ready for immediate deployment. I have been banging the drum repeatedly about this brilliant stainless knife that has a razor sharp 'straight' blade (see below how it cuts with ease through 16mm braid on braid and high tech Dyneema). The other blade, which is serrated, is perfect if you want to attack for instance a heavy duty polythene bag or a lobster pot danbuoy float wrapped round your stern gear or rudder! Handle with care, yes, but note there is no sharp point to this beast, no chance of stabbing yourself with this blunt end! Finally if you do a bit of fishing over the stern and are lucky enough to catch yourself some supper, at the end of the handle is a dispatcher, hope you get my drift!

    The emergency deck knife comes in a solid bright yellow rigid holder (easy to spot when it's dark) and two fixing straps are included. As for maintenance, all stainless will 'rust' if the surface is contaminated, be it dirt or say fish scales, so before returning to the sheath wipe it clean and then rub the surface with a tiny bit of oil on a piece of rag.

  • 310. Top Tips Tuesday - At Risk Of Repeating Myself!

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    Being a 'semi retired' sea dog a year or two over seventy, 'anything for an easy life' is my motto these days. However, last week it didn't quite go as per the grand plan! With the marinas, boatyards and most sailing clubs now open or part open for business, work that should have been done in March, April and May goes from pending file or on hold to 'I need this done this week without fail you had my instructions in January!'

    As for me, if not enjoying myself, May and June (after the pre-season rush) or September and October cruising the Ionian in our Mystery or falling off my inflatable SUP which is great fun when the wind dies, when back in the UK, Tuesday, Wed and Thursdays are my sail loft days and the rest of the week it's slippers on, read the papers and an after lunch doze followed by a waddle down to my favourite ale house. However, this last week a call from boss man Andy on the Sunday evening, 'Can you work Monday as well as your usual days and on Friday can I have you as 'wing man' on three mast climbs and, by the way, the last one is a very tall three spreader rig!' Well I know I am fit as a butcher's dog and have forearm muscles like Popeye but as I stated in my blog on Tuesday the 9th of June and now repeating it 'the Ewincher is your best crew member!' If you click on the below video you will see why mast climbing is so easy!

    This piece of kit, what a godsend to have on board, worth its weight in gold! The second mast climb we tackled down at Hartlepool marina was on a 36 foot production yacht from a well known French builder and the self tailing winches were adequate enough for hoisting the in mast furling main and genoa at the start of the season, but as for getting the other Rob up the mast to change the tricolour, it would have been a nightmare from a physical aspect as well as the time involved if we hadn't got the companies demo Ewincher with us. Once we had that yacht's original tri removed and replaced, lenses were badly crazed through the effects of UV exposure, and as it was not the LED version of the Aquasignal series 40 Tri, we fitted this version. It was then masks back on, jump in the van and head North. Our brief once we got up to Royal Quays marina... check out the mast head gear on an extremely tall three spreader rig. Just as Rob adjusted his bosun chair, and before I could say, 'I am getting too old for this lark, 'I had him up the mast with the minimum of effort thanks to this brilliant bit of kit!

    Of course it's not just hoisting a crew member aloft that make the Ewincher such a valuable bit of equipment, trimming or hoisting sails is a pleasure and if you are short of muscle through lack of crew in these strange times or old age (like me) it's not an issue, Ewincher takes the strain! As I stated two weeks ago, until the end of June if you purchase one in either the traditional yellow and grey livery or one in the new colour scheme of white and black, a spare battery pack worth almost £300-00 is dispatched with your order!

    With its 3 modes of operation, Ewincher is your new crewmember that assists you with all your maneuvers on your sailboat:

    • In assisted mode: Ewincher does the work for you in the winch's 1st or 2nd speed
    • In manual mode: you can use Ewincher like any other winch handle to make adjustments
    • Combined mode: add your own speed to the one of the handle to reach exceptional hauling speeds

    Ewincher's extreme power and adjustable speed allow you to perform all possible maneuvers while sailing: hoisting, sheeting, adjusting sails, furling your genoa or even hauling a crewmember up the mast.

    • Genuine winch handle - 2.2kg
    • Brushless engine
    • Manual or assisted mode
    • 15 to 80 revolutions per minute
    • Torque of 80Nm: Ewincher is equipped with an adjustable torque from 10kg to 32kg of traction on the handle, it allows manoeuvring sailing boats up to 55 feet without damaging anything. As you hold it like a regular winch handle you will feel immediately if there is a blockage in the lines, any problem. This is something you don't have with electric winches: you press the button and if something is wrong and you are not careful enough, the electric winch will keep on working and can damage the sails or boat.
    • Waterproof and locking system
    • Long-lasting battery life: Ewincher offers a great autonomy thanks to its Lithium Ion battery: more than a day of sailing with only one charge. Charging time takes about 1½ hours and consumes 7Ah (1.7% of a 400Ah battery bank) It is a high efficiency Lithium-ion 25v battery 3000mA.On a 40ft boat that means you can in one day: Hoist the mainsail 3 times, put in 30 tacks and put an 85kg man up the mast (15m lift).

     

  • 308. Top Tips Tuesday - Your Best Crewmember

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    There are an awful lot of us sailors, like me, getting a little long in the tooth who have just started sailing again now that marinas and yacht clubs are opening up, but are a little apprehensive that due to current rules a 'non family' crew member  is not going to be able to step aboard and help with all the donkey work such as hoisting the main, sheeting the headsail or assymetric in, perhaps hoisting the helm to the top of the mast should the Windex vane arms need fine tuning. Whats the solution? Major expense by converting a couple of your existing sheet winches to electric (assuming it can be done) at a cost of around £4000 and then next season do the same with a halyard winch or alternatively purchase an Ewincher at under £2000-00 that renders that 'imaginary' willing and able third crew member surplus to requirements!

    As can be seen from the above the Ewincher is your 'best crew mate' it's like having a quite strong, silent and always available crew member. Jenny and I took the plunge at the beginning of last year and bought one and within five minutes were totally convinced. The Mystery 35 has a tall rig and even with Harken ball bearing cars fitted to the luff to remove the majority of the friction, using the Ewincher to hoist the main was a joy even in the hot Greek sun. Once hoisted we transferred the Ewincher to the appropriate headsail winch and sheeted in, initially in manual we then used the high speed mode finally changing to the high load low speed at a press of the conveniently located button on the handle, For precise final trim, the Ewincher can be used like a conventional winch handle if so required. Ready to put a tack in, swap the handle to the opposite winch after loading the sheet onto the drum and you're ready to go!  In the below tutorial you can learn how easy it is to use the Ewincher and don't forget until the end of June each Ewincher comes with a free spare battery worth almost £300-00!

    EWINCHER, THE ELECTRIC WINCH HANDLE

    Power all your winches with just one winch handle!

    Ewincher is the easiest way to power your winches. It includes a lot of features that will help you with all your manoeuvers:

    • 3 operating modes: electric mode, manual mode, combined mode.
    • Two speeds of the winch + variable speed: Use the two speeds of your winch by simply reversing Ewincher’s rotation and precisely control your manoeuver with Ewincher’s variable speed (from 15 up to 85 rpm with motor up to 145 rpm in combine mode).
    • Powerful: torque of 80Nm (32kg on the grip), 400 electric Watts.
    • Removable 24V li-ion battery: gives you at least 1 day of cruising (for boats up to 45 feet). Charging time: 1h30 with 12V or 220V (charger and inverter included).
    • Torque limiter: safely set up a torque limit to avoid any risk of damaging your boat or injuring yourself.
    • Suits all boats up to 55 feet, no installation needed, plug and play solution.
    • Easy to handle: low weight (2.2kg), features a locking system into the winch. Delivered with a custom made winch handle pocket.
    • Waterproof for ocean sprays and rainfalls: IPX6 certified.
    For more information, click here to discover our videos.
  • Confined To Barracks - Week 5, Part 1 - Go On Spoil Yourself

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    Strange times these, where plans which had been made months or even years ago are being dismantled. So, as Ian Drury sang all those years ago, we do need, 'reasons to be cheerful'. Today, Monday the 21st, I have put on hold the DFDS ferry booking Newcastle to Amsterdam for early May. With our Mystery in a boatyard in Nidri on Lefkas island, we drive down at the beginning of the season, back out at the end with an 'intermission' in the hottest months of July and August when we fly back. Why drive down? Well we fill the car up with antifouling, boat bits which this year include the outboard which had come back to be serviced and our trusty Avon dinghy which needs some TLC. In the roof box goes bedding and clothing, plus, of course, copious bottles of gin, and in the past, loads of cans of Fever Tree tonic. Mind you this year we had already bulk bought Aldi's 'look a like tonic' considerably cheaper and hard to tell the difference! I then had to email Oscar travel and do the same with the Acona to Igoumenitsa ferry booking, then there were the flights at the back end of June for Jenny and I plus the one way car hire from Manchester airport to Newcastle! As for September when we normally fly back out again, we still haven't given that any thought! However, let's be positive, and as I pour myself a drink from the 'Greek stash' of gin three hours earlier than I should have my pre dinner drink, I think we should all spoil ourselves, cheers!

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    As a cruising couple, not in the first flush of youth I hasten to add, when the Covid-19 cloud finally lifts, should we not have already treated ourselves? Last year we would have splashed out on an E Wincher, Wor lass (remember we are Geordies) thinks that now she has the ability to hoist me to the top of the mast using this bit of kit and leave me up there, it's a brilliant muscle saver. She, and yours truly, do also like the fact that if its honking or blowing hard as they say in posh places she can cope with winching in the headsail after a tack, whilst her elderly sailing companion, me, keeps a firm grip of the tiller!

    Another item that would have been added to our 'Go On Spoil Yourself' wish list would have been the new Vesper Watch Mate XB-8000 AIS. Yes, we have an excellent Echo Max fitted (which certainly came into its own when motoring through the Strait of Messina between Italy and Scicily on a pitch black night some three years ago). The Vesper, unlike normal AIS which sends and receives AIS data, also has smartAIS which is an active safety system with smart alarm logic that alerts you rapidly to potential dangers. It connects to your other instruments, tablets or smart phones via WiFi, USB, NMEA0183 or NMEA2000. If you are using the Navionics app with a phone or tablet, it will overlay AIS targets on  the chart.

    SmartAIS includes these three powerful features:
    1. Safety Underway. This alerts you when smartAIS detects a potential collision.
    2. Safety at Anchor. If your anchor drags, smartAIS will let you know immediately.
    3. Safety for your Crew. If someone has gone overboard, smartAIS not only alerts you, it also provides their location so you can pick them up quickly.It means you can focus on sailing your vessel, knowing smartAIS is always keeping watch in the background and is ready to alert you the moment it detects a hazard or unwanted event.

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    In these strange times I find that my sleep pattern is not particularly good. Usually, I sleep well, however these days I wake more often than normal.  On Hindsight the only poor night's sleep I have ever had was when Medicane Zorba kept us awake with wind speeds of up to 80 knots back in 2018. If you haven't got a Rocna or a Vulcan, as we have as our main anchor, perhaps now is the time to spoil yourself and order one. I can guarantee you will have a better night's sleep secure in the knowledge that your newly acquired anchor is well dug in. If, however, you have got one of the above and your kedge is still a heavy, hard to handle beast why not treat yourself to the Lewmar LFX alloy folding anchor. Considerably cheaper than the brilliant alloy Fortress which we carry on board as our kedge, and it's a shame it wasn't on the market when we were fitting out our boat, could have saved some money! The LFX, which has been on the market now for over a year, is the perfect anchor for man handling into your dinghy. It ,of course, has superb holding power as its main feature, lightweight being its second!

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    As many of us know, getting comfortable on deck, in the cockpit or wherever for our afternoon shut eye, can be a challenge. If you haven't already got one on your 'Go On Spoil Yourself,' list you could do a lot worse than invest in one or a couple of Freebags. A word of warning though. At the time of writing we have only got another 12 in stock and as it's a product that we buy in from Norway it may be some considerable time before we get our replenishment stocks in these uncertain times. Going ashore to sit on a deserted beach your Freebag doubles up as a hold-all and will help to keep chilled drinks cool.

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  • 266. Top Tips Tuesday - We Like A Drink

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    I must admit that Jenny and I do like a drink. As we age 'gracefully' it's quality not quantity and as we are now enjoying the Ionian weather (took a long time arriving, the weather that is) it's often a refreshing pre dinner G&T before we row or motor ashore after firing up our little Yamaha. Well for the last three years that we have had Hindsight in Greek waters it's been a case of slipping on a couple of old but regularly serviced lifejackets for our shore leave (our regular Spinlock deck vests being too valuable to leave in the inflatable whilst we wine and dine at a nearby taverna). Touch wood the old jackets have never been 'borrowed' or gone walkabout whilst in Greece but we still have concerns about leaving safety equipment such as lifejackets in the dinghy, faced with maybe a 1/2 mile walk. Having said that I don't fancy carting them up to our choice of eating place then dumping them on the floor, table or chair either!

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    Those clever guys at Spinlock have, however, come up with the answer to my prayers. The recently introduced Alto, not a lifejacket but a flotation aid that is worn round the waist rather like a 'bum bag' or as they are called in the US of A, a fanny bag. You can wear it in the small of your back or facing forward. Once you have fastened it round your waist, you tend to forget it's there. Certainly, sitting on a bar stool at the Tree Bar in Nidri the other day with it nestling in the small of my back I wasn't aware of its presence; meal times its small enough to be removed and placed on the table or deposited on a convenient empty chair!

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    Please be aware the Spinlock Alto is not a full blown lifejacket, it's described by the manufacturers as a 75 Newton floatation aid which, as a ex-dinghy sailor, I know that it gives you 1/2 as much  flotation again as most standard foam buoyancy aids. The Spinlock Alto is designed for adult use only, 40 Kilos upwards, and is only available in one size to fit from 70 to 140cm waist. As can be seen from the Spinlock promotional video below it's also great for canoeing, or in my case when I inflate my Gul paddle board and disappear off to do a bit of exploration of the coastline when Hindsight is at anchor. Keeps Jenny happy that I am wearing a flotation aid, me happy that I am not wearing a full lifejacket!

  • 265. Top Tips Tuesday - I Wish

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    Having climbed a good number of masts over the last forty five years and winched work colleagues up aloft more times than I wish to remember, it's not very often we come across winches (especially on production yachts) that are man enough to get myself, weighing in at just over 12 stone or my boss Andy, these days a mere 10 stone, up a mast easily. On our Mystery I decided to go for larger size winches than were fitted to the production ones, ours being a home built one. Not only do they serve as halyard winches but with the 110% jib being sheeted on the coach roof they also service this need. Why larger ones? Well, I felt that if I was sailing with Jenny and if I had ever to do a mast climb, at least going up in barrel size would give my long suffering wife a fighting chance to get me aloft should the need arise. Well the acid test came the other day; the PVC tape that I had used to wrap round the clevis pins and split pins had finally given up the ghost due to exposure to UV and nearly three years of Greek temperatures and the tape on both the lower and upper spreaders was streaming aft like a set of jib telltales!

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    Well last week Jen succeeded in hoisting me up the mast to the lower spreaders. It was slow progress but she managed it and today was the acid test, the upper spreaders were the target. However, once at my 'destination' the old tape removed and replaced with new, and after I had been safely lowered she did comment, "I wish I had given you permission to purchase an Ewincher." Let's hope she remembers those words when we fly back out to Greece in early September as I haven't broken the news that I need to go a bit further up the spar, this time to the mast head, as the vanes of our Windex are slightly 'skew whiff'.

    With its 3 modes of operation, Ewincher is your new crewmember that assists you with all your maneuvers on your sailboat:

    • In assisted mode: Ewincher does the work for you in the winch's 1st or 2nd speed
    • In manual mode: you can use Ewincher like any other winch handle to make adjustments
    • Combined mode: add your own speed to the one of the handle to reach exceptional hauling speeds

    Ewincher's extreme power and adjustable speed allow you to perform all possible maneuvers while sailing: hoisting, sheeting, adjusting sails, furling your genoa or even hauling a crewmember up the mast.

    • Genuine winch handle - 2.2kg
    • Brushless engine
    • Manual or assisted mode
    • 15 to 80 revolutions per minute
    • Torque of 80Nm: Ewincher is equipped with an adjustable torque from 10kg to 32kg of traction on the handle, it allows manoeuvring sailing boats up to 55 feet without damaging anything. As you hold it like a regular winch handle you will feel immediately if there is a blockage in the lines, any problem. This is something you don't have with electric winches: you press the button and if something is wrong and you are not careful enough, the electric winch will keep on working and can damage the sails or boat.
    • Waterproof and locking system
    • Long-lasting battery life: Ewincher offers a great autonomy thanks to its Lithium Ion battery: more than a day of sailing with only one charge. Charging time takes about 1½ hours and consumes 7Ah (1.7% of a 400Ah battery bank) It is a high efficiency Lithium-ion 25v battery 3000mA.On a 40ft boat that means you can in one day: Hoist the mainsail 3 times, put in 30 tacks and put an 85kg man up the mast (15m lift).

    An optional extra battery is available if desired. Ewincher includes the unit, one battery, the charger, a lanyard, a winch handle pocket for the cockpit, and carry case. It comes with 2 years warranty.

  • 259. Top Tips Tuesday - Searching for the sunshine (and some sailing)

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    As was mentioned in last week’s ‘I have failed’ blog, being too busy clearing the sail-loft floor to contemplate putting pen to paper before my search for sun and some sailing out of Corfu. Leaving behind a cold North East we embarked on the Newcastle to Ijmuiden ferry, our estate car loaded to the gunwales with antifouling, roller trays, Shurhold Orbital Polisher, Yanmar engine and gear box oil etc etc along with a Gul Cross inflatable SUP for a customer of ours who keeps his yacht in Gouvia.

    It was looking promising weather wise once we had disembarked on Saturday morning. However as we drove thru Holland then Germany the outside temperature kept falling and by the time we entered the Swiss road system we were greeted with sleet and snow and zero degrees! With darkness came poor driving conditions, the glare of the unlit road surface from the headlights and to boot no cats eyes to keep us on the straight and narrow! Just before we pulled over in Italy for a few hours shut-eye we observed the outside temperature climb from zero to fifteen degrees in a matter of twenty minutes! Arriving in Ancona ferry port Sunday morning we were greeted with a spectacular lightning display and torrential rain which left the terminal car park flooded. Methinks the English registered camper van with the lifebuoy on its stern knew what we were about to receive!

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    Booked in only to be told that the ferry which runs from Ancona in Italy to Igoumenitsa in Greece was running 4 hours late! Then learnt  that when we arrived at Igoumenitsa the ferries that run from there to Corfu would be on strike tomorrow! Looks like our proposed launch day of next Saturday may have to be put back till Monday!

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    As I mentioned above we are transporting a Gul Cross SUP (inflatable stand up paddle board) for one of Andy’s mail order customers; wish they had been available when I bought mine some two years ago, as it’s much better value for money, and of a superior construction!  They are great for exploring the various inlets/coastline and they do give both Jenny and I a chance to keep slightly fitter!

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    I use a 12volt high speed inflator to inflate/deflate it, also my trusty dinghy, the one I have sadly has been discontinued however the new SUP 12v Air Pump does the business.

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    Jenny worries that when I disappear on one of my paddle board explorations that I am not wearing a life jacket, however this year I have purchased a couple of the new Spinlock Alto life jackets. Worn as a belt they are perfect for paddle board safety and if we are going ashore in the dinghy at night, much more convenient than a life jacket as you wear them round your middle like a ‘bum bag’ so no more worries of facing lifejackets pinched from the Avon!

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