• 176. Top Tips Tuesday - When Waiting For Weather


    Yesterday, sheltering below deck on board Hindsight in Mandraki harbour, which is just under Corfu town fort, and listening to the rain beating down with a 'little' lightning and obviously thunder got me thinking, has the weather broken yet in the UK, has Autumn arrived? Youngest daughter then WhatsApp'ed Jenny and I, saying there was no sign of her baby coming yet and then started complaining about the poor weather back in the UK. Next minute boss man Andy texted, weather is c..p here; no doubt you are enjoying fabulous sunshine and how about letting me have next week's blog on time for once so I can correct all your spelling, grammar and punctuation as I am short staffed on Monday/Tues! Having spent Sunday morning slowly working through the list of to do items (only thirty three still to do) and failing miserably it got me thinking about what has been our four most popular autumn Tuesday Top Tips over the last few years?


    Number one without a doubt has been Wet & Forget, this superb product was first featured on my blog 'Flying off the Shelves' in December 2013. Spray your decks, canvas work or anything that turns green through lack of sunshine in the autumn or winter with a diluted solution of Wet & Forget and it won't! PS. It doesn't need any hard work; you wet the surface you want to protect and that's it.

    be2c1652-55fc-46ec-b1ec-1f2082dc05b5Second on my list is Freezeban. See My Top Tips Tuesday blog 'Lay Up For Winter' in which I advised that this non toxic antifreeze is an excellent safe product for protecting water pressure systems and calorifiers. Regular repeat orders would certainly confirm this, however beware last year our supplier 'ran dry' so don't leave it too late.

    As for my third TTT that was my blog on 'Winterising Your Marine Engine'. Don't forget that even though it's considered standard practice to fill your fuel tanks up to the brim help prevent condensation and of course the possibility of contracting the dreaded diesel bug, (especially  now they add a small measure of Biofuel to the diesel) Marine 16 is the perfect product to help keep your fuel healthy 365 days of the year and your filters clear.

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    Tested out on my backside when we sailed Hindsight down from Marseille to Corfu, was an excellent product called Tear Aid which we import from Holland. The week before the delivery  trip I managed to tear the backside on my 'past their sell by date' mid-layer salopettes. Our supplier had none in stock surprise surprise when I ordered them so it was make do and mend. Over a thousand miles later my backside was still dry, the patches showing no sign of letting go so I have cancelled the order and will carry on with old faithful. Tear Aid which I blogged about in blog 'Wonder product' in August 2016, does what it says it will do. It repairs all sorts of hard to stick to materials, it's brilliant on acrylic canvas, so if you are leaving your canvas work on this winter to protect your bright work and it's looking a little thin on say a stress point, Tear Aid is more than up to it! Abrasion or a tear on foullies, it's brilliant. Cracked window on a spray hood or canopy a repair using Tear Aid will outlast the item!


  • 97. Top Tips Tuesday - Caught On The Hop - Winter Boat Maintenance & Checks

    Ice On The Water - Royal Quays - Newcastle

    Were you caught on the hop with that cold snap this past weekend? Did you realise that despite draining down your boat's fresh water system you could still be in trouble if the small amount of fresh water left in your taps, shower head, water pressure pump or fresh water filter freezes? Freezeban is the correct product to use that enables you to rest assured if the temperature drops below freezing. Thermostatically controlled tube heaters which are very economical to run are ideal for keeping the engine bay or cabin at a warmer temperature, available in a range of sizes to suit your particular needs and if 'onboard' moisture is an issue the Meaco DD8L Junior dehumidifier is worth considering, with a pedigree which includes 'Best Buy' Sailing Today & 'Best On Test' Practical Boat Owner. It is in our opinion the only one to go for as it has the ability to perform right down to 0 degrees. If this week's forecast is correct and later in the week we are going to get more rain, if you haven't already done so, consider spraying the deck, cabin sides, any canvas work and rope that are left on during the winter months with some Wet & Forget. This brilliant product (read the product reviews on our site) will keep the green mould at bay with absolutely no hard work! If your boat is already tinted green no worries, spray on leave and let nature do the work!

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    Winter Boat Maintenance & Checks

  • 41. Top Tips Tuesday - Protect Fresh Water Systems With Freezeban

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    According to the guys in the know we are in for a very cold winter whether that materializes or its ‘just a load of cold air’ who knows what will happen, however with the arctic weather the North East has experienced these last few days sales of Freezeban through our retail outlet have certainly started to climb!

    So you have drained the fresh water system down you think, the water tank is empty and no water is running out the taps however you can bet your bottom dollar that there remains in the water pressure pump, water filter, sink or shower head a small quantity of water. If the temperature inside the boat drops sufficiently (always more likely if she is out on the hard as against laid up in the water) you can end up with a large repair bill if, for instance, there is a small amount of water remaining in the water pressure pump, it expands and breaks the pump! Freezeban is a non-toxic antifreeze suitable for your boat’s water system. If you mix five litres of Freezeban concentrate with 5 litres of water it will fill an average fresh water system installation consisting of water pump, water heater, two hand basins, sink and shower. Incidentally, Freezeban will protect the system down to minus 15 degrees centigrade.

    When recommissioning at the end of the winter ready for the start of the season simply flush out with fresh water. Keep flushing until clear. Ensure no freeze ban is visible at any of the outlets before use.

    If you have not already got one, it may be worth also considering a tube heater to pop (if space allows) under the sump or in the engine bay. If unsure how to protect the engine block from frost damage you can check out our blog on winterisation.

  • Cold snap catches us out!

    Oops! Going into the end of October I thought we had sufficient Freezeban and tubular heaters in stock, maybe I shouldn't have written the first of my ‘Top tips and advice’ articles! The snow and ice came at the same time as it was emailed out to our database, by Saturday lunchtime we were sold out of Freezeban and most sizes of our tubular heaters! Sunday mornings task was? Yes, you have guessed it... get some more ordered! To see the article please click here

    Luckily for Lilly, pictured left (Staff member Claire's daughter) the purchase of some Sealskinz Children's Mittens before the weekend were much appreciated on Saturday. Warm, toasty dry hands after three and a half hours of snowball fights and snowman building!  

  • Nip in the air

    Boat Cover At Amble

    Was at Amble marina yesterday morning putting the finishing touches to a replacement canopy we have made for a large powerboat and for the first time this autumn I encountered ice on the decks. This reminded me that I must get the tube heaters back on display at the chandlery of which we have both the original style but also a load of the new thermostatically controlled ones in. I must also check our stocks of Freezeban, a non toxic antifreeze which we/customers use to protect water systems, including fresh water pumps in the winter. If you have taken the decision to stop sailing already I would always suggest that you remove all sails as well as your covers & canopies (unless they are protecting bright work or instruments)in order to protect them from the weather. Putting a simple PVC cover over helps keep rubbish out of cockpits etc. I also suggest you give the boat a good hose down and get a coat of polish on asap, Starbrite, Meguiar's & Farecla are some of the makes we stock, my favourite? Meguiar's.

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