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  • 350. Top Tips Tuesday - That Clunk In The Night

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    My first ever encounter with a lobster pot ‘marker’ was off the Northumberland coast many years ago, early eighties if my memory serves me correctly, and it was to be my baptism at competing in an offshore race. The Bass Rock race is organised by the Royal Northumberland Yacht Club and if all goes to plan it's ‘only’ two nights at sea! Our ride for the weekend was the works J24 and the boat's first ‘long’ distance race. Incidentally later that year we found out if you have a bad broach you can sink a J so from there on it was only round the cans races! However, I digress. We were close hauled, four crew on the windward rail and yours truly on the helm, boat speed and VMG were good according to the Stowe cockpit display with a good sea state. However, with cloud cover and no moon, visibility (is that the correct word) was poor! We did however have at the time a ‘state of the art navigation’ new to the marine market a hand held GPS, methinks in those days retailing at over £600-00!  Suddenly my thoughts or dreams of maybe winning the coveted Bass Rock race at our first attempt were rudely shattered as there was a thud and we literally stopped dead in the water! Run aground? Not according to our GPS, no we were now firmly moored to a lobster pot float with, on close inspection, a slimy floating line 16mm or so round our transom hung rudder!  Well, we eventually freed ourself from our jailer, missed the tidal gate through the Farne islands and with it our chances of ending up in the chocolates!  Since that first encounter I have kept a close look out for them but have wondered what is the chance of spotting one at night, zilch methinks. However, if you had a Sionyx Aurora Sport on board? Not only good for spotting floating hazards but yachts and powerboats at anchor, navigation buoys etc etc.

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    Perhaps the Sionyx Aurora Sport which is a digital coloured night vision monocular is the answer to picking out objects in the water, unlike a thermal imaging device it does not rely on a heat source. Whilst I haven’t had the chance to use one on the water, only dry land so far, it has won awards in the US within the marine sector and has proven to be a great help when sailing or motoring in the dark. Boss man Andy and I took our demo model out onto Whitley Bay beach one night last month and whilst it wasn’t a pitch-black night it's performance was impressive. See the below clip of yours truly walking alongside the sea wall at Whitley Bay!

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    Aurora can be used as a hand held device or mounted on the pulpit or say the cabin roof. It features near moonless starlight night vision, it's water resistant to IP67 and can be wirelessly streamed to a smart device via the Sionyx app. Below are a couple of videos of the device in action, impressive or what!

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    The Aurora Sport is a colour night vision camera, capable of day-time, low-light and night-time recording in colour or greyscale through SiOnyx's own patented Ultra Low-Light Sensor Technology. This technology transforms the viewing experience.

    The Aurora Sport is designed for fast setting changes, featuring an intuitive switch and dial set-up. The scene ring allows for a custom viewing experience for different times of day and the settings dial allows for fast operating mode changes. Users can also adjust the lens focus and diopter.

    The camera has on-board recording, with up to 60 frames a second for video in HD and still photos with shutter speeds up to 1/8000th of a second. The Aurora Sport also features Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) which helps to minimise blur and compensates for camera shake.

    The device includes a variety of camera recording modes, including: burst mode, time-lapse, panoramic view, self-timer, loop mode, slo-mo (shutter control) and HDR (High Dynamic Range).

    The device features on-board WiFi, meaning the Aurora Sport can be remote-controlled, live-viewed and can share captured images & videos with the SiOnyx App via a smartphone or tablet.

    The Aurora Sport's compact size and robust bodyshell make it the best tool for outdoor action and weighing in at less than 227 grams (under 8 ounces) make it even easier to carry. Perfect for outdoor sports and activities, with a built-in lens protector, 6000j shock-resistance and IP67 rating for dust-resistance, splash-proof and water-resistance of up to 3 feet for 30 minutes.

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  • 342. Top Tips Tuesday - Tidy Up

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    Fortunately, our chart table is a little less cluttered than our kitchen work surface but at times we do run out of space in Hindsight's navigational area. It does seem when we spend time on our Mystery that we are forever either charging phones, Ipads, handheld VHF, rechargeable spotlight or whatever. Ok I hold my hands up, it’s never going to be a container full of USB cables like at mon repose but it would be rather nice to cut a bit of the clutter out!

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    This rather nice piece of kit as shown above from the guys at Scanstrut caught my eye the other day. It can "Store, Charge & Connect". Nest is its name and it safely houses & wirelessly charges your phone at the same time. Now you can keep your phone in a safe place onboard, tucked away, charged and ready to go!

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    Nest is IPx6 waterproof 12/24V Qi certified enables wireless charging for the outdoor environment without the need for phone charging cables. Perfect for integration into consoles, seating, cabinetry and more! Simply slide your phone into the pocket and instantly start wirelessly charging. The super grippy mat stops your phone sliding around inside. The front lip with an easy access thumb bevel acts as a safety barrier, making sure your phone stays in the Nest!

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    Beautiful Design Rounded corners and tapered front design eliminate all snagging risks, making it possible to install in high traffic areas of the boat where phone charging/storage until now has been impossible.

    Simple Install One easy cut into your chosen mounting location,4 screws supplied for fixing and a front fascia to leave the finished result clean and uncluttered –you're now ready to Store. Charge. Connect!

    Wash Down Worried about getting water inside? No problem! Nest automatically drains either out of the front or through the self-drill drains out of the rear of the housing with the option to use a push-fit drain tube to route water away.

    Dual Functionally  Featuring an intelligent Foreign Object Detection, Nest is perfect for storing your other personal items such as wallets and keys as the charger will only begin to charge when a phone is placed on the mat – nothing else!

  • 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 www.marinechandlery.com 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!

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    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!

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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!

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  • 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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  • 318. Top Tips Tuesday - Nice But A Bit Pricey

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    Storage of mags, papers and other ‘things’ can be a contentious issue, especially if the boat you are on doesn’t have that much spare space once you get your Reeds, Imray pilot books and a few paper charts stowed. On our Mystery, with its traditional interior, we purchased a U-shaped chrome plate fixture c/w an elastic storage net and attached it to a bulkhead. Tis a good job that Jenny never saw the invoice for it, didn’t quite break the bank but got close to it. The other day, however, Malcolm (that rather nice ‘retired‘ salesman from Kingfisher ropes) came a calling and like a magician pulled out from his van, not a rabbit but a couple of net storage assemblies. Both come complete with a black ‘U’ shaped matt plastic frame, 4 pre-drilled P securing brackets and an elasticated top which, of course, will expand or contract depending how much you stow in them and guess what ... they are at a very attractive prices! The smaller of the two, dimensions of 30cm x 19cm retails at £9.95 and the larger, 50cm x 19cm, at £13.95!

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    Next from his hat, or should I say van, a Kingfisher splicing kit containing every item you would need to splice high and low tech ropes. Contents include a set of four Selma fids, small Swedish fid, 1pr of D-16 scissors (they cut through all hi tech ropes such as Dyneema, Kevlar and Vectran with ease), a right handed sailmaker's palm (please advise if left handed required), 5 sailmakers needles and much more. And if you didn’t already know… a splice is considered to maintain a much greater working/break load than a knot! ‘Ah’ I hear you say, ‘I can do a three strand splice, a sort of braid on braid splice but anything else……..’ Splicing Modern Ropes is the book for you according to Andy, whose homework is often a ‘bit of splicing on the side’.

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    For those skippers who already have a palm, a Swedish fid, needles etc we do offer a set of Selma fids in neat little storage tubes. Great for splicing Braid on Braid or Dyneema, the set of four covers 3.5mm up to 10mm, if your inclination is to splice up to 14mm the set of five is the one for you.

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    If you are looking to splice lines thinner than 5mm, consider perhaps the D-splicer needle. It’s the ultimate solution for splicing thin yachting ropes and in other scenarios where existing fids are not suitable.

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  • 317. Top Tips Tuesday - What Gets My Back Up...

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    Some three or four years ago I got it into my silly little head that it would be good for my constitution if I joined a small but dedicated (some may say crazy) bunch of guys and girls for an early morning dip in the North Sea. No rules that I knew of but no one seemed to wear a wetsuit! My first venture into the briny was a December morning two days after Jenny and I had just come back from a winter break on Gomera, one of the less popular Canary Isles. By the time I tip toed up to my knees I honestly thought I going to freeze to death but carried on determined that an old sea dog such as I wasn’t to be out done by a husband and wife couple also taking the water who’s combined ages would be over one hundred and fifty. I survived that first immersion and carried on, not sure why! However, further down the road the rewards for me include seeing some fabulous sunrises, a definitive feeling of well-being and definitely less colds and If I get a ‘chesty feeling’ I seem to have the ability to shake it off by the next morning. The reward for long suffering Jenny is that she has been delighted that I now don’t snore in bed anymore!

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    What gets my back up these mornings is the amount of plastic pollution that we find on the beach. Tiny pieces of plastic, polystyrene beads, polypropylene rope from fisherman’s nets, plastic straws and loads of discarded plastic bottles of all shapes and sizes. And don’t mention the litter left by families and youths after a day out at the seaside. One can ‘happily’ spend 1/2 an hour each day picking up rubbish which has been discarded by thoughtless individuals never mind the seaborne debris. Since that first tentative toe in the water it's strange how certain of my habits change, and no I have not become an eco warrior but I now, once back home after my early morning dip, shower using a bar of soap as against shower gel from a plastic bottle!

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    The guys at Marine 16 who manufacture and sell us the additives that we recommend you put into your diesel fuel tanks have recently brought out a new range of completely different products. The line-up consists of 3 biodegradable products and I quote ‘in compliance with Marpol Annex 5 1.7.5 not harmful to the marine environment that will collectively cover over 95% of on-board cleaning requirements‘. ZerO cabin and heads cleaner, ZerO deck and sail cleaner and last but not least ZerO engine and bilge cleaner. The beauty of these three products is that they support ZERO plastic pollution by the fact that you can purchase a 100% recyclable bottle for life to refill and reuse. When empty you can top up your original dispenser with a 10x concentrate pouch and with one 500ml pouch that’s 5 refills! Once the pouch is empty, firmly replace the screw on the ‘envelope’ and send back for recycling; it’s even got a post-paid label attached! Remember Refill - Reuse - Recycle.

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  • 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.

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