Products in the spotlight

  • 337. Top Tips Tuesday - Power Crazy!

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    No folks I am NOT going to mention what’s happening in the USA but I can image that the regimes such as North Korea, China etc are rubbing their hands with glee as to what is happening across the Atlantic in the democratic West! Speaking of power, however, I must confess that this past week the over-ride button on the central heating has been busy! Must be my advancing age or a slower recovery from my morning dip. This past Saturday morning we had an air temp of -4, add wind chill and there was talk amongst the other swimmers of -10 degrees on the Tynemouth beach. It did, however, feel quite ‘warm’ once in the briny with a sea temperature of around 5 degrees!

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    If you are a live aboard or perhaps a sailor keeping a heater or dehumidifier running in these cold winter months, it can be a good idea to keep a weather eye on your power consumption. The Metermaid is an excellent piece of kit that will do such a thing.

    METERMAID™ is an in-line portable electricity meter that has been specifically designed to accurately measure individual electricity consumption - wherever it is needed.  It is a true kiloWatt hour meter and is the result of years of extensive research and development. METERMAID™ incorporates the latest in state-of-the-art technology and only the highest quality components are used in its manufacture.  As a simple and cost-effective metering system METERMAID™ offers many benefits:

    • It is designed to be ACCURATE.  As a Class 1 meter METERMAID™ is precision equipment so when it comes to charging (or paying) for the electricity recorded by METERMAID™ you may rest assured it only displays exactly what has been used.  With a non-resettable 6 digit counter and fully-encapsulated electronics METERMAID™ cannot be tampered with, slowed down or reversed.
    • It is built to be WATERPROOF so that it will cope with the vagaries of the British weather and will be a match for any situation where it is likely to come into contact with water.  The enclosure is rated IP673 within Europe and 4X in North America.
    • TOUGH so that it can withstand the harshest of environments around the world, everything about METERMAID™ is robust and the build-quality is plain to see the minute you hold it in your hand.
    • It is built to be USER-FRIENDLY.  It needs no maintenance, servicing or re-calibration - ever!   When you receive METERMAID™ you just plug in and go!  It could not be any simpler!
    • Total flexibility to meter boats or caravans wherever they are because it is PORTABLE
    • A solution to the problem of financing capital expenditure as it can easily be sold or rented to the end-user making it very COST-EFFECTIVE
    • Acceptance by end-users because it is FAIR and they only need to pay for the electricity they know they have used
    • Control over your expenditure on electricity and peace of mind with a 2 YEAR CONDITIONAL WARRANTY

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    If you haven't already got one of our Shore Power Splitters it is a useful device to keep in your lazarette. I put one on board our Mystery after seeing the 'Greek spaghetti junction' on the quayside of a small harbour on the island of Meganisi. Since then our own personal splitter has been brought into use on a number of occasions by Jenny and I (especially when one of the charter flotillas turn up). I have, of course, felt tipped the yachts name on both sides of it so there is no Mystery as to whom it belongs to!

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    Popular amongst some of our customers who don't have a 240 volt set up on board is the Outdoor Mobile Mains power unit with RCD & Breaker.
    • Plugs directly into marina  or boatyard power supply to bring safe 230V power to your appliances
    • Ideal for use in your yacht, camper van or motorhome
    • Built in RCD & circuit breaker for total protection
    • 3 UK 3pin power sockets suitable for large plugs & adaptors
    • Integral 20m orange connection cable & site plug
    • Indicator light shows power supply is connected
    • 10 Amp maximum total capacity
    • Splash-proof assembly (NOT waterproof)
  • 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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  • 325. Top Tips Tuesday - This Stuff Really Works

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    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.

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

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

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

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

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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).

     

  • 309. Top Tips Tuesday - What A Difference A Day Makes!

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    Well not quite a day but a week or a bit longer, however this was the view that greeted me the other day when I went for my constitutional morning dip this past Thursday. No more wall to wall sunshine, 20 or more degrees but an onshore North-easterly breeze, big lumpy sea, air temperature about 11 degrees and the water temp up from its winter low of 5 or 6 degrees to an almost balmy 10 according to the Magic Seaweed website. The joy of this sea state, once one gets over the shock of the cold water, is that body surfing, if you can connect with a good wave, can be good sport even without a wetsuit! Having said that, being out in a yacht or powerboat in those kind of waves can be, for a lot of us folks, a stomach churning experience!

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    Stugeron, ginger biscuits, the Sea-bands and so on, there are many products and 'remedies' that are supposed to help one 'conquer' sea sickness. The one that seems to work for my long suffering wife, Jenny, is the Boarding Ring Glasses. Whether it's a lumpy passage trip from the Lefkas canal up to Corfu, the joy of an often lumpy North Sea or on land a descent in a hire car from the 'tropical rain forest' high up in the mountains of Gomera down to San Sebastián marina, wearing a pair of these glasses seems to do the trick, banishing her motion sickness.

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    Drivers of a certain make of car in the USA and Canada love 'em. Last year we shipped over 300 pairs as a result of an in-house motoring magazine feature article on car sickness. Feeling off or a little bit green, be it whilst out on the open sea, passenger in a car, on a bus or in an aircraft, a pair of our Boarding Ring Glasses will help you with your motion sickness! As for me, it has been known for me to be a bit green round the gills, not from the alcohol I have consumed but from being chased by a rather 'strong wind' across the sea whilst on passage from Newcastle, our landfall being the island of Heligoland near the entrance to the Kiel Canal. The Boarding Ring Glasses were a great help in keeping me from suffering once I put a pair on!

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  • 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 4, Part 2 - Cleaning Up

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    Mrs Hinch may have over 3.2 million followers, however can those devotees honestly say the products that they read about, buy and use are as practical both at home and on the briny as the ones that my boss man Mr Burgess or Wor Andy (as they say up on Tyneside) regularly endorses? Mind you if he gets past 9 followers it will be fairy cakes all round and a fairy tale come true!

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    Wor Andy thinks Vistal is a winner, not only on the boat but around the house; hundreds of uses including cleaning and polishing faded and dirty UPVC window frames, cleaning glass mirrors and work surfaces, grouting in the kitchen and shower cubicle, refreshing paintwork etc etc.  On his classic Cobra replica car it's perfect for cleaning the chrome spokes, restoring textured leather or vinyl upholstery, polishing out the clear window of the soft top and don't forget exhaust and oil marks!

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    Wor Andy practises what he preaches on the water as well, Vistal is perfect for cleaning GRP including removing grime from textured non slip surfaces, removes rust stains, water line staining, exhaust marks, cleans fenders, inflatable dinghy tubes the list is endless. Its a great product for buying through the household budget; use it at home and then when lockdown finishes take it out for a day on the water. Better still buy two and then you will never be caught short.

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    Wor Andy also thinks Daveyshine metal polish is a winner, cos his editor told him so! In the Storrar house it's used for cleaning and polishing the brass ceiling light in the kitchen as well as the one in the conservatory. The copper navigation light he brought back from India - long story, but part payment in lieu of wages when he was out coaching their National sailing team. He could not take his wages out of the country as money due to the exchange controls in those days, so nautical antiques or artefacts were purchased from the ship breakers yard. Mind you, the duty he had to pay at Heathrow was eye watering! Silverware, including a few sailing trophies, benefits from a dose of Daveyshine, as well as the chrome work on the Caterham.

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    Daveyshine polish can, of course, be found on the Storrar Mystery 35. It's superb for cleaning and refreshing the alloy stanchions and the port light surrounds. Brings a sparkle to the stern boarding ladder and, of course, is used to keep the ship's clock and barometer Shipshape and Bristol fashion. No doubt one day, when Wor Andy kicks the racing habit and settles down to some gentle cruising, he will carry a tub aboard.

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    Wor Andy endorses Gill Wash-In Cleaner and Reproofing Spray. They're so handy for reproofing the bairns' (term used in the North East to describe children under the age of about 10) school coats and mum's Gill OS3 jacket (which gives her great protection from the elements when she's on playground duty) once they have been washed with the Gill Wash-In Cleaner. He uses the cleaner on a regular basis on his Gill OS2 jacket and salopettes as he can often be found down in the local boatyard removing or replanting rigging on customers' spars, mucky pup that he is! Once clean, it's a case of spray on the proofer works smashingly, 'like water off a duck's back'. Of course, once washed, Wor Andy uses those brilliant shiny practical stainless pegs that he sells by the ton to keep them on the line and once he gets that cruising yacht no doubt he will borrow some from the utility room to keep on the boat!

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    Finally before Wor Andy hits the bottle again please feel free to forward and like this post and or us on Facebook, if possible he wants to get into double figures!

  • Confined To Barracks - Week 3, Part 2 - Easy On The Knees

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    It’s marvellous when you can purchase a product from www.marinechandlery.com that is useful on water as well as on dry land; it can therefore be purchased justifiably using money from the household budget without any guilt trip whatsoever! In the Storrar ‘household’ we have a couple of posh Freebags, unfortunately they were left onboard the Mystery, which is out in Greece, last October so we are unable to use them back in the UK. However, back here we do have an elderly, scruffy,  probably 14 year old one that gets used on a regular basis in and around the house, be it when yours truly is tinkering with his ‘boy toy’ (sadly at present on SORN due to the lockdown and all this fine weather we are having!) Will have to get the chrome polish out and stick the battery charger back on. Note to myself.......add to the list!

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    Seems strange that at the beginning of April I am chopping up wood for kindling in anticipation of cold November nights to come later this year! Could it be frustration that we are confined to barracks when we could be out enjoying ourselves on the water or toiling away in the boatyard that makes me take it out on a piece of wood? Our old trusty Freebag certainly makes kneeling easier on a hard or uneven surface but sadly it hasn’t helped me with the standing up afterwards! Another note to myself, must get a mobile block and tackle rigged up to get me back on my feet!

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    Jenny is also a fan of this oh so versatile ‘cushion’ it’s versatile, being filled with soft beads. Out in Greece our new Freebag gets taken to stoney deserted beaches in the Ionian, doubling up as a wine or beer chiller due to the built in pockets as well it’s prime use as a comfortable seat on the boat. Back in the UK the Freebag makes weeding her flower beds so much easier on the knees and whilst you are admiring the flower bed take the time to look at her old  gardening shoes. They were, methinks, many years ago, top of the range Orca Bay deck slip ons, what a nautical swank she turned out to be!

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    Andy being the boss man doesn’t usually have much time to attend to his garden, always working six days of the week, sometimes seven in the season before the lockdown; nowadays he pops into work every day for at least five hours to pack and dispatch all the mail orders that have come in. His garden, these days, doesn’t know what’s hit it! Of course, being the CEO of the company, at home he has both a Freebag Pro and and a Freebag (just hope he hasn’t borrowed my Pro from the sail loft when he posed for the pic) If he has, no worries as long as he returns it washed and smelling sweetly when we are back at work! Look again, closely,  at the image and guess what...he’s trying to out swank Jen by gardening in his posh Dubarry's, not sure if his missus would approve nor take kindly to him swigging beer exhausted after his session in the garden leaning back on a Freebag. Methinks Andy isn't going to have a relaxing Easter week, that garden seat looks like it needs some TLC!

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    It was pointed out by Jenny during her proof reading session of the text that stainless clothes pegs can also be purchased from www.marinechandlery.com and they can also be attributed to the household budget. Perfect at home holding king size bottom sheets on the line in a force six and used with confidence on our Mystery when the breeze sets in and the washing is on the line and we two are in the taverna having a well earned cold beer or two.

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