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Universal Stone

  • 11. Top Tips Tuesday - Protecting Your Topsides

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    Protecting Your Topsides

    Living and working on the North East coast we seem to get more than our fair share of bad weather (having said that we were let off lightly last winter with almost no flooding), however, early spring its often strong Easterly winds and with it airborne sand, grit and then there is the deposits of salt! As a result it can mean higher than normal topside wear and tear through fender scuff. Fenders and the vertical surface(s) should be washed regularly with clean water to get rid of contaminants. To protect the topsides however we do recommend the use of a fender skirt, fender socks or better still both.

    Of the fender skirts we sell 'off the shelf' some have a foam padding with an outer covering in an acrylic fabric, any colour you like as long as its blue, available in the one size of 2m x 0.7m. The acrylic skirts manufactured with no foam padding are available in two sizes and are limited to the colour grey, however, if you want to 'customise' or 'pimp' your boat our in-house loft will manufacture a skirt to your specification, padded or plain and as for colour anything goes... we can supply in literally hundreds of different colours from pink to black, lilac to burgundy and every shade between.

    Close fitting knitted fender socks are available in navy or royal blue (other colours are available to special order) and two shapes either sausage or 'round' (again other sizes available to special order). Alternatively, if your fenders are an unusual size the Fender Roll covers, which come in a long tube, would be the ones for you. Simply cut to fit the length of your fenders and slide on. There is no need to hem this material, it will not fray or unravel. Don't forget however that both skirts and socks pick up and hold dirt which can over a period of time abrade the surface it is designed to protect, so regular washing with fresh water is to be recommended.

    With very little effort fenders that look scruffy can, with surprisingly little effort, be restored to an almost new look. Universal Stone is the product that gets my nod to get them back to their former glory however on fenders that Andy uses to keep his sports boat topsides in good condition he prefers to  use Polymarine Inflatable Boat Cleaner.

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  • Just over a week to go!

    image001Yes, it’s just over a week to go till Jenny and I  scurry off down the road to Manchester Airport, hop on a charter plane to Prevesa and hopefully meet up with our skipper and first mate in the arrivals lounge. My leather thong, which has provided sterling service over the years, has been rescued from the dogs basket once again. It should be okay once its it’s been cleaned down with some Dubarry footwear cleaner followed by a light rub over with their Leather cream. I do hope it still fits as my six pack seems to have relaxed and my waist line expanded! This year I mustn’t forget my trusty Musto Sunnies (left them in the spare bedroom under the bed?) , nor my Gill technical wide brimmed hat. As for my new Leatherman multi-tool , the cunning plan this year is to pack in our hold luggage as against leaving it in my fast dry shorts. ‘In the bin’ were the words uttered by airport security and I dropped my faithful friend into the weapons bin. Anything else? Yes, some prezzies for our hosts, the eleventh edition of Rods Greek Waters Pilot ( I had noticed last years that our skippers copy was a ‘little’ out of date) and for the boat, Universal Stone of course. Roll on next Sunday!

  • Before and After! Its nice to get some positive feedback...

    Many years ago we purchased a brand new but very shop soiled rib as a ‘toys for boys’ In our attempt to restore it to an as new condition we tried a variety of cleaners all to no avail until we tried Polymarine's inflatable boat cleaner, since then we have not bothered stocking another make so it was nice to get this e-mail through from one of our regular customers who obviously agrees with us and thinks it's a good bit of kit and subsequently brought the Polymarine Inflatable Boat Finish as a result.

    Having said that we started stocking a product last year called Universal Stone, which is a very versatile cleaner that can be used on boat or around the household use and that also works wonders on RIBS!

    If you have a particular product/surface or fabric you need to clean, don’t hesitate to contact we probably have the appropriate product on the shelf, if we don’t I am sure we can use our contacts to come up with a satisfactory solution.

  • Useful tips from the Gaffer out in the Canaries...

    Having moved our Channel 31 from Gomera to Tenerife two months ago with a view to selling her and then hearing nothing at all from the broker we made an executive decision to fly out and find out what was happening! Call it a 'working holiday' however not sure if business partner Andy would agree, got there and the first thing that Jenny and I noticed was that the stainless steel had lost its shine very quickly, due we are told by the contamination from the Sahara sand which is at certain times deposited on the island.

    On board were a couple of products that I thought would bring back the sparkle, Starbrite Rust Stain Remover which according to the label says will work on metal as well as fibreglass and painted surfaces and Universal Stone which will (apparently) polish almost any material. As can be seen from the first image the metal work is badly contaminated, my cunning plan? pit one against the other. Starbrite was used on the port side of the pulpit, instructions say spray on leave a couple of mins and wash off with fresh water deeper stains may need a second application including rubbing with a brush or cloth. Universal Stone was used on the starboard side of the pulpit, instruction say, apply using the sponge provided, rub then either wash of with fresh water or polish with a damp cloth. My conclusion...Both did what they said they would, having said that Universal would be my choice if all the surface were Not complex, like say a stainless snap shackle why? Only cos it can be used for other uses around the boat, like polishing the mast or GRP.

  • 5. Top Tip Tuesdays: Socks and Skirts


    Are fender socks or skirts a good idea?

    Most skippers think they do provide a good level of protection against gelcoat/paint damage, however regardless if you do or don't what you must always do is keep both fenders and skirt clean especially if the environment is hostile! Situation we had at our local club early spring was very strong South Easterlies blowing sand off the beach and into the atmosphere, as can be seen from the image the damage done to the paint finish on the adjoining yacht is quite extensive.

    For keeping fenders in pristine condition regular washing is essential especially if the conditions are poor, then to bring them back to as-new Universal Stone gets my nod.

    Fender socks, I like the Fender Stocking material which is supplied in roll form and you just cut off in lengths to suit, they do say they are sand resistant, however I would still wash on a regular basis. Fender Fits are available for round as well as tubular fenders, they come in a choice of two blues, but other colours are available to order. The Blue Performance Hull protector is a smart way of helping protect your hull, it is available in two sizes however if neither size fits the bill, we can always make to measure.

  • Clear as mud!

    Meguiars Clear Plastic Polish is excellent for restoring optical clarity to all clear plastics (including Plexiglas windows) after using Clear Plastic Cleaner, mind you even though they are excellent products I am not sure if they would have sorted this compass out! Another product worth considering that we stock and also works well is Universal Stone, works well on faded UPVC windows too!

  • Thumbs Up From Windermere...


    Universal Stone contains no phosphates, so as a cleaning product it has been given the thumbs up for use by the Windermere Cruising Association, has also been given the thumbs up by my good lady as she has got me using it all around the house, cleaning the grouting in our shower, performing miracle(s) on the ‘gloss’ paintwork on our front door, bringing back the sparkle to our UPVC windows, polishing the Arga etc etc! My tip for what it’s worth is not to make my mistake i.e. take it home and tell your better half how wonderful it is!

    Cleaning a very grubby rib, Universal stone is the answer, rubber rubbing strake round a sugar chute transom comes up spotless, rust stains on gelcoat, scuffs on acrylic windows the list is endless!

  • My Love Affair...


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    My love affair with Universal Stone continues, this time in the cockpit of the Channel. After ten years the gearshift/throttle and the CE labelled adjoining were looking a little bit jaded from the effects of the Canarian sun. I was a little worried about using a colour restorer on the label in case it removed the lettering so once again I went for Universal Stone, yes it's not perfect but an awful lot better, no doubt if I spent a bit more time on the case it would look even smarter!

  • My Hero!

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    No doubt, it my 'new find' at last years Southampton Boat Show, discovering Universal Stone. As readers of my blog will already know we used it in the chandlery with great success to bring back the 'as new condition' to the powder coated shelves on the paint rack that were starting to look a little scruffy despite the Saturday boys regularly cleaning of them.

    Unknown to Andy I borrowed the rest of the tub and brought it out in our luggage to Gomera, so far I have used it with great success on the instrument covers of the Raymarine and NASA instruments, considering the condition of the latter I am delighted at the way its spruced it up. Next task is the stainless steel on the Plastimo cooker (dare I say it 'might be a job for Jenny)

  • Awesome!

    That’s how I would describe Universal Stone after trying it out on some very discoloured shelving in our chandlery and I asked the Saturday boy to do the ‘hard’ work! Both Andy and I try (but often fail) to keep the chandlery clean and tidy. Over the years we have employed a succession of Saturday boy’s to do some of the necessary, dusting, washing, vacuuming etc. The shelving that most of our stock sits on is of metal construction with a slightly rough finish, probably powder coated finish and over the years despite it being washing down with a variety of cleaning products they have slowly lost their fresh look and in certain cases become quite badly marked.  This past Saturday,  snow on the ground and with a distinct lack of customers I thought I would see if one of the products that I seen at the Southampton Boat Show and subsequently stocked would do the trick, I have to report that Universal stone is brilliant, it does not need loads of elbow grease and being environmentally friendly I was quite happy to let the Saturday boy loose with no supervision.

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