A better way to store extra fuel underway, un-fouling the prop and caring for teak decks
A DOUBLE WINNER
Off on a longer trip than usual next summer? If so, you may well end up carrying extra fuel in jerry cans on deck. However, lashing them to your stanchions is a thoroughly bad idea, because a sea breaking into them will not only rob you of your fuel, it will also hand you a fat bill for bent stanchions. Keeping the cans in the cockpit, on the other hand, protects both them and your lifelines, and reduces the volume of the cockpit, enabling it to drain more rapidly if you’re swamped. The downside is having to scramble around them, but when you’re as cool as the sailor in the photo at right, who cares?
If you suck a rope into your propeller running ahead or astern so that it stops your engine, there is sometimes a chance of freeing it without a dive as follows. Assuming you cannot hand-start the engine, first activate the fuel cutoff by pulling the stop cable. If you have an electric cutoff activated by the start switch, you may have to attend to its wiring manually. Once you are confident the engine will not fire, engage the opposite gear to the one you’re on, grab a bight of the rope, take the strain and crank the starter motor. So long as you keep pulling and the rope wound on cleanly without hitching itself, you might get lucky, and the rope will unreel as easily as it went on. If you can hand crank your engine, decompress and do it that way.
TEAK DECK PARADISE
I had a call recently from the man who replaced the deck on my Mason 44 five years ago. He was worried about the way people are wrecking their teak decks trying to get the green off. Nasty chemicals munch at the rubber, bandits scrub the pith out of the grain fore and aft with stiff brushes, and skip- pers have even been seen brandishing power hoses. However, the shrewd Swedes at HallbergRassy recommend only one answer in their owner’s manual. It’s called Boracol, available on the internet from Canada and super- easy to use. It ain’t cheap, but my goodness, it really works. I applied it last winter. Without scrubbing I topped up in autumn, and my decks are still a perfect silver- gray. s
Protect yourself and your stanchions by keeping your jerry cans in the cockpit
Don’t ruin a lovely teak deck with overly aggressive cleaning