SAIL - - Features - with Tom Cunliffe

A bet­ter way to store ex­tra fuel un­der­way, un-foul­ing the prop and car­ing for teak decks


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.


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

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