Practical Boat Owner: Boat owners are being warned to batten down the hatches ahead of Storm Frank which looks set to hit coastal areas from the early hours of tomorrow morning.
Weather warnings are currently in place for coastal areas from Aberdeen to Shetland and from Stornoway, Belfast, down to Holyhead, Milford Haven and Falmouth.
Although additional rainfall may have an impact over land, it’s the predicted high winds that continue to cause most concern for the UK Coastguard.
Mark Rodaway, commander with HM Coastguard said: ‘Our advice to people remains the same. Check the weather and tidal conditions before you set out so you can prepare your vessel accordingly, or even ask yourself whether you should be going out at all.
‘At sea, changes in tidal streams could make conditions worse, particularly if the wind and tide are against each other, but above all, don’t take risks when a storm at sea is involved.’
He added: ‘We’ve all seen the dramatic pictures of flooding inland and seen from previous years, some equally dramatic images from coastal storms. Do not be tempted to go out and take those photographs yourself. No photograph or selfie is worth risking your life for.
However, as always, if you do see someone in trouble or are in trouble yourself, then call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’
Practical Boat Owner: Simple steps to make the winter laying-up process straightforward, painless and effective.
Follow these simple steps to make the winter laying-up process straightforward, painless and effective.
While the boat’s in the water
- Leaks, cracks and creaks can be tricky to trace when the boat’s ashore. While your boat’s still in the water, take a photo or make a sketch of the affected area – or mark it with a pen – so you can subsequently identify and deal with the problem.
- If the mast is staying up, check the rig. It’s safer to send someone aloft when the boat’s in the water – and if you find anything amiss, the yard can later take the mast down at their convenience.
- While up the mast, remove masthead instruments and lights, aerials and wind indicators. They’ll last longer, and you’ll be able to check them for damage.
- If you’re going to be taking the mast down, either remove and mouse your halyards or coil them neatly at the mast foot. Oil bottlescrews and slacken them off a turn or two to make the boatyard’s job easier.
- Take as much as you can off the boat: it’s easier to empty her alongside than it is to shimmy up and down a ladder on the hardstanding. Empty lockers, bilges and cupboards, rinse them out and leave the locker lids off to aid ventilation.
- Take your sails home or to a place where they can be rinsed and dried. Think about any sail repairs now, while the sailmakers are quiet – don’t leave it until next spring, when they’re likely to be rushed off their feet.
- Take your liferaft for servicing now to avoid the service centre’s pre-season rush – that way you’ll get it back in good time for next spring.
- Take home cushions and soft furnishings, if you can – they’ll stay drier, make the boat less damp and therefore less susceptible to mildew. If you can’t take them home, prop them up so air can circulate underneath and around them.
- Drain down any water heaters or calorifiers.
- Top up your fuel tank to leave no room for the condensation that promotes the growth of diesel bug. Also consider a fuel additive.
- Empty water tanks. You can take flexible tanks home and scrub them with a bottlebrush. If you have fixed tanks, fill them with a Milton solution and let them stand before draining.
- Remove the speed transducer impeller: it could otherwise run the risk of sustaining damage from the crane strops.
- Take home anything easily removable – this is particularly important for high value items like outboard engines, chart plotters and VHF radios.
Winterising the engine
It’s important to winterise the engine to prevent damage from freezing. Some relatively quick and easy tasks can prevent big bills later on.
- Change the oil: new oil will prevent internal corrosion and protect the engine as it sits there over winter.
- When the boat’s ashore you should flush through the engine’s raw water cooling system, as salty water could slowly corrode it over winter. Close the inlet seacock and flush some fresh water through the engine while it is running – either by using a hose, or pouring it in from a jug. Once you’ve done this, pour in some antifreeze solution and stop the engine. If the boat is ashore, check with the yard beforehand to make sure the engine’s vibrations won’t shake the supports loose.
- If you have a closed-circuit cooling system, check the antifreeze level and top it up as necessary.
Before the big freeze
With the boat out of the water, what are the essentials to prevent frost damage when it turns cold?
- If you haven’t already done so, remove the boat’s sails – especially furling jibs which can flog loose in high winds and cause damage to yours and other boats in a packed boatyard.
- Wash, bail and dry the bilges and cockpit lockers with fresh water. If salty, they’ll attract moisture from the air and never dry properly.
- Make sure the scuppers are clear, so as to stop water pooling and freezing on the deck. Ensure the cockpit drains are also clear: this will be a regular task in the winter as they tend to clog up with leaves if there’s a tree nearby.
- Take the batteries home, if you can, to prevent them from being damaged by the cold. If this isn’t possible, try to keep them trickle-charged – a small solar panel is ideal for this.
- Take vulnerable items such as danbuoys and lifebuoys home, or keep them in a locker to stop them degrading.
- Flush your seacocks through to remove the salt, and grease them. It’s better to do this now rather than when they’ve seized up later in the winter. If you have traditional, Blakes-style seacocks, remove the barrels to stop them seizing up.
- Make sure the boat is well ventilated down below, or has a dehumidifier and/or heater to counteract the chill.
Motorboat & Yachting: The City of Edinburgh Council planning committee has granted planning consent to the revised masterplan for Edinburgh Marina the 300-berth marina, residential, retail and spa hotel development.
The scheme will be the focal point of Granton Harbour’s regeneration, just 2.5 miles from Edinburgh City Centre.
Edinburgh Marina is believed to be the first new marina next to a capital city in Europe for several decades, providing a major boost to inward investment in Edinburgh of over £300m.
The Edinburgh Marina development will deliver 2,094 new homes as well as local employment opportunities for up to 800 people, whilst the new masterplan provides for improved marine services, including a community boatyard and improved facilities for the Royal Forth and Forth Corinthian yacht clubs.
The revised scheme also makes provision for the proposed new transport facilities in the area, including the extension of the tram service.
A spokesman for the developers, Granton Central Developments Limited, said: ‘We are thrilled that consent has now been granted for the revised masterplan, due in part to the fantastic support of the local community who we would like to thank for their ongoing support. This is a wonderful Christmas present for the people of Granton, who have been forced to live for far too long with Granton Harbour in its current state.
‘We’re very excited to start working towards bringing Granton Harbour to life.
Motorboat & Yachting: Foreign sailors in Turkey must now carry a passport valid for at least 60 days beyond the “duration of stay” of their e-Visa or Residence Permit, the Cruising Association warns.
Passport Control Officers will be checking all entries and departures. The e-Visa website only states that the travel passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the intended first date of travel, which is the start date of the visa.
The Visitor’s Visa allows multiple visits totalling 90 days in any rolling 180-day period, so if you make multiple visits throughout the full 180-days the CA advises to ensure your passport is valid for 240 days beyond the date of intended first entry.
Those wishing to stay in Turkey for periods longer than a Visitor’s Visa allows must obtain a Residence Permit. This is only available for periods of three to 12 months for the category of temporary visitors.
The confusion resulting from differing document requirements for a Residence Permit has been addressed during 2015 with the introduction by the Foreigners’ Department of a Central Appointment System. This online system aims at achieving uniformity of documentation throughout all 81 Provinces.
This system is now mandatory, and requires submission of various details electronically and, for the first application, a request for an appointment at a local office in Turkey. The originals of the documents must then be presented by the applicant or authorised representative, although renewal can be solely online.
Yachting Monthly: A new yacht charter company has just been launched in north west Scotland. Torridon Yacht Charter offers a Hanse 385, as well as a luxury cottage next to the water, for anyone looking for a sailing retreat.
A new yacht charter operation, Torridon Yacht Charter, has being established, operating from Shieldaig, Loch Torridon. Located 75 miles from Inverness, it may not be the closest base to charter from, but it offers a mainland location, pontoon access, and is on the doorstep of some of the country’s most beautiful cruising grounds. Inverness is served by flights from most UK and European airports.
The first yacht in the Torridon Yacht Charter fleet is a Hanse 385. Coded for eight charter guest and built in 2013, she is fitted with an Eberspacher heating and teak decks. She will operate on a bareboat charter basis and customers will benefit from the Shieldaig community pontoon for embarkation and disembarkation.
‘We are really excited to launch Torridon Yacht Charter, which will be a sister company to Torridon Sea Tours. We look forward to welcoming our first guests. While the Torridon area is bewitching in itself, it is an ideal starting point to cruise the northwest coast of Scotland, including the Summer Isles, the Isle of Skye, the Shiant Isles and the Outer Hebrides.’
The company website is www.torridonyachtcharter.com.
Motorboat & Yachting: The Pearl 95, the largest boat ever made by the Midlands outfit, will hit the water in early 2017.
Like the 65 and the 75 the design of the new flagship has been done in conjunction with Dixon Yacht Design for the exterior and engineering and former Dragons Den star Kelly Hoppen MBE has designed the interior spaces.
On board there is the option to have four of five guest cabins plus crew accommodation meaning there is sleeping space for ten guests and five crew members in total.
The standout cabin, naturally, is the master suite, which enjoys the space and extensive glazing of the forward section on the main deck.
In the saloon there are a pair of floor-to-ceiling opening side doors that lead directly out to the side decks and will allow the breeze to flow through the yacht on warmer days.
On deck, as well as the enormous flybridge with a hardtop, optional hot-tub and glazing in the deck to provide more light to the cockpit, there is a fantastic living area on the foredeck complete with two sunpads and a sofa beneath a collapsible sunshade and a “beach club” in the transom with a bar and folding buttresses each side to use as a place to swim or board the tender from.
There is a good range of engine choices, with an impressive claimed top speed of 30 knots, and as ever with Pearl the owner has free license to customise the boat to their exact tastes.
Yachting Monthly: New online company Antlos, styled on Airbnb.com, now offers skippered yacht charters, as well as money-making opportunity for yacht owners.
Antlos, a new company has developed a model for inexpensive skippered yacht charters in the Mediterranean, and is now also offering holidays in the British Virgin Islands. The online ‘marketplace’ is a website that allows skippers with yachts to offer places on board to paying guests.
For holiday-makers, this means they can now enjoy the experience of a holiday afloat, without needing to be confident sailors before they go. For yacht owners, it offers the opportunity to avoid charter brokers and agents and to find paying yacht guests directly.
Owners can set their own rates and offer flexible dates, locations, and completely customisable itineraries. The prices listed on the Antlos website even include fuel costs, marina fees and other expenses, to make sure both parties are clear on what is covered in the cost of the holiday.
Guests can choose from a single place on a boat, a private cabin or an entire yacht for their exclusive use. Launched in May 2015, the site found holidays for over 650 customers in its first season, offering sailing adventures across the Mediterranean. From as little as £64 a day, guests will be able to enjoy Caribbean sailing.
For more information on how to sign up your boat or to find a holiday, visit: www.antlos.com
Yachting Monthly: Noah’s Ark, at least a scaled-down replica of it, has been delivered to Totton School after it was built by Hamble Yacht Services Refit and Repair for the 800th Lord Mayor’s Show.
Hamble Yacht Services Refit & Repair (HYSRR) has gone back to Biblical boatbuilding skills in contructing a miniature replica of Noah’s Ark. It was commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, a City of London Livery Company whose arms feature an Ark, for a float in the 800th Lord Mayor’s show. Lord Mountevans, the current Lord Mayor of London, is a Shipwright and member of the Company.
The Ark has now been donated to Oakfield Primary School in Totton, Hampshire and was delivered on 11 December 2015. Elizabeth Smith, Headteacher at Oakfield Primary School, taking delivery of the Ark said:
‘It’s marvellous! The children are thrilled to have been chosen to have the Ark. We already have an outdoor classroom and this will further enhance the children’s learning.’
The school plans to use the Ark for literacy, to make stories come to life, and link it to the curriculum in maths and RE. It will also be used for golden (reward) time, and the school is already planning a pirate-themed day.
The Ark was designed by Guy Whitehouse Designs, with a structural overview from Richard Oliver of Applied Structural Analysis (a tenant of Hamble Yacht Services). Marineware supplied coatings and all other funding for the Ark was provided by donations from fellow shipwrights.
The prime purpose of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights is charitable work, supporting charities such as the Sea Cadets, Jubilee Sailing Trust and Youth Challenge as well as maritime schools. It also provides grants for yacht and shipbuilding apprenticeship schemes.
The livery men of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights are drawn from the UK ship and yacht builders, lawyers and brokers, all of whom have some connection to the construction and operation of small or large vessels.
Motorboat & Yachting: The latest yacht listed for sale by Berthon’s global brokerage is a terrifying $7.5m stealth boat called Ghost.
Costing a cool $7.5m (roughly £5m), Ghost is a stealth boat built that sports a low radar signature geometry, and can seat 14 people in its 38ft ‘Mission Bay’, plus two more in the cockpit.
The catamaran hull was built in 2009 by Juliet Marine and when it was first launched Bloomberg called it “too innovative for the Pentagon”.
Power comes from twin Lycoming T53 gas turbines running two 2,000hp engines, while the articulated wings should make light work of even the roughest conditions.
Gregory Sancoff, founder of Juliet Marine, said of the ride: “It’s such a smooth ride, you can sit there and drink your coffee going through six-foot swells.”
Ghost is currently moored in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, but comes with a tandem trailer and can be disassembled should you need to tow it across enemy territory.
With a price tag this pricey, it may be a little late to ask Santa for one this Christmas, but we can’t think of a better way to terrorise your local harbourmaster.
To see more pictures of the Ghost stealth boat from Juliet Marine, click on the slideshow above and for more information, see the full listing on the Berthon website.
Motorboat & Yachting: Newquay Airport launched its Coastguard helicopter this week, after Bristow Helicopters delivered its first new model to the Cornish base.
In a ceremony held at the Cornish search and rescue base, the new arrival was welcomed by Coastguard officials and special guests.
Richard Parkes, director of maritime operations at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), said: “I am immensely proud to welcome the Newquay civilian base to the service.”
He also paid tribute to many decades of “outstanding work” from the base’s predecessor RNAS Culdrose.
The Newquay Coastguard helicopter base will be led by chief pilot Captain Mark Coupland, who served for 18 years in the Royal Navy before joining Bristow Helicopters in 2002.
Captain Coupland added: “The whole team here at the base feels very privileged to be involved in delivering this vital public service and we are looking forward to getting started.”
The Newquay base will start receiving taskings from the Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC) in January.
The introduction of new Coastguard helicopters from Bristow is part of a ten-year £1.9bn contact that was awarded to the private company by the government in March 2013.
The first Bristow Helicopters model went into service at Humberside and Inverness in April 2015.