You can fix anything with tape

Beverley and I had been in port for a long time, we have had storm Arwen which was a real bute, followed by storm Barra which was another cracker. On top of this I have got a wee job and I have been contracting as well, so not that many days off, but that is life. So on the one day that it was nice I was determined to do some boat tasks. I had a grand idea to go out, do some anchoring, or even draw out a huge tree using Salty Lass, but to do any of that we had to get Salty Lass tidy. On top of this Salty Sausage really needed to be blown up. We have not touched the dinghy for two months and rather that it being a Salty Sausage it is a squidgy sausage, so seeing as the next set of bad weather was to come from the South, we thought at least we would turn Salty Lass around, because given a choice we prefer the wind to come across the front, as that gives us a dry porch under the spray hood. So with turning Salty Lass around in mind, we decided to drop Salty Sausage, making the task of blowing Salty Sausage up a lot easier, so with that task completed, we got on with the task of tidying Salty Lass up.

So in our boat tidy, the first spare that we came across was our LED lights, we need these as they are solid tracks so are susceptible to breaking as well as surge currents. The first thing that happens is that a set of Led lights start to flicker which is really annoying. The only thing that needs to happen, to make the spare useable is to have the legs shortened a little.

Meanwhile on the chart table I found a boat knife which is a really essential tool to have on you when you are out sailing or doing boat tasks. Having a knife to hand is really important which is why we also have another knife hanging up inside the door. Having a knife is so important that we might well invest in another knife to keep with our mullions, as that is the only issue with our current set up, when we transfer from our daytime sailing gear into our cold weather and night time sailing gear, we sometimes forget to transfer the knife.

Soon Salty Lass was tidy enough so I checked the oil, fan belt, sea water strainer and coolant as well as all the other tasks on our checklist. Once we had completed all those tasks it was time to drop the lines springing off the rear line to help us get a tighter turning circle. I took Salty Lass out of the slip, that way I had a practice, of backing her out of the slip as well as backing her towards the fuel dock so that we could fill up with fuel. In the winter we use a lot of fuel to run our heater. In the past we could declare our fuel as heating fuel, but now that privilege has gone, so now fuel is at least 30 to 40p per litre dearer than it was. When we are filling up our fuel we always put in fuel set, it gets rid of fuel bug meaning that we have really clean filters, so much so we have one of our old filters as a spare, it is that clean. While we were at the fuel dock cleaning out the fuel, we took the opportunity to clean out our sewage tank as well. When we are in port we rarely use our toilet as we use the one supplied by the marina, but we do use it at night so keeping the tank empty is a great idea. Once the tank is empty, we open the sea cock and close the intake valve, this means that sea water is sucked through the system. This does two things, cleans the pipes for the marina, as well as clean the lines within Salty Lass. Beverley took her back into the slip, so that we both had practice backing and manoeuvring Salty Lass.

While we were out I noticed that our aerial for the AIS needed for a little bit of attention so I got our tape box out. Having a box for tapes is really useful. We have a huge amount of tapes and they can be used to fix anything

  • Retro tape - Used to illuminate items that need to be illuminated such as bags, life buoys and the like
  • PTFE Tape - Used to seal pipes and through holes
  • Cloth tape - Used for a wide variety of patches, we also use this tape to secure things while glues and other fixing agents dry
  • Masking tape - Used to mask off areas so that when you are putting down a sealant you keep everything neat
  • Amalgamating tape - We use this to waterproof cabling, as insulation and other stuff. It is an interesting tape in that it only sticks to itself, I was in need of that tape today to fix our AIS aerial which could also be used as a spare aerial for our radio
  • Packing tape - Used to fix items into place on a temporary basis
  • Sail tape - Used to repair sails

Beverley took Salty Lass back to the slip, backing her into our slip. Once we had tied her up, I talked about another spare that we have lots of ropes and lines, We have lots of different lines including

  • Throwing / Mooring lines - These are great ropes that we use to temporary moor Salty Lass. They are also great because if you need to throw them then they are a great line for that.
  • Mooring Lines - We use nylon lines for this as they stretch and give you an easier ride in the slip
  • Long mooring lines - These we use when we are in a harbour and we need to tie up to a harbour wall
  • Dog ropes - Used for miscellaneous tasks around the boat from lashing down the dinghy, to creating harnesses and the like
  • Rope for our docking stick - used only when we are docking and has a loop already set up so that we can get onto a cleat

Our last essential spare is a spare life jacket. It is great to have a spare for guests, but if you do have a spare make sure that you maintain it. For our life jackets the gas canister not being fully inserted is by far and away the biggest issue that can occur, so knowing how to maintain it, is fantastic