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    Roly Tasker sails

    Having managed to extract just one of three sails ordered almost 12 months ago from a prominent UK sailmaker, tomorrow at the Southampton Boat Show I expect to speak with the Roly Tasker UK agent about 2 x furling headsails. Anything I should know about their quality of build and Value For...
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    Time and place for everything...

    Of course there is. Discussion of the periods for Max and Min Ice in the deep Southern Ocean tend to obscure the need for such discussion closer to home. I'm thinking of singlehanders - 'Jesters' - considering the Jester Atlantic Challenge next year. Here's one seasoned commentator raising the...
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    Vectran vs Dyneema

    I reqire to make up several small multipart strops, about 200mm ID, sheathed in antichafe tubing. These will see service holding ( fixed ) forestay and ( temporary ) stormjib loads. I have lengths of Marlow Excel Dyneema D12 and Excel Vectran V12 in 3mm, each with very similar Min Break Loads...
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    Beefing up the insides for JSD

    I'm planning to fit titanium pad eyes to the quarters of my small sailboat, to take the bridle-arms of a JSD. I reckon the laden 'mid-weight' will not exceed 9000lb, so Don Jordan's calculation of 'Design Loads' for rode and bridle arms at 7200lb and 5040lb each should be readily achievable...
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    SK99 spliced strop

    I'm looking to build a strop in 9mm SK99 which will wrap around a fitting like a very large 'low friction ring' with effective diameter ~13cm/~39cm circumference. This will carry forestay loads on a 3000kg sailboat, and the SK99 is massively strong enough ( 11500MBL ). The end-loops of the strop...
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    Warps reels

    I'm looking to store and deploy my main and kedge warps from plastic reels, which I'll stow when not needed. Large 'expedition' yachts have their reels mounted on deck, on fixed frames. I don't have space on the deck of my 27-footer to spare for fixed frames, so am looking to 'invent' and...
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    Arkema 3 scow sprit

    I'm interested in replicating the tubular collar idea seen below on the Arkema 3 Scow, due to layout of own boat's bow fittings. I'll seek to make it fixed, not 'tacking', such that the forestay tack arrangement 'wraps around' the collar to secure down onto the existing deck fitting. Does...
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    Twinning backstay

    Having heard the tale, first hand, of a single-hander who lost his boat when his top backstay toggle fitting failed, I'm keen to fit a double backstay - replacing the existing single 'Y' provision. The stick is about 32'.... She's a 'mature' 27' 3-5 ton'er, with a simple masthead bmu rig. There...
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    Flotation bags

    I'm exploring the idea of fitting Hypalon inflatable fenders as 'flotation airbags' which could be inflated in event of major hull breach to provide sufficient extra buoyancy to remain afloat. That could buy time to find/fix the hull breach and/or for aid to arrive. They'd be secured below...
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    Nav charting tech - obsolete?

    The frontpage SA article by John Cornow on 9 November raises eyebrows and yawns among both greybeards and hotshots. Those weaned on 'working-up the DR' and 'compass calibration' will nod sagely. The Snapchatterati will roll their eyes, open a Google Maps page on their iP6 and stretch a vector to...
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    Lightning strike and Faraday Cages

    There are plenty of tales of lightning strike 'frying' all e-equipment on board. Some suggest placing vulnerable kit into the metal oven, which would act as a protective Faraday Cage. Would metal foil achieve this objective? Would a grab bag lined all round inside with metal foil protect the...
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    Calling Time on Time

    I'd really appreciate some cultural critique on a note I've been reviewing and editing for some time. What's needed is some 'outsiders' views on whether the text-message is succinct, informative, unambiguous, clear and easily-understood. Does it 'hit the spot'? Otherwise, how might I improve on...
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    'Do No Harm' or, 'A Winter's Tale'

    Some may know of cruising cameraman Dylan Winter and his viral Keep Turning Left YouTube vids of his gentle exploration of all the creeks and little-known anchorages around Britain - or, so far, the East Coast. They're superb, in a unique sense. Click through and enjoy a couple of them.... What...
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