Cover It Up ….!!

Have you seen the announcement of 15% discount off covers at P&B until 21st December, …. Santa??….!!

How long do you reckon to get out of a cover??  In the London environment, where cyclists wear facemasks, I reckon to get five, maybe six years.  Is it more where you are??

Anyway, for our fleet, the P&B seasonal offers are always good news and 15% is a real motivator.   This is the link to the P&B Covers Page.

Another thing caught my attention about this is the announcement that the covers are available in a new material called “Weathermax”.  It’ll be interesting to see how well it deals with the air of London.  This is what P&B have to say about it:-

Our covers are made from high quality PVC coated polyester or Weathermax, a new fabric that combines breakthrough UV technology with water resistance, breathability and durability so that it can protect your boat for longer.

I’ve just got a cover made in weathermax for our boat ….

  • It’s much lighter material than we are used to, and when new (at least) it’s quite slippery. Light when wet, even.  So using it, as in “putting it on”, is a bit more pleasant an experience.
  • It’s strange stuff as it appears not to be coated on either side. In fact, to the naked eye it looks the same both sides.  You are aware that it is man-made material, but somehow, it does not seem at all plastic.
  • So is there anything not to like?? Well, when wet, or even just the morning dew, it holds the water (when new anyway) in big globules on the surface. Just maybe, surface tension is enough to stop the water running away as quick as you’d think – it seems to have zero water absorption….  So when you roll it up and then lift it off the boat, great streams of water run all over your jeans. Yuck!!  The best tip here is to get your bowman to take the cover off instead…!!!

Flying Fifteen – Spinnaker Chute Cover…

Many of the boats at our Club don’t bother with covers on their spinnaker chutes. At an inland club, we really don’t have the waves to merit it. We hope to soon be able to post a new video though where you can see a Fifteen in a seaway under spinnaker where the nose dives under water for quite a few seconds. Dragons have the same challenge… That’s when the chute cover comes in handy – so long as you remember to close it of course !!

Here is one on a P&B boat. Very tidy and it works. The control line emerges at the forward face of the cockpit for the crew to operate. You only have to yank about 18 inches of line of course, so there’s not much string to get in the way.

Flying Fifteen Covers – Hints and Tips 4…. Cost….

So you have just bought your first Flying Fifteen and brought it back to the Club. It needs a new cover…. But maybe your new pride and joy is 25 years old, cost a thousand, or maybe 500 off eBay !! So a new cover looks a disproportionate investment !!!!

What to do?? Well, this is essentially the problem we have with the fleet of Club Loan Boats for the Trial Sail Program. (see Trail Sail tab on the website, beneath the banner photo)  We have found that you can get a really good deal by going to the Sail Register. The covers seem fine, fit for purpose, and a realistic price for the older boats.

A flat one is about £135 as I type this….

Sail Register

Flying Fifteen Covers – Hints and Tips 3…..

In general it is true that you want pretty firm and secure lines under the boat to stop your cover pooling – it is especially true for flat covers.  For a decade we just had plain lines that we used to tie, and to be honest they worked OK but were a bit fiddly to tie really tight. At our club, two types of clip are common.

This is the first and very common type. The strap  is a preset length, and the two plastic ends clip quickly together. I think this is great and very convenient. I’m not sure that they stay 100% tight though. Maybe they slip when left alone, or maybe as one does them up they give a little – so you do see some in the boat park a bit too slack. That’s when the trouble starts….

We have this second type. It takes a few seconds longer to do up, but at least you do know that you leave it firm and tight every time you leave the boat. Once you have threaded the loose end of the strap through the buckle, you just give it a tug and it self locks very effectively. So look for these especially on a flat cover…..