Weathermax Rules OK….??!!

Today’s email from P&B has made me think for a moment about weathermax covers.

Datchet is a tough environment on covers.  I think it’s all the kerosene that spews out of Heathrow aircraft that does it.  The old type covers get very blackened and sometimes slippery in that environment. Horrible, it is.  I used to get 5-6 years only out of the old type before they needed replacing.  In fact, they used to discolour quite badly even after just a couple of seasons.

I’m just realising that my weathermax cover, from Goacher Sails, is about 18 months old and still looks crisp and new!  So this material is really great.  The only downside I’ve noticed is that when trailing it can rub straight through (where the side supports are), so maybe some strengthening patches there – ironically of the old material! – would work. Other than that, it’s brilliant !

I just looked up the P&B one from their email – it’s a little over £300.

Weathermax Covers…. Again…!!

A short while ago we wrote about the wonders of weathermax material for boat covers – mine’s great!

However, I just saw a stunning example from P&B in dark blue material- grey taping – it looked marvellous!! Much better than my ‘normal’ blue one in fact…!!

Remember, if you fancy one from P&B – hurry !!  Their discount offer closes in one week’s time….

Flat Covers – Hints and Tips 2 ….

We like to get something like 5-7 years out of our cover, so we live with it a long time. There are a couple of simple things that make living with it easier and less hassle.

I got fed up with the normal nylon clips at the shrouds snapping off. Maybe it is the load, or the UV or something – but they don’t often last as long as the cover – and I like the skirt string really tight.

So we immediately replaced ours each side with two small stainless englefield clips (see photo).

They are very quick to use, and cost less than a pound I think. Next time you have something on mail order from P&B, just get them to include two pairs of these so you don’t pay extra postage.

We like to cover up while trailing. The boom cannot be trailed across stern and fore decks – it has to be stowed away. So you simply tie the normal mast loop up to the horizontal mast to “dome” the cover. However, we find that in very heavy rain, the cover can still start to puddle over the helmsman’s cockpit. On this cover, we asked the maker to add a second loop (see photo) over the rear cockpit. We secure that up to the mast in its trailing position and that seems to work a treat…..

Flat Covers – Hints and Tips…

You’ve chosen a flat cover for your new FF?…  Do we have any tips to keep everything smart??

You can get a mini boom-up effect by ensuring your boom sits firmly and reasonably centrally from stern deck to fore deck.  We sit ours in polystyrene pads at each end – just cut from the last electrical product to be delivered at home. A couple of the teams use old drain pipe, windsurfer masts and that kind of thing… It is surprising though the number of Datchet members who leave it at that or just slackly attach the main halyard to stop the halyard flapping around….

Most flat covers, like this one, have a central loop to cause a “dome” effect and held stop puddles forming over the cockpit. We have a stop knot on the main halyard to get the length right, and the halyard has a loop at the masthead end. Then we just have a short piece of blue line attached top the cover loop. We tie this to the halyard end as the last thing we do when putting the boat to bed.

If the bottom straps are tight, then you get no puddling…..

Flying Fifteen Covers – what to think about….

So you’ve bought your first ‘new’ Flying Fifteen and brought it back to the Club…!! Everything looks in great condition, but the previous owner had been shy about replacing the cover before sale.  That’s pretty common ….. So in buying a new one, what do you have to consider??

Well, the first obvious thing is the choice of “flat” or “boom up”.

In our fleet, about 1/3 buy boom-up, and 2/3 buy flat covers. On boats I owned previous to Fifteens, I always had a boom-up covers. Now I am a convert to “flat”.

The cover shown here is a typical, and well made P&B product. Looks very fit for purpose – so why did I choose flat? Well, unlike most boats, the Flying Fifteen sits very high on its trailer. We do without any kind of step ladder to get up on the boat, and so it is critical to us to be able to reach over the cover to do it all up after sailing. That gooseneck where the cover has to be secured is a heck of a height above the ground….

The second consideration is “do you want to tow?”. I must admit I have a very strong preference to cover up when I tow. I stow all the sails in the boat and from a security and cleanliness viewpoint, I want the boat covered. That predictates a flat cover, unless you want to own two. The FF has no rudder pintles, so you need to think about how you fix your lightboard. If you don’t cover up, you need a light board on a piece of GRP moulded to fit over the transom. It must be me, but the VC and I have had two of these boards bounce off on long motorway journeys – disaster!

If you have a flat cover, then you get another and I think better, choice. The big cover manufacturers put a pair of loops on the back of the flat covers to securely attach a standard light board. This works very well – and I’ve never had one bounce off….