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The Sailboat Cruiser ~ Issue #53
November 24, 2019

The Sailboat Cruiser

The Sailboat Cruiser is the free monthly (OK, monthly-ish) newsletter of and sets out to bring you the news, views and general musings of, well, me - Dick McClary, a sailboat cruiser and creator/owner of the website.

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Newsletter #53 - November 2019

What's in This Issue:

A Great Way of Attaching Cockpit Cushions

It's time to renew our cockpit cushions - in fact it's been time for a while, but now we really must get it done.

The method of attaching the current ones, with stainless steel press-studs, has never really been satisfactory - there must be a better way.

Well there is, and we spotted it on a boat in Rodney Bay Marina (St Lucia) earlier this year.

It involves short lengths of plastic sprayhood track screwed to the outboard edge of the cockpit seat together with corresponding lengths of luff tape sewn into the outboard edge of the cockpit cushion, as shown in the pics below:

Slide one into t'other and your cockpit cushion is going nowhere.

Fabric tabs and press-studs will keep the inboard edge of the cushion from lifting.

We've sourced the track and the luff tape from Kayospruce in the UK and will be taking them out to 'Alacazam', currently laid-up ashore in Grenada, in a few weeks time.

Don't Neglect Your Boat During the Lay-Up Period!

For the next few months, boat owners in the less temperate zones of the northern hemisphere can expect the dismal prospect of heavy rain, strong winds, ice and snow.

Unsurprisingly, most will have abandoned all thoughts of sailing until the spring and hauled out their craft for winter storage ashore.

But boats like to be used; leave them alone for any lengthy period of time and they'll be reluctant to co-operate when launch time comes around.

They must be properly decommissioned and protected from the onslaught of the winter weather.

So, with your boat safely tucked up ashore, there's plenty work to be done.

Hauling Out and Laying-Up Tasks...

How Not to Anchor

A few weeks ago I read a classic tale (I think it was on one of the Facebook Groups, but I've not been able to find it since) of 'How Not to Anchor'.

Apparently the skipper had dropped the hook and dinghied ashore with his crew for a spot of lunch. Deceived by the benign conditions, he'd relaxed his usual attention to the basic principles of anchoring a boat. On returning to their dinghy, which they'd pulled up the beach, they were extremely disappointed to find their now beached yacht there too. So what had happened? After all, they'd let out a reasonable amount of chain, backed down on the anchor, and were satisfied that it was well dug in, but...

  • Conditions had changed while they were ashore. The wind had backed and increased as a weather front came through. The previously protected anchorage was now a lee shore.
  • They hadn't bothered with a snubber, and owing to a lively chop, their boat was now snatching at the anchor.
  • The shock load was transferred directly to the gypsy on their electric windlass, the clutch of which started to slip.
  • As their boat gathered speed downwind, more and more chain was dragged unchecked from the anchor locker.
  • Finally, there was no more chain, and the line that attached the end of it to the strong-point in the locker broke.
Their boat was pulled off with little damage, but they'll probably never make that mistake again.

Lessons learned:

  1. Use a snubber;
  2. Don't rely on the windlass to secure the anchor chain - it's not designed for it.

Seizing Shackles

While soft shackles are ideal for many situations around the boat, their susceptibility to chafe means that there are times when only a stainless steel screw-pin shackle will do.

Shackles come in many shapes and sizes but their pins will be one of the two types shown below:

One thing is for sure though,

Left to its own devices, any un-siezed shackle pin will eventually undo itself and fall off.

The answer of course is to seize them, using either:

  • a threadlock glue like Loctite, or
  • a plastic cable tie, or
  • monel wire.

For a Socket Head Pin threadlock glue is your only choice. The problem here is that you can't tell if this has properly seized the shackle just by looking at it.

A plastic cable tie is a quick and easy method of seizing a standard pin shackle but they're subject to ultra-violet degradation and will ultimately fail as a result.

The gold standard of seizing a shackle is with monel wire. Strong and durable, it's clearly the way to go for ultimate security.

Let Us Spray - with Care!

Pantaenius know a think or two about the risks associated with boats, and here they relate a cautionary tale...

"It was going to be a normal working day in winter storage when the owner of a 9m long yacht was suddenly hit by a huge shock wave. What sounds like the beginning of a crime novel is unfortunately becoming a common reality. The injured person suffered burns to his face and body.

His yacht also suffered considerable damage: hinges broke free of the screw connections, hatch frames flew out of the deck, and baking crates were pushed outwards. What had happened?"


This Month's Mystery Boat

No-one came up with any suggestions for last month's mystery boat, so here it is again.

Any ideas anyone?

If so, please let me know by clicking here...

Cruising Boats for Sale

If you're thinking of selling your cruising boat - or know someone who is - remember you can advertise it entirely free of charge on - which is what the owners of these boats have done...

Lady Rebel, an Irwin 52

Owners comments: A 1983 Irwin 52 centre cockpit ketch, our boat for 8 years and our home for 6. In that time she has completed almost 25,000 Nm, two trans-atlantics, a UK circumnavigation, an East and West Caribbean circumnavigation and cruised the Eastern US.

'Lady Rebel', pics & details...

'Salicorn', a Whitby 42

Owner's comments: 'Salicorne' is a spacious, sturdy and rugged full-keeled, heavy displacement center cockpit monohull ideal for those who want more living space on board. She has two double berths each with private toilet and large saloon (which converts to a double berth plus single) and galley. The owners have lived on board for the last three years so she is well maintained. She is Guernsey registered and comes with lots of extras.

'Salicorn', pics & details...

'Tumbledown Wind' a Contest 44

Owner's comments: 'Tumbledown Wind' is the perfect yacht that can be sailed by a couple in great comfort. She is strongly built to Lloyds hull specifications. An easily handled seagoing yacht capable of crossing oceans swiftly and just as happy making gentle coastal passages. She has been constantly updated by a very experienced husband and wife team who are both members of the Ocean Cruising Club.

'Tumbledown Wind', pics & details...

'Heymede', a Westerly Discus 33

Owner's comments: We have lived on 'Heymede' for 10 years and sailed her from the U.K. to France, Portugal, Gibraltar, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, The Gambia & crossed the Atlantic to the Caribbean. 'Heymede' is perfect for exploring shallow waters, tidal waters, the Bahamas or the Inter coastal waterway as she sits upright on the bilge keels.

'Heymede', pics & details...

'Endeavour', a Tartan 34.5C

Owner's comments: After 33 years of Europe, Atlantic and Caribbean cruising we have decided to part with our live-aboard, family heirloom. Our extraordinary seaworthy fiberglass vessel is 100% ready for ocean sailing all over again. 'Endeavour', more pics & details...

Cal 27

Owner's comments: This Cal 27 Mk III is in great shape and comes with an even better pedigree. The Cal brand is a popular line, well known and in high demand in the secondary market. Great for day sailing, long weekends and even an extended cruise. Sailed exclusively in fresh water up and down and across Lake Michigan visiting many harbors and fun destinations.

Cal 27, pics & details...

Scheldeschouw 34

Owner's comments: Built in 1973 by a professional boatyard in the Netherlands. The hull is constructed of Corten steel. It is built with a (single) full keel. Decks are fiberglas-covered marine plywood over steel stringers. Cabin sides and top are Mahogany marine plywood. Interior is constructed of African mahogany plywood and mahogany trim.It has as a sloop rig supported by heavy rigging. Equipped with a roller furling jib, it has an additional forestay for a hanked on jib. Lazy Jacks on the main.

Scheldeschouw, pics & details...

'Sea Bunny', a Hallberg Rassy 42

Owner's comments: 'Sea Bunny' is the original (Rassy/Enderlein), sloop rigged, version of the popular GRP long-distance cruising HR42 marque and has successfully completed two circumnavigations. The second of these, with us, was mostly two-handed and covered over 60,000 nautical miles.

'Sea Bunny', pics & details...

Want to check out a whole load more?

Then take a look at the full list of monohulls for sale here and multihulls for sale here...

Don't forget...

If you're thinking of looking at a secondhand sailboat, or just want to be aware of what to look for - and when to walk away no matter what - then you really ought to take a look at my eBook 'How to Avoid Buying the Wrong Sailboat'

Used Sailing Gear & Equipment

It's always worth taking a look at what visitors to are getting rid of. Remember that one man's junk is another man's gold!

Among other items this month, we have:

  • Windpilot Self-Steering Gear;
  • Boomkicker;
  • High Output Alternator;
  • Shipmate Stove - FREE;
  • 140 LPH HP SC Watermaker;
  • Universal M-20 3 Cylinder Diesel Engine;
  • New Sail, Two 30' Masts & Accessories;
  • Monitor Windvane Self-Steering;
  • Sailing Jackets & Matching Waterproof Trousers;
  • JABSCO Manual Toilet;
  • Avon Redstart Dinghy 2.4m;
  • Mariner 2.5hp 2-stroke Outboard;
  • Whale WATERMASTER - Automatic Pressure Pump;
  • Gill Drysuit, Womens Small;
  • JABSCO Manual to Electric Toilet Conversion Kit;
Take a look at these and all the other stuff at used cruising gear for sale...

More 'Likes' Please has a Facebook Page!

Clicking the image here will take you right to it, where you can browse through many more posts and articles.

Please take a look, and feel free to make a post - and don't forget to 'Like' us of course...


Visit's Facebook Page...

And finally...

If you know anyone who might be interested in the contents of this newsletter, please forward it to them. It's not secret!

And this newsletter can be a two-way thing. If you've read anything you'd like to comment on, or perhaps there's an event you'd like to see announced in a future newsletter, then please let me know.

See you next month!

Dick McClary

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