Friday, 3 April 2015

Back to the Boat

It’s that anxious time of year – spring may be just around the corner but I recall two years ago when,after a mild winter, we had snow through March to April. The boat has been somewhat neglected recently. It seems as if all the effort to bring her back to life before the end of the summer left me quite exhausted. There again maybe it wasn’t exhaustion. Maybe it had something to do with the need to make progress in other areas of life – get some things off the list. (See my other blog ‘Frugal Living in France)

So, the boat was launched looking good on the outside but the interior was more like a floating slum. The cabin remains to be renovated and it has to be done because this year we’re going to make a real voyage – somewhere.

There is good news though – the paint systems and the wood treatments I used have stood up to the winter really well so I can wholeheartedly recommend International Paint Products – especially ‘WoodSkin’.

And here is another product I can recommend – it has a million and one uses on a boat and I’m now a firm believer that every boat should carry it. What is it? Well, it’s a product called ‘Sugru’ – a sort of self-setting rubber, disguised as a kind of play-dough.

It comes in handy sized sachets in a variety of colours. Open the packet and make whatever shape you want with your hands or by pressing it into a mold – it is very pliable. Twenty four hours later it will have set to a tough, flexible silicone rubber. Before it sets it
is self adhesive – it will stick to aluminium, steel, ceramics, wood, glass or most plastics. When it is set, it can be removed from non-porous surfaces. When cured it is waterproof and even dishwasher proof. It doesn’t mind heat or cold, it is electrically insulating and UV resistant, and if aesthetics are important, it comes in a variety of colours in each pack so you can mix the colours to create the colour and shade you require.

To date, I have used it to plug an above-water engine outlet that was no longer required. I have used it to make washers for nuts and bolts and I have created grommets to protect electric cable when passing through bulkheads. I have also made pads behind equipment attached to bulkheads to eradicate vibration noise. I have used it to cover bolts where they come into the cabin – at least I’ll bang my head more softly now. Rings made of Sugru also stop my wine bottles rattling, and similar rings around my thermos flask improve its chances of survival if it falls off the bench. In an emergency it would make an idea temporary bung but best of all it can be used to protect expensive objects with sharp corners – iPads, cameras etc.

I'm sure there are lots of other uses for the stuff and I’m also sure that there is probably a different solution for each use of Sugru that I have mentioned here – the point I am making though, is that Sugru is one item with a million uses so I don’t have to think up new solutions. Take some to the boat whenever you visit but keep the rest in the fridge at home. The fridge extends its use-by date significantly.

UK Readers can get it here
Sugru Multi-Colour (Pack of 8)

USA Readers can get it here
Sugru SMLT8 Hardware Sealer, Multi Color, 8-Pack