2019 marked the third year for ProMarine Finance Ltd to exhibit at the Southampton Boatshow, being the second time in Mayflower Park between Ocean Hall and the Marina. Having seen Marine Mortgage lending grow in certain sectors through the year, we found this year’s show had a very different feel and not representative of the past 12 months.
Did the heat keep the visitors away? – well we were told by some with tickets the weather was too good to go to the show!!! At least on the marina there appeared to be a cooling breeze most days – whereas our location was sweltering, causing us in the afternoons to end up squeezing into the back of the stand to get out of the sun!!!
Previously our location was chosen so to be close to other Marine Mortgage lenders, however 2019 saw us as the only finance exhibitor with a stand, meaning we received enquiries for larger boats that didn’t fit into our lending profile. We also didn’t have visitors who were looking to get started in boating, nor did we see many looking for a lower value boat, or a vessel of an older age – all being our typical customer.
So where were the typical smaller boat buyers? – Did the emphasis being driven by British Marine and their Futures Project of selling ‘boating experiences’, which is further emphasised by the show’s main sponsor ‘Borrow a Boat’, mean that our target audience chose not to come?
Our business is growing well, mostly due to the internet, so maybe customers in our market can research all they need from the internet….. We believe this is why other Marine Mortgage providers chose not attend and it could certainly influence our decision to be present in the future.
As always we enjoyed ourselves at the show meeting new, past and present clients, along with the regular boat dealers. The BRBA dinner was a great event at the Grand Café, superb food and generous drinks from Coleman Insurance – always makes for an entertaining journey home on a Brompton Bike!
Makes us wonder if the traditional boat show for attracting boat buyers and selling boats has run its course in the UK – London is no more, On the Water was cancelled and Southampton feels as though it is shrinking. There appear to be plenty of big names in the industry voicing support for the show and their sponsorship, but we are not too sure whether to believe it.
Stuart visited www.colecraft.co.uk on Friday to view one of our in build widebeam boats.
Colecraft is a leading UK boatbuilder established since 1974 and a family run business.
As you can see the factory has 5 boats in build all of which will be completed and delivered before Christmas.
The quality of work and fit out is exemplary with maybe the only disappointment being delivery times for new boats are stretching into 2020.
Narrowboat in build with stage payments at various stages during the build, should be ready in time for Xmas.
Seacocks are present to shut off the flow of water from or to items of plumbing aboard the vessel.
There are three types of seacocks: the gate valve type, which is like the domestic plumbing type with a red wheel, which is turned clockwise to close; the ball valve type, which is preferred by many and has a lever to operate a chrome-plated bronze ball; and the traditional ‘Blakes’ type, which is complex in its construction and is comprised of a tapered peg, which is rotated by a lever inside a bronze housing.
Whatever type is used on your vessel, they should always be turned off when you leave the vessel, or, in the instance of the sink and sea toilet plumbing, they should be shut off whilst at sea.
However, the cockpit drain seacocks should be left on when leaving the boat to drain away rainwater.
Bronze is best as you do not need to wire seacock to an anode. This is because bronze does not contain very much zinc. Brass is often known as commercial bronze as it is an alloy of copper, zinc and tin.
DZR is the most common material used for seacocks. DZR stands for Dezincification Resistant Brass but is actually a type of bronze. So go for DZR or pure bronze.
Brass is too soft and contains too much zinc which leaches out of the metal.
Pure bronze is 88% copper 12% tin.
Pure brass is 90% copper 10% zinc.
Both are alloys so mixtures of the metal are used. Other derivatives of copper, tin, zinc and lead are gun metal and yellow metal.
The seacocks should be made of bronze and not brass, as is the case with domestic plumbing items that you get from a DIY shop. Bronze is more resistant to electrolytic and galvanic corrosion, which is a major problem on boats. When you buy new seacocks, you should ask the seller if they are bronze. There are several different types of bronze, including Monel, but all include a mixture of copper, zinc and tin. Brass is softer and the zinc can leach out away from the copper too easily. You should check your seacocks every time that you visit your boat. This should be done at least once a month, the seacock handle or lever should be turned from fully open to close a few times so that it does not seize up. You should check for leaks. The gate valve and ball valve types should not leak at all, but the Blakes type often drip a little, as they rely on a tapered peg with holes through it being pushed into a flange.
You should scrape the seacock every year to see if it has corroded. A penknife or screwdriver should be used to scrape at the oxidised body of the valve. If it is bright yellow when scraped, all is well, but if it is pinkish, it means that the zinc in the metal has started to leak away by electrolytic corrosion. The seacock should be changed without delay if found to be corroded, as the metal will be brittle and might break off if the handle is turned. Most sunken boats that I come across have come to grief because of a failed or leaking seacock. This is a major weak point on any vessel.
Seacocks are mostly used below the waterline of the hull. They are screwed to a flange called a skin fitting, which is fitted to the hull to create a hole through which water can escape or enter the vessel.
Skin fittings are usually made of gunmetal, which is a mixture of copper, zinc, tin and chromium and is similar to bronze.
Skin fittings used below the waterline should not be made of nylon or other plastics, as they can become brittle and crack in time. Nylon is, however, used above the waterline for items such as bilge pump outlets and gas bottle locker drains. Here are some examples of seacocks and skin fittings:
- Cockpit drains – usually two and found under the cockpit;
- Engine raw water coolant intake, sometimes with a strainer;
- Sea toilet effluent outlet;
- Sea toilet flushing water inlet;
- Galley sink and vanity basin drains.
Flexible hoses of reinforced PVC should be attached to hose flanges or the seacocks with two stainless steel ‘jubilee’-type hose clips.
Some seacocks are made of plastic. They are fitted to some new European and American yachts and work well.
Forespar corrosion and electrolysis free lightweight plumbing units are an example.
Flexible hoses fitted to the seacocks should be of re-enforced PVC and not plain clear PVC. Plain clear hoses crack with age.
Flexible hoses should be fitted to the seacock flanges by two hose clips at each hose end.
Article courtesy of Nick Vass www.omega-yachtservices.co.uk
Best Canal Routes in the UK 2018
With the holidays quickly approaching it may be time to plan your next trip and with many beautiful sites in the UK, why not hire a boat?
Narrowboat Owner, Julie Cox, says: “If you are planning on hiring a boat, choose the area you want to visit and check the canal maps for what is involved.” With this in mind bwml.co.uk have put together a map of the best canal routes in the UK to help boaters discover the beauty of the country.
Grand Union Canal North of Milton Keynes
Included in the list, the Grand Union Canal starts in London and ends in Birmingham with multiple stops along the way. Perfect for exploring Oxford through to Aylesbury, it is the longest canal and is often referred to as the trunk of the system. This is because the waterway offers a diverse selection of traditional towns and villages and is ideal during the quiet autumn months; giving boaters’ more time to take in the stunning views.
Kennet & Avon Canal
Also mentioned, Kennet & Avon Canal is known for its spectacular landscapes and charming history. Linking Bristol all the way to Reading, the waterway takes boaters through some of the most beautiful scenery and memorable sites. With medieval buildings and Norman remains, the canal passes through many historic places and includes, the famous Avon Gorge, the Royal Crescent and lots of impressive structures designed by John Rennie.
Additionally, in recent years the canal has been redeveloped into a popular tourist destination for both boaters and families. Offering canoeing, fishing, walking and cycling, the area is filled with plenty of things to do and see.