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Archive for January 15th, 2009

Technical: Magnets Galore

Posted by indigodream on 15 January, 2009

For our trip back up the tideway we are due to leave the Royal Docks at 6am, actually it is worse than that as the plan is to leave our moorings at 5am.  So we need lights.

We had previously bought some very dinky port and starboard navigation lights from asap supplies and fitted them before we set out.They are great as they are very small and discrete.  The stern light was a bit more of a problem, based on the speeds that the Clipper Ferries go on the Thames a big obvious stern light seems a good idea, we got a substantial light made by Hella  from the helpful Uxbridge Boat Centre but how do we fix it? Our curved solid back does give a fixing surface but a light would spoil our art work and also be liable to get knocked off in the back of a narrow lock.

So I looked for stick on magnets and found  a great range of stick on magnets at first4magnets, I settled for a pack of 10 magnets each 50mm x 10mm for £7.50 and they seem to be the business. The light sticks fine to our rear steelwork and slides off ok for storage.

Magnetic hooks

Magnetic hooks from

They also do some great magnetic hooks.  Sorry you traditionalists but we keep ropes permanently attached to our mooring bollards which is very handy but hard to keep ropes tidy – hanging 2 ropes off our tiller pin may be a bit much ….. First4magnets have a range of magnetic hooks, some of which are a bit silly as they can carry a load of 110 kg! Understandably they come with a health warning about pacemakers and getting parts of your anatomy caught.  I went for the more sensible £2.25 ones and was surprised as to how powerful even these were. Coupled with some nifty garden tool storage hooks from Mortons the Padlock in Redhill they make perfect rope hangers and all with no drilling.

That said drilling is not so bad, just be careful what you use.

Self drilling, self tapping screws seemed a nice easy choice but to be honest they are trouble. The sort of screws you buy in the DIY sheds are simply too soft and don’t work well. Proper fixings made by companies like Fixing Point Systems are great – look for an “Fp” on the head. Superb hard steel, sharp drilling points but in my experience their biggest use is for drilling into relatively thin sections – 1 or 2 mm thick steels. I only had the naff screws, nothing decent so went looking.

There are some great shops in Croydon for this sort of thing. For those of you that know Croydon, Turtles has sadly closed but there is a great shop which seems to specialise in stainless steel screws – Capital Supplies Ltd, 87 Boston Road, Croydon, Surrey CR0 3EJ Tel: 020 8665 5520. I went there for a chat, they suggested that I drill and tap and they had all the bits. Top Tips: Buy drills just to use with taps. Keep those drills and taps in separate boxes, not rattling round in your tool box getting blunt. Use cutting lubricant. Turn the tap twice then back back to clear the swarf. Otherwise really easy so drill and tap definitely really easy to do.

Dog Update

The dogs have had 2 days in Richard’s office and 1 day on site in Bow. This no doubt means that copious quantities of sausage sandwiches have been consumed but they now look even more tired then Greygal‘s dogs!

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