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Self Steering.

Len Hiley has a Hurley 27 and has sent us some useful links about self-steering gear:

The link to my self steering video tutorial is: This was on a Robert Tucker T23+ with bilge keels and I am sure the methods would work on the Hurleys as well. Headsail sheet tension on the H27 could be an issue and I have a few ideas to try out next year. The course to steer video is a joke if you can watch it to the end, though there are some good teaching points raised along the way.

My own blog post on my experience with vane-less steering is here: I have learnt a lot about the methods since writing that and a more informed update will come in due course, hopefully after a longish voyage in Emu has demonstrated that the methods work as well or better on a H27.

Yacht Varnish.

Having used several of the expensive varnishes and found they all don’t last unless you can put on lots of coats, which isn’t possible with time and weather. I also found Epiphanies seems to go off over winter into a jelly, even with using the correct thinners. After much research I found Rustins yacht varnish which is reasonably priced but contains the magic ingreadient of Tung oil. I buy a litre for a good price on ebay and you can thin it with ordinary white spirit. It also doesn’t seem to go off. Stuart Shaw.

Outboard Fuel.

Tim Sharman writes.....two seasons ago Ian Sinclair and I attended a talk at Dell Quay SC by Bill Mitchell of Home Marine, Emsworth. What Bill does not know about outboards doesn't exist! I switched my annual service to him and have been delighted with it. His advice on fuel;

  • 1. Bad fuel accounts for the majority of problems with small outboards.
  • 2. Modern petrol has many volatile components and has a short shelf-life.
  • 3. Always use fresh fuel. At the end of the season put any fuel remaining in your car. Be aware though that there seems to be an opinion that fuel with two-stroke oil in it may damage catalytic converters.
  • 4. Always buy best quality, branded fuel, e.g. Esso, Shell etc.
  • 5. Filter your petrol through a coffee filter.
  • 6. Leave the vent on your tank 'cracked' to avoid a pressure build-up and tank failure.
  • 7. Empty the carburettor and the hose from the external fuel tank at the end of the season.

Rigging Failure

In June 2023 a Hurley 24 called Friponne lost its mast in a F5. This was a boat that was well used to the conditions and cruised regularly between North Wales and Scotland. I asked Nick Vass, our technical expert, to see if he had an opinion on the matter and this is reproduced below.

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The Aftermath. The culprit: A broken deck fitting.

The "D" bolts will work harden with age and the backing pads will compress and so it is a good idea to replace them every ten years or so. Also, The chainplates are flush with the deck and so are upright and not cranked/articulated/bent so that they are in-line with the shrouds. Hard to do as the cap and lower shrouds are at different angles."D" bolts are cheap and easily obtainable but make sure that they are the correct size as the threaded bolt part has to be the same distance apart as the old ones.

It's best to buy cranked angled "D"-bolts or "A"-bolts and fit so that they are bent inwards in line with the shrouds so that they can't work loose.

The method of attachment is not that great as they are just simply bolted through the deck and the backing pads were not very strong. See the pictures below.

The remains of the fitting on deck
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Hurley 22 Chainplates

Following on from the publication of the above article we were pleased to receive the attached contribution from Erik Braun. Fitting new chainplates to my H22