Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Best Boat Maintenance Gadget

Time for another Herbie Award and this time it is the search for the best gadget to help with maintaining your boat.

Could it be something as simple as an automatic battery filler bottle? Herbie is like a lot of other boats in that the batteries are tucked away beneath the side of the rear deck making it impossible to see into the filler holes to check the electrolyte level. With one of these bottles you just press the spout into the hole and it pours in water to the required level and then stops. But beware. Some of them don't work, which is why I bought mine here. These good peeople became aware of the potential fault and supply an O ring which fixes it.

Or maybe I should choose the fantastic Hand Scabbler that ripped all the paint of Herbie's roof in about an hour. A friend of mine recently had the same job done on his 30foot boat with a needle gun and it took a couple of days! I hired mine from Brandon Tool Hire for about £38 for a day. Money very well spent. So pleased was I that I even posted a video on YouTube of me using it (how nerdy is that?).

Or this amazing gubbins called the Brush Mate. Its a box in which you can hang a number of wet paint brushes (all different colours if you like) and the paint stays wet for weeks or months! So if you are on a paint job taking a few days, you can have all your brushes ready for use all the time. No having separate jam jars for separate colours. No cleaning them overnight to use them next day. It works by releasing a vapour from a pad at the bottom of the box. The vapour stops oil based paints from drying. Now I have to admit here that I haven't actually used one of these things, but I know for a fact that Phil Speight swears by them and that's good enough for me.
Long term I reckon the Brush Mate is the best and most useful of the lot, but I really ought not to award it the prize as I haven't actually used it. So the winner is . . . .
The Hand Scabbler - for removing paint back to bare metal, nothing else comes close.

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