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The Treasure Chest is a place to put those cool sailing, cruising, motoring, boatbuilding or boating tips you have. Send us your ideas... We just need a photo and a short description.

This time we have...


It is not uncommon for the valves in small propane bottles to stick. I use a Coleman two burner propane stove and carry two bottles in a propane holster mounted on the stern rail of my sailboat. I never leave the stove connected to the bottle.

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Invisible Gunwale (Outwale) Finger/Hook Holds

OK for a start these are not really invisible and I have seen gunwales with rebates (or rabbets) under them for finger/hook holds specified elsewhere. However given the boat I was working on had curved sides the tension would come out of the rope if the hooks slipped towards the end. If you have a boat where the sides are parallel you can just rip your rebate the whole length.

First off cut your rebates in the under side of the piece of wood you are going to attach to your boat closest to where it will be attached. I used a cove bit on my router but all you really need to do is make something that will be a small hole under the outwhale once it is bunged on. Just make sure they are in the same position on both sides of the boat.

Now I made some wood hooks to fit these holes precisely because my ratchet strap hooks hung too far over the top of the gunwales to be stable once I hooked them on.

First off work out how big the hooks need to be and mark them out.

Cut the hook out. Part of the problem with wood is that it has a grain and it can split more easily along the grain than across it As a result the wooden hook needs to be reinforced across the grain. Luckily fibreglass strands abound in my workroom and picking a few inches off the end of the fibreglass ribbon provided a fibreglass thread that was quite long as the thread zigzags across the ribbon and unravels reasonably easily.

I used five minute epoxy and was on my way before I knew it. Just remember to slip the hook as far along the hole as it will go towards the end before you tie it off or the limiting of the size of the holes will have been in vain.

Ian Titulaer

Baby Wipes

I've got a hot tip for the best rags ever for wiping up glue squeeze out, baby wipes! They're dirt cheap and come in handy packages ready to go.

John Boy

Frozen Epoxy

Remember the Epoxy tip about putting it in the freezer?

After about 4 months it is getting too hard to work with easily. To refresh your memory, I mixed about a pint of epoxy and could not use it so I put it in the freezer in a plastic bucket before it got hot. I took it out a couple of days later and it was still soft but very very viscous. It was too stiff to get out by any means that I tried, but I did not want to let it get warm so that I could use it, so I put the lid on and turned it over, when still freezer cold and whacked it smartly on the bottom with the handle of a screwdriver. The epoxy shattered like glass into a thousand pieces. I have been using small pieces of it for 4 months. The pieces will warm up quickly (about a minute). The pieces will melt with your finger heat almost immediately, so, use gloves or place it very quickly. It will then get soft and flow as normal to about 4 month after mixing. I will do it again except that I will mix it and immediately put it in the freezer so that it does not kick at all.

In South Texas I use Slow Hardener 10 month of the year.


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