Category

Boat

Correct Rib Maintenance

By Boat, Cleaning, Exterior, important, Interior, Maintenance, servicing, Winter

As with any type of boat, maintenance of your Rigid Inflatable Boat, or rib, will help maintain both its value and its longevity for many a year to come if done properly.

The most important time to consider rib care and maintenance is at the end of the season, when the full scope of wear and tear incurred becomes apparent. Should you not have the required knowledge, skill or expertise in order to ensure that your Rib is being taken care of properly, then we recommend you bring in a dedicated boat mechanic how will know his way round your rib better than you do.

End of Season

When you take your rib out of the water at the end of the season, ensure that non-lubricated parts of your rib have not become stuck, establish whether any water has entered its tailfin and check that its engine starts without problems.

Apply antifouling if it applies to the kind of material your particular rib is made out of. Check all accessories to ensure they are in good working order. In addition, lubricate any moving parts and preserve petrol in its tank over the winter.

Engine Considerations

With specific reference to your engine, replace its oil and filter if you have a four-stroke engine. The petrol filter should also be replaced. Check your engine’s spark plugs and replace them if necessary. Clean it block if there is any leftover residue, together with applying an anti-corrosion later and lubricating any moving parts. Also change the tailfin oil, check your engine’s propeller and lubricate the propeller shaft. Conduct an engine diagnosis if possible too to check if there is anything wrong which may not be immediately apparent through observation.

Fabric

Also pay special attention to your Rib’s fabric at all times, because it is obviously made out of material which can wear down if not maintained properly.

How to Care for your Boat

By Boat, Cleaning, Exterior, Interior, Learning, Maintenance, servicing, Uncategorized

Regardless of the kind of boat you own, it’s important to care for it properly in order to ensure your safety and maintain its longevity. Care for your boat with pride! In this entry, we tell you exactly how to do it.

Storage

If indoor storage is an option for you, then we highly encourage you to store your boat indoors. It provides the best protection and care for your boat against the elements bar none. Rain, cold, wind and UV rays in the sunnier months can all cause damage to your boat, so it is best they are avoided it when it isn’t in use. Cover it up to prevent moisture, dust and debris build-up.

Routine Maintenance

It’s important to check over key aspects of your boat routinely and see to them if and when needed. If you don’t have any technical know-how whatsoever, take a course in basic boat maintenance. The most important things to consider are your boat’s bilge pumps, engine, oil, electrical system, propeller and hull.

Regular Cleaning

Think about all the things that could affect your boat’s hull, namely aquatic pests such as barnacles attaching themselves to it, algae, plant growth and rust. Not only do all these things corrode your hull, they also can make you boat perform less efficiently, affecting its performance. Set up a cleaning schedule which is devised according to how much time your boat spends in the sea.

Get Insured

Boat insurance is always a good thing to have in order to care for your boat, because you never know what might go wrong both when it’s moored or when you’re at sea. Take a look at a previously blog entry to find who our recommended insurer is.

The Importance of Boat Insurance

By Boat, Exterior, important, Interior, Learning, Tips, Winter, Yacht

Have you ever thought of the consequences of something unexpected happening on your boat?

Whether you’ve just bought your boat or have something that has seen its fair share of life already, we know that, either way, you’re likely to have invested plenty of time and money in it.

As much as we’d like to believe that everything will be plain sailing (pun intended) when we’re on our boat, the reality is that anything can happen. Your boat could be damaged in rough sea, have equipment stolen out of it, or it could be even stolen itself.

Worse still, imagine if you or one of your passengers got injured or, and this is really something none of us would like to think about, you were liable for loss of life. What would you do?

Get Insured

That’s why having boat insurance is paramount – to cover yourself for such eventualities. It doesn’t matter how small or large your vessel is, it’s something that’s really worth having just in case.

Many an insurer now creates tailor-made boat insurance policies for boat owners, regardless of type, value, age and other characteristics. They can cover you from things such as theft, weather damage, fires or explosions.

GasanMamo Insurance – Recommended by Briiz

GasanMamo Insurance, one of Malta’s leading insurance companies, has a boat insurance package to suit you. In addition to covering you for the eventualities as listed above, you’ll also be covered for loss or damage to equipment, stranding or sinking, and malicious acts or vandalism, among many other scenarios which could leave you out of pocket.

Additional benefits include cover for sighting costs, replacement of fire safety equipment in the event of a fire, emergency and salvage charges, among others.

Should you wish to find out more about GasanMamo’s fantastic boat insurance offerings together with further details about what the company can offer you specifically, contact Ms. Anneliese Busuttil via email on abusuttil@gasanmamo.com or call 2349 0206.

Our Effort Cleaning up Kristu tal-Bahhara

By Boat, Cleaning, important, Learning, Yacht

The Kristu tal-Bahhara statue is somewhat of a landmark, having been in place for a full 25 years. It was our pleasure to get involved with the clean-up of this statue, which was the only one of its kind to have been blessed by Pope John Paul II during his Papacy.

The statue, which is intended to ward off the perils which Maltese sailors may face, was fashioned out of concrete and fibreglass by Maltese sculptor Alfred Camilleri Cauchi in order to keep its form in cold, salty and deep water over a lengthy period of time.

Marking Pope John Paul II’s Visit

It was laid on the seabed by a team of divers led by Raniero Borg off St. Paul’s Islands to mark the occasion of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Malta in 1990.

In the time since then, Kristu tal-Bahhara was moved to a location some two kilometres off Qawra Point. This is because the underwater visibility off St. Paul’s Islands deteriorated markedly in ensuing years, as did the volume of divers visiting the site to view the statue. The decision to relocate it was taken and executed in 2000.

It now lies in 35 metres of water, just a short distance away from the MV Imperial Eagle, an old ferry which was used to transport passengers between Malta and Gozo from 1958 through to 1968. The scuttled ship, together with the statue, makes the site very popular with divers in the present day.

Briiz Corporate Social Responsibility

We were honoured to have been involved in the recent clean-up of the statue as part of our corporate social responsibility effort and can state unreservedly that the statue was returned to its former glory.

Archbishop of Malta, Mgr. Charles Scicluna, will be leading a ceremony on 31st May to mark 25 years since the statue was laid at sea. He will bless a plaque to mark the occasion. This plaque will then be fixed in place by a team of divers who have been hand-picked for the task.

Those who have their own boats are invited to join in the ceremony, which will also serve as an unofficial inauguration of the summer season. Time permitting, Archbishop Scicluna might bless private boats in attendance. It promises to be a wonderful occasion.

Ensuring Your Boat is Secure

By Boat, important, Learning, Uncategorized, Yacht

Ensuring your boat is secure is just as important as ensuring the security in your own home. Thieves could be tempted to steal all kinds of things on your boat, from your outboard engine, to safety and marine equipment.

The above is without mentioning the possibility of your radio, tools or personal items being stolen. In the worst case scenario, it could be your boat itself which is taken. In light of the fact that you’ve probably spent plenty of money purchasing and maintaining your boat, as well as filling it with all the right tools and equipment, this would be nothing short of a disaster.

What you Can Do

There are certain things you can do in order to ensure your boat is secure, with the guiding principle being to make your boat as unattractive to thieves as possible. First off, don’t ever leave anything valuable where it can be seen, no matter how small the item is. Secondly, make sure that you’ve always got your ignition key with you – don’t ever leave it in the ignition, because that’s just asking for it.

Good Locks

Padlocks and rimlocks are an important consideration also. Make sure they are top-quality, strong and will stand up to any attempts to damage or break them. Use them on all hatches, entry points and lockers.

Alarm

Install an alarm, and let any would-be intruders know that one is installed by placing stickers to indicate so in visible places. Check your main and fore-hatches for strength, and ensure they can stand up to tampering. Consider investing in a strongbox (portable safe) to keep down below to further protect any valuables you may store on your boat.

Security Check

Before you leave your boat, make sure you do a security check and see to anything which may attract thieves to it. Keep its curtains closed. If you have a life raft or use an outboard motor, make sure they are secure and cannot be stolen.

Essentials When Servicing a Boat

By Boat, important, Maintenance, servicing, Tips, Winter, Yacht

Servicing a boat you own at regular intervals in order to protect your investment, maintain your boat’s value and prolong its working life.

100 Hour Service

First things’ first – regular oil changes are a must. As general rule, change you boat engine’s oil and filter after every 100 hours of use. At this interval, you should also flush the outdrive with fresh fluid, replace the water fuel separator, fuel filter and spark plugs. You should also replace the cap, rotor and points as needed. Take a look at your boat’s trailer at this interval also to check if any maintenance work is needed on that.

Spring Service

Each spring, we recommend that a thorough service is undertaken on your boat. This should consist of an oil change, an impeller change if you have an inboard engine, a thorough clean of the fuel system to take care of any debris built up over the winter, maintenance of the battery charge and a full safety inspection of your boat’s lights, bilge pumps and blower motors.

Winterisation Service

When putting your boat away for the winter, you should have a winterisation service performed to ensure it’s ready to go when the weather turns for the better.

The first thing to have done as part of a winterisation service is stabilising the fuel left in your boat’s tank. It’s a good idea to fill up its fuel tank entirely before mothballing it for the winter. This is to prevent condensation from forming inside the tank.

Circulate the stabiliser throughout your boat’s entire fuel system and coat its cylinder walls with rustproofing in order to prevent any rust from proliferating. Also disconnect its batteries. It is advisable to invest in a battery tender to ensure they last as long as possible.

Following these essential servicing steps will ensure servicing a boat precious to you will last for many a year to come!

Top 5 Boat Maintenance Tools

By Boat, Interior, Maintenance, Tips

There are various tools you need to have handy in order to be able to maintain your boat should the need arise, however some are more essential than others. Here are our Top 5 Boat Maintenance Tools:

Pliers

Have a good pair of pliers to hand which are non-corroding and can handle being exposed to saltwater. On a boat, pliers have multiple uses – they’re great to have if you need to do a minor repair while out at sea. Further to that, if you’re one for a spot of fishing, you can use them to unhook whatever you’ve caught. We recommend in investing in a pair which come with line cutters if possible.

Socket Set

Should you need to change a fuel filter or repair the hatch on a latch somewhere on your boat, these are always a good idea to have around. Get one with multiple pieces so you can use it for numerous applications. If you own a small boat, you’ll do just fine with an 11-piece set which will still give you options yet save space.

Multi-Tool

Invest in a heavy duty multi-tool which can withstand corrosion. Many multi-tools available on the market come with extras such as files or scrapers. These aren’t found in a standard toolkit, however you never know how you may need such tools when you’re out on your boat.

Wrenches and Screwdrivers

Need to replace a light or fuse block? You’ll need a wrench and a screwdriver for that. These are essential tools for doing small jobs such as these. Get one in a waterproof, floating box if possible – they’re normally small and won’t take up much space even on a little boat.

Flashlight or Marine Light

Even if you don’t plan to ever use your boat after sunset, you never know what eventuality may arise. It is absolutely crucial to have a flashlight or marine light aboard any vessel, not least years. Ensure you have a working one should you need it for boat maintenance or even navigation when it’s dark. Keep spare batteries handy too.

Top 5 Antifouling tips

By Boat, Exterior, Learning, Maintenance, Tips, Yacht

It isn’t the most fun job in the world, but every so often, your boat needs antifouling in order to keep it looking its best. Here are our Top 5 Antifouling Tips:

Tape up the water line

Before you apply a coat of antifouling paint, we advise you to apply masking tape at your boat’s water line to ensure you adhere to a straight edge when applying it. It’s also a good idea to remove the masking tape and then mask it up anew with each new layer of antifouling paint you apply. This is because it can become next to impossible to remove the tape if it’s been left in place for too long.

Sand the hull

As part of your preparation before renewing antifouling, sand down your hull thoroughly to ensure you remove all cracked or flaking paint, and ensure that the surface is entirely smooth. The better the preliminary sanding work, the better result you’ll have once your new antifouling has been applied.

Wash the hull before applying paint

It’s highly important that your boat’s hull is thoroughly washed before applying any paint. If the surface is not as clean as possible, the finish won’t be right at the end, so take care of this one. Remove any present grease or contamination using a suitable cleaner before moving onto priming.

Apply two coats

When considering the question of how many coats of antifouling paint to use, you should definitely apply no less than two. It’s important not to spread the paint too thinly, as well as sticking to overcoating and immersion times as specified on your paint’s can. Make sure you stir the paint thoroughly before you begin applying it.

Apply third coat on water line

A third coat of antifouling paint is recommended for additional protection around the water line. If you have a sailing boat, then take care of your rudder and keel with a third coat of antifouling to bolster their protection too.

Top Maltese Bays for Staying on a Boat

By Boat, Learning, Tips, Uncategorized, Yacht

The Maltese Islands has plenty of bays and inlets which are more obvious choices than the ones listed here, but we wanted to let you know what our favourite picks are for staying on a boat for a weekend. Check them out!

Santa Marija Bay, Comino

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Santa Marija Bay is a pretty little bay on the northern side of the island of Comino. It provides superb shelter should you be staying on a boat there. It is also quieter than the most well-known spot for boating in Comino, namely the Blue Lagoon. Should you want to venture onto land, you’ll find a campsite, Comino’s little police station and a small, yet superb, beach.

Xrobb l-Ghagin, Malta

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Xrobb l-Ghagin isn’t really known by the hundreds of thousands of tourists which visit Malta each year, however it is highly popular with locals, especially too moor a boat for the weekend. It features some stunning natural scenery – crystal clear water set against a backdrop of sheer cliffs. Although the bay is somewhat exposed, it still provides a good level of shelter against the wind and waves.

Crystal Lagoon, Comino

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Lying in the shadow of one of the Maltese Islands’ famous 17th Century Wignacourt towers, the Crystal Lagoon is the lesser known of Comino’s two lagoons. Shafts of light appear to come from its seabed, hence its name. It is surrounded on all size by high cliffs which provide great shelter for boats. You’ll get day-trippers coming in and out of the lagoon at the height of summer, but for the most part it’s quiet.

Mellieha Bay, Malta

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Mellieha Bay is Malta’s largest bay, and as a result it teems with people from June through to early October. Many boats are also present, but there’s space for everyone due to the bay’s size. Should you have a dinghy, you can easily zip to the beach and back if you need to. Topping off the Mellieha Bay experience are incredible views of Mellieha village and Santa Marija estate, with the latter being one of Malta’s wealthiest neighbourhoods.

Dwejra Bay (Fungus Rock), Gozo

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Dwejra Bay is home to the Azure Window, an amazing natural limestone framing views of the Mediterranean Sea beyond it, and Fungus Rock, an islet which features a unique plant believed to have medicinal properties. Not only is Dwejra Bay a prized diving and snorkelling location, not to mention a place of outstanding natural beauty, it’ll provide plenty of shelter for your boat should you choose to moor for a weekend.

Boat Maintenance in Winter

By Boat, Cleaning, Exterior, Interior, Learning, Maintenance, Tips, Winter, Yacht

The winter months mean that extra care needs to be taken in order to ensure that your boat remains in tip-top condition. Taking extra precautions during the winter months, however, means that there will be less to do once the weather gets better.

In or out?

First and foremost, the biggest decision you’ll need to make is whether you’re going to take your boat out of the water for the winter, or moor it somewhere safe where it isn’t too exposed to the elements.

If you’re going to go for the former option, then seize the opportunity to check everything methodically – establish what needs repairing or replacing, or whether there’s something you’d like to modify. Remove and store all ancillary items such as radio and GPS systems, batteries, gas bottles, fire extinguishers, lifejackets and safety equipment.

Exterior

Once that’s done, the first thing you need to do is give your boat’s exterior a thorough clean, inclusive of scrubbing down, waxing and polishing the hull (especially the part that sits underwater should you choose to take your boat out), the topside, bottom, deck and superstructure. Clean her sails and bilge too. If your boat is made of fibreglass, ensure you check for blisters.

Interior

Next, move on to the interior – take care of carpets, tables, and any other fixtures and furnishings. We recommend using moisture absorbers in cabins and lockers just to make sure everything stays dry.

Ensure your mechanicals are sound

The biggest piece of the puzzle, especially during the winter months, is to ensure all mechanicals are clean and working correctly. Should you be unsure of what you have to do, or should you be wary of missing an important detail, then we recommend consulting someone more experienced than you or employing a professional to take care of the job for you.

Every few weeks, check on your boat’s condition, especially if she’s remaining in the water. Make sure that the location she’s stored in will not pose problems caused by wind and weather exposure or falling foliage. If she isn’t, then make sure shores providing structural support are secure and stable.