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Garage Storage Benefits

By Cleaning, Exterior, important, Learning, Maintenance, Tips, Winter

Having garage storage is luxury for some, and an absolute necessity for others. Storing a car in a garage has numerous benefits, not least prolonging its longevity and protecting it from the elements. Here are some more reasons to look at investing in garage storage:

Avoid bird droppings

Bird droppings are acidic and will damage paintwork if left unattended to over a number of days. Storing your car in a garage means that it’ll be indoors for half of its life, so your dearest avian friends won’t be able to come and… relieve themselves on your pride and joy as often.

Halve the risk of break-ins or theft

If your car is kept in a garage overnight, there’s much less risk of a cheeky little so-and-so, who has a penchant for pinching things such as whole cars or the contents of said cars, giving it wholly unwanted attention.

Slow down the rusting process

In a hot country such as the one we live in, rusting isn’t as much of an issue as it is in colder places where roads are salted during autumn and winter to dissipate ice build-up on the roads. With that being said, if you live close to or along one of Malta’s many seafronts and just park your car on the street, you’re leaving it exposed to sea salt. A garage will help you avoid this problem. Garage storage also means that your car stays cooler for longer. Lots of heat means increased oxidation and in turn, rust.

Cheaper Insurance Premiums

Your insurer will rejoice if you have a garage in which to store your car, and this is because it is at less risk of being damaged or stolen than it would be if it was parked continuously on the street. Less risk means a cheaper premium, which means more money in your pocket, so you can buy more stuff you don’t need.

Keep Paintwork Sparkling

The Mediterranean sun shines incredibly strongly here in Malta, especially during the summer months. While you may enjoy basking in it yourself, making your skin all nice and brown, your car doesn’t as much. Using your garage storage for your car  for as long as possible means its bodywork will look newer for longer.

 

If your car is kept in garage storage it must mean a lot to you, let Briiz make it the best it can be with a car clean. Book online today.

Vintage Car Cleaning

By Cleaning, Exterior, important, Maintenance

Owning a vintage car requires that you take extra care while cleaning it due to the added fragility that come with age, wear and tear.

Products

The first thing you need to consider is which products you are using and whether they are suitable for your particular car. Secondly, if you do have a vintage car, you need to devote more time to care and maintenance in order to keep it in tip-top shape.

No Car Washes!

An automatic car wash is never really a good idea when you have an older car, and this is because it could have a detrimental impact to older paint. In addition, if you happen to have a convertible vintage car, then it’s likely that it came out of the factory with a roof that is prone to leakages. Automation is best avoided and traded in with tender, loving care in your garage or other covered workspace.

Gently Does It

If you can’t get a professional detailer to do it, then washing bodywork by hand is always recommended when it comes to a vintage car. All you need is a very soft sponge and a smidgen of gentle, detergent-free soap, together with plenty of time to get the finish right. If you come across any stubborn marks or stains, don’t fret – all you need to do is use a soft chamois leather cloth and rub the affected area as you’re drying the car.

Dry, Wax and Polish

A chamois leather is always advisable for drying because it will prevent any drip or watermarks from remaining on the paintwork. Dry in a circular motion with the chamois loose in your hands.
Next up, a wax and polish on a vintage car never go amiss. Make sure the wax you’re using is both appropriate for the kind of paint on your car, as well as the colour of that paint. Once you’ve done that, start by waxing areas that appear marked or stained. Wax may help loosen such stubborn stains, giving your car a refreshed look. A T-Cut may also be worth considering to restore the top layer of paint at this point.

Finishing Touches

Finally, polish your car with a dry lint-free cloth in a circular motion. Doing so will guarantee you the best finish. Make sure you go over the entire body surface of your vintage car, checking each panel for omissions before you move on to the next bit.

So there you have it!

The Middle Sea Yacht Race

By Boat, important, Learning, Uncategorized, Yacht

The Rolex Middle Sea Race has run for 35 editions as of last year, and is considered a “must-do” race for competitive sailors from around the world. Competing boats head northeast towards Messina then head northwest to Stromboli before heading southwest to Favignana, Pantelleria, Lampedusa and back to Malta. High winds, strong currents and fierce competition typify this race.

Co-founded in 1968 by the Royal Malta Yacht Club and the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the Middle Sea Race is no less than 977 kilometres long, starting and finishing in Malta. The competing fleet travels in an anti-clockwise direction and races over a duration of two to three full days.

The race has attracts between 25 and 30 yachts annually, with the largest-ever fleet being recorded last year. Over 120 yachts took part. The Middle Sea Race is often mentioned in the same breath as the Rolex Sydney-Hobart, Newport-Bermuda and Fastnet races as a competition that must be entered into if one considers him or herself a true sailor.

Changeable Conditions

It is notorious for changeable conditions which really challenge skippers are crew, pushing man and machine to breaking point. They do get a small piece of respite from the stunning scenery, seeing as they pass by various islands. Some even go as far as calling it the most beautiful yacht race in the world.

Between 1984 and 1995, there was no racing, however luckily things kicked off again in 1996 and the race is arguably in as good health as it has ever been, down in no small part to the backing of international luxury watch manufacturer, Rolex.

Course Record

The course record is held by the USA’s George David, who skippered “Rambler” to victory back in 2007, with a time of 2007 – 47 hours 55 minutes and 3 seconds. This year’s race will start on Saturday 17th October – earlier than usual. Entries from countries as far-flung as Australia and Canada have already been submitted. It promises to be another exciting race!

10 Amazing Car Cleaning Tips

By Cleaning, Exterior, important, Interior, Learning, Maintenance, Tips

In this blog, we’re going to tell you how to clean your car like the pros do. So let’s dive right in with 10 amazing car cleaning tips!

Air Compressor to get into Nooks and Crannies

Number one on our list of car cleaning tips is to use an air compressor to get all of the dirt that’s tough to remove from the corners of the footwells in your car. Blow these fragments into the centre for easy vacuuming.

Clean Air Vents to Keep New Car Smell

Ever wondered what the best way of keeping your smelling like new is? Clean out air vent with a small air compressor to remove dust and dirt. This will get rid of musty smells.

Use a Non-Acid-Based Tyre Cleaner

A non-acid-based tyre cleaner will prevent alloy wheels from bubbling while still making your tyres black and beautiful. Use it to remove brake dust too.

Hand-Wash the Exterior

Notice all our car cleaning tips are all done by hand, that is because going that extra mile for your car is worth it in the end. Hand-washing is the best way to clean a car’s exterior, and that’s the end of it. Don’t use liquid detergent in your bucket of water, because that strips away protective wax layers. Use a dedicated car washing product instead.

Use Paint Cleaning Product to Remove Contaminants

Use a paint cleaning liquid to take off tough pieces of dirt, such as bird droppings, which do not come off with a wash. Use a fine cloth in order to apply this and rub gently.

Give Her a Good Polish

Use an oscillating polishing machine and a market-leading polishing product to get the best finish. Giving your car a good polish in this way can make it look years newer.

Wax for Protection

Either liquid or paste wax will do as they both do the job equally well. Waxing your car thoroughly will keep its paint protected for up to a year before reapplication. Use a damp car cleaning sponge to apply the wax in the event that it didn’t come with an applicator. Giving your car a good wax is one of our most important car cleaning tips, it doesn’t just make her look good but she will be protected.

Reapply Wax Every Season

Seeing as there’s no way to tell if wax has lasted or is still present over your car’s entire surface, we recommend setting a fixed date at the change of every season in order to reapply it.

Make your Glass Shine

Invest in an ammonia-free glass cleaner and buff all your windows both inside and out with a microfibre cloth to finish off car cleaning.

Pay Attention to Detail

Last but not least on our list of car cleaning tips is to go over your car inside and out to make sure you haven’t missed a spot. Repeat the steps above as needed for any problem areas.

 

That is our full list of car cleaning tips, should you not fancy doing it for yourself, check out are car cleaning services and let Briiz do the dirty work for you. Book now: briiz.com.mt/car-bookings

Foreign Vessels Visiting Malta

By Boat, important, Learning, Yacht

There are plenty of boats and yachts moored in the various bays and marinas around Malta and Gozo, but have you ever wondered about how many foreign vessels visit the Maltese Islands and ask for clearance by maritime authorities each year?

The last set of available statistics, issued at the end of last year, detail figures for the year 2013. Just over 11,000 vessels visited the Islands, with the vast majority of vessels entering classified by the National Statistics Office as “Other”. These numbered 7,106 vessels, with a total tonnage of 56.5 million tons.

Classifications

Dry cargo vessels were the next largest category, accounting for 2,645 vessels of the grand total. These types of vessel are used to carry solid dry goods that have a higher tolerance to heat and cold, such as metal ores, coal, steel products, forest products. Their combined tonnage was over 36.9 million tons.

Tankers ranked third in terms of numbers, with 478 coming to Malta in 2013, weighing in at over 3.9 million tons combined.

The Maltese Islands are also home to a booming cruise terminal in the Grand Harbour, where some of the world’s finest cruise ships can be seen berthed at the quayside almost on a daily basis. Of the 302 passenger vessels which requested clearance from Maltese maritime authorities in 2013, some 286 were cruise ships, bringing a total of over 430,000 cruise passengers to Maltese shores during that year.

Smaller Vessels

Interesting to note were the smaller categories, most notably yachts and motor fishing vessels. The figure for the former was remarkably small, with just 38 yachts requesting clearance from Maltese maritime authorities during 2013, representing just 18,908 tons of the total of over 56 million for the year.

Relatively few motor fishing vessels in comparison with other seafaring vessel types also visited, numbering 442. The likelihood for the skewed figures, taking into account that the most significant portion of vessels included in the statistics were classified as “Other”, is that many yachts or boats which are here for leisure purposes do not have the requirement to declare their presence due to being domiciled in Europe. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to know what’s moving in and out of the Maltese Islands on the high seas.

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.

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!