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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.

Maltese Nautical Licence

By Boat, Learning, Tips, Yacht

Many of us dream of owning our own boat or yacht, but we may not be aware of the certification we need to have in order to operate one in Malta.

Who Should Obtain a Maltese Nautical Licence?

The Maltese government requires that a boat or yacht operator with an engine or engines having a combined output of 30hp or more has a nautical licence, which is issued by the Transport Authority. The same holds true should the operator wish to operate a boat with the intention of towing people behind it for water skiing.

Training and Courses

Before you’re even allowed to begin the Nautical Licence syllabus in view of sitting the exam, the Transport Authority requires attendance to a First Aid course. Once a pass is obtained in this regard, the next step is to attend practical and theory courses to familiarise yourself with everything you need to know in order to be able to operate a boat or yacht successfully.

Exam and Documentation

The Malta Sailing Academy is the organisation which is responsible for processing and validating the successful completion of the components of the Nautical Licence course. In turn, certification is issued and is to be submitted at the MCAST main office in Paola, together with an examination entry form and front-and-back photocopies of your Maltese identity card.

Once processing is complete, the Transport Authority will contact you with an exam date. Nautical Licence exams are held between 5pm and 8pm at the Nautical Institute in Kalkara. You’ll be informed of your success, or lack thereof, upon completion of the exam.

If successful, it’s then just a matter of taking the document which the Transport Authority posts to you to the Small Crafts department. You’ll need two passport-sized photos, together with having to pay a fee of €23.18, in order to apply for your Nautical Licence.

RIB vs Boat

By Boat, Learning, Maintenance

When looking at purchasing a small watercraft, many people face the same dilemma – whether to go for a rigid inflatable boat, or RIB, or a solid-hulled boat, such as a boat with a fibreglass hull. At this stage, weighing up the pros and cons of the RIB vs. boat debate is highly important, as this will ultimately determine which is the right choice for you.

The primary difference between the two types of vessel is the weight. A RIB will always be much lighter than a solid-hulled boat of the same size, so if you’re intent on carrying either aboard a larger vessel, this is an important consideration to make.

Important Considerations

One problem which you’ll likely encounter with a RIB which doesn’t occur with a solid-hulled boat is leaking inflatable tubes, which make up the RIB’s structure. Usually tubes start to leak after five years or so, with re-tubing being performed at the seven-year mark. Although modern RIBs are much better than those being sold new just a few years ago, it’s still an important consideration to make. Naturally tubes aren’t an issue on a solid-hulled boat, but that doesn’t mean to say that they don’t need maintaining either.

People who have owned both RIBs and solid-hulled boats say that RIBs offer various advantages, such as stability when stepping on and off them, their equivalent performance to solid-hulled boat in rough seas, better seating arrangement for travelling with a number of people on board, and, as aforementioned, their lightness.

RIB Drawbacks and Conclusion

A drawback of a RIB over a similarly-sized solid-hulled boat is that they are designed for continuous movement – they’re not really vessels for laying anchor and doing a spot of fishing on. So while a RIB can be practical in a wide variety of scenarios, there are certain things which they’re not ideal for.

In addition, you’re also more exposed to the elements in a RIB than you are aboard a solid-hulled boat. To conclude, it’s probably best to consider a RIB as a craft you’ll go out on for a bit of fun in good weather, whereas a solid-hulled boat is for those seeking a craft that’s a bit more of an all-rounder.

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.

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.