Current location for King Malu

Saturday 18 August 2018

End of an era

This is the end of an era. King Malu was co-owned by me and my then sailing buddy. He no longer wants me to be a partner. So this is the end. I now have my own small boat, a Kingfisher 20+ and you can continue following me on

Sunday 12 March 2017

Rope Compensators

The wind this morning was Bft 7 gusting 8  and although it was from the south it was creating quite a lot of movement in the marina. (image from Windfinder)

One of the things we've added to our product line at Malu Marine is rope compensators. With rope compensators there are two basic approaches: metal spring and rubber with rope wrapped around.

We've put the new ones on the stern lines for a few weeks now and been very happy with them and the one from the pole to the cleat amidships was one of the earlier ones.

The normal problem with the rubber and rope wrapped is that it's difficult to put them on as you have to thread the rope through the compensator eyes.

The new ones have shackle ends so you can very easily put the rope into them. You can see the two different styles here.

The reason that there are two, an old style and new on the pole is that the old style was also too light duty for our 15 tonne boat (Nicholson 39) whereas the new ones will cope with the weight under surge much better.

You can see how different on this photo where the boat is being pushed back on a surge.

Friday 3 March 2017

Back in the water

One of the things I love is to see winter maintenance over and King Malu returning to the water!

Saturday 10 December 2016

Safety on board

We were doing a few jobs in King Malu today prior to lift out on Monday morning. One of the things was to replace a mast step that was broken. Being as we are now the regional representative for Kaya Safety, we were of course using their safety kit: Fall arrest harness, Safety Helmet, Red Rope Grab and Work positioning lanyard.

Firstly the fall arrest harness is very much more comfortable than our previous harness, which was safe, but didn't give the support this does. Secondly the work positioning lanyard meant that when I was at the right place on the mast I could secure myself to the mast which meant that I could push with the battery drill easily without me moving away from the mast as I pushed. In the past I had to use one hand on the drill and one hand on the mast holding on. This was way easier.

Thirdly the rope grab... that is a really clever device that allows you to be attached to a second safety line (as you should) and your assistant is only managing the main line not both at the same time. This is much safer. Basically the 'rope grab' is a device that allows you to be attached to a separate static rope up the mast. As you climb you move it up with you. If you fall, it grabs the rope and stops you falling. The device is triangular and if you move it so that the triangle is pointing sideways not upwards then you can move downwards. This sounds complicated but in fact is very easy to to.

So with all that safety stuff you will be surprised to find I had an accident. I was using a long arm rivet gun, something like this one. The arms are longer than the distance I was from the mast. I was using the work positioning lanyard remember... so when I closed the arms, with gusto, the arms hit my face, pushing my glasses into my cheek with such force it cut my cheek.

So other than blood on the deck it was a good job well done!

Sunday 27 November 2016

Mainsheet traveller

One of the problems we have noticed with King Malu is that she doesn't point too well into the wind. This is normally corrected by moving the mainsheet to the centre line.

The old traveller system was the original from the boat many decades ago, parts of it welded together and basically... unusable! The track was OK, but the traveller car wheels well run down and not really something you could move easily.

The concern we had was because it was so old we were not sure if we would have to replace the track as well. The system was made by IYE, so out came Google and...

We found not only were they still in business but you could buy spares and buy parts to upgrade to a more modern system. Which is what we did! We ordered a new roller kit for the traveller and replaced all the rollers. It's much firmer and runs better.
We are really pleased with the result. New single sheave control ends and cleats, and we used Harken airblocks attached to the traveller itself.

The control ends make it really easy to move the  car, so we cannot wait to test it!

Saturday 11 June 2016

Extra crew?

We went out for a sail this morning. Fresh winds and great sail. Didn't bother to put up the main sail though. Got back for lunch as the winds were picking up. We had a wonderful lunch of Halloumi and pita bread.

Shortly after lunch I heard a cat meow... from the boom. Then a little squeak. A very tiny squeak...

So we unzipped the sail cover and a cat jumped out. Tim then unzipped the bimini to get at it and looked inside the sail and there was a tiny kitten about 10 days old.

We gently carried it to shore (the cat had already made a dash for it) and put it in the grass where the mother cat picked it up and carried it away.

Thursday 12 May 2016

Chris's Dive Boat... a new RIB

 5 years ago Tim and I rewired Chris's boat at Alpha Divers.

This spring he asked if we could re-wire his new RIB. We didn't have time to do the complete re-wire, which is what he wanted, so we came in at the end to check everything over and fix all the problems.

This morning he launched it, with Tim and me watching. Great to see him able to take out people in a lightweight RIB.

Wiring a RIB is not simple. It still needs to meet all requirements of a commercial vessel, but without the space to do so. It also has to be 100% watertight.