Saturday, 31 May 2008
Some products arrive with us by recomendation,one such product
being Tef-Gel,a paste given to us in a tube applicator,by one of the owners of the two Didi mini transats we were building at the time,this was about five years back? The customer is a proffesional ships captain,he had sourced the anti seize paste in the USA and requested that all of his boats deck fittings were installed
using Tef-Gel,which we duly did.
The packaging says 'Ultra Tef-Gel',the corrosion eliminator and anti-seize lubricant,great but does it work? time as ever will tell on this one,well thats five years back and since then I have used some of what was left of the Tef-Gel on fittings on my own boats mast,thats a 16mtr alloy mast, which will weigh about 180 kgs stripped bare of all its fittings.
The fittings on the mast are either similar alloys or 316 stainless steel,either attatched with monel rivets (good) or stainless steel machine screws or self tappers,which may be made from 304 grade steel? (not so good) as disimilar metals do not get on at all well,the more 'noble' basically eats the less noble up!
Five years back I installed a new Lewmar 46 self tailing halyard winch on the same mast,that was fitted to a 316 stainless metal winch pad,fabricated to fit the shape of the alloy section,it was fastened on with 6mm stainless machine screws,around the same time, a full length spinnaker pole mast track too,all screw fastners were installed using the Tef-Gel paste,as much in hope as anything else,who knows if this stuff will work,thought I at the time.
Now that same mast is in the factory for a complete strip down and twin pack repaint,so all fittings we had to remove,it was very noticable that those fastened with an application of Tef-Gel were really easy to remove and no sign of corrosion was to be found,this was a test that was not pre planed,it just worked out this way.
The refit of the same mast will happen in the next week or so,new stocks of Tef-Gel have been ordered from the suppliers and each and every fastening will be replaced using Tef-Gel,the cost of which is tiny,when you consider a mast may be valued at R200,000 or about U$2600 or so?
New Fastners? I would say this mast
has 120 x 4mm and 50 x 6mm fastner holes in it,this time no stainless fastners will be used at all,only monel rivets,the spaces between all stainless to alloy surfaces will be coated with Tef-Gel and if we can find suitable very thin 1mm flexible plastic sheet,that will be used as an insulator too.
You can also use Tef-Gel as I have,on auto engine rebuilds,noticably my alloy engines from circa 1963 Hillman Imps,spark plugs are very easy to remove and
the Tef-Gel paste becomes a good sealer,cylinder head bolts,which are mild steel in the alloy block,which is not a good mix of metals,have been found to be easy to remove,with no sign of any damage to either the alloy block or the head bolts.
Tef-Gel stock should soon be in our Cape Town store,various size packs will be aavailable,contact me for your requirements.
We all take out insurance on our boats and expect the payout to cover the damage should this happen,we also carry a spare wheel in our cars,which is sort of an insurance policy of course.Ropes around a propeller shaft need an insurance all of itself,one such policy is made by Spurs in the USA,a top quality and once off purchase of one of their shaft rope cutters will cover you.They are easy to install,normally at such time as you haul your boat for a bottom paint job,otherwise on a travel lift or even between tides against a wall or drying poles.They are servicable too,a simple instruction guide shows you when to replace thrust bearings.Sizes vary depending on the boats shaft diameter,contact me for information and prices.
We try and introduce and stock products we know something about,either as we have used it ourselves or know of others who have done so,this then forms a part of what can be offered,especialy on our larger boat kits when we supply the boats fittings,sails and engine.The PPS dripless shaft seal is our new offering,we have an order to fill on the Didi 38 full boat kit shipped out recently,having used a similar type shaft seal on my own boat for eight years,I can assure you the idea works,mine has not dripped a drop since its installation,gone are those days of repacking the old type stuffing box,which needs a drip or two for lubrication anyway.