Welcome to Stainless Directs Blog! We will Blog to tell you about our products, the history of our products and our business!


U bolts for your boat


U bolts come in a range of shapes, sizes and metal types and provide a variety of uses for your boat. Quite simply, a U bolt is a piece of metal shaped into a U with threads on each end over which a piece of metal with holes is placed and then secured with bolts.

 Obviously, you should choose a U bolt that is manufactured to a high standard that is capable of coping with the demands on board a vessel both from the impact that the elements of the weather can have on the bolt as well as what it is being used for.


Although you can buy the likes of galvanized steel U bolts it should come as no surprise to read that when it comes to using a U bolt that is open to the elements that it is preferable to use a stainless steel U bolt. This will prevent it from rusting that so easily and quickly happens when subject to salt water.


U bolts can be used on board a boat for a number of purposes such as providing that extra security to keep something safely contained in a compartment but without the need to have to find the key to open the compartment as a U bolt can be easily and quickly dismantled and, most importantly, rapidly put back together again. 


U bolts are typically used on sailing boats with one use being as a safe means to secure the eye of the main sale, spinnaker or genoa to the sheet or halyard and then raise the sail into the required position. This way of doing things is preferable than just threading the sheet or halyard directly through the eye of the sail.


U bolts can be manufactured in an oval shape or in a square shape – it is very much down to your own personal preference as to which design you choose as both provide a secure form of attachment. The size of a U bolt can range from a couple of centimetres to several centimetres with the thickness of the metal also varying when used on a sailing boat depending upon what it is to be used for and its load bearing requirement. 


U bolts can be purchased either direct from a chandlery shop here at Your Marine Superstore!





Using S Hooks
S hooks must be one of the most widely used products on the market yet they are such a simple design. It will come as no surprise to read that they are mass-produced in an S shape.
They are used in both industry and in the home and come in various sizes to cater for a variety of needs. They are also manufactured in a number of different metals such as bronze, wrought iron, galvanized steel but in particular in stainless steel. They are also often plated in either chrome, zinc or nickel.
S hooks are most commonly utilised to hang things from them. Whether that is to have something hanging directly from them or to have a rope or chain hanging from the S hook with an item attached to the rope or chain.
S hooks are very flexible as one end of the hook can be placed over a solid piece of material such as the edge of a piece of wood with the free end of the hook being used to hold something. 
In a domestic situation, such hooks could be used to hang pots and pans in the kitchen. In that respect, in days long gone, different size S hooks were used to hang cooking pots over fires with a short hook being used when something was being simmered and it was necessary to keep it at a reasonable distance from the flames and a long S hook used when you wanted to boil a pan of water.  
Nowadays, you will regularly see an S hook being used as part of a hanging basket in the garden with one end of the hook being attached to the chain of the basket and the other being placed over the metal bracket that you have attached to the wall of your home from which you will hang the basket.
In an industrial environment they can be used in the likes of slaughterhouses to hang the carcasses of cattle, lambs and pigs or in factory units to hang certain items of tools and equipment.  
In some situations, it is also possible to manufacture S hooks that have some “play” in them to enable an S hook tool to be used to alter the hook by bending it. For instance, this could be used when installing something like a children’s swing and you wish to close the ends of the hook for added safety. 

So, as you can see there are a number of benefits of using S hooks.




Marine Megastore
Here at Marine Megastore we have available an extensive product range providing goods that are of an excellent quality but that are also extremely good value. We spend a considerable amount of time in sourcing the items with the ultimate aim of becoming your “one stop shop” for all your chandlery requirements. 
As you will see when you look around our store we have been able to provide a number of marine products under one roof that you would not normally find all listed on one of our competitor’s e-commerce sites.
The range of products includes the likes of: -
Anchors of different designs such as Bruce anchors and stainless steel anchors
Chain of varying types including anchor chain, stainless steel marine chain, lifting chain, garden chain, equipment chain for the playground and steel chain and even chain cutters
Bilge pumps for your boat of a whole variety ranging from manual to automatic use and also macerator pumps
Switch panels for your boat including navigation panels
Navigation lights for your marine vessel
Boat hatches, drains and deck caps
Eye bolts, eye plates and eye nuts of differing styles
Stainless fairleads and boat cleats 
Boat hinges to cater for most needs
Hooks, links, pins and pulleys including carbine hooks, snap hooks, marine cabin hooks, lifting hooks, chain links, quick repair links and mending links.
Staples and hasps
Shackles including the likes of Bow shackles, M Shackles, D Shackles and Snap shackles
Cords, rope and rope thimbles
Holders for fishing rods
Boat Swivels
Spring bolts and U bolts
Inspection hatches and vents
Lashing equipment and trailers
Steel wire rope of various thicknesses and types including galvanised and stainless steel wire rope
Rigging screws
The above is just a small sample of our range of marine products that is being updated on a regular basis as and when we discover boat products that we believe will be of interest to many of you.
You will also notice that we regularly offer discounts on some of our range due to the buying power that we have with our suppliers. We are happy to pass on the saving to our customers.
If there is a particular piece of chandlery that we do not have listed please feel free to contact us and we will see if we are able to source it for you. We have many years experience in the chandlery business and are usually able to meet our customers’ expectations.
We look forward to doing business with you.




The benefits of ventilation on your boat


It is vitally important that you have adequate ventilation on your boat for the benefit of anyone that is on the boat and also to help maintain it. So, let’s have a look at what a good quality system of ventilation should consist of in an ideal situation as well as the benefits in a little more detail.


Some of the benefits would be: -


·         Humidity and moisture can easily become a feature within the boat and that can cause musty, unpleasant air, mildew and mold. This can be particularly prevalent during a period when the boat is left unattended perhaps over the winter months. By having a well thought out ventilation system will reduce the likelihood of these things happening.

·         A ventilation system is ideal to stop blisters occurring on the boat due to the hull suffering from the saturation of moist air. 

·         Boat vents can help keep the climate below decks drier thus helping furnishings and the boat’s electronics having a longer life span.


As a part of your ventilation system it would be a good idea to incorporate good quality vents. These tend to come under two categories – active and passive.

Active boat vents include things like fan-assisted vents that provide power to operate a fan to ensure that air is actively circulated around the boat. This power can come from the boat’s engine or even solar power systems are becoming popular as the energy comes from a natural source – the sun. These vents have the benefit of being able to take air into the boat and remove air perhaps to remove cooking smells or in the heads compartment.


Passive boat vents come in a variety of shapes and sizes and include things like clamshell vents, cowl vents, grilles, louvers, and even the hatches. These allow the passage of air but are only beneficial if the air is moving or indeed the boat is doing likewise.


In an ideal situation a well-designed ventilation system will not only provide a good circulation of fresh air but will also keep out any water whether that emanates from the sea or the sky. It is the opinion of experts in the field of ventilation systems that your system should ensure that the air in your boat is changed with fresh air on an hourly basis.

You will often find a boat vent fitted into doors that inter-connect between the cabins, the galley and the heads compartment to ensure a free flowing circulation of fresh air. These could be the likes of stainless steel boat vents, round boat vents, vertical boat vents or horizontal boat vents.


You would be well advised to seek professional guidance about a suitable ventilation system on your boat. Here at, The Marine Superstore, we have many variety of vents available to order now!





Fitting boat inspection hatches


Boat inspection hatches are usually fitted to most modern boats but on older ones this is not always the case. They can be extremely useful to enable you to check areas below deck such as any tanks and compartments for such things as excess water.


If your boat does not have an inspection hatch fitted you can either pay a boat fitter to install one or fit it yourself. In the later case, if you have a reasonable level of DIY experience, you should find that you are able to fit it yourself as long as you take your time and follow the manufacturers instructions.  In doing so, you will obviously save yourself a considerable amount of money that can be spent on other improvements to your boat.

You also need to bear in mind that there are various styles and sizes of boat inspection hatches so it is important that you select the correct one that is designed for the purpose it is intended.


Boat inspection hatches can be manufactured using different materials such as plastic that can come in a range of colours with white plastic boat inspection hatches being particularly popular.


Having decided where on the boat you wish to fit the boat inspection hatch you can centre the hatch where it is to be located. Once this is done, you can draw a circle within the frame that will form the basis for the hole you need to cut.


To enable you to use a saw to cut the hole you must first drill a hole that just touches the circular line that you have just drawn. Then you can use a jig saw with a suitable blade depending upon whether you are cutting into wood or fibre-glass to cut the circular hole (or square depending upon the shape of the boat inspection hatch) accurately.  


Having created the hole, the boat inspection hatch can be carefully placed into the hole using an appropriately recommended sealant and screws/bolts that should be tightened very carefully to ensure a watertight seal but, at the same time, not damaging the frame of the boat.


Boat inspection hatches can easily be opened utilising the removable centre vent enabling you to check the compartment. Any excess water can easily be pumped out ensuring that your boat is safer when on the sea, canal or river.


It really is as simple as that to fit boat inspection hatches. A variety of Boat Inspection Hatches are available here at Online Chandlery The Marine Superstore




StainlessDirect - The Marine Store now advertises in the Boat Trader



Stainless Direct, the Marine Megastore are proud to announce that we are now advertising in the Boat Trader. Our full Range of Anchors, Cleats, Chain, Boat Switch Panels, Boat Navigation Lights, Boat Pumps, Pulleys, Hooks, Wire Ropes, Shackles and much more are on display in the monthly boat trader issue!





Wire rope terminal ends


The problem with the end of wire rope is that it is susceptible to fraying quite easily and that can make it very difficult to be securely connected to things such as machinery and plant. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways that the end of a wire rope can be secured to prevent this fraying.


The most popular of all wire rope terminal ends is to create a loop at the end of the wire rope by turning back the wire rope and then fixing the loose end securely to the wire rope. The fixing can be done using a number of things such as the likes of a wire rope clamp.

This method is tried and tested with the wire rope clamp also being referred to as a clip. This is usually made up of a u-shaped bolt, two nuts and a saddle. Both layers of wire rope are put in the U-bolt and the saddle is then placed over the ropes and onto the bolt that has two holes to attach to the stainless steelU-bolt. Both nuts are then tightened to provide a secure fitting. From a safety perspective, at least three wire rope clamps are used but more may be required dependent upon the rope’s diameter. One thing to bear in mind with this arrangement is that the saddle part of the assembly is located on the load bearing side of the wire rope.  


Other ways of securing the end of a wire rope include the Flemish eye, a swage eye, a swageless eye, swagings and potted ends to name but a few.

In the case of swaging, dependent upon the diameter of the wire rope, this process can easily and quickly be undertaken using a wire rope crimping or swaging tool. An excellent alternative to swaging is to use a swageless eye terminal or a swageless jaw terminal that can be quickly secured to the end of the wire rope using a spanner.


If you require a fitting that will need replacing frequently because the wire rope is subject to hard wear then a wedge socket may provide an ideal solution.A hard wear area could be a drag rope’s endon a dragline. The wire rope’s end loop goes into the socket’s tapered entrance and is wrapped around another thing called a wedge. The arrangement is carefully knocked into place and load is placed on the wire rope which, when it increases, results in the wedge becoming a lot more secure and the rope is gripped tighter.


As you can see there are numerous types of wire rope terminal ends. These fittings are available at Stainless Direct, The Marine Mega Store




The benefits of stainless steel wire rope


When it comes to deciding which wire rope that you need, one of the problems is that there is so much choice. Whether you select stainless steel wire rope, ungalvanised or galvanised wire rope is dictated by a number of factors with the main one being what you need to use the wire rope for.


Let us briefly look at some of the types of wire rope available to help you in that decision making process: -


Ungalvanised wire rope


The wires that are required to create the rope pass through dies reducing the diameter and increasing the wire’s tensile strength. However, the wire’s surface is untreated so, to stop them corroding, lubricating grease will be required periodically.


Galvanised wire rope


Before passing the wires through dies they go through a number of tanks that have molten zinc in them which bonds a layer of zinc to the wires. When the wires go through the dies the zinc is also compressed providing a layer of protective zinc on the wires. The benefits in doing this are that the wire rope is less likely to corrode and the zinc acts like a lubricant.


Galvanised wire rope makes an ideal cable for general engineering use such as garage door cables, winch ropes and in places where it is not visible.


Stainless steel wire rope


Stainless steel wire rope is extremely resistant to corrosion even from salt water that is why you will see it being widely used on rigging on marine vessels. Stainless steel wire rope is also pleasing to the eye and is therefore often used for decorative purposes such as on handrails and cable balustrading. It will retain its shine for many years.


There are different grades of stainless steel wire rope with grade 316 being more resistant to corrosion than grade 304.


You can also purchase both PVC coated stainless wire ropes or nylon coated stainless  wire ropes in a variety of colours. The PVC version is cheaper to buy and is more flexible than the nylon version. It is typically used for washing lines, lock cable systems, guardrails and barrier ropes. The nylon version is much harder wearing, more expensive and less flexible than the PVC version. It is often used for roller shutter blinds, sheaves and gym cables.  

Yes, stainless steel wire rope is more expensive than galvanised wire rope but it can be used in a greater number of situations and looks better.







How would you manage without rope pulleys?


In the very early days of sailing boats, in particular on larger vessels,  you could not imagine how the crew used to operate the ship effectively without the use of rope pulleys. It must have taken the strength of many men to raise the sails and remove goods from the hold without the benefit of this ingenious piece of equipment.


Rope pulleys are actually also referred to as blocks and, it will come as no surprise, to hear that they come in various sizes and styles as they are used for a number of different things on board a boat. They are, of course, also used in many other industries such as factories to lift various things.

Types of rope pulley connections on boats can include the likes of reverse shackle, regular shackle, swivel jaw, upset shackle, reverse upset shackle, swivel eye and loose swivel hook to name but a few.


Rope pulleys, when it comes to sailing, come in either single or multiple form with one or more sheaves having been enclosed within the unit between the chocks.  Rope pulleys are usually attached to the surface of the boat, a spar or at the end of the rope whether that is either ordinary rope or wire rope. The wire rope is fed through the sheaves and possibly through other pulleys to create what is called a “tackle”.


Quite simply, the rope pulleys, in conjunction with the rest of the tackle, enable one individual to do the work of several people that would have been required thousands of years ago. Imagine the strength that is needed to adjust the main sail on a 70 foot saling boat in the extremes of the Southern Ocean to make maximum use of the wind. Due to the tackle system connected to the boom, this can now all be done by one crew member with reasonable ease.

Wire rope has also been hugely beneficial on modern day sailing vessels. For instance, it is commonly used for the stays (also known as shrouds) requiring little maintenance and, of course, it is much stronger than traditional rope. It can also be used for the halyard to raise the main sail as certain type of wire rope can be surprisingly flexible due to technological advancements. 


Rope pulleys, although requiring very little maintenance, do need to be visually checked over periodically to reduce the likelihood of unforseen mishaps occurring whilst your sailing boat is in use. 


We have a vast range of boat pulley available to purchase now here at The Marine Megastore






The benefits of stainless steel boat hinges 


When it comes to buying boat hinges you have a huge selection available that can typically be purchased either through a chandlery shop down at your local marina or harbour or, it will come as no surprise to hear, online. There are countless numbers of price comparison websites selling marine hinges that, from the consumer’s point of view, is great news. 

However, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Probably the most important factor to consider when shopping for boat hinges is what material has been used to make them. You will find so many types such as plastic and aluminium but they will not perform as well as stainless steel boat hinges.  


Let’s have a look at why stainless steel boat hinges should be the preferred choice for most mariners. To do this, it would be a good idea to look at the features and benefits of stainless steel.


What is stainless steel?

It is low carbon steel that has a minimum of 10 per cent of chromium in it as well as some other materials. 

Benefits of stainless steel

  • Resistant to corrosion

The chromium provides the metal with the corrosion, stainless free benefits that make it perfect to be used to manufacture a stainless steel boat hinge. The inclusion of chromium in the steel provides an invisible film on the surface of the metal that provides the above benefits.

 Interestingly, should the film be damaged due to being scratched or as a result of a chemical spillage, as long as there is oxygen around the boat hinge, the film will actually heal itself. Other things that help make stainless steel resistant to corrosion are nitrogen, nickel and molybdenum.  

  • Heat and fire resistant

There are at least 60 grades of stainless steel and those that are classed as higher grade are able to retain their strength even at high temperatures. At the other side of the temperature range, stainless steel performs well in freezing conditions. As a mariner, you will likely encounter both temperature extremes during your travels on water.

  • Weight to strength advantages

Certain grades of stainless steel have a particularly high weight to strength ratio meaning that stainless steel boat hinges can be produced that are not as thick as some other hinges made of a different material. 

  • Long term value

Yes, the initial cost of stainless steel boat hinges may be higher than other hinges but their longer life cycle should more than compensate for this. 


So, hopefully the above convinces you that, when looking to replace any of your boat hinges, your best option is to choose stainless steel boat hinges from





Macerator Pumps


Very few people like to talk about anything to do with sewage and human waste but, for those who have a boat or a motor home, a macerator pump is going to be of huge benefit. 

Macerator pumps are an extremely compact piece of equipment that are used to break up human waste solids and then pump the waste material either into a holding tank or into the sea depending upon where the macerator pump has been installed. In this respect, you must be careful that, if you are perhaps having installed a toilet for the first time on your boat, that the installation fully complies with the regulations in respect of the discharge of human waste from a vessel.


The fine for discharging incorrectly is severe.  For instance, you have to be a particular distance away from the coastline before being allowed to discharge into the sea. Therefore, for those boats that are used for operating along the coast it is important that they have a holding tank installed.


Electric Macerator pumps are extremely capable at dealing with human waste using a bronze cutter to break up the waste into small, manageable particles. These particles are then pumped, utilising a flexible impeller pump, along a 25mm (I”) hose. Having reduced the waste in size, it is less likely that any clogging will take place. Although macerator pumps are efficient they do have their limitations and are not capable of satisfactorily dealing with sanitary towels or rags.


If the macerator pump has been installed on the holding tank’s input side you will need less water for flushing. That is a major benefit for both boats and motor homes as they are rather limited in the supply of water that they carry on board. It is also worth noting that the majority of macerator pumps are 12 volt DC electric.


Another important point to remember is that macerator pumps cannot be allowed to run dry otherwise this will lead to the impellers starting to wear reducing the pump’s discharge capabilities. There are a number of macerator pumps that are designed to shut down automatically should the pump have no liquids in it. 

Of course, macerator pumps are also becoming more frequently used in homes when people decide to perhaps add a downstairs cloakroom or en-suite shower room in a confined area when specialist sanitary fittings are required. 


Whilst it is possible for a DIY enthusiast to install a macerator pump it is a project that is perhaps best left to an expert. 


These pumps are readiy available at StainlessDirect, The Marine Mega Store






Rigging Screws


Rigging screws have a variety of uses including a way of adjusting or providing tension to ropes that are typically used for such things as engineering projects, tall structures and guys on masts of sailing boats. They are also known as adjusters, barrel strainers, bottle screws, tensioners and turnbuckles and are made of such things as hot dipped galvanised steel and polished stainless steel.

Rigging screws usually consist of clevis end fittings or eyes that are elongated to then be connected to things like pad eyes, wire rope systems and shackles. A cross-hole is provided within the centre of the body to allow the rotation of the body by inserting a bar through the hole. To be able to check the maximum allowable end fitting’s extended location there is a hole available at the thread’s inner end to look through. 


Rigging screws are manufactured from pieces of tubular steel and can be made in so many different sizes allowing for a great number of options made all the more versatile by being able to adjust the length. They are particularly useful for use on a sailing boat’s rigging as they have an enclosed section that is permanently lubricated.

Having said that, it is important that rigging screws are examined by a competent person on a regular basis to check for any problems and to make sure that they are set up to operate as efficiently as possible. For instance, the threads will need to be suitably protected against getting corroded, each rigging screw will need to be looked at to make sure that they have not been tightened too much resulting in the tension rating being exceeded. In respect of interfaced components, they should be free to articulate and connect ensuring that the load is correctly applied. 


Should there be any evidence of the slightest damage to a rigging screw such as corrosion, a crack, a nick, a fitting or a body that has been distorted or if the thread of the screw has been damaged it must be replaced. Can you imagine the potential catastrophe of a rigging screw failing whilst a sailing boat is heeled over with a full main sail in strong winds several miles out to sea? Such a situation could have been avoided if the skipper and his crew had carried out a thorough investigation of the rigging screws before leaving the marina. 


Look after your rigging screws and they will look after you. All types of Rigging Screws, Barrel Strainers, Turnbuckles etc are available to buy here at The Marine Megastore






Types of Rope Cleats


There is unlikely to be a boat on the water that will not have at least one rope on it with that being used for tying up the vessel when not in use. Ropes can also be used for pulling up or letting down the anchor or, on sailing boats, for so many things such as pulling up the main sail and genoa and operating both those sails when on the open water.


These ropes are usually connected to various types of rope cleats that help the skipper and his or her crew handle the ropes quickly and effectively. For instance, speed is particularly important on sailing boats as the crew need to react very quickly to a change in the direction of the wind that may necessitate the sails to be adjusted.


So, let’s have a look at just some of the different types of rope cleats that are currently available for use on boats: - 


Jam Cleat

Jam cleats tend to be used on sailing boats rather than any other type of boat. There are two types – a cam action jam cleat and a fixed jam cleat. 


A sailing boat is powered by the wind and the wind changes direction at a moment’s notice. When this happens the skipper and his crew need to adjust the sail(s) to ensure that they make maximum use of the wind or, indeed, to stop the boat capsize. The cam action jam cleat enables the sailor to quickly and effortlessly adjust the tension of the rope between the likes of the genoa sail and the cleat either by releasing the rope from the cleat to then adjust the tension or pull the rope through the cleat to adjust the tension. This is known as trimming the sail.


Fixed jam rope cleats can be used, for instance, to hold the rope that is used to operate the centreboard so that it stays in place on a permanent basis whilst sailing. When the day’s sailing is at an end the rope can be released from the fixed jam cleat. 


Traditional Cleat 

This is also known as an open-base horn cleat and is the most widely used of all rope cleats. It can be used for a variety of different ropes. It is in the form of a “T” shape around which the rope can be securely attached but the rope can also be released quite quickly.


Bollard Cleat

A bollard cleat tends to be utilised to support the likes of an anchor rope. A bollard cleat has a thick square or round centre post but at the top of it is a wider section thus preventing the rope from slipping off the cleat.


The above are just a few of the popular rope cleats that are available here at






Types of Boat Bilge Pumps


Boat bilge pumps are water pumps that are used on many types of boat to remove bilge water from the hull of the vessel. The water that has accumulated in the bottom of the boat has resulted from such things as water washing over the side of the boat or rainwater and draining into the bilge. From a safety point of view it is preferable that this bilge water is removed as an excessive amount of water can lead to the boat becoming unstable and the extra weight of the water can affect the performance of the vessel.



Many boats are in fact fitted with two bilge pumps with the primary one being located at the bottom of the hull and the second one that would be used if the first one failed or was struggling to deal with the amount of water being located a bit higher up in the bilge.


It will probably come as no surprise to hear that there are several different types of boat bilge pump so let’s have a look at a couple of the boat bilge pumps that are currently available on the market today. 


Manually operated boat bilge pumps


These have been in existence for many years and are usually to be found in the vast majority of production boats. They tend to be manually operated from the convenience of the cockpit. 


These bilge pumps normally have a large diaphragm made of neoprene rubber and have both an outlet and inlet valve. The bilge pump handle is either permanently fixed to the clamping plates on the diaphragm or a removable handle is placed in the socket that is situated in the assembly of the actuator fork.


Manual boat bilge pumps are either mounted directly on the bulkhead or mounted behind the bulkhead or under deck. Small manually operated boat bilge pumps are usually more than adequate to cope with deck or wave wash and rain. Bigger bilge pumps will naturally be more effective.


Submersible Electric Boat Bilge Pumps


These types of bilge pumps perform effectively against fairly low heads (vertical height) without putting too much pressure on the battery. It is situated in the bilge with the water being brought up via the plastic strainer located at the pump’s bottom and it comes out via the discharge hose. 


This particular type of bilge pump is suitable for light usage rather than continuous use as they are susceptible to burning out. Should one cease to operate it cannot be repaired as it is a sealed unit so would need to be replaced. It is operated by a straightforward on-off switch.


There are many other types of bilge pump but hopefully the above has provided a better understanding about boat bilge pumps, Please check out Bilge Pumps available for sale right here at






Boat switch control panels


Most newly built modern boats have one or more boat switch control panels fitted as standard and that makes a lot of sense. After all, it saves a great deal of time when compared with having to search for a specific switch to turn something on or off.


This is especially important in an emergency situation when, perhaps, the lights may have failed making it even more difficult to locate a switch if it were just installed somewhere on its own.


There are of course different sizes of boat switch control panels – some panels may only have a couple of switches whereas others may have a dozen or even more switches. 


If you have an old boat that you are restoring then that is an ideal time to consider fitting a suitable boat switch control panel thus enabling you to do away with some of the original individual switches. It provides an ideal opportunity to choose from the extensive range of boat switch control panels that are currently available on the market. You should make sure that the one you choose fully meets your requirements in every way. It may be a good idea to choose a control panel that has a spare switch available in case you add another electrical item in the future that needs to be switched. 



Boat switch control panels, just like switch control panels found in the home, also come in a range of designs. For instance you could buy one that has a flat back but the front of it is elegantly designed in a wave style.


Obviously, you will require a water resistant boat switch control panel even if it is located below deck to avoid any safety issues. These come with rubber boots on the switches that are water resistant. The fuse holders would also be water resistant. A watertight seal is achieved by using a suitable mounting gasket.

Boat switch control panels may be available to buy from the chandlery down at your local marina although they may not have a huge selection of different styles and sizes. You will be pleased to hear that there are numerous e-commerce websites that now sell boat switch control panels and tend to offer an extensive range of such panels to cater for the needs of most boat owners. 


Buying one of these panels on the Internet is proving increasingly popular for boat owners in view of the convenience, choice and, of course, a very competitive price. Many switch panels can be ordered today here at






Boat Navigation Lights – the rules


Obviously, when you are navigating your boat at night extra care is required due to the reduced visibility when compared with navigating during the daytime. To help, boats must be fitted with boat navigation lights to reduce the likelihood of any collisions at sea or indeed on any other water between two or more vessels.



Whether your boat is used for pleasure or commercial purposes you must make sure that it complies with the rules and regulations surrounding navigation lighting.


If your boat is sailing between sunset and sunrise it must display the correct set of lights whether it is underway or indeed if it is at anchor. A boat is deemed to be underway when it is not aground, not moored to the shore or not anchored.    

You should also be aware that boat navigation lights must be on display during the day should the visibility be poor. Therefore, it is not acceptable to not bother having such lights fitted.

Another thing to bear in mind is that your boat lights must be situated and on display in a manner deemed appropriate based upon the class and size of your boat. Your boat navigation lights will indicate to another boat user whether your boat is motoring, under sail or at anchor.

The following provides a little information about boat navigation lights: -

Visibility Range of Lights  

For vessels between 12 metres to 20 metres in length

  • Masthead light – must be visible up to 3 miles away.
  • All round lights – must be visible up to 2 miles away.
  • Stern and Sidelights – must be visible up to 2 miles away. 

For vessels less than 12 metres in length

  • Masthead light – must be visible up to 2 miles away.
  • All round lights – must be visible up to 2 miles away.
  • Stern light – must be visible up to 2 miles away.
  • Sidelights – must be visible up to 1 mile away.

Light placement 

Obviously navigation lights must be placed so that they are not hidden or partially hidden by any of the boat’s structure or affected by any of the lights on deck. For instance, in the case of the all round white light or masthead light, they should be located on the boat’s centre line (bow to stern).

The above are just a few of the regulations for boat navigation lights but there are many more that you need to familiarise yourself with.


Here at we have a vast supply of Boat Naviagtion Lights in stock ready to be ordered straight away!





Spring Bolts


Spring bolts have a variety of uses and are also often referred to as horse trailer bolts, gate bolts or trailer bolts which probably gives you an idea of some of the things that this versatile item is used for. 

Spring bolts are also incorporated within locks. Part of the mechanism of a spring bolt lock involves the utilisation of a compressed coil to hold in place a pin. The door is unlocked by releasing the coil’s pressure. For added security, it is recommended that a metal reinforcement plate should be a feature of a spring bolt lock as this will make it more difficult to merely use the likes of a hammer to knock off the knob. If this were to happen, the pressure will be removed from the pin and the door would open with ease. 

Spring bolts come in various sizes and are made from more than one type of metal such as zinc plated or stainless steel and have been used effectively for many years in numerous situations. As already referred to above, they are used on trailers including horse trailers and, because the bolts are spring loaded, they can speedily be locked securely into place enabling you to concentrate on controlling your horse or livestock when removing them from the trailer.

They are also frequently seen in use on gates instead of the more traditional bolt that you just slide open. A problem with the later type of bolt is that, depending upon how much friction is in place as you slide the bolt open, it can be either difficult to open or very loose. If it is quite tight, you could easily damage your fingers or hand when trying to move it to one side to open the gate whereas, with gates that have spring bolts, the strength required to open them is consistent as the spring gives some degree of manoeuvrability. 

If a standard bolt is too loose when it is moved to one side it could slip back and secure the gate when you do not wish it too whereas with a spring bolt it may be possible to secure the bolt in place in the open position so that this does not happen. The bolt can be quickly put back into the closed position by just turning its handle and releasing it with ease.  

Spring bolts are inexpensive to purchase so are worthy of serious consideration.






What grades of chain are available?


There are different grades of chain, including the likes of Grade 30, Grade 80 and Grade 120 with different grade chains being considered for various purposes. Let’s have a look at these in a little more detail: -


Grade 30 Chain


This is a general-purpose chain that is manufactured from low carbon steel. It tends to be used for towing, binding or tying down.


BBB Anchor Chain


This is a short link chain that is manufactured from low carbon steel that is mainly used for boat windlasses when it has been hot galvanized.


Grade 40 Chain


This is the same strength as the Grade 43 chain listed below but it has smaller dimensions. In the main, it is utilised for boat windlasses.


Grade 43 High Test Chain


This is an extremely high strength chain that has been utilised for many years to great effect in the HGV industry to tie goods and materials down on lorries. It is manufactured from high carbon steel.


Grade 70 Transport Chain


This is normally utilised to tie down heavy equipment that is being transported on HGV lorries and is manufactured from carbon steel that has been heat-treated. It is around 25 per cent stronger than high-test chains. It is also suitable for towing and for use as a safety chain.


Grade 80 Chain


The Grade 80 chain is made of alloy steel that has been heat-treated and is therefore extremely strong, hardwearing and shock absorbent. It is used for recovering things and is the minimum grade that is considered suitable for overhead lifting being perfect for the making of chain slings. It is also excellent for towing and combines minimum weight with high working load strengths.  


Grade 80 chain can be used in conjunction with Grade 80 fittings such as Grade 80 lifting gear, Grade 80 Clevis Sling Hooks and Grade 80 Websling Connectors.


Grade 100 Chain


The Grade 100 is particularly strong being manufactured from a composite alloy steel that means it is ideal for being used in both recovery situations and for overhead lifting. It is able to provide around 25 per cent more working load limit than that of Grade 80 chain.


Grade 120 Chain


The Grade 120 chain is made of alloy that provides the greatest working load limit that exists within the industry meaning that it is capable of heavy-duty recovery situations and heavy-duty overhead lifting.


So, as you can see there are numerous grades of chain available but do remember that Grade 80 chain is the minimum that can be used for overhead lifting and Grade 80 fittings should be used with this grade of chain.





Using quick repair chain links on your chain link fencing


Today, we are going to look at one of the more unusual ways that quick repair chain links can be used in a most cost effective way. Nowadays, anything that can be done economically is to be welcomed. 

If you use chain link fencing you will be aware that there are occasions when a little bit of tender loving care is required to maintain them in a reasonable state. For instance, if your chain link fencing is attached to timber posts the posts will rot after a few years and need replacing.

However, if the actual chain link fencing is badly damaged, perhaps by a falling tree, then that calls for some speedy repair work especially if the fencing is being used to retain livestock. As a temporary measure, you may be able to twist some of the broken chain links around the section that has not been damaged but there is a danger that they will not hold if your livestock places pressure on them. The last thing you want to happen is for your valuable livestock to escape.


Another option is to place a new section of chain link fencing over the damaged section and use some plastic ties to attach the new section to the old section. One of the problems with this is that the finished job may look rather unsightly.

An alternative to doing the above is of course to “bite the bullet” and replace the entire chain link fencing with a complete run of new fencing. That option will not be cheap but, if you have the funds available, then fine, although it has to be said that you can probably think of something better to do with your money.

A cheaper solution could be to use quick repair chain links to help complete the repair work. You will need to decide if the existing fencing that has been damaged can still be used or whether you need to cut the damaged section out and replace it with a new section. It is quite likely that when you put the fencing up all those years ago that you still have some unused fencing left that you could utilise. 

Anyway, whichever option you choose, you can select from a variety of quick repair chain links to complete the repair work. Something like inexpensive zinc plated quick links would be ideal to connect the undamaged chain link fencing to either the damaged or new section that you have cut to size. These quick repair chain links can be used in several places along the sections of fencing to be joined to provide a secure repair job that does not look unsightly.    

Give it a go.




Bow nuts


A bow nut is really almost identical to an eye nut except that the eye part is actually in the shape of a bow, hence its name, so it does provide a little extra space. This enables you to use larger hooks or thicker rope to place through the eyes of bow nuts.


Bow nuts come in various sizes and have a variety of uses. They are made of different types of metals such as forged carbon steel, zinc-plated steel, stainless steel and hot dipped galvanized steel. They have different load bearings so it is important that you make the correct selection taking into account what you wish to use them for. They also have different dimensions of thread and it is vital that the thread matches that of the bolt especially in load carrying situations.


Bow nuts and bolts are frequently used to lift objects that cannot be lifted by hand so, in view of the weights that are frequently lifted, it is important that the bow nuts that you choose are of an excellent standard.  It is likely that you will buy bow nuts in reasonably large quantities so they may be kept in storage for quite some time before being used. 


You may think that because they are made of metal that they will not suffer any damage but this is not necessarily the case as, depending upon the type of material, they could suffer corrosion or indeed cracking. It is therefore vitally important that before you use a bow nut that you check it thoroughly for any wear and tear. In fact, periodically, whilst being used, they should be checked for any damage. Can you imagine the pressure that the eye of a bow nut will be under with the hook from a crane placed through it and the friction this will cause. If in doubt, replace the one that you have been using with a brand new one.



Bow nuts are used in various types of industry such as shipping for lifting heavy cargo out of holds, on building sites for lifting materials around the site and other large construction projects like building bridges and roads to lift plant, tools and materials.  


There are numerous suppliers of bow nuts but one of the most popular places to purchase them is on the Internet. There are several sites offering them so you will find that they are competitively priced. 





Benefits of Chain Swivels


Quite simply, chain swivels stop ropes or chains from twisting therefore reducing the likelihood of breakages occurring. Chain swivels can be used in a variety of different situations. 


For instance, many coarse fishermen carry small chain swivels in their fishing tackle boxes to be connected to their fishing line in certain instances. They are also used within the marine industry and it is in this area that we are going to focus. So, let’s have a look at some instances when the use of a chain swivel would prove invaluable in this type of industry.


Boats use either rope or chain to connect the boat to the anchor and chain swivels can help no matter which type is used to pull the anchor on-board. Having said that, rope is that little bit more flexible than chain and is more “forgiving”.  


For instance, when at anchor, you may find on occasions the need to conduct a number of 360-degree manoeuvres in the same direction.  This sort of situation could present itself in a number of tidal anchorages. Obviously, you would not want to find that the rope or chain has become twisted as this may lead the rope to start kinking or even start to un-lay if you are only using rope with 3 strands. In the case of anchor chain it would only take a few twists for the chain to knot or bunch thus reducing the effectiveness of the chain. Chain swivels provide one of the solutions to prevent these problems.  


Another example of a potential problem that could be avoided by using chain swivels is also to do with the anchor chain. When the anchor is dropped into the water from the boat the chain’s orientation has a 75 per cent possibility of not being kept. This is particularly relevant if you are utilising a chain gypsy/auto rope but fail to right the chain on a manual basis when it is returned. As a result the chain may well be pulled up either upside down or sideways meaning that it will have to right itself when connecting to the roller. If there is no chain swivel this may result in a twisted chain resulting in the anchor chain not resting correctly upon the roller. 


There are, of course, many other uses for chain swivels but it is important in all cases to utilise swivels of a good quality to ensure that no potentially dangerous situations occur.





Benefits and uses of PVC coated wire rope


Wire rope can be purchased in various forms as far as, for instance, type of wire, thickness of wire, number of strands, coated or un-coated etc. As far as coating is concerned there are different types with PVC coated wire rope being one of the most popular types currently available on the market.


It is extremely cost effective and resistant to the weather coping with temperatures ranging from -35 degrees centigrade to + 80 degrees centigrade. There are even different hardness’s of PVC coating to cater for different uses.


There are a number of benefits of having coated wire rope such as the wire rope is much more resistant to suffering from any form of wear and tear and to becoming corroded. Of course, the PVC coating will provide galvanized wire rope and stainless steel wire rope with a soft shield that protects the wire.    



PVC coated wire rope comes in a variety of colours as a result of which it can be used for a variety of different things as a colour can be chosen to blend in with the surrounding area. The most popular colours are clear, black and white although it has to be said that a neutral colour will blend better with most backgrounds.


PVC coated wire rope can be used for so many different things but is particularly beneficial for applications involving the protection of people or animals from being injured or to protect goods. So, you would often find PVC coated wire rope being used in places like farming, zoos and public stadiums. 


The types of industries that you will regularly see PVC coated wire rope is in such things as gyms and health clubs where you will often see them on gym equipment, on lanyard restraint cables on building sites and other locations requiring safety restraints, in the transport industry where they are used on straps and slings when removing goods from the vehicles, in theatres where they are used to raise or drop some of the props and support lighting in the theatre and they are regularly used in the events industry on stages and in marquees. 


From a safety point of view, should you attach certain fittings to PVC coated wire rope, you should carefully cut away the PVC coating prior to attaching the fittings. In doing so you will prevent any slipping and the joint’s strength will be maximised. 


We have many different Strands and Colours of PVC Wire Rope so have a good look around now..