Cruising comments

During the sweltering summer, the COA programme of events is traditionally quiet, but members competing in the COA Championship series joined the HHYC’s Mirs Bay Race and Port Shelter Regatta before the procession of typhoons began, and then on to the ABC’s Opening Regatta. But, as the weather cools down, our programme heats up!

First off, the COA National Day Rally from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October, which normally takes us to Macau, has been re-routed due to pontoon damage at Fisherman’s Wharf by Typhoon Hato (see right). Instead, we will run a threeday rally taking in the Sokos, Silvermine Bay and Po Toi Island.

Next, the Emerald Bay Race on the 14th and 15th of October. This will take the form of flotilla of yachts in pursuit of a fleet of dinghies sailed by young cancer survivors for a BBQ party and overnight stay at the beautiful VRC clubhouse in Sai Kung. This is the second year we have run this most enjoyable and inspiring event in aid of the Children’s Cancer Foundation (

Then, the inaugural Douglas Cup on the 4th of November will gather the COA fleet together with four simultaneous pursuit races to anchor overnight at the Lamma Fun Day Music Festival. The event is in aid of the Child Welfare Scheme in Nepal (

Finally, we will round off the year with our popular Liquid Assets Commodore’s Xmas Cup on the 9th of December, with three simultaneous pursuit races finishing at the RHKYC’s Middle Island base for a prizegiving party.

The RHKYC’s China Coast Regatta and Round the Island Race also count in the COA series, so check out our Cruising Calendar at and follow the Cruiser Owners’ Association on Facebook. If you are interested in our events, do join us! You can download the membership form from our website.

My technical subject this month is glass fibre repairs. For small repairs (eg. stress cracks, screw holes or gelcoat chips) epoxy resin and glass cloth are to smooth edges. A file makes least dust, but if you use a grinder dust will get everywhere. Avoid skin contact as it will cause an itchy rash. Finally clean up carefully and wipe everything with a damp rag.

Next, cut out some patches of woven glass cloth with scissors to fit the repair. It is easier to laminate several small patches than one big one. Woven glass cloth is easier to laminate than glass matting.

Accurately mix small batches of epoxy (<50ml) into a flat-bottomed lunch box (cardboard or polythene, but not polystyrene). Epoxy gives off heat as it reacts, accelerating curing and reducing the open time you have to work, so tip the box up on a corner for mixing, then lay it flat so the mixture spreads out over the bottom to increase the cooling. In hot weather you can chill your epoxy packs in the fridge before you mix it to increase the open time. Araldite glue is epoxy, so for small repairs it may be cheaper than buying a large pack.

Using a brush, dab a layer of epoxy on the repair area. Use the brush to pick up and place a patch in position. Then tap it down with the brush before dabbing a bit more epoxy on top to wet it through. Keep adding layers and dabbing on epoxy until you have slightly overfilled the ground out area.

Next day, when it’s set hard, put on your PPE and sand it down flush with the surrounding area using P80 sanding paper on a block, followed with P120, then P240 to finish. You can then paint the area to match the boat. If your boat has a gelcoat finish, slightly under fill the area, leaving room to paint in a layer of matching gelcoat. Or you can mix some epoxy with matching pigment.

Once set the gelcoat can be wet sanded with P120 then P240 paper, then polished with T-Cut before waxing. Hope to see you on the water this autumn. Happy cruising!

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