Have bug-eyed creatures from another planet taken over XPLORE?
No, that’s Stephen (right) and Audrey (below) removing the glue from the deck to replace the TBS deck tread.
TBS is an incredibly durable and effective non-skid application which Stephen has used since 1999, and which XPLORE, from her earlier incarnation as a Global Challenge racing yacht, had on deck. Part of our refit plans include replacing the TBS … but first, the old stuff had to come off.
Warm sunny days soften the glue enough to make it easy for one or two of us (and on occasion all three: stacked up like a conga line) to peel off. The old pieces are kept to use as templates for the new application. Then the glue must be removed from deck: a crucial process which involves scraping up the goopy cement with copious amounts of solvent, hence the face masks.
Once the deck is clean, the new pieces – which have been carefully cut using the templates and a double-check of sizes and placement – are easily placed down, and the edges are sealed. Voila. At this time we have replaced nearly a third of the TBS on board XPLORE and sunny days ahead promise the rest won’t be far behind.
“When we re-designed and modified XPLORE for the South, we worked with TBS hands on. It’s easy to use, measure, cut and apply; with the self adhesive backing all you need is a clean, smooth area and it sticks and stays!”
Stephen first product-tested TBS 10 years ago, saying “At first I thought there was not enough to grip onto, as the surface seemed smooth; but quickly I realised that no matter how much water came on deck there was always a firm grip and a feeling of steadiness, whether you were pushing hard in racing conditions, or when there was snow and ice everywhere.” Since then he has become a big proponent of the product, for secure footing in the world’s toughest, most demanding and dangerous conditions; Antarctica, the Southern Ocean, and Cape Horn.