Little bags of goodness

Afternoon folks. Sitrep, Wales, locked down for another few days, England just begun a month long lockdown, USA knife edge election situation, most of Europe either locked down or soon to be. Soch Sails HQ, firing on all cylinders and continuing to ship Radio Yachting goodness all around the globe.

So, this is a short post with some useful info. A couple of months ago we started to supply DF rig kits once again and to be fair they’ve been flying out of the door. When we supply a kit we do a couple of things to make sure you get the best out of it.

First off we open it up and do a parts check to make sure that all the bits that should be there are in fact where they should be. So we know that when it leaves us everything is in the bag.

Then we add a little magic to make the job a little better and allow you to construct your rig to the same spec that we do which is, of course, completely class legal.

To do this we pop in a little bag of bits and some useful string. Since doing this we have had a number of phone calls and emails asking what in the world we’ve included in the bag. So, to avoid confusion check out the items below.

What’s in the bag of goodness?

OK, so in the bag we have a strip of double sided velcro, a ball, a couple of rig rings and some extra cordage, so what’s it all for. Cordage is simple, use it if you like, throw it in your toolbox if you don’t. It’s well over spec but works well for all DF related applications and we use it on all our own rigs.

Rig rings, you’ll get two with a DF65 A, B or C rig and three with an A plus or any DF95 rig kit. These are what we use to replace the kit supplied rings for topping lift, backstay and jib hanger. We’ve tried and tested them on our own rigs and they are welded, round rings that allow cord to flow through them easily without chafing.

Ball, simply to allow my fists of ham and fingers of butter to get hold of and place the backstay loop where it should be with ease. If I need it at 41 years old I’m sure it’ll make your lives easier too! See picture below for ball and rig ring use.

Ring, top right, ball, bottom middle.

Double sided velcro. So when you’ve taken the rig off the boat you’ll sometimes have let go of the jib boom and had it flap about the place becoming creased. Simple solution here, wrap the velcro round both booms and hey presto you have an easily manageable rig to pop into a rig bag, also works well when pulling the rig back out of the bag on a windy day. Pop the mast in the boat, then undo the velcro and attach the jib. See rig in picture for more detail!

There we have it, all questions answered. Remember, if you need a new DF rig to build during lockdown here in the UK we can supply it, along with some shiny new sails to put on it too!

The shop is always open www.sochsails.online

Lockdown Mk 2

Lots to get through this time, firstly here in Wales we have been put into another full on lockdown for the next 17 days. No matter, I can’t work from home so I’ll be in the workshop fulfilling orders as they come in and shipping them out as usual. As the rest of the world isn’t locked down I don’t anticipate any crazy hold ups in shipping times.

So, on to other stuff. We’ve been busy once again since our last post, I’ve even been sailing with my IOM again, which means I’ve sailed this class more than any other this year. Sounds great but I’ve only sailed it twice! This time I took a trip over to Yorkshire and spent a very pleasant day atop Ilkley Moor (with a hat) and placed a very solid second spot.

We’ve been making lots of sails too, this week for instance we’ve completed an order for 60 suits of DF sails, 120 deck patch sets, 10 transmitter bags, 20 rig bags and 30 some sticker sets. We’ve also shipped 40 rig bags out to a customer in Sweden as well as keeping up to date with our day to day orders as they come in.

30 (ish) DF65 sails

There has been some restocking of the shop again as items ran low, one item that we’ve been missing for some time has been the RC Laser bow bumper, but we now have a limited quantity in a range of colours. Get them quick though as they are selling fast. I think that sees us fully stocked with everything from a full on RC Laser package to a bottom rudder bush. We’ve also been working on a reliable stainless screw pack to replace all the hardware on your boat and give it a refresh, nearly there with it, launching soon.

Something else that will be launching soon will be our range of IOM sails, it’s been a two year project so far and I’m happy that we have some good, well thought out shapes for our sails. I’ve been trailing Soch Sails IOM sails for some time and I’ve had lots of encouragement from people who know what they are on about. However, IOM stuff is somewhat different to DF stuff with a myriad of variables and I’m keen to know what differences these variables make. So I’ve decided that I need a two boat testing program over the winter months and to facilitate this I’ve got myself a matching IOM to my own, so now I’ve got double Visions which will allow me to do some more research. Updates incoming I should imagine as Vision No1 is currently in dry dock having a bit of a refit.

Double Vision !
IOM No1 suit

Other than that lot we’ve been kept busy by you guys out there who have continued to support our little business in these strange times, and for that I can’t thank you enough and I hope that you continue to do so.

A quick heads up on sticker sets, we have two drawers that keep our stock and it’s time to turn it over, so over the next few weeks we’ll be listing what’s in the drawers, there are plenty of full sticker sets that are good to go and there are also a number of sets that have been mis cut, creased or have bits missing. One thing that they all have is some healthy discount. When I get to it next week they will appear in the clearance section of the shop. A good time to mix and match those colour schemes folks 👍🏻

I also have a couple of suits of sails that were made to order and not required, they will appear in the clearance section too, from memory there’s a 95 B suit, a 65 A and A plus suit, more healthy discount will be applied!

I’m sure there is heaps of news I’ve missed but I’ll update you again soon. If you need anything DF racing yacht related or anything for your RC Laser then pop over to the shop and take a look at what we’ve got for you.

Lockdown blues

So we should be just back from a weekend of DF95 racing at Fleetwood but the event got canned before we even got near the start line, hey ho. We should have been looking forward to the annual Clive Hand race st Lincoln this coming weekend but that’s been canned too…hey ho.

Both events would have been fun but the reality is that difficult decisions were made by organising clubs and I think they are probably pretty sensible to have cancelled.

So we’ve been busy in the workshop getting through a mountain of orders instead. It’s not racing but it’s a great way to pass the time. We’ve been shipping lots of sails and accessories worldwide over the last month as well as building a few more DF rigs for customers to collect from us.

Shipping times seem to be pretty much the same as they were a month ago.

We’ve had another shipment of RC Laser goodies arrive to keep us stocked up. The only thing we currently don’t have is mast pots, no idea why I didn’t order any but we’ll remedy the situation quickly.

Other than the non sailing thing life is good and we seem to be on top of everything currently. As ever the shop is open 247 for you to place an order and remember, if you don’t see it and you want it just drop us a line and if we can make it happen we surely will.

Here’s some recent stuff.

News Update

Went sailing….not here but went sailing!

We are hurtling towards mid September already and we’ve been super busy over the last month. I managed a day out at Fleetwood with the IOM, it was good to catch up with some people and we managed 16 races in, what was at times, some nice breeze. I was pleased with my day and finished 4th. I’ve also been out with our local club this morning which was fun with the RC Laser and again it was good to catch up.

Speaking of the RC Laser we’ve had a run on boats and spares recently which has left us missing a few items. We’ll be placing a new order with our supplier this week so should be stocked back up once again in a short while. We’ve sent a couple of new boats out too over the last week, proving that the one design concept is still popular, below is a picture of the latest boat to leave the workshop.

RC Laser racer pack ready for dispatch.

Accessories have been very popular too but we are managing to keep up with demand on these as we aim to keep some stock of all our rig bags, transmitter covers, keel bags etc

As well as getting boats ready and shipping out DF accessory orders we’ve also built some sails and shipped them out too. We’ve also been asked recently to build some rigs and bend some sails onto them too. I suppose it’s something we should have been offering for some time, however there is a downside, once built I’m unhappy to put them in to post, they just won’t get to you in the condition that we’d like. So yes, we’ll build you some sails and get them rigged for you but you’ll need to come to Abersoch and collect them. I’m also pleased as it has allowed me to find a use for my old S&S boat, it’s now the rig build boat having been retired last year when I dropped it out of the back of the car and cracked the transom.

S&S back in use !
New Soch Sails & DF95 rigs ready for collection.

Shipping is still a tricky business but the reality is that in the main stuff is arriving at destinations it is however taking a little longer than expected in some cases. When we fulfill an international order we send you the tracking detail and it’s up to you to keep an eye on it. I’d love to keep an eye on it for you but we’re regularly shipping over 60 international orders a month and I just don’t have the time. We have received a few shipments back to our door recently where people have been carded but have not responded or collected the shipment. This is a pain, both for you and for us. Please keep an eye on your tracking!

Other than that all seems well, the big boatyard is quieter now, there aren’t half as many people in the village as there were a few weeks ago and life is once again a little slower. Thanks again for choosing Soch Sails to power your DF Racing yacht, the shop is always open for you to browse. If there’s something you’d like to see us make but it isn’t in the shop then please shout up and we’ll see what we can do for you. Please see pictures of some of our recent sails below.

Soch Sails DF95 A suit
Soch Sails DF65 B suit
Soch Sails DF95 A&B suits
Soch Sails DF65 A plus, A & B suits

Day Off

Workshop closed and phone not answered today. I’ve worked hard recently and am having a day off to spend some time with the fam.

Recent orders will be looked at tomorrow, 3rd September.

I’ve also restocked some items on the shop that were showing as out of stock. Most things are now available once again and the items that aren’t will be ordered from our supplier over the next few days and should be in stock soon.

In other news I’ve been sailing! I took a day trip to Fleetwood on Saturday for “Not the one metre Nationals”. 13 skippers, odd breeze but a whole bucketful of fun. It was great to be back on the water again and it was lovely to catch up with friends I’ve not seen for nearly a year. Having not sailed for 7 months I was stoked to finish the day in 4th spot behind a bunch of Fleetwood regulars.

More Fleetwood action at the end of this month when we are holding “Not the 95 Nationals” with 28 skippers for both days it’ll be another fun weekend of racing.

Just a quick note on shipping times, UK is usually a couple of days. Europe can be 2-4 weeks, USA can be similar but sometimes a little longer to West Coast locations. AUS & NZ can be 10 days plus. It also seems that there are very few scans taking place along the journey so there may be a scan into customs at the destination country but then there may be nothing else until it arrives at the local sorting office. Time wise this could be a week or two where it looks like nothing is happening.

Cheers for now.

Computer Problems

Not sure whether it’s the heat, the fact it’s been so busy or that it’s just a bit old and needs a rest but it seems the big computer has crapped itself and is not working. Hopefully an easy fix but it might slow life down a little over the next few days.

Bother!

Shipping….hmmmmm

A Ship shipping ship shipping shipping ships…..

So we’ve been shipping Soch Sails goodness all over the world now for a good few years and we’ve had a couple of shipping cost increases forced upon us over that time and we’ve had another which came into effect on the 1st July affecting anything we send to the USA with Royal Mail or Parcelforce. As such we have had to make some adjustments to our shipping rates which reflect the added cost of shipping to the USA.

We’ve done a worldwide update which hopefully gives you a more accurate shipping cost for your order. UK prices have had to go up a little too as the cost has increased here a little too since our last scan through the rates. If you live down under or in NZ then you may find your shipping rate has decreased a little as we’ve added more rates rather than a single blanket rate as we had before.

European rates have also increased slightly but again there are more rates added.

Everything that leaves the UK is sent on a tracked and signed for service, or tracked, depending on the availability to that country. At the moment we seem to be having some issues with tracking items with lots of tracking seeming to dead end as it leaves the UK, this can sit as “Leaving the UK” for a few weeks, I guess there is no inward scan at the destination country and it seems rare to have any further tracking until the parcel reaches the local sorting office some weeks later. The reality is that everything we have sent out in the last three months has reached its destination…….eventually.

As I mentioned in my last post we are now sending you an email with your tracking detail on it when we have shipped your order so you can track the shipment to your door. We have had a couple of parcels returned to us recently as there are some issues with carding, or lack of, when you’re not at home for a delivery. Some postal services are no longer leaving cards which is one reason we are sending you the tracking detail.

Remember our shipping rates also include packing and related materials, it’s rare that we have items damaged in transit and we take a lot of care to make sure your sails and accessories make it you you in tip top condition.

Please choose the correct rate for your destination, I think we have most places covered, however if you get to a point in the ordering process where the shop will not offer you a shipping option please get in touch and we’ll sort one.

Thanks for your continued support and we currently see no need to increase our product costs which we think are pretty reasonable for such awesome products!!

Sail fast kids!

WOW!

So I blinked and the boatyard has gone from zero to a million miles an hour in about two weeks. The lads are back, tractors are running boats to the water and back, boats are being fixed, cleaned and made ready for the season and the village has a lot of people in it.

The view from my workshop has changed massively, from an empty yard to a busy bustling scene with happy customers asking how we’ve been and how we are, conversations that should have taken place months ago.

Soch Sails has been just as busy as the yard and June saw us have our busiest month since records began! July is shaping up to be nearly as busy with lots of three and four DF65 and DF95 suit orders coming through the door along with lots of sticker sets, rig bags and accessory orders being shipped around the globe.

Shipping times are still very varied around the world. Europe can be three weeks, USA can be six, but on the flip side ten days and two weeks is also a possibility for these two locations. We’ve also seen a couple of orders returned to us after not being delivered due to carding issues with overseas postal services. With this in mind if you place an overseas order with us you’ll now get a dedicated mail from us with your tracking details on it. Keep an eye on it and you shouldn’t miss your delivery.

I’d love to say we’ve had time to put some new products online but alas time has been in very short supply recently and as a consequence our usual very prompt turnaround on orders is now down to just…..well, prompt. Sail orders are currently running at a week or less with RC Laser stuff being shipped same day if we can.

If I don’t answer a mail in short order it’s not because I don’t love you it’s because I’m trying hard to look after two really quite busy businesses. Luckily there’s no prospect of any racing for me anytime soon so I’m in the workshop six or seven days a week so feel free to call if you have any questions.

Stock wise we have good supply of all RC Laser items, from boats to sails, winches, servos and all the little bits too. Hopefully over the next week or so I can find time to add a couple of new parts to allow us to supply everything you could ever want or need for your RC Laser.

Accessories are usually in stock, we are running low on rig bags but should get some more in manufacture over the next week or so.

So, as usual if there is anything you need then please pop an order through the shop and we’ll get it out to you. If there is something that you want but don’t see listed then please give us a call and we’ll do our best to help out.

In the meantime please find some of our recent work below.

Then there was light!

So after a wasted day yesterday we now have power again. The outage involved digging the road up and was almost a 24 hour turnaround. Credit to the electric board who did a great job.

We’re back at the table with a chunk of orders to plough through. Onward!

Bad Light Stops Play

There is no electricity at work today, fine on a sunny day but not on a grey day. I can get my coffee fix, the beer fridge is warming up and I can’t really see what I’m trying to do.

The phone is down too but we can get emails if you need us. Hopefully we’ll be back in play again before the beer becomes undrinkable…..