Gael Force’s Top Christmas Gifts

Last Christmas we brought you our top gifts list – this year to save you from tears we are bringing you our top 10 chart-topping nautical and nice gifts to give to someone special.

With just over 5 weeks left until it’s the most wonderful day of the year, the Christmas countdown has well and truly begun!

We’ve created a range of merry little Christmas shops to make your jingle bells rock with inspiration…

Forget Mariah Carey – All you want for Christmas are these…

1. Nauticalia Noughts & Crosses – £12.99

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Did you know that there are 255,168 possible outcomes to a game of Noughts and Crosses? Given that it’s one of the first games you learn, you’ve probably taken a good bash at quite a few of them.

Add some sparkle to this classic game this Christmas and play in 3D with your loved ones! The set comes in naval-style hardwood and brass with a glass-topped compact case.

2. Reeds 2020 Nautical Almanac – RRP £49.99. NOW £36.99 (Save 26%)

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We think this is the ultimate gift bible for ‘anyone who goes to sea’. Reeds Nautical Almanac is the indispensable trusted annual compendium of navigational data for yachtsmen and motorboaters, and provides all the information required to navigate Atlantic coastal waters around the whole of the UK and the entire European coastline from the tip of Denmark to Gibraltar, Northern Morocco, the Azores and Madeira.

This 2020 edition includes 700 harbour chartlets; tide tables and tidal streams; buoyage and lights; 7,500 waypoints; invaluable passage notes; distance tables; radio, weather and safety information; a first-aid section, as well as over 45,000 changes from the last edition! It even comes with a free Marina Guide.

We’ve also got the Eastern and Western almanacs available for 2020.

3. Holebrook Classic Sweater – Black – RRP £136.99. NOW £109.95 (Save 20%)

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What says Christmas more than a Scandinavian classic?

This moss-knitted t-neck sweater with polyester fabric inside of the collar and contrast coloured border is a great addition to your wardrobe and also comes in Navy and Red.

This sweater is guaranteed to keep the sea breeze out with style and class.

4. Nauticalia Storm Cloud – £16.99

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Everyone loves talking about the weather, so we think this gift is a perfect conversation starter…

The story goes that aboard HMS Beagle during the Darwin Expeditions of 1831-36, Captain Robert Fitzroy developed and refined the 18th-century storm bottle.  This involved much testing and observation of crystal formations and resulted in him being able to make a number of weather predictions with a fair(ish) degree of accuracy.

Then, as now, no one is really sure how the storm bottle works. Is it atmospheric pressure, temperature, electrical disturbances…?

You can keep your own records and see if you can confirm or improve upon Fitzroy’s observations.

5. Garmin Striker Plus 4cv Fishfinder with GT20-TM Transducer – RRP £220.00 NOW £189.95 (Save 14%)

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The Garmin STRIKER Plus 4cv fishfinder is the perfect gift for the fisherman or woman in your life. The built-in GPS feature (with CHIRP traditional sonar and CHIRP ClearVu scanning sonar) lets them mark and navigate to waypoints and shows the boat’s speed.

The Quickdraw Contours mapping software creates HD fishing maps of the places they’ve been, storing up to 2 million acres of content with 1-foot contours.

This fishfinder makes fishing a breeze and it’s built to work in any environment. The bright 4.3-inch display and intuitive user interface make it simple to navigate so they are ready for anything on the water.

6. Nauticalia Cribbage Set – £30.99

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Who needs Monopoly when you’ve got Cribbage? For those of you that don’t know, cribbage is a card game traditionally for two players but commonly played with three, four or even more. It involves playing and grouping cards in combinations which gain points.

The hinged lid and base on this set fold out to create the scoring board, which is beautifully made from contrasting strips of light and dark wood, making it a perfect addition to the Christmas games list.

7. Gill Men’s Hybrid Down Jacket – £89.95

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A gift filled with warmth and natural down insulation. Not only does it provide much-needed warmth at this time of year but the outer fabric is also windproof and water-repellent. Even the down itself is hydrophobic water-repellent, meaning bad weather doesn’t stand a chance.

This surprisingly light and effective jacket, also available for women, perfectly combines performance and style making it an essential festive cold-weather outfit.

8. Nauticalia Crab Cushion – £17.49

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This year we have the ideal festive fishy gift – whether you use it as a cushion, pillow, toy or ornament, it’s up to you!  We even have a Shark and Salmon version too.

It’s 25 inches long and is firmly stuffed to give it an authentic shape and appearance. The cushion is made from strong hardwearing polyester with a shiny gloss finish.

It’s also CE tested for toy safety (ages 3 upwards) so you don’t have to worry about that.

Crab it whilst you can!

9. Standard Horizon HX890 Handheld Radio – RRP £233.99 NOW £199.95 (Save 15%)

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Forget about having to try and memorize the owner’s manual – the HX890’s brand new Easy to Operate Menu system makes it one of the most intuitive handheld radios on the market. It also boasts one of the largest displays for its size so there will be no mistaking the information displayed on the screen.

DSC calling, position sharing, waypoint and route navigation, and navigation to DSC distress call can all be performed with just a few simple steps. It also comes with a 3-year waterproof warranty so you know you’re covered!

10. Gael Force Chandlery Gift Vouchers – £10-£50

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Want to save time on Christmas wrapping?  Why not give one of our vouchers as a gift instead.

Vouchers are redeemable over the phone or in-store at our Inverness, Glasgow, and Plymouth branches.

Remember vouchers aren’t just for Christmas – they’re valid for 1 year so there’s plenty of time to use them.


It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas so visit our Christmas shops for more inspiration! We’ve made Christmas easy this year by setting up shops by budget, by ‘who it’s for’ and everything else in between.

Happy shopping!

How Are Gael Force Creels Made?

TRADITIONAL AND ORIGINAL – HIGHLY DISTINCTIVE

Gael Force creels have been developed from designs and principles employed by generations of Scottish shell fishermen working the rock-bound Atlantic coasts of the Outer Hebrides, North West of Scotland which are some of the most challenging waters in the world.

Using this ancient knowledge as a bedrock for modern engineering and manufacturing methods, we have designed a range of creels which can beat the harshest extremes of Atlantic weather to deliver great catching and holding power.

Gael Force creels incorporate a unique frame designed to minimise the number of welded joints needed at stress points. The strength of the steel itself is used to deliver a more efficient end product which doesn’t rely on welding to create strength. A state-of­-the-art computer-controlled production system supports the expertise of the design.

All our creels are hand-finished by traditionally trained craftsmen and subjected to a rigorous individual quality inspection.

The majority of our creels are fitted with a bait bag, which preserves the bait intact for longer, and prevents other predators like seals from stealing it. This keeps the creel fishing for longer. Gael Force bait bags are also very fast to use and allow for greater flexibility in the types of bait used. The net result is greater catches and increased earnings. Fishermen report that Gael Force creels are still full even when uncollected for weeks.

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We make a variety of types of shellfish traps, for crab, lobster, prawn and shrimp, but the most popular, representing 70% of our total output, are the 24″ and 26″ classic soft eye creels. These are constructed from 8mm and 10mm diameter steel, straightened and cut from coils supplied directly from the steel mill.

The extremely robust design has the weight distributed on the base of the frame, giving optimum strength and stability, and ensuring the creels always land the right way up.

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These expertly designed and crafted creels are supported by an extensive range of specialist ropes and hardware to create the most comprehensive product portfolio for static gear fishing available.

Our Quality is still catching…

As the longest established creel manufacturing company in the UK, Gael Force’s priority has always been to provide the best quality for the best value.

Over the years, we have built our reputation for excellence in creels on the principle of listening to and working to meet the demands of our customers. The close relationships we have forged as a result mean that we have been able to respond to market demands with a policy of continual product development and evolution. We have developed the best range of products available to meet the most demanding conditions while simultaneously raising catching power.

This commitment to catching ability, durability, quality materials, workmanship and professionalism underpins our whole manufacturing process and continues to reward shell fishermen everywhere with the catches they work so hard to achieve.

Within the UK market, we lead the field, and professional fishermen trust Gael Force creels because of their proven increased catch rates, durability and traditional high-quality workmanship. A blend of end-user knowledge plus design and manufacturing expertise gives the Gael Force creel range its credibility.

Our creels work. Whether you choose from our comprehensive stock range or use our extensive knowledge and experience to design and develop a trap to the specifications required for your particular fishery, Gael Force provides the solution.

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For more information about our creels, hardware and specialist rope or to place an order, please get in touch with one of our UK Area Sales Managers by visiting this page. Alternatively, call our Sales Desk on 01463 229 400.

Our Best-Selling Fixed VHF Radios This Year

Last year, we sent an email to our subscribers looking at our top 3 best-selling Handheld VHF Radios to recommend to our customers.

This year, we’re looking at Fixed VHF Radios, so without further ado…

What are our best-selling Fixed VHF Radios so far this year?

1. Standard Horizon GX1700E Fixed GPS/DSC Radio. RRP £213.99. NOW £179.95. SAVE 16%.

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Out of the box, the GX1700 is ready to go. DSC calling, position sharing, waypoint navigation, and navigation to DSC distress calls can all be performed with just a few simple steps. Plus, DSC is made easy with internal 12 Channel GPS built into the front panel meaning there is no need to deal with wiring the radio to a GPS for DSC.

The GX1700 is an ITU-R M493 Class D class VHF with a separate Channel 70 receiver, which allows DSC calls to be received even when listening to communications. This model is capable of entering and saving up to 100 waypoints. These waypoints can be selected and navigated to by using a unique navigation compass display with the internal 12 channel WAAS GPS.

The use of Clear Voice Noise Reduction Technology eliminates unwanted background noises like engines and wind during transmission. It ensures transmissions are crystal clear along with dedicated 16/9, H/L keys and channel selection. The GX1700 can also be set to monitor WX channels and provide an audible alert to inform of pending storm advisories.

Find out what our customers have said:

Out of all the radios on the market this one is a cut above the rest in both quality and features. Compact size, clear display even in bright sunlight, Rapid start and satellite aquisiton time with a host of clever features.

My favourite is the way point navigation which is useful as a […] backup in case the plotter packs up. Voice tx and rx both crystal clear and with a good range. Don’t think about it, buy it; you won’t regret it.

Jimmy

If you’re looking for a new radio you won’t go wrong with this one. Easy to install and setup with an impressive range of features. Surely the best value for money radio in this price range.

Michael

If you require private channels to be programmed, please call us on 01463229400 or detail your requirements in the Order Notes section of the checkout process.

2. Icom M330GE Fixed VHF DSC Radio with GPS Receiver. RRP £262.49. NOW £209. SAVE 20%.

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Icom created one of the smallest fixed VHF/DSC radios in the world with the M330GE and its front face that is so compact that it matches the size of a modern smartphone. It was also one of the first Icom fixed marine VHF radios to comply with the maritime ITU standard “ITU-R M493014” which required it to have an external GPS antenna.

The combination of the directional keypad and soft keys provides simple and smooth operation. The most-used functions are assigned to soft keys for quick one-push function access. The newly designed speaker offers distortion-free, dynamic and clear audio, even when it’s at full volume, over a wide bass and treble range.

The radio will also monitor CH 70 continuously, even while you are receiving another channel. DSC functions include distress, individual, group, all ships, urgency, safety, position request/report, polling request and DSC test calls.

The GPS receiver provides your location, bearing and speed by using information from GPS, GLONASS and SBAS. The acquired position information can be used for DSC calls. An external GPS antenna is supplied to maximise coverage.

3. Standard Horizon GX2200E Fixed VHF DSC Radio. RRP £394.49. NOW £339.95. SAVE 14%.

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The Matrix AIS/GPS GX2200 makes AIS simple and easy right out of the box. The GX2200 is the first fixed radio to include built-in receivers for both GPS and AIS.

Remarkably, it can display AIS targets in a radar-style format on the large 1.8 inch LCD screen featured at the front of the radio. This allows the user to not only clearly identify each target from the MMSI information being transmitted, but also to determine its course.

The screen will provide a target’s MMSI number, call sign, ship name, bearing, distance, speed over ground and course over ground. There is also a Closest Point of Approach alarm if a target vessel strays too close.

For quick and precise communication, an automatic DSC call can be made to a specific AIS equipped vessel by simply selecting the target and pressing the call button. Polling is used for vessels that wish to keep abreast of each other’s location, such as a cruising flotilla, or a group of fishing boats.

Find out what our customers have said:

Simple to install, amazingly feature packed, reasonable to operate given number of functions available. With DSC, GPS and AIS all built-in [it] is excellent value for money.

Garry

Having used secondhand radios previously, this Radio is the Bees Knees, as they say. Not used all of its features yet, but simple to add all the detail you want. GPS connects quickly, and the AIS is a real help, especially for a small boat offshore.

Geoff

If you require private channels to be programmed, please call us on 01463229400 or detail your requirements in the Order Notes section of the checkout process.


So which Fixed VHF Radio are you using?

Gael Force Antifouling – Trusted By Our Customers

Since launching our own brand of Gael Force Antifouling over five seasons ago, we continue to receive excellent feedback from a range of boat owners across the UK. It is a copper based, economical (cruising grade) self-eroding antifouling with a proven performance within a wide variety of UK conditions and many European locations.

The antifouling is self-priming when topping up existing (similar copper based) antifoulings; otherwise Gael Force Multi-Purpose Metallic Primer is required before application. We have found it to be most suitable for general sailing and for fresh water.

It is best known for creating less ‘build-up’ than many traditional antifoulings – a revelation to some given the value of this product. It is best suited to GRP, Wood, Steel and Ferro-Cement as well as use on drying moorings. It is not suitable for aluminium or galvanised surfaces.

Find out what our customers have been saying about our antifouling over the years.

Sandy G (14/01/2015):

Hauled the boat out after seven months on a swing mooring and was very impressed with the results of this antifouling – just a thin layer of slime, otherwise clean as a whistle. A quick blast with the jet hose and she’s ready for winter storage. I shall be using this again.

Peter S (21/08/2015):

It has done a very good job this season. No seagrass or other fouling. I cannot see any difference in performance between Gael Force Antifouling and the far more expensive, highly promoted brands.

Web Review (07/03/2018):

Gael Force own brand antifouling did a good job last year and have bought another tin for this year. Had been using far more expensive brand which was not much use, bottom was always bad after 7 months. This paint did much better, less sludge/weed/barnacles and the bottom was a lot easier to clean. So very happy with this product.

Mr Fulton (21/07/2018):

I just wanted to give some positive feedback about your antifouling – this is after 16 months afloat. The barnacles have always been a problem regardless of the antifouling used and I know other boats on the same moorings have the same problem… They really did just fall off. I didn’t have to scrape a single barnacle off they all came away with the pressure washer.

Alongside this fantastic feedback from Mr Fulton, he supplied some great visuals of the effectiveness of our antifouling when the boat first came out of the water and after it had been washed.

He even showed us how the boat looked once the new antifouling had been applied. Isn’t she a beauty?

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Graham (14/12/2018):

I used this three years ago on my Broom 35 European. I use the boat on the Thames, hence fresh water and low hull speeds. I had the boat lifted this year and it was clear that this product had produced good anti foul protection. So I have bought it again.

How to apply it:

  1. Stir well before use.
  2. Apply by roller, brush, or spray.
  3. Ensure surfaces are clean, dry and free from salt.
  4. Apply 2 coats per season with extra around areas of turbulence such as rubber, keel, waterline, and leading edge allowing from 4 to 16 hours between coats dependent on temperature.

Gael Force Antifouling is available at £39.99 for a 2.5-litre tin. Grab yours here.

Special Offer: When you buy one or more tins, you’ll get a roll of long-life masking tape worth £4.99 FREE!

Top Products for Laying Up Your Boat

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. The clocks will soon be going back again, lulling us into a false sense of security with our ‘extra hour’ in bed… It must be that time of year again.

Time to lay up your boat.

But what is “Laying Up”?

Laying up or “winterisation” is the process of preparing your boat to withstand the winter weather. This is an important part of your boat maintenance in order to prevent damage and ensure a smooth, problem-free, and worry-free return to sailing come spring-time.

So, where should you start?

Here at Gael Force, we have a wide range of products for all your boating winterisation requirements but it can be time-consuming to find all the right products for this process.

To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of our top picks for laying up your boat this year:

1. Tetrion Moisture Mate Absorber – £7.49

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The “Moisture Mate” absorber is a simple and safe way to help reduce moisture in the air on your boat. If moisture is left unattended, it can lead to serious problems such as condensation, damp and mildew. This is also a much cheaper alternative to buying a dehumidifier and most effective when placed in the harder to reach places and little nooks and crannies.

2. Polygon Eco Bilge Cleaner Sachets – £10.49

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This bilge wash is an eco-friendly way to clean out the bilges. The polymer powder-filled sachets are water-soluble so they can be pre-dissolved in water or simply added straight to disperse oil and disinfect the bilge.

Everything about it is biodegradable so using this product will reduce the need for the usual plastic containers, helping us do our bit for the environment while making this job easier too.

This product is really handy and versatile as you can also use it to clean the decks, superstructure and hulls. And while you’re doing this, you should also test out of the bilge pumps to ensure they are working as they should!

3. Starbrite Sail & Canvas Cleaner – £10.99

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This handy little product is specially formulated to get rid of dirt, grease, and stains from both natural and synthetic fabrics, including sails, boat covers and bimini tops.

It is easily applied once diluted and the solution does not weaken fabric or thread. It’s the perfect product for ensuring your sail and other fabric on your boat are spotless after a busy season.

You can also follow this up by applying Starbrite’s Waterproofing Treatment to make material watertight and resistant to future soiling, giving you less work to do in the future.

4. Polyform F-Series Fenders – from £16.49

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Fenders are important for taking the hit in bad weather so your boat doesn’t have to because they absorb the kinetic energy of your boat berthing against a jetty and prevent damage to vessels and berthing structures.

This is especially relevant with the stormy conditions we’ve been hit with recently and will stand you in good stead while your boat is unattended over the next 6 months for any other storms forecast.

These heavy-duty fenders come in a range of sizes to suit your vessel and have high abrasive resistance and energy absorption. They’re also tested in temperatures ranging from -30 degrees to +60 degrees Celsius so you know they’ll withstand all weathers.

5. Starbrite Non-Toxic Premium Anti-Freeze – £10.49

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Starbrite’s anti-freeze is the perfect solution to provide cold weather and corrosion protection for your water systems and engines, preventing them from freezing up while in storage.

It is safe and effective to use on aluminium, copper, brass, and all types of plastic without compromising rubber, seals, or hose materials. It is an incredibly versatile and useful product!

This anti-freeze provides burst protection to -46 degrees Celsius and freeze protection ranging from -11 degrees to -9 degrees Celsius. And even better, it’s ready to use immediately – no dilution required!

6. CT1 Unique Sealant & Construction Adhesive – From £12.99

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Be careful not to let any gradual gaps or flaking old sealant to fester over the winter period – some might say it’s cheaper to deal with the problem now rather than let it deteriorate.

You’re in luck though! CT1 Sealant is a unique all-purpose adhesive that can be used in most applications without the need for any additional fixings. It can successfully bond metal, glass, wood, polystyrene, mirrors, and almost any material, making it a must-have for this time of year for any boat maintenance needs.

It is resistant to chemicals, UV, and fungal growth while maintaining environmental compliance. It can be painted, does not shrink and is odourless. Most importantly, it works in wet or dry conditions.

7. OML Small Outboard Motor Slot Lock – £44.99

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Don’t leave your outboard open to theft over extended unattended periods of time! Made from brass, this slot lock contains a number of improvements learned from manufacturers work with Honda to create their Honda lock. The OML Small Slot Lock is a single unit using a seawater friendly Alko lock. It is suitable for Suzuki 2.5hp and Honda 2.3hp outboard engines only.

Other OML Engine Locks are available on the website.

8. Gael Force Mooring Compensator – from £10.99

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Also known as “rubber snubbers”, this mooring compensator is designed for use on small boats and can be used with up to 15mm rope. Rubber snubbers reduce boat movement at a mooring or on a marina berth.

It is sturdy, constructed from natural rubber, and resilient to sea-water, sunlight, and weather, meaning it’ll take the strain in bad weather conditions and you won’t have to worry about it when it’s docked for the winter, just like your fenders.

Also available in two other sizes.

9. Hylite Slimline Tube Heater with Thermostat – from £26.95

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Hylite’s Tube Heater is a great addition to your boat to ensure good air circulation in enclosed spaces and assists with preventing condensation and dampness. This choice is low power at 240v and slimline with an energy-saving thermostat which can be left on the boat.

It can be fitted using the brackets provided, either by mounting them on the wall or on the floor. It is fitted with a UK plug and IP44 rated for water resistance. Available in 3 sizes: 0.5m, 1.0m and 1.5m with a 1.5-metre long cable.

Protect your tube heater with Hylite’s Heater Guard.

10. Jabsco Twist N Lock Toilet (Compact Bowl) – £139.95

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Depending on when you prefer to kit out your boat, this might just be the perfect time to replace your toilet. The ‘Twist n Lock’ toilet from Jabsco is our best-selling toilet so it won’t leave you wanting for quality.

The white vitreous china bowl and enamelled wooden seat and cover lend themselves to the twist n lock function which is an action handle to seal down the toilet seat and protect against symphonic flooding and waste backflow.

It has also been designed for easy left or right-handed installation and with easy access for maintenance. So, if it’s time for you to upgrade, this is the toilet you want!


For a further list of products suitable for this process, visit our “Laying Up Your Boat” shop.