Ron Stark chocs up a successful means of hoisting a black ball day signal for a vessel at anchor

Sailing on the East Coast means many a visit up the creek to put on the kettle or to have a spot of lunch at anchor, so I needed a black ball day signal.

As luck would have it, a famous Swiss chocolatier was promoting its sweets in a clear plastic ball, joined in two halves and wrapped as a giant version of the sweet. Having bought one of these, I painted both halves of the ball black inside and out, drilled holes top and bottom and glued pairs of plastic roof washers inside and out to strengthen the hole.

A long coach bolt was inserted right through, and I’ve ground the bottom of one side of the bolt flat and drilled it for a split ring and dog clip. The whole ball can be disassembled to its component parts and stored in the seat locker. The anchor ball works well and does not spin in the wind.


The only downside to the construction is that you have to eat the chocolates first!


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