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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Leaving Marmaris Tues 1 June

Yesterday the carpenters finished putting the Guest Cabin back together. Diane & I just have to varnish the cabin sole. The watermaker is not going to be fixed any time soon as parts need to come ex USA (ouch!) Very few boats have watermakers and they all manage just fine, as you can get water for little cost at most ports and villages. We've bought 8x30L jerry cans giving us an extra 240L of water capacity plus the ability to move large volumes of water by dinghy, so we'll cruise without making water for a few weeks. We're going to leave the marina on Tues and put a few hours on the engine cruising in the immediate vicinity for a few days. We plan to arrive Rhodos next weekend (in fact its only about 25miles from here)to meet our first guests - Brian & Carol on Mon 7 June.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

NEARLY READY TO LEAVE MARMARIS

Amy’s visit at short notice was really great, and it was not so sad seeing her off at Dalaman airport knowing we’re in the same hemisphere and will see her again soon. We hired a car to collect Amy and then take her back to the airport. Quite a good rate at about $55/day, but petrol here is outrageous at nearly $3 per litre – so we can understand why taxis are expensive.
Apart from enjoying Amy’s visit we haven’t done much except focus on getting Envoy ready to depart, although a few days ago we had a bit of excitement as there was quite a large bushfire on the hillside across the bay from the marina. The response appeared to be pretty good including a large helo with a monsoon bucket, but it took a couple of hours to bring under control.
We bought a SIM card for our Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G/GPRS plug-in. Quite involved as you have to show your passport and fill out copious forms. Cost is about $42 for 1 Gb. I wanted to buy 2 Gb, but was told you are only allowed to purchase 1 Gb in a month. Anyway – no luck with connecting to the internet, so back we go to the Vodafone shop. They then tell us the Mobile Connect card is obsolete and replaced by a Mobile Broadband USB stick – why the heck didn’t they tell us that in the first place instead of plugging our new SIM card into the obsolete bit? Anyway, the folks at Vodafone were helpful and now all working well.
The new s/s water tanks were completed and installed last Thursday. Now the new (removable) decks are in place and the Guest Cabin is nearly rebuilt, and then the aircon can be reinstalled. Having the water tanks in has enabled us to reconnect the cold and hot water supply, and last week we had our first on-board showers – no more need to go to the communal marina showers. The toilets are working fine except that the for’ard Vacuflush toilet’s vacuum pump comes on quite a lot – indicating there is some vacuum loss in the system somewhere. Tightened all the hose clips but no improvement, but its working and we’re going to leave it that way for time being and maybe it will settle down. In case it doesn’t settle down we’re going to put a separate on/off switch in the head so that this toilet can be switched on only when needing to be used.
The watermaker filters were all changed and the unit tested yesterday. Running OK but there is a water leak from one of the tubes – too large to ignore. So the unit has been pulled out of the boat and taken to the local agent’s workshop to change the 0-rings. They don’t seem to think this should be a problem so here’s hoping.
A new “challenge” has emerged. The Naiad hydraulic stabilizers had their seals replaced while we were on the hard – quite an involved and difficult job, but all went OK. The servicemen couldn’t test the system until we were in the water, so Monday last week they arrived to do this, and we found two problems. The first was easily resolved – a crack in a weld on the steel plate holding the Vickers hydraulic pump to the engine. The plate was taken away, repaired and re-fitted. The second problem is not so easy – the electronic controls are “dead”. The local Naiad agent’s electricians have spent some hours on this and have managed to restore the 24v power supply, but they struggled to find why the actual control system does not power up and got help from Naiad USA. It seems we need a new power board for the electronics. The hydraulic stabilizers are a nice-to-have, rather than essential equipment; in 2007 we spent two months cruising without them using our alternate paravane stabilizers when necessary. Many Nordhavns only have the paravane stabilizers, and have cruised extensively with just them, so it’s not an issue and we’re likely to depart without the stabilizers and get them fixed later when the parts are here.
The reconditioning of our large inflatable is completed and looks great. Our small inflatable is fine, except the Honda 2.5 o/b wouldn’t start. This has now also been fixed. So fingers crossed, things are coming together for us to depart Marmaris early to mid next week – the watermaker is “mission critical” so hopefully all will shortly be OK with that – watch this space!

Friday, May 14, 2010

FINALLY IN THE WATER

Our daughter Amy is here with us for a few days enjoying the very nice spell of weather - we’re having; very sunny and temperature in the low 30s. We all had our first swim at the beach by the marina, and the water is already 22dC. Amy returns to London on Friday evening and starts her new job next week. Yesterday was finally launching day, after 28 months out of the water. Apart from being more comfortable living aboard Envoy in the water, this is important because all sea cocks have been removed, serviced and re-sealed in place, and we needed to ensure there were no leaks. Better that we find any now, with time on our hands. In fact there were only a couple of minor leaks from hoses which were solved by tightening the hose clamps. The Yanmar “Wing engine” is also leaking a very small amount of water through the dripless prop shaft seal. Demir say this is easy enough to resolve and will do so in the next day or two. After launching Demir bled the fuel lines and we started all three engines; Lugger main. Yanmar wing and Northern Lights genset. All started and ran fine and are charging, both AC & DC. It was great to helm Envoy from the haul out area to our berth, even though just a few hundred metres. During the next few days I’ll be checking out the watermaker, aircon, and other equipment which needs sea water cooling, and go for a sea trial to check the stabilizers.
In other areas we’ve also made excellent progress. Cutting and polishing is all complete, with Envoy looking very pristine – the best she’s looked since we bought her. Demir Marine used electric polishers on the hull, but the topsides were done by hand and I assisted with this. Pretty hard work and those guys earn their bucks.
Was good experience for me to learn about the correct application of cutting compound and polish. The engine room fire suppression system has been checked and certified, along with our seven portable extinguishers, that all needed the dry powder replaced. The new water tanks are being made and should be ready by about 19th. It will then take several days to install them and get the guest cabin furniture and deck replaced. We also bought two second hand folding bikes – these are “Genius” by Mobiky and great, weighing only 13kg each and folding up small enough to go into bags which we store below decks. They are aluminium, and have chains that don’t require greasing, so are very clean. We’re finally reaching the stage where most jobs on “the list” are completed and if not for the water tanks needing replacement, we would have been able to leave Marmaris within a few days.
Several months ago I was contacted by Herb Fava. He had come across our blog and wanted to bounce some ideas off me about buying a boat in the Med. Herb has contacted me again advising he has now bought a 74ft Fairline Squadron in Spain and will shortly start his cruise. Check out www.barefootinthemed.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Good Progress

Today the two freshwater tanks were removed after four days solid work. First an electrician removed the forward aircon that sits on top of the port tank, then a carpenter dismantled the guest double berth, and the settee and pulled up the floor (a major job which involved totally smashing up the previous floor). Two engineers and two laborers came and pulled the tanks out after much wrenching with crowbars. The tanks just fitted down the passageways with a few mm to spare, but I must say the guys were very good – they taped bubble wrap over all of the bulkheads so that no timber would be damaged as the tanks were carried out. The carpenter is a real pro, and has a great sense of humor. I asked him if he will be able to remember how everything goes back together, and he replied “I hope so”. Tomorrow we have a meeting with Demir Marine to discuss the making of new tanks (the old ones are rusty and beyond repair). They estimate one week to make and install the two tanks (from 316 stainless), and then one week to re-build the guest cabin. The floor in the guest cabin was a teak strip veneer over thick plywood. No way we’re going to be able to replicate the teak veneer, so we’ll go for varnished plywood with carpet. Meanwhile everything is finished in the engine room. All filters changed, three engines checked and several suspect water hoses replaced, water pump impellers replaced etc. Actually about 30 different jobs completed down there and nothing more to be done until we hit the water, and see if the engines start! Also the work on the hull and topsides has been progressing well. The cutting and polishing is almost complete and looks great – the gelcoat was dull and chalky, but now high gloss and you need your sunglasses on to look at it. We’ve pulled off the stainless steel rubbing strips as there was rust behind them, leaching down onto the gelcoat. The strips are being polished, the old sealant has been removed, the gelcoat underneath the stainless strips cleaned, and the strips will be re-fitted with new screws and sealant. Sounds easy but so far two very good professionals working for 7 days and two to go to finish. We’re now going to try and get Envoy in the water earlier than May 17, so that we can test the three engines, the watermaker etc. The new freshwater tanks can be fitted just as easily in the water. So, in summary good progress and the end is now in sight, barring any unforeseen problems when we go in the water. Di and I celebrated my 60th birthday on the weekend with drinks and dinner in Marmaris.