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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Marina life and Merry Christmas

The weather here stayed surprisingly warm and fine, and only this week has started to be wintry with temperatures under 20dC. We haven't turned a heater on yet, and the sea water is still 21dC.
All is well with us at the marina, which is said to be the largest in the Med, and one of the largest single marinas in the world having 650 berths, and 1,000 hardstand spaces. They are still expanding and will next year install a new 1,000 tonne travel lift.
There are lots of facilities here, and activities organised – both by the occupants, and the management. Di and I partake in some of them, but not many – we just prefer to do our own thing. Every day there is a vhf radio net advising everybody what’s happening in and around the marina. Most technical services are resident here, and they have to pay the marina operators 15% of their labour charge – of course this means the boat owner pays in the end. Contractors coming into the marina have to pay Lire 30 per person per day, even if only coming in for half an hour. This is a real bone of contention among the cruisers.
There’s not a great deal more to do on Envoy until we come out of the water on Friday. Then our storage cover gets put back on to protect Envoy during the winter months. It’s such a large cover it will take 2 guys most of a day to fit it.
As we’ll only be off Envoy for about 4 months there is nothing like the work involved compared to last time when we left her for an expected 2-3 years.
This will be our last post for 2010: we hope you enjoyed the blog this year and wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Next posting will be 1st week of 2011.
Technical
The parts for the watermaker have not arrived yet – so we’ll have to wait until April. Same situation with the stabilisers. In both cases I know the parts are now coming – they weren’t organised before we arrived back, despite the promises and our regular checking to ensure they were organised.
When Envoy comes out of the water we’re also going to check the rudder movement to see if that’s OK. In any case the rudder stock’s top bearing needs to be removed and checked, and the rubber sleeve replaced, as it has a tear.
Our Yanmar “wing” engine has a PSS dripless shaft seal for which the bellows needs to be replaced every six years or so, and now due. The local engineers suggest to change this system to the Volvo shaft seal system, which they say is more reliable, and for which parts are readily available here, so we’re going to do that. The PSS system has always worried me a bit, because it seems over-complicated, and if the rubber bellows should rip or fail, a considerable amount of sea water can enter the boat in an area which is very difficult to access.