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Tuesday, February 26, 2013


We returned to Envoy in Marmaris last April and spent longer than expected (five weeks) getting Envoy into cruising trim. Normally we’d expect to be ready to cruise in two to three weeks, and the main issues we had were awaiting the arrival of new batteries, repairs to the water maker and removing a failed generator from the wing engine after finding it not repairable.
Leaving Turkey we cruised to the Greek island of Symi, then west across the Aegean Sea stopping at the islands of Tilos, Astypalea, Anifi, Santorini, Ios, Amorgos, Skhinousa, Naxos, Paros, Folegandros, Kimolos and Serifos. Then we cruised around the Greek mainland area known as Peloponnisos, including Kithera Island, to the Ioian Islands of Kefalonia, Ithica, Lefkada, Meganisi, Corfu, Paxos and some adjacent Greek mainland areas. We left Envoy at Lefkas marina in mid October having cruised 1,743nm. This was our fourth year cruising the Med totaling 9,326nm.
We arrive back in Lefkas on 28 March and expect to spend about three weeks preparing Envoy. Quite a lot of maintenance was to be done while we’ve been away, and we hope to repair the leaking starboard forward diesel tank before we depart, although this is not critical.
This year we plan to spend the first few weeks in the Ionian Islands then in May cruise north to Albania, Montenegro and Croatia before returning to the Greek Ionian Islands around September as the weather gets cooler in the north. Once again we’ll leave Envoy at Lefkas marina for the winter, and return to New Zealand 20 November giving us a cruising season of over eight months. There’s a huge amount to see in Croatia with something like 1,000 islands dotted along the coastline, and many cruisers tell us that Croatia offers by far the best cruising territory in the Med. Consequently we expect to spend much of next year, 2014, also around Croatia.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Next post will focus on Envoy's cruising plans for 2013.
Well-known and respected marine technical author Steve D’Antonio reviewed the last two posts re seacocks and added the following additional information.
Ideally, any seacocks obtained in the US should comply with ABYC H-27, which in turn requires compliance with ANSI/UL 1121. Be careful, however, just because a valve says "UL" on it, does not mean that it is UL 1121, the latter being the designation for "SEA VALVES" and not simply any ordinary valve.
In Europe, because of a spate of corrosion related valve failures, a standard has been established that calls for valves made of the appropriate alloy to be embossed with the letters DZR, which stands for 'dezincification resistant'. Look for this on any metallic valve or seacock used with raw water and offered in the EU.
Among the most common defects related to seacock installation is the use of non-compatible threads. Common through hull or skin fittings rely on straight, parallel or NPS threads, while most common in-line valves utilise tapered, cone-shaped or NPT threads. While the two can be forced together, they typically seize after just two revolutions, offering very little engagement. While it seems obvious that one would not make such a union between to clearly incompatible threads, it's done on a regular basis by boat builders, boat yards and do-it-yourselfers. I encounter it constantly, and the practice is often vehemently defended by those who practice it; rest assured, it violates the most basic principles of engineering as well as ABYC guidelines and those of many manufacturers. True seacocks on the other hand, utilize NPS or straight threads that are designed to properly engage those of through hull fittings.