Friday, 11 November 2016

What's happened in the past 2 years

A lot and not much at the same time. I am now on my third boat. But still have the one I bought in Greece. So I'm the owner of two boats in two countries. My friends call me a shipping magnate. I am anything but. I'm not even wealthy - I just can't resist a nice boat ad..

So let me re-cap. Last time (2.5 years ago..) I wrote that I bought a boat. As you probably realise, it was definitely not a bargain. So let me tell you about it, whatever I remember that is, seeing as that was more than two years ago.

Moody Magic, the Moody 33 MK1 I acquired in 2014 was moored in Vlicho Bay in Lefkas Greece. I first met her face to face at what is known as "Maria's Boatyard". Actually, for those of you interested, Maria is not the owner of that boatyard, she just works there..

Anyway. My first impression was that Moody Magic was in a fair-to-poor condition overall. The deck paint was old and fading, interior was not fantastic, mainsail poor, genoa OK but need some repairs. Pushpit & pullpit bent.. Engine.. err, it worked. But water pump was somehow misaligned so needed repair, which was done.

The boat was in the water, I had the bottom scraped by a pro diver. So I was ready to go.

That summer, was quite nice actually. We cruised with family & friends between Lefkas, Meganisi and Kalamos, Mytikas. Accommodation aboard was not great. The toilet was not working and we also had a small water leak. But it was OK for a few days.

The mast steps proved very useful as I has to climb a few times to recover the genoa halyard. The shackle on the top bit of the furling gear was the wrong type which caused the genoa to drop on the deck a couple of times. The sailing wasn't that great mainly due to the poor condition of the main.

In any case, I thought, it's not a great boat but at least it's good enough for some summer cruising in Greece. I had a new mainsail made by Quantum Sails and the genoa sac strip replaced.

In 2015 I was excited to try my new sails. As I was driving to Lefkas, I got a call from the person looking after the boat saying "you're not going anywhere". I asked "why"? He said that my engine was seized.. That took a while to sink in.

When I visited the boat she was in a very sorry state. Not just the engine.. Everything was covered in mould and some rot in critical places.. My Ting-a-Ling days flashed before my eyes. Not again. There was even some damage to the hull as if something scraped across the hull with force.

I desperately tried to find an engineer to repair the engine but it wasn't meant to be. After a couple of months, it was removed and repairs started.

Apparently, water had entered the cylinders via the heat exchanger. Repairs were carried out and I received images of a the shiny new-looking Thronycroft T90 around June 2016. The paint job they'd done on it was amazing.

I also changed the engine mounts - these were very dear and very difficult to source. Also added a flexible coupling as the old one was shot. 

Despite the fact that the engine was ready, the engineers only managed to install it back on the boat just one week before I arrived. But I didn't mind.. At least this year I was sailing, with a fully refurbished engine, new sails, new thru hull fittings etc. Exciting times!

Alas, once again I received a call. This time I wasn't told "you're going nowhere". They cut to the point: "the engine is seized". 

I almost started laughing. Ha, that's good one. The engine wouldn't start and people started blaming each other. Long story short, the heat exchanger was faulty and the engineer did not spot it. That had caused water to creep into the cylinders once again during the test runs which were done several months before. 

It is now Nov 2016. I just received a video of the engine working again having reconditioned everything once again and installed a new Bowman combined heat exchanger and tank.

Next Time: my exploits in the UK and how I ended up with another boat