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Barry's Blog # 71 - Much to do… So little time

I'm not going to get into the political issues of Brexit, suffice it to say that the end result, whatever and whenever that may be, could bugger up our initial plans for this summer and next winter.

As of writing this blog (3rd March 2019) it appears that unless a UK registered vessel (A B Sea is UK registered) is already in EU territorial waters by the date that Brexit happens, when it does enter EU waters it will not be recognised as EU VAT paid and will therefore be subject to the rule which states it must either leave EU waters by the end of 18 months or pay VAT again.

The second unknown relates to Aannsha and myself, how long are we personally allowed to be in any one EU country before we have to leave. Currently for the majority of EU countries it is 90 days in any 180 day period whether we use our UK or Australian passports.

Now we're getting to the pointy end of Brexit we are beginning to understand why none EU flagged vessels and passport holders tend to not stick around and fully explore the Mediterranean. We may have to get out of Dodge sooner than we anticipated.

Jobs, jobs and more jobs

We have been making the most of the, finally, decent weather here in Kaş Harbour in Turkey and slowly but surely we're crossing jobs off our 'to do' list and as usual one boat job leads to another.

We installed a strip of LED lights along the starboard side of the saloon back in Spain and had always intended to do the same on the port side along the length of the galley. The trigger that finally made me do it happened the night before as I switched off the starboard LED's before going to bed and the switch broke.

The following morning I got out some tools, a new switch and my soldering iron and had the LED's working again in short order. Now that I had all of the tools out I thought it would be a good opportunity to finally (9 months later) fit the LED's in the galley. That job was a little more involved as I had to drop a couple of ceiling panels to remove the old LED lights and install the switch for the new ones.

After that was done and I was on a roll, it was time to remove the four incandescent reading lights (high power consumption) in the princess suite and install the motion activated LED lights that were previously in the galley. It was a game of musical lights. There were some moments that were annoying and difficult but I'm glad it's all done and it really makes the place look great.

Rust looks ugly

The next big job, that had also been on the list since Spain, was to treat and clean up the rust and rust stains in the windlass/anchor locker at the pointy end.

Step one was to unbolt the windlass from the steel backing plate. Fairly easy with just four nuts and bolts. Then I undid the six nuts and bolts securing the windlass backing plate hoping that I'd be able to completely remove it from the locker to give it a good clean and treat it with a rust inhibitor. Alas that was not to be because it was also secured to the base of the locker with some sort of adhesive.

Working with a wire brush I removed as much of the rust as I could and painted on the rust inhibitor. It was then a 6 hour wait for that to fully dry. During the waiting period I took the opportunity to make a small modification to how our anchor is secured to the swivel. This was when A B Sea decided to make my life difficult. The shackle between the anchor shaft and the swivel closes with a flush fitting Allen key pin and as I was trying to unscrew it the Allen key hole and the Allen key thought it would be a good idea to round out the edges so that the key couldn't get any purchase therefore rendering it impossible to remove the pin. Bugger!

A YouTube search offered up a few 'fixes' but they all required some sort of expensive kit that I was pretty sure the hardware store in town would not stock. Then our super patron Jim came to the rescue with a big battery powered jigsaw which cut through the stainless steel pin in no time at all.

The reason for modifying the way the anchor and chain fit together was that lateral load on the pin of a shackle can cause it to fail and if that happened we'd end up losing our very expensive Mantus anchor. So after requesting advice from our YouTube subscribers the front end set up now looks like this;

Ground tackle

Galvanised shackle to bulkhead

50 metres of rode.

Galvanised shackle.

50 metres of galvanised chain.

Stainless steel swivel.

Stainless steel omega shaped shackle.

4 links of galvanised chain.

Stainless steel omega shaped shackle.

Galvanised anchor shaft.

Mixing stainless steel and galvanised steel is a bad idea because the different metals immersed in saltwater create a battery and then you get galvanic corrosion. But here in Kaş those were the only omega shaped shackles I could find so they'll have to do. As we travel around this year I'll pop my head into various hardware stores and chandlers to see if I can find galvanised omega shackles.

When I'm cleaning windows

While all of this was going on Aannsha took full advantage of the sunny weather and cleaned all 24 windows and hatches of the dreaded black mildew that likes to form on the aluminium frames and locking mechanisms during the wet winter months. That's another important job ticked off the 'to do' list.

The list is long, time is getting short and we're both very eager to get our 2019 sailing season underway. We've got one eye on the weather and the other eye on Brexit. We hope that both of those will be in our favour when departure day rolls around.

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