This elbow has a dodgy neck
Baz spent some time in the bowels of the boat recently, digging out the exhaust elbow from a very sooty engine compartment. When he looked, there was a huge hole in the neck of the elbow (I’m trying to find a joke about a neck in an elbow but have come up blank). Xaris saw the issue and suggested Baz give it to Manolis, the boat yard’s magical mechanic who in his younger years built and flew his own helicopter!
Manolis did a stellar job and made a totally new neck, welding it on so it’s a solid join. The only problem however, is that when we looked at the exhaust elbow after a few days, we noticed that there is liquid still oozing out of the rusty insides. Neither of us wants to use a part that may continue to rust and break down, so after some research, Captain Baz found a place in the north of Evia that may be able to make a new stainless steel one. We’ll have to hire a car to talk to the man, so we’ll hire one for a week and tour some of the island. Every cloud has a silver lining. And Manolis’s work isn’t wasted because we’ll be able to keep the old exhaust elbow as a spare.
Why is the keel wet?
Remember the suspicious wet patch on the keel? Well, we scraped out as much of the sealant between the keel and the hull as we could and it’s dried out nicely.
However, when we went back to check on progress we noticed a wet patch on the starboard side of the keel. On closer inspection is seems to be a dent that’s been patched badly and it’s cracked and water’s weeping out of the crack. Baz opened it up a bit and it has dried out.
The only other issue we can see now the keel’s dried out is there is a watermark on the hull where it joins the keel that’s obviously been wet under the paint.
When people accidentally go aground in their yachts, or hit something with the keel, there’s a possibility of the keel loosening enough from the hull that water can get into the gap. We know how water can creep into tiny spaces and as A B Sea’s been in the sea for two years since we hit the harbour wall when the mooring ball failed, it may be water’s seeped in and things have got soggy.
But how soggy? And have the keel bolts rusted?
If they’ve rusted, the keel could drop off. If that happens, with no weight to counter-balance the mast, the yacht will roll over and possibly sink. We don’t want that. It’s our home and carries all of our possessions.
Should we have lifted the boat out of the water immediately after hitting the rocks? Should we have hauled her out when we were in Kaş last winter? Possibly. Captain Baz doesn’t think so. Whatever your opinion about it, we didn’t and we’re here now with this issue and an amount of damage (if any).
Apparently, one of the best ways to check for salt water ingress and keel rusting is to check the keel bolts. In our model of yacht, the keel is pig iron and it is held in place to the bottom of the hull with at least 8 keel bolts. If you unscrew these – one at a time – you don’t want your keel dropping off – you can see quite easily if there is rusting or wear on the bolts. If there is, it can be treated – easily or otherwise - depending on the amount of corrosion.
Jeanneau doesn’t glass its bolts into the hull, but the previous owner for some reason had. So in order for us to check the state of the keel bolts, we first have to cut the fibreglass away. To do that we need a special tool – an oscillating saw – so we only cut the glass, not the bolts. Do we have one? No, not yet.
We’re getting the dirty, toxic job of sanding back the antifoul on the keel done by one of the guys from the boatyard. He’s done a few in his time here and will do a quicker job than we would. After that, we’ll (read Baz) will sand back the underside of the hull where the watermarked paint is, and also keep going on the keel to see what the filler is doing there.
After all of that, we can make decisions about what needs fixing and how to do it.
Rescuing Baz from the cold
Nikos is a good friend. He and his wife Kaliope drove up from Porto Rafti on the Greek mainland last Sunday with an old (like new) oil filled electric heater (radiator to old English folks) which is now warming up the studio a treat. They came to the rescue after hearing how much Baz suffers from the wintriness (can you believe that’s a real word?). I must admit I’d rather have sub-tropical winters myself too, but the chill doesn’t sap my strength like it does Barry. Poor fellow sat hunched over his laptop in 5 layers of clothing with his feet as close to the tiny fan heater has they could get without blocking the ducts and still he looked as if he was going to cark it (‘cark it’ = Australian slang meaning ‘die’).
When I got up close and personal for a video shot of his feet near the fan heater, I noticed Baz had holes in his socks. Hmm, that wouldn’t help matters.
Tasty Greek treats
Not only did Nikos bring the heater, but he also brought a carrier bag full of oranges from the trees in his garden. And elegant Kaliope, well, I reckon she was the star of the day because she came laden with homemade Greek sweet pastries for us to indulge in during the week. These included a traditional Christmas treat, Melomakarona cookies which are simply delicious. They are almost more like little cakes than biscuits which are dipped in honey and covered with ground walnuts. Kaliope had also made Kourabiedes, which are another Christmas treat very like melt-in-your-mouth almond shortbread, and the heavy dusting of icing sugar on top reminded me of snow. Baz’s favourites were like chocolate coated orange-chocolate truffles. Round balls of chocolaty deliciousness, that had bursts of tangerine peel in every mouthful. Delicious.
Thank you Kaliope.
Buoyed up by goodwill, we all went in their car to Limni where we had a couple of coffees/hot chocolates/beers and a great chat with the aid of my Lonely Planet English/Greek translation book. We also had a good laugh when I tried out the social section from the book, which gives Lonely Travellers handy pickup lines – and very nifty-naughty lines for when the pickup lines are successful … I’m blushing just thinking about it!
After drinks and at the perfect time for a Greek lunch, we headed to the Bella Vista restaurant just up the road from Livaditis Boat Yard our winter home. We enjoyed a very tasty meal, thankfully ordered by Nikos and Kaliope, so we got to taste Greek dishes we wouldn’t even have known to ask for.
The afternoon went quickly and it was fast approaching sundown when Nikos dropped us back at our studio. They wanted to head back to the mainland in time to cross the pass before dark. It had snowed heavily there a few days earlier and they were concerned about black ice if they left it too late. We heard from them later that they arrived home safely.
Meanwhile Baz and I settled down to a good film and a glass of wine. Baz wearing a new pair of thick socks that we’d bought him. So with those on his toes and the oil heater warming up our studio space with ease, we enjoyed a pleasant night-in with good memories and the promise of some tasty Greek treats later on.
… Oh crumbs … As I write this, I’ve just finished dipping the last spicy koulourakia-type sweet spicy biscuit in my coffee. Sigh.
If you want to see the video that accompanies this blog, just click here.