When we were kitting out A B Sea in Spain 2018, one of the first things we replaced was the anchor. The anchor that came with the boat was quite small and as we planned on living at anchor most of the time we wanted one that would dig in and hold under high wind conditions and we could sleep soundly.
We did a lot of online research and decided on a Mantus anchor, one of the many next generation anchors fast gaining wide acceptance in the boating world. On the Mantus website they have a chart where you find the length of your boat, then decide what sort of wind conditions you may be anchored in and that tells you the size of anchor you need. We fell right in the middle of two anchor sizes. Erring on the side of caution we bought the bigger sized anchor weighing 38 kilos (84lbs).
Since we first cast off the lines our anchor and chain (ground tackle) have been thoroughly tested under many wind and wave scenarios. We even had one viewer, who is into mathematical calculations, figure out that theoretically our ground tackle, if fully deployed and dug in properly, would hold us in winds up to 80 knots (148km/h - 92mph). We don't ever want to get into a situation where we have to test that theory.
Anchor vs marina
To stretch our budget as far as possible we decided from the onset that the only times we'd go into a marina would be for repairs or to hide from really bad storms. And we adhered to that decision for 2 years. Then several things coincided that forced our hand into taking a marina contract.
Firstly Covid came along and restricted movement from country to country and shut down entry or exit in an unpredictable manner. Brexit was also about to happen which would put further restrictions on our movement through the Mediterranean Sea countries and our Aussie dollar was getting battered by the exchange rate with the Euro.
An executive decision was made and we sailed back across the border between Greece and Turkey as soon as travel restrictions were lifted. Once in Turkey we instantly had a much more favourable exchange rate for our Aussie dollar and we knew that we could organise a 12 month temporary residency that would allow time to pass and we could see exactly what the consequences of Brexit and Covid would be in the long run.
We chose to be based in Kaş marina because we have a lot of friends there, Kaş is a beautiful attractive town and it stays open and functions right through the winter.
We chose the Setur marina chain because they have nine other marinas in the group and our 12 month contract allows us up to 30 days free stay at all of the other marinas.
To the east from Kaş there is Finike and Antalya marinas. To the north from Kaş there is Marmaris, Kuşadasi, Çeşme, Ayvalik, Yalova marinas and the Kalamiş & Fenerbahçe marina which is near to Istanbul.
With so many protected anchorages and the Setur marinas available to us along the Turkish coast, winter sailing is very doable. Generally the fierce winter storms in this part of the Med are in January and February and even they can be worked around.
We go into full details about the marina costs and benefits in this week's video and we also have a chat about the pros and cons of living life at anchor compared to living life in a marina. There's no definitive conclusion as to which is best and the upshot is that I lean more towards living at anchor and whilst Aannsha loves anchor life too, she also appreciates the luxuries of marina life.
Living life on a boat we are always planning ahead. In August and September while we were experiencing hot (37C - 98.5F), windless days tied up in the marina, my thoughts were already planning for our third winter living aboard. Primarily I was thinking about heating the boat. Some yachts have ducted hot air blown through from a small diesel burning heater. Others have electric fan or electric bar heaters. I was thinking of a different solution which had been prompted by our friend Nikos lending us a 2,000 watt oil filled electric heater during our previous winter in Greece. The 2,000 watt heater, even at the lowest setting, actually made the interior of A B Sea a bit too warm. A quick search on the Interwebs showed us that 500 watt units were available and they were a much more convenient size for storing on board when not in use. A mission was born. It began with me hiking around the many electrical stores in Kaş town. Some of the stores sold the oil filled electric heaters but unfortunately they were all in the 2,000 watt range.
Later in the marina I was talking with Kev about my failed mission and he mentioned that he was also looking for some sort of winter heating solution. He said that he'd be hiring a car the following week and we'd probably have more success in finding what we needed in a bigger town. A mission to Marmaris was born.
It's a 3 hour drive from Kaş to Marmaris, but it's an easy drive on very modern and wide roads. We arrived at 10:00 hrs just as the first of the stores we planned to visit were opening their doors.
No trip to Marmaris would be complete without a visit to the two streets packed wall to wall with yacht chandlers. So in between visiting electrical stores we also spent far too much time and money buying boat bits. At the end of the day we had to admit defeat on sourcing a 500 watt oil filled heater, but we did have a nice haul of shiny boat bits.
There is a happy ending to the search for our winter heating solution and I'll tell you all about that in a future blog.
To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.