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Barry's Blog #172 - Which would you choose?

Updated: Apr 3, 2021

Boat jobs come in several flavours. Small, medium or big. Cheap, affordable or expensive. They also have a sliding scale of boat life disruption, especially when you're full time liveaboards.

The 30 year old engine

Our friends Mike and Elaine, who you might remember from episodes #035 to #043 when they helped us sail from Spain to Turkey in 2018, recently decided that it was time for their 30 year old engine to be completely reconditioned.

For the last 11 years, among other things, they'd been managing a small annoying oil leak which meant regular cleaning of the engine bay bilge and regular oil top ups. Also they had no idea how many hours were on the engine because the LCD engine hour counter was broken when they bought the boat.

Their yacht is a 1991 Beneteau First 45F5 with a Perkins Prima M50 engine and the reconditioning process required the engine to be taken out of the boat. This job definitely fell into the big, expensive and very disruptive category.

Mike got a price from a business in Fethiye, which is an hour and a half drive to the north west of Kaş. They quoted 7,000 Euros (AU$10,750) and a turnaround time of 2 to 3 weeks. Mike also got a price from our local Kaş mechanic/engineer Aydin, which was 4,500 Euro (AU$6,920), his turnaround time was a very loose 5 to 6 weeks.

It was winter so Mike wasn't planning on taking his boat out sailing, which meant he had time on his hands. The 30 year old Perkins engine, with no computer controlled electronics, was what Aydin had cut his teeth on as a young man and the price difference was very appealing. Getting the job done locally also meant that Mike could keep an eye on progress and handle any decisions straight away.

Aydin got the job.

Big engine, small hole

When yachts are built everything that's inside is put into place before the deck is put on which makes life a lot easier for the people doing the work. Once the hull and the deck are glued and screwed together the only way to get an engine out is through the companionway.

On the 10th of December 2020 a local driver with a big crane on the back of his truck came to the haul out slip at Kaş marina and Aydin and Mike prepared the engine for lift out. It wasn't the perfect day for doing the job as it was cold and raining but after a couple of hours the engine was successfully, and relatively easily, lifted up and out of the boat without incident.

With the engine out Mike took the opportunity to renew the engine bay soundproofing and have all of the engine cables and wires replaced.

Fast forward 10 weeks and 5 days to the 23rd of February 2021 and the engine was finally rebuilt, painted a nice blue colour and craned back into the boat.

I've heard the engine running, it sounds sweet. Mike is super happy that the job has been done even though it took twice as long as expected. Elaine is happy that their home can finally be put back into a liveable condition. An Aydin gets another tick of approval from the sailing community in Kaş.

Saklikent and Gizlikent

We really enjoy exploring Turkey and while we had the hire car in January we visited the very well known Saklikent gorge and the not so well known Gizlikent waterfall.

Roughly translated Saklikent means 'hidden city' and Gizlikent means 'secret city'. Neither have a city, but they do have lots of water and are a great place to spend a day.

We visited in the winter when we were, once again, the only tourists in town. In the summer months both places are filled with couples and families eager to put a bit of adventure into their lives.

The people who manage Gizlikent have done a great job of making the place more than just the waterfall. There are large, but cute, tree platforms where you can sit and enjoy food and drinks while you watch people go by below. If you're feeling adventurous you can try the super fast zip line. There's a small pool for escaping the summer heat, play areas for small children and there are shops with a wide array of items on sale.

The climb down the steps to the water at Gizlikent is easily doable, but make sure that you're wearing shoes that you don't mind getting wet and that have good grip. Once you're at the bottom it's a 300 meter (984 feet) wade through knee deep water to get to the waterfall.

Saklikent is totally different. At 18km (11 miles) long and 300m (984 feet) deep it is one of the deepest canyons in the world. The walk through Saklikent is not recommended for small children or people with limited mobility because it involves scrambling over large rocks, also wear clothes that you don't mind getting wet and if possible take a dry bag for items like cameras.

The water flowing out of Saklikent gorge is a combination of snow melt from the Taurus Mountains and a large upwelling of spring water from below the rocks. Around 4km of the gorge is usually walkable. Sensible submersible shoes with good grip are essential as the stones beneath the water can be quite slippy.

For the more adventurous type, you can decide to exit the gorge on a ring raft. The large inflatable rings have handles and a paddle and after a quick lesson by your guide you sit on the ring raft and enjoy the 30-40 minute ride back to the gorge entrance.

The current can be quite strong even though the water is only about knee height, but you are accompanied by an experienced guide along the way.

The conundrum is that on the one hand if you visit either site in the winter you can have the place to yourself but the water is too cold to comfortably wade in. On the other hand if you visit in the summer the water is a cool and a refreshing break from the fierce heat of the day, but you'll have to share your adventure with hundreds of other visitors.

Into 2021

As I write this blog we are just days away from departing Kaş marina to begin heading up and along the Turkish coast. This will be our 3rd planned departure date for this trip. The setbacks have been due to the weather. Mostly strong winds blowing from the wrong direction, days of rain and very cold temperatures. We've spent our delay time looking at areas to visit, suitable anchorages and sites to explore.

Boat life… It's all about choices.

To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.


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