Boat Repairs In Exotic Places

Anyone with a boat knows that it’s not all jumping off the back into aquamarine-coloured water followed by a cold G&T as the sun sets. It’s also about lots of things breaking and trying to find obscure boat parts in the middle of nowhere. And this season we’ve had our fair share.

In our first month at Nsiros in the Dodecanese Andy noticed lots of water in the engine compartment. It turned out to be our heat exchanger. The filler cap had rusted through and was hanging off. Advice from various sources agreed it could not be welded and we started looking for another. A Greek friend, Haris, who runs the maintenance of a charter company, found us a second-hand one (€700 as opposed to €1900 brand new) and sent it by ferry from Piraeus to Nsiros. In the meantime the owner of the car hire company, George, who used to be a mechanic in New York, had taken our old one away and brazed it so in fact we now have a spare regulator.

Andy collecting the prized heat regulator.

Our next problem was a leaking dinghy. We had bought a new one in Turkey last year but, trying to save some money, bought a Chinese one. This year it’s already leaking and the rollocks had fallen off! We found someone to repair it but he said there were no actual holes, rather the seams were all leaking. Too difficult to glue. A phone call to Turkey found it wasn’t under guarantee outside of Turkey and we would have to send it back. Too difficult so it is now by the bins on Methana. Help yourselves.

We’d rather hoped that we would have a trouble-free last few weeks of our season and headed off to the Saronic with a plan to go down to Monemvasia and work our way back up. On our entrance to Porto Cheli the engine suddenly changed its tone and smoke started billowing out of the engine compartment. I actually squealed with fear thinking we were on fire but Andy, fairly calmly, inspected the engine and pronounced the water pump seized. Somewhere in the past he had read that it would be ok to motor at 900 revs without doing further damage so we limped into town and tied up against the town quay. Another week of waiting, firstly for our friend to send the wrong pump from Piraeus, then for a local engineer to order a brand new Volvo fresh water pump from Athens and have it couriered to us. €650.

No 2 in the series ‘Ferry Deliveries’.

Having had an enforced stay in Porto Cheli, we decided to abandon our plans to go to Monemvasia and come back to Poros and spend our last couple of weeks anchored in some of the bays and visiting some of the places we haven’t been to round here. Motoring over to Poros this morning the boat suddenly started shuddering and lost power! What could it be this time? Andy was pretty sure it was something round the prop and put it into reverse. Somewhere in the past he’d read that if you got something round your prop you could sometimes get rid of it by reversing. The juddering stopped and we were able to get to Poros, albeit slightly slower, and anchor in Navy Bay.

As the swimmer between us it was now my job to hop over the side and inspect the propellor. Sure enough a load of plastic was wrapped round it.

And just in case you were still thinking it was all fun, it’s now raining!

The beer’s cold though! Yammas 🍻


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