Finally launched

29 December 2020 – Finally Launched – Alanya Marina Turkey

Its almost the end of the year. As I’ve done many times before, I’m posting a year end snap shot of our travels. In 2020, we broke free from Cochin India, sailing by and stopping at Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan and Egypt – and stopping at Alanya Marina Turkey. This was a total of about 3980nm. 

We have been “on the hard” for nearly four months, and we have finally finished all the painting work and yesterday – launched JOANA.

The sandblasting contractor tried his best not to damage the white boot stripe, but in the end I decided to give him a contract to sand and spray that single white stripe. Of course, while he was working on this, we gave in and decided to repaint the hull (above the waterline to the deck) as well. The hull was last painted in December 2017 in Pangkor Malaysia with Jotun Hardtop XP polyurethane (colour AWL Grip – Jade Mist Green) – but we had lots of bumps and scratches from local fishing boats over the past 3 years. This time, we wanted a glossier finish so we paid “top dollar” for Jotun Mega-gloss polyurethane, and again went with the same colour. Here, the contractor is mid-way through sanding and washing the “green”.

He continued to sand, spray primer, sand/fill and spray more primer.

Then he sprayed 4 coats of the final glossy paint.We were very impressed with the end result. 

After the contractor finished sandblasting and spraying the bottom with epoxy (4 coats), a few weeks ago – Diane and I carried on with 6 rolled coats of the same epoxy, giving the bottom at least 600 mils of Jotun Universal epoxy paint. This was going on in the gaps when the contractor was painting the grey/green hull. Next for us was 4 rolled coats of Coppercoat, together with our friends Pam and Eric (Pied-a-Mer III) on the same day. This is the same antifouling paint we have been using since September 2008.

Diane and I put some new vinyl letters on, and presto, JOANA was looking like new again. 

We even adjusted the painted booted stripe, lowering it a bit (maybe 6”) at the bow, and raising it a bit at the stern (maybe 4”) in ordering to make the boat look a little more “balanced” in the water. We borrowed a laser level from another boater, and laid the red LED line at night. 

I found time to replace the 1500W element in the water heater with a dual element: 500W AC and 300W DC. 

My theory is that when there is excess solar energy (in the summer), this can be diverted to make hot water, instead of just heating the cabin like a heat sink. While I was at it, I also changed out the magnesium anode that is part of the drain. 

Our last aluminum hot water tank only made it to the 4 year point when it started leaking! I had to buy a 3/4” drive 38mm socket especially so that I could remove and replace the element and drain. I tried last year when we were in India with an adjustable wrench and a pipe wrench but it was impossible – I needed a socket.

As we have moved from country to country, we have not encountered much difficulty in filling our propane tank, probably because we only use it for BBQing. In NZ, due to regulations, we couldn’t get our fibreglass tank filled, but instead bought a NZ tank that used the same threads. In Australia, we exchanged the NZ tank, and again, used a tank that had the same threads. We had both our Australian and US tank filled in Malaysia and India. However, Turkey is different. The tanks, the threads, the valves, even the gas – are all different. This is a photo of our 12 year old fibreglass tank.

To get around this, I simply cut the rubber hose about a foot from the tank valve, and bought a Turkish 10kg tank with valve and hose. I did not use tape on the hose, but the black plastic hose “cover”. The hose is secured with a hose clamp. 

We bought a second hand Vitrofrigo freezer when we were in Malaysia 3 years ago, but in the tropics we were never satisfied with its performance. It didn’t freeze fast enough and used a lot of energy. We bought a new slightly smaller but very efficient Isotherm upright freezer. It can run on 220/120V AC or 24/12VDC. This time, I took my time and built it in as a complete installation. 

Taking the issue of solar one step further, we have decided to replace the 4 oldest of our 10 solar panels. These 4 panels are nearly 20 years old. We are in the process of replacing 4 X 75W panels with 4 X 190W panels, getting 760W into nearly the same footprint as the previous panels. This will bump up our solar panel total from 1360W to 1920W. More on that in the next post.

On Christmas eve we “scored” a 5kg turkey, and as is our tradition – had a Christmas dinner get-together with our friends. Well, as many as we could safely and legally have during the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic. This included Duygu (a female Turkish member of the marina staff), Pam and Eric on Pied-a-Mer III, and Jean-Yves and his wife Tuba. The celebration was held on Pied-a-Mer because they had the largest table. Here, Pam and Diane are getting the turkey ready for consumption.

More than a month ago, a fairly large Turkish “gulet” (wooden tourist boat) sunk in the nearby bay when a big wind whipped up some slightly large waves (3 feet, tops). Sadly, one Russian tourist died. The boat was raised from the bottom and brought over to Alanya Marina to be lifted with the travel-lift and a crane. 

Before launching, I had to sand the bottom paint, the Coppercoat – with an orbital sander and 180 grit paper. It took about a day, and wasn’t too hard. This is necessary to “activate” the bottom paint, exposing epoxy encapsulated copper – so that it can work as a bottom paint.

We launched yesterday, without any drama. I finally noted that the travel lift (regardless of its weight capacity) needs to have a vertical clearance of at least 7.8m for us to lift and launch without taking down any hardware. Alanya Marina uses a 100T lift.

A few hours after we were floating in the water, I did a corrosion survey without connection to shore power, and with connection to shore power (the ground is isolated through an isolation transformer). I did this once in Trinidad about 8 years ago using borrowed equipment. A few months ago, I bought my own Corrosion Reference Electrode and used my digital multimeter to do my own test – after we launched. Their recommendation is -.850mv < protection < -1.100mv. I found that the readings varied between -1.035mv and -1.040mv so my conclusion is that we are more than adequately protected with zincs in the water. 

We still have our scooter, but have given up the apartment and moved back onto the boat. Oh, it is good to be home at last sleeping in our own bed.