Stuck Waiting for Parts … it could be worse.

Updated: Sep 6

 We couldn’t risk moving from where we were because we might lose our anchor windlass altogether and believe me, pulling up 5 or 10 meters of chain and a 20kg anchor is doable but 40 metres of chain would kill me (although I might lose that bit of tummy).

 So we were in Vathi on Ithaca which is a lovely place to be stuck if you ware going to be stuck anywhere.

 There is a good walk for Lilly here, good shopping and stores and we had enough water for 4 or 5 days. We had internet connection so I could work so, all things considered, we were in the right place to do the research needed and organise the new equipment.

 We had decided not to decide between the batteries and the windlass, we decided to go for both! Getting parts is always going to be a nightmare when you are traveling so if you are waiting for one part, you might as well wait for two or in this case 6 (5 batteries and the anchor windlass). If you have to travel to get your parts you need to pick up everything you are going to need for the next few months … so we opted to replace it all.

 We knew of a little company in Corfu that specialised in batteries, we had no idea where else might be able to get some in for us but Corfu was a long way in the wrong direction. We thought we would ring George in Nidri (where we had purchased the anchor from) to ask his advice.

 Of course he could provide us with everything we wanted so we began the “spec and see” game.

This is where you decide what you need, try and find it on the internet at a price you can afford, ring George see if he can get it shipped to Greece, realise there is not a chance, so start again!

The windlass was fairly easy and straight forward. As long as we didn’t mind losing the rope drum, we soon find one that was in Greece and affordable. The batteries took a little longer.

 Bearing in mind that our battery storage cupboard currently held 5 batteries and we needed six to get the extra capacity, not only six but five of those were going to have to be bigger than our current ones. We figured that we could move the engine start battery (which would be the one we had bought in Corfu), into the locker next door to the battery locker. This left us with room for five house batteries. There was no room for batteries that were bigger in footprint but they could be taller.

 Now you can see the problem. Our current batteries are 100 amp per hour each making 400 amps altogether, we wanted 500 or 600 amp per hour total so would need :

5 x 120 a/h or 4 x 150 a/h or 3 x 200 a/h

The batteries we needed to find had to be

  • Deep cycle batteries (not engine start batteries as we currently had ….. that is why they were not up to the job)
  • Affordable
  • Able to get shipped to Greece quickly or already in the country
  • Able to fit in our battery locker.

 This little puzzle kept Paul and George entertained for a couple of days but eventually they hit the jackpot and we were rocking and rolling.

 The plan was we would head over to the anchorage in Nidri on the day of the delivery of the batteries. We could top up with water on the way. We needed to fit the anchor windlass while the anchor was down, once it was fitted we could come into the town port to pick up the batteries.

 (If you have ever been to Nidri on Lefkas, you will know it is a noisy place and full of ferries, you really don’t want to be alongside for more than a few hours).

In actual fact, when it came to it, being August, there was no room for us alongside at all so Paul had to ferry the batteries to and from the boat in the dinghy. George was a compete star, (another George Star) he took our old batteries, he lent Paul the battery cable crimpers he needed to fit crimp terminals, he even agreed to dispose of our old gas bottles (now empty and not refillable in Greece).

 We did a little video about the windlass so I will add that to the video section. (Coming soon … apparently i need a Youtube account).

 But the great news is, not only do we have ice, and everything in the freezer is now freezing. The freezer can no longer be a beer fridge as it turns everything to ice instantly. The anchor can go up and down as often as we need. We are happily enjoying traveling again and now we have ice, we can go and collect Sophie! Happy days!

We are Free to Sail 57

We are Free to Sail 57

We are back on anchor and free to sail.  (In the image above is the bay we are now sitting in). Well that is the theory anyway!  In reality we need to do another shop and we need to pick up a parcel that hasn’t arrived yet So in the meantime we can test all of our...

The Sunday Lunch Club 56

The Sunday Lunch Club 56

Overwintering on a boat in Samos Marina, on the beautiful Greek island of Samos could be quite a lonely affair if it wasn’t for the live-aboard community, let’s refer to them as the ‘exuberant partakers of the odd libation’.... so one naturally forms, The Sunday Lunch...

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