Our winter programme

After my surprise visit from my son Dominic and Granddaughter Florence, I am afraid it is back to the grindstone.   I had wondered why Paul was insisting I spring clean the bedrooms and bathrooms, wash and dry all of the spare bedding and generally do a whole pile of jobs that wasn’t on the list!   So after a lovely few days it is now back to the list of jobs we are hoping to achieve before sailing begins in the Spring.    

So lets start with the list as it is now:

  1. Sort the port shower.   This has been ongoing for quite some time.  The initial problem was no hot water getting to this shower.  On further investigation, the mixer valve is a non replaceable cartridge that had failed and had to be replaced.  Because the pipes that had been used were standard domestic fittings and were so corroded that Paul couldn’t under them and the accessibility to the area behind the cupboard was impossible.  Paul found different adaptors in the local shops and eventually found a way to sort it all out.  There was a lot of swearing and threats of having to plumb the whole boat and being here for 10 years to sort the issue, but eventually he found a way.  Now there are leaks from the inlets which new washers and ptfe tape haven’t cured, so this job is still ongoing.
  2. Mend the water leak in the starboard engine saltwater pump which Paul has managed to find a replacement pump which hopefully will do the job.
  3. Mend the oil weep in the port engine saltwater pump which we re hoping we can utilise the old starboard pump, once the bearings and seals have been replaced.
  4. Mend the drip in the port aft cabin …. A trickle that runs down the wall when it rains hard.  So far Paul has used Sikaflex to waterproof all of the fixings on the outside of the hull which may be the cause of the leak. 
  5. Replace the canvas Bimini, stack pack, UV strip on the Genoa.   We have found a lovely little company here in Leros that gave us an acceptable price to replace all of our canvas work.   We had planned to wait another year before doing this big job because it is an expensive enterprise and although worn and tired it was, on the whole serviceable.  We loved the yellow Bimini because it was different, and the yellow glow inside was fun and bright.  We had discovered, however, that a yellow and white boat is a magnet for wasps.  We are convinced we attracted more than our fair share of wasps even when 200 metres from the shoreline.
  6. Inspect and tighten the rigging (which means finding out how tight to tighten it … so far we haven’t been able to find this information).
  7. Pressure wash and scrub the deck and clean and polish the topsides.   We saw another Catamaran which was at least 20 years old which had repainted the white deck, it looked great, I hope we can find a way to that because our deck is quite marked.
  8. Replace the fabric cushion covers in the cockpit with something less sticky for dog hairs.  Our canvas people have agreed to do this with the Bimini.
  9. Replace the toilet seacocks (this can be done when we do the antifouling)
  10. Service sheaves on the mast (the little plastic rollers that the halyards run around).
  11. Remove old tv antenna bracket from the mast.  (The TV mast has already blown down with the wind and we don’t have a tv).
  12. Fit new radar reflector to the mast
  13. Fit AIS antenna to the mast head
  14. Remove what’s left of the old wind indicator
  15. Fit new LED bulbs in tricolour and anchor light
  16. Fit LED bulbs in deck, flood and steaming light (all of these mast jobs we had hoped to achieve when the boat comes out of the water, when we asked for a quote to take the mast down when lifting the boat out they wanted an extra 2500 euros …. “What” . we though 150, maybe 200!   Obviously this plan has had to be modified, but we haven’t found the answer yet.
  17. Anti-foul (which of course we will do when the boat comes out of the water in early March)
  18. Service sail drives
  19. Check anodes
  20. Service Harken winches
  21. Service Spinlock deck clutches
  22. Service hatch levers and hinges
  23. Service both main engines and generator
  24. Service out board motor and replace the coil pack (The dinghy engine died on our last sail over to Leros … which I thought was most considerate of it to wait until the end of the season before failing).
  25. Find someone to service the life raft. (This has to be done by an affiliated company).
  26. Fit new switch panel.  As we need more switches for the compass light, the router, the hotspot and for the deck wash pump.
  27. Fit shower pump override switches (so we can turn them on manually)
  28. Fit waterproof mains socket in cockpit
  29. Fit main socket in port corridor
  30. Fit USB sockets in both aft cabins
  31. Fit 2 new spot lights in saloon
  32. Re-plumb both heads to include anti syphon loops.
  33. Removing the old water maker

Jobs already achieved

  1. Redone the storage in both heads, making the heads more usable, put in hanging hooks
  2. Cleaned and serviced the outdoor upholstery
  3. Cleaned the leather sofa and cushions
  4. Fitted a new float switch to starboard bilge pump
  5. Mended starboard shower float switch
  6. Cured lead on fresh water system
  7. Fitted new hose to cock pit shower
  8. Fitted a water filter onto the kitchen water supply
  9. Fitted new DSC VHF /AIS and interfaced with the chart plotter
  10. Spliced new aft mooring lines
  11. Made up chain bridles for the winter mooring
  12. Repaired fridge door catch
  13. Fitted new vents behind the fridge to aid cooling during the summer

With each job Paul starts, it seems to create a whole host of other jobs that need doing, if not in actual maintenance, the finding and ordering the parts at a reasonable cost is quite an achievement.  There are chandleries here on the island, but we are finding their parts to be 3 times the price of the equivalent in the UK.  But ordering and shipping from the UK is difficult and takes time. Of course you then can’t afford to get the part wrong. The cost of sending back and reordering is not viable.

So you can see, Paul has got his work cut out if we hope to achieve these maintenance jobs in the next three months.  How anyone has the time to work when they have a boat is beyond me.  Luckily, for Paul, he has me to send to work whilst he can keep our boat afloat!

For me, my job this winter is a lot easier to achieve.   As well as my usual homeopathy clinic onboard, I am making a new online course entitled ‘Improve your Sleep Naturally’,  something Paul will appreciate after all of these sleepless nights trying to solve the logistical problems of the boat maintenance!

Roll on the summer!


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...

Don't Miss the Boat


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