Trials and tribulations in Turkey May 2012

Back to Turkey again for repair of cables- Similye bay

Broken steering cable

Nisos Simi

leaving Bosburun

Tomb bay- a lovely anchorage

reason for the name tomb bay.

engine in bits- new valves being put in.

We had left Baringo on the hard in Gocek for the winter and enjoyed a truly wonderful skiing season in Chamonix with plenty of snow and lots of visitors.We visited Gocek in February to find the boat in rather a mess as the work was underway and was in its most destructive phase.We believed all would be completed by the end of April apart from the final fine tuning.Sadly this was not to be, and after a visit to Hong Kong for John’s work when we returned to Baringo there was still much to be done.We had had a new Cummins –Onan generator fitted,oceoprotec antifouling, a new toe rail to try for the fourth time to stop the starboard leaks,and many other smaller jobs one of which was installing a plastic box to protect the wiring on the port side. It was this interference which really caused most of the problems and I don’t think the wiring will ever be the same again,many wires were cut and left unconnected and the cockpit chart plotter was wired through the saloon light switch! We had been unable to discover why the chart plotter was intermittently faulty and this error might have remained unsolved by us but luckily an electrician worked it out, much to his surprise as well! Once back in the water white smoke was billowing from the exhaust for which many explanations were proffered but finally the turbocharger and cylinder heads were removed and resealed with some improvement although not a complete cure.We think the damage was due to the many days of motoring at slow revs.during the convoy but as we had to go at the speed of the slowest boat we had no choice , perhaps a small price to pay for escaping a visit to Somalia.John noticed just before departure that one of the steering cables was frayed and according to all advice this meant a cable change so while they were trying to cure the white smoke we decided to have a new cable .We had thought they would do both automatically but only the frayed one was done.The whole experience in Gocek was very stressful and frustrating but we did learn a lot about the boat and we managed to enjoy the Turkish food and wine and regular nocturnal walks along the Gocek promenade.
Significantly poorer we finally departed on Saturday 25th May in beautiful weather and had a wonderful first days sailing heading westwards to Bozburun to finally leave Turkey. We had two nights at anchor en route both in very beautiful places and finally left Turkey on 29th May.Checking out at Bozburun was easy and we lowered the Turkish flag once out of Turkish waters with some relief hoping we were at last on our way.We sailed to Symi the closest Greek island and were lucky with the wind that day .Minarets metamorphosed to church towers and we arrived to be greeted by Skylark one of our convoy companion.After a 4 hour check in procedure ,rather longer than we expected ,we finally had supper with Skylark and caught up on all the news .We enjoyed a fun day out on 30th May with Chris and Desiree touring the island on motorbikes.Symi is a dramatically mountainous island ;we visited a Greek monastery and had a delicious Greek lunch of Dolmades, tatzliki, Symi prawns and Greek salad eating in yet another scenic bay.Symi town is picture post card material with well maintained neoclassical houses climbing up the mountainside painted in warm colours, yellows, reds and browns with white trim, really very elegant .
We planned an early start for the next Greek island to the west, Nisos Nisiros and were waved off by Chris at 7.00 am. We could see Nisiros in the distance, the wind was good despite the early hour and although on the nose we felt we had time to tack our way west and sailed easily at 4 kts just starting to think the traumas of Gocek were behind us and it had all been worth it .At 10.00 am the steering failed ,the new cable had lasted only 5 days !After a significant number of expletives and much use of the retrospecoscope we used the autohelm to return to Turkey to get it fixed . We anchored in Semiye luckily a beautiful bay almost like a lake it is so cut off from the open sea .We were obviously unable to moor stern to without any steering but there was plenty of anchoring space and good holding. Our annoyance was mitigated somewhat by the beauty of the surroundings and the pleasant climate , I think we would have felt even worse if it had been cold and wet. The workers came the next day and mended the cable but hardly appreciated the gravity of their error .There was certainly no apology. So take two and we hope to be in Greece tomorrow heading directly for Nisiros about 40 nm away. All digits crossed now !

Monastery on Simi island- marvellous pebble floor

Emek Marine in Gocek- a warning to other boats!

We had several jobs done during the winter/spring 2011-12 in Gocek by Emek Marine. Unfortunately most turned out to be badly done and botched. Although Riza Cadgas appears very pleasant and knowledgeable sadly his staff are not competent. In addition they are very expensive and tricky to negotiate with.  Here are some expensive examples:

  1. We were persuaded to have a copper-based antifouling manufactured  by  Oceoprotec.  This was done at the last moment and slowly so that we had to stay an extra week on the hard (after 6 months!). The last touches to the areas around the seacocks was being applied as the boat was being lifted into the water. Much more seriously after 4 months heavy growth appeard on the bottom of the keel, leading and aft edges and various other patches (see figures). The rudder edge also has growth. This is separate from the slime which accumulates if the boat is in harbour.  This is after only 4 months and the product is guaranteed to keep the hull clean for 5 years! (we were told and confirmed on their web page). We have now to divert to Port Leucate in France to have this redone.

    bottom of keel after 4 months!

    In addition, the anodes have worn very quickly and we suspect galvanic corrosion with the copper. No tests for this were done beforehand as recommended.

  2. New generator by Cummins Ona  fitted incorrectly. The water separator was fitted too low and huge loops were in the exhaust pipes. This is completely contrary  to the instructions in the manual. Eventually I managed to persuade them to resite it into a locker above the engine room. This was a very similar arrangement to the previous Fisher-Panda generator.  Also we have concerns about the base as the old one designed for the much smaller Fisher-Panda has been used and the new Cummins overhangs. Pictures were sent to Cummins UK who reassured that this was probably ok but that the bolts were not countersunk. They have suggested that these bolts be refitted in Gibralter.  More expense. In addition the through-hull fitting is too large for the exhaust pipe. It was just pushed on for a few cms and held with one hose clip, quite unsatisfactory. When I insisted it was fitted properly the technician told me the through hull was too large and he had to get a heater and force the new pipe on to get two hose clips fitted. There was a lot of misinformation about the whereabouts of the generator. We were told it was in their office but when we visited in February we were told it was in Istanbul at the boat show.  So presumably it was delivered to Gocek , transported back to Istanbul for the boat show and then back again.
  3. A new box for the wiring was suggested to protect the fuses from any leaks. This also proved to be a disaster. Several circuits were not reconnected or improperly connected– for example the cockpit chart plotter through  the saloon light circuits, the automatic bilge pump not connected at all and the forward Nav lights did not work .  This took a lot of time to sort out. Similarly the wiring in the anchor locker was done badly. The cable to navigation lights was cut (for what reason?) and not reconnected. The electrician who discovered this also thought the cable to the port light was defective (it was not- it was the connection in the light) he removed this cable and replaced it with two thin wires coming out of the stanchion to the light. When I pointed out this was inadequate he just wrapped insulation tape around them. So now we have a no proper cable to the port light. Also the new junction box put in does not open fully because the door hits the anchor windlass- it is the wrong type!
  1. Changing the Steering cable: this was a disaster. We noticed slight fraying of one steering cable and I asked for this to be changed. The first attempt came apart while we were at sea after 3 days. Luckily the autohelm worked and we were able to get back into a harbour but this was a potentially dangerous situation. The second attempt was also badly done . First the cable was cut too long but because the eye had already been spliced onto the binnacle end and the other had a lifeline type of fitting the wire was cut just below the eye. It was then too short and the new eye is held by about only 4mm of wire. This will give way eventually. Also the lifeline type of fitting is not suitable- it cannot be removed from the wire. The correct Blue wave swage which was on origianlly is designed to be reused so that the cables can be removed if necessary. I suspect it was not  fitted properly the first time and this is why it came apart. We will have to have this done again before we cross the atlantic.
  1. Rev counter did not work when the boat was put back into the water. An electrician came to repair this and managed to cut off the wiring to the starter motor solenoid. Rather than repair this properly we now have a starter motor solenoid clipped onto a cable which looks terrible and unreliable. Emek gave some story that the proper one is difficult to reach under the engine. Anyway we were told we need a new rev counter. However, after a few months the rev counter is now working fine!
  2. Rudder Bearing; we asked for a new lower rudder bearing and I suggested the Jefa bearing as recommended by Wauquiez. For some reason Riza never seemed to like this idea (probably because it is more difficult to fit) and kept failing to answer any questions other than vague reassurance. Instead Emek have put in some other form of bearing and it was never fully explained what type and they could not give us a receipt or invoice from the company. Riza said he had photos but one was from a brochure, two were not of our boat and the third was one of a worker just holding the rudder. We still do not know what kind of bearing we have or what its life expectancy is.
  3. New Battery monitor by Phillippi was fitted. The shunt pole for this was placed in the battery compartment so that it is impossible for us to have the larger type of battery again. The new batteries are smaller so this is not a problem at the moment but not a good place to put it. Also the old amp meter on the switch board now no longer works. I was not told that if I had a new battery monitor I would lose the old ammeter which worked fine and has the advantage of being seen anywhere in the saloon whereas the new one is only seen from the nav table.
  4. Broken wind generator regulator. When the old batteries were removed the WG was not shut down so the regulator burnt out. Luckily I had a spare which I replaced but I will need to get the old one repaired in the UK.
  5. Engine service- after a complete service of the engine and injectors the engine produced large amounts of white smoke. We were told it was a problem of the valves and all the valves were replaced at a cost of nearly 3000 euros. This has made no difference. There is still white smoke and cause remains unknown.

The total bill for all the work done was 37,000 euros. There was a lot of overcharging of many items (eg new stereo system twice the price of UK; new batteries 30% mark up by Emek; 750 euros for storing main sail etc). Much of the work has to be redone but as we had to leave Turkey to press on as we have booked to join the ARC this year we had to pay up and get the repairs done elsewhere. There are some good yards in Turkey (in Marmaris for instance) but we recommend all yachts to avoid Emek Marine in Gocek.

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3 Responses to Trials and tribulations in Turkey May 2012

  1. Mike and Kay Rogers says:

    WOW, have you been busy! Beats teaching the students a CUHK! Go forth further, safely and may the winds be fair and in your favour. Wear your life jackets often as we sincerely do not want to lose you! Have a great time. Come back and tell us more tales of your adventures. Mike and Kay

  2. Sarah says:

    Hi J and J, your commitment is amazing! It’s jubilee here in London and the street parties begin… Shall think of you out there enjoying the beauty and tranquility and hope to join you somewhere! With love Sarah x

  3. Griselda says:

    Delighted to be back in touch via the blog! What a depressing start after so much forethought, but as you say at least you were warm and the bays in Turkey are wonderful!
    We met up with Jo, Simon, Glynis and Malcolm for a Jubilee picnic lunch in Rocky Harbour yesterday and missed you both.
    Hope you are having a perfect sail now.
    Love Griselda xx

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