Our new dingy arrived into Leros at around the same time as we did, how convenient. The lovely marinero delivered it directly to Kejstral, which was perfect as the box is rather big and heavy, and I broke one nail already this morning.
The new inflatable has its own pump, repair kit and oars, not to mention a few metal connections that we have no idea what to do with!
Our brand new Excel 2.6 Ventura looks brilliant, our previous zodiac tender had experienced quite a rough 10 years with various captains and charter customers prior to our ownership. She had more patches than original material, on each repair our zodiac failed just a little bit more.
So today we have inflated our big, yet lightweight dingy then gently slipped her into the big wet sea for her christening. She floats, which is pretty handy, all we need now is to attach the outboard engine, our year old Tohatsu 3.5 (bought to replace our stolen Yamaha engine) fires up almost immediately, just a little coaxing was required after her four month hibernation. We took a spin across to Lakki town which was great, no leaks or issues at all fortunately, it was only a 5 minute journey there and back!
An engine service is next on our list, Kevin happens to be a mechanic, therefore we carry out our own fiddly oily jobs rather than paying out for help. Firstly the filters, an oil and a diesel filter were bought locally, €34 for the two, the impeller we had a new unopened packet on board which saved a few pennies. Replacement oil, 3 litres cost €24. The alternator and impeller belts again we have new ones already, (always handy to have spares of course) The belts are in fact in very good condition and have been checked for damage, wear and adequate tension. The oil when new should look the colour of golden syrup, ours resembled treacle, pretty normal following a year of use. In order to empty the oil a hand pump can be used, but boy is it hard to suck treacle through a straw! Now we have a clean filter and lovely golden oil oozing through our yanmar engine. Next step is the fuel filter, when new the filter is bright orange, once used it gradually changes to a black, muddy appearance. The impeller is a more fiddly task, the plate must be removed, the circular wheel like rubber is then removed before replacing a new, undamaged fitting. Ours looked fairly intact until closer inspection which highlighted wear and tear on the rubber teeth, clearly important to check them thoroughly. This was completed swiftly with what seemed like no major issues, therefore we started the engine. Very quickly we realised that no water came from the cooling system out of the boat. What a nightmare, the most likely cause is the impeller which if damaged will not drag water through the system. In this case that was unlikely unless the new impeller was faulty. Kevin replaced the original impeller, assuming that was the issue, still no water! Gradually we realised that there must be an air leak, therefore no suction to pull water through. The culprit turned out to be our salt water strainer, yet another part of the engine cooling system. Earlier this week Kevin had replaced the hose from the water strainer to the impeller housing, the filter had been damaged on an initial inspection when we purchased Kejstral. This damage has been exacerbated over the last few years each time the hose was reattached as the connecting port had to be heated, enabling the tubing fitment, unfortunately this has completely collapsed the diameter of the connector. This means a new filter, more money! When Kevin checked online the appropriate size was around £97, not what we want but essential for the engine to start. The local chandlery within the marina charged a whole €75 for the filter and some new hose adding in some connectors preventing a repeat issue.
In the meantime our clock barometer and temperature gauge which are all brass required a good old scrub, using auto sol cream, they now sparkle beautifully thanks to a bit of elbow grease. May need a snooze now!
Finally our toilet, well as explained previously the valve needs replacing, we have a constant back flow, additionally there is a suspicious drip from the outlet hose......The job was relatively simple despite a thick layer of crystallisation inside the hose, caused by salt water, urine and possibly lime scale this of course required yet another batch of elbow grease.
Eventually each of our tasks had been ticked off and a walk around to Lakki to stock up on rubber gloves was in order (you never know when you might need them next!) all followed by a beer will definitely complete our day.
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