Boat Refit: One year in two minutes

We undertook a complete refit of SY Esper in 2014. We were told it would take three months, BUT we knew it would probably be six months. Pretty soon nine months seemed optimistic, then as we kept adding new jobs we reached a year! In February 2015 we left PSS Shipyard with what was almost a brand new boat. Here’s the whole refit squished down to a couple of minutes.

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Engine seized! Sailing in paradise…

Apart from the deep joy of discovering that our engine has seized, it feels like some kind of nautical episode of ‘Back to the Future’ here on SY Esper

Our regular Sailing Log Diary on YouTube–which out of necessity runs a few months behind real time–shows Jamie sailing alone in Thailand with Liz back in the UK looking after her ailing mum. And yet, right now, Liz has just returned from her >second visit home to tend to Dottie while Jamie has been solo-sailing in Thailand.

In the words of Shirley Bassey and the Propellerheads , “…it’s all just a little bit of history repeating…”

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Esper Refit 3 – removing deck fittings; interior mood boards

Mey uses paint remover on the mast

Six days of work in a three minute video clip… and whilst Liz gets a smack in the head we bring the entire yard to a standstill as we move four boats out the way so we can take prime spot in the corner of the yard. A snippet of time-lapse video trickery in this week’s video summary too. Low-point of this week was having to let one of the staff go, but this was off-set by being relocated to our new home.

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Esper Refit 2 – removing the mizzen and main masts

The 7-ton crane preparing to hoist the two masts on Esper

Week Two of Esper’s refit moved as quickly as the first week. The crane was scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, which it did, and Un’s team duly removed both main and mizzen mast in two hours. We recorded the whole shebang, though you’ll be pleased to know we reduced to down to a short clip, complete with some explanatory commentary. If you’ve not seen this operation before, take a look and marvel at the ease in which both masts were removed.

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A New Year, A New Host, A New Boat?

Keith of Poco Andante lights a lantern on New Year's Eve

Our website, like our lives, is in a state of flux. Whilst we prepare to haul Esper in Thailand and undergo a major refit, so followtheboat.com is getting some special treatment too. We were offline for a couple of weeks whilst we saw out Christmas at Rebak Resort and New Year at anchor. We even had Esper’s lights lit whilst partying ashore, which made it very easy to find her at two in the morning, half-cut! We’ve included some recent photographs and a hint at what’s happening next in our lives. Expect some interesting updates during 2014…

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Video Clip Of My Girlfriend Stripping

Judging by the positive response from the last video clip we thought we’d post up another one for your titillation. It seems you lot like instant gratification so for those of you who can’t be bothered to read our more exciting written and photographic blog entries, here’s another clip for you to download and savour. It’s a clip of the Lovely Liz stripping! Better watch it quick before she finds out…

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Water Maker: Purchase, Installation & Usage Considerations

A water maker is an expensive and difficult purchase with more than the cost to be considered. In this essay we discuss the decision-making process involved in a water maker purchase. Also we examine thoughts on installation and we provide an insight into how it is used on board. We conclude with some related issues and pros and cons. We hope that this helps anyone looking to purchase a watermaker for their boat and we encourage watermaker owners to add their own comments at the bottom of the page.

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Fan Belts And Braces

Rested and eager to move on, Liz and I fell into the trap of believing that the next bit of the journey would be fairly straightforward, despite the headwinds. How wrong could we have been? I’ll give you a clue: very.

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Leaving The Black Hole Of Marmaris

A week ago, when we were supposed to have left for Egypt but couldn’t because of the weather, we were ready to leave. A week later we have a clear window, it’s the night before our departure and I’m running around like a loon, cursing that I need more time. Why the hell didn’t I do an engine check a week before, rather than at the 11th hour when the shops are closing and my electrician is halfway to Istanbul and therefore unable to replace my broken alternator smart charger?

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A Day In The Life: On The Hard

Anyway…this “Day in the Life” is based upon our time on the hard in the sweltering 30°+ heat of June at Marti Marina. For you non-yotties being on the hard means propping ones boat up on big sticks and climbing up and down a 10ft ladder in order to get on and off the boat.

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So When Are We Going To Go Somewhere?

We bought Esper at the end of 2004 and now it’s February 2009. In that time all we’ve done is sailed from Bodrum to Fethiye. Big deal. Weren’t we supposed to be going round the world? Anyone else out there get similar remarks from armchair sailors and landlubbers? I heard that a lot on my last visit home to the UK and I bet Jamie’s hearing it right now. Funny how it’s only people without a boat who make these remarks… What non boat dwellers don’t understand is how long everything takes. Well, for those people who wonder what we ‘do all day’ and why we haven’t got very far, here are a few things to think about:

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Don’t Worry About The Half Metre Depth

Lessons learned? Rely on no one but yourself. Beware of Turks bearing gifts: they may say ‘yes, we can fix it’ to every problem posed but this is not always the case. We have now spent £££s on this transmission issue (I no longer call it a gear-box issue as there was nothing ever wrong with the gear box) and have wasted over a week at anchor waiting for various mechanics and boat yards to fix this problem. Still, you live and learn, innit?

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Installing Navtex

As he turned the tubing on the lathe to cut the thread of the mounting base I sat and watched and was reminded of my old metal work classes at school. The difference was this guy knew what he was doing. After three hours he’d completed the job, charged me fifty yentils (£15) and we rounded off the afternoon with a çay and a three-worded conversation about boats.

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Boat Maintenance

The first job we had to attend to was the leaking deck fittings. This meant ripping down the headboards, unbolting the deck fittings and caking ourselves in Sikaflex (this is a marine rubber sealant that takes three weeks to remove from your fingernails). John’s tips and encouragement meant we could tick that job off the list in no time.

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Boat Stereo Entertainment System

We had more fun and games sourcing a solution for our entertainment system than any other issue with the boat! Whilst there are expert marine electricians, carpenters, rigging experts and so on there appears to be a lack of information on marine stereo solutions.

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Boat Plumbing

There were two major plumbing jobs that we left to Yat Lift: the replacement of the holding tank and converting the electric toilet pump back to a manual one.

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Boat Electrics and Electronics

With the addition of stereo, new VHF and various switches and monitors the left and lower dashs in the nav table area had to be redesigned. We decided to take out some of the old electronic equipment, either because they weren’t working or because they were dated and would one day be replaced with new kit.

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Running & Standing Rigging

A common problem on Oyster 435s (apparently) is leaking chain plates. We left Yat Lift to look at this and upon our return they had recaulked the fittings.

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The Deck

The initial survey report had indicated that a few of the deck planks required replacing and recaulking, whilst we were aware that some of the stanchion bases had come loose. Indeed two of the stanchion bases were leaking slightly, so we got eleven of the twelve bases replaced, and replaced two of the planks.

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