This has been the week for boat projects.
First there was a new dinghy cover; custom made from heat welded UV resistant vinyl. This is to cover the bottom of the dinghy when it is stored upside down on deck during long passages. Or when berthed for the winter. Whenever the dinghy won't be used for weeks or months. We had a cover that was purchased from West Marine less than 2 years ago and it was well past worn out. The new one should last 10 years and didn't cost much more than the original one from West Marine.
Next was recovering the nav station seat. That has presented a problem because of the color of the leather. All the suppliers want to sell a full hide or half-hide only, especially in this particular color. We need only a small piece of leather to recover this small seat bottom only. It is like a bar stool. We need only about 57cm X 55cm. Small pieces of leather are available in other colors but not in the color we need. So that project continues. We aren't giving up on it yet.
Next was the search for a dehumidifier. West Marine no longer sells these machines. And we cannot find one of any kind in any store in Marmaris. That search also continues. And we really, really, really must find one before the winter season. The condensation inside the aft cabin was horrible last winter. We caught it just in time before mold set in. I don't want to fight that all winter.
Next was a new grill -- just wanted to replace the Magma gas grill that clamps onto the rail. That has turned into a major problem. West Marine does not sell gas grills in Marmaris. Not surprising since it is illegal to grill or cook outside on a boat in the Mugla and Anatolia regions of Turkey. Might also be illegal farther north, but I know it is illegal here. The logic behind this law is to prevent the wooden gulets from catching on fire. Makes no sense for private fiberglass yachts like ours or for steel or aluminum yachts. We like grilled foods and will continue to grill at anchor until stopped by officials. I really don't think they care how I cook on my own boat; they are just trying to protect the tour boat customers on the wooden gulets. We have searched all the known stores in town and cannot locate a grill. Yesterday we finally found the 'stainless steel district' of Marmaris -- where you can get literally ANYTHING fabricated. We inquired about having a gas grill fabricated. Sorry; the recommended guy said he made one once and prefers not to make another. Guess we will buy more Magma parts on Ebay and nurse the old grill along a little longer. There is one small Magma grill for sale in the chandlery here at Yat Marin but the price is absurdly high. I'll give up eating grilled foods before paying that high price.
This SS guy has built rail mount enclosures for life rafts for several Amels. Two other Amel owners recommended him for the quality of his work. This is something we are toying with the idea of having made next April. First we need to find out if our valise style liferaft can be changed into a hard case. Although once we get back to the Caribbean I honestly don't see the point in having a liferaft any more. A good sized dinghy and an EPIRB should suffice in the Caribbean.
We walked all over Marmaris yesterday. Literally all over. Really.....all over. My legs were so tired by the time we got back to the marina that it was a struggle to make it back to the dock. Discovered several new areas of Marmaris that we had not heard of before. Lots of work shops. Some retail shops. And finally found the little tool Bill needed to adjust the tension on the hinge of the forward deck hatch. It was so loose that it would stay up only about 4-5 inches. Now it stays upright where you want it. Now that should stay open correctly to scoop in breeze when at anchor.
Today we ordered a new custom made shade awning. This one will be exactly like our old awning that covers the boat from mainmast to rear of cockpit, with zippered side panels and rear panels that roll up. The old one was all white. The new one will be a dark taupe color with white trim. During our next haul-out we plan to change the orange boot stripe to a light taupe color, so this new awing will match the color scheme on the boat. It cost 50% more than we estimated but is being constructed from real Sunbrella fabric and top-of-the-line quality zippers and vinyl trim and reinforcements. Could have cut the price almost in half and used less quality components but this is one of those things that you really want to last years. We had hoped the prices here would be good enough to justify also making awnings for the foremast deck area and for the aft deck area. Maybe later for those 2 pieces. There should be enough fabric left over to also make a cover for the outboard engine. I am concerned that the shop will not use UV resistant thread but there is nothing I can do about that here. I'm sure there will be lots of re-sewing as the sun rots the threads. If it just lasts until we get to St. Martin, I'm pretty sure we can find shops with UV resistant thread there to re-stitch as needed.
And the last project for this week is a new mattress pad for the bed in the aft cabin. We have custom made bed linens for every berth on the boat, including mattress pads. Everything is still in fine condition except for the mattress pad for the aft cabin bed. I have tried contacting the person in Florida who made the originals. I know she is still in business and, in fact, is measuring another Amel this week which is just like ours. Her business must be good because she has not responded to my email inquiry. Today we found a local shop that makes custom bed linens and all sorts of other things. Ramadan ends tonight or tomorrow night and everyone takes a 3-day holiday (or longer). Shops started closing at noon today (Friday) and will reopen next Wednesday. The shop owner said to bring in the old mattress pad on Wednesday and he will duplicate it. The work should take 1 day. The shop also has exactly the fabric I want to make a bed covering, like a duvet but not filled; something light for summer use. I have been looking for for 6 years and this is the first shop that has exactly what I want. So if the price is anywhere near reasonable then we will have a new 'topper' made for the bed. Only problem is that this fabric is pure white and I would prefer a pale yellow. Guess I will take what I can get!
Meeting friends for dinner tonight. Very much looking forward to catching up and hearing about their recent 3 months in Israel.