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2013 in the Yard

Sunday 21st April

We’ve been back in Finike for a week now and are here in the yard with the work on Kabardar still going on.  Replacing the old teak deck etc is not as far advanced as we had hoped it would be, mainly because it has been pretty wet here during the winter.  It still is rather unsettled and on all but about 3 days during the past week there has been at least some rain with thunderstorms over the mountains behind the town.  But it’s not cold and after what seemed like a very long East Yorkshire winter it’s good to feel warm.  We’re finding it curious to see ‘feel like’ temperatures higher than the actual in the forecasts!

The pictures here show the state of the work as it was a couple of weeks ago. All the wood for the deck and cockpit has now been laid and is awaiting caulking.  The carpenter has done a good job and we have been told by people on other boats here that he has been working long hours on dry days. We thought we would have a quiet first day (Sunday) to take stock of the situation and were quite surprised when he turned up did a full days work. And he doesn’t take much in the way of breaks.  There is, however, still a fair bit of woodwork  to be done - the cap rails and cockpit grating have yet to be started.

We are beginning to wonder if we will make our planned launch date of 15th May.

These bits of old railway line make very good weights.  They are very heavy yet easy to get hold to move.

Chris is continuing the search for the elusive leak or leaks in the dinghy which seems to be a case of cure 1 leak and 6 others appear!  It is basically falling apart but hopefully we can just about keep it going for this year.

We’ve also been walking up in the countryside behind Finike, and unless you follow the coast road it’s very definitely uphill, whichever way you go.  Only a very short distance away it’s a very different world from down here in the town with goatherd settlements and lots of bee hives.

Sunday 28th April

There are several stages to this deck laying project.  Having laid all the wood, the rebates are then all scraped out by hand or attacked with a hammer and chisel in order to even out the width, then the surface is vacuumed, followed by an application of some kind of sealant to the rebates and finally the caulking piped in.  In parallel to all of this is the job of making sure that they keep working on Kabardar rather than any other boat!

On Wednesday there had been no activity since last weekend (although Tuesday was a public holiday) and so we expressed our displeasure and were then assured that work would resume on Thursday.  And so it did.  But after about an hour an unknown chap climbed up the ladder onto the boat and there followed a very heated exchange between the carpenter and this other chap, followed by an animated phone call to a person unknown, after which our man downed tools and left! He had been called away on an emergency we were told.  But we spotted him working on this ‘emergency’, which was sanding the deck of a large Turkish owned motor yacht with a tax beneficial US registration.  Clearly they had more bargaining power than we did!

Anyway, our hard working carpenter reappeared at around 6pm to do another couple of hours work, looking apologetic and with his very limited English said ‘1 man 5 boats’. It’s the busy time of year for the yard and, of course, everybody thinks their job is the most important.  So, he continues to spread his time between various jobs.  The deck and part of the cockpit are now caulked; the rest should be finished tomorrow.  Slow progress, but we are assured ‘No problem, no problem’ about launching us by 15th May!

Apart from all this hassle, we’ve been on the bus to Arykanda, 800m up in the mountains.  Arykanda is an ancient Lycian city subsequently occupied by the Romans, Byzantines and many others.  We were a bit sceptical when we read that the location rivalled that of Delphi, but it did!  There were hardly any other visitors besides us, it was all very peaceful.

View from Arykanda

The unsettled weather now seems to have gone, and the temperature has been steadily rising to a max of around 30°C.  Let’s hope it continues.

Sunday 5th May

The last couple of days there have been some wonderful things called clouds appearing in the sky during the afternoon!  These have blocked out the sun and kept the temperature inside the boat down to around 30°C rather than the 36° we had previously.  Summer has come early here and now we have day after day of blue skies and temperatures of 30°C or higher.  A boat yard is no place to be in conditions like this!

There is, I suppose, some progress on the woodwork.  All the caulking is done and is hardening off nicely; the cap rails have all been removed and the carpenter is due to start making the new ones tomorrow.  So, still not speedy progress.  The story goes thus.  The wet March caused delays on our woodwork;  meanwhile other boats have arrived with ‘bookings’ for similar work and have come ‘specially’ and so they ‘must’ do some work on those boats as well as Kabardar.  The flaws in the argument are numerous, but after further complaining, we have now been promised that Kabardar will be completely finished and ready for the water by mid May.  We will certainly be watching what is going on in the carpenters’ workshop over the next few days.

Meanwhile several minor jobs have been done which wouldn’t have otherwise been tackled.

This week we went on the bus to nearby Demre to visit the ruins of Myra, another ancient Lycian city.  When I say bus I mean the Turkish style Dolmus which on this route is a 15ish seater but as many people as can squeeze in, do.  So people end up sitting on the floor, the steps by the door or on little plastic stools which curiously appear;  whatever can be found.  Myra is well and truly on the day trip circuit from the resorts further up the coast and coaches came and went at what seemed like every few minutes.  Not a great deal of the site is open and it’s main claim to fame is the collection of house tombs carved in the rockface.

Sunday 12th May

Nothing much changes!  We’re still in the yard, we’re still complaining.  There has been some progress - all the teak is now in place and the first sanding of the deck has been done but there is still a lot of final shaping, sanding and sealing to be done. The standard of the work is fine, we have no complaints there, it’s just the whole management of the resources here which is a problem.  They just have too much work and the guy in charge tries to share the effort, basically according to who complains loudest.  So this last week we had 4 good days work from the carpenters then about an hours worth of speed sanding of the rails on Friday!  Time to complain again!  We expected more action this weekend but so far carpenter number 1 appeared yesterday and had a look round, armed with the list the chap supposedly in charge drew up after our Friday complaining session, but didn’t actually do anything.  Then, this morning, carpenter number 2 came and had a look, armed with what looked like cold cure pills. Again no actual work!  We know which boat they are working on and that one is also behind schedule!  More complaining to be done tomorrow!  And so life goes on.

But on a more exciting note, the dinghy failed to respond to many, many attempts at fixing the leaks, although it was hugely improved.  Then an advert appeared on the noticeboard for a 2.4m sailing dinghy for sale relatively cheaply, so we bought it!


It’s actually an amateur built rowing dinghy later modified to take a Tinker Tramp sail and a somewhat modified Tinker rig.  It’s a bit of a project really - but that is not for this year!  A coat of paint on the outside is all it’s getting for now.  It should be fun, particularly when grandchildren (and possibly children!) are on board.

Later on Sunday 12th

Just before 5pm 2 carpenters arrived and studied the piece of teak across the stern which does need significant shaping to marry up with the cap rails.  Then the master carpenter (who does amazing things with routers and wood) and another of the carpenters arrived and started work!  One almost feels sorry for these guys, at the moment they’re working long hours 7 days a week.  Right now it’s gone 7pm and one of them is still working.

Monday 13th May

Today we’ve had the undivided attention of 2 carpenters who have worked really hard all day until just before 8pm.  Everything now begins to look nearly finished, hinges are being refitted on the cockpit lockers and they say that reinstallation of the deck fittings will start tomorrow - a little optimistic we think, but  the end is in sight!  The end for us but not for them, we saw the next boat in line (and who knows how long the line is!) having the old wood stripped off today.

Wednesday 22nd May

Well!  Here we are in the water!  A degree of civilisation is returning to Kabardar - the glasses and real plates have been taken out of their safe storage places, the sunshade and cockpit cushions are reappearing.

We were launched on Monday afternoon ready for the crane to come yesterday morning for refitting the mast.  They apparently prefer to do this with the boat in the water as they see that as a less risky operation.

Here comes the mast.…

How many men does it take to guide the mast in?  Don’t forget to include the 2 down below passing the left a bit, right a bit messages upwards to find the slot in the keel.

And the forestay…

The riggers then did a very thorough job of reinstalling all the rigging. The only outstanding item from the carpenters is the cockpit grating.  We know it’s been started, we saw it when we had a snoop in the workshop on Saturday.  When carpenter Mohammed found us snooping he said ‘finish today’ but quickly modified that to ‘maybe Monday’.  The story this morning is that it will be finished today and delivered tomorrow!  We’ve still a fair bit of electrical stuff and general tidying up to do but, all being well, we should be away from here at the weekend, with or without the new cockpit grating.

And finally here it all is, our beautiful new deck, cap rails and cockpit.  It might seem that we have done nothing but moan over the last few weeks and it has certainly been frustrating at times as they have attempted to juggle all their various jobs but the workmanship is excellent, we are very pleased with it.  

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