So hopefully this is the last day of curfew in Turkey. Over the past few weeks we have had weekend curfews and a couple of four day curfews design ed to stop people congregating over weekends and on holidays. All on all we have been pretty lucky. We have never been stopped sailing although our cruising range was restricted to the local area. Now we can cruise anywhere between Kusadasi and Antalya which gives us plenty of scope.
I have spent the last few days at Karacaoeren, one of my favourite spots and was lucky to miss a storm that battered Kas and damaged boats that were tied up at the Liminasi. It’s fair to say that I have found being on my own on the boat with no prospect of visitors from abroad, and no possibility to jump on a plane and go home to see friends and family quite trying at times. However the alternative of being stuck in my flat in Dundee doesn’t bear thinking about!
Last week I decided to buy a small portable generator for the boat. We had a few days when it was 36 degrees plus and I really needed to run my small air conditioner unit to cool the aft cabin enough to be able to sleep at night. Although it will run off my inverter it draws 900 watts which is simply too much drain on the batteries for more than a few minutes so the only way to run it is to run the engine. This somewhat defeats the purpose as the engine is next to the aft cabin and the noise makes it impossible to sleep. So last Friday John, the owner of the Karacaoeren Restaurant took me to Fethiye, where there was a generator shop. This involved a boat trip to the nearest point on land with a road, then in his pickup truck to town.
On the way back we stopped off for lunch at his father’s farm and I was treated to delicious soup, meat and vegetables all grown on the farm. We made a detour on the way back to check a solar installation on his father’s cabin up on the mountainside, and then back to the beach for the boat trip back to Karacaoeren.
I am pretty pleased with my new generator. It is an AKSA 2KVA unit, made in Turkey. At 21 Kg I can lift it quite easily out of the cockpit locker where it is stored onto the deck, where it plugs into my shore power lead. It burns about 1.3 litres of petrol an hour and isn’t too noisy. I ran it on full load (had the boat’s immersion heater switched on) and the noise is tolerable. To check how noisy it would be for neighbours anchored near by I made a trip around the boat in my dinghy while it was running. Up wind or on the beam at 50 metres distant there was little noise. Downwind the noise carried for 100/150 metres.
The generator, fits neatly into the cockpit locker when not in use. My portable A/C is stored under the chart table when not in use.
You may be wondering why I am banging on about this? Well when I bought the boat to have it built with air conditioning and a generator factory fitted would have added £30,000 GBP to the purchase price! I decided against adding this huge cost on the basis that in the Med A/C is really only needed a few days in the year. Last summer I spent July and August in Turkey, the hottest months and did suffer with the heat a bit at night. So I considered getting air conditioning and a generator retro fitted by Top Leisure, the Jeanneau agent in Marmaris. This would have set me back 17,000 euros! A massive saving on the cost from the factory but still a lot of money. I was seriously thinking of getting the job done and then I met up with an English couple one day anchored in Kekova who had a factory fitted generator on their Jeanneau 41DS. It was very noisy and as it is fitted in the stern directly next to the aft cabin sleep with the generator running would be impossible. So I would have spent a lot of money for little benefit. The combined cost of my portable A/C unit and generator was under 1,000 euros. The A/C unit tucks away under my chart table when not in use. With the generator positioned on the fore deck it can hardly be heard in the aft cabin when running. It is of course a bit of hassle to get the thing out and start it and wheel out my A/C unit. I would say it takes me about 5 mins to set it all up. But then it’s only for a few days a year so I think that is a reasonable compromise for ease of use versus cost.