14 July, 2015

Adriatic Sea - Croatia 2015

Since we bought our boat, we have always wanted to sail the sea and one of the most beautiful seas in the Europe is the Adriatic sea. It has very clear and warm water, which is a must for if you have small kids, so let's go there. Unfortunately, it's pretty far away from Prague, around 1000km, but on the other hand, I managed to get 3 weeks of vacation, which is the ideal minimum for such a trip.

Anyway, with the preparation of the boat I've lost a few days, which includes boat bottom job using the
McLube's Antifoul Alternative Speed Polish. I was a bit skeptical about it, but it has proved its functionality and protected the boat pretty well from the seawater growth and is easy to apply.

The most extensive task was, however planning of the trip which took me a few months. Get all the required paper maps, Navionics maps for our 7" Android tabled and buy a VHF radio.
I know that fixed mount unit is better than the handheld unit in terms of the range, but I've not managed where to install it so it can be easily reached from the cockpit. So for now I've decided to buy a portable floating radio Polmar Navy-011F. I have to say that this radio is very good and since I'm not sailing too far from the shore, I was able to receive the Croatian weather forecast very clear. Even the communication with other boats a few miles away was ok.
Because it's a long trip and everything could happen, I decided to insure the boat with the Pantaenius Yacht insurance. I must say, that even it's not for free, it brings more peace in mind. On the other hand, we were lucky and nothing happened so I cannot say how the insurance company would deal with the possible claims.

The other thing I have to mention is that we planned the trip with our friend Venca and his MacGregror 26, who has also wonderful family with two small kids. The more kids are around, the better, because small kids simply needs a company and is a more fun :-)

Because we have a huge number of photos, I don't want to put them all into this post so click on the picture below to open a new window with the gallery:

Click on picture to get into the gallery

We also took some video so here it is:

Panorama view from "our" private island, where we searched for gold

This was a very close encounter with the dolphins:

And sailing on the waves:

For those who are interested, here is the log of our trip made using this inexpensive GPS logger Canmore GP-102+.  By the way, the Sailtracker.cz is the new project of the friend of mine David. Thanks man!

Click on the picture to get more details

I don't want to go into much detail of the trip, but I would like to summarize some value findings:
  • Solar panel under the boom provided power for the fridge for around 10 days in this summer days. The boom tent prevented the solar rays reaching the panel. It would need some additional solar panel mounted on the stern mast support to give it more power when anchored.
  • The UCHEN connector used for the outboard motor charging/starting cable deteriorated from the sun and salt water in not more than 5 days. More info at the bottom of this article.
  • If the centerboard is down it can be very noisy in the choppy water (banging sounds), because there is a big gap between the centerboard and case. One friend of mine who has the Phobos 24 fixed it by gluing a piece of carpeting inside the centerboard. I think I will fix it like this Avar Yacht A25 (formerly Janmor 25)
  • Centerboard spacer
  • All stainless hardware is unfortunately made from AISI 304, so a small amount of surface rust has developed. Adriatic sea is very salty, but when we arrived I've cleaned it with the oxalic acid. I've been told that citric acid can also help so I will try it the next time.