The unthinkable has finally happened – Slick is in the water and all the work is complete! It feels fantastic to have completed the list and cleaned the boat and be floating in the water instead of suspended in a dust bowl. Its only three weeks late but our stint on land is finally over.

It took a great deal of effort to get the work finished up. The weather was not the most cooperative as it’s April and rains a lot. The work in the end was completed really well. There were a few screw ups along the way. The most delaying of which was mixing two much barrier coat at once and it started to set off before it was applied. This resulted in a lumpy finish. I was not happy and after some discussion with the contractor they sanded it off and tried again. There is never time to do it right but always time to do it over, as they used to tell us in a former life. There are some other practices here that are sort of annoying, like reusing rollers or thinning the paint so much you can really cover big areas. But eventually the bottom was finished and then Slick got her boot stripe replaced. It looks great and the guys did a magnificent job. Finally the last thing was the stripe between the bottom paint and the boot stripe. I wanted this in white anti-fowling. The contractor showed up with dover-white which is more like light grey (think bird poop). I wasn’t happy and after some more discussion the contractor then went on to find the right color. It was late Sunday evening and all the shops were closed, so he borrowed some from another shop and it came out great. I don’t know why that was so hard.

At first the delays were not so bad, they gave me time to complete a bunch of other projects. Well, that was the first week of them anyway. The other two were annoying. The first project was to disassemble the old engine so I could pick it up. I tore it down to just the block and crank. The reason I have to do this is in order to get my taxes back on the new one I much present the old one to customs upon check out. I have to take it to them, on the boat. Then I am told I am expected to leave Turkey with it. Well, the old engine weighed 600 pounds and there was no way I was going to be able to pick it up, see I just don’t work out that much anymore. So I tore it down and still the heaviest of those pieces is about 250 pounds. British engineers certainly built those little 4-108s to go to war. It had the biggest crank shaft I think I have ever seen on such a small diesel and everything was way overbuilt. This is good though, I guess that is what you want. Its a shame really that I have to toss it as I am sure it could have been rebuilt. A couple of engine shops offered me 500 lira for it, which is about all it is probably worth, but to the Turkish Taxman its worth about $2000. Sorry guys.

The dodger came together nicely too. I am actually really happy with it, considering my sewing abilities. If I had paid a professional I might have a different opinion but I got to make all the same mistakes for free. It took sewing, lots and lots of sewing. I installed lights in it too, and will add a rain catcher in the future. It gets a lot of comments on the docks and is much cooler underneath than a fabric dodger. In the end, I am really glad I made it and I hope it performs well at sea. I don’t know that I ever want to go through that again, but if I do at least I have some better experience for an iteration, since I think I made every possible mistake. Slick is very happy with her new hat too.

Finally I installed the bowsprit that I had made downtown. It was sort of a last minuted thing and was not so expensive. I also didn’t put a whole lot of thought into it. It fits up nicely and was easy to install. I can imagine how much better the kite will fly with this. It has a way out position and when this seemed too long (is that even possible?) I decided to add a shortened position too. I think I will also put a dolphin striker on it but I could only find cast pad-eyes here, I think I want one that is drop forged. The cast one was cheap so I bought one. When I asked the load rating I was assured I could pick my boat up by it. Hmm, interesting spec, I wonder if they test that on calibrated equipment.

Slick’s big day came and as always the time of launch was one of contention. First at 9, then 11, then after lunch. Finally at 5:30 pm she was whisked away to the launch pool. The yard is a bit behind and so they used the 300 ton travel lift to put us in the water. That made Slick look like a toy. In any case, she floated, on the first try. Then the engine guys came down to be there for the first run, and it started right up with little to no priming. Wow, these Yanmar’s pump a lot of water. Well, just about anything would pump more than old Perky.

When we finally got off the dock, it turns out that the cable on my transmission is backwards, so when I go in reverse Slick goes forwards and vice versa. I will just have to get used to this though as the throttle lever housing is corroded shut and I broke several drill bits trying to drill it out. I can live with this but I am sure I will make a mistake at least once or twice or ten times. We Med-moored up to the pontoon. The marina put us in a slip that was too skinny for Slick and after some pushing and a little rope easing we fit in. I don’t really like this Med-moring business. It seems to me that it is a good way to damage a lot of boats. Plus doing it buy yourself is not easy at all. I think it might be the single hardest boat maneuver one can do alone, I am not sure. The new swim step proved helpful though and it is also where the passarial mounts.

Two days ago we went out for the engine shakedown run and warranty tests. What a great sounding and running engine. The top speed through the water was a little over 8 knots and the cruising speed should be somewhere around 5.5 to 6, which is faster than I ever was able to take Perky. There is some vibration in the shaft though and they would like me to get it replaced as soon as possible. I think that means Boston, or at least the next haul-out, but I am not sure. Also, for some reason the prop has about 2 milimeters of play in it. I didn’t discover this until she was getting launched, I had to reassure myself by beating on it with a hammer. It passed that test. Anyway, the company that sold me the engine, Marlin, is by far the best company I dealt with the entire time in Turkey and I recommend them to anyone who comes through here.

Now that we are floating I had a few more projects to do. I repaired the main sail and sewed a seam that was never sewn in the first place (it was glued but not sewn) on the cutter I have. I made some bed covers and hopefully have enough fabric left over to get new cushions made for the interior when the trip is over. I purchased and installed a used dinghy crane and fitted the passarial (its scary). The sails are bent on and the boat is rigged. There really isn’t much left to do but leave. First stop customs to clear out and get rid of the old engine. Next stop, Greece!