On the hard working hard

Been on the hard since end August and as we have a lot of project during this off season, we started right away with boat job.

As we did not stay away as long as we had planned there were lots of food and wine to unload

Together with all other zillions of things aboard, we want the boat to be more or less empty as we have a lot of projects planned for the off season. After emptying the boat, we treated our self with a nice sushi

Eat as much as you want for 12 Euro a person, not bad.

But not rest for long, first major job  was to dismantle the gear boxes for the main furling system as I discovered that these super expensive gearboxes shafts were of a not so good stainless-steel quality already after a few months they started to corrode.

See the corrosion on the exposed parts of the shaft already after 3 months in action

For you who have reed my previous post know what a hard work it was before I got the new one in place. Also dismantle the head sail furling mechanism as time to service it.


Picture from when we took it of in Bermuda to service the top swivel. The whole lump weigh about 25 kg.

The electric motor has a poor cable hope I can fix it with a heavy-duty heat shrink tube, else I have to take it to a professional workshop. I have taken the head furling gear to a workshop as it is a very expensive peace of equipment and I do not want to risk damage the aluminium casing. I was recommended a workshop in Portimao who serviced the same type of furler on Lady Annila another Amel SM, which we know.

A bit more heavy duty workshop than many other marinas has , they will also make the shaft for the main furler gearboxes and some other things while they are at it, one problem they are loaded with job and they said “might be ready beginning of December”!!!. Keep my fingers crossed

You who follow, you know that I replaced one of the toilets but when we went out sailing it did not drain, well I found the reason for it.

The stud to the right is the cleaned one the other one is from the other forward lo

The hose between the bowl and the holding tank was totally blocked., I took apart the forward loo hose as well and it  was not long before that one also would have been blocked.


From the copper stud that is glassed in to the holding tank there is a hose attached inside the tank, that was on its way to get a lot of deposits as well, If you want to know how I fixed a hose inside a holding tank? there is a YouTube film, me sorting the whole thing out

and by the way tell the female part of the crew to newer, I say newer put hair in the bowl, it will clog up your pump and destroy the seals.

We have bought new solar panels 2x400w to replace the 3×150 watt on the arc, so 800w on almost the same area as 450w, will be a great improvement. Waiting for two 150 w semiflexible tailor-made 36 v panels from China to put on the bimini, that with the current 2×180 watt on the rail will give total 1,46 Kw of Solar. I have 16×270 Ah LIFePO4 cells soon to arrive from China, but that will be a blog on its own

The Turbo and elbow needed service/replacement

Cleaned out the Turbo

This is how it spins when attaching a vacuum cleaner to it.

Some say it should spin faster and longer after shutting down the vacuum cleaner others say it has no lubrication when not attached to the engine. I decided to just clean it and put it back again, Parts4Engine deliver very fast so if I need to replace it, I just order one for deliver wherever I am, and mount the new one. less than a half day job now when I have done it ones.

Elbow certainly needs to be replaced, I have now a new in Stainless steel to mount

Heat exchanger and oil cooler needed to be cleaned

Strange that the engine does not get over heated when running. The above are example of some of the job going on

Like to see how I cleaned to cooling system, and how a normal day are for us when in Lagos? Click on the link

While I work on the engine Kerstin is cleaning out our drawers, they are lined with some white fluffy fabric, smart solution? Not sure, the fabric stop noise from things rattling around in the drawers but as the fabric is glued fast, it is extremely hard to clean. Kerstin has a hard work cleaning the drawers and restore the waterproofness of our cockpit enclosure

I am not the only with work to do, do not want to swap with the fellow owning this boat

But not only work, we got a very sought-after visit from our daughter with family so for the first time we meet our grandson Alexander

They stayed for two weeks which we spend showing them the delight of the Algarve

We went babysitting so they could for the first time since the baby was born, go out and have a dinner and drink on their own, highly appreciated we believe. Now they are back in Stockholm and we proceed with our boat job.

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Leaving Gibraltar

From Gibraltar we decided to sail back to Portimao again, prospect for good winds at start and by taking a wide curve out at sea there was also prospect for some good sailing most of the way. Taking a straight line the wind would have died out very quickly. The direct distance was 145 Nm but our way became 195 Nm. We started from Gibraltar at the same time as Zultana another Swedish boat, which was a bit faster than us at start and she took the straight line. We arrived Portimao a few hours earlier than Zultana, our choice of way was for ones the right one as we could sail most of the way, for Zultana the wind died away rather quickly.

A you-tube (7 min) movie in ”Swinglish” from our trip to Portimao/Ferragudo from Gibraltar, klick on it if would like to see it.


Ferragudo/Portimao Anchorage

Portimao is just a few Nm from Lagos our hometown so we decided to make a short trip there to pick some delivery we had got at the marina office including the Furler the sail-maker forgot to include when delivering the sails. When docking at the reception pontoon the bowthruster started to give some strange noise and the motor increase in revs, not a good sign at all.

We have a retractable bowthruster that can be serviced when in water

A short video clip on how it looks from the inside with a large hole in the boat and how a retractable bow thruster looks like.

It was the gears inside that was worn after 20 years of service, so it did not pay off to dismantle the whole thing, just had to put it back and order a set of new gears. We were on our way to pick up my son and fiance in the neighborhood of Porto for a trip in Galicien so did not know were to have the parts shipped.

After putting the Bowthrsuet back in place to seal the hole in the bottom of our boat we sat sail towards Cascais a trip of about 130 Nm which go passed Cabo De Vicente the South West corner of Europe

Cabo de Vicente


Arriving Cascais

We explore the posh suburb to Lissabon

The square by the seaside offers a nice café named Paul which we of course must visit

They have particularly good pastry that we enjoyed on Kerstins nameday

After Cascais the idea was to sail up to Galicia about 220 nM to meet my son. We made a try but after slamming into heavy seas and strong wind for half a day we gave up and headed back to the anchorage, where we a few days later had to ride out a few days with very strong northerly wind

A clip from the windy anchorage of Cascais

Instead we rented a car to pick up Kristofer and Karin at the Airport in Porto about 360 km one-way car ride. We had not meet each other for a while and had a lot to talk about so I forgot about petrol, suddenly on the way back to Cascais the car stopped on the motorway!!! There are usually 30-40 km between the petrol stations so this could be a major issue. Guess what? There was a station just 300 m in front of us, aren’t that luck?

My surprise to realise no petrol

It sat us back maximum 30 minutes so no big deal, but now my son has one up on me!

Back in Cascais we sat sails towards Lagos again. The crew was tiered after a very early morning and a long day so with a bit of seasickness they were soon knocked out in the cockpit.

Tiered and seasick crew

When in Lagos we anchored outside the beach Meia Praia for a nice barbecue lunch

We took a tour exploring the caves and the youngster also explore the town of Lagos. I picked up the spare part to my bow-thruster that I have ordered to the marina in Lagos, and then we continue the short way to Portimao

Kristoffer examine the anchorage when we entered into Portimao/Ferragudo

Portimao is the “larger” town on the west side of the river and Ferragudo is a very nice Village on the east side of the river

Portimao offers very nice and long beaches with bars and restaurants and is visited by many tourists

Ferragudo is a genuinely nice village well worth extensive visit.

Kalu beach bar offers nice and tasty burgers, The Sangria is also well worth to try

Walking along Praia Grande watching the anchorage

Or the small streets of Ferrgudo

Looking for street art that are quite common in Portugal

After that a sun-downer on deck

Or a wobbly tour on the SUP

Next stop Rio Formosa/Culatra

We had a nice gentle sail towards Culatra, when approaching the narrow inlet it was close to slack water but still some current, one should go in on a rising tide to get the current with and because it is patches of shallow water on the way to the anchorage. Just outside the inlet there was an alarm from the engine, it’s overheating, quickly shutoff the engine, I opened the hatch to the engine room to locate the problem. A bucket of saltwater below the engine. Soon I found the cause, a circulation hose to the water heater was worn just at where it connect to the stud, by adjusting the hose clamp, fill up the engine with water and glycol and we were soon on our way again to the anchorage for proper repair later. Luck again it would not have been fun to have the engine overheating in the narrow inlet with the current, much better a few 100 meters before.

Moment like this one is very happy of the easy access to the engine, it took maybe 5 minutes before we could start the engine again.

Rio Formosa offers a vast area to anchor at and many long and fantastic beaches and good restaurants

Kristoffer and Karin enjoyed the beaches and food for a few days. As well as some genuinely nice beautiful sun sets

 We also visited Olhao

Where we took our guests to a traditional Portuguese fish restaurant, but not really their “cup of tea”

Times passes quickly when one has dear visits of the “kids” so home they went much to soon.

We stayed over a week more relaxing and repairing the Bow-thruster while at anchor, If you interested in how to do it you find a link to a video under Technical & equipment

Further we bought some Oysters from the local water-man selling water and oysters

Tasted wonderful with a glass of champaign

If you would like to see how an amateur open oyster have a look at the clip below, a wonder i did not cut my hand

After that we went back to Ferragudo anchorage enjoying hamburgers trying our new sails especially our new Code D

Us with our head set a very good tool when communicating over longer distances, now we are discussing how to set the Code sail. Must say we will be very pleased with the sail very easy to set, furl and unfurl, very versatile we have tried it from 80 degree to 170 degree apparent wind angle works great, sure it will be a good sail for our future trips. Now we are waiting to be hauled out at Sopromar in Lagos, I have ordered prismatic cells to convert to lithium 16×270 Ah cells all in all 540 Ah 24v. Guess we will have busy times with maintenance and improvements for out next trip.

The Plan is cross the Atlantic next year to Soure Brazil for a Rally ca 500 Nm in to The Amazon

Kids in canoe from last time I was there as crew on a Sweden Yacht 42 a fantastic experience

After The Amazon we go north to French Guyana, Surinam, Tobago, but as they say a sailors plan is like a “love letter in the sand at low tide”

I will post about my LiFePO4 project for the one interested

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Gibraltar & New sails


In November last year I ordered a complete set of new sails to Kerpa, My “old” sail I bought in Turkey 2016, did not last as long as expected, on the contrary the genoa is already beyond repair. When we arrived to Horta last year we used several square meters of repair “tape” to fix the worst and luckily it has worked until now, the main is repairable, and the mizzen has probably  a few more years in service. The stay sail did newer work properly it was a great disappointment. So I decided to order a complete set of new sails from Incidence Sails in France including a Code sail on a furler, they have made many sails to Super Maramus and other Amels so I expected better performance and durability, the cloth we chosed this time was Hydranet . We were supposed to pick up the sails early April this year in Gibraltar, but Covid 19 put our plans on hold. Gibraltar opened 1.st of July and the only marina to host foreign boats are Queensway Quay Marina. We booked a slip and sat sails from Rio Formosa the first of July this year for the 149 Nm to Gibraltar. We arrive to the Marina in the afternoon the 2:nd of July.

Quensway MarinaQuensway Marina 2

We usually do not sleep very well during a one night passage so we were rather tiered and also hungry, so now on British territory we walked down the streets of Gibraltar to get some good Fish and Chips, Gibraltar felt like a deserted town, very few people on the streets, many shops were closed. But we got our Fish & Chips

Fish and Chips

Tasted good but not excellent.

A Few days later we ordered shrimps at a local restaurant, to our surprise this is what we got


Very very small shrimps in some dough, deep fried, tasted OK but contained tons of fat, so we did not eat much of it. So, our experience from last time was repeated, you do not visit Gibraltar for the food, there are probably several restaurants with good food, but for sure several more with average or substandard food.

Two days later when we were on the pontoon, we were invited to celebrate 4 of July with some other boat owners. It became a very pleasant evening we got treated very well with booth food and drinks. That is one of the beauty with cruising, very often we meet new people and hear about their stories and can tell our own story

Pina Colada

Kerstin with a Pina Colada

Have a lock a the short video clip of our nice 4th of July pontoon party, did not expect to be served a water melon in which they have “pored” in one liter of Vodka, a few sore heads the day after!

A trip up the hills of Gibraltar

It was very warm while we were there, but it is a must to have a walk up the steep hills of Gibraltar, much more pleasant this time as it were very few tourists now.

The narrow streets on the way up the hill

Further up this view over the Marina

And here the view over the airstrip separating Gibraltar from Spain, on the other side is the small town La Linea. We were told that ca 10000 Spanish citizens work in Gibraltar, so Spain is very keen to keep the border opened now and after the Brexit.

It was hard work to climb these stairs in the heat, and it was more to come

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I was not the only one who thought it was hot, The Monkeys too took a rest in the shade

On the top we were well rewarded by the view

For the brave one can walk out on this glass bridge

You must look at this cute little baby monkey

Back to the marina we enjoyed a café latte at the quay taste good after a long day walk in the sun

The streets filled up more and more with tourist during the 10 days we stayed in Gibraltar. The reason for staying that long was due to delay in delivery of the sails. They were scheduled to be delivered the 6th but nothing arrived, not very much info from the seller or agent, Wednesday after noon I got a bit angry and send a few angry mail, finally the 10th they arrived, then we found out they had forgot to include the furler for the code sail in the delivery!!! Not happy about that, they promised to send it asap, so we asked for it to be sent to my home port Lagos. No photo but I made a short film about receiving and testing our new sails

After hoisting and testing the sails we sat course towards Lagos.

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Rio Formosa

Finally, we could go sailing after all the boat work, first stop was Portimao just around the corner from our home port Lagos, which we wrote about in last blog. Next, we went to Rio Formosa.

Rio Formosa Approach

Kerpa approaching the entrance to Rio Formosa, a national park, a rather large area sheltered by barrier sand islands with a few places to anchor a boat. Enjoying the tidal-area who dramatically change face two times a day, well worth watching.

Rio Formosa

At low water, a big area emerges where local fishermen quickly use the time to harvest mussels and sea snails.

Rio Formosa 4Rio Formosa 3Rio Formosa 2

And just a few hours later vast areas are again covered by water and it is almost water as fare as one can see, as in most directions the surrounding land is very low

Rio Formosa anchorage

Rio Formosa 6

Interesting to explore by dingy a calm day

Many odd boats can be seen

Rio Formosa Boat 2Rio Formosa Boat 1

As well as several villages where Culatra probably are the most interesting


Culatra harbor 1Culatra harbor 4

Just entering the old harbor is a treat for the soul.

Culatra Village 3

Walking around exploring the village

Culatra Village 5Culatra Village 2Culatra Village 1

Seeing some quirky houses and gardens. Across the island fantastic beaches meets you with white beautiful sand

Culatra beach 2Culatra beach 1

They have become more popular lately so when opening after Corona there will soon be rather many people on them, but as they are very long no risk for crowding

There are several cafes and restaurants where one can enjoy good food and wine to attractive prices

Culatra Kerstin

Here with full view of Kerpa

Culatra Kerpa

And at night the most stunning sunsets


It was midsummer when we were there and of course we had to celebrate that with a Swedish Smorgasbord

Culatra Midsommar 1

Size small but tasty, followed by

Culatra Midsommar 2

Coffee, Swedish homemade cinnamon bun and traditional Swedish Punch (a very sweet drink based on vodka, sugar and arrak), usually consumed in large quantities by students at the major university cities together with other alcoholic beverages followed by a hangover “category 5”



Is a small and lively town about 3 Nm by dingy at low water but only 1 Nm at high water. Before we started the trip I filled gasoline in the tank, I thought the two stroke oil looked a bit strange but well it was a new bottle so assumed no problem. Just 50! meters from a pontoon at Ohlao the engine stopped! I could start the engine again but it stopped as soon as I gave throttle. At least we got enough power to get into the pontoon.

Usually Portuguese people are very friendly, but this time they claimed we needed to move, I explained the situation about our engine not working properly, I insisted and was allowed to stay for a short period. The cause of the problem was dirty fuel probably from the oil, so get rid of the old fuel and get some new, but where to dispose the old fuel? I was directed fare away, but it was a hot day and I was not in mood for a long and maybe unfruitful walk. To make a long story short I found a shop where I could buy a jerrycan and a funnel, back to the jetty where there was a small fuel station, pored the dirty fuel into the jerrycan, the care taker for the fuel station was more than happy to take care of the old gasoline and the new jerrycan. New gasoline and new oil, and the engine was alright again, no residual in the carburetor (sometimes one is lucky, the engine have now worked fine for several weeks). Now we had to find a place to put the dingy, but again we were not welcomed at any place except the major wall, difficult to climb from the dingy, but we managed. A short walk and we found a very nice plain restaurant for lunch

Ohlao Restaurang

The RestaurantOhlao Chef


The ChefOhlao Fish

The Fish

Ohlao Guest

“The Kerstin”

Three beers a lot of fish, potatoes, salad, bread, olives, forgot the cost but ca 20 Euro, excellent. On the way back we found a shellfish shop, which solved our evening dinner problem

Ohlao Crab

A crab, bread and wine, delicious.


Faro is the major town on the Algarve coast with about 60.000 citizens with the airport to use when visiting Algarve, the southern part of Portugal.

It is a longer trip with the dingy around 6 Nm. Further up there are some narrow anchorage, but mainly permanent moorings, nothing for us with our draft.

Towards Faro 1Towards Faro 2

Rather low tide when we approached Faro

Towards Faro 3


Faro mooring 1

Not always easy to find a place for the dingy, very shallow, but tide was rising so no problem this time, sometimes tide cause more problem parking the dingy than anchoring the mother ship. The stairs where we landed was very slippery, but we managed.

Faro mooring 2

High tide when back.

Unfortunately, we took no photos when in Faro, the main objective with the trip was to visit Decathlon a major retailer for sports and outdoor activities (probably the best). Unfortunately, in Corona times the shelf’s were rather empty, but we found at least one important thing, a pocket shower

Pocket solar shower

We are very keen on saving  water on the boat and we do not like to shower inside. It was good we found the pocket shower because our electric motor for our water-maker would not start any longer, do not know what the problem is, save it for later when we are on the hard.

Pocket shower in action, it is definitely a water saver we can recommend for water consumption concerned cruisers

Next stop will be Gibraltar to pick up our new sails, will follow soon


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A minor replacement becoming a MAJOR project

I’m sorry but again the blog is mostly about maintenance, I promise next post will be about life and places when sailing, but off season life in harbor contain a lot of maintenance, repair and improvement, actually an important and major part of cruising.

A new plotter

At the end of last season we noticed that the touch control on our chart plotter or MFD as it also is called, did not work properly. Fortunately it also has a “key board” so it still works but felt rather uncomfortable to use. A bit disappointing as the MFD is only 4 years old, after browsing on internet I found that it is not an uncommon problem. Not such a big deal we rather quickly decided to buy a new MFD the Axiom 9 from Raymarine.  BUT then looking where I could make a good deal, I found a very “attractive” package deal, a Quantum Radar and an Axiom 9. I have been thinking of replacing our existing Furuno radar, an excellent radar but very power hungry (8A 24v), the quantum radar draw less than 1 A and users praise it. So that was ordered and delivered rather fast, but I need a radar bracket, as well soon to be found on Internet.

Up in the mast preparing for mounting the bracket

Up in the mast mounting the bracket


Radar bracket

Radar bracket and cables in place


After hanging in the mizzenmast for three days the radar doom was finally in place. Decided to keep the old radar, at least for a while until I can determine if the new radar is as good as the old one.

New and old MFD

The old MFD to the left worked good as a radar screen the touch function not so important operating a radar. The new MFD to the right in the picture. It is a great improvement to have a radar screen at the helmsman place

So it was a bit more work than just replacing the old MFD with a new one, but this was just the beginning!

Our old AIS only have NMEA 0183 and the new MFD talk NMEA 2000, so I need an interface to connect the AIS with my Axiom, the Interface cost ca 200 Euro, a bit sour that was not part of the plan. Internet is fantastic? I found a B&G VHF with integrated AIS and NMEA 2000, an outgoing model for 279 euro, now I can replace my old VHF who does not have DSC (distress function) for the cost of “79 euro”, a given…. and easily get AIS to our MFD!

I ordered the VHF and it arrived, but where to place it? To make a long story short I found I had to rearrange the whole nav station to get a good placement of the VHF. At the same time I could convert my solar and battery control system to blue tooth to get rid of some displays.

Nav station 1

Half way through to ripping out the instrument

New Front 1

Making new fronts in Plexiglas for mounting the instruments

Cutting Plexi

Sawing in Plexiglas works OK, but drilling was more difficult, very easy to get cracks, but I manage well, did not have to redo any panels

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Work in progress

For a not so handy man there are several challenges, one was how to get access to fasten the VHF on the back side?


On one side plenty of space for inserting a screw, but on the other side, very limited space, but a threaded rod VHF 2

And a piece of fuel hose


And the VHF is firmly in place. You can se a fuse box in the picture as I was poking around in the area with a lot of cables I decided to tidy up a bit, by taking away the in line fuses and install proper fuse boxes, one for 12 v and one for 24 v, plenty of work as replacing a few cables as well.

Pannel 4

As well as a new stereo, rather pleased with the result,

But the original a few hours work to replace the old MFD, became 4 weeks hard work!

Nav station now in place

VHF and SSB close to each other, nice? The observant reader might think is it not very practical to have the VHF station down at the chart table? is it better to have the VHF in the cockpit. Yes it is, and of course there is a solution to that.

B&G Remote unit

B&G sell a remote hand held unit to have in the cockpit not so much work to add but more cost, the discounted Axiom 9 MFD I bought, did not only create a massive amount of work, in the end the cost became many times higher than anticipated, a well known fact for most boat owners.  But we got Bluetooth monitoring of our solar panels and  battery management

Blue tooth SP

11 Amps going in 311 W from 360 watt panels not to bad.

Blou tooth SP monitoring

Yield the day before was 2 kw from the same panels, coming fall we will replace the old Turkish panels we have on the arc with new modern high yield panels witch will get almost 2 times the effect on just a fraction more surface, The list gets longer…

After Work

We sometimes  took a walk in the quiet lock  down Lagos for an occasional drink, to rest from the boat work


Sometimes to tiered to make dinner then a Sushi take-away was ordered, not bad for 20 euro 

When we were at it, we also replace to old nav station chair with a new one, of course they had different tube size for attachment.

Chair base 1

The old tube, I did not want to replace the base, because the old base is an integral part of the structure so very firm.

I found some sewers pipe connectors that fitted well in the old tube and after some grinding gave perfect fit to put the new Aluminium tube on top of it, to get a solid installation.

Chair Base 2

Nav station chair

Nav station with chair and new VHF etc.

rhdrCaptains Chair 2

We also made some new padding for the helmsman’s chair the old was rather uncomfortable. Kerstin is happy now when she gets a more comfortable place to helm Kerpa from.

But that is not the end of it, more work to follow

Cutter gibb 1Cutter gibb 2

The attachment for the cutter jib was not very neat and not strong enough, it had bent a bit so we had a new stronger one made.

Cutter gibb 3

8 mm 316 Stainless Steel and two extra bolts, this should be strong enough and looks much nicer.


Chaos 1

As always working on the boat it is chaos aboard, but finally we said to each other, enough is enough and decided to postpone a long list of work to after this season as it will be a short season about 3 month of sailing before we go on the hard.


So we provisioned and caste of and sat course to Ferragudo, less than 10 Nm from Lagos


Ferragudo 1

Anchored outside Ferragudo

Enjoying one of the best hamburgers ever


Kerstin took one with salmon as topping, it was surprisingly good, I took a regular one that was delicious, can’t compliant on the setting either

Ferragudo 2Ferragudo 3Ferragudo 4

marvelous sitting there having a hamburger for lunch, we had only planed for a short lunch but it was so nice so we stayed for a few glasses of Sangria as well before heading to a neighboring boat for a sun-downer, a bit headaches the next morning.

Next stop Rio Formosa…..

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