What's New 2005
S/Y EFAKI is a Mirage 28 built in 1977 by Thames Marine (UK) 


S/Y EFAKI is a member of the Piraeus Sailing Club (I.O.P.)


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November 17th 2005:

Two days ago on the 15th of November with the help of my father I took Efaki out of the water for the winter. As it becomes difficult and very expensive to find places for haul outs near Piraeus in the wider area of Athens, this time I choused to go to the nearby island of Salamina (or Salamis, famous for the ancient naval battle). 


The distance from the home port of Microlimanon is about 21 nautical miles and as a severe shift of weather was expected, I decided to rush and do it on Tuesday. We left at about 9:20 the morning and as there was no wind, we used only the engine, speeding no less than 5 knots.


This is my dad at the helm as we leave behind us the Microlimanon port. The day was warm when there was a sunshine but cold when clouds made their appearance. We almost circled Salamina island arriving in our destination the Koupetori yard at about 13:30. More on the haul out here.

October 7th 2005:

There is much progress on the repairs of Efaki after my insurance company accepted my claim. I'll post some pictures asap. Also I have scanned and posted the user's manual of the Yamaha Malta Outboard after John Northcott kindly provided it for me. You can download it here.

August 24th 2005:

These are pictures of Efaki that Kostas Papamakarios shot about an hour before we had the collision and he gave me just yesterday. 

Now I'm waiting for the inspector from the insurance company to see Efaki before I uninstall both pushpit and pulpit and begin repairs.

August 20th 2005:

I created a new page regarding the damage occurred to Efaki. The page is here: Damage August 05.

August 18th 2005:

We have just returned from our annual summer vacations at Porto Hydra Hotel Marina. Fifteen days of relaxation, swimming and much playing with our daughter who is going to continue her vacations with her grandparents out of the city. Our trip began on July 31st when with the help of my father I sailed Efaki the 46 miles to the marina of Porto Hydra Hotel. We had a force 5 on our tail speeding us up so we were there in only seven hours. We double rafted in a motor boat since there were not any available space to moor properly until next day that another boat left the marina. We then deployed all our 50 meters of chain and another 20 of rode while anchoring and so there were not a chance of dragging keeping my mind in piece. Efi with our daughter Elpida and my mother came by car so we were able to make many day visits to nearby places. My parents stay for a few days with us then they left with the hydrofoil from the nearby port of Ermioni. 

Left: Efaki moored in the marina of Porto Hydra Hotel.

Right: Elpida (on the right) with her friend Lorena in front of Efaki with me in the cockpit talking with Lorena's father in the next boat a Macgregor 26.

These are pictures from our annual ride with the dinghy in the canals of the Porto Hydra Village Hotel.

Just a few days before we leave another Mirage 28 came to the marina. This is Miracle and his owner used to own Efaki for a small period during her chartering era. He is the local distributor of the frigo refrigeration systems and we have said to meet again to enlighten me about the past of Efaki. What I liked very much about this man was the fact that he sails his boat with all his family (wife and two daughters) wearing lifejackets. Some of the other boat owners (mainly motorboat owners) were making jokes about it but not me who consider this a good practice. 

Miracle in Porto Hydra marina

During our fifteen day stay at the marina only one problem appeared and only for the last few days. Although we have no tides in Greece, the sea water level lowered due to the atmospheric conditions and so occasionally our keel touched the bottom when there was heavy wash of the speed boats that reside to the canals of the bungalows of the Hotel Village. 

This is Efaki leaving the Porto Hydra Marina while on the right is the Jeanneau 37 of my friend Kostas Papamakarios with his girlfriend Eva preparing the lines on the bow for leaving.

Friday August 12th was our day of departure. I was to single hand Efaki back to the Piraeus Sailing Club while Efi and Elpida would go back by car. At least I had the company of another boat to the same destination. That was of my friend Kostas Papamakarios who with his girlfriend Eva had spend the last few days with us and who they were returning the same day. Well that was a day of those that everything seams to go wrong. At first we were late to weak up and so it was a very hot sail. That lead to the decision that a bimini is necessary and one of the next major upgrades to Efaki. The second incident was the worst. As both boats were sailing closely only by engines as it was dead calm and we wanted to chat, our boats hit each other because of a failure of the old Autohelm autopilot and a late reaction on my side. The result was a serious bent to the pushpit of Efaki almost to destruction. The right guardrails also were pulled heavily and bent the pulpit before broken so they have also to be renewed. Among others, the pole for the solar panel was bent and have to be replaced and the little aux outboard for the dinghy needs a new propeller and possibly a new plastic cap (hood). I was planning anyway to change the shape of the pushpit so the damage didn't upset me much and the incident was a valuable lesson of the results a stupid move (sailing closely) can outcome. I'll post some pictures tomorrow about the damages. The third and last incident of the day before we got to port was with a ferry ship, the Ionian Queen. We can not understand why, she was making circles in the middle of nowhere and she almost run us both down. Possibly for crew training but in one occasion she came real close and we had with Kostas both to make avoidance actions. More updates tomorrow.         

July 26th 2005: 

The chores aboard Efaki seams somehow to get close to ending. Ok as usual the lists of immediate things to do, future needs and wishful targets are rearranged to produce the significant safe boat in time ready for the annual leave. The destination is again the same as last year and as the marina of Porto Hydra Hotel is small, I hope I'll be able to leave before the weekend in order to find a place and squeeze in before the masses of boats like mine begin their summer vacation. No more big words, hopefully we'll see how things go and report when return.   

July 22nd 205:

The last few days I go every day to Efaki and with the help of my friend Kostas Papamakarios we take care of various chores. Kostas has a Jeanneau 37 and we help each other to prepare the boats for our summer leave. We have renewed the diesel and oil filters, the oil and the impeller of the engine, the deck light and a few other things. Cleaning up and tiding is next before we have the chance to go out of the harbor and dive to clean up the hull. Next Monday the liferaft and the fire extinguishers will be ready and I have also to check what other cruising (or do I have to call it actually camping) equipment I have to load to Efaki...

July 19th 2005:

Yesterday I was again aboard Efaki taking once more notes for the tasks that have to be done before we depart for our annual vacations in August. The place will be again the Porto Hydra Hotel marina although I hope that this year we'll have the chance for some (at least) day sailing to the nearby islands of Dokos, Ydra and Spetses. We'll see about that in due time as it all depends on how my daughter Elpida will react. I don't want to stress her and make her hate sailing. Anyway today I'm going to change the filters and oil in the engine of Efaki, clean up, tidy a few things and in general search around for things that need taken care. 

July 12th 2005:

We have had a few days of leave the previous week for non boating vacations. We went to Zakinthos (or Zante) and enjoyed very much the beautiful beaches of the island. In the left picture is the main harbor of the island. In the right picture is the famous Navagio (shipwreck) beach which you can visit only by boat. This particular beach has been declared one of the three most beautiful in the Mediterranean. I Also found another Mirage 28 called Tranquility  in Zakinthos and I have placed a photograph in the Other Mirages page of the site.


Regarding Efaki, I gave today the liferaft and the fire extinguishers for their annual inspection. I have had once more the chance to observe the opening and the general condition of the liferaft. The flares of the liferaft have an expiry date of May 2006 and thus will be renewed but they were given to me to keep in the boat as spares until their expiration. The liferaft is approaching the end of it's life cycle and thus we have had with the inspector a useful talk about it's replacement. The conclusion of the discussion was that the cheap and popular liferafts are very cheap (quality talking) and it is better to keep a well serviced old one than buying a non very reputable (and expensive) one.     

July 4th 2005:

It's a strange summer. It always seams that I can't find a chance to go to the boat. Again already a month after my previous update and I have been on Efaki only a few times that involved a few hours of sailing and a few hours of maintenance each time with nothing significant to describe here. The only think probably worth mentioning is that I replaced the pole of the solar panel with a new stainless steel one and I got rid of this horrible white window frame that I had used as a temporary solution a few years ago when I bought the solar panel (photographs to be posted asap). Although rated only at 5 watt it has kept my batteries alive for two years now, years that Efaki is in general neglected due to the usual reasons: job and family obligations. New on this site: I have created  a new page in the Other Mirages about Collage a Mirage 30 centre cockpit

June 18th 2005:

Today we went for a swim in the nearby beach of Votsalakia. The main reason was to scrub the hull of Efaki in case I manage to take part in a regatta next week end but also to enjoy the beautiful weather. Elpida's grandparents were with us too. Efi was taking the pictures and she is nowhere to be seen.

June 8th 2005:

It is again over a month that I have not updated the site. To tell the truth it has been a very busy month at work and that is why I have not done really anything on Efaki. Although I mess every day with boats, I haven't the time to look after mine which reminds me of a Greek saying that is about the shoemaker's shoes: they are always neglected. Nevertheless during this month I went to South Spain to test Boats, visited Marbella, Sotogrande near Gibraltar, Morocco (Tetouan), and then the Rodman shipyard in Vigo North Spain. So there has been a lot of (motor) boating and the chance to get stronger relationships with a few of Europe's finest marine journalists. In the next few days work hours will be long again but hopefully in between I'll have the chance to go and check Efaki and even attend to a few chores. The time of our summer vacation is approaching fast and I would like before that to have been able to make a few weekend sails so as to live the boat and realize things that need care taken and other minor or major details to attend to.   

April 25th 2005:

It was such a beautiful Sunday yesterday that we could not miss the opportunity to go for some sailing. There was a study southern breeze of 10 knots and a very hot sunshine. So Efi took Elpida to a nearby playground until I finished the wiring of the new instruments and then we opened sails. 

It was the first sail for Elpida and as always on board Efaki she wear her life vest which now I think is time to upgrade since she has gained some weight just to be out of the limits imposed in the safety instructions of this one made by Lalizas. For an hour or something we sailed in the Faliron ormos (bay) until Elpida got bored. Next time we think that we'll bring along some of her books or toys to keep her occupied so as to last longer. Nevertheless it was a real taste of family sailing that we hope to have again. After Easter which is this week for Orthodox and as the weather is getting warmer, we plan to go for some sailing weekends and so I have to proceed with the various chores aboard Efaki real soon.  

April 21st 2005:

The last few days the Bidata ST 30 (speed and depth instrument) I had installed when I bought Efaki back in 1996 somehow stopped working. I took it to the local Raymarine dealer Mr. Skordilis who found the electronic circuit to be at fault. The cost of a replacement electronic circuit was slightly less expensive than a new replacement instrument. Not only that but the circuit carries only a six month guaranty while the new instrument which is the improved model ST 40 has a two years guaranty. So the decision with the valuable help and an extra discount of Mr. Skordilis, was to buy the new instrument which is compatible with the sensors already installed aboard Efaki. Also the new instrument has a different design which is similar to the wind instrument I had installed to Efaki a few years ago.


Since the two instruments aboard Efaki were placed not near each other, I decided to place the new instrument near the look-alike wind instrument. I had to drill a hole with a diameter of 55mm but also to take note that the instruments have their protective caps which measure a thickness of 2mm each.


I almost did a mistake measuring the distance I had to leave between the two instruments but with some filling the final result is satisfactory. It was already dark when I finished so the picture below is not good, I'll take a new one next time I go to Efaki. A few alterations have to follow to the wiring which is not difficult.

The funny thing with the above pictures is that although the two instruments are look alike, the wind has a label "Raytheon" while the Bidata a label "Raymarine" following the status of the company that started as "Autohelm" as shown on the label of the old Bidata. The old Bidata will remain in the position that it has until I decide what to do with the hole behind it. There is a thought in my mind of installing a GPS repeater there, connected to the Apelco GPS that I bought used and is going to be installed in the next few days near the Navtex that I also bought used through Ebay. Yeah, if you didn't understand it yet, the budget for Efaki is tight!!  

April 16th 2005:

Last weekend 9 and 10th April 2005, Efaki took part in the Andreas Ziro double handed regatta organized by Piraeus Sailing Club to the island of Poros and back. It is the only double handed regatta in Greece and since it is organized by my club I try to participate each year although the last four years I didn't took part because of  family and work obligations. 

Photo by: dkStudio Dimitris Koumaras www.sailingphoto.gr

This year my dear friend Vasilis (Bill) Spyliotopoulos was aboard Efaki. Vasilis was my sailing instructor back in 1993 when I enrolled to the offshore sailing school of IOP and since then we have family relations. Vasilis is no longer a sailing instructor since with his wife (who is from Holland) they have opened the Dutch flower shop of Piraeus called Anthodesmos. Although Vasilis is not involved in a daily basis with boats and sailing anymore, he is now considering buying a boat something his two children look forward too. 

In the above pictures we are just leaving Microlimanon to hoist sales and prepare for the regatta start. We race under the ORC Club measurement system. There were 19 boats racing under the ORC, about 20 racing under IMS and 10 Beneteau 25 One Design class. 

The start was given in 5 minute sequence starting with IMS at 11:00, following with the ORC and Beneteau 25. On Saturday there was a light breeze no more than 5 knots. This had as a result only a few boats to finish the regatta. Although we had a finish limit time of 00:30 at about 19:30 we decided to quit since there was not a way we could finish even if a stronger wind just appeared out of the sudden. At the moment we were in the south side of Aegina island at Kavos Antonis, only a little more than half the distance of 28 miles of the regatta. It took us further two hours to reach Poros harbor and moor there to hear than no other ORC boat had finish the first leg of the race. Out of the almost 50 boats about 10 reached the finish line. Thoughtfully the club had arranged for a big RIB to tow many of the Beneteau 25 that they are not equipped with an engine and for saving some weight they had left their auxiliary outboards at port. Our only problem was that I had forgot to tie the end of the anchor chain to the boat and so we lost our anchor with all 70 meters of chain. The harbor is very deep at about 17 meters and so we deployed the stern anchor (with 30 meters of chain and a huge length of rope so as to sleep peacefully) and arranged for a diver to retrieve it next morning at a cost of 50 Euros. There was a big party for all the participants and those of them who were not exhausted hit the bars of the island. We slept immediately since next morning had to retrieve the anchor and motor the three miles to Modi island where was the starting line (the return leg of the regatta is 26 miles). The same procedure for the start as the previous day followed with a breeze just moving the boats. Later it reached 8 knots and so we deployed the spinnaker and reached quickly the Aegina island. The boats that kept clear of Aegina had enough wind to finish the regatta. We were unlucky to be close Aegina when the wind died and spend five hours waiting for a breeze. The wind came around 6 pm and lasted for an hour and a half. Died again just about three miles from the finish line. We had to quit since there was no way we could finish within the finish limit time. All IMS and Beneteau 25 finished, but there were some other ORC boats that didn't make it too. If we had kept clear of Aegina we might have finished but this is the game. Strategy doesn't work always in favor, some times it goes completely wrong. So we hope for the next regatta now that Efaki made me feel confided about her, Vasilis show me some more tricks to trim her sails that are not as bad as I thought and the experience after four years of absence due to family and work obligations was in general, very positive.     

April 3rd 2005:

I was planning of diving this weekend so as to rub Efaki's hull but again Murphy's law had the weather too cold so as even to think about it! Instead I went sailing with Efi. There was a steady 15 knots Northern wind with gusts up to 20 knots. It was really nice and Efi enjoy it too for about two hours. I emptied some of the cruising gear such as the tender and other paraphernalia not needed for the regatta next weekend which is double handed to the nearby island of Poros. Minor tasks and chores also continue and hopefully this week after work I'll be heading to Efaki to complete the preparations. 

On the left picture is another Mirage 28 for which I have no information. On the right picture, the reefed main is just shown. Since Efi had some time to go for sailing, I was precautious so as not to get her scared.

It was really cold that day, though when the sun came out of the clouds the situation changed dramatically. Here we are just out of Pasalimani (Zea Marina) and the Piraiki peninsula is shown in the background.

March 29th 2005:

I have made some changes to the site in order to make it more functional. Several typing mistakes have been corrected, a few broken links removed and a few details added in various pages. Cosmetically nothing have been done yet but I hope that soon I'll have the chance to upgrade the site more. These days I try to go to Efaki every day and prepare her for her first Regatta this season due in the weekend of April 9-10th. Today I paid the fees for the renewal of the ORC measurement certificate (95 Euros).  

March 28th 2005:

I was aboard Efaki this weekend and I had the first sail of the season merely to check the rigging and the sails. So I had the chance to make some measurements and renewed with some Data the Mast and Rigging page. I plan to participate in a few regattas this season so I have to get prepared. I took some measurements for a new pole that I plan to install in the stern to accommodate the antennas of the GPS and the NAVTEX, the little solar panel I use for trickle charging during the winter and also possibly a spare (emergency) antenna for the VHF.   

February 17th 2005:

There has been terrible weather in Athens the last few days. Old members of the Piraeus Sailing Club told me that they have not had experience such weather in Athens for the last 30 years. During the morning of Tuesday 15th February, the wind aboard Efaki was measured at 55 knots with gusts up to 65 knots while I was aboard. I was there to secure the boat and help other members of the club do the same thing.

On the left picture: It doesn't show in the picture but there was a heavy swell inside the Microlimanon port that had as a result several moorings to drag (!) and many boats to hit the pontoon. Efaki as it is shown in the right picture suffered a few scratches to the bow as the nearby floating pontoon dragged her moorings and hit several boats. The damage is small though and easily repairable. As a result of what happened we have agreed to renew all the moorings of the club. To give you an idea of the conditions that appeared this morning several, pictures follow (copyright Nikos Markompotsaris Technical Press S.A.). The nearby port of Zea Marina had the breakwater fall in four places as a result of the enormous power of the waves. 

This had a result at least one motorboat to sink and a 53 meter sailboat to drag her anchor to shallow waters.

Beyond this bad news, the weekend before I had a few hours single-handed motoring - sailing and a meeting with a new owner of a Mirage 28 similar to Efaki with whom I hope to meet again in the future. 

February 3rd 2005:

Bob Jones sent me a photograph of Harrier, his Mirage 28 that he keeps in Alonisos. Hopefully he will send me more in the near future so as to present Harrier better. You may see the first photograph of Harrier in the Other Mirages page.

February 2nd 2005:

During January I had the pleasure of going to Efaki and even going out for a small day sail. I have started composing the endless lists of this year’s chores and wish lists which will be discussed in the future in this site. A few only of the things that have happened: I bought from a fellow sailor through an add in the forums of www.ybw.com a used NASA Navtex. I tested it and it functions ok so now I have to install it permanently. I riveted the boom vang shackle on the boom that had broken free. I changed a broken wire to the alternator plug. The wire was old and probably due to heat and vibration broke but didn't show. On one of my regular visits to Efaki (that usually include an engine running for about half -one hour) the alternator alarm was activated. Since I couldn't find anything that would justify the triggering of the alarm, I took the complete alternator to a workshop that tested it to be ok. Armed with that assurance I checked the entire wiring loom to discover a broken (cut) wire in the plug of the alternator. This was easily exchanged and the problem disappeared. I have a leak problem with both the windows, which I foolishly when I renewed last year I bought very thin. So now with the sunshine they flex and create leakages that even sikaflex can't cure. I have to renew them again with more "fat" Plexiglas. Such a job is very difficult since includes the upholstery of the boat so the task is at a first good weather opportunity decision. There are a lot of little things that I have done since my last update to the site but I think that all these slowly will appear here as I wish to recreate the site and make it more functional. This will happen slowly so be patient. Every time I write here that more things will appear soon, exactly the opposite happens...(Murphy's law?).