What's New 2009
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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Snapdragon & Mirage Association has finally a web site. Please visit: www.snapdragonmirage.org.uk

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December 14th 2009:

In what is probably the last update for 2009 I have to admit that December has been extremely sailing friendly in terms of weather. Temperatures in the region of 15 degrees Celsius were common until the last weekend that we actually felt winter. 

These pictures were taken by Dimitris Koumaras of www.sailingphoto.gr during Sunday November 29th 2009 while I was adjusting the tracks of the genoa sheets with my best friend Kostas Papamakarios. During the day a northerly breeze of 5 knots seemed the perfect opportunity to make the tests and adjustments since the new genoa is quite larger than the previous one and a few considerations have to be thought out in order to provide the best out of the new sail.


The next available opportunity to go sailing was presented on December 6th, the day in which in Greece we celebrate the Aghios Nikolaos day (Saint Nicolas) who is the Saint protector of the sea men. The Piraeus Sailing Club (Istioploikos Omilos Pireos) organized a sail together to the nearby island of Salamis (Salamina) where we have had a Mass in the Aghios Nikolaos church in Peristeria. Seven boats participated in this sail together with about 50 members of the club and many more that came to the church by car. The sail was exciting with a north wind of 17 to 20 knots that provided to Efaki once more the opportunity to trim the new genoa and achieve a top speed of 7.1 knots with an average speed of 6 knots. Not bad at all for Efaki who covered the distance of about 11 miles in less than two hours!

As you may notice, the church of Aghios Nikolaos is on the forefront of the sea almost built over the small pier that provides a few births for local fishermen and visitors. As usual though, one must be very careful while mooring since there are shallow waters and rocks near the pier that need to be considered while approaching. That is why Efaki is moored bows to and so far from the pier and disembarkation was through the neighbor boat. During the return trip we have had the chance for un unofficial race to the club during which Efaki impressed the other participants despite the fact that she was about the half size of most others...

So this concludes this year's logs. Happy Christmas everyone and Happy new Year. 

October 8th 2009:

Today was a free day for me, so I went out with the boat, drop anchor and scrubbed the hull from the barnacles etc. It was quite warm and so I spent almost two hours in the water cleaning as much as I could. Then with a clean hull and propeller I made measurements for speed / rpm to discuss with my mechanic and a propeller specialist as I think that I need to change pitch on the propeller. My max rpm was 3200 where it should be at least 3600 with a lot black smoke despite the 6,5 knots. Probably my propeller is "heavy", but I need to confirm that. A few years before that I changed the engine my mechanic thought that the prop would be just OK but I think that he is wrong and I haven't had the chance so far to address this matter more thoroughly. 

This is the beach between the Microlimanon and Zea Marina as shown in the chart below. I dropped anchor near the little island Stalis and initialy I wear a diving suit as I thought that the water might be cold but later I just took it out. A lot of people were swimming nearby and a few came to hold from the boat for a rest.   

The measurements I took with a relatively clean hull and prop are these:

RPM Knots Note
800 2  
1000 2,5  
1500 3,8  
2000 4,9  
2500 5,7  
2800 6 Little white smoke
3000 6,4 Little black smoke, stern deeps in water
3200 6,5 A lot of black smoke

After the measurements I returned to the club where I replaced a few of the shackles to my stern lines that were starting to corrode and checked their tension springs for signs of metal fatigue. We have started to discuss as a club that we need to do something with our mooring lines as we afraid that in extreme weather conditions that lately seam to come more often, we might have a problem. We'll see if this ends up in a common decision to do something at last.


This is a sad scene just in the entrance of Microlimanon. An old traditional boat has sunk probably because of neglect. At least it is surrounded by a protective net to collect any oil leakage. 

October 7th 2009:

Christopher Fisk who is the current Chairman and Editor of the Snapdragon & Mirage Association (SMA) contacted me with updated info about joining the association. If you are interested in joining please refer to the SMA page of the site by clicking here. In the links page a link was added for the web page of Ben's Cover who is now preparing my bimini.

September 30th 2009:

I have had the chance to go for a few day-sails during the last few days since the weather is very helpful with temperatures between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius and the wind mostly from North directions (that doesn't create weaves in the Saronic Gulf) from 6 to 12 knots.  This fact gave me the opportunity to make some more adjustments on the tracks and the genoa sheets (and no shits! Thanks Rob) to better trim it since it's bigger than the previous one.

In the right picture is my friend Ram who is crew on a 68ft motor boat and who helped me wash my sails (the main actually since the genoa is new) that have acquired their original white color after years of neglect. Actually in my club there is not enough space to wash the sails and my previous attempts were limited in hanging the sail from the balcony of my apartment and just pouring water on. This time I took the main with me on an other marina with wide piers and with the help of Ram we washed it properly.

September 15th 2009:

It has been almost a month since my last update but this has been a quite interesting period in the sense that I face a career change simultaneously with my wife that affected our available time aboard Efaki. During this month though I kept receiving Emails from Ray Smith (who was quality control manager in Thames Marine which built Efaki) that provided valuable information and pictures (thank you Ray!). Among those pictures:

Left: Ray building one of the first Diamond(s), Center: One of the very first Mirage 37 sailing in heavy weather, Right: The history of Thames Marine (which you can read by visiting the page Boat History of this site).

Despite the lack of time, I went many times on Efaki and worked slowly a million different things that needed attention. My neglect on Efaki during the last three years has slowly started not to show so much as I revisit chores completed in the past making sure that they don't need a complete renovation and repairing where necessary. Among those things lately was the anchor windlass which started to behave strangely. I tear it apart, reassembly it, changed a lot of wiring and put it back again now working as new. The truth is that almost after ten years that I installed it, I need to fabricate something like a protecting cover since the sea water and the chain that keep falling over the windlass body, have taken away the protective paint. 

This is the set up of the windlass aboard Efaki. Unfortunately when I bought her, there were not a cover over the chain locker but just a hole. I made a triangular piece of marine plywood in shape, then I glassed it over and install it in place with stainless steel hinges. When I installed the windlass I used again a piece of marine plywood as a reinforcement under the deck and the experience so far is that the set up works ok except the fact that the chain sometimes touches the base of the windlass and removed the paint. What I think is that I need to make a plate or something to install between the chain and the windlass to protect also the motor and its contacts. Left to do for next time is to paint the windlass in order to prevent corrosion and also put some Vaseline on the contacts to protect them from rust.  

As I completed the installation of the fridge machine from Waeco that converted the coolbox to a refrigerator, the plan was to install a 220v charger to charge the batteries and provide current to the continuous use of the fridge as I wanted to have cool water and drinks when I go aboard Efaki. To install the charger I had to make a new cabinet to incorporate as before the stereo, the vhf and the back up depth sounder along with their switch panel, but also to install a new switch panel for the 220v system along with its RCB. This cabinet is shown on the above left picture and its just a bigger version of the one I had before with the only difference that now it is completely enclosed from every side as 220v is dangerous for hands around looking for something. The charger itself is to the port rear side near the mid bulkhead in a well ventilated place as it needs air for its fan to cool down. I used the chance to install a new cd player and a separate equalizer / amplifier as now I have two speakers inside the saloon and two speakers to the cockpit that I need to control separately. I want to renew also the vhf but I dint' at this time as there is a lot of bureaucracy in Greece regarding radios and their permits but also because I feel that in the near future there are going to be changes to the regulations regarding related systems as DSC and AIS, etc. Yesterday I took the chance to sand the frames around the windows that provide light to the saloon, heads and bow cabin, six frames in total. In the next few days I'll varnish them as I did with the new planks of the gangway. A major reorganization of things aboard Efaki lead to a few big bags of useful/useless things taken home to provide space for new useful/useless things that I keep collecting (!).  I plan to do the same with my tools that currently weight quite a lot but I'm not yet ready to remove from the boat as every time I take something away, I just need it exactly the next day. Yes, I know, Murphy's law. For next time: consider the need to install a zinc saver, varnish the window frames, clean up, go for sailing perhaps..?  

August 19th 2009:

Ray Smith surprised me again by sending a scanned piece of a newspaper he had kept from the first public display of the Mirage 37. According to the paper, the first Mirage 37 out of the mould is shown in the photograph, that was moved in order for the Southampton Boat Show. Unfortunately Mr. Smith has not a date for the newspaper article which I suppose is during the early seventies. Thank you Mr. Smith.



August 17th 2009:

During the last few days I have had the chance to work on Efaki installing the cooling unit into the coolbox thus transforming it to a refrigerator. There were a few good and a few bad points in doing so. First the good things: Obviously sometime in the past Efaki have had an electric cooling unit in the coolbox, something obvious both inside the coolbox and in the lazarete. This not only provided a guideline in installing the new one but also facilitated the procedure as bases, screws, etc from the old installation were used in the new one. Now the bad things: Obviously the old and removed unit was not equipped with quick links for the tubing as both in the coolbox as in the adjacent bulkhead which is near the lazarete there were big cuts for the passing of the cooling unit and the tubing into the coolbox. 

Anyway, a new 30mm hole was cut in the cooling box in order to lead the tubing into the lazarete where the cooling compressor is installed while a hole in the furniture of the kitchen above the coolbox had to be made in order to lead the wiring from the thermostat to the compressor and the sensor to the cooling unit. All this took a few frustrating days due to heat and lack of detailed instructions in the manual of the waeco unit which is accurate in the info that provides but creates uncertainty in a few important decisions on what to do. Anyway, both the cooling unit and the thermostat were connected to the compressor and a test with temporary wiring proved them working. After that with polyurethane foam I sealed the holes and the gaps and now the only thing left to do is proper wiring and also putting some gelcoat inside the coolbox (or should I call it refrigerator now long?) in order to prevent condensation damaging the foam in the hole that the tubing and thermostat sensor enter the area. 

Other than the above, a nice surprise was that I received an Email from Ray Smith who used to be a Manager in Thames Marine, the shipyard that build the Snapdragon and Mirage boats, and who sent me a picture of the Mirage 28 master pattern being made in the Canvey Island factory.

This is the first ever picture I get about the Mirage 28 in her early life and I hope that Mr. Smith will let me know a few more things in the future about both Mirage 28 and Thames Marine in order to update with more data the History page of Mirage 28 in this site. Mr. Smith was kind enough to scan also for me an eight page brochure for the Mirage 28 MKII. Probably this brochure is from the later years of Mirage 28 in the market, dated some time between 1978 - 79 (?) as the MKII version is displayed while the earlier version MKI (as is Efaki) was being built at least since 1975. Anyway I'm most thankful to Mr Smith.  



July 23rd 2009:

Today I spend again some time on Efaki mostly making plans on how to proceed (and finally over) some works. Among other things, how to install the cooling unit from Waeco that I bought in order to transform the icebox to an electric refrigerator, where to place the battery charger and the 220 V switch panel and last what else to do to make Efaki look better. The only thing I did , was to cut in shape the planks that close the companionway. Then I went to Praktiker for supplies and I hope to return on Efaki soon for some progress on the above. It's quite hot these days in Athens with the temperature exceeding 40 degrees Celsius so you can only work aboard only early in the morning or late afternoon.  

July 20th 2009:

I just realized that is more than a month since I last updated the site of Efaki. Well during the past 20 days of July I did have the chance to spend some evenings on Efaki and proceed with a few chores. Among others I did install the bimini which now requires final adjustment and the tent to be cut in shape, I did install the 220 V socket in the cockpit as well as a waterproof speaker, a new teak toe rail in the stern, etc.

Also I had the chance to test the new genoa. After almost 15 years of use, the one I had, had her life over, so a new one was ordered to Sail Co. in Piraeus which did an outstanding job in quality, time and price.


Last but not least, yesterday we did go for a short sail along with out daughters who did enjoy it, but probably not as much as fishing! Here is Elpida, our older with her catch!


No need to remark that all four fishes she catch went back to the water...

June 2nd 2009:

A crash on the server hosting this site made it temporarily out of reach. The site of Efaki has been transferred now to a new server which hopefully will make it available again. Thank you Dimitri!

May 28th 2009:

I have not had much time lately aboard Efaki, but I did went shopping for Efaki. Among other things, a 40 Amps three stage charger for the batteries has been bought, a refrigeration kit to transform the ice box to an electric refrigerator and many paraphernalia for the installation of the above. The cost? Well....shush Efi reads that... 

May 20th 2009:

A new genoa has been for a long time in the wish list for Efaki. Now it's the time that I can no longer postpone the purchase since the one on board had her life. So today I removed her in order for a couple sail makers to come and measure Efaki and make me an offer. I'll let you know what I'll decide in due course. 

May 17th 2009:

Today I wanted to continue the various chores on Efaki but a call for help from a cousin and close friend had as a result Efaki to be set as the background for a photo shooting. Actually Dimitris works in the production of a theatrical show which presents a parody of the film Mama Mia. If you have seen the film you may remember that the three fathers spend some time on a sailing boat. So the three fathers of the play came aboard Efaki for some pictures that show them working and relaxing on the boat and which will be used during the show. If I manage to see the play I let you know how Efaki appears and involves in the show.

May 15th 2009:

Today was shopping day for Efaki. Apart a new clock and a new barometer that you may see installed below, the shopping list included a pair of fender shocks, a charger for the batteries, and a complete 220 volts system including a switch panel with earth leakage fuses and the complete wiring harness as Efaki never had before 220 volts on board. Why on earth did I decided after so many years with no problems to install a 220 volt system aboard I still don't know but what I know is that I want to do it in a proper way. More on that to follow soon.  

May 10th 2009:

Today I had a go on the cockpit lazarete. I emptied it from the stern anchor and all other paraphernalia that I store in there so as to clean it and rearrange everything.  

After a thorough clean up that included all the things inside the lazarete, I decided that I need to apply a new coat of topcoat to the lazarete which I plan to do on the first available opportunity.

May 7th 2009:

I have had a few Emails from Rob Billington who has Sally Gee, a Mirage 28 in Spain. I have created a page for Sally Gee.

April 26th 2009:

Today with my daughter Elpida we went to Efaki for taking care of a few chores. 

Actually what we did was to prepare the stern for the change of a teak toe rail. That included the thorough clean of the old silicones and the taking of exact measures for the preparation of the new teak pieces.

March 29th 2009:

It's almost Spring! That means that whenever we have the chance we go to Efaki either for doing chores or just a little sailing. Today was such a day. I went to Efaki with Grigoris and my younger daughter as my older daughter with her mother and Grigoris' daughter and wife went to the theater.


As you may notice, Vicky had a nice nap while we sailed and the fact that Grigoris is her pediatrician was reassuring for her health and our piece of mind. Later with our wives and daughters we had lunch in the club.

January 14th 2009:

Happy new year everyone! This year's goals are set to update more often the content of Efaki's site and data provided to enhance it with more info. I would like to promise myself this year to actually use Efaki more often but I'll play it safe and not give promises I'm not sure I can keep. Work and family obligations will be again the factor that will affect the time spend on Efaki which unfortunately shrink it more and more each and every year that passes. Time will tell, but until then, welcome aboard everyone.