The Quest for the missing Wire Brush

There should be two steel brushes on Ocean Wolf.

Despite an extensive search party they remain missing in action.

Not in the machine room, not in the crew cabin, not onder the floor or even in the bilge. Not in the toolbox, the tool closet, not with the paint supplies…

This torpedoed the plan to paint new depth markers on the anchor chain.

Anchor chain

The quick fix would be to mark it with new tie-raps instead.

We did that before and they tend to disappear as they are being mangled by the chain.

A nights sleep provides new energy and inspiration to search some more. The challenge is provided by Occam’s razor. When it not in the obviously place it must be in a non obvious place. And there are many of those.

Eventually they turned up in the machine room. They were placed out of harms way safely tucked behind some cable duct close to the ceiling. Mystery solved.


Lefkas strikes again

Lefkas at the start of the winter season is nice and quiet. The only downside seems that the local dump is stocked with fresh trash. On windless days the smell quietly enters the marina for all yachties to enjoy. Apart from such inconveniences the hydraulic pump for the autopilot required attention.

During the last sail the pump started to make a lot of noise. Not good. The pump is driven by the prop shaft when under sail. I.e. it is driven using a belt and pulley. It turned out the pulley wobbled on the pump axel. Thus damaging the pulley and the axel. Grrr. With help of a mechanic/ metalworker in Lefkas this was resolved. Thus it was a simple matter of reassembling it all and inserting fresh hydraulic oil, determining a leak, removing the oil again, disassembling, fixing leaking seal, reassembling things and reinserting the hydraulic oil. A piece of cake. End result: no leak, no noise and an autopilot system that works once again. Jay!

Pump axle and pulley

With that done there is time to replace some sikaflex on the deck. bonus project: heroically trying to keep Daisy the cat from stepping in uncured sika.


The Ocean Wolf had many adventures but has spend September in Piraeus/Athens.

At the outer pier Ocean Wolf feels small between all the large motor yachts that tower over her. At the far end of the pier is a ginormous 130+ meter yacht that dwarfs anything in the vicinity.

The marina has some bars and restaurants and the city is nearby with some additional food options. Kontosouvli (Spit roasted BBQ pork) is a recent favorite after we found a nice little restaurant that freshly prepared this.

Zea marina by night

When not watching Netflix or roaming the inter webs we find chores to perform. Our last claim to fame has been the installation of a new B&G Triton display to replace a flaky old analog display that suffered from bad connectors. In our experience the plastic of the connector becomes brittle with age and fails to ensure a reliable electrical connection. The net result is that the analog display have been malfunctioning at random intervals. This is unfortunate because we like we look of them.

Enter the Triton display. Bit by bit the 21st century is brought to the Ocean Wolf.

The process was simple; we unmounted all the displays. This made the wooden panel available for modification. Until now the B&G displays al fit through round holes in the panel. The Triton display requires a rectangular mounting hole. Hence we applied our woodworking skills and the versatility of the Fein power tool to make this.

Once done it was a piece of cake to mount the display and to connect it to the NMEA 2000 network.

New display in the middle

Next we had to see the Acropolis. Greece is known for its long history and the acropolis of Athens is a must see. We thus embarked on a trip with the local city bus. As soon as we arrived at our destination bus stop the ancient buildings started to appear left and right. (This happens frequently anywhere in Athens). We hiked around the acropolis and enjoyed it from below

Here a view to the acropolis from Areopagus with Parthenon hidden behind the temple of Athena Nike .

Next: more boat works.

The deck needs caulking. The proceeded with the usual sequence of steps: remove old sikaflex, sand the seam, tape the decks, apply primer, cut the primer from the old sikaflex, apply new sikaflex, remove tape, don’t step in the sika.

All was made somewhat easier due to the use of our new friend the caulking gun:

Caulking gun

We also treated some problems in the paintwork. So we went to another sequence of steps: grinding, oxalic acid, primer, primer, fairing compound, sealer, etc, topcoat. (This needs completion.)

Then we proceeded to change the engine oil and oil filter as it had reached the recommended number of hours to do so. Pro tip: don’t buy oil at the nearest yacht chandler near the marina but invest in some advanced googling to locate the local oils dealer. This cut the price by half and took care of delivery of two 20 liter drums of oil. Replacing the oil is a simple process of applying a lot of sweat and rags to soak up the spills. Replacing the filter can be done from a comfortable position lying on top of the engine. Care should be taken to avoid lying on the non-ergonomic parts. That is a challenge. But we managed to replace the 35 liters of engine oil. Hurray. Next up replacing the generator oil.


Some days ago we found out that our bow-thruster anodes required replacement. Thus on one of our recent visits to the chandler in Poros we acquired some shiny new anodes of the correct size.

First we spend some time cleaning the nuts and bolts with a wire brush to remove as much of the growth as possible. Next we used our scuba gear to unscrew the remains of the old anodes without time pressure. This went fine until the point where we figured out that the new anodes didn’t fit despite our careful measurements. It turns out the mounting bolts on the starboard side that we measured at not spaced equally as the bolts on port side. Sigh. Thus the starboard anode went on without protest while the port anode didn’t fit at all. Luck had it that we had a new file on board that allowed to widen the mounting holes of the port anode. This allowed it to be bolted on during a second dive. Due to careful planning an skilled execution of the above we didn’t lose any tools or parts in the process.

Mission accomplished successfully!

(Due to operator error no footage was captured using the underwater camera. Oops)

Notes for next time

  • Nuts/bolts are M10, spanner size 17
  • The unmodified anode has 8cm distance between mounting holes, the other less. (6.5-7cm).
  • Think of a better system to clip away all bits and pieces: something to keep the rings and nuts while not mounted, something to keep the anode(s) and tools.
  • Ideally each diver should be able to use both hands to operate scuba gear without dropping anything :-).
  • A wire brush is very functional but otherwise a pita because letting it dangle isn’t safe due to the sharp pointy bits that might puncture skin, suit, etc.
  • We need more inox boltsnaps.