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When to exchange the Seacocks?

If a seacock is used, it is usually to seal a through-hull water inlet (or outlet) close to, or, below the waterline. The failure of these small metallic helpers can lead to water enterin the boat and so everyone is advised to deal with the condition of their seacocks before something breaks. We bought "Five Senses" used and it was not possible to find out how old the valves were, what material they were made of and how carefully they were exchanged, if at all. However, one thing was certain: the visual inspection alone (see picture above) made it clear that corrosion had spread here. There are no clear guidelines on when to replace such valves, but once they do look like this, the time is pretty close. So if the boat is already on land, the thinking was, why not exchange the seacocks?

If the seacocks need to be replaced, there is also the question of the new material. You have to choose between plastic and metal and then there are different possibilities for the metals. To be honest, when it comes to a seacocks, I am very conservative and I trust a plastic part much less than solid metal. Maybe I'm not right here, but the much larger volume of the plastic valves alone shows me that metal needs less material, so it is more stable. In this case, weight is not an issue for our area of ​​application, but security is. And we need a solution that is suitable for salt water.

As is so often the case, there is a lot of good information to be found online, here is a small collection of links:


When you're at it, you can of course think about the connecting hoses. The same applies here: if these burst, there is quickly more water in the ship than one would like. They form an important functional unit with the valves. In addition, sewage hoses lose their insulation power against odors. An exchange - therefore - also makes sense and is up for consideration.

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440 Nautical miles: North Italy – Istria – Kvarner


Port calls: Aprilia Maritiima- Umag - Vsar - Brijuni - Cres - Opatja - Martinscica - Medulin/Pomer - Pula - Rovinj - Novigrad - Aprilia Marittima

Days cruised: 14

Difficulty of sailing route: suistable for beginners

Timeplan: relaxed

Notwendige Selbstversorgung: 1 day, daily port calls with good infrastructure




1. Day-Aprilia Marittima-Umag
The first leg took us to Umag. The wind blew with 20–24 knots from the northeast and our efficient boat brought us, with reefed sails, safely to the leg goal. The pier was almost completely occupied as some of the power boats stayed there and waited for the wind conditions to get ligher.
Tipp: In addition to the boat documents, your yacht master licence, and the passports, you also need cash when entering the country. And ATMs are not close by at all. Euros and Kuna (local Croatian currency) are accepted.
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The marina in Umag has a very nice restaurant and the kids enjoyed our first beach encounter. With great surprise, we discovered other guests at the end of the pier: Muskrats. They belong to the voles family and are their largest representative. Here you will even feed them and they were really cute. The village centre can be reached on foot, or with a small train. The harbour district is very busy and loud.

2 + 3. Day-Umag-Vrsar
With still strong and gusty wind, we went on to Vrsar. This very picturesque town presents itself in magnificent colours; the marina is very well protected and is easy to get in. A highlight for the children was to fish jellyfish from the docks, to transport them into buckets with water and to watch their colour play. In the restaurant Trost, right in the marina, they serve excellent local specialties. Around the harbour, there are other numerous Restaurants with some rather average quality of food.  Just around the corner from the city centre, a small amusement park is located.

We stayed a second day in  Vrsar to have our dinghy repaired. The promised, rapid help did not arrive at all, so our dinghy was unfortunately not operational for the upcoming days.

4. Day Vrsar-Brijuni
The wind was still strong during the day, but it was not a big challenge thanks to our driving direction. With only small parts of the sails out we started early in the morning to sail to Brijuni. We had breakfast in the cockpit and even discovered a small dolphin school. We a great way to start into the day!

In the marina of Brijuni, you check in at the hotel reception. The port charges are much higher than usual and the payment is always for 24 hours. We felt Brijuni was worth the experience. With an electric car you can explore the island and the many bays invite you to swim. Hares, peacocks, or other wild animals scurry over and over again. In front of the hotel resides "Kocki," a Kakadu, who repeatedly calls his name. The former island of head of state Tito thus now allows a mini-safari.

5 + 6. Day Brijuni-Cres
The marina in Cres is located just outside the old town, still within walking distance. The old town is built around the old Harbour Basin and offers numerous shopping and dining options. Due to the weather situation and the announced strong Bora, we decided to take another day break here.

In the city of Cres it is delightful to dine: In the buffet feral you can find the best Mediterranean cuisine, right in the city centre, at reasonable prices.

7. Tag Cres-Opatija
The day of a big surprise: we had launched in rather fair winds and as we wanted to meet some friends this evening, we decided to use our engin power to speed up our trop. However, when I tried to start the engine, nothing happened. And it was really "nothing" that happened. When I turned the ignition key, there was deadly silence. The cable from the battery to the starter was corroded within the isolation and I was not able to fix this myself. So we had to reverse again to get the engine fit again. It was not easy to dock without enginge power, but with the help of the Marineros we managed without any damage. Luckily the cable could be fixed the same afternoon and we were able to continue our journey.
The approach to Opatija was scenic and very quiet thanks to the calmness of the wind. We definitely didn't want to meet the Bora here.

8. Day-bathing excursion to the North Cape of Cres
Crystal clear water, what more can I say?


9. Tag-Cres-Blue Grotto-Martinscica
The Blue Grotto was definitely a highlight. You swim into the cave and reach a cavity after only a few meters. Light penetrates through an underwater opening in the rock inward and colors everything blue. Experienced swimmers can also dive through this hole to the outside and swim with a diver mask. But you need some courage and I have seen many who finally did not dare to take the risk.

We then motored from the Grotto to Martinscica, because Pomer was already too far away from us at this time of day. As the very small pier was already fully occupied, we decided anchor in the idyllic bay and enjoyed the dinner by dinghy shuttle. Luckily, we had successfully replaced our dinghy in Opatija!


10. Tag Martinscica-Medulin/Pomer
As described above, on our departure from the island of Cres, our engine was no longer working and we had to return to the marina again. My plan at that time was to use our electric outboard as a kind of emergency enginge. It was mounted easily at the stern and everything went quite well in the beginning and we drove with almost 4 knots of speed. After an erroneous movement on the thrust lever, however, the load on the propeller was too high and a leaf broke away.
A spare part was on board, but a necessary splint could not be found. Via the service homepage of Torqeedo, I reached "Martin" and he organized that the necessary metal bolt was brought to the Marina Pomer. To the zero fare and the next day, I'm just saying, "Hats off!" I have rarely experienced such a great level of customer service. Especially in times of self-service support areas and outsourced call centers. My next engine comes  from Torqeedo, so much is for sure! Top!
Pomer is only a short distance from Medulin and characterized by low-cost camping tourism. The city port of Medulin is quite idyllic, but it is not allowed to be entered by yachts. In order to reach the marina Pomer, it is necessary to proceed with the utmost caution. From all sides paddlers, inflatable boats, surfers, and above all jet skis are approaching with sometimes high speeds and often completely uncontrollable. The marina itself is newly renovated and even offers a small pool. The children were not sad about waiting for the bolts and enjoyed the pool!

11. Tag Medulin-Pula
Pula is home of one of the the largest amphitheatres still preserved today and we certainly didn't want to miss this. It takes quite a while to reach the city through the small fjord you have to get through, so our decision not to arrive to late in the day played out very well. The city offers a great deal of historical architecture, a small pedestrian zone, and in the evening "harbour giants," the construction cranes of the local shipyard.

12. Day Pula-Rovinj
During the middle of the summer, tourism was already very noticeable. The docking space in the marinas was scarce and when coming to Rovinj we were assigned on of the last docking spaces at the outsite pier. With every boat passing by, we felt the swell and at night we experienced one of the most intense thunderstorms we had seen so far. The sky was brightly lit by lightning, and wind and waves rocked our boat vigorously up and down. That night we almost did not sleep at all but still better than being out at night in such nasty condtions.

13. Day Rovinj-Lim Canal-Novigrad
The Lim Canal is a deep incision into the mainland and houses numerous shellfish farms. The literature did not agree on how and whether one was allowed to drive the canal and so we called our destination restaurant "Viking" upfront. Not only could we reserve a table, but we were also confirmed that we were allowed to drive to the end of the canal. Even a berth was kept ready!

Arriving in the evening of Novigrad, we visited the restaurant "Marina." It is only a few steps away from the marina, but outside of it. You can find some little testimonials under "Delicious Memories."—in a nutshell: Sensational!

14. Tag Novigrad-Aprilia Marittima
Now it was time to go back and Moritz was also very excited about swimming in the pool. On the crossing we caught another Spiegeleiquale and watched them in the Pütz.

"I've always admired the ships far out on the horizon because they sail so far away. This time we were on such a sailboat, quite far away."

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Purchase of Five Senses: Charter vs. Owner Boat?

2004, Sun Odyssey Charter Yacht for sale, located: Biograd na Moru, CRO

"This is exactly what we have been looking for!"

Our Beneteau 38 called "Angsthase" was a great start, solid, reliable, in good condition - but - just a little too small for a family of five with a view of guests on board. Above all, the storage space was too scarce for us. Sabine had looked through the advertisements in the yacht magazine and when asked what I was thinking about yesterday's advert, I was able to announce: "We'll have a look at her on May 30th", that was on May 5th, 2016.


The then called "Chairos" had been doing her services as a charter yacht for 12 years. The main- and headsail have been replaced in 2011 and the chart plotter in the cockpit has been replaced by a multi-function display from Raymarine. The basic version was that of a Sun Odyssey 49, teak deck, furling mast, Elvstroem sailing wardrobe (110% genoa + standard main), stainless steel anchor chain, large stainless steel anchor "jambo", small 4-stroke outboard engine, cockpit cushions. The boat was serviced and maintained annually after the charter season, that much was easy to understand. The yacht faced some major refitting: underwater paint, rig, batteries, deck, bimini, spray top, well and actually the sails. But of course it's all a question of own expectations. An attempt was made to sell the boat directly without success. Chairos should now find buyers with a lower price and with the help of a yacht broker.


On-site visit in Biograd

"Chairos" still had the full charter season ahead of her. The former owners had arrived for our visit and we had the history and all service work, repairs and maintenance measures explained. Without going into all the details here, we had the impression after a few hours that some more work would be necessary, but the hull, keel, mast/boom/spinnaker pole, fittings, winches and most of the gear were in good condition. The biggest plus for us, was not only the agreement that all deficiencies that had been identified will be taken care off until the handover, but we also shared the new paintwork on the hull and a new countertop for the galley. Furthermore radar would be installed on our expenses. The biggest minus, however, was the degree of wear of the interior and the partly outdated electronics. Comparable ships sometimes had higher quality equipment, but also came with a significant surcharge. From our point of view, the price-benefit ratio was therefore at the upper end of our willingness to pay, but still in order. The general strategy of buying more cheaply and then upgrading step by step was fulfilled. We bought from a company, so the VAT still had to be paid, but we found that the professional environment also gave us additional security.

Immediately required repair :

  • Revision of stern, there was damage to the hull
  • Guard rails, stanchions were shaky
  • The hatch of the sailing load could not be closed tightly
  • The galley sink was not siliconized / leaking

Was added at our request:

  • Complete new painting of the hull
  • Installation of radar
  • Exchange of the countertop in the galley

What emerged later and in the context of the delivery to Italy:

  • Loose contact button bow thruster
  • Service batteries were at the end of their life
  • The bilge pump filter was completely blocked, the pump could not work
  • Seawater foot pump was not working properly
  • Compass lighting defective

My plan for renovations

  • Underwater paint
  • Exchange of shrouds and stays
  • Refurbishment teak deck
  • Sails need to be replaced
  • Bimini / spray top
  • LED lighting salon, cabins, bunks
  • Retrofit freezer compartment
  • New (high-volume) water pump

Other findings over time:

  • Through-hull fittings had to be exchanged
  • The prop's shaft was out of round
  • The shaft stuffing box had to be replaced
  • A feathering propeller is MUCH better than a fixed propeller
  • The dinghy was a bit too small for us
  • The cockpit cushions need backrests!
  • Autopilot and chart plotter have had the best time
  • The radio does not connect to blue tooth devices, a newer device would be great

Later ideas:

  • Underwater spots
  • Air conditioning
  • New stove / oven
  • Cooling drawer instead of a small cooling box
  • Cockpit extension for the VHF-radio
  • Floor and some of the interior wood work should be refitted
  • UV lamp and activated carbon filter of the water system
  • Li-ion batteries
  • Solar system

Today, years later, I can say that my impression has been confirmed. The wear and tear was quite considerable due to the charter operation, some major work was necessary, most of it for optical reasons. But Chairos at that time was handed over in good, ready-to-sail condition, most of the smaller repairs had only been carried out in part because the large work had taken significantly more time. We wanted to get on the boat at the agreed time and so we were OK to take care of these little things ourselves. The owners had ended the charter season prematurely and therefore waived a few weeks of income. The boat had escaped ever greater damage (e.g. no ground contact, etc.), necessary renovations and inspections had always been carried out professionally and thus the "basic substance" was and is in the best order. However, I underestimated the cost and effort of the deck renovation. But more on that in the next blog post.

What was your experience when buying Charter vs. Owner boats? I'm looking forward to your comments!

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Delivery start on October 27th!

Before we left, of course, a planning meeting was scheduled, in a Konoba with grilled fish and locally typical wine. Of all this, there is not much to see here, because we wanted to work very thoroughly from the beginning ??
October 27
After the last preparations by the Pitter team, it was time to launch and set off for the transfer! Weather conditions were as follows: blue sky, sunshine, and strong-gusty wind from NE with 20 to 25 knots. Even if these circumstances were not really rough, they gave enough reason to unpack the slicker and reduce the sail area. After this successful start, it was time for the Ship's baptism and this time a sparkling maneuver tost.

Our first destination was Molat, a small island about 36 nautical miles away with a very idyllic village. At a dreamlike sunset, Peter prepared a sensational dinner in our Pantry.

October 28
At initial moderate winds, we found ourselves under the previous day's conditions: reefed main sail and heavy gusts, typical of the Bora. We therefore postponed our ambitious target to reach Pula and docked in Unije, a village with 85 inhabitants and a restaurant open only during the summer season. A repair was to be carried out at one of the mast spreaders, a great opportunity for a photo of the stunning sunset.

October 29
Departure at 06:10 was crisp, because it was dark and cold. However, we have not had any other chance and the arrival of a supply ship was announced to happen at 06:40. So it was time to get rid of the lines early and launch into another great day.

The sunrise was an impressive natural spectacle and paying back all the pain of getting up so early. In the middle of the crossing over the Kvarner dolphins visited us and swam besides the boat.

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In the early afternoon and around 60 nautical miles later, we had reached Novigrad. In addition to a dreamy harbour, this town also offers some nice shops to look for local specialties. My highlight is really the restaurant "Marina." This is why I dedicated another blog entry to this great place.

October 30
From Novigrad it was 24 nautical miles to reach the entrance of the lagoon near Lignano. So, with blue skies and sunshine, we made our way—this time without wind and at 16:00 pm Aprilia Maritima was reached. Thank you for the successful, timely, and safe crossing!

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