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Saaremaa: repair & refit

By SY Otra Vida — last modified Oct 24, 2013 01:33 PM
Saaremaa provides a practical cost-effective location for a major refit.

Published: 2013-10-23 23:00:00
Countries: Estonia

We completed a major refit on our Moody 376 in Saaremaa, Estonia during the period October 2012 – May 2013.   We were able to arrange inside storage ashore, and did as much of the work ourselves as possible, to the limit of our skills, calling on local specialists when needed.  For cruisers wishing to do similar work Saaremaa provides a practical cost-effective location for a major refit.  What is not available locally (e.g. marine electronics, spars, engine parts) is available to order from Tallinn or from other countries.

Here is an update on two of the harbours in the area:

  • Kuressaare:
  • The marina channel is comfortably dredged to at least 2m all the way along, and we rarely saw depths below 2.2m.  Stay in the middle of the channel, and err towards the green (starboard) bouys.  There are a couple of shallow areas just inside the port side bouys in the last third of the channel nearest the marina where we touched bottom showing 1.4m.

    The harbourmaster, Oskar, is very friendly and helpful.  Wifi is good, the toilets and showers are fine.   Water and electricity is provided.  Electricity connection requires the Euro style domestic 2-pin plug.

    Diesel at the fuel dock immediately inside the breakwater.  Petrol from the gasoline station in town.  Propane from Saare Gaas (2-3km from the marina), butane not available.

  • Nasva:
  • There is no longer a public marina at Nasva.  It is now privately owned by Baltic Workboats, a builder of aluminium commercial vessels, and there are no public facilities.

    Baltic Workboats have a large travelift, and perhaps in a genuine emergency could be asked for help.

    Repair and refit in Saaremaa

    General:

    A key contact for cruisers in Saaremaa is Meelis Saarlaid (+3725092932).  Meelis used to run the boatyard and marina at Nasva, and has circumnavigated via Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope on a 13m yacht, so understands cruisers.   He knows pretty much everyone boat-related on the island, and can organize work and provide assistance, e.g. cranes for haulout, cradles, specialist skills.  He speaks good English.

    Suppliers:

  • General hardware stores: Three large stores in Kuressaare: Espak, Bauhof (ring road), K-Rauta (Auriga shopping center).  All are a few km from the marina.  Tehnikarri (Tallinn tn) also carries a useful range of tools and general hardware.
  • Chandleries: None as such in Saaremaa, but there are small chandlery sections in several places.  Autoekspert (Tallinn tn) includes some deck hardware, cleaning materials, nav lights, bilge pumps and West system epoxy kits;  K-Rauta (Auriga shopping mall) has limited deck hardware and some ropes;  the Honda dealership (Auriga shopping mall) has a small selection of marine electrical and electronic items, as well as a few outboard motors and inflatable dinghies.  Of more importance Saare Paat (builder of Saare brand sailing yachts, in Nasva) will sell items from their stock to private individuals and are very helpful.  They will also cut marine ply / teak / acrylic / etc to size.
  • Stainless steel supplies: For bolts, screws, nuts, etc, the best option is Baltic Bolt (on the ring road, talk to Henri, good English).   Extensive selection in stock, and even more available in 2-3 days from their Tallinn HQ.  Very helpful.  Also Wurth (near Selver supermarket) has a good selection, including rivnuts and quality tools.
  • Electrical items: Good selection of wires and connectors at Roval (same building as Baltic Bolt on the ring road, talk to Waldo, good English).  Able to get almost anything else electrical to order.  Tehnikari (Tallinn tn) has a wide selection of crimp terminals.  The Renault dealership has IP68 LED lamps.
  • Hoses, hose barbs, ball valves: Hydroscand is by far the best option with an extensive range of technical hoses including hydraulic hoses.  They can supply some from stock, and can get anything else from their head office in Tallinn in a day or two.  They can also press fittings onto hydraulic hoses.  The location is not easy to find until you know where it is – take a taxi or get local help.  English is rather limited.  The general hardware stores also have some brass hose fittings and a limited selection of plastic hose.
  • Carpentry: Kalmer (+3725289477).  He is a professional carpenter who has worked on yacht interiors for Luxus (Arcona yachts) in the past.  Good quality work, reliable, fair, reasonable rates.  Reasonable English.
  • Metalwork: Sven Prei (+3725082551).  Helpful, resourceful, practical metalworking professional.  Can fabricate or repair most things stainless.   Welding possible at his workshop a short distance from the marina, or on site by arrangement.  Excellent work, trustworthy and reliable, reasonable rates.  Good English.
  • Sail and Canvas Repair: There is a small sail loft in central Kuressaare, above the kindergarten.  Their primary business is windsurf sails, but they can also repair sailboat sails and canvaswork.  We had repairs done to both and are happy with the results.  They also have the best selection of marine ropes in Saaremaa.
  • Provisioning:

  • There are 4 large supermarkets in Kuressaare, Rae in the center of town, Selver and Maxima  on Tallinn tn, and Rimi in the Auriga shopping center.  Selver is perhaps the best overall, but none are comprehensive and each has items not available in the others.
  • There are smaller supermarkets in Kuressaare and elsewhere on Saaremaa – these are limited and useful only for the most basic supplies.
  • Alcohol: Ensert (a short distance from the city center, ask for directions) has a good range of wines, spirits and beers, at lower than normal prices.  Liviko Alcostore, close to the marina, also has a good selection, at slightly higher prices.  The big supermarkets have modest selections, each one having a slightly different range.
  • Medical:

  • There is a full hospital in Kuressaare.
  • Several pharmacies in Kuressaare including one near the Rae supermarket in the center, and one in the Auriga shopping mall.
  • Dentist located in the Spa Hotel Meri close to the marina.  Limited English.
  • Restaurants/Entertainment:

  • KuKuu (in the city park close to the marina, open daily in summer and occasionally the rest of the year) is a beautifully restored wooden building with a good restaurant.  They have excellent live music nights about once a month in the summer (called Sadhu Jam), an outdoor cinema, and sometimes other events.   Recommended.
  • Vinoteek, city center.  French bistro-style dishes well executed featuring local produce.  Ulla, the owner, is a wealth of knowledge on her good selection of wines and spirits.
  • Classic Café, city center.  Home style food, properly prepared and cooked if you stick to Estonian dishes, patchy for international dishes (pizza is OK).
  • Veski (windmill, city center).   Classic Saaremaa dishes, well done.  The locally brewed Pihtla beer is a highlight.  A bit touristy, but worth a visit.
  • Communication:

  • Post office in the center of town.  We had one parcel go “missing” when sent to the UK, so after that sent everything registered post.
  • DPD parcel service will collect from Kuressaare marina.
  • Internet access is available for free in most cafes, as well as at the marina.  Elisa mobile network offers unlimited internet access via your phone for EUR 5/month on prepay SIMs.
  • Martin and Maret
    s/y Otra Vida

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