The Refit

We’ve enjoyed four months of sailing and lounging around at anchor. Now it’s time to get down to work.

A deciding factor when we bought the boat in 2015 was the quality of the original build. We knew that the hulls and crossbeams were built very well. All of the main structural components of the boat were built according to Wharram’s plans. Only the best materials were used: mahogany lumber, BS1088 marine plywood, marine epoxy. (We have original receipts for the materials.) Quality workmanship is evident in well-made scarfs, perfectly formed fillets, and excellent fiberglass lamination.

We new in 2015 that the rigging was the highest priority. We hired Keys Rigging to do a rigging survey. Their recommendation was to do a complete re-rig, including restoration of the mast, replacement of standing rigging, replacement/refabrication of chainplates and other hardware. We hired them to do the work. After nearly a year and over $50,000 in expenses, we were extremely pleased with the results. The mast has been completely inspected and restored with new paint, hardware, and wiring. The standing rigging was replaced with synthetic heat-stretched Dynice Dux and terminators made by Colligo Marine, the leading company in synthetic rigging. All halyards were replaced. Chainplates and other standing rigging hardware were custom fabricated.

After twenty years, the basic structure of the boat remains in excellent condition. Many of the systems–electrical, plumbing, navigation electronics, engines–are dated and in need of replacement. Paint and varnish need to be refreshed. There are signs of water penetration into wood around fasteners–in a few areas, localized areas of rot. Slatted hardwood decking is wearing out. The retractable swim platform needs to be replaced. The bow net needs to be replaced. We need to inspect the beams and beamtroughs–this requires removing all five of the structural beams and the two netting beams.

Additionally, after five winters of coastal cruising in the Florida Keys, we’ve identified a number of areas where we want to improve safety, performance, and comfort.

Basic Goals and Methods:

  1. Restore the boat to “better than new” condition, improving structural soundness, seaworthiness, safety, crew comfort, and aesthetic appearance.
  2. Reduce future maintenance needs by hardening all components of the boat for another twenty years of service. Emphasis will be placed on materials and methods that will reduce the effects of corrosion, abrasion, water penetration, and UV exposure over time.
  3. Safety first! Perform all work according to Federal regulations, ABYC standards, and generally accepted best practices.
  4. Achieve self-sufficiency. Every mission-critical system should either be redundant (i.e., we have spares and backups on board) or be able to be maintained and repaired by us with the tools and supplies we have on board.
  5. Improve our knowledge, skills, and practices for maximum cruising safety and comfort.
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