Prep for paint

OMG.  (Sometimes that is just completely appropriate.)

I seriously couldn’t believe that we got an email stating that the boatyard was prepping for paint!

more prep
more prep
preppety prep
preppety prep
preppey paint prep
preppey paint prepping

My dreams are finally coming true!

hey, sexy portlight!

When the problems were found with the portlight we realized that we needed something strong, sturdy, and well sealed to replace it. We did our research and found what is (I think) the world’s sexiest portlight (owning a boat has changed the wiring in my brain.  A little.  Maybe.).  It is a little bigger than the old one in terms of overall size but the amout of light that comes through seems like 100 times more!

The plan is to replace all our port lights with similar babies.


the fixed and smoothed and beautiful hole that our portilight will soon live in...
the fixed and smoothed and beautiful hole that our portilight will soon live in…
look at that, just look at it!
look at that, just look at it!
sexy, right?
sexy, right?


Happy galley plus

So everything is coming along nicely!  Our galley almost looks like it’s fit for human habitation.

counter top!
counter top!
the sink will go on the right.  the stove will go on the left.
the sink will go on the right. the stove will go on the left.
It's still dirty but at least it's in there.
It’s not perfect but at least it’s in there.

The outside of our boat is smooth and beautiful.

getting' smoother!
getting’ smoother!
fixing it.
fixing it.
holes? what holes?
holes? what holes?

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m pretty sure it’s not a train coming the other direction…

Galley reinstall

Galley Reinstall…

That was what the magical phrase contained in the next e-mail update.  I liked that sound of that.  Reinstall is a happy word.  It’s certainly a lot more happy than demolition or disaster or hole or problem or mistake… Reinstall makes me think of positive things happening.


Here are the pictures we were sent of our Galley Reinstall:

Putting Back is good.
Putting Back is good.
This will look like something someday
Someday this will look like Something.

on the uphill slope

After this the news from the boatyard was a little more chipper.  It was nice to see progress being made instead of just finding new problems.

I’m attaching some photos of the hull paint, water tanks with rhino liner coating and new hoses, as well as some of the interior views.

Rhinolining on the water tank. I can totally get behind this!
this is the piece that was welded put into the area where the port light was. nothing is getting through that!
Holes in the transom are welded, filled and primed. Maybe we can secure our lifelines to steel instead of fiberglass this time…
paint is going onto the boat. so awesome!

welding, redux

So, the welder returned… again.  We were sent some real-time photos that really made the process come alive.

the bad bit
the bad bit
cutting out the bad bit
cutting out the bad bit


The transom had a hole in it that had been patched with fiberglass.

a hole you can actually see through is a hole that should be fixed
a hole you can actually see through is a hole that should be fixed

The welder cut away the rusty steel back to solid, non-rusted steel.

fixed it.
fixed it.


This was a particularly fun thing because the stanchions and lifelines had to be removed.  At least it’s been fixed….

Our problems are solved!

Here is the next email message we received from the boatyard:

I’m attaching some photos of the welding work, and of the fairing along the waterline…  …they have started welding on the transom.  If you have any questions, as ever, don’t hesitate to contact us.

this is fixed!
this is fixed!

Oh happy, happy day!  There are fewer holes than there were!  Our boat could actually be considered seaworthy if she were to be gently placed into the water and there was minimal wave action. This is Important and Eventful!

(We celebrated at The Commune with a bottle of champagne.)

this is fixed, too!
this is fixed, too!
fixed it, fixed it, fixed it!
fixed it, fixed it, fixed it!

They had to do fairing along the waterline because all the paint and fairing compound and the rest of the things that keep the outside of the hull looking smooth had been sandblasted off in our quest for holes. There was a sort of lip above the waterline where the stuff had not been blasted off. Initially I did not want to do the fairing. It was expensive and I figured that it wouldn’t matter because the boat would be in the water so no one would see it anyway. My Better Half made the eloquent argument that it would look stupid when were in anything except flat calm water. Oh. Also the argument was made that the lip could potentially cause drag as we were sailing and slow us down.

fair fairing
fair fairing
fairly faired
fairly faired

I just was eager to get done…

Windows/port lights/portholes/holes

Remember when I mentioned that the window in the trunk berth had gotten so rusty and flimsy that it had to be torn out?  Here’s what happened:

Once upon a time, long ago (and possibly far away), the seal around the port light (the only one below deck level) began to leak. Instead of really fixing it the previous owner just squirted some caulk in where it was leaking. This may or may not have worked. At some point later a new type of caulk was squirted in to stop the leak. This leak/squirt business continued until there were 9 different types of caulk squirted into this port light.

definitely a "before" picture.  For future reference, the problem is never small when something looks like this.
definitely a “before” picture. For future reference, the problem is never small when something looks like this.

Now, I don’t claim to know a lot of things about the mechanics of boats.

What I do know is a little bit about:

(1) galvanic corrosion and

(2) chemical interaction.

Galvanic corrosion (1) occurs when two dissimilar metals are in close proximity and especially in the presence of salt water. Read more about it here. I know it’s a bad thing. A steel boat should have as few other metals touching the steel as possible.

Chemical interaction (2) of sealants is a little more basic. Multiple types of sealant aren’t going to stick to each other. If just one type of sealant had been used it probably wouldn’t have been such a big deal because it would have had a better chance of sticking to itself. Instead it divided into so many spaghetti strands of dried up glue…

As it were, because the seal around the port light was shot and there was aluminum on steel and lots of salt water everywhere: the steel was basically worthless. We initially thought that we could just enlarge the opening a little bit and throw a new, larger port light in. The boatyard cautioned against this.  They had been grinding away the bad metal and were at about twice the size of the original opening. Even with this large amount cut away they still hadn’t found the original steel thickness. We could have put in a picture window and called it good.

Here are the rather interesting pictures to illustrate why you should not put off maintenance:





water inside and out

By this point we were in the midst of despair.  Our boat was full of holes. We weren’t living on it (reference: commune living).  We had gotten rid of our beautiful West Village apartment .  We were spending mucho $$$ on nothing tangible.  In summary: not what we expected.

We got this email:

I am including the contract for the Water hose and fitting renewal, per your conversation.  This email confirms your verbal authorization to proceed, and to run your card today for the deposit amount.
Also, he provided me with the stove measurement you needed:  23.25″ wide x 25.5″ deep
Here is a quick photo tour of the issues you spoke with… about on the phone this morning.
Plugged thru-hull with plastic ninety and duct tape:  Wire reinforced hose goes to a bronze fitting to a wooden plug.
plugged thru hull with plastic ninety and duct tape
 Salt/Fresh hose left/right:  The salt goes from thru-hull to the whale.  It’s a direct system.  Fresh water hose is yellowed and degraded.
Salt water hose on right, fresh on left in hand
Salt water hose, duct tape and clamp:  Different view of the other end of the Fresh water hose.
Salt water hose, duct tape and clamp
Thru-hull plug:  This is one of the junctions… recommended capping.
thru hull plug
Water Service Junction:  System pressurizes the head and the faucets, but the filter is installed backwards, so there is a huge amount of excess hose.  Also, there are two hook-ups for the faucet, coming off the same hose, so all you have to that faucet is cold water, vice cold/hot.  Thru-hull provides salt water to the whale pump. One line goes to the fresh water whale under the sink.  The other system leads to the center faucet, and also has a huge excess of hose tangled behind the filter. The water filter is a Plymouth, which appears to be out of production; it’s unclear whether we’ll be able to source cartridges for it, but there is a box of cartridges on the boat.  
Water service junction

Sooooo, everything is wrong.  The water outside the boat (IF the boat ever gets into the water again) is coming inside through the holes.  The water inside the boat is shitty and not fit to drink.  There are intentional holes that are secured with duct tape and plastic that are about to implode.




My better half returned from looking at the disaster that was our boat.  I needed to know how big things were so we could buy a new:

stove (you know… to cook). ‘Cause ours is now garbage.

refrigerator (you know… to keep food cold).  ‘Cause the previous one caused our boat to rust.


There are many people in the sailing community who exist and have long, happy lives without refrigeration.  They buy eggs and store them and turn them over and everyone is fine without cold food.

Some people are able to function without stoves and do things with candles and alcohol or something magical and are happy with what they have.

I am not one of those people.  At least, not right now.  It’s possible that in a couple of years, or months, or weeks I will think differently and be fine with warm eggs and curdled milk.  At this point I feel the need for the comforts of my heretofore privileged and easy life.

Here is the schematic that the boatyard sent to us with dimensions



Ok.  Good to know what I have to work with.