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Old 27-03-2013, 20:35   #1
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Captain Ron Jon

Hello, my name is Jon, and I'm new to the forum. I burried my Dad last week, and he left me his 44' Ketch. It's an all wood, 1 off design. After many searches, I can't find another one like it.

It's been about 10 years since I helped him rebuild the engine in it, and it's been about 15 years since it's been out-hualed.

I just got finished reading a thread where a guy got really flamed for asking a question, and I hope that's not going to happen here.

A little history about me, I've sailed very little, in a small boat with my Dad. That was when I was younger, but I've never sailed with him on the Ketch. I've worked on it with him, and we had a lot of really great times on it. He was too weak in his older age to take it out. So before anyone tells me to sell it due to my lack of expierence, I'll tell them to think about that one carefully.

Now this isn't a fancy boat, it's my Dad's boat, Captain Ron. The boat needs work...it's work that I want to do myself..as much as I possibly can.

So after laying my story out there, I hope there are a few good fellows out there that can give me some solid advice. I'm considering selling my current boat to afford the repairs. I've also been reading a lot about sailing/cruising the last few years. I'm planning on crewing this summer at my local marina and working on his boat (which is 4.5 hours away), one weekend a month for the next year, just to keep it up until I can out-haul it. I have a good friend that is a master mechanic, and we are headed up there in two weeks to do a modest, superficial survey, clean up, throw out garbage, and organize what's there.

Does it sound like I'm on the right course? Thanks in advance, all possitive advice is greatly appreciated.

Cheers
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Old 27-03-2013, 21:02   #2
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Re: Captain Ron Jon

Jon Your post and questions are so broad that it's difficult to give you any advice. You'll find that many people would like to be helpful but it depends on so many things beginning with what is your goal or your dream? How much time and money can you devote? Is the boat floating? Is it liveable?

You should probably begin by hiring a surveyor experienced with wooden boats or a wooden boat builder/restorer who can assess the overall condition. A mechanic can be very helpful but based on the tiny bit of information you've supplied (the engine was overhauled 15 years ago) I'd just put mechanical issues aside for a while and really try to understand if the hull and decks and topsides and cabin and stringers and bulkhead are sound. But beyond that, the boat has sentimental value to you and it may be the only one of its kind as well, so that might make serious repairs and restoration more desirable than otherwise. But nobody can really give you good advice about your specific boat online because it's an old wood boat and as you said, there may not be another one like her. Again, I suggest hiring a wooden boat expert and assessing the condition of the boat overall...worry about engine and wiring, mast and rigging and plumbing etc much later. A good surveyor or restorer can assess condition and tell you what is needed and what it will cost. But where and when was she built? Where was she sailed? Where is she now? In water or on land? For how long...provide more details
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Old 27-03-2013, 21:07   #3
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Re: Captain Ron Jon

Aloha Jon,
Sorry about your Dad.
I would never discourage you from working on an heirloom boat regardless of its condition.
I've owned wooden boats too and if you are good at maintenance and can get all the needed wood repaired then go for it. Let us know how we can assist in giving you some advice on specific repairs. Remember, anything on a wood boat can be replaced or repaired.
Is the boat in the water?
kind regards,
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Old 27-03-2013, 22:49   #4
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Re: Captain Ron Jon

Thank you for the replies. His boat is currently afloat in West Port, Washington State. It looks to be structurally sound, and all the wood looks good inside the boat. He's told me many times in the last few years that it was built to cruise, and that he wouldn't trust his life to any other boat. It was built in Italy. The boat's name is the Capri, so it may have been built there. It was built in 1968, before being sailed to the Doctor who had it built..which lived in Hawaii. It was made for Hawaii, my Dad said, because it has a unique cooling intake at the front of the boat, and that line flows all the way back to the butterfly hatch aft. I thought this was a smart design for that time period...perhaps even today.

It's fairly livable right now. My Dad spent his weekends on her. He removed the shower from the bathroom, so there is that. It's in dire need of a good scrubbing. The batteries probably need to be replaced, and it has minimal state of the art instrunmentation. I know the engine runs strong, and since the rebuild, he's probably put less than 10 hours on it.

The first thing I'd ask my friends here...it's a lot to take on. It's a city on the water.. you're the captain, the navigator, the mechanic, the doctor. Where does a new captain start. Where would you start?

I think a survey is a great idea. I'll have to sell my boat for that, and if that's done, then I'd rather out-hull it at the same time. Last year, I decided to go back to school part time, and I'm working 2 jobs part time as well. So I was hoping to keep her up until I graduate in a year, and then out-haul/survey when I can afford it. If I sold my current boat, I could probably get 10k for it. It would be a pretty lame summer for my friends, family, and myself if I did. . Make no mistake though, there is no question that I would do it in a heartbeat if it meant Dad's boat needed it.
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Old 27-03-2013, 23:52   #5
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Re: Captain Ron Jon

Welcome to CF Jon and my condolences.
Suggest you take lots of detail Photos first and post any on here that stimulates a question or concern.
It also helps you to get the best from a surveyor and is a cheap way to start, while you formulate your plan.

Some of our members do get overly critical, but that often is the nature of thwarted passion.
Most of us are helpful
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Old 28-03-2013, 01:00   #6
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Re: Captain Ron Jon

Welcome to the forum and sorry for your loss. My Dad past away in 2008. It was a sad time in my life as I was going through some health issues of my own at the time.
Personally I feel everything has a reason. Perhaps you have a date with destiny. I agree with others to survey the boat, out of the water and maybe live aboard for awhile and learn the ropes as they say. Another thing you could do is advertise for experienced crew with large boat experience. Good luck and please keep us posted.
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Old 28-03-2013, 01:11   #7
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Re: Captain Ron Jon

Westport eh? I'd try to prioritize getting the boat closer to you so you can properly care for it and work on it in your spare time. If its in Westport, and you are 4 1/2 hrs away, you may be near Seattle. Lots of cheap places to keep a boat around here. You are also a lot more likely to actually use the boat if it is positioned on the straight or in the sound. Conditions at Westport are less than ideal much of the time, to say the least. Condolences, and good luck with the boat.
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Old 28-03-2013, 01:30   #8
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Re: Captain Ron Jon

Hi Jon. My condolences to you and your family.
Having built a wooden boat from scratch, I can tell you the work is time consuming and can be overwhelming if not a labour of love. Not sure how much restoration is needed, but on weekend a month equates to about 10 to 16 hours of work. Not counting the time sourcing supplies, etc.

I recommend making a list of all the task required to get here back to her former glory and assigning the time, money and skills needed for each.
That way you can see what you're in for. Some tasks are better outsourced to save money / time. I had a boatbuilder working part-time on the boat as I found some task were beyond my skill and I could spend the time more productively earning money elsewhere and paying for it to be done.
Not to be negative, but being realistic about the requirement will save stress later.
Good luck and keep us updated. Some pics would be great.
Cheers
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Old 28-03-2013, 02:52   #9
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Re: Captain Ron Jon

if the boat has not been hauled for a long time,you might make this a priority.

wooden boats can very quickly become badly damaged by shipworm,gribble and toredo worms if there are exposed patches under the waterline.

i have seen wooden boats in otherwise perfect condition literally eaten out from the inside under the waterline,where the antifouling has been damaged.

well ventilated and antifouled the boat can quite happily sit on a mooring for years unattended,but worm can enter from thumbnail size chip in the underwater paint.
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Old 28-03-2013, 06:35   #10
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Re: Captain Ron Jon

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jon.

Check out “Guidance on Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance of Wooden Hulls”

NVIC 7-95 ➥ http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvic/pdf/1995/n7-95.pdf
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Old 28-03-2013, 07:00   #11
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pirate Re: Captain Ron Jon

As a matter of curiosity what are her frames made off.. I took a 40+ yr old ply boat from Ireland to Spain.. she had steel frames and was strong as hell.. had been sitting dying on her mooring for 5yrs till she was bought.. the idea was get her to Spain and fix her up down there.. interior was a real $h*thole but the important bits worked... kinda..
Just concentrate on one thing at a time and don't jab any planking/whatever below the waterline with a screwdriver till she's on the hard.
If she's 'Proper Timber' sitting in the waters the best thing for her.. wooden boats die fast on land..
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Old 28-03-2013, 21:33   #12
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Re: Captain Ron Jon

I'd like to sincerely thank everyone for the great advice and kind words.

When I head up there, I'll be sure to take detailed photos of the Capri. I know it has a lot of teak, but I can't say that the whole boat was constructed from it. It's all hard wood.

My Dad put off out-hauling due to the limited options in West Port. From the information he gave me, there is only one place. The rates are high, and they do all the work themselves. If you knew my Dad, you'd know he did absolutely everything himself, and he was the smartest man I've ever known. I however, as recommended above, am not above out sourcing for something so critical. Especially the first time. I do have to compare it to what I make in my own profession.

It sounds like I'll need to sell my motor boat to get these things done though. That's ok, but it'll still be a few months before I can make that happen.

I'm looking forward to the posting the pictures and reading the comments. Again, thank you for everything, and I'll keep you guys posted.
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Old 28-03-2013, 21:36   #13
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Re: Captain Ron Jon

I wasn't sure how to post the one picture I have currently. I did put it in my member images though, so if you'd like to see a picture of it from quite a distance, it's there.
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Old 28-03-2013, 22:04   #14
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Re: Captain Ron Jon

looks like a nice sturdy boat.
round here with 15-18 ft tides we are able to save a bit of money by drying out against a wall between tides to get a fresh coat of anti fouling on.

might be an idea for the future
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Old 28-03-2013, 22:33   #15
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Re: Captain Ron Jon

That's funny you mention that atoll. My Dad mentioned that same thing about a month ago. He also insisted that it wouldn't need..what he called a whiskey plank. When I asked him what that was, he said...the last board of the boat...right before the whiskey was brought out . He was referring to the hull, but it has been in the bay far too long without being repainted. It would be a gamble I'd say, but a good option if I was assured I didn't in fact need a...whiskey plank
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