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Old 19-08-2016, 13:20   #1
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Long, long, long boat projects

In honor of the launch and successful test drive of my 7 1/2 year boat project I wonder how many others have seen through a long term boat project and what was involved. I guess I'm thinking about project boats and not building from scratch. I've read about a couple of those that lasted 20-30 years.

I already know 7 1/2 years isn't close to a record on a project. Met a couple at the marina when I launched who had a friend that just launched after a ten year overhaul.

The main things done on the boat.

1. Engine and drive train. Original engine but stripped down to the bare block, cleaned and painted, both pumps new, cleaned and repainted all heat exchangers (oil, transmission and engine), new brackets for some of the accessories, new alternator, all new wiring. New cutlass bearing. Rebuild stuffing box.

2. Fridge. The biggest single project in terms of time. Involved cutting apart the old box to get it out of the boat, taking apart the cabinets in the galley, sealing, lining and insulating the cabinet. Glassing the old box back together but a bit smaller to allow for more insulation. This had to happen inside the boat since it wouldn't fit in the companionway whole. Then rebuilding the cabinets and making a new lid.

2. Electrical. Lots of new wiring, new inverter/charger, new LED lights. 135 W solar panel (probably more to come). Overhauled windlass. New tricolor and anchor lights. New mast wiring including installation of a wiring conduit in the mast.

3. Electronics. New VHF, used SSB, new plotter.

4. Plumbing. Three new bilge pumps; two 4000 gph Rules for emergency pumps, Whale for everyday. New pressure pump, new sump pump, new washdown pump. Rebuilt the two manual bilge pumps. New drinking water filtration, new hot water heater. Replaced all the hoses.

5. Sails and rigging. New main, new 135 genoa. All new rigging including chainplates and turnbuckles. Strong track system for the main. New Harket roller furling. All new running rigging.

6. Peal and seal on the bottom.

7. Interior. New overhead in main cabin. About 2/3 of the paneling replaced. Seven new SS ports installed (three more to go). New upholstery.

8. Miscellaneous. Countless hours cleaning 30 years of oil, crud and sludge from then bilges. Remove old foam backed vinyl siding from cabinets. New SS backing plates and rebedded all stanchions and davits. Rebedded all other deck hardware (which included a little core drying and replacement here and there).

Of course dozens and dozens of other small projects to go along and some of these aren't totally finished.

So, who else has gone through a multiyear boat overhaul? Or who has started one and abandoned the job as too much?
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Old 19-08-2016, 13:25   #2
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Re: Long, long, long boat projects

Wow- what a list! So are you done for now, or still working on some projects?
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Old 19-08-2016, 13:29   #3
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Re: Long, long, long boat projects

Let us know when you have finished as there is another boat which could do with a bit of TLC. This one has never been launched, what a shame.

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Old 19-08-2016, 14:07   #4
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Re: Long, long, long boat projects

I hope you will be able to share some pics someday
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Old 19-08-2016, 14:10   #5
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Re: Long, long, long boat projects

I am just in awe of anyone who can keep up the commitment and enthusiasm over 2 or 3 years, let alone 7 or 10. Good job! I only had the mast down for 7 months and was about to lose it, I was aching for the feel of the tiller again.
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Old 19-08-2016, 15:53   #6
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Re: Long, long, long boat projects

Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
Wow- what a list! So are you done for now, or still working on some projects?
Done? Done! Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaahaaaaaaaa.

To steal from an old saying, "man may work from sun to sun but a boat project is never done."

My last boat, only 34' with only the most basic systems and purchased when it was just a year old, over the 7 years I owned it there was one period of 6-8 weeks when everything on the boat all worked at the same time.

The list of what still needs to be done is at least as long as the list of what has been done. Just not as critical or big but a very long list of little things to do.
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Old 19-08-2016, 16:02   #7
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Re: Long, long, long boat projects

Quote:
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Let us know when you have finished as there is another boat which could do with a bit of TLC. This one has never been launched, what a shame.

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No more. This was my last hurrah for major boat projects. Time to go sailing.



Well, I guess if someone gave me an Oyster project boat or something similar I might be too tempted to resist.
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Old 19-08-2016, 16:03   #8
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Re: Long, long, long boat projects

Quote:
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I hope you will be able to share some pics someday
Regret to say I was so busy working I really neglected to take many photos of the work in progress. 20/20 hindsight that would have been a good idea.
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Old 19-08-2016, 16:06   #9
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Re: Long, long, long boat projects

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
I am just in awe of anyone who can keep up the commitment and enthusiasm over 2 or 3 years, let alone 7 or 10. Good job! I only had the mast down for 7 months and was about to lose it, I was aching for the feel of the tiller again.
It was the thought of getting back on the water that kept me going.

It was made a little easier to keep at the project because of a really busy work schedule, knowing if I had the boat ready I wouldn't have been able to do much more than an occasional day sail.
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Old 19-08-2016, 16:18   #10
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Re: Long, long, long boat projects

Skip, have you completely recovered from your fall? That should probably be mentioned in the projects...
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Old 19-08-2016, 16:20   #11
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Re: Long, long, long boat projects

This was at about the twelve month mark with me...



13 months in now
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Old 19-08-2016, 16:41   #12
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Re: Long, long, long boat projects

Congratulations Skipmac on finishing up at least the bulk of your major projects!

My wife and I bought our boat in April 2011 and didn't get to go on our first sail until June 2014. :bang head: A list of what we did up until the end of 2013 as well as a few before and after photos can be found Here It was a lot. We ended up working right up until we finally left in March 2015. By that time I was completely burnt out on boat projects. Prior to this successful overhaul, we had abandoned a multi year steel boat project and before that a year long wooden boat project so Ive been on both sides of the coin. All told, it has been an extremely humbling and rewarding experience. I some times look back at all of the time that we spent fixing things and marvel at our naivety, stubbornness and stupidity. However on the flip side every time we arrive in a new anchorage without a laundry list of things to fix and we can spend our time exploring instead of hunting down parts it all feels worth it.
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Old 19-08-2016, 17:14   #13
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Re: Long, long, long boat projects

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Skip, have you completely recovered from your fall? That should probably be mentioned in the projects...
Oh yes. The fall. That set me back almost a year. Maybe I should write that year off and call it a 6 1/2 year project.

Word to the wise. If you fall off a boat try to do it while the boat is in the water. When you're on the hard it's a lot farther before you hit and when you land it hurts a lot more. One the plus side, you probably won't drown.
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Old 19-08-2016, 17:30   #14
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Re: Long, long, long boat projects

Yep. It all will take as much time as you have.

Asked about how much time by people who pay me to fix things I always make my best educated guess ... then pronounce twice what I believe I could need. This method allowed me to be late only once in many years of projects big and small. ... A number of potentials walked away telling me "too long". Sure.

;-)

Then again if you do it for yourself and if you like it, what the heck. Let it last.

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Old 19-08-2016, 17:36   #15
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Re: Long, long, long boat projects

Quote:
Originally Posted by HansSolo View Post
Congratulations Skipmac on finishing up at least the bulk of your major projects!
Thanks. Yes the bulk is done. Now I just have a few thousand smaller jobs to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HansSolo View Post
My wife and I bought our boat in April 2011 and didn't get to go on our first sail until June 2014. :bang head: A list of what we did up until the end of 2013 as well as a few before and after photos can be found Here It was a lot. We ended up working right up until we finally left in March 2015. By that time I was completely burnt out on boat projects.
At least I did get one cruise before starting work. Bought the boat in NY, lived on board in RI getting it ready to move and brought it to FL in Sept 2008.

Looked at your website. Seems like you had as much or more to do than I did. Reminded me of a few things I left off my list, most notably cutting 3"of corroded aluminum off the base of the mast and fabricating a new, 3" taller mast step.

By the way, I love the shower on your boat.


Quote:
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Prior to this successful overhaul, we had abandoned a multi year steel boat project and before that a year long wooden boat project so Ive been on both sides of the coin. All told, it has been an extremely humbling and rewarding experience. I some times look back at all of the time that we spent fixing things and marvel at our naivety, stubbornness and stupidity. However on the flip side every time we arrive in a new anchorage without a laundry list of things to fix and we can spend our time exploring instead of hunting down parts it all feels worth it.
I took on a steel boat project myself about 30 years ago. Was home for a few years but gave up on that one when I decided to go back to college.

I agree it has been rewarding and another benefit, when you do a project like this you know every single nook and cranny on the boat, where everything is, how it's installed and how it works.

Unfortunately I still have a laundry list but it is getting smaller every day.
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