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Old 03-09-2012, 13:47   #1
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Rebuilding a Dream

Hello To All. I'm new to the forum and I have many questions. Hopefully my limited sailing skills will improve as I go with this project. I'm buying a 1978 Morgan Out-Island 51, hull #50, the Portofino II, from the original owner. He is way old, almost blind and his memory is not what it once was. She has been tied up at his seawall for 10 to 12 years and has been neglected. Once a hurricane tore her loose and rubbed a large patch of fiberglass off of one side and ripped off rub-rail one the other. Sad, I know. But one the bright side, full set of new sails, engine is perfect, except for portlight gaskets no leaks at all, standing rigging is great and the deck is dull but crack-free. I've spent hours going over her and I believe I have all the skills needed to restore her.
My trouble is the he ( the original owner) had many changes made as she was built. He spent 5 months at the factory overseeing the changes he wanted. Now he doesn't remember. Where can I get hull plans, wiring diagrams, plumbing routes, tec info on the old equipment, and any other information to help with this project.
I know some will say I've bitten off a rather large bite with this, But I have the time and the skills to do it.'s bee my dream for a long time.
Thanks for any help sent my way.

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Old 03-09-2012, 13:55   #2
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Re: Rebuilding a dream

On a boat that old, you're better off tracing out the plumbing and wiring yourself and making a detailed drawing on your own. That way you know what is there rather than what once was there.

Good luck with the project, sound like something I'd do.

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Old 03-09-2012, 14:01   #3
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Re: Rebuilding a dream

A 1978 boat probably does not have much for plans so you'll need to make your own. It's not that bad since you have to go over everything any way. Inventory everything with details about what everything is so you cn track down parts if you need them. The bad news is you usually find more issues as you look deeper. I would say you bit off a lot of boat. Folks have done it but it won't be easy or quick. It also won't be cheap. Materials will be expensive assuming you can't pay yourself. Sorting out all the real big issues will help you focus and dive the haul out vs the in water repairs / refits you will need to complete.

Do you have 6,000 hours? It could easily take that with the right skills. In any case as you get into specific jobs you'll find most everything has been done by someone here at CF. We can send as much help as you ask for.
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 05-09-2012, 14:54   #4
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I am in the same boat! I can't find any plans or tech drawings. The electrical panel has each wire numbered but no associated book to tell you what it powered. The plumbing has been redone and I can't make any rhyme or reason in it. So I'm just drawing it out as I go. Checking and learning and scratching my head. The biggest thing this adventure is teaching me so far is patience! But as I'm learning that's what a sailboat and cruising is all about...slowing down taking things one step at a time. Don't make quick decisions and don't rush a good one. Many of the systems on the boat are at their end of life and will need to be replaced anyway. I'm working with what I have and as it fails or I feel like I need to fix it and the money and opportunity presents itself I get it done. But I'm in no rush and have no particular place to go, and more importantly no timeframe in which to do it. So I hope you have similar circumstances if you don't you will rapidly make yourself unhappy!
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Old 05-09-2012, 15:03   #5
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Re: Rebuilding a Dream

Hey Alvfreagn:

We purchased our boat which had been sitting neglected for years in a bayou. The electrical systems and plumbing systems were questionable at best. As we started to trace them down and plot out what we had, we found that it was easier to just start gutting those systems. We rebuilt them (or are still rebuilding them) from scratch.

A lot of people make a big deal out of it. But so far it has been a great experience for us. Not only do we have things that we know are done right, but we really really know the boat now. Overall it hasn't been as difficult as the internet sometimes makes it out to be. It just takes a lot of time and research.

We take baby steps and just keep going knowing that one day we'll "get there".

Good luck on your purchase and your plans!
Let your heart tell you where to go, but let your brain tell you how to get there.

Sundowner Sails Again
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Old 05-09-2012, 15:54   #6
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Re: Rebuilding a Dream

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Alvfreagn.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 22-01-2013, 20:34   #7
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Re: Rebuilding a Dream

Alvfreagn, I am familiar with your boat. I looked at it a while back also.
I purchased a 1975 51 Morgan Ketch (hull number 8 I believe). I am going through a total refit on her as well.
As you are a few months into it.. how is it going? I am just getting started
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Old 22-01-2013, 21:13   #8
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I am also refitting an older 70's boat as well. I pulled all the old wire and plumbing and am starting from scratch. It's best to assume that a30 year old wiring and plumbing is junk.
The standards have improved over time, so build to today'scode.
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Old 23-01-2013, 12:21   #9
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Re: Rebuilding a Dream

One of my favorite tools for chasing electrical is a 30 foot piece of #12 wire with aligator clips at both ends. Clip one end onto the switch on the down stream side and then you can check continuity to your hearts content with your multimeter. Most cabins are not much over 20 feet from end to end. Lengthen if needed. I used this method to trace out the leads on my old boat which had been rewired in 2 conductor lamp cord. Black or brown but no other markings. As you note connections put those little stick on numbers on the wiring.
SV Sabre Dance, Roberts Offshore 38
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Old 25-01-2013, 11:48   #10
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Re: Rebuilding a Dream

Old boats never die ... they get a new skipper with a fresh dream and once again sail the seven seas.
Hey ... just a suggestion ... do what I did and post pictures and progress on a blog. I'm by no means a computer guy and the blog was easy.
I'd love to follow your progress. Maybe I'll get some ideas for my BIG rebuild project.

Lowell - s/v Chasing Summer - Spencer 42/hull 17 ... happy sailing
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