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Old 12-10-2020, 22:09   #1
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Refitting tired interior vs why fix it if it's not broken

I am looking at a world cruiser that is considered well maintained for her age, albeit on the smaller size (27 feet).
The interior wasn't that bad, though there are a few things I want to add and change.
Does it make sense for a complete refit in this case?
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Old 13-10-2020, 01:01   #2
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Re: Refitting tired interior vs why fix it if it's not broken

Ripping out the interior will give you better access to the wiring. If that needs a revamp this helps with decision making. Just be aware that interior refitting and wiring are two of the most time consuming jobs on a boat.
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Old 13-10-2020, 01:56   #3
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Re: Refitting tired interior vs why fix it if it's not broken

I wouldn't take out the interior, that's a huge amount of work and will take months. You might look at the wiring which should be reasonably simple on a small yacht, removing anything redundant by following the wire etc. Also worth looking at the batteries to see if lots of wires have been connected to the terminals. If so replace with bus bars and better master switches etc, perhaps with a bigger house bank to run modern appliances.

I saw photos of an old small catamaran a while back were the owner had painted the dark and marked woodwork with white gloss paint and added new cushions in a bright colour. that made a huge difference and made it look quite modern, almost like the interior of a RM yacht. If the value of an old yacht os low you can do no harm doing this really.

If the cushions are old or smell, new foam and bright fabrics will be much more comfortable. Do have a look in the water and fuel tanks, might be clean or might be a disaster waiting to happen, but good to know before you set off somewhere.

As you say, change a few things and then go sailing. You can always carry on changing stuff as you go. We have had our yacht 14 years and continue to do a few improvements each year.

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Old 13-10-2020, 06:54   #4
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Re: Refitting tired interior vs why fix it if it's not broken

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Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
I wouldn't take out the interior, that's a huge amount of work and will take months. You might look at the wiring which should be reasonably simple on a small yacht, removing anything redundant by following the wire etc. Also worth looking at the batteries to see if lots of wires have been connected to the terminals. If so replace with bus bars and better master switches etc, perhaps with a bigger house bank to run modern appliances.

I saw photos of an old small catamaran a while back were the owner had painted the dark and marked woodwork with white gloss paint and added new cushions in a bright colour. that made a huge difference and made it look quite modern, almost like the interior of a RM yacht. If the value of an old yacht os low you can do no harm doing this really.

If the cushions are old or smell, new foam and bright fabrics will be much more comfortable. Do have a look in the water and fuel tanks, might be clean or might be a disaster waiting to happen, but good to know before you set off somewhere.

As you say, change a few things and then go sailing. You can always carry on changing stuff as you go. We have had our yacht 14 years and continue to do a few improvements each year.

Pete
Yeah, I thought about it, the batteries definitely need replacement and electronics would benefit from update, I would like to see if I can increase tankage as well.
Thanks, hopefully it won't take too much time on a small boat.
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Old 13-10-2020, 07:31   #5
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Re: Refitting tired interior vs why fix it if it's not broken

I'm in agreement w/Pete and wouldn't rip out the interior as it appears to be very functional/practical.
As also suggested would upgrade/check electrical/wiring and related components. Also agree to switch out the foam, especially for the main cabin (sea berths) and V-berth if you plan to sleep there.
Before you do any changes would start using the boat first and see what upgrades/modifications are needed. We added more enclosed cabinets to keep things from flying around the cabin and so we didn't have to see the clutter. Could see adding some cabinets behind the stbd settee to corral the loose stuff. May leave the other side open to possibly store cushions.

In a previous boat of similar size, we made drop down tables for nav or eating down below if needed.

Try oiling the wood to see if that brings it back to life. Always hate to paint/cover wood, but sometimes does freshen up the appearence w/o too much work.
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Old 13-10-2020, 07:40   #6
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Re: Refitting tired interior vs why fix it if it's not broken

Nope,(A) clean it up,(B) make everything work,(C) go sailing,(D) refinish the screwed up woodwork if you have the time, money, energy and inclination after A,B, and C.
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Old 13-10-2020, 08:01   #7
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Re: Refitting tired interior vs why fix it if it's not broken

I agree with most of the comments. If she is solid and working get onboard and enjoy. Your ideas of what you want to do and how you can change things more to your liking will morph once you are onboard for a while.
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Old 13-10-2020, 08:14   #8
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Re: Refitting tired interior vs why fix it if it's not broken

I wouldn't do a damn thing to that interior except to clean it. Go sailing, enjoy it for a season then modify it. I learned a long time ago not to modify something that is new to you until you have lived with it for awhile.
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Old 13-10-2020, 08:26   #9
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Re: Refitting tired interior vs why fix it if it's not broken

Looks good. Paint and new cushions is the best way. I painted this summer, looks amazing. I have a 27 foot Bristol. We went white, and Grey for the trim. updating the cushions over the winter?? maybe. haha.
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Old 13-10-2020, 10:21   #10
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Re: Refitting tired interior vs why fix it if it's not broken

All this boat seems to need is a tidy up and a cleaning.

Run one of the marina's dollies alongside 'er and throw everything that is loose in the the boat into the dolly so you can see what you are doing. Take the dolly to the parking lot and throw everything into the trunk/boot. You can triage it later.

NOW you are ready to decide what you want to do to 'er!

In a 27-footer, wiring is simplicity itself. After all how many discrete circuits are there? Check all the wires visually where they connect to devices. If anything is dodgy, check the circuit for continuity and voltage loss with multimeter. You'll probably find that everything is good, and that anything that is not, is bad only because of a dodgy terminal that you can easily fix.

Lack of tidiness at the control/switch panel is another thing you expect to find in a boat with a messy interior. If you do find that, tidy up by using terminal blocks to facilitate leaving the actual wire runs in whatever places they have been concealed behind the ceilings and the furniture. Don't have a link handy, but not so long ago, someone here posted pics of an absolutely splendidly executed revamp of the wiring behind his control panel.

When TP came to us, I installed terminal blocks adjacent to all devices so that disconnecting a device for servicing or replacement can be done without disturbing the actual wire runs. E.g for the side lights on the sides of the house a terminal block was install on the INside of the house under an access panel in the ceiling.

Something that dives me daft in too many boats is that cushions are often far too long. A cushion that runs the full length of a 6 foot 6 inches long settee/bunk with three top-loading stowage compartments under it should OBVIOUSLY be made in three 2-foot sections so you don't have to lift the entire cushion to get into just one compartment.

By your pictures, the material used for your cushions is something that even a little domestic sewing machine can handle. If it isn't, or if you want to change it for appearances sake, then use a decent upholstery velour that you can buy in any fabric store. Making what is called "box-cushions' is really easy and since a domestic sewing machine will do the job, you can even do it right on your dinette table. Sailrite, a supplier of all the necessary clobber to do such a job, has excellent "how to" videos of every kind of sewing job.

But don't get involved in making modifications to the joiner work. That is a lengthy and difficult project that will be more expensive than is warranted.

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Old 13-10-2020, 10:42   #11
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Re: Refitting tired interior vs why fix it if it's not broken

Give the inside a good clean and start using it. Make a note in a book of the things you need to do and choose the most important things first. Do one job at a time so that the boat can be used. Think again about the extra fuel tank as that might slow the boat down. For a long trip you could take a couple of jerry cans on deck. Others have given you good advice on painting the inside.
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Old 13-10-2020, 11:30   #12
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Re: Refitting tired interior vs why fix it if it's not broken

Ripping it out is a huge project. Many people rip out the interior then realize how big of a job it is and either sell the boat or scrap it.

A coat of paint and refinishing the woodwork makes a world of difference.
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Old 13-10-2020, 14:40   #13
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Re: Refitting tired interior vs why fix it if it's not broken

I'm only an armchair sailor, but the Sailing Uma youtube videos are an interesting view of what 2 young sailors have done with a very down at heel Pearson 36 over a period of time,
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Old 13-10-2020, 16:22   #14
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Re: Refitting tired interior vs why fix it if it's not broken

I would say if the boat appeals to you and checks boxes for as-is value versus terminal value (time and money) to fix everything...get the boat, minimal cleaning, and go sailing first and save the renovation for the off season or attack in a way that does not cripple the boat from the water.

I am a little biased as I bought a boat thinking it was going to be 'wash and sail' and it ended up having bad mice and water damage that required a tearout and refit of the interior, which means the better part of 2 seasons was not spent sailing but fixing. And the few times out in the water were often marked with failures of one part of the rig or another. I am not experienced at much of this, so I missed some warning signs up front and each step is a learning curve. But I did see some improvement in my carpentry skills and had some good times with my youngest during the process so it's not all bad.
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Old 13-10-2020, 17:23   #15
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Re: Refitting tired interior vs why fix it if it's not broken

Looks like she needs to have the varnish stripped and re-done (three coats minimum!) and new cushions. Doing much of anything else will: a/take forever b/cost too much c/screw up the resale value d/look bad e/waste time f/not be fun. Also, remove the curtains and throw them away.
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