By S/V Lealea | December 28, 2015 at 06:33 PM EST | No Comments
By The Skipper:
Lealea was already a well worn sixteen years old when I bought her from Rick Monteverde in Honolulu in 1990. Since then she has been lived aboard and used constantly and has received careful, if not lavish, regular maintenance and attention: a new engine in 1993, a cabin redesign, new standing rigging and Awlgrip paint in 1996; new rigging again in 2007 plus replacement of half of the interior furniture; an engine rebuild and new fuel tank and filter system in 2010. Along the way there were several changes of running rigging, new lifelines and new sails and awnings. Now it is time for some serious work.
We like the basic design and layout of the Vega just fine. Having said that, we have developed certain preferences over the years and have some ideas we think will make Lealea even better. After unstepping the mast and inspecting the rigging, we will make decisions on how to proceed with that. While I think we can probably get by with just replaciing the halyards and topping lifts, I won't know for sure until we have the mast down where I can get a good look at the wire and end fittings. The mast and rig are first only because they have to come down before we can proceed on the interior of the boat.
Several people have said that our timetable is 'Optimistic'. Maybe. Of the things that can, and certainly will, delay the work, the weather will be the most significant. Weather could affect the delivery of materials from Seattle. Will it be warm enough for varnish and epoxy to cure? Too wet to apply a good finish? With us, life is always about the weather, so the timetable is "Weather permitting". We begin now, hoping to be finished by the second week in April. We estimate 500 man hours, not counting set up and cleanup time. We will be keeping track and will publish what we learn. If everything goes according to plan...
Dismantling the interior will go fairly quickly. The original furniture and bulkheads come out with a screwdriver. Removing our personal belongings and gear to a storage locker will be more work. Cleaning the stripped interior and prepping it for paint is the part to which I am not looking forward. I expect that will be the most time consuming, labor intensive and unpleasant part of the project. On the plus side, while that is going on, Laura and Andy will be making patterns and fabricating the pieces that will become the new bulkheads, ceiling and furniture. We are hoping that my old shipmate, Tom from Williwa, can join us for the final fit and finish work.
We won't be making any major changes to the current layout with the dinette on the port side and the settee/bunk to starboard. However, we will be putting in a full ceiling of Alaskan Yellow Cedar and making some changes to the lockers to improve ventilation. In the Galley, Laura wants lexan cupboard and pantry doors and a larger sink. Some other small changes are planned for the furniture, generally, more solid lumber and less plywood, more curves and fewer corners. The major departure from the original design is that we will be glassing in the athwartships structural bulkheads and the fore and aft bulkheads that support the cockpit well, replacing the original construction of bare plywood secured to fiberglass tabs with machine screws. Before the new furniture goes in, we will be painting the interior of the hull with paint containing a product called Insuladd. Insuladd is a paint additive with insulating properties. We will let you know in a few months how it works.
In a nutshell: We intend to take out the old bulkheads furniture and ceiling, use them to make patterns then fabricate the new pieces. Meanwhile clean the old space, repair as needed and paint. Rewire. Fit, finish and install new bulkheads, ceiling and furniture.
The timetable is entirely dependent on the weather but we think we have allowed enough leeway to account for likely delays.
Once the interior refit is accomplished we will turn to the rig and the exterior finish and skin fittings.