If you found value in our website or videos and wish to contribute. 
Latest Website Update
Saratoga Farms Food Storage

The Logbook

The Big Job: Refining the Plan

By the Skipper:


Now that we have sharpened the pencil and begun the process, the plan is coming together nicely.

chuck Rose with Franklin Planner

If you saw our latest video, you know that after defining the desired outcome in detail, we have broken The Big Job into smaller chunks:

The mast, rig and lifelines

The exterior finish and fittings

The interior wiring and joinery

Hull inspection and repair 

We will be addressing each of these in detail in future blogs and videos.

Before we can do anything else we have to be sure that we have an adequate place to work and access to the necessary materials and supplies.

Laura spoke with the Boatyard owner and learned that the space we need is available at a very reasonable price here on Mitcof Island just South of Petersburg at Scow Bay.  I researched, or rather confirmed, the price and availability of the materials we will need from Edensaw Woods in Port Townsend and Fisheries Supply in Seattle.  

We met with Andy Cowan, a local artisan boat builder, aboard Lealea to discuss what will be the most challenging part of the project – the interior joinery.  Andy understood immediately what we are hoping to accomplish and had several suggestions with which we enthusiastically agreed.  He recommended the suppliers we had already chosen but informed us that the Alaskan Yellow Cedar we would need for the ceiling is better obtained locally than ordered from Seattle. He suggested that Sapele would be a good choice for the solid hardwood pieces we would need.  It is available, relatively inexpensive and easy to work with.  Since Lealea came from the factory with Sapele veneer plywood and solid trim furniture we had already planned on using it.  We discussed stains, finishes and construction details as well as the overall plan. 

14' Maine Peapod built by Andy Cowan 

Andy explained the way he would like to work on the project.  As we had worked in Port Townsend with the Shipwright’s Co-Op, he would do the more advanced work such as milling the hard wood pieces while we did the less demanding but more time consuming tasks like disassembly, sanding and varnishing.  He offered the use of his shop for storing materials and said he would give us any help we needed with the carpentry, including the use of his shop tools.

One suggestion we are resisting, for now, is to take the rig down now and begin by removing the main bulkhead. This would be followed by the removal of all the rest of the interior.  Over the Winter we would be able to fabricate the new furniture and have it ready when the boat comes out of the water in the Spring.  On it’s face, this seems like a good idea but there are a couple of hurdles to overcome.  First, the mast.  It has to come down to relieve the stress on the main bulkhead.  The mast is longer than the boat and we are already in a short slip so the Harbor Master may not like us storing it on the boat. Then too, we would have to find a place to store everything we own, including full fuel cans, galley supplies including the cook stove and sink, non-perishable food stores and tools, until we relaunch.  Possibly not until August.  We like the idea of getting ahead of the game but I do not like the idea of having the mast down for 6 months or more.  Working on a compromise.

The four major chunks of the job can be placed in any order except that the mast must be down, and the structural bulkheads must be in place before any deck work can be done and the hull inspection and any fiberglass repairs accomplished while the interior is stripped.  The reason I originally listed the rig first is that I don’t want to order new rigging before a thorough inspection of what we have. New wire and terminal fittings can be shipped up in a week or ten days.  Since raising the mast will be the last thing done prior to re-launching anyway, if we have to order materials we would have time to do so without delaying The Big Job.

The plan for the rig then is simple, for now.  We will remove the mast and put on saw horses at waist level for disassembly, cleaning and inspection. Then decide whether replacement of the standing rigging is warranted. As of right now, we can’t do that until we haul the boat in the spring.

The exterior finish and fittings part of the job is simple and straightforward.  It cannot be addressed until spring but preparations are already being made. 

Interior wiring and joinery. That is where we can get ahead of the curve.  We just have to figure out a way to work around the main bulkhead.

Then there is the budget.  Andy estimated $2K to $2500 for materials to complete the interior.  His labor/shop rate is $65 per hour but of course we have no idea yet how many hours he may put in.  We are hoping not more than about fifty. The yard bill, including haul out, is expected to run $2000; if we can stay on schedule. As for the exterior refinishing, we know the labor involved in preparation, having done the job once before. We think we can do it with four helpers for the prep work and two for the actual painting for $4000 in materials and supplies.  Add another $600 for bottom paint if we stay with our usual Pettit Trinidad Blue.  Total it up.  Add 20% and we come up with $15600 or there about.  Might as well round up to $16K.

It could easily run more but by starting now we can identify problem areas before they get too expensive and, by planning carefully well in advance, find areas in which to economize.  

We will also be doing more to raise funds for the project with more new content on the web site and more videos.  Also, our YouTube videos now feature a Fan Funding button in the upper right corner of the video playback screen and there is a “Tip Jar” link in the left sidebar of this page if you would like to help out but cannot make it to Petersburg to get some bottom paint on your shoes.

Add a Comment

(Enter the numbers shown in the above image)

"Jim's book is thoroughly, entertaining and honest and for us to be included is an honor. 

If you dream of sailing off into the sunset after you retire we suggest "Sailing into Retirement" is a must read."

Chuck and Laura

Fellow shipmate, Fran Taylor, writes about her many adventures as crew sailing aboard different tall ships and she mentions one voyage in particular  during her time aboard HMB Endeavour where she meets a couple on their honeymoon.  Read the humorous tale of the seasick groom and how a new "private signal" was born among the Endeavour crew.
The first book I read after moving aboard Lealea.  A wonderful journey that got me dreaming.
Looking for a read that will make your stomach hurt from laughing?  This one did it for us!  A definite page turner.
-Chuck and Laura

"This Old Boat" If you can only have one book on sailboat maintenance aboard, this is the one.

-Chuck Rose

"This old boat" If you can only have one book on sailboat maintenance, this is the one.
Chuck and Laura

“The Ashley Book of Knots” by Clifford W. Ashley is, quite simply, the definitive work on knots.  We think if you have more than a passing interest in marlinspike seamanship or decorative knotting this book is pretty much a “Must Have” This book is a high mass volume. 
                       -Chuck and Laura
Fran Taylor was born and grew up in Scotland on the banks of the River Clyde.  She has sailed all over the world in a number of “Tall Ships” and has had a number of articles published. She is a regular on the guest  speaking circuit around Perth where she lives when not pursuing her dreams and answering the call of the sea. In 2012 she took part in the Titanic Memorial Cruise, a special event to commemorate the 100th
anniversary of the sinking. This book tells that story.
The story of Margo Wood and her husband Charles who began the "Charlie's Charts" cruising guide series. When her husband passed away she began to sail as a singlehander.   A wonderful story about a lady I admire a lot. - Laura  
An excellent read for anyone interested in single handed sailing. An inspiration for women. Anne had quite an adventure and this book is especially interesting to Albin Vega owners.- Chuck
Food Storage with The Ready Store
MREs from The Ready Store
MREs from The Ready Store