Sailboat Refit Work

sailexpNow that the boat is in Ft. Lauderdale, it is time for work to begin.  What changes and improvements are we making?  Here is our list, so far:

Sail Inventory– Our Taswell 43 needs a complete new sail inventory.  In this case, since it is a cutter rig, it needs a new mainsail, staysail and genoa.  All 3 were way past their useful life, and the mainsail was stretched out and not made for a furling in-mast system.  Peter, our sailmaker here in Ft. Lauderdale, will be adding lots of new features on the new sails.

nosailsRiggingMahi will also be receiving all new standing rigging.  For all my non sailing friends, a sailboat has “standing rigging,” which is all the wires, and metal bits that remain fixed in place and help to keep the mast in place.  The running rigging refers to the ropes, called “lines,” that pull the sails  in and out when you have furling sails.  “Furling” is a term that means they are rolled up, like shown in the picture above.

The older standing rigging was original to the boat, and needed to be redone for safe offshore sailing.  Brad, our rigger, is planning to do a terrific job, and I will be assisting him.  This will be a great opportunity to learn about the standing rigging and installation.  We will be adding lots of new rigging features.

Exterior Canvas– New bimini and complete enclosure is on order for the cockpit.

Again, for my non-sailing friends, a cockpit is the place on a sailboat where you sit, steer the boat, and has an opening to down below- called a companionway.  Promise to draw you a fun terminology diagram so I am not speaking greek.

A “full enclosure” means the boat will have a canvas worker design a combo of UV canvas, metal frame, see through plastic and UV screen to allow us to have several combinations of protection in the cockpit.   I promise to show you pictures so you understand what I mean when it is installed.

This will help keep us dry while under sail.  In addition, Valeri, our canvas maker, will be making some wonderful sun shade awnings for when we are at anchor.  The awnings are patterned after Pam Wall’s, which I fell in love with when I first saw her sailboat, Kandarik.  Here is a link to what the awnings look like and how they use rigging poles.

What I like about Pam’s awnings is that they will cool the boat at anchor in the tropical weather.   Also, with the awnings in place, if you get some light rain, no panic to jump up to close the hatches.  Brilliant!

lexanReplacement Windows– The side two rectangular windows on our boat are cloudy, weeping, and have damaged the interior wood trim.  The plan is to replace the windows with Lexan, and repair the interior wood trim.  At the same time, I have removed the worn interior curtains and will be sewing new ones.

Hoses and Heads– We discovered that all the hoses are permeated, meaning they no longer contain odors, so need replacing.  This is my nice way of saying they are smelly.

We will be replacing with Poly X sanitation hoses, which has a lifetime guarantee against permeation.  Today, Joe is replacing the first of two toilets as well.  He also needed to replace the vented loops, which were all blocked.  Toilets that use sea water and are below the waterline need “vented loops,” so water does not grossly come out of the toilet and flood the boat.

Joe also replaced the fuel fill hose, which was also permeated. This means it was making the back of the boat smell like diesel fuel when you filled the boat with fuel.  Not good, especially since I have super sensitive smelling super powers- and odors bug me.

Sailor Speak: When needing to go to the bathroom, you are going to the “head.”  When cooking dinner, you do it in the “galley.”  Bedrooms in a boat are called “cabins,” and the beds are “berths.”  True!  Would I steer you wrong?

Centerline Queen Mattress– The master cabin has a centerline queen berth.  The current bed is not supportive enough for me, so we are going with a Zeno high quality custom mattress replacement.

IMG_1620Haul Out Work– Later this month, we will haul out and get the bottom paint re-done, the fiberglass on the hull worked to remove any “ghosting” of the former boat name lettering.  There is also some small rudder adjusting, plus changing out zincs and other maintenance.

Teak Removal-  There is some teak in the cockpit which is completely shot.  We will be removing the cockpit teak and replacing with fiberglass.  This will make for a more comfortable cockpit as the teak is very rough right now.

That is the main list.  We also will be adding on some needed equipment like a new stern mounted liferaft, and some new electronics.  Also a watermaker.  This is a good boat that really needed some updating and prep for offshore sailing.  As we learned in the delivery trip, the boat sails wonderfully!  With each change, we are becoming more excited!

  14 comments for “Sailboat Refit Work

  1. Allen Barrett
    October 14, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    solar, for battery charging?


    • October 14, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      Solar is scheduled for next year, also wind generator. Have to space the work out. 🙂


  2. October 14, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Carla, it’s like you are speaking in tongues, but I’m loving watching you prepare for your grand adventure! Thank you so much for letting us tag along! Hugs…Margo


    • October 14, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      Margo, I guess I should be more explanatory. Sorry about that! Hugs to you!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • October 15, 2015 at 3:47 pm

        Thanks for the explanations and education, Carla! I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay, but was never around sail boats!


  3. October 14, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    that sounds like a whole lot of work….and probably a whole lot of money. i assume that is still cheaper than a new boat? thanks for posting your journey….i love reading about it. can hardly wait till you start sailing and give us pics.


    • October 14, 2015 at 7:19 pm

      Shirley, can’t wait to get out there into turquoise waters! Yes, definitely less money to refit than buy new.

      We knew we would do this, so planned for the added cost. The new toilet is my birthday present- which is in a few weeks. Hahaha!

      Thanks for following along and writing!


  4. October 14, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Good times in the boat yard!!!


    • October 14, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      LOL! Luckily my sister lives in Ft Lauderdale so we are being spoiled to stay in her guest room.


  5. Rosemary Peterson
    October 14, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    Carla, we have been sailing most of our married life, which is coming up on our 60th year. So I love the terminology and can relate how it’s going for you. Thanks so much for keeping us up on your news. Hugs, Rosemary


    • October 14, 2015 at 9:58 pm

      Rosemary, I didn’t know you sailed! See? Another thing we have in common. Hugs to you!


  6. moondance38
    October 15, 2015 at 1:08 am

    Sounds like you have a great plan! In the waste system you should have a macerator that pumps overboard. Also a shut off between the macerator and the tank. Our friends had a huge mess when their pump failed and the tank was full! We also installed a filter in the vent hose that prevented odors. Are you keeping the in mast furling?a


    • October 16, 2015 at 11:46 am

      Found both macerators, Harriet. Joe replaced the vented loop and vent hoses since we have them for both the intake and between the head/tank. Will see if we can add a filter. Using PolyX where possible, for hoses, but in one place with lots of bends we will use the Raritan hose because it is more flexible.

      Will look at replacing the macerator for pump out, as I do not want gross surprises there. Not worth it.

      In Mast furling is not my favorite, but we will keep it for now. Doing upgrades to make it pull in/out easier than before. Initially, we were going to go with a removable inner forestay, but decided to keep the cutter rig in the end.

      I absolutely dislike smells, so Joe is doing his best to get rid of them for me. Any tips from your experience? Thanks!


      • moondance38
        October 16, 2015 at 7:57 pm

        Ugh, macerator failure is the worst! I found the most important equipment on the boat are the engine, head, batteries and refrigeration – in that order.

        I’m very sensitive to odors. The best air freshener is Fresh Wave gel. It lasts a long time and really works. I kept a jar in the head. Put laundry dryer sheets in your lockers and drawers. Helps with odors and mildew. I also used bilge cleaner regularly. The fridge always smells like the last thing you spilled or forgot in the bottom. Baking soda containers help. I also kept a small battery operated fan n the bottom to help circulate cold air.

        I don’t know about you but my cleanliness standards dropped while cruising. You end up looking as scruffy as everyone else! Keeping the boat clean while living in such a small space is challenging. Sometimes you just have to let go and have fun instead!


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