Ep. 1 – DIY SAILBOAT REPAIRS To Prepare For OFFSHORE SAILING – How Not To Sail A Boat

My name is Cally This is John. And THIS is where we live Our home is a 38-foot 1976 C&C sailboat that we found in Rhode Island. We bought her in 2017 only three weeks after we started dating and we tried to fix her up. But we decided there was too much work to do and not enough time or money. So we had the boat hauled and stored for the winter and we returned to Australia to save up. We arrived home in time to surprise friends for Christmas and spent the better part of a year working before it was time to pack up again and return to our boat. Now the adventures has begun as we finish fixing up the boat and make our way sailing from Rhode Island back to Australia, the long way We’re officially floating! Today was launch day and everything went smoothly. They picked it up off the racks and brought it over to the lift and launched it and towed it to a slip and we are officially done the major repairs! Which has been eight weeks of solid work I think maybe only one day off, one full day off maybe two in that whole eight weeks. And the list is unbelievable of what it takes to make a sailboat from the 70’s ready to cross oceans. Even though we’re not done, we still have to clean and provision and properly move in but first night on the boat – we just had a shower at the marina – John’s actually showering right now and yeah let’s just go through the list of everything we’ve been up to! our first and biggest job that we had to do was the core replacement and fiberglassing up on the deck. This involved marking the spots where the core had gone soft and cutting up the outer skin of fiberglass to get access to it Sometimes the core was like mush and you could pick it out with your fingers but other times you needed to chip away at the partially rotten core that was still adhered to the inner skin of fiberglass using a screwdriver or the end of a hammer There were two places that we were replacing the core. The first was on the starboard side between the track and the toe rail about two feet long by one foot wide The second place was up on the starboard side cabin top and was much trickier not only due to the size at five feet long by a foot and a half wide but also because the cabin top had a consistent curve going across the boat that we needed to match! We filled the edges of our existing core to seal it off from the new core and put down our first layer of resin and fiberglass mat This would be the base underneath the new core On top of this base, we would lay the core on what the boys in the yard called a slurry. It was essentially a filler that was thinned out by resin so it seep into all the cracks and grooves of the new core but also would cement it down to our base layer of fiberglass. We laid down our brand new core on top of the slurry and allowed it to set at which point we would be able to start layering fiberglass mats and resin gradually increasing in size to incorporate them into the existing cabin top Once all the fiberglass layers had cured, we sanded them smooth and prepared to make our template to match the curve on the cabin top – the most difficult part for us of the entire fiberglassing job! We made a template using a marker, wood and a jigsaw to match exactly how the port side looked so we could mirror the shape from the starboard side. This was done by dragging our template across the

brand new fiberglass, spreading filler only to the areas that needed to come slightly higher to fill in the curve. The goal was to be able to stand in the cockpit when we were done and look out over both sides and have the curve looking consistent all the way across the boat. From the existing curve on the port side to the curve of the starboard side that was newly shaped by us Once we finished fiberglassing we started on multiple days of sanding not only sanding our new fiberglass smooth but also grinding down the old non-skid paint from the deck and taking off the hardware and removable hatches as we went along We then taped up any existing surfaces that would not be painted including the toe rail, handrails, tracks and winches Leaving the surface of the boat ready for primer and paint. We painted the primer and used the rolling and tipping method to complete two coats of beautiful white paint on top. We not only had to paint the entire deck of the boat but also every nook and cranny of the cockpit as well as the three hatches which had been removed from the boat Even though we are happy now with how the fiberglass and paint turned out it wasn’t without hiccups like these What not to do when rolling and tipping: drop your paintbrush on the ground That was John just to be clear seems like something I would do it wasn’t me Once the paint has dried we took the opportunity to fix our drainage issue A spot on each side of the deck where water never seemed to drain from no matter how much of a heel we were on we were sailing. We cut a hole on each side for our new deck drains and plumbed them into the existing drainage We reattach the railings and anything else that we needed to tape around for the non-skid and begin taping off areas where we wanted to leave strategic smooth waterways for rainwater and sea water to be able to run past the non-skid and either over the side or to our drains instead of accumulating on the deck. It was a particularly time-consuming job as there was a lot of fine detail in the taping and the smooth white paint would stand out next to the gray non-skid so we wanted to ensure that the boat looked symmetrical when the job was all said and done. Once the taping was done we had to mark up all of the areas to be painted with non-skid using sandpaper and since we were constantly battling with the weather in New England we often found ourselves painting by flashlight at night to avoid the rain and give the non-skid enough time to dry before the next rain or cold snap. These jobs were the big ones but there were numerous other jobs done alongside them. Since all of the fiberglassing and sanding and painting could only be done when we had clear weather we had many rainy or cold days where we had to work on other projects So we have just taken the nuts off the top of one of our keel bolts. They are a little J-Bolt that is molded into the keel and it is super, super rusty. It’s probably half the thickness that it needs to be unfortunately So, I guess what we should do is let me just take off one more and just inspect another one We did inspect to the rest of the keel bolts and luckily found little to no corrosion. The bolt that was corroded happened to be the lowest bolt in the bilge and was exposed to moisture much more often than the rest of the bolts. Also once we cleaned it up with the small wire wheel on our dremel, we saw that it was not as bad as it first appeared. And with only one slightly corroded keel bolt we were lucky as multiple corroded keel bolts along with all the other surprises we needed to fix could have derailed the budget enough to delay our sailing trip another year. We carried on resealing the bolts with 5200 and torquing the bolts back down. I’m gonna go find someone who can come along and torque up our fuel bolts this morning Finish them off. We put 5200 on the keelbolts yesterday, they don’t lend out tools and no one’s here on a Saturday so I just

guess they’re gonna go as tight as they can and that’s the end of that So – thoughts are at this stage… I’m going to take our block and tackle for the main sheet which multiplies the effort by 8 pulleys and they’re going to run off the engine mount back to here, to the blocks and down to our bar. Now I just need to calibrate the old torque elbow using our actual torque wrench and then it should be set. Ready to rock and roll. Don’t try this at home, don’t do this with your boat It’s only because we’re in a bit of a pickle that I’m attempting this! Only that I’ve put the 5200 on and really want to get it as accurate as possible We’re gonna come back on Monday with an actual torque wrench and fix this up, torque it down properly. But for the meantime it’s it’s gonna be the old ghetto torque wrench. We’ll see, anyway, see how we go! Starting with the middle bolt because it’s easy to get to. I’ve just used my torque wrench to find it out what 100 Newton meters feels like. There’s nine runs on this theoretically if I start pulling up the slack until I feel… I suppose using two hands All right that’s about there. Feels like a hundred Newton meters. I’m gonna go a little bit more just as I reckon it might be a bit inaccurate…. it won’t be more than that! First one – torqued down! We do all precision works here at one-O-six. If you have some precision work needed done feel free to contact us we’ll be in a port near you. Alright, keel bolt number two With the keel bolts resealed and torqued the last thing we had to do was seal the keel seem, this is a spot on the boat where the lead keel meets the fiberglass hull. By sealing this off it means the last place where corrosion could get through to our keel bolts was strong and waterproofed Next on the list was to finish our steering, the problem which had led us to delay the trip by a year and returned to Australia to save more money. On top of fixing it we were also installing a new used Garmin auto pilot. John attached our newly machined tiller arm for the auto pilot and he also attached the drive wheel for the steering cables to our rudder post below deck Then we were ready to install the used Garmin linear drive unit for the autopilot which we’d bought in Australia and tested before our return to the boat in the United States. We mounted the unit also below deck and after ticking off all of the finer details like rudder angles and rudder stops, we had ticked another couple of jobs off the list And then we decided to get a new propeller because the propeller that came with our boat was a fixed two blade propeller and it’s a bit undersized for our boat and our engine so that with that we could only get about four knots of speed. And given we’d be in places like the Bahamas in the South Pacific where there’s known to be a bit of current we decided that we would want a propeller that if we needed to would be able to overcome a little bit more than four knots of current. So we upgraded to a two blade folding prop

Now the two blades are bigger so they’re more appropriately sized in terms of propeller pitch and diameter and we got the folding prop so that we just maintain a little bit more speed when we’re sailing so there’s a bit less drag on the propeller because it’s been folded away too good of a sleeker profile. So it’s a used propeller but it should do the job and now that we’re back in the water we will test it up and let you know how it went Next we loaded up our four brand-new 155 amp hour AGM batteries into the boat They were installed in the cupboard just underneath our quarter berth and we proceeded to not only wire them in and strap them down but also to replace our old solar charge controller with a new one, completely rewire switchboard and much more We got a new life raft and by new I mean our first life raft. We got the cradle mounted up on the cabin top and ensured it was placed in correctly for the hydrostatic release to operate We got started on our water maker, testing it to make sure that it worked first Cally: ready John: just wait, yeah I’m hiding behind the mast John: careful it doesn’t explode Cally: what?? Shut up, it will be fine right? Cally: whats going to happen if this goes? Its just going to make a noise right? John: uh, yeah – it might blow up Cally: why are you hiding!? Stop! John: no you’ll be fine…. I think! Cally: I know you are joking, this is ridiculous! WATERMAKER NOISES John: it works! We used our reseal kit to do some maintenance before cutting a new through hull for salt water uptake and attaching it to our water tanks and installing it under a cupboard near the sink So today we are putting in a brand-new secondhand used beautiful nova kool fridge Fridge is in! Look at that bad boy we still got room – you want to be my model here Cally? Cally: no thanks! John: oh okay, Cally doesn’t want to be my model We have still got plenty of room down here for my feet, oh yes so I still got plenty of room there! It’s a bit like an international flight on Qantas – just enough! Voila! Other jobs we tackled included laying teak colored vinyl flooring, using a heat gun to remove the old boat name and home port and then after wet sanding and buffing adding the new boat name in the home port. And we were eventually able to finish the non-skid and peel off the tape to reveal our brand new deck! Last but definitely not least we did the antifoul. It started out fine but I feel I was not warned how much work it is to send antifoul down to the barrier coat and I quickly started to hate it! John and I took turns, but we may not have gotten done in time without our surrogate father Bruce lending us a hand for an entire day! We had dwindling days to enjoy Rhode Island sunset like this one now the work was done. After cleaning, provisioning, a few odd jobs and saying goodbye to everyone we would be on our way! But first though we were working hard we did make sure to have some fun too! Check out our next video where we share what we got up to for fun in Rhode Island. We also finish off those last minute jobs including making sure to praise Neptune for luck Almighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans And, most importantly we had an incredible send-off party from friends before setting sail MUSIC PLAYING