Rehabbing a Used Boat - Part 3

Rehabbing a Used Boat - Part 3

You set off with high hopes when rehabbing a boat, you’ve got the tools, the supplies, and the time and you head off to the boat to get her done.  This past weekend had a myriad of electrical wiring projects, and then testing the circuits.  So far, all is 5 by 5 (maritime geek speak – meaning “all good”).  Before you know it, you’ve run out of supplies and time, and have to head back to work for another week.

The next weekend in the shipyard will have a ton of little projects – completing  and test the last few wiring projects, install some hanging hooks for the lines, put some cloth dressing over some lead weights, make some screens (yes, Lake Michigan can be covered everywhere with some of the nastiest ankle biting flies on earth), make and install a rugged paper towel holder in the galley, sand the sharp wood edges of many openings, and wash/scrape/sand/lacquer thinner all excess drippings of glue, paint, tape gum accumulated through the years.

I’ll put the boat’s 12 volt battery inside of a plastic box with a lid.  This helps keep any battery acid from accidentally splashing on someone, and protect the + and – metal posts from having some sort of metal object fall on them, shorting out and either starting a fire, or frying the battery out rendering all electrics and electronics useless.  Safety is key.

Most boat inboard engines, such as this one, are inside of a box, many times with soundproofing.  Engine compartments provide one of the highest risk areas for fire.  Imagine, an oil fire begins inside of a box.  How do you put the fire out?  Open the box feeding it a rush of oxygen?  That is simply a bad idea.  A surveyor once taught me to drill a hole in the side of the box a bit larger than the nozzle of the fire extinguisher that gives a good angle to hit most of the area inside the box.  Then put a teardrop metal cover over the hole that can be pivoted open in a moments notice to stick the fire extinguisher nozzle into.

Your bed is nice and level, so are bunks when a boat is tied to a dock.  However, when sailing, the boat heels.  Sometimes a little, sometimes a whole lot, like 45-degrees.  In order to sleep, you need something to lean against, we call them leeboards or leecloth depending on what it is made of.  Think of it as a hospital bed with rails, but with padding.  This boat came with two bunks without leeboards or leecloths.   We’ll be installing new leeboards.

It is simply wise to keep water out from the inside of the boat, as discussed in a previous article.  There is a manual bilge pump mounted in the deck that has its belows cracked which allows water from the outside to come inside.  There are two stereo speakers mounted in the deck, and they are old enough that their surrounds have disintegrated allowing water from the outside to come inside.  Surround replacement is less than $10 and I’ll bring them home and do this on my workbench.

It looks like it will be another busy weekend in the shipyard, if I had my druthers, I’d druther be out sailing.

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