Restore a Sailboat - June 2017

WelcomeI took on the restoration of this 1976 Ericson 35.  In the beginning, it was an all out rush to get this boat readied for the 2017 Chicago Mackinac, in July.  I didn’t keep track of what I worked on during this period, but later on kept notes, but will try from memory:

1.The first thing I did was to buy a pressure washer and hit every single surface on the inside of the boat. The walls, ceiling, floor, inside all cubbies, the bilge, lazarette and all other surfaces.  My Dad restrained me from hitting the two radios, I would of blasted them too.  After 41 years of dirt, grime, and sediment, gray surfaces turned white, loose paint was removed, and the odors were eliminated.  We start with a clean palette!

2. Removed the teak walls on both sides of the cockpit to gain access to the cubby holes that have rotted plywood in them.  Dad ripped out the rot, and fiberglassed it over.  I finished installing the teak walls.

3. There are 8 winches on this boat, grease can dry out over time and with dirt added, can make winches spin the wrong direction under load and with a winch handle in it and break fingers, hands, or arms or heads if in the way.  I tore down all winches, cleaned thoroughly, regreased the bearings, and oiled the pawls.  The Survey made this recommendation as well.

4. There is a comfort for sailors who cruise, the front stay that holds up the mast can have a Roller Furler device installed.  When the sail is out, you pull a string that rolls the jib up vertically on the front stay, and it is then put away.  Then release that string, and the sail unrolls and you’re off sailing again quickly.  At the end of a day of sailing there is nothing to fold, nothing to bag, nothing to store below-decks saving valuable space. However, this device is not used on racing boats, I remove the roller furler.

5. The Survey said that some lights were not working.  I clean contacts, crimp fittings that weren’t tight, and replace some bulbs.  All lights are working.

6. On the floor of the cockpit is a woven teak floor insert.  It has seen better days, it is rotted in places and the decision was made to throw it away going back to the original fiberglass floor.

7. The Survey says there is a throttle cable under deck that is being chaffed by the steering quadrant under-deck.  I find a good way to tie it so it no longer chafes.

8. There have been deaths on both sail and powerboats from carbon monoxide from stoves and from engines that leak exhaust.  It is normal to have a CO Detector onboard any boat with interior space today.  I get one, unpackage it while the engine mechanic was repairing the thermostat and replacing hose and fittings that was restricting the floor of cooling water through the engine.  When he fired up the engine for a test, moments later the CO Detector went off!  Yikes!  The mechanic investigates and finds some fitting that had been mounted backwards previously, and the problem goes away.  Later I mount the CO Detector.

9. While the engine mechanic was doing his work, he noticed that the bilge pump was not permanently wired to the battery.  It was wired through the battery switch that is always turned off when we leave the boat.  I re-wire it so there is always power to the automatic bilge pump.  Later the mechanic compliments me for the job well done.

10. The way ropes were installed to make adjustments to sails on boats 42 years ago, is very different than they are laid out today.  I removed all sorts of outdated, unused pulleys, and fittings off the mast and boom and begin to install fittings that work for ease of performance.

11. There are numerous ropes and lines that are used to trim, and adjust sails.  This boat did not have a full compliment, and we had to bring old spares out of storage, and buy new in some instances.  We laid everything out, quizzing each other whether they were adequate in strength and length.

12. After a rainstorm, we learn that the boat is a sieve.  So many fittings mounted to the deck have bolts that come through to the inside and are caulked, but the caulk has dried out, those bolts removed, cleaned, then re-caulked.  As time goes, you’ll see these 30 leaks were just the tip of the iceberg!

13. There are grease studs on the rudder post, with the grease gun I put in grease.

The next owner is really going to enjoy this boat.

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