Tom, I refurbed my islander 26 in my spare time. It had a lot of the same problems you indicated in your opening post plu a few more. It took about 3 years and although at times aggravating, I enjoyed it immensely. I also continued to sail my islander during the rehab. Major projects like deck coring and gutting the inside where done over the winter months. I know little about the processes before I got started and actually found this site doing research. Got a lot of great information from sailnet. There are a lot of books in the library. One is called "From a bare hull" and others loaded with information I found a lot of my materials on line searching websites and saved probably 50 to 60 percent in material cost. Took time but was worth it. As some one mentioned earlier you will be proud of your achievement when done more than if you bought a turnkey boat. By the way I sold it for a profit 5 year after I bought it.
Good luck and enjoy your adventure.