hi Chaz and Emily.
the boat is a sloop and luckily has most of the origianl features.
the work being carried out sounds sinmular to yours basicly we have stripped out every thing and are replacing/repairing it from stem to stern.
the boat here has had a new fibglass deck at some point and this was quite flexible.i have reinforced this with glassing foam ribson both sides of the main cabin decks seem to be an issue with the cheoy lees.
on the steering the past owner had removed the wheel steering system though found all the bits in the lockers and had fitted terrible tiller istead i have replaced this with a new Edison system but was able to use the old qaudrent and side pullys.was also lucky to fined the old compass
binnical and have been able to make it fit the edison.
we are fitting things back to as origional as possibible,and thought about the frezzer box too but have decided to keep it in for the moment.will be very interested in your explots there!
to boat had a replacement engine in 2004 and but this was badly damaged so have fitted a new base engine and shaft/tube as well.
Will be glad to trade pictures as well and great to hear that were not alone out there.