I'm a long time lurker, first time poster, and I humbly submit this project-diary type thread in the tradition of AllThumbs and his DS 20.
So, anyway, here's the story:
When I was younger I raced one-design dinghies, sailed on the family Bristol 35.5, and crewed Wednesday night races a handful of times. A few months ago I picked up (what I believe is) a '73 Venture 21 and trailer for the low price of $600, and I plan to fix it up and sail it for a few years. I have a full compliment of carpentry tools, my own labor, a hazy memory of fiberglass repair, and almost no money. I hope to finish in time for spring, and for the project cost to come in around what I paid for the boat. The tone for the project will lean towards cruising, rather than racing, and the cheap and available, rather than the best.
The boat is in good condition for it's age. It has the original topside paint, just one extra coat of bottom paint, and no pox whatsoever. The standing rigging shows no rust or meathooks. The deck is sound, and the mast, boom, and spinnaker pole are in good condition. On the downside, the swing keel is rusting pretty bad, the brightwork is totally f**ked, and the trailer is rusting through in the worst possible place (see link for pictures below.)
I invite all comments and advice, and will update this thread with my progress as the project rolls out.
I have pictures of some of the most serious issues at picasa.
This is my first post, so I can't post a real link: picasaweb dot google dot com slash david dot warshaw
The Repair Schedule:
[*]remove, repair, and replace keel
I'm not so sure how to go about this. I'm worried that if I get the keel out, I wont be able to get it back in. I may repair the keel largely in place, supporting it only to remove the winch assembly and inspect the hardware.
I'd highly recommend removing it completely and inspecting it, the winch and the pivot pin. You can't inspect the pivot pin without really removing the swing keel.
[*]remove barnacles and existing bottom paint
Random orbital sander or angle grinder fitted with soft pad.
Random orbital sander is better than angle grinder, which may be too aggressive IMHO. Sodablasting is even better, but might not be an option for you.
I'm not sure if it's best to trailer it, or keep it in the water. I'm fortunate to live where one can get a shallow slip pretty inexpensively and keeping it in the water seems like less of a hassle then on a trailer, but I'd be open to arguments for and against. Alternatively, could I get a cheap paint that will work either way?
I'd highly recommend barrier coating the boat, if you're going to be sanding the bottom paint off down to the gelcoat. Doing so isn't that expensive to do, and might save you some headaches in the future. You may have to splash the boat briefly to get the waterline right.
I'd also recommend using a multi-season co-polymer ablative paint, whether you're going to drysail it or keep it in the water. Keeping it in the water is a huge advantage since you can often go for short afternoon sails, which wouldn't be possible or feasible if it was on the trailer.
[*]repaint old boot stripe
Getting the boot stripe right might have to wait until you splash her, unless you splashed her briefly for the bottom paint job as suggested above.
[*]remove existing topside paint
RO sander/grinder again.
RO sander rather than grinder for reasons above
I'd like to approximate the existing, it's a nice pastel yellow. What's a good (read: cheap) topside paint?
Roll and tip. I've used Brightsides, but I'd highly recommend spending the extra bucks if you're going to bother painting and get a good two-part LPU paint, like IMRON or AWLCRAFT 2000.
[*]repair crazing on deck
This, I have no idea how to do.
If it is just crazing due to age, rather than stress cracks, open them up a bit for the larger ones, and then fill and sand...then paint over.
[*]repair cracked hatch cover
Minor fiberglass repair; easy enough.
Might want to investigate why it cracked. If it was due to the piece being too weak, adding a couple layers of glass now might be a good idea.
[*]repair PO's botched repair of deck under jib cleat
This is a more interesting repair. I think I'll tape the outside and work from the inside to minimize messing the contour of the deck up.
Might want to work from the outside in, especially since you're going to be painting the boat anyways.
This is another total question mark. What kind of paint should one use for something like this?
See topsides paint answer.
[*]mostly remove existing interior paint
The sander again, although some areas will be inaccessible.
Yup... don't paint the bilges though...use barrier coat instead. Paint won't last very long in the bilges generally.
[*]remove existing interior bulkheads
This should be pretty easy.
Make sure you support the hull well before doing this, since many bulkheads are often structural and the boat's shape will change if not well supported.
Any ideas on how I can make the interior a little more inviting than just painting everything white?
Wood veneer goes a long way to making it look nice.
So do some of the other laminates you can use over the marine plywood for the bulkheads, if you don't want/like wood.
[*]repair electrical system
I'd like to install some kind of panel and maybe a radio. New LED masthead and bow lights?
Cheapest way to get USCG certified LED nav lights is probably getting the Aquasignal 25 fixtures and replacing the bulbs with the Dr. LED replacement bulbs. Get a decent DSC Class-D VHF and a small GPS to connect it to. Go with Blue Sea for the panel.
[*]install new interior bulkheads
Half inch painted plywood. Could I get cheap cushions? Could I make cheap cushions?
Go with marine plywood on the bulkheads. You can make cushions for far less than you can buy them. Get the foam at an industrial foam distributor—most will sell direct to the public in my experience. Get the cloth at a big fabric shop—doesn't have to be "marine" cloth for interior cushions. The new microfiber materials are nice, easy to maintain, easy to sew and very durable.
This will be entirely new territory for me. There is an existing space set off for this (all V21's might have it), but there are through hull fittings for, what I think is, discharge into the water. I don't know much about marine plumbing, but I'm pretty sure discharging waste into the water where I am is illegal. The boat is to small for a tank, so this one will require some research and counsel.
Raritan makes a small (5 gallon IIRC) holding tank that fits around the base of the head, if you want to go with a true marine head and holding tank. Otherwise, you can always go with a porta-potti. If you don't have pumpout facilities nearby, the porta-pottie is probably a better choice.
[*]replace running rigging and hardware/brightwork where necessary
New sheets and halyards. I'd like to rig the spinnaker pole so that I could run it with just two people. I'm not sure exactly how it's rigged right now; more on this later. I'd like to experiment with Ipe for the brightwork. It has characteristics similar to teak, but is much cheaper.
Contact Cajun Trading (Cajun Trading Company, commercial and pleasure marine cordage rope products, Boating and Yachting Supplies, running rigging kits
) for a rigging quote. They have package prices for many older boats.
I haven't unfolded them yet; this may be a big deal, or it may not.
Not a big deal on a boat your size.
Get a new fire extinguisher, figure out the pump sink; all still too far off to be definite.
Bigger is better on fire extinguishers. Foot powered sink pumps rock... and are much simpler to use than hand-pumped sink fixtures on boats without pressure water.
(That was longer than I thought it would be; the rest of my posts will be shorter.)
Good luck and keep us posted.