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  #1  
Old 01-27-2011
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Project Boat Restoration Priority

Hello,
I am curious to the Priority given to the jobs which must be done to a Project Boat. Specifically, I'm interested to know the order in which the jobs should be prioritised, to avoid one job impacting another.

For example, I may not want to awlgrip the exterior hull before completing some interior cabinetry work (to avoid scratching the hull, etc.

Is there a recognised step 1, step 2, step 3, etc, process ?
Or a recommended book on this topic?
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Old 01-27-2011
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It might help if you tells us what projects you have on your list. Are you gutting the boat and starting from scratch or just some minor rehab work.
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Old 01-27-2011
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1) Make sure the boat is not going to sink -- pay attention to your thru hulls, seacocks, and plumbing, etc...

2) Make sure the keel is going to stay on.

3) Make sure the mast is going to stay up -- replace standing rigging, chainplates, etc...

4) Make sure the water stays out -- repair deck coring, repaint deck and redo non-skid, rebed hardware, etc..

5) Make sure the boat will not catch fire -- redo electrical wiring, etc...

6) go sailing!

Fresh Awlgrip on the hull would be one of my last priorities (but that's just me).
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Old 01-27-2011
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I'm in the process of restoring a project boat and agree with catamount -

When I initially got the boat I had a massive list of "to-do's".. Seemed overwhelming until I broke it down into two sections:

What do I need to do to go sailing?
What's a nice-to-have?

In my case, things like bulkheads, standing/running rigging examination and replacement, bottom paint, fixing a couple of leaks and basic electrical are all on the "must-do".

Cabinetry, topside paint, new tiller, etc are all to be done later for two reasons - one, a project boat is a lot easier to deal with if you can sail it in between jobs.. and two, I figure I need at least a season of sailing with it to figure out if the stock locations/parts are good enough, or if I want to modify something. There's nothing worse than spending hours and dollars on replacing or refinishing cabinetry or electronics only to figure out after that you'd wished you'd done something different.

As for the order of things, once the boat is in basic sailing condition I work from inside to outside.. By "inside", i mean the guts and systems of the boat.. For example the following jobs I'd do in this order -

Electrical and plumbing, deck hardware replacement/re-bed (except cockpit), interior cabinetry, interior appointments and finishing, cockpit refinishing, topside paint..

The point, like you originally mentioned, is to reduce the effect the next job may have on the previous. As an example, deck hardware may require removing a liner, or cabinetry to get to the underside which is why I'd do that before doing any interior work. Or refinishing the cockpit area when you still have to lug materials in and out for interior work is just asking to redo the job..
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Old 01-27-2011
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A lot of the interior projects, like re-plumbing or re-wiring the boat, would be best done before any interior projects that re-finish the interior, since the damage to the finish can be easily avoided by doing it last. Same goes with exterior projects, where painting will generally be the last project, outside of things like replacing the rigging.

If you are going to paint, make sure you paint the bare deck and hull if at all possible, rather than masking around hardware. The edges at the hardware will often be where the finish fails first.

TintedChrome's point about using the boat for a season before making major decisions is a good one. Often, you will find that certain things work or don't work for you based on the way you sail the boat. By sailing it for a season before doing major modifications, you'll be able to make the modifications with a much better frame of reference.
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Old 01-27-2011
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Agree with TintedChrome. I think it is important to separate those things that need to be done versus things that would be nice to get done. I also make a special point to try to make a separate list of things that can only be done when the boat is out of the water, or when the mast is down.

The trouble I have is that there are some basic things that need to be done, and they have a lot of other projects that could logically be done at the same time. You could end up under a big pile of, "while I have this all torn appart I should...".
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Old 01-27-2011
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I like the TintedChrome approach. A friend of mine sailed his boat with the interior stripped out and a table saw lashed in placed!
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Old 01-27-2011
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Thanks for the input guys,
I'm taking notes.
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Old 01-27-2011
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I looked at it the way TC did as well. I found that with out a plan or a list i would end up in the middle of 7 projects 1/2 done and tools everywhere. so i broke it out into a wants vs needs list, then broke those lists down topside below then into systems. ie engine/elect/plumb etc. makes getting one thing at a time done a lot more manageable. also i did (do) intersperse working on the 'needs' list with an occasional item from the 'want' list just for comfort and it seemed to make working on the 'needs' list less like work
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Old 01-27-2011
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neimer, what are your goals for this project? How do you envision yourself ultimately using this boat, when you are "done"? (you will never really be done, trust me) Why are you going the project boat route? (e.g. some people just love fixing up old boats, others do it out of perceived financial necessity, etc...).

It is your goals and envisioned use of the boat that will determine what NEEDS to be done vs. what would be nice... If your plan is to go sailing on a local lake, the needs list will be different than if your plan is to sail a vic-maui race. If your goal is to show up at a rendevous and wow all the other owners with your bristol finish, again your needs list will be different than if your goal is just to get out sailing as soon as you can, i.e. maybe fresh awlgrip is on the needs to be done list in order to meet your goal.
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