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  #1  
Old 11-12-2011
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Refitting for the Spring

I have a Hunter 25 that I paid very little for, and is in decent shape. I like that it has a 3' draft, and I don't want to pay $10,000 or more for a "real" boat (I wouldn't have the money to cruise if I did that..). I do want to refit it and make it as seaworthy as possible.

I was thinking about entirely cutting off the liner inside and taking out the cabinetry. Then reinforcing the bulkheads with some more glass and building a crash compartment. Maybe reinforce the areas behind the chainplates. Then I would build my own interior bunks/galley in a more ergonomical way suiting my own needs. I don't care about resale too much because I barely paid anything for the boat anyway. I like working on projects like this, and have some experience with fiberglass.

Does what I am planning on doing make sense? Worth it? Anyone think I would just be wasting my time?

I welcome your opinions, especially from anyone who has taken the liner out of their boat before...
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Old 11-12-2011
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What you want to do can make sense. What is important is whether the liner is there purely for the builder's convenience or whether it is also there for strength. I haven't crawled around a Hunter 25 so I can't say.
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Old 11-12-2011
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Does what I am planning on doing make sense? no
Worth it? no
Anyone think I would just be wasting my time? yes
Probably never finish and make it unsailable and unsellable, just my opinion.
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Old 11-12-2011
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You want to beef up the boat so that you can sail in waters for which it was not originally built? I get that.

I don't understand why you want to rip out and replace the entire liner. Our bulkheads and chain plates were reinforced by the PO without doing that.

Maybe it will all be a waste of time, but it's your time to waste and if you enjoy doing the work, who cares?

Some people like working on boats as much as sailing them. Nothing wrong with that. If no one liked to work on boats there would be more derelict boats out there.
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Old 11-13-2011
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Go for it, I am doing a refit on mine this winter as well.
Is it worth it, lots will say no but I really like my boat and to me it will be worth rvery drop of sweat. Sounds like you get a good accomplishment from doing the work if only to say Damn thats fine work..
As for liner make sure you really need to remove that, or do you have some sort of carpeting on yours. If thats what your calling a liner then sure go ahead.
Remember takes pictures along the way and update the post on how your doing.
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Old 11-13-2011
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I'll echo the sentiment to revisit the "ripping out the interior liner" idea. Odds are the manufacturer has integrated structural components into said liner. Something to think about. Now, as to the "am I crazy" question: aren't we all? Last I checked, most of us have a screw loose here and there, so what we think about the idea is probably a mute point. You can easily "make the boat your own", without the need to tear out the liner. By converting a settee into galley cabinetry, for instance, you change the ergonomics and layout of the boat.

Whatever you decide, it's your choice because it's your boat. Words like "resale" and "value" and "depreciation" really don't apply to most old boats, because they're worth whatever the next buyer is willing to pay. So, go ahead and spend the winter making it your own. Document the refit in a thread complete with pictures. If nothing else, your project will give us all something to watch over the winter. Good luck!
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Old 11-13-2011
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Ditto for knowing whether the liner is a structural part of the boat. Seems likely.

Obviously, it's your's to do with as you please, but because you asked, I think you're going to find other much better places to spend your time and money on an old boat. I KNOW you will.

A crash compartment? Seriously? Do you hit a lot of stuff (tongue in cheek)? How many 25' sailboats sink from head on collisions vs. other cause? I'll betcha darn few. Try fire, through-hulls, and general stupidity. Also, bear in mind not many of them sink.

I understand going for better ergos down below, but it's still going to be a 25' boat when you're done, so you're not going to gain much. What are you REALLY planning to do down there with the ergos that you hope will be better? Just sail the boat. Keep it seaworthy and shipshape. That's no small undertaking on an older boat. You'll use the cabin to overnight sometimes, get out of the weather, cook chow, store your gear, and maybe get laid. Rearranging will not likely enhance your experience.

I used to sail a Grampian 26, and I really loved that boat. I did a lot of repair and upgrades to it outside and inside. The bulkheads in that boat were covered with formica, and I thought it looked really cheesy. I paneled over it and added trim here and there on the interior. I wanted a bigger head on the boat with a shower and figured out I could put a shower in the forepeak in place of the v bunks. Glad I never did that. Looking back, I'm glad I did all the work on the outside, but the stuff I did non the inside was just a waste of time, effort and money. Fix the broken stuff, rewire where needed, and just enjoy it.

and SAIL
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Old 11-14-2011
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Well I took a closer look at the cabin this weekend. The galley cabinetry has much unused space, and its general construction is a bit shaky after 30 years (the countertop is a bit loose). The ice box, which I never use mostly because it has no drain, blocks access to the area underneath the cockpit floor and does not maximize space at all. I believe a large water tank could easily fit behind it (I currently have only a waterbag under the v-berth). The area of the cooler is another one that has much unused space. The laminate countertop is old and peeling slightly in a few spots. I think this whole area could be re-done more efficiently. I plan on ripping out the galley and cabinetry, and re-fitting them in a way that maximizes the use of space. Particularly, I think I will get rid of the ice box, and rely on a removable one instead. I would replace the laminate with, maybe tiles? or... something similar that looks nice... bamboo? And add a cabinet where the ice box currently is.

I inspected the liner of the boat, and much of it appears at least somewhat structural, especially considering that it is in many areas thicker than necessary for purely cosmetic purposes. I think I will leave the bunks as they are. They actually work decently as is, and re-doing them would be a LOT of work, probably more than it is worth. Good suggestion siamese. The boat as a space between the v-berth and main cabin, in between two bulkheads. To starboard is the portapotti. To Port is a nearly open space in which it would be simple to install a cabinet/armoir into.

There are several areas of the boat, especially up front where it would matter, where the liner completely covers the hull and there is no access behind it. Into these spaces I may consider installing simple plastic deckplates, so as to have some access in case of getting holed so I could at least stuff something in them to slow the flooding. I think a crash compartment would be difficult to do, because the v-berth bottom seems to be at or just below the waterline (which is where I would be most likely to hit something) and would not be easy to seal without making access to the spinnaker that I store under there, and extra line/hardware, difficult.

Most of the ports don't open, and all of them are heavily glazed and cracked/chipped in part and most are slightly leaky (a few drops only in rain, I'm sure more if a wave hits them). I priced ports at almost $120 each minimum, I would need 8, so that isn't an option. Maybe I could replace them with simple, bolted on lexan?

The transom, where the backstay and my engine mount attach, is a bit light and I can see it flex at the motor mount when I push the motor up and down. An easy fix should be to fit a 1/2 inch plywood transom reinforcement, attached to the transom with thickened epoxy and through-bolted at the backstay and engine mounts. This should stiffen it a bit, and allow the fitting of a stronger backstay when I eventually get around to beefing up the rigging (this can wait for another year).

I can't figure out for the life of me how one reinforces the bulkheads. They seem completely fused to the hull in fiberglass all along the hull bottom. Then, from about the waterline to the deck, they are not connected at all. Should I finish the bulkheads up to the deck? Or reinforce them where they are? Or add to bulkheads wherever I can, by laying up extra glass and using plywood bulkheads to fill the gaps? I don't know what to do about that...

I most likely will be able to take a year off of work in the next few years, and still return to it. I plan on going cruising in this boat. Coastal, down to Florida, then the bahamas, then I don't know. I won't be crossing the atlantic, but I will need a seaworthy boat even if it is a Hunter. I will watch the weather carefully because I am scared of rough weather. I mean, my girlfriend is. Not me... I have built several small wooden boats, and generally finish any project I start. If that helps...

Your opinions and personal experiences welcomed!
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Old 11-14-2011
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I will take you at your word that you finish projects. Many of this magnitude are not finished.

My most serious caution would be to take this in bite sized pieces. You may finish, but you may not finish by the Spring. Every project I've ever undertaken has tripled in time and complexity. Once you start ripping things out, you will find more that needs to be done.

For most of us, just getting the repair list completed over the winter is too much to ask.
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Old 11-19-2011
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Well, with the help of my girlfriends father I got the galley table and cooler removed from the boat today.





Im gonna install a battery port under the cockpit floor, and a watertank there as well. Im gonna cut a new galley countertop from ply. Not sure whether to cover it in fake granite laminate, or bamboo flooring to get a bamboo countertop. Or tiles? Any opinions on this choice welcome!
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