Boat maintenance is an ongoing chore. Every few years there has to be a major refit. We have had several in the 25 years I have owned Lealea, now 40 years old. She needed a new engine in 1993 and a major engine overhaul In 2010. The standing rigging was replaced in 1996 and again in 2007. She got an Awlgrip paintjob in ’96 (She’s definitely due for a new one now – *next Summer
) and we replaced much of the interior furniture in 2007.
Now the old girl definitely needs some TLC. The mast support beam is showing signs of deflection and the main bulkhead has visible water damage. The remaining original sapele veneer plywood is finally beginning to show its age, peeling and chipping, looking shabby next to the newer sections replaced just 7 years ago. The bulkheads you can’t see are worse.
Basically, I have to take down the mast and gut the hull then put it all back like new.
Here is the plan:
First I have to secure a place to do the work. An empty two car garage will do. I think I have that part covered.
Next figure out how much and what type of materials to order (We are in SE Alaska so it is not as simple as driving to the nearest lumber yard)
Then, when the materials and tools are assembled in the workshop, take down the mast. Easy enough with the deck stepped mast mounted on a tabernacle. It is a one man job, though it is quicker and easier with two.
The interior of a Vega has been described as “Ikea furniture” – very simple. It can be removed and reinstalled with nothing more than a screwdriver.
It sounds easier than it is. But it is not complicated.
Keeping it a simple as possible, I intend to use the old pieces as patterns, fabricate and finish the new pieces in the workshop. Then reinstall the new interior in the boat.
What I am not sure about is what to use to seal and finish the new furniture. I intend to use marine plywood but have not decided what veneer to choose. (Laura has the deciding vote). The original furniture is sapele, aka African Mahogany and is the default choice.
Now that I have written this out and tried to visualize actually doing it, I realize that I do not know if the hull will compress/deform with the main beam and bulkhead removed. Glad I thought of that. It is not something you want to learn when you are trying to put it back together. Anybody know?
Then, also, of course, there is the inevitable "While we have it apart we might as well...."