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El malabarista 08-24-2011 10:34 AM

elizabethan 29
Hello all
After lurking for a few days i have decided to go for it.
My wife and i are building what we believe to be an Elizabethan 29. She was left forgotten in the corner of a yard having never been completed.
Hull and deck are complete however the coachroof needs a lot of work and she needs a complete fitout.
We are fairly experienced crew but this will be our first foray into ownership.
Our intention is to first build her and then spend a few years getting to know her culminating in a slow cruise to nicaragua where we have a second home.
We have rented a large barn in which to work situated across the road from our house.
Any tips/ advice gratefully received
Dave and Ros

WanderingStar 08-25-2011 09:44 AM

First be sure that this is the boat you want. It may well take more time and money than buying a boat that is ready to sail. Work steadily. Focus on getting her ready to use instead of complete for cruising with all equipment. You can sail a boat without an interior using camping gear. Don't stick on perfection, it takes too long. Do good, solid work with the best material you can afford. Be patient, this will take a while. Good luck and let us know how it works out.

Thestar 08-25-2011 11:50 AM


I spent six months last year totally rebuilding an Elizabethan 29 a Kim Holman design it is a huge job if you want any free advice or details of where to get parts etc or on how best to do what 1st etc let me know have a vast amount of pictures from it sitting on a 45 Gallon Drum through to it looking like a super yacht did stern gland, totally refurbished inside, new windows, scraped, sanded and repainted hull and decks, mast and boom and replaced all the wood work outside with new toe boards and a hardwood cockpit area. Then totally rewired the entire boat.

Sailed it from Aberystwyth in North Wales to Poole is the South West they are a dream to handle and sail lovely. Even at water line of 20ft by 7ft two of us and a dog lived aboard for six months it was lots of fun. A true blue water pocket cruieser.....

I am just about to depart Friday for a few weeks sailing but if you email me I will post or email at each port we stop at.

Hope this is of some help

Kindest Regards


El malabarista 08-26-2011 03:52 AM

Hi Will
Many thanks for your kind offer.
My wife and i bought this project yacht
as we wanted to design her systems and interior to suit our dream of sailing her to our beach house in Nicaragua. We realise we are a long way off as neither of us has ever skippered a yacht before.
We were told that she was moulded from the plug of an Elizabethan 29 by an old boatbuilder who was unfortunately unable to complete her due to ill health.
The hull was completed in 1998 and the deck was designed by him and built from marine ply which he then glassed over. There are substantial
Differences from the original design of the coachroof especially.
We have his original drawings and a few calculations as to speed and sail area etc. She then passed to a non
Sailor who ( bless him) had no idea and apparently sought no advice. He put on all the deck fittings stanchions mast step pulpit and pushpit by screwing self tappers straight into the fibreglass with no backing of any sort. These we can remove and glass in hardwood backing blocks.
There is no engine fitted so we have bought a reconditioned 2gm20 yanmar which we intend to fit when we remove the coachroof to raise the head height by four inches.
The mast that was sold with the boat is 30' 11'' made by Proctor spars in aluminium. There is no boom.
The mast step is damaged and needs to be replaced. The chainplates are very thin and inadequate ( in my opinion) and need to be hacked out and replaced.
The cockpit is fitted with two lewmar winches which need to be removed and fitted with backing blocks.
The rudder was badly fitted and does not have full range of movement as it binds on the aft edge of the keel.
There is no cutout for the prop so once we have the engine in we will need to align the propshaft fit a stern gland and fashion a cutout.
We need to create a chain locker in the forepeak drainage for it and then use the rest of the space for sail storage.
I will stop there as the more i am writing the more i am realising what a HUGE task i have undertaken.
The good news is i have already removed 675kg of tiny lead shot from the keel and stored it. ( worth almost as much as we paid for the boat!)
I have welded up a trailer to move her to our new house when we finally exchange contracts next month.
I am planning to stop work in september and work full time on her (along with building a 2 storey wooden chalet/garage to house my inlaws and my Harley)
We do have a build business with carpenters painters electricians plumbers etc most of whom have pledged to help me out on weekends and holidays so i am not alone.
My wife is an architect my father in law is a cabinetmaker and civil engineer and i am usually fairly good at fixing stuff however none of us have ever built a yacht before.
We have been buying a long list of things for her including instrumentation
Water and fuel tanks deck hardware etc etc.
Your advice is eagarly awaited
Kindest regards
David and Ros

El malabarista 08-26-2011 04:01 AM

a thank you
Hi there many thanks for your solid advice. I can see a long road ahead of us which at times will become difficult. It's good to know that there are friends to help along the way.
We will keep on plugging away and trying to enjoy the ride.
Ros and Dave

Thestar 08-26-2011 06:37 AM


Sorry this will be brief about to sail.

chain plates in wet locker & toilet shaped like an upside down U frame with about 12 bolts thourgh them. Grind off the bolts if rusted keep plates in shape take to a Stainless steel fabricator ours where replaced cost about 40 each

Think about the engine / stern gear space AFTER you put the cabin back on? Ours had a large bolted down maintenace hatch in the cockpit floor... Was exceptionally good when the propshaft sheard the keyway as we approached Weymouth bridge at 8am peak hour. Lost all drive tied up alongside hatch out repaired and back underway in under two hours. Top tip :-)

Replace your hard woods with thought go to a proper wood merchant and barter Teak for the strike boards on 29ft Elizabeathan last yr was around 800 we used Sapeally my spelling is wrong but it cost 300 and was oil treated on fitting so a quick wipe with teak oil leaves it looking a million dollars.

Will post a few pictures in album here if you want more let me know or PM me if you want all the technical specs of the 29's I have all the lots on laptop.

Think dual water & fuel tanks for passage making on your scale with one way valves in the air tank breathers to keep out saltwater.

The cockpits of 29's drain slowly why not add a bilge pump.

Bilge pump automatic fitted to the last 29 after stern gland leaked 25NM out at 4am the the manual bilge blocked not an issue if your savy we where prepared. Put one at the lowest point normally under the steps leading down the saloon.

Template inside your boat using wall paper and masking tape then you can make any wood fit perfect without any waste.

Have to go being nagged will post again

Kindest Regards


El malabarista 08-26-2011 07:34 AM

si amor
Hi Will thanks for taking the time out.
We have one water tank ss 80ltr for under cockpit locker another bow tank 50ltr and a fuel tank of 30ltr.
Your idea with the paper cutouts is great and one we will use. We luckily have pretty good contacts in the timber business due to our work and pretty good rates at trade prices. We were thinking Iroko but will research your suggestion.
The chainplates we have a in perfect condition but look like they came from a box of meccano. We have experience of being knocked down 2000 nm offshore and we like the idea of coming back up with the rig intact.
My wife survived a total of 6 knockdowns and 3 total inversions in the indian ocean ( surely a record) during a hurricane in a bennetau and the rig survived mostly intact and able to make the nearest port.
The engine hatch idea sounds brilliant. I will get my skilsaw out now. :)
I am unable to PM as yet but my email address is david at
We should have Si Amor in her quarters in the barn near to Tunbridge Wells by the end of september we would love for you to maybe come take a look and punt some ideas around. We will eventually be looking for a mooring on the south coast as well. I have done quite a lot of sailing around the Solent but mostly in dinghies. I went through a phase of passage making in an elderly Wayfarer
with a great friend. We did a few hairy irish sea adventures in her as well.
I had better go now as i need to cook a huge chili for a family gathering.
Thanks again for your ideas

sea-bird 08-30-2011 03:51 AM

hi my first post! be kind! wow that sounds like a project the star tell me where did you buy the boat? have you sold her? you done all that work on your own? that is pretty impressive! your a brave man to take on a project like that! me i have an elizabethan 29 fantastic boats! mine looks like its just come out the factory its like a new boat!! glad i didnt have all these hardships!! I have sailed her half way round the U.k fantastic boats, and Dave i wish you luck in your upcomming project and know when she is finished you will be rewarded for all your hard work, fantastic boats.

Thestar 08-30-2011 04:19 AM


Originally Posted by sea-bird (Post 767698)
hi my first post! be kind! wow that sounds like a project the star tell me where did you buy the boat? have you sold her? you done all that work on your own? that is pretty impressive! your a brave man to take on a project like that! me i have an elizabethan 29 fantastic boats! mine looks like its just come out the factory its like a new boat!! glad i didnt have all these hardships!! I have sailed her half way round the U.k fantastic boats, and Dave i wish you luck in your upcomming project and know when she is finished you will be rewarded for all your hard work, fantastic boats.

Hi Sea-bird
Sounds like you failed to read all the posts ;-) I know your boat looks like it just come out the factory got the pictures in my albums I have never bought one myself nor sold one just renovated to a first class standard... With an old lost friend... I try not to mention them for fear of causing distress.
Take care
Best Wishes

El malabarista 08-30-2011 07:13 AM

Hi there seabird
Thanks for your supporting words. We are desperate to actually SEE an Elizabethan to get an idea of whether the information we have so far is correct. We are not sure if she is one at all we just looked on the internet for yachts that looked the same! A lovely old guy at the marina where she was built SEEMS to remember that the hull was moulded from an Elizabethan he THINKS and that is all the info we have. If you are around the south coast at all we would be very grateful if we could come and take a look over her.
Im glad to hear that she sails well. We really hope we can lay this mystery to rest as knowing that others have solved the many quieries we have would be really helpful. I wonder if you could ( for instance) run a tape measure over the boom and give me the dimensions. I am trying to source one on the net now.
Many thanks

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