One cold October day I was aboard as several rain squalls passed through, and I heard a distinct dripping sound. At first I ignored it, thinking it was coming from somewhere outside, but by the third squall I was up investigating.
The cost of hiring a yard to repaint a 30- to 40-foot sailboat is likely to be over $10,000, which is uneconomical given the actual value of most older boats. The alternative, if you’re willing to put in long hours with a rotary sander, is doing it yourself.
When a boat’s systems or interior are modified, you may need or want to glass over existing holes in the hull. One season when we hauled out in Trinidad, we decided to eliminate three through-hulls in our Creekmore 34, Eurisko. The holes were all different sizes, but we treated this as one project.
When my flexible solar panel gave up the ghost early last summer, I was surprised at how much motoring it took to replenish our Norlin 34’s two Group 27 house batteries after they’d been run down by a week of sporadic bilge-pumping (caused by a slow leak around the keelbolts, ahem).
The original purchase survey for my Allied Seabreeze sloop Keewaydin included a note about the fixed three-bladed bronze propeller: “some cupping noticed on all blades.” One of the surveyor’s post-purchase recommendations was to have the prop reconditioned.
Do-it-yourself sailors have long been attracted to the concept of swageless rigging terminals, also known as compression terminals. Unlike swaged terminals, which require expensive dedicated machinery to create, compression fittings can be assembled with simple hand tools.
After cruisers tested and perfected furler systems about 30 years ago, they were widely adopted on certain types of raceboats. Since then, however, there’s been an interesting reverb effect, in which offshore racers have created ever more refined and versatile furling technologies that are now trickling back into the cruising community.
One of the great ironies of sailing is that as hard as it can be to get your mainsail up, it can often be just as hard to get it back down. This goes double when tucking in a reef with a slab-reefing system—one reason why so many sailors are willing to sacrifice sailing performance for the sake of in-boom or in-mast furling.