Cruising by sail in the Pacific NW

The Refit


in slings2 months in, and we’re still plugging away; during spring break, it was a full time, 12 hour a day job.  Both of us have questioned our sanity, but are working hard to look forward, not back. Bottom line, she will be a beautiful boat.  She’d better be;  neither of us ever want to do this again.

When we decided to move into a larger boat, we anticipated the need to do a substantial refit.  In fact, it was an important part of the whole equation – buying a used boat is largely an exercise in buying someone else’s problems (or sometimes even worse – their solutions).  bilge2Every boat has its issues and idiosyncrasies that the owner either fixes properly, comes to terms with, or screws up royally; our old boat was no exception.  The trick is figuring out what these idiosyncrasies are and what, if anything, should be done about them.   and the only good way to really know this is to tear the boat apart and start over.  This was part of the plan.  Really.

OK, so we knew some of the issues going in.  We even made a list and thought we were prepared to check the items off in an orderly fashion.  New windlass, new heater, new dodger windows, new mainsheet, and new mattresses.  These were the biggies, but new gear that works had been our norm on the old boat, so we couldn’t imagine spending a summer making do with old worn out gear.

Then we added an engine – we got a chunk of change back from our agreed purchase price to deal with this and will have a brand new engine as a starting place, so not really a bad thing  Then it was new instruments, some solar panels (don’t forget the controller), dinghy davits and a new genoa.  Okay, its starting to hurt now, and we haven’t even turned a wrench or climbed the mast yet.   Breathe! we told ourselves – its only time and money!

Finally we got down to the business of actually doing the work, and we all know what happens to plans once they are implemented. filter In our case, we got to add a new Racor filter housing – the inside of the old one was a shocking mess –  fuel tank, structural stringer, battery wiring, leaky hatches and new reefing lines.  On top of these jobs, there is the little scheduling rules that states that every thing will take at least 3 times as long as you think it will.  If you try to cheat this rule by being overly optimistic, the the powers that be note this and add a substantial penalty in both time and money.  Turns out that I’m very optimistic because  I’m still working on February’s jobs and its the beginning of April.



Author: palomita42

We are a couple of sailing nuts based out of Burnaby, BC, Canada. Our home waters are those between Victoria and Prince Rupert, BC. Recently, we sold our beloved New Hampshire Mariner 36 sloop and are now in the process of refitting a 1987 Sabre 42CB. Maybe we'll go further afield one day...Our blog is

2 thoughts on “The Refit

  1. Looks like you are getting up close and personal with this new boat!!

  2. We did a similar refit to our Moody 425 during the European Winter 2 years ago and we feel your pain!!! The never ending list of things to get done and the eye watering amounts of cash involved….we put in new engine, dropped and repaired rudder, new holding tanks, installed new stove, replied all toilets, designed and installed a new arch and all new solar system, new standing rigging… went on and on, but looking back now we are so proud of what we achieved and we have an awesome boat that we know inside and out. Hang in there, you will get it done! Rich and Heather.

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