Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Taken shortly after purchasing the boat.

Taken yesterday after an hour with a cut-off wheel and grinder.

I know the answer is yes, I am making progress, but it certainly doesn't look like it. I'm discovering that the only way to do things right is to start from scratch. The area shown in the bottom picture used to be the original top-loading icebox - removed long ago, apparently - but was, more recently... who knows what?! A convenient shelf for a portable 12-volt cooler? Whatever it was, it will soon be an icebox/nav table with storage bins and a shelf on the outboard edge. The starboard side - similarly torn up right now - will be restored to the original configuration: an Origo alcohol stove and sink set in the countertop, and storage bins and shelves. More to come on that later. I've already prepared a bulkhead to separate the galley from the engine compartment. Some more grinding and measuring, and I'll be ready to tab the bulkheads in place and finish off that area.

Here's to progress.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Tradewinds Home

After my plans for working on Tradewinds during the winter were thwarted by Pier 1000's new policy of no after-hours access, delaying my work on her and forcing me to incur yard expenses, I decided that the best plan would be to transport her to our home where I could work on her whenever I had time - whether that be the weekend or midnight. So, last week I finally heard back from a boat transporter I'd called months ago and arranged for her to be moved on Monday, Aug. 8.
I had debated unstepping the mast myself but decided that it would probably be cheaper (and easier) to have the marina do it, which they did Monday morning.
Tom Wood, of T&W Transport, arrived around one o'clock, loaded Tradewinds onto his trailer, and followed me home. He had to do a bit of manuevering to position the boat where she needed to be, but with a few slick moves he had her resting next to the house.
Now that she's here, work will begin in earnest and she will be ready for sale by next spring.
First project will be to clean her out.

Here are a few low-res pictures of Tradewinds taken on Monday.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Project

The boat: 1964 Alberg 30, Tradewinds.

After nearly three years of tinkering with Ariel, our Cape Dory 36, installing and modifying various systems, and falling more and more in love with the idea of maintaining and improving a classic yacht, I finally decided that I was ready to take on a project, one that would give me the opportunity to gain some valuable experience while determining whether I could make a go of boat refurbishment.

I didn't exactly set out in search of a boat, however. I had (and still have) plenty to do on Ariel, but I had been toying with the idea of finding another boat at the right price that I could refurbish and sell. It was while I was decommissioning Ariel last fall that I came across the ad for Tradewinds at a local marina. Her classic Alberg lines immediately caught my attention so I copied down the owner's number, figuring it wouldn't hurt to get a feel for what was out there and the going prices. Even though I was excited about what might come of the call, I promised myself that I would approach the whole thing with my head rather than my sailor's heart. Despite my decidedly stoic attitude, I was excited by what I heard: recent repower with a Westerbeke 2-cylinder diesel, 250 hours; new UK roller furling genoa; newer North Sails main; recent electrical rewire; new holding tank ready to be installed; new water tank ready to be installed; miscellaneous parts: Force 10 propane cabin heater and stove, lifesling, etc; autopilot; depth; knotmeter; gps; freshly covered cushions. It all sounded pretty attractive, so what was the catch? A previous owner had taken it upon himself to "modify" the interior, replacing the port settee with a poorly cobbled together counter/nav station/mess - frankly, anyone who does something like that - to any boat, but especially a classic - is obviously deranged and ought to be admitted. The good news was that the guy had enough sense to hang on to all of the pieces that he removed, which meant that, theoretically, the boat could be made right by simply putting her back together. That's partly true: the original pieces are available to reinstall, but some things must be rebuilt entirely.

Among the things that require a complete rebuild: engine compartment bulkheads, port settee, main bulkhead separating the saloon from the head, the galley, and the electrical panel. All of that might sound a bit intimidating, but I'm anxious to test my skills, and I'm confident that she'll go together nicely.

Following are some pictures of her interior:

Looking aft at the galley, engine compartment, and original icebox location. The galley was gutted at some point and the original icebox was removed to make space for . . . who knows what. And the "engine compartment" is an utter failure.

This is what the space currently looks like. I have removed much of the offending material in preparation for new bulkheads that will be tabbed to the hull and ultimately form an engine compartment, galley countertop to starboard, and an icebox/nav table to port.