Our Ridiculous Refit

This is a general, layman’s description of our two year refit. As I have mentioned, aside from bottom work, some interior and exterior woodwork and welding on our paravanes, this extensive challenge was all our (mostly Scott’s) sweat equity! What follows is a testament to Scott’s talents, drive, determination and sheer will.

Please forgive that our photo documentation isn’t as complete as it could be . We (again mostly Scott) were in tunnel vision, marathon, get-this-hellish-project-done mode, and sometimes photo taking was the last thing on our minds.

Scott brought the boat up from Ft. Lauderdale on a whirlwind, six-day trip, with his friend, Captain Eric Welty (a million thank-yous, for your last minute help!). She was hauled out at Tidewater Yacht Service on August 1st, 2013, where we would spend the next year beginning our monumental refit. Haul Out Photos

Our year on the hard started with extensive engine room projects. Scott began by replacing the one fixture that lit the space, with a 12 watt bulb. He installed 800 watts of 120 vac florescent lighting, along with lots of 12 vdc led lighting as well.

We removed the motor and generator, degreased the entire area (my disgusting job), and followed with two coats of Kilz, and then two coats of clean, white paint. Scott built floors in the rear, adding storage, and a more stable area to stand on. He also moved the battery bank, to allow for more room.

This was my least favorite project. The ladder used to get in and out of the engine room slipped on me, as I descended, and I landed down below, tangled in it. My left foot and ankle took the brunt of the fall. Not broken or sprained, surprisingly, but much swelling and pooling of blood, that unfortunately still gives me problems; I guess now I have a war wound. Engine Room Photos

The old, over-sized generator was replaced with a new, Northern Lights 6 kw model. The transmission was removed and taken to Virginia to be rebuilt, and Scott purchased a re-manufactured Ford Lehman 120 horsepower motor from Tennessee (going on a whirlwind, partly snowy, 16 hour round trip drive to get it).

The marina agreed to lift the old and new motor and generator in and out of the cockpit, but not the saloon. The boat behind us was too close to extend their forklift that far, even though Scott had requested many times, not to put someone there.

Taking matters into his own hands, Scott rented and rigged a gantry. He and  his friend Dave removed the old generator and motor, and brought the new ones on board, using a dolly to slide them in and out of the cockpit, and then the gantry to raise and lower them in and out of the engine room. Out with the old, and in with the new! Motor/Generator/Gear Box Photos

We paid to have the entire bottom replaced; Scott just couldn’t do that monumental job on his own. The bottom was “peeled,” or sanded down to the core. Several spots of bad core were replaced, and then five new coats of fiberglass were laid back onto it. Once that was done, we followed with many coats of barrier coat, and then bottom paint (stinky, toxic stuff). Bottom Job Photos.

The previous owner had the teak decks removed, and a layer of fiberglass was applied. Unfortunately, the pulpit wasn’t removed during the process, nor was the original decking underneath. Over the years, water had made it’s way through the mechanical fasteners, and rotted the plywood coring below (for this reason, teak decks are now glued in place, versus screwed).

Scott was hesitant to do it at first, but he mustered up the courage to take a circular saw to the foredeck. The pulpit was removed, and he cut down to the rotted wood below.  Scott attached a new deck support board, replaced the  plywood deck, fiberglassed over the area and then painted it. Foredeck Repair Photos

While the foredeck was apart, Scott addressed the windlass. He rebuilt it, replacing all of the shafts, seals, clutch pads, bushings, etc. (the motor was reused). The controls were moved from under the foredeck to inside a cabinet in the master head, keeping them dry, and free from the salt air.

Being satisfied with his first deck “surgery,” Scott went on to do the same to the area under our mast, which sat on a rotted mast step, as well as several other spots on the fly bridge and decks. Mast/Flybridge/Deck Repair Photos

When winter temperatures set in, a section of our outer rub rail “popped,” and split open. Water beneath the surface had frozen, expanded and cracked the fiberglass. It was a sizable section, so Scott cut it out, not quite sure how he was going to get it back on.

After unsuccessfully attempting to dry out the original wood, Scott eventually used leftover pieces of core, not used in the bottom job project, to fabricate filler for the replacement section of rail.

The new section of rail was put back in place, covered in fiberglass and then faired (sanded), and faired, and faired and faired some more, to fit the original shape. It’s a job Scott hopes to never do again! Rub Rail Repair Photos

The hull was sanded, prepped and painted. After an initial sanding, we painted on two coats of Hullgard. Scott then applied Awlfair, a fairing compound, on to any holes, scratches or low spots. Another round of sanding was followed by two coats of Awlquick surfacer, a high build primer. More sanding, and then two coats of 545 epoxy primer. Sanding again and then two coats of Awlgrip topcoat.

We applied the Awlgrip by rolling and tipping, learning as we went. Scott had to relearn chemistry to get the mixing and ratios correct, and to know how much and how often to thin the paint as we went. The paint is incredibly watery, and most of it is blotted off before rolling it on. Getting the hang of tipping took some practice, and we found that cleaning the brush periodically with thinner helped immensely.

If you’re keeping track, that’s eight times around the boat (not including the fairing compound) with primers and paint, and four hellish rounds of sanding (when this thing’s out of the water, the hull is huge!) It was a terrible project, and I cried more than once, but the end result is great. The hull is shiny and beautiful. Photos Of Preparing & Painting Hull

Having much wear from years of sun and salt, the four outer doors, two at the saloon entrance in the cockpit and one on either side of the pilot house, needed to be refinished. After sanding them down to bare wood, the interior sides were varnished, and the outer sides were finished with Bristol, a two-part, hardened varnish.

The rest of the outer wood was refinished as well: rails, side walls, window frames, swim platform, pulpit and various trim pieces. The wood was sanded four times, with 60, 80, 120 and then 220 grit sand paper, followed by six coats of Bristol finish.

Bristol allows for hot coating, applying one coat after another, without sanding in between..hurray! Finally, all surfaces were sanded again with 220 grit, followed by a final coat of Bristol. We recruited our good friend, Ted, to help with this monumental project, and he was a lifesaver! The finished product was worth the hellish job.

Sadly, we completely dropped the ball in documenting this long, grueling project, as it was done in so many stages.

Scott rewired the entire boat with new electrical wire and fitting. He also rebuilt the electrical panels. Not wanting to deal with 30 year old plumbing, he also installed new hoses, fittings, clamps and two new heads. The shower sump, bilge pumps, domestic and wash-down water pumps, and all other related plumbing components were replaced in the process.

The heating and air conditioning systems were replaced with new upper (saloon) and lower (staterooms) units. allowing us to cool the saloon and stateroom areas separately. Additionally, Scott installed an air-cooled system for the pilot house.

While he was at it, Scott replaced the old diesel heat ducting that ran from the engine room to the saloon with four inch pvc pipe. This makes it possible to run heat or air conditioning down into the engine room when needed, and make an air tight seal when not in use.

What seemed like miles of unnecessary wire were taken out, with  new wire pulled back throughout the boat in it’s place; the same was done with hoses. Unfortunately, Scott didn’t get to document much of these projects, while being squished and contorted into various holes and gaps throughout the boat.  Rewiring Photos

Both walls in the saloon had water damage from leaking windows. Scott cut away a section of the starboard side and repaired it, but the port side wall was worse, and completely cut out and replaced.

The saloon windows got new tracks, all walls were painted (The walls had to be sanded first, because the old paint was too slick for the new stuff to stick..anything to make a job take longer), and the window frames were varnished. We also added new valances and shades. Interior Wall Photos

Scott worked on all of the various storage areas and bilges, closing up unnecessary holes. etc. I painted every interior surface: under and inside cabinets, in areas below the floor, behind drawers, as well as all walls and ceiling trims. Scott wanted everything to start out clean and white, so that any signs of developing problems are easily identified. I am now a professional contortionist. No space on a boat is easy to get to or work on!  Storage/Bilge Photos

Our floors had years of wear as well, and were a ruddy red-brown color. The estimate to have this done professionally was astronomical, so we broke down and sanded them ourselves, along with our two sets of ladder steps and two shower floor grates. The stuff was tenacious, requiring Scott to start sanding with 60 grit paper. We followed with 80 then 120 grit, and  everything then got six coats of fresh polyurethane. The result is beautiful. Floor Photos

Many modifications were done in the galley. The original counter was open to the saloon. We had a raised back splash built, adding more of a separation from the saloon.

The original teak laminate that covered the counter wall was badly stained. Piecing a new section of laminate to cover the new back splash area proved nearly impossible, and purchasing a new piece to cover the entire thing was very pricey. Luckily, Scott found a cool roll of weaved palm, for 65.00, and wrapped the wall with it. It fits our taste, and breaks up the rest of the wood tones.

Raising the back of the galley counter required shortening the pole that went from the counter to the cabinets above. We entertained the idea of cutting and piecing to shorten it, but instead decided to  have a new, shorter pole made, using a lathe.

When the new one was installed, we realized that the original pole was built into the boat at an angle. It was set in line with the bottom of the cabinet, and the top of the counter. However, the counter extends out just a bit farther. Visually, you’d have to really look hard to notice it, but the original was in fact crooked. As a result, our new pole sits off of the counter by an inch or so. We have since confirmed this oddity on many other Krogens 42 models.

A new propane stove and oven were installed, replacing the old stove and convection microwave that had been used previously. The original drawers located next to the stove were replaced with a cabinet by the previous owner. We removed it, and went back to drawers (never enough drawer space in a galley!).

Our friend Terry Kuhnke, who is a expert at tile and carpentry, tiled the wall above the stove, along with the back splash behind the sink. He also fashioned a circular frame for the port hole window, cutting it from three pieces of teak that were glued together. It was then mounted, stained and varnished, and is a thing of beauty! Terry also made us new fiddles for the raised back splash, and they blend in perfectly with the originals.

We removed a bread box and towel bar from the wall under the refrigerator and freezer, installing both the trash can and microwave in their place, freeing up valuable counter space. A new sink, faucet and laminate counter tops were installed as well. Galley Photos

Scott doesn’t have the patience for woodwork, so we had help with some interior wood projects. Terry built us a cabinet in the saloon, to house the ice machine, liquor bottles, stereo and tv accessories. It came out beautifully, and blends perfectly in the saloon, looking like it was built with the boat.

I asked for a flip up counter in the galley, and had the drawers made to replace a cabinet next to the stove. In the master stateroom, a hidden, slide-out step helps give me a “boost” into bed, and still allows for storage! Interior Wood Projects

During the first year, the interior of the boat looked like a full-on construction zone. The showers  were filled to the top with wire, and both staterooms were crammed with rolls of laminate, toilets, sinks, fixtures and all other replacement parts waiting to be installed. Every inch of floor space covered in tools.

The poor cockpit was used for things like cutting and sawing wood (and various other things), and mixing paint and chemicals. It was also the “dump” area, collecting cast-off items such as sinks, hoses, wood scraps and empty packaging, The entire boat was a chaotic mess!

A year to the day after hauling out, we were ready to go back in the water. The next year would be spent at Henderson’s Wharf Marina, in Baltimore’s waterfront neighborhood of Fells Point, There, we would work on finishing many more interior and exterior projects.

Scott had not completed the required break in for the motor, and therefore didn’t want to run it for the short ride to Henderson’s Wharf. Instead, we were towed around the peninsula, up the harbor and into our slip (covered by our Tow Boat US insurance policy!).

There was still much work to be done, but the harbor views, and people we would meet at the marina eased the sting of our large to-do list. Splashdown/Tow To Henderson’s Wharf Photos

One of the biggest things for Scott to tackle during our second year was installing paravane stabilization, and all it’s associated rigging. Arms, or outriggers, attach to the legs of an a-frame on each side of the boat, in line with the mast above. In bigger seas, the outriggers are lowered, and weighted “birds” are deployed from the ends. These weights cause the birds to dive, and work similar to an underwater kite, exerting downward force on the outriggers, and keeping our degree of roll down.

Scott attempted to purchase plans for the paravanes, through Krogen and a several other channels, before finding Larry and Lena on their 42 Krogen, Hobo. They were living aboard, in Jacksonville, Florida, after cruising from Alaska and up through the Caribbean. They told Scott that he was more than welcome to come down and draw up plans, using their paravanes as a model, and he liked that their stabilization had been thoroughly tested. Scott spent several days on board Hobo, drawing fabrication plans. He left with said plans in hand, and two new friends!

Scott ordered the required metal, and hired a local welder to fabricate the outriggers and a-frame from his plans. Next, Scott installed all the necessary chain plates, and assembled all the running and standing rigging.

As of now (fall 2016), paint and wood work need to be refinished on the flybridge, and we hope to tackle that in Grenada next hurricane season. There are also quite a few canvas/sewing projects in the works (bench covers, a tarp for the bow, etc.)…just to keep us from being idle!

The refit was a brutal and challenging two year project. Scott in particular killed himself, pulling endless 20 hour days the first year to get us in the water on schedule. Words really cannot express how proud and amazed I am, of his drive and talent. The end result? We now have a beautiful home, that is safe, water tight, updated and ready for cruising!