Week 2 – It’s only a paper loo

We were thinking of calling this the weekly grind.  Bill’s been working away at the bottom paint.  The fun part of that is that it gets harder to sand the longer it’s out of the water.  Today he pretty much finished and is now going back around to pick up all the leftover red bits.  When that’s done, he gets to start grinding out blisters.  Thankfully, we only have about 15 per square foot.  It could be MUCH worse.

Meanwhile, in the inside of the boat, Nina’s been learning to use a Makita grinder.  Carpet residue and glue is not the best learning medium since it gums up sanding sheets before you turn the thing on.  She also discovered what a loose grinder with the lock on can do in a small space.  Don’t try this at home.  Luckily, a small rip in the suit was the extent of the damage.

Marsden totally escaped grinding or sanding.  His particular version of boat purgatory was cutting 720 feet of fiberglass cloth into various widths for Tom to glass onto the hull to deck joint.  His other fiberglassing experience was making the backing plates for the remaining thru-hulls.  To do this, about an inch thick pile of fiberglass cloth was laminated together and then cut out on a drill press, very slowly.

Pictures for the week:

Filling holes where instruments used to be. We will be moving instruments and adding new ones and cutting new holes for those.
The hull ground away around a chainplate. It looks much worse than it is. The wood is dry, the chainplate is solid and not rusty. Hooray for US stainless! We won’t have to replace these.
A longer stretch of the hull to deck joint waiting to be glassed. The holes were to allow moisture to evaporate out of the wood.
The head floor with the thru-hulls glassed in. The upper hole was for the sink drain and the lower hole was for the sewage discharge. We now have a composting toilet so we no longer need a holding tank and its discharge.
A cardboard mockup of the new head vanity. The composting toilet was the cause of the head redesign.  We have used the composting toilet for the last 3 years and we like it.  It is an Airhead. The green outline is roughly a new oval sink.  We have moved the vanity outboard to give more space for the toilet. The old vanity came out to where the whitish paint ends.
Glassed in thru-hulls from the bottom. Earlier in the week, with bottom paint to still grind off. We are going from 8 thru-hulls to 5 and the new ones will be flush to make the hull more streamlined.
The starboard settee in the cabin carved up to put in a new 30 gallon stainless water tank.
Green foam to start the new winch platforms. Bill was hoping for fins with the piece in the back, but not this time around. Chris was relieved, but thought fins would be fun.
Filling in deck holes and more of the hull to deck joint ground down for glassing.

Week 1!

It’s been a crazy busy week and we are at our one week anniversary at the shop.  The good news:  Gypsy’s in better shape than we are.

More bottom paint removed.  How to make a smallish boat seem much bigger.

Tuesday we worked on stripping the boat of yet more hardware and Bill continued to rediscover the joys of sanding bottom paint.  Dante does indeed need to add more levels.  More of the bottom paint gone.

On Wednesday and Thursday, I did the day job while Bill and our eldest son Marsden continued removing hardware, thru-hulls, disconnecting the engine for removal and grinding more bottom paint.  Friday morning was back to the day job for all of us and in the afternoon Bill and I took off for Bainbridge Island to stay with friends and fellow sailors Jerry and Joy. Saturday was the Seattle Boat Show where we looked at a few new sailboats, decided that we were quite happy with our old one, and met up with Tom from Becker Enterprises to find ways to spend money.

Sunday, we headed home and then back to grinding and removing more stuff.  It is hard to conceive just how much stuff is on a sailboat until you have to take it ALL off!  Chris, from Becker started working on sanding the hull to deck joint.  Dry for the most part – no expensive surprises, hooray!

Hardware off with resulting holes and lots of fiberglass dust.
Grinding down and filling holes and more holes.
Tom and his moisture meter.
Tom and his moisture meter standing next to the wet bit in the sheer clamp.

By the end of Monday, there’s a bit of wiring left to remove, the stove brackets to put in a bag and tape to the stove that is now in Tom’s basement, and a few more thru-hulls for Marsden to pop off (which most did quite easily, yikes!).


No more fuel tank.  There is still carpet on the ceiling and starboard side.  The blotchy patches on the right of the photo are where other carpet was peeled off already.  The center bottom of the photo is where the engine sits. The fuel tank was the last big thing to get out and by the end of Tuesday, it’s out.


Its Monday morning and we are going to haulout Tuesday. We are getting the day planned to do all the last minute things we need to do. It is 9:00 am and Nina says, Jeanne just called and can Gypsy get hauled this morning? The schedule just moved up a day, but we have been waiting so long to get this done that we say sure, we can have Gypsy at the boat yard by 10:30. We are librarians, we don’t mess around! We jumped in the cars and headed to Danish Marine to drop off a car and then to Rose City Yacht Club to get Gypsy.

empty_boatEmpty boat, on the way down river.

at_the_liftIn the lift at Danish. James is driving the lift and Cedric is on deck.

Bill_mastBill is laying on hands hoping the mast will ascend.

mast_cartIt worked, the mast is on the cart.

liftingNow it is Gypsy’s turn.

flyingI can fly! (just ignore my scummy bottom).

friendsBill and Nina say a very big thank you to Randy and Richard for helping to get the mast ready for the truck.

on_the_truckGypsy and her mast are on the truck and ready to go. Thanks to Tim from Norgard Kirkpatrick’s Boat Hauling for getting Gypsy safely to Becker Enterprises.

n_M_BeckersIn Becker’s shop, Nina and Marsden are hard at work.

n_M_Beckers_2Oh oh, they saw the camera.

grindingDante needs to add grinding bottom paint to the Inferno.




Getting Ready for the Refit

We bought Gypsy in the fall of 2003. She is a great sailboat, but she is now 41 years old and she needs an overhaul. We want to make some changes to the cockpit and cabin. We will also address structural as well as cosmetic repairs that are needed.  We want to sail her for a long time yet and these repairs and improvements will make that possible.

You can see that the gelcoat is worn away. Gypsy will look great once she is painted.worn_gelcoat.jpg

We have been busy getting as much prep done as we could before she goes to the boat yard. Most of the deck hardware is off and the cabin is stripped. We also have done some demolition in the cabin where we will be making changes to the layout. When she was built, four colors of carpet were glued to the hull to cover up the fiberglass. That has been removed and we are going find a better solution.

Here are before and after pictures of the cabin.












Ready to go to the boatyard. The silver tape is covering all the holes.