Cabin Refurbishment: Part 1 the story so far and what is delaying us

Essentially the story of our cabin refurbishment so far can be summarised as ripping out and fixing leaks 🙂

Now we are ready to make plans for how to make things both comfortable and nice looking. First the recap on where we are at

So what has gone?

  • All the old cushions! Crumbly, squashed, wet, very dirty, sticky and smelly. Also many with very heavy wood backing.
  • Removed the dinghy davits.
  • Huge clearout of sails (were damp, not properly dried and stored) and accumulated stuff. Took the mainsail and genoa down. Had the masts taken down.
  • Removed loads of old not working stuff like paraffin heater. The entire gas installation (as it had all been condemned). All the batteries (all dead lead acid).
  • All the old plumbing, apart from the stainless steel water tank (which we hope is going to be good still) has gone (and what a beautiful difference it made to smell and space – especially those toilets and hoses).
  • All the foam backed headlining from everywhere has gone. It was sagging in lots of places and in some was completely waterlogged. So the cabin sides have very visibly dried out – especially above the chart table. It has given us greatly increased confidence. So relieved we did this, it uncovered the only leaks were the windows, mast step, dorade vents, aft porthole and 3 hatches. All these had been pretty much soaked up by the headlining and cushions so had done little damage.
  • Taken out the cupboards in the aft cabin to increase headroom and allow access to sort the chainplates.
  • All the electrics and most of the electronics are gone or going. The instruments are so old that it isn’t worth rewiring them (the depth sounder is the same model as my Dad had on his boat in 1976), none of them can be connected to anything else. The wiring is going to be redone (our needs and the placement of lights and equipment is so different there is little option for re-use)
  • Obviously, the diesel engine, fuel tanks and everything related has gone (again so much sweeter smelling and so much more space now).

What we have already done includes:

  • all new windows (no leaks, much greater “glass” area, 6 extra opening portholes for better ventilation)
  • new infill and cushions for a fantastically comfy double bed in the aft cabin
  • new galley worktop with sinks (currently draining into a bucket which works well in the boatyard) and place for the induction hob
  • two Nature’s Head composting toilets (including new floor in the aft heads)
  • new cushions for the saloon
  • new Lagun table leg with temporary table top for the saloon
  • Experimented with foam insulation in the aft cabin (but hasn’t stayed “stuck” up and painting it isn’t going to be a good solution for an acceptable finish.
  • All bilges that have been fully cleared and sanded have been painted, also both heads compartments and the galley.
  • Removed, cleaned and refitted main mast foot with new bolts.
  • The rudder head has been disassembled and cleaned.

Jobs that we are planning for the immediate future.

Mainly ones that are much easier to do before doing anything to make the interior look better (and function better), quite a few of them also require summer temperatures for outdoor epoxy work

  • Fill all the old seacock holes
  • Fit the two new cockpit drain seacocks
  • Sort out all the chainplates in the aft cabin (2 each side for the mizzen, 1 each side for the main backstay)
  • refurbish the perspex deck hatches in the aft cabin and saloon plus fit new wheelhouse perspex panel
  • refurbish and refit the aft port hole in the aft cabin

Electric Motor

Then it is also a high priority to get the electric motor etc installed both because we want to see it done and because some bits will still take a fair bit of elapsed time due to ordering, thinking and doing:

  • Sort the old stuffing box flange
  • replace the cutlass bearing
  • refit the shaft and the propeller,
  • install dripless seal
  • fit a flexible coupling with thrust bearing to the propeller shaft (looking at PythonDrive or AquaDrive at the moment).
  • install the electric motor/controller/battery bank/throttle etc
  • 4 x 60watt Solar panels on wheelhouse roof to keep batteries topped up


Then there are the bits that need to be done because they will be behind the refurbishment. Mainly wiring and plumbing.

Obviously we are going to be using LED lighting everywhere. We do like quite high levels of illumination (age related no doubt) so we are not going to be reusing the existing light fittings or placements (basically one round lamp per bunk, one in the galley, one for the chart-table, one in each heads and one per corridor). So expect long strips of LED’s (we prefer wall switches to a remote control and don’t like lots of fancy changing colours, just red for night sailing and white the rest of the time is great for us Luddites). That requires house bank batteries to be fitted and the core wiring infrastructure.

We have written about the plumbing elsewhere. Installation is mostly less intrusive than wiring (goes under the lockers/floor), except in the actual heads compartments. So less of a concern in terms of getting on with the interior.


Getting to the point where we are ready to launch also comes before the whole of the interior. Aft cabin will come before much of this, partly to make it nicer in the winter in the boatyard, partly to test ideas and partly because there are going to be times when we can’t make progress outside or are waiting on supplies.

  • Rest of the chainplates removed, strengthened below and resealed (see this post)
  • Reinstallation of the rudder head and wheel steering mechanism (including new steering wheel or possibly rebuild the old)
  • Mizzen mast prepared (remove old radar, refit radar reflector, check aerial, new deck lights) and put back up.
  • That allows us to properly check and shorten the mizzen boom.
  • That allows us to fit the Hydrovane self steering and solar arch (it is a 3D puzzle)
  • Prepare main mast (new masthead light, new wind speed/direction, new deck lights, inner forestay fitting).
  • Mainmast up, fit new boom, order new mainsail, new mainsheet.
  • With the mainmast up we can hoist the dinghy up onto the foredeck for storage (Jane is currently making the covers for it. One for each way up).
  • Fit new windlass and do minimum of the work planned for improved anchoring.
  • Clean the hull and apply antifouling

In summary

I think I know why we haven’t spent much time planning the look of the cabin refurbishment yet 🙂

Continued is Cabin Refurbishment: Part 2 Approaches

2 thoughts on “Cabin Refurbishment: Part 1 the story so far and what is delaying us

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.