New Video

Our 3 month refit rush to the water begins with the original design details that make a full refit of 1977 Rival 38 Centre Cockpit Ketch much easier.

We throw in our 3 top tips to make a full refit much faster.

Some of the Sailing channels that we have learned from and seen these features work against them are:

Look at the refits on “Sailing Uma”, “Beau and Brandy Saiiing”, “Bums on a Boat”, “Sailing the good, bad and ugly”, “Free Range Sailing” to see why a separate aft cabin would have helped.

Composting toilet: Look at every boat doing a refit without one, also every boat doing horrible toilet fixes who doesn’t have one.

Headlining. An issue for everyone. Even with good headlinings, we suggest taking them down if you have any issues with leaks and not putting them up until the end or you will spend hours taking them down and putting them up multiple times.

Two and a half years ago, when we bought Vida, she was in a very tired and damp condition with all original equipment and fittings (much of it not working). We have removed all the gas, diesel, and paraffin equipment as well as all the plumbing and electrics. We have composting toilets, are installing an electric motor and all electric cooking. We are fitting a huge solar array and probably a wind generator. We have replaced all the windows, removed all the headlining and more. We are replacing all the standing rigging with Dyneema synthetic rigging. This is the biggest sustainability project of our lives as we prepare for a retirement when we want to cruise the world using zero fossil fuels on a very low budget.

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Sabbatical day 1: transport

Today I have started a three month sabbatical (a generous gift from the Methodist Church that I work for, they come every seven years).

The plan is for me to spend most of the time working on Vida with Jane joining me when she isn’t working.

If possible we would like to get Vida launched by the end of the sabbatical. That will only be possible because there will be a great deal that doesn’t get done this year (or even next year).

The first task has been to get me to Beaumaris with all the things that are too heavy for Jane to load into the car. Hence, we loaded up our little, electric Nissan Leaf to the brim.

On the roof rack we had both the main and mizzen booms plus loads of plywood.

Inside we had a solar panel, big Victron Inverter, my bike, loads of tools, clothes and food.

The roof rack says 50mph maximum, so the 100 mile journey is quite slow. However, it is very good for the range. We barely needed to top up (although we did and as the Ecotricity charge point had lost its Internet connection it was free so we filled up).

Getting everything from the car, then onto the boat, then into the boat has been pretty tiring. So we had a nice veg and cannaloni bean curry, now relaxing with YouTube.

Lots of updates

Been a bit slow updating the blog, we have several new videos and this evening I have bought a new-to-us mainsail (from a Westerly Fulmar). We will probably have to add a very small extra reef point as the default setting point because it is very slightly too large but for £200 it will be a lot better than what we have. That significantly reduces the amount of work to do on sails (just new soft webbing hanks on the foresails).

We are not at the boat this weekend as we both have Covid and it has laid us up all week.

Anyway on with the videos, quite dramatic changes:

After some discussions on the Rival FaceBook group and further reflection I think some compromises were forced on Peter Brett when drawing the centre cockpit version of the 38. So there wasn’t enough space for a full length v-berth, a watertight bulkhead and a route for the chain that wasn’t through the middle of the berth. They chose a v-berth for kids, a neatly hidden chain but no watertight bulkhead (which the 41 has, not sure about the other models).

Our priorities are different. We want low risk (hence watertight compartments), better anchoring (more and heavier chain below deck, electric windlass, bigger anchor that self stows better – we have a whole load of videos about the new bow roller), maximised sailing performance (hence wanting to store the chain as far aft as possible for better weight distribution). So we are not at all worried that occasional guests will clamber/crawl into either the port side generously sized adult berth or the starboard child sized berth.

We won’t finish this cabin apart from the bulkheads and shoot for the chain until next year but it will be enough for us to fit the windlass and so be able to anchor.

We would really appreciate it if you subscribe to our YouTube channel, it is free. Plus Like and share the videos as it really helps us grow the channel. Especially we welcome your comments on them.

Only 1 month to go and I’ll have 3 months working almost full-time on the boat as I have a work Sabbatical. So there should be lots of progress 🙂

Storm Franklin and cheap drawers.

When we saw the forecast for Storm Franklin yesterday we decided that gusts over 60mph were going to prevent sleep and be quite scary.

So we left the boat before lunchtime while the wind was “only” gusting to mid forties. On our way back now as the wind will drop massively. We have called into Ikea at Warrington, nearly on the way, to get some plastic boxes to use as storage drawers on the shelves we are going to put into the wardrobe spaces.

Nice that we were able to put some free charge into the car while finding the boxes (the website and zapmap say you have to pay but we were not asked to present a card).

While at home I put some more plywood and timber in to make the shelves from. Didn’t have space for anymore when we came on Friday.

Update, first drawers now fitted and video is done:

Galley extension dry fit complete

We now have both the worktop extension and the forward bulkhead dry fitted.

Absolutely delighted with the extra space in the galley. Makes it much more practical for living aboard.

For us the compromise in reduced seating is well worth it. The whole starboard seating might change now. The probably can be more comfortable with just a straight settee that is wider with a sloping back. Plus it would make a more comfortable sea berth. We will just have to sort out how to turn it into a guest double bed.