Welcome to our website where we are documenting the modifications and restoration of the Far Reach, our 1982 Cape Dory 36 Hull #61. Our desire is to restore and make modifications to our nearly 30 year old boat so that she will better meet the requirements of our future sailing plans. The real meat of the restoration began in early 2009. We believe it will take 24-36 months to complete. It is a learn as we go project. If you have questions or comments we would love to hear from you.
17 April 2016: We have created a dedicated sailing blog that allows us to more easily post stories and photos of our journeys on Far Reach. You can access it by clicking on the "FRV Sailing Blog" on the far right of the menu tab above.
We launched the Far Reach on 30 May 2015, six and a half years after we began the project. It was a lot of work, more than I expected. But, we are delighted with the Far Reach. She is proving to be all, and more, than I had hoped for. After some minor additional projects we took her for her first sail on 22 June. To read more about how she sails go to the Daily Log for April - June 2015 and July 2015.
Note: I copy the daily log entries to their repective project pages almost everyday. So, if you want to read all the entries sequentially, for any project, go to the projects tab and you will be able to navigate to the appropriate page. Most of the interior contruction projects will be found via links in the "Rebuilding the Interior" page.
26 Oct 2010: I stripped out the scrolling entries in "rebuilding the interior" under the "projects" page on the menu bar. In its place I created links to separate pages for each of the numerous projects associated with the interior rebuild. I think this will make it easier to follow individual projects. There is still more work to be done but I think this is a step in the right direction.
7 Feb 2010: To make it easier for those following progress of the various projects I have decided to provide more detailed updates on the daily log page. Then, as time becomes available, I will move those entries, with some minor modifications, to the page associated with that specific project.
10 Jan 2010: I have made another change to the website to add in navigating to the different projects. There are now two ways to locate individual projects. You can go to the "Restoration" tab on the navigation bar and find the projects grouped under the different major restoration areas, e.g. deck, interior, hull, rig, etc, or go to the "Projects" tab and see a list of all the individual projects and navigate from there.
As a lifelong sailor I have developed my own philosophy about what my cruising boat needs to be. Seaworthy and sea-kindly of course. The Cape Dory 36 fits these requirements easily. We needed to be able to afford it . . . thus, our search narrowed to a used boat that was a bit down in the heels. I knew from the start I would not likely find a boat laid out the way we wanted--good permanent sea berths for each of our two children, maximum storage for a family of four, a boat that would be simple to operate and maintain, and, of course, it had to be a good sailing boat. The discussion, sometimes heated, about what makes a capable off-shore sailboat is endless. However, the Cape Dory 36 has a great sailing heritage.She was designed by Carl Alberg, who also designed the legendary globe trotting Pearson Triton and Alberg 30.
The requirements listed above sound pretty obvious but are actually quite hard to find in a boat that the person of average means can afford. Most boats built in the last 30 years are designed more for coastal cruising which we believe won't meet the requirements of our future sailing plans. A whole other class of boats called fast cruisers seem to be dominating current sailing literature. Their light cored construction, deep fin keels, spade rudders, complex systems, big engines, and hull liners seem to be on the extreme end of sailing to us. And even the boats advertised as off-shore cruising boats sacrifice precious storage space for spacious interiors and complex equipment like water-makers, refrigeration, air conditioning, radar, auto pilots, generators and miles of wiring and plumbing to support them.These are things we think add unnecessary complexity thus interfering with the simply joys sailing brings to us.
I am not denigrating these boats or their equipment. Many of these boat are out on the world's oceans safely carrying their crews to the far reaches of the Earth and are loved and cherished by their owners. But, every sailor has to decide what is right for him.We believe a strong simple boat that sails well is the best choice for us. It is less expensive and less time consuming to maintain and more in keeping with our abilities to repair. The more we can get back to the basics of sailing, the more rewarding we feel it will be.
Though I have some experience with woodworking, I am not a shipwright or a professional carpenter. I will need to develop new skills for this project. I hope that my feeble attempts to capture my work, thoughts, ideas, and mistakes on these pages will prove useful to others contemplating similar projects.