The endstate of the restoration and refit is to have a boat that is simple, well laid out for extended cruising for a small family, easy to maintain, and sails as well as possible.
Sailing performance will be emphasized at every opportunity. An S&S designed fin-keeled boat that can sail 35 degree upwind angles and has a SA/D ration of 21 is not necessary to have a fine sailing boat. The heavy displacement of the Far Reach will make for a more gentle motion when the sea-state is up. If kept moving in light air her weight can work to her advantage. Removing the engine and fuel tank saved nearly 1000lbs, eliminated a lot of complexity, and freed up a tremendous amount of space. Filling in the propeller aperture--in the keel and rudder--will make a huge difference in sailing performance in all wind conditions but especially in light air. A smooth run aft will reduce weather helm and improve the maneuverability, weatherliness, and general handling of the boat. A new bowsprit design could provide opportunity for some additional sail area and slightly reduce sheeting angles.
The interior accommodations plan will provide two permanent pilot berths outboard in the main saloon. Opposing settees will be located inboard of the pilot berths. With the water tanks located in the bilge area, there will be unobstructed storage under the pilot berths and settees. The chart table will be converted from a sitting table to a standing table to eliminate the wasted foot/leg space underneath. The port side galley will retain its basic design--for the moment. The starboard aft quarter berth will be significantly modified with a single width berth well above the current double berth which will be converted to more storage. The old head will be modified to accommodate a sitz tub and toilet. The forward cabin will be modified from the former v-berth to a port side double berth with storage to starboard. The compartment that used to contain the diesel engine will be a large storage area.
There is plenty of time to think through the details and options as the early restoration work is carried out. Full sized mock-ups and templates will be used as required to ensure proper ergonomics.
We intend to keep the decks uncluttered. There will be no water or fuel cans stored along lifelines. We will avoid arches and davits. The ground tackle system will be kept simple and designed to make it as easy as possible to deploy and retrieve multiple anchors.
We will not be experimenting with the boat, per se. The accommodations and layout, as well as many of the other ideas we have, are well documented in other boats . . . however, many of these "traditional" ideas have fallen victim to more "modern" trends. We are not strictly following any single person's ideas. Our restoration/refit plan is based on the ideas and recommendation of many noted and highly experienced sailors . . . as well as our own experience.
Simple but elegant will be the watch word. Clutter will be avoided. Reliability will be a part of every decision when it comes to mechanical or electrical devices. What is good for one person may not work for another . . . these are just personal choices.
Wouldn't it be cheaper in the long run to buy a new boat than gut and restore a 30 year old boat . . . and wouldn't you be sailing a lot sooner with a new boat?
I have been asked these questions many times. The short answer, in my opinion, is a qualified no to the first part and yes to the second part.
If you buy a well built "classic plastic," resist the temptation to put a lot of unnecessary high tech equipment on it, and do the work yourself you should come out well ahead of buying a new boat. I have heard the argument that buying and rebuilding a used boat comes out to about the same cost as buying a new boat in the long run. We would agree--if you pay someone to restore/rebuild your boat, then buy a lot of expensive equipment, e.g. water-maker, chart plotter, radar, electric auto pilot, electric windlass, generator, high-end SSB with modem and email, etc, and pay someone to install it. In our case we got a great deal on a well build boat boat. We don't plan to install a lot of high tech equipment (almost none). We buy used equipment (no junk, thank you) whenever we can. We are doing all the work ourselves (it does occasionally "scares the wits" out of us). In the end, we should end up with a completely rebuild boat for about 1/4 to 1/3 the cost of a new ready to sail off-shore capable boat of a similar size and quality. Plus we will have the benefit of knowing our boat inside and out and enjoy the reward of restoring/modifying it ourselves.
It will take longer to get out sailing but we think 2-3 years to get the boat we want--not perfect by any means--will be worth it in the long run. We think there is a real advantage to having the skills to fix everything on it. There was no real alternative for us anyway. A $300,000 boat was just out of the question. We didn't want a boat loan. We didn't want to sell our house to pay for the boat. We chose not to get sucked into the "instant gratification" trap. We want to be able to sail when and where we want and come home when we want. We could certainly do some less costly and less time consuming alterations but that is a choice we have made based on our own needs and desires. Every sailor has to chose what he or she feels is best and what they are comfortable with. The bottom line is there are many ways to get the boat you want (maybe need is a better word) set up the way you want, and still have enough money left over to go sailing or for other things in life . . . you have to know what you can spend, make a realistic plan, then ruthlessly execute it.
A summary of the modification and restoration plan follows. I'll provide more detail in the near future. Some of the planned modifications will likely take another direction as we continue to research options and ideas. Some may not prove practical. Nonetheless, this has been and remains the basic plan developed over the last eight years.
Updated 21 Apr 2015
Deck: - Repair rotted deck core. (completed) - Remove toe and rub rail. (completed) - Glass over the hull to deck joint with three layers of 1708 biaxial tape and epoxy. (completed) - Install teak 1X5 bulwark that runs the entire length of the deck with the bottom edge set 1" above the deck.(completed) - Remove the mainsheet traveler to provide room for our 9" Fatty Knees dinghy. (completed) - Relocate mainsheet to end of boom.(completed)
- Install traveler on bridgedeck. (completed) - Remove old platform bowsprit and steel backing plate. (completed) - Replace bowsprit with a new design. (completed) - Convert from wheel to tiller. (completed) - Build and install a three bottle Propane locker. (Completed) - Install dinghy chocks on cabin top to provide secure mount for the hard dinghy. (completed)
- Install Cape Horn Self Steering Windvane. (completed) - Remove portholes, hatches, and deck fittings. (completed) - Reinstall portholes, hatches, and deck fittings. (completed) - Fabricate and install bronze and teak boom gallows. - Paint deck. (completed) - Install Refleks heater flue and smoke head. (completed)
- Make pattern for gammon iron and have it cast.(completed)
- Install bronze gammon iron. (completed) - Design and weld bulwark and stanchiuon bases. (completed)
- Reinstall cockpit coamings.(completed)
- Install bronze bulwark and stanchion bases. (completed)
Interior: - Completely gut interior. (completed) - Retab all bulkheads. (completed)
- Through bolt all bulkheads with 1/4-20 bolts. (completed) - Install double berth forward. (completed) - Rebuild head to incorporate a sitz tub. (completed) - Install two pilot berths and new settees. (completed) - Rebuild galley. (completed) - Use solid wood A. Mahogany (tongue and groove) for all vertical faces. (completed) - Build counter-tops with solid ash. (completed) - Install a solid walnut cabin sole. (completed) - Install water tanks under cabin sole. (completed)I have decided to go with "Dura-weld" plastic tanks). - Raise quarter berth to gain more storage. (completed) - Convert sitting chart table to standing chart table with ice box under. (completed) - Install mahogany beams on cabin overhead.(completed) - Install new mahogany plywood cabin sides (completed). - Install closed cell insulation in overhead and under side deck. (completed)
- Install close cell and reflectix foam for removable hull insulation. (completed) - Build pattern and have fuel tank built for Refleks heater. (completed)
- Install fuel tank for heater. (completed) - Design, have built, and install dedicated shower water tank. (completed)
- Install shower water tank. (completed)
- Make and install work bench. (completed)
- Design, build, and instal folding varnished ash table for saloon. (nearly completed)
Hull: - Strip hull and old barrier coat. (completed) - Remove all ten seacocks but reinstall only three. (completed. - Remove rudder and fill in propeller aperture. (completed) - Rebarrier coat and paint hull with bottom paint (completed)
- Fair, prime, and paint topside and cabin top with Awlgrip. (completed)
- The original plan was to rebuild the original rig but add a longer traditional style bowsprit. However, early in the rebuild of the Far Reach we were afforded the unexpected opportunity to obtain a new custom designed rig. The plan consisted of the following:
- A new mast that is 3 1/2' taller for a total length of 51.5'. (completed)
- Double spreaders. (completed)
- Maintain cutter rig. (completed)
- New boom with internal reefing lines. (completed)
- End boom sheeting. (completed)
- 7x7 5/16" SS 316 hand spliced wire standing rigging. (completed)
- Dynex Dux inner forestay. (completed)
- Vertially stowed whisker/spinnaker pole. (completed)
- Increased bow sprit by 27" for a total bowsprit length of 45". (completed)
- Install custom designed and built, swing arm, removable, side mount outboard engine mount. (completed)
The total working sail area increased by about 100 square ft from 622 sf to 725 sf.