How do you define your life? Do you see yourself as a good person? Does your past or future decide how you are perceived or remembered? These questions and more are asked by all of us I’m sure, possibly with varying degrees of honesty even with ourselves. Without complete honesty, especially with oneself, you may wander aimlessly amidst sorrow and guilt while your life passes you by. I made a promise to myself the day I buried my father, and today was the beginning of the fulfillment of said promise.
Long live the pioneers
Rebels and mutineers
Go forth and have no fear
Come close the end is near
And I say hey, hey hey hey
Living like we’re renegades
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Leaving like we’re renegades
It’s our time to make a move
It’s our time to make amends
It’s our time to break the rules
This is a Pearson 30 sailboat built in 1974, hull number 374. I purchased this boat for $8500.00. It cost me $830.00 to have it moved from Cumberland Center Maine to Winterport Maine, about 95 miles. I also paid a full year of outside storage, one month of inside storage next spring so I can paint the deck, and the 2 moves in and out of the barn. That was an additional $1430.00.
As I said in an earlier post, I will start a spreadsheet soon on this blog with a running total of every penny I spend on this project so others will see a real world cost of ones dream. No vague references like It varies according to this or that or By how much your willing to spend. I’m only going to show real costs of what I am doing so you have at least the actual cost I incur as a reference to base your plans from. You may or may not choose the same items or have the same problems with your project, but knowing actual costs can take away some of the sticker shock of important items such as standing rigging. (the wires that hold up the mast)
This is the main salon looking in from the cockpit. At first glance it looks nice and tidy, but looks can be deceiving. After all, this is a 43 year old boat! One can’t expect perfection at the price point I paid. Still, the overall condition is very good and the needed improvements inside are mostly cosmetic. A coat of paint, new cushions, some modifications and repairs to the floor, and more wood accents along with better window treatments will make it feel like home.
The galley, though small, will provide me with the needed space to prepare and cook meals after I enlarge the opening for a full 2 burner gimbaled stove with oven (the opening was a 2 burner stove only) and increase the insulation around the icebox that I will convert to refrigeration. (the hatch to the aft of opening) The stove will cost about $1500.00 but I have a DC refrigerator in the truck I drive that I will disassemble and use in the boat. I originally paid $1300.00 for the fridge and it has worked flawlessly for over 5 years. It only draws 6 amps while running so power usage should be low. The sink under the cutting board may stay the same, I’m not sure yet. Oh yeah…the green counter top has to go!
Storage for food and cooking utensils will have to be decided on after I have cleaned up all the compartments and applied fresh paint. Fresh vegetables will be in hanging baskets to improve airflow with the exception of some root vegetables that can be in cool lockers. Time will tell where everything finally lands.
The power panel is original to the boat, and it along with all the wiring has to go. One of this falls projects will be to remove all the old wire and decide on the route of new conduit in the boat for new wires in the spring. Every space I can get to will have 1/2 inch thick closed cell foam insulation glued to the hull. Not only will this help reduce condensation it will help retain heat during the chilly nights here in Maine. An electric windlass will be installed on the deck for the anchor and reinforcements for that area will have to be completed in the existing anchor locker before installation. This area is the forward part of the V berth. I will need a bowsprit for the Rocna anchor as well.
Under the V berth I will build a new water tight anchor locker with PVC pipe leading from the deck opening. This will allow space for 200 feet of anchor chain and keep the smelly water out of the bilge. A drain will allow water to go out of the boat above the waterline. This is also the area that I need to remove the old holding tank for the head. Yuck! Not a nice job considering it’s leaking!
Because this is a deck stepped mast, meaning the mast does not come through the deck but rather it rests on the deck, there is a compression post under the deck to transfer the weight to the keel. Like most of these boats this needs to be replaced as the bottom of it is rotten. But whats even worse is that brown looking sludge at the bottom is actually raw sewage seeping from the leaking holding tank! Double yuck! Oh well, nothing in life for me has ever been easy.
I knew I would have to clean the entire bilge area so I could repaint it, and part of the salon floor modification is going to be adding access to the deepest part of the bilge where the pump is. Doing so will allow me to clean and rinse the entire bilge into the lowest spot and pump all the “Sludge” up from that area into buckets for disposal. Much of the plumbing runs under the floor so having better access will help when I run new pipes for the freshwater system I will install. The old water tank is also under the V berth and will be disposed of and replaced with twin tanks under the seats in the salon. I hope to increase the water volume to at least 40 gallons by having custom tanks made to fit the spaces under the seats so I don’t have to modify them.
The head will need a complete new system. I’m not sure if I will go with electric or manual yet but the holding tank will go in the hanging locker space behind the actual head. This will also be a custom tank to fit the space. I’ve opted not to have a shower inside the boat as I really don’t have the room for a shower sump, and I don’t want shower water to go into the bilge. I want a dry boat inside to reduce mildew and keep the smell down.
I will however be installing a hot water heater and a cockpit shower. I don’t mind bathing with shorts on in the cockpit when I need too. I will admit though, washing what little hair I have left is much easier with a wand! The head sink is small but workable, and will be provided with hot and cold water. I see no reason to change this configuration other than a new fixture and the green counter top!
The engine is a Yanmar diesel replacement with only 850 hours on it! The original was gasoline, not a safe fuel on a boat. The cost if I had to pay for the replacement could be over $6000.00! Can you say savings! This vessel also came with very new sails from North Sails, a well respected sail maker. If I had to buy them it would cost in excess of $4000.00! Can you say double savings! Two of the biggest ticket items already done. SCORE!
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I have no doubt the fuel system needs to be replaced. I hope to increase the fuel capacity from about 20 gallons to 40 gallons. This will require 2 more custom made tanks to sit at the bottom of the bilge beside the engine. I will place a “Day Tank” over the engine to eliminate the need for a lift pump for the fuel as it will be gravity fed. A simple hand pump will push fuel to the 5 gallon tank through the filters to fuel passages by engine. A simple and safe arrangement that also keeps the weight as low as possible, something very important in a sailboat.
I will need a sailboat arch with dingy davits on the stern to hold solar panels and the dingy. I’ll use solar for most of my power needs along with AGM batteries. If I’m careful with my power usage solar alone should give me all the power I need instead of running the engine to charge the batteries.
Power on a sailboat is a primary concern if you want to have a TV, coffee maker, microwave or stereo. All your electronics like a chart plotter or radar will use a sizeable amount of power depending on your habits and sailing time.
I’ll need a new dodger and bimini with side panels to protect the cockpit as I will still sail the colder waters of the Northeast. In such a small boat the cockpit becomes another salon as long as it’s comfortable. My hope is to live and work in Maine during the late spring to early fall, then head south to North Carolina or so and relax for the winter.
There are many other small items needed to set this boat up for the lifestyle I hope to live, but I am determined to see this through.
Again I come back to, how do you define your life? Will you look back in your eighties and say, “I really made the most of my time on this earth”, or will you say, “I wish I had done this or that.” Though it will take alot of money for this project to be complete, though I will give up many days of my life to see this to completion, I know in my eighties I will look back and say, “I lived my life to the fullest. I took my destiny by the neck and forced it to my will. I defined my life by my own will.”