“‘Tis not a fit night out for man nor beast!” – Gypsy, 04Feb2010


The beautiful weather last weekend made it an absolute joy to work on the boat… NOT! More like an scene from Ice Station Zebra. By Sunday morning, we had almost a foot of snow in the boatyard, with 2 foot drifts here and there. True to form, they’re predicting a second foot-plus snowfall for this coming weekend. More fun!

I found the aft hold filled with solid ice– somewhere down in there is a bilge-pump. Not a good idea to try to run ’em when they’re embedded in ice, so it’s a perfect time to re-run the wiring and install the fused switches. They’re done (short of mounting the panel), but can’t be tested until the ice melts.

The ice standing on the tops of the fuel tanks below the rotted cabin-sole also prevents me from cleaning that out– the splinters of old plywood are embedded in it. Eventually I hope to find/clean out/install limber-holes in the deck supports to let any water standing on the tanks to drain into the “slot” between them, where the forward pump is. Once she’s afloat, the motion of the ocean should help that along. You can see the “slot” in this picture at the bottom of the companionway stairs, mostly covered by a rotted, removable cover. The space-heater took the edge off the cold, but the snow I tracked in on the salon floor never melted. Draw your own conclusions.

Here’s a shot of the worst weather leak– the water runs in between the deck and the hull. The plywood bulkheads are completely rotted away and the fiberglass is discolored, but still solid. I’m continually amazed at how good condition the structural parts of this boat remain. The frames along the hull are solid as ever, as are the deck supports, etc. everywhere else. Only the cosmetic bits have rotted over the years.

Before the cold set in, I had been working on the thru-hulls and sea-cocks. Here’s a shot of an original engine raw-water intake. This one was in good shape, only needing to be disassembled, cleaned, lubricated and put back together. Another one forward, which had been connected to some less-than-marine-grade plumbing (one tee-fitting was so corroded it fell to pieces when I put a wrench on it) had to be replaced.

Here’s the new one (with the yellow handle). Somewhere above it some air (carrying blowing snow) is coming in, probably from a disconnected deck-scupper. You can see the remains of some of the old plumbing on the left. Sorry for the picture quality, but low light levels on a cell-phone camera, with shaky frozen hands… 



I heard from the original boatyard that built this boat this week– it’s confirmed to be a 1971 Ta Chiao CT-41 motorsailer. The chairman of the company remembered building her with “extremely solid construction.” Apparently, they only built two of this model. I wonder where the other one is? They asked for more pictures to maybe discover the original designer and perhaps other information.

Stay warm!