An Overhaul and A Name
Last we parted ways, I had just moved our unnamed Chrysler 22 sailboat from our slip at Boston Harbor Marina into my grandparents' vacant trailer port in Lacey, WA.
This was October of 2013. My goal was to have her back in the water by spring. That meant all of the work would be done in the cold and wet Washington winter. Not ideal, but I had a great place to do it at Grandma's and Grandpa's house. Often, I would be hard at work on one thing or another, and look up to see Grandpa sitting on his walker, just watching. As he put it, it gave him great joy to see me working on something I was obviously passionate about. To this day, I hold this memory close. He always felt bad that he couldn't help. I'd ease his mind by telling him how much of a help it was having the trailer port to use, and how much I enjoyed his company. It always put a smile on his face.
Once we had the boat off of the trailer and supported properly on stands(actual and homemade), I formulated my plan, with the help of my sailing teacher Brett and another new friend named Lenny. Both of these guys worked in the boatyard while we were on the hard and knew what I needed to do what I wanted. They were also very helpful when it came to tools and techniques. More on that later. Time to get to work.
Vitamin 'R' was a staple throughout the process
The rest of the major supplies. Hull supplies (top). Filler & resin for the keel (middle).
Name paint & barrier coat (bottom).
If you're one who likes to keep track; with these supplies and the cost of the previous haul out, I've easily spent more than We paid for the boat initially. That does not include moorage fees. And, I'm just getting started.
Keel & Rudder
First major undertaking (pun unintentional) was to remove the keel completely from the boat. That's 725 lbs of solid, albeit pocky, cast iron. To remove the keel pin, and finally the keel entirely, we constructed a cradle to use in conjunction with a 2 ton floor jack. Here's what that looked like.
Pin removed and keel dropped :-)
Unbelievably, this was the largest piece I could remove of the old keel pin bracket!
Inside the keel pocket, with flakes of the old keel pin bracket still attached to the hull.
The pin was in nearly perfect condition, had we not had to cut through it.
Here's a question for you. After looking at these pictures, and now seeing what the true condition of this boat is, do you think that I'm lucky to be here to tell these stories? I do. I really think that everything happens for a reason, and as long as we're paying attention, and care, we improve our chances of longevity. I also believe in guardian angels. Had that keel broken loose somehow while we were underway, tragedy would have been unavoidable. As it is, it didn't, and I owed it to this vessel to give her life, no matter how bad it is. Life, and a name <3
Ziegler's Welding in Olympia did such a wonderful job for me on the rudder cheeks that they were my automatic choice to fabricate a new keel pin bracket. Once again, I was able to find the schematics for the bracket through the Chrysler Sailors online forum.
In going through the pictures from this process, I'm not sure why I don't have any images of the new bracket. Should I come across some, I'll update here. The bracket turned out PERFECT though. We also replaced the old snubber hardware with new.
The snubber helps to guide the keel into the keel pocket and reduces the side-to-side play.
While waiting for a call from Ziegler's saying our bracket was done, we used the time to completely refurbish the keel. That involved needle-gunning and grinding all of the corrosion, applying rust remover vigorously, laying down a coat of Pettit Brand Rustlok Steel Primer, filling all of the negative areas with a perfect mixture of West Systems 404 High Density Filler, West Marine Brand Polyester Boaters Resin, & liquid hardener, sanding the surface oh so smooth once the epoxy was hardened, coating the keel with Interlux Brand InterProtect 2000E (barrier coat), and finally applying 2 coats of blue Pettit Brand Hydrocoat Ablative Antifouling Bottom Paint. Here are a few images of that process.
2 solid days of needle-gunning...
Applying steel primer
Making epoxy to fill voids in keel
Epoxy applied generously in order to sand back to original smooth surface.
Not enough liquid hardener ;(
Sanding smooth, once hardener was hard.
Keel done! Not perfect, but near ;)
I also attacked the rudder during this time. It was a much simpler undertaking.
While on the hard previously, I had noticed several blister areas on the hull, between the size of a quarter and the size of a 50 cent piece. In order to properly repair these, we sanded the hull all the way to the gel-coat. I went a little overboard on this and removed ALL paint from the hull.
That's Dylan sanding away :)
Completely sanded, exposing bad blister areas
Applying Pettit Protect High Build Epoxy Primer to the blister areas, after sanding them out
My buddy Brett being a good friend/guru and applying barrier-coat layer #1
Painted, all but the pad areas.
The keel pocket :)
Keel bracket area BEFORE
Keel bracket area AFTER :)
With the hull and the keel done, the last major project is to create an electrical system in this boat. The only wires in the boat were the cables from the battery to the engine, and then another wire that ran from the battery to a light in the v-berth. The wires in the mast were no good, nor were any of the running lights wires, or lights themselves for that matter. I found most of my fixtures online. Picked up some spools of tinned marine wire, some connectors, electrical tape, shrink seal, wire cutters, a couple of electrical panels, and some negative bus strips. Also, my friend Lenny gave me a "Power Disconnect" switch to install.
Old Masthead Light (non-working)
Old mast wiring (non-working)
Old Bow Light (non-working)
Old Stearn Light (non-working)
Old Steaming Light (non-working)
The old wiring, as it was when we bought the boat :- /
Out with the old and in with the new. I knew nothing about electricity before this, let alone marine electrical. Guidance from Lenny, along with a lot of reading, got me through successfully. The new items included:
New anchor light and new steaming/deck light
Feeding new wire into the mast.
New wire coming out of the top of the mast :)
While feeding the wire, I had to get these wires through the hole for the steaming light...
... which I did :)
Bottom of the mast, electrical and vhf wires.
New anchor light connected :)
New steaming light wired in :)
Time for my tall ass to enter some confined spaces now, to get the interior wiring and components installed. Being 6'3" does not serve me well in these situations, but it's easier than instructing Dylan or Zana. Besides, they were busy pulling weeds for Great Grandma & Great Grandpa <3
Tight space, serious face :|
Cutting in the first panel
Wires run to first panel
Second panel added and connected :)
Panels installed :)
Negative Bus added
Main battery switch added
All wires labeled in multiple locations for ease of troubleshooting, for the next guy ;)
New Bow Light and hull numbers
Teak and a Name
Just a couple of last items to do before we are through. There wasn't a lot of brightwork on this particular vessel, so it did not take me long to get it looking good with with some minor cleaning and a couple of coats of my favorite oil, Watco Teak Oil.
Now the name. Reth and I had called this particular vessel S/V Coreth, an obvious combination of our names, since not long after acquiring her. However, the name never really rolled off of the tongue well enough for me to want to paint it on her. We looked to the stars for answers, literally. Our Chinese Zodiac animals presented an interesting option. When we combined Reth's Tiger with my Dragon,... drumroll please.
We got the keel back up in the pocket, and loaded her on to a trailer that we had to modify with railroad ties. Then it was time to take her back to the salt. It was an exciting time, so pardon the camera-kid's shaky hands. I love you Dylan :)
This was a proud moment for me, with Grandpa & Grandma cheering me on <3
She gets wet for the first time as The Tigon, and in better shape than she's been in a decade, probably two. So nice to have Reth, Zana, and Dylan present for this <3
Launch day was a resounding success. The date was June 24th of 2014. Reth and I decided that if I got the boat done in time, we would sail to the San Juan Islands for our 10th Anniversary in September. Well, here we are, in the water. Before we go too big though, we're going to have to perform some sea trials. Coincidentally, our friends Mark & Terri are getting married at The Edgewater House in Olalla on the 27th. So,...
(Ships Log entry)
June 26th, 2014
1420: Dylan, Zana and myself departed Boston Harbor Marina under motor. Low Tide(Boston Harbor) @ 1125. High Tide(Gig Harbor) @ 1912. Mark Lee & Terri Chi are getting married tomorrow in Olalla. We only got the mast erect at noon today. The skies are clear, water calm, and air temp @ 75 degrees(F). (End of Entry)
We actually stayed our first night ever on The Tigon at Tyee Marina near Browns Point(Tacoma). Lenny & his now wife Lilli kept their 44' sailboat Sea Dreamer there. They invited us for dinner, it was delicious, and the company better. The next day we made our way over to Gig Harbor. The wedding was very memorable, right on the water. The reception, well, I don't remember much of that. A sailor will be a sailor. If I should find the pictures of us at Mark & Terri's Wedding, I'll be sure to add our family picture here. Oh, I forgot to mention, Reth and Devonah drove to Gig Harbor to meet us.
The next day, Devonah drove her brother and sister home in the car while Reth and I sailed The Tigon home to Olympia. The trip was rather uneventful. As I read through the log, nothing of any significance happened. WooHOO! First sea-trial can be considered a resounding success.
There would be a couple of more short adventures before our trip to the San Juans, one of which involves a dead battery, no wind, a lightning storm, and a May Day call. You will have to wait for that though, as...
***CAPTAIN'S NOTE*** There will be a couple of month pause in publications, as we have our official South Sound Sailing Tours website & blog built for us by BluRoom Creative. I'm still writing through this time though, so be ready when we are, and please share :)
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