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Chronicling the Rescue and Refubishment of my Yamaha 33

Discussion in 'Yamaha' started by kampuniform, Jun 30, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. kampuniform

    kampuniform

    Joined Jan 20, 2017
    41 posts, 7 likes
    Yamaha 33
    Ca Vancouver Vancouver
    I've been thoroughly preoccupied with Yamaha sailboats for 22 years. I was hooked since the day a friend of mine took me out on his tall-rigged 33 back in 1995 (The Irish Whiskey. Now sailing as the Pino).
    I spotted a Yamaha 33 on Flickr in 2009 and immediately fell in love with her.
    I'd give the Flickr page a glance now and then over the years to get a quick fix, and dream of the day when I would own such a fine vessel myself.

    I commenced my search for a sailboat in February, 2016. The process was as pleasant as having one's anal hairs plucked. In February of this year, I spotted a Yamaha 33 called "Liming" for sale in Sidney, B.C. I had initially been warded off by her tiller, her price, and by the fact that she had been on the market for quite some time. However, after a year-long fruitless search, desperation was setting in, and I made the journey to see her from Vancouver.

    Sadly, the Liming was very tired, and she also needed an extensive refit, as the owner had raced her hard over the years, and she was showing some signs of considerable neglect.

    I placed an offer on her that was commensurate with her age and state of repair. The owner reacted like he had just been sodomized.

    Just as I was on the verge of quitting the whole enterprise completely, the Empress appeared for sale on Craigslist.

    When I went to have a look at her, all of my youthful illusions were dashed immediately. She had passed through the none-too-gentle hands of several owners since 2009, and was looking the worse for wear.

    It took a month and a half of negotiation, but I managed to get her for a very good price.

    Inspired by Amesey's blog on his Yamaha, I decided to make a contribution of my own.



    Sadly, it is incomplete, as I was hoping to chronicle her repairs in greater detail. However, by week two of her refit, I was beginning to question my sanity, and couldn't be arsed to take the time to pull out my phone to snap a few pictures when I was sweating and cursing.

    I will, however, be adding more pictures as I progress with my refit.
     


    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
    kloudie1 likes this.
  2. Ameseys

    Ameseys

    Joined Aug 27, 2009
    30 posts, 7 likes
    Yamaha 33
    US Portland
    Do provide a link - I'm keen to see your progress and share notes. Empress looked fantastic on Flickr. She was also on my list. I'd emailed the contact on Flickr, but he replied that he'd sold the boat years ago.

    I'm glad you got a good price. A refit won't be cheap, but you'll know every corner of your boat - That's worth more than money.
     


  3. kampuniform

    kampuniform

    Joined Jan 20, 2017
    41 posts, 7 likes
    Yamaha 33
    Ca Vancouver Vancouver
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/26575147@N07/albums/72157683568693090

    Thankfully, I had much to work with, as past owners decided not to customize or update anything apart from adding new sails. I've included a pre-purchase photographic history of the boat gleaned from various online sources, including Doug Stewart's.

    Yes, my Visa statement had me on my knees in tears this month, but she is worth the investment. At some point I will strip her down, and give the deck a spray of Duratec, and have her fittings powder coated as well. Yamaha seemed to have cheaped out gelcoating the decks, as I haven't seen many examples where the fibreglass isn't beginning to show through from wear.

    Thanks for the input, and I was amazed that both of us had lingered on Stewart's Flickr page!
     


  4. palacegrand

    palacegrand

    Joined Jul 9, 2004
    78 posts, 0 likes
    Yamaha 30 -
    Ca Sidney
    Hey Kamp, nice site with a good collection of photos. Quick questions:
    - You say that Liming needed a fair amount of work, but then also Empress did. What kind of difference in condition? Cosmetics? Mechanical? Structural?
    - A silly question but one for the significant other :) .... is the V-berth longer/roomier than the one in the Yam 30'?

    Perhaps see you out there in the fall somewhere.

    cheers
    jcm
    Satori in Sidney
     


  5. kampuniform

    kampuniform

    Joined Jan 20, 2017
    41 posts, 7 likes
    Yamaha 33
    Ca Vancouver Vancouver
    Thank you. I wanted to post more "hands-on" photographs of the work in progress, but pulling out the camera is the last thing on my mind when I'm grappling with some frustrating issue with the boat under a murderously hot sun.

    Regarding the Liming, it was all of the above. Rot, rust, and quite a bit of wear and tear. So much work that it was almost depressing. She had been raced hard, and it was telling. Compounding matters, the owner has let the boat deteriorate at the broker's, so most of what remained of her initial charm has long since faded. Lastly, the owner must have ingested some powerful hallucinogens when he came up with that price, and he has no intention of wavering a penny below.

    The Empress was a year younger than the Liming, and hadn't seen much use. At some point in her history, someone had dumped a wad of time and money into her, so she transited through a couple of bad owners without going completely to seed. After she was tidied up, someone asked me if the boat was brand new! A new exhaust elbow remedied all of her engine issues. The Empress was cosmetically, mechanically, and structurally superior to the Liming, and the Empress has newer sails, dinghy, new liferaft, autohelm, and a ton of other goodies, and at a price significantly less than the Liming's.

    Before purchasing the Empress, I had a look at a Yamaha 30 in Vancouver called Musica. I love the Yamaha 30 line, but there is no denying that the v-berth in the 33 is like Hall of Mirrors at Versailles in comparison to the berth on the 30.

    Yes, I'm sure we shall bump into each other at some point, as we intend to be on your side of the Strait more often than not!
     


  6. kampuniform

    kampuniform

    Joined Jan 20, 2017
    41 posts, 7 likes
    Yamaha 33
    Ca Vancouver Vancouver
    She's coming along, although the cosmetic work almost seems endless some days. Today I finished work on the stern cockpit locker, and the teak deck fitting.


    Cockpit Locker Before:

    I think that most Yamaha sailboats suffer from an identical complaint: rotten 35-year-old plywood. Mine was rotten right up to the half way mark.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/26575147@N07/35474193592/in/album-72157683568693090/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/26575147@N07/34801214714/in/album-72157683568693090/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/26575147@N07/35664561740/in/album-72157683568693090/

    Cockpit Locker After:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/26575147@N07/36012183116/in/album-72157683568693090/

    Teak Deck Fitting Before:

    Weathered, badly cracked, and almost past the point of no return.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/26575147@N07/35882834602/in/album-72157683568693090/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/26575147@N07/36012179426/in/album-72157683568693090/

    Teak Deck Fitting After:

    After extensive repairs, the teak glows again. Sadly, I was unable to close the massive crack completely, but was reasonably satisfied with the repair. The fitting was finished with a clear lacquer to highlight the teak's rich graining and colour.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/26575147@N07/35920253541/in/album-72157683568693090/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/26575147@N07/35214279474/in/album-72157683568693090/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/26575147@N07/35920256251/in/album-72157683568693090/

    My next move is those nasty gray handrails, finishing up the tiller, and gluing/refinishing the navigation chair.
     


    Ameseys likes this.
  7. KGP

    KGP

    Joined Sep 26, 2017
    2 posts, 0 likes
    Yamaha 33
    CA Vancouver Vancouver
    Hello KA, we've not met, but I may already owe you a bev. I've caught the Yamaha bug, and was about to head to Sydney(Liming you noted). There are a couple others I'm looking at...one in Pt. Roberts(30) and another in the US(Maryland). Anyway, your efforts are noteworthy and I'd appreciate seeing Empress both as an inspiration and reference. Pls let me know if you might be into a brief hello at your convenience. Tx, K.
     


  8. kampuniform

    kampuniform

    Joined Jan 20, 2017
    41 posts, 7 likes
    Yamaha 33
    Ca Vancouver Vancouver
    Thank you! Yes, the Yamaha is an intoxicating model of sailboat, and I cannot get enough of them. Pity about the Liming, as we really took to her despite all her faults. I have a Flickr page devoted to her. My only complaint with the 33 is the very poor access to the starboard chain plates for maintenance. This is a real design weakness, and its the first thing to check on this model. The Liming had some serious rot on her due to this issue, and I’ve seen several others 33s with identical complaints. I think that access to the chainplates isn’t as much of an issue on the 25,26, 30, and 36 models. If you don’t mind the suggestion, keep your eyes open for a 36, as they were the cream of the crop with a rear cabin, larger head, and larger v berth.
     


    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
  9. kampuniform

    kampuniform

    Joined Jan 20, 2017
    41 posts, 7 likes
    Yamaha 33
    Ca Vancouver Vancouver
    I’ve had a look at the 33 in Maryland. Don’t bother. From the dearth of out-of-focus interior pictures, I can tell at a glance that she’s not worth the effort. There has been some serious water intrusion on her port side leading to finish damage and electrical problems. Pound to a penny, she has rot around her chainplates too, hence the lack of interior pictures. The settee has been reupholstered in vinyl; the galley has been reconfigured; there is significant finish/water damage throughout. Her hull has been repainted at some point. She has a tall rig, but her keel is for a short rig; really weird. I’d skip this one.

    The 30 in Point Roberts is just “okay”. Way overpriced. Her windows need doing (very old), as someone went into overkill mode with the fasteners. If the windows aren’t already cracked, they soon will be. This ad hoc window repair is a bit of a red flag, as it signals laziness/incompetence on the part of the owner, and might indicate water intrusion issues in the past. Wavey headliner indicates water getting in around the boot. Again, water intrusion means that you should check the chainplate area for rot.
    Guaranteed that the 1GM Yanmar will need an overhaul, along with the bearing supporting the shaft.

    This is a short rig model. She’s been on the market for over a year, and there has been no significant price drop (another red flag/lying owner). I think this one will be a disappointment unless you are looking for a project boat.
     


  10. KGP

    KGP

    Joined Sep 26, 2017
    2 posts, 0 likes
    Yamaha 33
    CA Vancouver Vancouver
    Thank you, AGAIN, KA. Just back from looking at the one in Roberts...I sensed would be not great, but had to check it out. Gothca on the one in Maryland. Onward I go. Are you aware of any other sights/means to sort other options?...even a 36, which I agree would be a good thing. So far, I have yet been able to find any others. Cheers, K.
     



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