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Spring Preparation

Dec 25, 2000
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
We put the jib back on, now I need to service the water, Lube the toilet, put the cabin back in order, and scrub the outside.

Ditto here, Ken. In reference to the mud daubers above, quite common around these precincts. Also known as Wasps.
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Dec 2, 1997
- - LIttle Rock
TRUE - ish

Mud Daubers are a class of wasps that are solitary and do not defend their nest (don't sting) where as paper wasps are nasty little buggers.
I don't think they even hang around after they build their mud nests and deposit their eggs in 'em. So I googled "life cycle of a mud dauber" and came up with this ...it's a UK site (they don't have many, if any) but it's a very interesting read that will tell you more about dirt/mud daubers than you wanted to know in reasonably few words: https://animalcorner.co.uk/animals/mud-dauber-wasp/
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Mar 23, 2017
Hunter 30 Snug Harbor, Lake Champlain
I'm not in spring cleaning, it's year two of fixing all the things I didn't do last year. The list is long. But in summary, putting in two new sails, roller furler for the front sail. Changed all water lines, both hot and cold. Added in two new electrical circuits. Changed sink in head. All new hoses everywhere. Bottom paint. Life lines to get replaced. Rebuilding numerous exterior wooden bits. New hatch boards. Complete engine and transmission service. I know there is more...

I am blessed as my godson is helping me, or better said, I am helping him and buying all the parts. He is actually staying on my boat during the week working on it and I go up on weekends. He is doing an awesome job!

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Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
A wet cold spring has most everybody's boat still hunkered under cover here on the coast of Maine. What can you do under a cover? Quite a lot if it's below decks. The trick I find is don't spend too much time under there (you'll go batty), an hour or two is about all the time I'll spend.

I've just completed a little project chronicled in our Alden forum https://forums.sailboatowners.com/index.php?threads/alden-challenger-chain-plate-hatframe-backing-plate-repair.196104/.

Forget the details though. This work had to all be done in the head. It makes me think that any interior should be easily removed.

My old boat is 'stick built' below. It's not exactly easy to remove 'furniture' below in a boat; lockers, storage cabinets, lockers, counters etc. But if it's stick built removal means fastenings mostly.

The problem with a boat that is nearly 60 years old, those fasteners are no longer easily removable. Old bronze slotted screws, nicely nickel plated 60 years ago, no longer turn, the heads fall apart.

Head work.jpg

Forgetaboutit. I use a Fein multi tool with a metal blade for most of them(a sawzall if I must). You can usually cut from the hidden side of the wood screw to cut the fasteners off.

There was one point - some Saturday or Sunday past - when I went into the cave (rain pelting the cover), and cut the facade of the linen locker in the head. Mounted between two structural bulkheads, it took some wizardry before I finally found a way to take the whole facade out in one piece.

An alarm went off in my head. STOP. Take a pic with your phone. You'll be re-installing this piece in a few weeks, no way you'll re-solve this rubics cube in the future.

So I remembered this pic on my phone when I wrestled with the facade yesterday. It may not look like much help,....

but the pic solved the riddle.

Good thing because I had removed this piece from the boat - sliding doors and all, the original THOR head sink, the salvaged faucets (salvaged from a Brooklyn NYC brownstone thanks to a BIL), the counter and taken most to my warm dry shop.

There I re-furbished a few pieces; removed and quickly sanded the linen cab. doors and applied 2 coats of varnish (no stripping needed since 1961: Varnish below is the lazy man's finish). Then a couple varnish coats on the original ceiling inside the linen locker, a coat of white enamel (hardware store white) to the rails and stiles of the facade.

During more rain I disassembled the ancient head fixtures and installed new washers, stem packing(simple - just like a stuffing box!), etc.

With more rain time; metal cleaner and polish to the fixtures and sink, might as well do it up, you can't work outside on a boat in the rain.

It all fitted back together( a little touch up with hardware white still to do). New SS fasteners (I add trim rings to the wood screws for even easier removal), will make removal easy.

Everything has to come out of a boat, eventually and inevitably.
Head re-installed_.jpg
Mar 26, 2011
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
Dig out every locker. Lighter is livelier, and besides, you gain locker space and find stuff you lost. On my last boat (larger and more systems) I was always amazed by the parts I would find for equipment that had been replaced!
Jan 7, 2011
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
On edit...
My boat has been in the water since April 2. Got the sails on this morning, and by 10:00 it was snowing! The weather has been crazy. Drove my Roadster to work yesterday with the top down. Today it snowed.

But , the sails are on. I also replaced [repacked] a strainer in my water system and tested out a new fuel gauge install.

I am ready for the next warm day and for a sail !

Last edited:
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