Updated: Mar 1, 2021
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.
If you're one who likes to keep track; with these supplies and the cost of the previous haul out, I have 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 what remained of the keel pin bracket and the keel pin, we used a multitool with a cutting wheel and tapped it with a long ss bolt and a hammer until it wiggled free. We constructed a cradle to use in conjunction with a 2 ton floor jack. Having just the right amount of pressure (and support) from the jack assembly below was important to remove the keel pin. A two person job, at minimum. Here's what that evolution looked like.
Question: 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.
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.
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.
New Keel Pin Bracket (& snubber)
The bracket turned out PERFECT! For some odd reason though, I cannot find any pictures of it. These are the images from the guidance I received through the Chrysler Sailors forum. The one Ziegler's fabricated was an exact duplicate though, and I want you to have the visual of what it looks like.
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.
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.
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:
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