Of the two hundred fourteen remarks that we had when we bought Duende, around 65% has already been taken care of by Alex in the past six months since we got the boat. Much of the major things are done such as rebuilding of new bulkheads and re-tabbing of old ones. Shower sump totally redone. Reconstruction of rudder stuffing box. Six new floors are in place. Antifouling painted. Backstay chainplate and redesign of transom done. Leaks at the bow and pulpit been taken care of. Many of the through hulls has been replaced. Cabin topside rebuilt because there were leaks by the portholes. One of the water tanks has been re-glassed as it was leaking. Propane hose replaced. Edge of keel repaired. Bilge pump reconnected and parts replaced. Gaskets replaced, injectors cleaned and an overall inspection of engine is done and now working fine etc etc.
The mast and rig is a major department for itself and had eighteen remarks on our to-do-list in total. All from changing wires, rebuilding of backstay chainplate to replacement of cleats, toggles, blocks and jammers. The backstay chainplate, a few sheets and some toggles has already been changed and we had planned to get to Trinidad to sort out the rest. You see, many of the things on this boat does work ok, no larger concerns to talk about, it's just that life could get easier if fittings and equipment were either larger, newer or better functioning. We would also probably sleep better if all standing rigging were replaced although it hasn't proved to be in urgent need of it. It's a forty year old boat we have chosen after all, and some of the fittings has been here since day one or at least for half of that time. The winches for example, they work ok, but except for one smaller one, none of them on the mast are self tailing. You can only imagine the drama to haul the dinghy up on deck. Not to mention the extra strength one needs to put in every time we haul the main. It works, but with more effort than on a new boat, let's put it that way. It's amazing to realize that everything, apparently, was so much more complicated back in the day compared with the new technology of today that we all have gotten used to.
So back to the rig, when Alex found a new, small crevice corrosion on one of the mast tangs the other day (something neither of our two mast/rig surveys had detected), we decided to not wait for Trinidad but instead stay here to take care of the most important of the concerns. Both the corroded tang and the counterpart on the other side has now been removed, new ones has been produced and they're going to get refitted this weekend. Alex is also busy rebuilding parts of the spreaders as they were slightly rotten by the mast fittings (luckily not more than that), and some other toggles and blocks are being replaced before the mast goes back next week.
There is an obvious reason to why this boat had been on the market for three years without getting sold. The extensive refit that was needed, quite naturally scared away everyone but Alex. And even though it is a job for ten people, he's been convinced that he can take care of it all by himself. And so far, so good. New improvements are being made daily. I think Alex sometimes thought and wished that I could have been of more help than what I am, but I'm afraid he's doing most of it all by himself with the occasional help from me or from friends at the yard. Some people are interested in boat refitting, others... simply aren't. We have also discovered that it is best for a relationship to stick to the things that we feel inclined to and happy with rather than experimenting too much with each others tasks lol.
Despite the long to-do-list, we both have a clear vision of how beautiful and amazing this boat will be in only six months/a year, when most things have been dealt with. Given the style, character, sailing performance and the grace this beauty of a boat possess, there's tremendous potential. Very often we're dreaming of the day when we've sailed around the world and finally entering a port on the Southern coast of Italy. A small fishing harbor, sun is rising behind the mountains, covering the area in a golden hue, location and surroundings is perfectly matching the fine varnished wood, bronze fittings on deck and the creme colored hull. That is where we believe this elegant classic yacht with gorgeous lines will be in her true element. Dreams are what keeps humans alive and what makes us go through hard moments like the ones we've gone through since we got this boat. Just gotta keep on fighting for a while longer. And explore the rest of the world with her first, of course.
Now I'm off to bring lunch for my hard working man at the yard before I take the dinghy to the laundromat. As long as I don't need to get physical with wires, bolts and tools on the yard, I'm happy to take care of the rest.