While I am normally busy editing images or reading my Spanish books in the evenings, as a part of my regular every day job and general education, Alex is often glued to his yacht design books or busy drawing new plans for the boat. Many sleepless nights have been spent on his part since we got Duende and still there's a long way to go before we for sure know that this boat is as safe and seaworthy as we need her to be. Why is Alex building new frames, floors and bulkheads you might ask? Doesn't every sailable boat come with them already in place? Yea, one would hope that at least those are where they should, but somewhere along the line of owners since Halsey Herreshoff sold his designed race boat (in which he himself sailed and raced in the mid seventies) - there has been some alterations done by different hands. We've earlier mentioned that the interior is beautiful to look at, but unfortunately while that new joinery was put into place some ten or fifteen years ago, many ribs, frames and bulkheads have simply been cut and removed to make room for new installations. Like I said, the interior looks beautiful at most parts and it's well made from an artistic point of view, but because we want and need a seaworthy boat, these alterations were the first ones on our list to be repaired.
I have also mentioned before that we have experienced some flexing of the hull while sailing, and that obviously comes from the lack of a solid, strong structure, which was somewhat destroyed by the alterations that have been done in recent years. As you might know, Alex has now spent the first year with this boat restoring the missing bits and pieces. There are the new stringers and frames under the aft cabins. A new chainplate and framing has been added to the transom. During the haul out in Antigua last year, Alex added a few new floors in the mid-section, in front of the mast under the head which I have yet to show you. There are the floors, bulkhead and frames that've been built at the bow, as well as the latest structural addition added under the companionway. This means that most of it is now done and the boat feels stiffer and stronger by the day, but there still remains two very important jobs to be completed before we can fully trust and feel confidence in this boat. One of those are to rebuild the steel mast step, and the other job which Alex just started: to extend the half bulkhead which is in front of the mast in between the head and our cabin, to a full bulkhead to give more stability. There certainly is a big job in restoring this boat to her original glory as well as to add the extra features which slowly transforms this yacht from a light and fast race boat to a, still fast, but also safe and seaworthy offshore cruising boat. I am currently sorting out the photos from the past years refit and will soon show you all steps from the above mentioned work that Alex has put into Duende thus far.