EMPTYING “SAMOURAI”-REMOVE THE RUDDER-CLEANING THE KEEL-LIFTING THE MAST
In the beginning of October we returned to our Contessa 32 “Samourai” to begin the total refit.
The first and most important thing we had to do was to find a house near the boat yard and since it was the end of the summer season that happened in 2 days.
The second and most important thing, after settling down, was to start emptying everything from inside the boat in order to be able to work properly.
The insulation that was there for 40 years had to go!
The heads area also had to be stripped off from any old stuff.
The boat didn’t have a toilet, just a big ugly break in that area!
All the seacocks had to go away too.
Then we started removing the electrics….
something that included the removal of all cables from everywhere inside the boat,
they were a few…
…and they added up to a big garbage bag.
The removal of the base of the salon table showed some ugly stuff
that had to be cleaned.
The original stern gland…
We decided to do a hydro sandblasting in order to see the condition of the hull under several layers of old antifouling.
The basic reason that we bought this boat in the first place, apart from the fact that it was a Contessa 32, was that it was almost completely dry (tested with an appropriate moisture meter).
In order to remove the rudder it was necessary to first remove the rudder cap.
And then dismantle the tiller mechanism in order to take out the rudder.
Another important job that took place this first month was the preparation of the skeg for drying out. It was one of the few spots on the hull with quite a high level of humidity. So we choose to drill some holes here and there in order to let it dry.
A basic problem that some Contessa’s 32 have in common seems to be the concentration of water in between the led ballast and the fiber glass moulding. This can sometimes cause a really bad smell coming out of the bilges.
Anyhow we had to extract the water from there and that happened with drilling again some holes on the hull at the level between the ballast and the fiber glass.
It was quite impressive to see the amount of water that came out of there and as we expected the smell was really bad !
After drilling the holes on the hull and emptying the water from the keel, we had to rince it properly with a lot of fresh water and bilge cleaner.
That needed in total 4 holes, 2 on each side.
One of the major jobs that had to be done and we were really anxious about, was the preparation for lifting the mast.
We managed to do it succesfully at the end of the month. The crane arrived late in the afternoon that day and it was seriously gusting from the NE. If you consider the harsh conditions, it was a thrilling episode.
Anyway, it had to be done because the arrangement with the crane was scheduled for that day and if we missed the opportunity, we had to wait who knows how long for the next appointment.
So, with the help of a very friendly Bulgarian team, everything went according to the plan .
What we discovered then, was a mast step in a pity state ! The previous owner had the “brilliant” idea to insert a copper rod connecting the aluminium mast with the mast step. This 8mm rod was running through the hull and into the bottom of the boat in order to create a lightning conductor or in other words: a perfect battery phenomenon also known as electrolysis !
Not such a good idea ! The result was a very bad corrosion all around the mast step and mast foot .