November 2016


We started building up a structure made of PVC hoses and plastic covers to keep the deck warm and dry during the winter months. This protection proved to be a very clever idea which enabled us to work on deck no matter what the weather conditions were.
It tooks us approximately 5 days and it was ready just before the approach of the first serious depression. So  the deck was protected for winter !



Next thing was to remove the diesel tank from the cockpit locker. The Contessa 32 forum was really helpfull on this .

In order for this “miracle” to happen we had to cut off the small diesel gauge  and that made all the difference.


A major problem that we were facing was to remove  the mast step. As we mentioned previously, the area around there was totally corroded and the screws holding the whole thing as well !

Removing this copper rod was not a simple thing !

Mount Athos in the early morning.

To deconnect the diesel filter somebody had to fit in the cockpit locker.  Obviously this was a task for the smallest of us….it was a lady’s job after all.

This is a view from under the coachroof winches. To take out the old Lewmars we had to cut a round circle on the ceiling of the boat. These cuts were above the chart table and above the galley. Fortunately we had a great tool for the job: the magic Dremel ! On this electrical tool you can fit all kinds of small accessories including a tiny disc for cutting through plastic. Then we cut little squares around each bolt.  Each winch is fitted with 5 machine screws.

To dig out the bolts from the polyester, we used a chisel and a rubber hammer.

We could then undo the bolts and take out the two winches. Later, when installing the new winches, we will patch the holes left in the ceiling with a piece of varnished wood.


The next step was to cover all the accomodation and parts of the deck with cardboards. That was going to protect the boat during the refit.

We had to sand most of the interior, not a very pleasant job. Dressed like astronauts with full protection, white overalls,gloves, glasses and of course heavy duty masks, the sanding was like going to the battlefield !

That took us about 10 days of hard work. And even with all this protection gear, we were still itching, scraching and swearing every evening after shower !

The previous owner had a big  broken mirror glued on the main bulkhead !


This mirror had also to be removed. We sticked on it a see through tape, covered the area all around with plastic and cardboard and start breaking it to pieces. That was a very exciting moment with cutting pieces of glass everywhere. We managed to do it without any harm to ourselves or the boat. What a great day !

We had to find a way to get access inside the lazaret and unfortunatelly there was no other solution than cutting a big opening with the magic Dremel.

The last area to be sanded was the ceiling of “Samourai” with very light abrasive paper just to clean up  the area from black stains and dirt. Eventually we will paint it.

Of course cleaning was in process straight after all this and it had to be done inside out because everything was covered with a white toxic dust.
First with a vacuum cleaner and then with a wet cloth around every surface of the boat.

Removing the handrails : about 16  bronze old screws which had the disadvandage  of being too soft to be undone just with a screwdriver. The trick is to use a pair of pliers in order to turn the screw slowly without damaging it.  It took a while and a few blisters on the right hand….




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