February 2017



All tools were ready: resin, fast hardener (for winter), silica, microfibers, lightweight filler, nitrile gloves, white overalls, and of course masks.

On both sides of the V-berth a long plywood batten has been epoxied just over the original stringers. This will support the berth boards.

The sink worktop had to be bonded and hold in place with some clamps.

Repairing the old hole of the top shroud U-bolts. The new U-bolts, manufactured by Jeremy Rogers are much longer and stronger than the old ones. So we had to close the old holes with epoxy and silica. Later on we would drill other holes matching the new U-bolts.

This is a reinforcement of the stern bulkhead which is at the end of the nav berth. Nothing really structural but the previous owner had done a horrible hole to let his cat go through ! We called this job “the repair of the cat-hole”.

The battery box was finally glued all together. We used mainly epoxy resin and some glass cloth at the junctions in between the ply and the hull.

Removing the old toerail needed a lot of patience. All the screws had to be undone very carefully to avoid breaking them. But it was not always possible. Unfortunatelly, some of  those bronze wood screws had to be cut with a hacksaw.

Others could be undone with a Knipex plier, one of our favorite tools !

In some areas we discovered that the toerail was badly rotten.

The starboard’s toerail was finally dismantled…

…so was the portside’s.

By mid-February, it was time to begin a full sanding of the hull under the waterline.  It is important to note that the previous owner had in the past already removed the gelcoat and apparently, re-sheeted all the hull with epoxy resin and a light fiberglass cloth. Over that, he had painted with a tar/epoxy (International VC Tar)  primer which was used as an anti-osmosis treatment at that time. Anyway, we didn’t like it much. The hull had no signs of current osmosis but we were very anxious to discover what was hidden under all this black sticky tar primer…

But why sanding instead of using any other method ? Well, simply because all the others ways could harm the hull. Sandblasting was of course out of the question. Grinding is certainly not the way to do it and peeling had already been done by the previous owner. There was only one way to find out what was under this tar/epoxy  primer: sanding carefully with an eccentric sander.

Needless to say that full protection gear was compulsory. But still, the smell of tar was going through everything! A very laborious job which took a couple of weeks. When the hull was totally stripped off, we were happy to see there was no damage anywhere. Our Contessa was actually in perfect condition.  Now we could let her dry until the end of summer.

While this torture was taking place outside, the other part of the crew had to cover again all the accomodation with new cardboards and prepare the interior for painting.

By the end of February we started painting the interior. First, one coat  of grey primer from International.

And then, after two coats of  International Interlac “Oyster White” the transformation began and our spirits started to rise  🙂

At the end of the month, it was very rewarding to contemplate the interior of our boat nice and clean.
















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