January 2018


On the first day of 2018 we decided to do some “homework”: sand the rudder and prepare it for the epoxy coatings. Fortunately, it is was totally dry and the moisture readings were just perfect in order to apply the anti-osmosis Gelshield Plus. This will be done with better temperatures during the spring.

The first day of the year ended with an amazing sunset and a great dusk.

After some long discussions, we decided to convert part of the chart table space and create a new area for the electrical panels. This “cupboard” will be deep and wide enough to receive all the negative and positive bus bars,  plus all the wiring of the boat.Behind the plywood we insulated the hull with 15mm polyethylene closed cell foam as we did in all the boat above the waterline.

The new electrical panel front, made of 12mm ply.

A preliminary test was done to get an idea of how the panels were going to look. A great moment of pleasure….27 new Philippi switches… in the near future, we can add some electrical devices.

Another change of plans was the door that we had created last winter  and we were considering to use for the electrical panels. We thought that it was going to be much more usefull to place the engine control panel on the lower part and use the upper part for storage space. Here again, the hull is totally insulated to avoid any condensation.


An important job was to support the cabin floor. We used 15mm plywood of 4 cm width. But first we had to create the templates to match the curves of the hull in the bilges.

We used 4 pairs of those plywood battens.

These plywood pieces are temporary put together with some 6mm hex bolts.

It should be strong enough to support the floor. Those are not permanent yet but as soon as the new water tank is installed, we will bond them to the hull.

After one year and a half without cabin floor….. we could walk inside the boat with no fear of breaking a leg… A great moment in the history of this epic refit !!!

Veeeeryyyyyy happy indeed.!!! We even  sat on the floor to enjoy the new space…

And because the old floor board was a bit rotten, we created  a new one out of 15mm marine plywood.

A big decision was to cancel completely the saloon table and create more storage and sleeping space on the portside. It was very important to cut the screws holding the adjustable base of the original table. Those screws were sunk into the hull which make them a serious hazard if someone stepped on them. We didn’t like the old heavy and disfunctionnal folding table. Instead, we will install  in the future a Lagun folding table leg which will give us more space and more versatility.

Then we started creating our new locker, and our “huge” new bed.


This is just a first try. The upper board will be drilled with the hole saw to provide some ventilation under the mattress.

Then one day, the insulation was finally glued in the front cabin and in the nav berth. We used a soft micro-fiber fabric with foam backing which is ideal for wall and ceiling cover.

Some final details were added with interior wood trim. We used some iroko left over.

The front cabin nearly finished. The cushions are already at home, but those will wait until all the dusty works are finished.

Same job in the nav berth. We still have to insulate the ceiling later on .

The new wood pieces had to be stained with 2 layers of teak and 1 layer of chestnut color to match the interior. Later on, a few coats of varnish will protect those from the marine environment.

We thought it would be great to add some colour in the galley area and to glue a new formica on the galley bulkheads.  We could call this episode:

“The drama of the formica”…

It was quite complicate to find the formica with this specific colour, so we knew that everything had to be done with a lot of care and extreme caution. The first day we created 2 templates , one for each side of the stove area. And the following morning we began the difficult task of cutting through this horrible material. Horrible because formica is extremely sharp, easy to break and very difficult to cut through.

Everything went according to the plan and after two hours of very precise work we had our two pieces cut  in shape and ready to be transported to the boat…

Then “disaster” struck when we tried to introduce the bigger piece inside the boat,  we had to bend it just a little bit, to be able to fit it through the companionway of “Samourai”. It cracked like a mirror and we almost fainted from the shock. We must add that the temperature was quite chilly, which didn’t help much for the bending process.

When the first shock was over, we had to rush home and find out if the remaining formica was big enough to cut another piece. Thank goodness we were really lucky and we managed to extract a second one, but this time we decided to cut it into two halfs since there was no other way for it to enter the boat.

At ten o’clock that night, after a lot more work in order to manage to glue it properly into place, we were exhausted but so happy to see it looking at us from the galley.

This is the template for a stainless steel re-enforcement piece for the new mainsail track. We looked first at all the possibilities for replacing the old IYE mainsail track, but most of the tracks and travellers on the market were very expensive. We didn’t fancy much a complicate system with a lot of pulley blocks. We end up choosing Antal, a brand “made in Italy” which has a very simple and strong mechanism with ball bearing. The only problem was the thickness of the track compare to the old one. This is why we created a strong epoxied long base which will be screwed on a stainless fitting, itself screwed through the sides of the deck.

Inside, the work was in progress and we started installing the lamps and electrical wiring through the accomodation.

Front cabin port reading lamp….

Front cabin starboard reading lamp….

We chose to get the best we could in electrical gear and invest in tinned american 16 Awg marine grade wires. The rest of the tools are a proper ratchet crimping pliers, marine electrical terminals, shrink tubes and a lot of cable ties.



The head’s light was installed on the bulkhead to avoid drilling in the boat ceiling. Instead, we used very strong 3M double face tape and used a piece of plywood to fix the lamp.

Those wires will soon be hidden inside pvc conduit trunking.

A little comment concerning the electrical work on the boat. This is probably the cleanest job during the refit but also a job which demands a lot of reading and understanding on electrical issues. We decided to install complete new wiring through the boat, a difficult task !  Replacing the original wires which were 40 years old and totally unreachable through the cabin ceiling was not an option. We thought that for a proper crusing boat, all the wires should be accessible and easy to repair in any situation. This is why most of our wiring will run through pvc tubing and other conduit instead of being hidden behing insulation and panels.










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