Two Weeks (or so) in The Boat Yard

When we purchased our Cabo Rico 38 in January in Virginia, it was cold. We wanted to beeline southbound as soon as possible. But the boat was pretty bare and hadn’t see the open water in many years (if ever). There was a lot on our to-do list, but we were determined to do the minimum we could do to be comfortable for the first year. After a year of cruising we would know the boat and know exactly what we needed, and therefore hopefully only make mistakes once!
Winter is cold. We're not prepared for this!
What we were the most uncertain about was the rigging. It looked to be mostly original with a few newer bits, but no one could tell us much about it. It was probably okay, but then maybe it wasn’t. Virginia has cheap boat yards and (so we thought) bored riggers in the winter months. A good friend, who happens to be a bored rigger, claimed it could be done in two weeks. No brainer, let's do this.

So we moved the boat and hauled out. The day after we arrived, the riggers came to discuss the job and informed us that the yard’s crane was out of service. How long? Two weeks. “Gosh, business really isn’t slowing down this winter!"

Well, now we’ve got two weeks of free time on our hands. We decided to get an AirBnB nearby, since the boat was shortly to become a construction (combat) zone (of despair). We got to work on projects and ordering stuff. How many projects should I take on? Two weeks plus two weeks worth, obviously. Since we’ve got a house to work in, now seems like a great time to build an enclosure. 

The boxes began arriving. A lot of boxes. √ Refrigerator. √ Stove/oven. √ Radar. √ GPS chartplotter. √ Wind instruments. √ Cables and wires. √ New anchor and chain. √ Sunbrella canvas and clear window materials. √ Composting toilet. 
New oven!
Composting toilet! 
A few days later, the yard owner walks by. "Did you come to an agreement with the rigger?” he asks innocently. “Yeah, they’re just waiting on your crane.” “Oh, you’re waiting on ME?” The next day he shows up with a crane, and the mast is down. The riggers are shocked and appalled. "They pulled the mast with the LITTLE crane?!? What’s the hurry!?!?” The rigging is stripped and taken away to be recreated in the shop.
You might think this is a black and white photo. But it's actually just that cold and dreary in February.

The rigging disappears and we work on our projects. While the mast is down, we replace the wires, antenna and lights. We put on a √ 4G LTE cellular booster. We take all the halyards out and clean them. The riggers put in all new sheaves. 

By the pace things are moving, I can see we’re still on the two weeks + two weeks schedule. We analyze our systems, and realize that there’s really no way we can make it a year with two old truck batteries. It seems like we have time (probably at least two weeks at this point), so we order some stuff. We also tackle removing all of the chainplates so that new ones can be made.
Chainplate removal. Thank goodness we don't do this every year!
√ 4- 100ah lithium iron phosphate batteries, √ 2000W inverter/charger with color controller, √ battery monitor, √ wind generator, √ 3- 50W solar panels, and lots and lots of √ wire and √ bus bars. More boxes arrive, some on freight trucks! UPS now drives straight to our boat instead of bothering with the office.
What a mess!
Two weeks and another two weeks pass. Parts are still missing, they say a few days. I know that’s two weeks away. The electric system is rebuilt from scratch. It took about two weeks. Now we have power, and it seems like this old manual windlass is going to be trouble. We really wanted to make it work, but for many reasons it doesn’t.

√ Windlass and a new bow roller. 

We’re living aboard now, and Lucy has done some inspection of the mattress situation. No bueno. √ New mattress and Froli springs are ordered. 

Boxes arrive.
Up and Down the Ladder. 500 times a day. Hastings did not like this bit!
The mast gets done and goes up. Now we’re just wrapping up all of the other projects we started. Another two weeks should do it!

Here’s a semi-complete list of all of the jobs we’ve (sort of) completed:
  • New Force 10 3-burner stove/oven with 2 new propane tanks
  • New Isotherm 12 volt refrigeration with custom spill-over freezer/fridge
  • Full cockpit enclosure
  • Airhead composting toilet with deck-mounted vent fan
  • All new standing rigging
  • Replaced all chainplates with custom new ones
  • B&G chartplotter, wind instrument and 4G radar
  • AIS with antenna splitter 
  • weBoost 4GX cellular booster mounted on mast
  • Victron inverter/charger and battery monitor
  • New AC wiring including inlet, galvanic isolator and circuit breakers
  • 400ah LiPHO4 battery bank + LA starter battery
    • High AmEx balance alert!
  • Silentwind 400W wind generator
  • 150W flex solar panels on dodger
  • New v-berth memory foam mattress and Froli spring system
    • Good for all the laying down in despair! 
  • Lewmar electric windlass
    • AmEx declined! 
  • 55 lb Spade anchor, 130’ G4 chain + 170’ 8-plait rode
  • Repaint boot stripe
Man, that two weeks in the boat yard really felt like 3 months! 

New chainplates

You Might Also Like


  1. Jobs well done, you guys. And, the day did arrive that you could splash and start enjoying the cruising life again. What do they say? That haulouts take about three (or more) times longer than planned and cost three times as much as anticipated as well. Or is that just me (and you) saying this? :-) Good Hastings is small enough to be picked up!

    1. Sometimes you have to up the time factor by a unit then multiply. 1 hour = 3 days. 1 week = 3 months! Hopefully no one plans for a month long project!

  2. I wanted to thank you for this excellent read. we provide rv washer and dryer services at affordable prices. to know more visit our website.


Flickr Images