One Way To Go About A Refit: A Note About Our Plans

So far the majority of the blog has been about specific repairs.  We are going to keep this up but I (Ryan) have also been thinking about giving you an idea of our ideas and plans.  There are quite a few people in the sailing community who are “anti-plan” and still others who have plans but insist on keeping a personal rule of never telling anyone.  Lin and Larry Pardey are of this last camp, they don’t share their plans because plans change, and what if they never follow through with what they said.  When you depend on the weather to get around, you can only rely on your plan to a small extent and really have to go with the flow of nature in the end.  I respect the integrity of this point of view but I don’t agree personally.  I love making extravagant, monumental plans and then push myself to follow through.  Sometimes it never happens but so what? On to the next idea!!  It doesn’t keep me up and night that I didn’t follow through with X plan I had in high school or college.  I’m not going to start worrying about it now.  I have followed through with the majority of my large goals and I feel good about it.  More importantly, for me it is super important to have these huge goals to work towards, it most definitely helps me keep sane and gives me a reason to keep pressing on.  Talking about them just gives me more energy to follow through.


So our big plan, as you know, is to refit this beautiful Alberg 37 and then one day move onto her permanently and sail around the world.  It will take years just to refit her, so we are not rushing off or anything, we’ve already been working towards this goal for two years now and we have a few more to go before we will see any salt.

So you may wonder how in the world are we organizing this massive refit that will take years to complete?  It was one of the first things my father and stepmother asked me and I haven’t told anyone but them so far.  So the basics are this: we don’t have much money, we are deeply concerned with safety, and this is going to be our home so Erin (and a little bit me) wants it to look nice on the inside.  Jumping off from that point we are following a plan set out very clearly in “This Old Boat” by Don Casey.  Mr. Casey outlines certain aspects of a boat into three broad categories: 1) Structure 2)Feature and 3)Finish.  Structure are all the nuts and bolts of how the boat is put together to keep water out, air in, the mast up and keel down as Capn’ Fatty Goodlander likes to say.  Features are the stuff that gets added on to the structure – hardware, living amenities, and so on.  Finally, finishes are the brightwork and how pretty she looks.  Within these three categories you divide everything up into “Immediate, less urgent, and someday.”  So you start with the Structural Immediate column and then move on down the list in order of importance based on the chart.

So there you have it, I made one of these charts and then, as Mr. Casey advises, I transferred the entire chart into a spreadsheet with the headlines “Task, Notes, $ Estimate, Time Estimate, Estimated Start Date, Purchases, Actual Cost, Retailer, Actual Time, Actual Start Date, and COMPLETE.   I currently have 110 rows of information on items that need to be worked on.  That should keep us busy for quite some time.

But here’s the cool part about “This Old Boat,” right after going through the details of making this chart Mr. Casey has the reader start out by painting lockers.  This is not a “Structure Immediate” at all!  And he explains why – The deal is is that if you start getting down and dirty with all of the hard work entailed in the structure immediate column and you methodically move down this list you will most likely get discouraged and overwhelmed.  So paint some lockers pretty and feel good about the project as a whole!!!  Hmm, sound familiar?  Yah – that’s why I started our multi-year refit with completely re-doing our hanging locker and making it look so very pretty (and smell better too!).

In the coming weeks I’m going to start one of the Structure Immediate projects:  Re-coring the deck.

Here’s a little teaser:  (you’ll probably need to click on it to see the pencil mark ups)

2015-10-04 11.50.55a

3 thoughts on “One Way To Go About A Refit: A Note About Our Plans

  1. Great post! I love the idea of painting lockers along the way. Plans and goals are important and inspiring. It’s good to have a vision, along with a hefty dose of flexibility, adaptability and keen sense of humor!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great post! I left a comment yesterday but it seems to have disappeared, so here is a similar one. I totally agree that plans, goals and dreams are important and provide incentive, focus and excitement. It’s the only reason we’re out here cruising full-time today. Of course you also need large doses of flexibility, adaptability, and a keen sense of humor. You both are amazing and there’s no doubt you’ll make Plan A work, but if not, you’ll quickly come up with Plan B, C, D or E. You can’t ask for much more than that!

    Liked by 1 person

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