Sunday, February 9, 2014


I've started this blog primarily to keep friends and family up-to-date on the condition of our sailboat, Ronin. I'm also using it to keep a running record of the work that gets accomplished. Or that doesn't.

Ronin is a Rob Ball designed 1982 C&C 37, hull number 18 that we purchased from a bank sale in the Summer of 1997. She was in pretty bad shape, bare-bones, rode hard and put away wet and on the hard with the mast lying on the deck and the engine not running. Most buyers would have walked away and maybe we should have too but we got her for small money. Of course, as most boat owners know, buying a boat is the cheap part. It's the keeping that's expensive.

Over the years we've done major upgrades and repairs. Mast spreaders and standing rod rigging rebuilt, added Harken roller furling, all new running rigging, new Harken traveler and mainsheet blocks. The original boom was replaced with a new custom built item. We put on a 1/3 battened main and 140% laminate jib among other things.

We had the Yanmar 3HM rebuilt and converted to "fresh water" cooling (3HMF). New motor mounts and soundproofed the engine space. Refurbished the Martec folding prop and replaced the cutlass bearing. Replaced the stuffing box with a dripless seal.

We replaced all the cushions with new foam and covered that with Ultrasuede. Replaced the cabin sole. A new Broadwater 4-burner propane stove and oven to replace the original alcohol unit. A new head. Several water pumps because the originals were broken due to freezing while on the hard.

The non-functional B&G's were replaced with Raymarine ST60 instruments. An ST4000+ autopilot and new Icom VHF were fit. Used a cheap Garmin to keep the info flowing to the instruments and autopilot. Installed a Link 20 dual battery management display. We did retain the original Loran receiver until the signal stopped. You just never know...

We had the main hatches rebuilt by Atkins and Hoyle, replaced the fixed main cabin ports and both the opening Beckson ports. Added a cockpit dodger.

As all this was happening over the years we still sailed her, day sails, weekends and week-long cruises.

But over time even these repairs and upgrades began to get old and needed updating. The list of things that were wearing out, non-functional or outdated kept growing, as did the number of niggling problems. And the boat was still getting older and having typical old-boat issues.

So about 5 years ago we thought about what to do. We'd reached the decision point that many boat owners do; rebuild or replace. We both love the size, sailing characteristics and looks of the C&C 37 so we decided to budget the money for a complete refit. It doesn't really make sense given the amount of money put in versus what the boat is worth but that's the choice we decided to make.

I started in on the project, knowing that we would not be able to use the boat for several years. I was overly optimistic. After striping the boat of anything not glassed in or bolted down I dug in. And then pretty much stopped. Combination of new work environment and new duties. Then we decided to completely rebuild our house on the water where we keep Ronin. That right there meant that all my tools and supplies were in storage for a year.

But the house is done, I have a new shed with all my supplies and tools at the ready and most importantly, I am retired. So that means that I can spend time on the project. I hope.

Anyway, I am back at the refit of Ronin. Still a lot of work to complete. If all goes according to plan (yeah, good luck with that...) she'll be back ready to go for the Summer of 2015 with all new electrics, refrigeration, running rigging and lifelines, a couple of sails, ground tackle, new deck hardware, under deck autopilot, new dodger, rudder repair, keel tightening, rigging upgrades, and all new paint on the hull and deck.



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