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Almost there…

IMG_4457Sorry I haven’t posted in a while.  Things have been insane lately.

Aside from the relentless onslaught of work obligations, I’ve been rushing to get Lorilee in the water again.  It’s been over six months since I bought her, and over six months since she’s been in the water.  My original plan was less than three. There have been many unforeseen projects and many unforeseen expenses, but I’m almost there.

Since my last post, I have reassembled the interior, re-plumbed the head, filled and faired the hull blisters, stepped the mast, and began the repainting of the hull.


Cabin is 99% reassembled.

I’ll start with the easy stuff.  Since replacing the main deck beams, the interior rebuild has been asomewhat ongoing project – and will probably continue to be so.  Lorilee was what they call a “kit-boat”.  Typically, kit boats were half-assed, and not very well thought out.  However, Lorilee was built out by someone who knew what they were doing.  The interior joinery and carpentry is astounding.  Now this meant that to get to the deck beams, I had to remove just about everything. And since the deck beams weren’t exactly the same size as the originals, I have had to adjust just about everything going back in – and I’ll be the first to admit, my joinery and carpentry is anything but astounding.  For now, it’ll have to do.  It’ll be an ongoing project to make it right again.

For some crazy reason, after sweating all day fixing up the interior, I decided to install my new Wilcox-Crittenden Imperial head.  I say “new”, but the thing is considerably older than I am.  It’s solid bronze and built like a tank, so I want to keep it.  I mentioned in a previous post that the old Imperial head was corroded into a solid block of calcium carbonate (salt + stray electricity = head concrete from hell).  So I bought a new(er) one.   For the plumbing I used sanitation grade Flex-PVC that I picked up at the local chandlery. It is indeed flexible, but it does NOT simply push onto barbed fittings. However, I found that a dip in hot water softens it up for an easier installation.  After spray-painting the old toilet seat and cleaning up the head, I can put this “crappy” job behind me for the time being.   Since it’s plumbed directly overboard, it’s still not legal, but it’ll have to do for now.

I was determined to get my mast up.  With new halyards, new lights, new wiring, and new paint, I wanted that mast off the ground and out of the reckless path of the psychotic yard owner’s travel lift (I’ll explain later).  Earlier in the week, I called ahead to schedule the event.  When I got down there Friday, I discovered that the yard owner fired all of his employees, including the only guy that knows how to operate the crane truck.  Just wonderful.

So after some debate with the yard owner, who thinks he can operate the crane himself, I decided to call a third party crane service to come in and do it.  Upon his arrival, we discussed the plan of action and got to it.  Well, there was a miscommunication between him and me, and he thought the aft side of the mast was facing down on its sawhorses.  It wasn’t.  So when we got the mast vertical, we discovered it was backwards!  We spun it around and tried to guide it into the tabernacle, but it wouldn’t budge.  While we were focused on getting the bottom in position, the top of the mast had become entangled in the crane’s ladder! ARGHHH!

A couple of my neighbors in the yard graciously volunteered to come help me out.  We stood around scratching our heads for a while trying to figure out what to do, when we discovered that the weather vane and bracket that I made was what was tangled.  One of the guys who helped me out just happened to be rock climber, so he volunteered to go up the crane and take the weather vane off.  With all of us sweating bullets watching this guy at the top of the crane’s ladder, he removed the weather vane and freed the mast.  On deck, we slipped the mast into place and it was done. Whew!  I tightened all the rigging, paid the crane guy, and tidied up all the halyards before heading home for the weekend.  Lorilee is whole again.


Mast up, barrier coat applied.

Amidst all of this madness, I’ve been working on an epoxy barrier coat on the hull below the waterline.  Using Interlux 2000E, the epoxy barrier coat protects the fiberglass from further moisture penetration and more blisters.  I was a little hesitant to do this as it also traps in moisture as well.   In the end though, I did a little moisture test in several places by taping some clear plastic to the hull to see if it would fog up after a few hours.  It didn’t.  I figure after six months of being on the hard, most of the moisture has evaporated out – even with the stupid amount of rain we’ve had.  At this point, I have done three coats of 2000E, and will apply the fourth directly before the bottom paint.

So this past weekend when I arrived at the yard, my ladder was on the ground – peculiar.  I normally have it tied to a cleat on the caprail, so someone had to have boarded Lorilee to untie it for some reason.  “No big deal”, I thought.  When I picked up the ladder, I found that the cleat was still attached, along with nice big chunk of teak caprail still hanging on to it.  In a raging fury, I went into the yard’s office demanding an explanation from the owner.  “Oh, I hit your ladder with the travel lift.” IMG_4461

Are you f**king kidding me!?

When I stormed back to the boat, I found that two of her stands on the starboard side where shifted away from the hull, not even touching it, and there was a huge gouge taken out of one of my chainplates.  That crazy bastard didn’t hit the ladder; he hit my freaking boat!  At this point, I was so blinding pissed off that I didn’t even want to deal with him.  I’ll get my pound of flesh though, as soon as my boat is in the water…


The only thing between Lorilee and the water is bottom paint and new vinyl lettering for the name and hailing port – both of which are on order.  My next post will be written from her slip in Rockport.

In other news, I’ve been invited to crew yet again on my friend’s boat Providence.  He’s joined the Harvest Moon Regatta, which is a race from Galveston to Port Aransas in October.  He’ll have some other experienced sailors as crew, so I’m really looking forward to the learning experience.

This was a long one, so apologies for being so…verbose.

– Ryan



Published in Ryan Bradfield
Updated: July 9, 2015 — 08:21


  1. Ryan, ma man, you’re nearly there!!! How exciting!!!

    And I can’t even comment on that yard owner, I can imagine your fury, I’ve heard quite a few horror stories about travel lifts already. It’s crazy how they don’t understand or care what our boats mean to us. One would think they’ve got a marina for that reason but it seems it’s really just profit eh?

    So cool you’ll be crewing again but I can’t wait to see you move onto Lorelei and start enjoying the incredible freedom of the slower, healthier boat life. I’m visiting Argentina right now and Alex is looking for property for my father-in-law words can’t express how much I miss waking up and diving into the ocean with Alex and Nacho, there is truly nothing like it. Especially on the hook, so different from the marina lifestyle.

    Lots of love going your way! Keep up the hard work you’ll soon be rewarded tenfold!


    1. Sorry I’m just now seeing this Carla. For some reason, I don’t get notifications from PBS anymore. Thanks for all the kind words :)

      I splashed Lorilee last weekend! What an amazing feeling to be on the water! It finally hit me that this is REAL. Waking up to the sound of water lapping at the hull and seabirds around me is pretty surreal. I love it!

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