Thursday, August 18, 2011

Replacing the Bowsprit

One of the first items to be done on Renegade when we first bought her was to replace the bowsprit and repair the bob stay. These are two important components of a boat and we felt it was best tackled by people who knew what they were doing. Basically the bowsprit is a pole extending forward on the bow of the boat that provides an anchor point for the fore stays and thus needs to be strong. If not, it can spell disaster and cause your rigging and mast to come down. Ours is about 12 feet long so its not an easy job to take on.

The Bowsprit is the wooden beam with the bow pulpit (metal railings) above

On our first inspection of the boat we noticed there had been a previous repair done and a bracket installed for strength. Anytime you drill holes in wood there is always a possibility of water intrusion if not bedded properly or re-bedded when needed. This is the problem we were seeing along with the wood de-laminating. We made a trip down to the boat to check on the progress and pull more items off the boat for organizing and cleaning. It will be much easier once we get on board to start with a clean slate with lockers emptied, and can I tell you, there are a lot of lockers. Wow is it hot down here right now. Dirk & I both bought extra pair of clothes to change into once we were done and boy did we need them. Dirk was actually creating a puddle from the sweat dripping from his shorts. Once we loaded the car with what we could, we changed and headed over to the boat yard office and wood shop to check on the progress of work.

Looking from above and below at the bare bow of Renegade after the pulpit & bowsprit were removed
Here you can see rot and de-lamination

Here is the old and new bowsprit side by side


The new stainless steel bracket we had to have made due to the old one being cracked. This is where the two fore stays attach

Once the bowsprit is complete it will be epoxied to seal it and then painted white. Along with this we are also having some work done on the bow pulpit as the underside had some rot in certain places. These areas were cut out and will be repaired, sanded and painted white also.
The underside of the pulpit

The rot removed and ready for repair

There are a couple other things being worked on such as a few through hulls being replaced and some realignment of the engine that is being looked at right now. We shall see what kind of project that turns into. Dirk and I will be heading out to visit his family in Hamburg Germany this next week and were hoping that when we return next month that she will be ready to splash and we can move her to a marina a couple miles away. Till then....

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Introducing "Renegade"

Introducing Renegade, known before as Cassaway

So let me start by saying if you have followed us from our previous blog site that we appreciate your coming along to join us in a new endeavor. Dirk & I have spent the last 4 years refitting and traveling on our 40 foot O'Day. The last two we spent living on board and cruising the Bahamas with our sights always set for points further south. We decided that since we have come to enjoy cruising so much that we wanted to upgrade to a larger blue water vessel. Tybee Time (our previous boat) was a great live aboard boat with much more room than people first suspected when looking at her from the topside. Our vee berth was converted into the "garage" holding our engel freezer, extra food, cat supplies and the general overflow one has from living on board. When guest came to visit Dirk & I gave up our berth and slept on the settees in the salon. Not a big deal but we thought it would be wonderful if we had the room to have a "guest room". After many years of scanning boats on yacht world, sailboat listings and various other sites we thought we had it narrowed down. We have always loved the lines of the Vagabonds and Formosas so we were always on the lookout while we were cruising so we might have the chance to climb on board a few. We fell in love with the space and room that can be described more as a home than a boat down below. This June when we returned from the Bahamas we decided that if we wanted to move up to the next adventure we would have to at least sell Tybee Time first in order for us to begin the process. At the same time we began looking on line once again to see if any of the boats on the market had been reduced. Usually if you watch them long enough you will eventually see a price reduction. It's a buyers market which in our case was good and bad. Bad for selling Tybee, good for searching for a new boat. Many of these types of boats are in the Annapolis area but we were hoping to find one within driving distance. I knew there were two Vagabonds on the west coast of Florida from last year but the prices had not dropped. Oh well it wouldn't hurt to take a look at them as they were close enough and had the layout we were looking for. We made an appointment to see a boat in Palmetto. The owner was out of state so he had his mechanic show us on board and he allowed us to poke around for a while, take some photos to see if it warranted further inspection. There were a few items we spotted from the start that looked like problem areas so we headed back to Tybee Time to sit and do some research. After researching about as much as we could as there doesn't seem to be a wealth of information on these boats we called the owner and made an offer. As we paced for several days gathering information, crunching numbers we began to think all was lost. Imagine our surprise when he called back accepting the offer. He lives up north and it would be several weeks before he could come down in order to do a survey. Ahhh the agony of waiting but we had enough to keep us busy for the time being. It was time to pack up Tybee Time and get her whipped into shape to be shown. Lucky for us my sister lives in the middle of the state and has a wonderful mother in law apartment behind her home. Her and her husband have agreed to let us stay there till what ever needs to happen happens. We rented a small u-haul trailer and loaded up as much as we could for one trip. Amazing how much "stuff" one can cram into a 40 foot boat. We still had several car loads in the following days but we soon got settled into the apartment. We had a couple of showings which wasn't bad for only having it on the market for 2 weeks and selling it by owner. As cleanings and showings were happening on one coast, the survey on the vagabond began on the other coast. Lucky for us we could lay our head down midway between the two. So basically to keep a long story from getting much longer I will try to sum it up to the point we are at now. We had a great couple come to Wilmington last summer where we were staying for the summer to look at the boat as we had it on the market for a short time there. They seemed to like the boat and we liked them which is important to any boat owner selling their vessel. Unfortunately things didn't work out and we were forced to make a decision, do we hang around and try to sell? or say the heck with it and head back to the Bahamas for yet another cruising season. Bahamas beckoned so we headed out and spent 5 wonderful months before heading back in June. We knew we would be putting her on the market once we got back so we e-mailed anyone that expressed interest in her before, that she was once again on the market. The short of it is, the couple that had looked at her the previous year decided to have her surveyed. So here we were driving from one coast to the other, us surveying one and ours being surveyed. We didn't know whether we we coming or going, and things were to say the least, hectic and crazy. If you have ever tried buying or selling a boat try doing both in the same week. Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh In the end it all worked out though as we were able to work a deal on the Vagabond and ended up keeping her in the yard once we hauled for the survey so that we could have some big items that needed to be repaired begun. These were items that Dirk and I couldn't tackle ourselves so we are leaving it up to the professionals. The same week after doing negotiations on Tybee Time we ended up selling her to the couple in North Carolina. Yes, it was over and it couldn't have worked out better for us. So now the work begins on the Vagabond and she will be in the boatyard for about a month having all the work completed. Obviously since we are not doing the work ourselves I cant document the process as much as I would like, but will do the best I can. Once we get the boat back in the water there are a couple major things to take care of that Dirk and I will tackle ourselves in order to save some money. Once we begin on those I will start documenting what it is were doing. So let the introductions begin.....
Let’s start with the name Renegade. To explain the meaning behind it, here is Dirk. When you look up the word Renegade you will find numerous meanings. Some of those do not apply to us, others do, like "An individual who rejects lawful or conventional behavior" or "A person who is rebellious". In the end it all comes down to is this, I have spent almost 23 years in the US Army, and the Army retirement is what is allowing us to fulfill our dream of seeing the world on a boat without having to worry too much about anything. For the longest time I (we) have been trying to find a name with a meaning, something that has a connection with the military. I want this to be a dedication to all of those that will never be able to do what we are doing, because they gave their all while serving in, or for our Military. Corey Goodnature and Terrance Geer, two good friends from flight school, Dan Hunter, a C-12 pilot and good friend from Germany, John Bolling, an extraordinary civilian IP that I had the privilege of working with, and Brandon Silk, who was an exceptional crew chief, stationed with me in Korea. These are just a few individuals that never got to retire and live their dream. When I was stationed in Iraq, my call sign was “Renegade” I thought it would be very fitting. That deployment was one of the most memorable times that I had in my Army career.  It was real and everything that we had trained for stateside. If it was good enough for a call sign for a Cavalry Troop, then it is most definitely good enough for our boat.I am giving the controls back to NancyI am sure her writing style is much more enjoyable and easier to read. Nancy here, so a little photo tour and description of the new girl...>Stepping into the salon we have the starboard and port side settees with the roll top nav station on the starboard side.

Port Side Settee

Starboard side settee
Roll top navigation table
There are nice details such as the brass railing on the open shelving and the Fleur DE Les pattern on the glass front of the cabinets.
Also on the port side is the walk through galley with the over under separate fridge & freezer. Love it.....

Galley looking forward

Other side of galley looking aft

Fridge on right freezer on left, opens top and front
As you continue through the galley you enter into the master stateroom with a queen size bed with a very comfy custom made mattress, not cushions, but a real mattress, really loving it. Or I will when we get to sleep on it.
The aft cabin with queen bed
The big hanging locker with drawers below

It has a really large hanging closet with drawer space under. There are also two other smaller closets next to the head/bathroom. In addition there are numerous cubby holes and cabinets that surround the walls and 4 beautiful large windows that we love so much on the Vagabonds. There is also a head with a small separate shower attached. On the starboard walk through is the crews quarters which consist of a single bunk, plenty of storage cubbies and this is where the generator is installed under the bunk. This we will turn into a work room/garage. If you go forward from the salon you have another head/bathroom to port with its own separate larger shower and on the starboard side there is another large hanging locker and bank of drawers. Forward is the vee berth with a large lower bunk and a single bunk over on the port side. The filler cushion can be removed and it can be converted to a small desk area with tons of storage all around.
The vee berth showing large berth plus single above

On deck she has wide decks which make it easy to get around. Her decks are teak and are in need of some TLC and eventually they will be pulled and replaced with fiberglass. Anyone who has teak decks knows the work they require and they tend to leak. That will have to be a project for down the road but there are some leaks that will need to be addressed soon.
Since she is a center cockpit she has a nice back deck that is nice for entertaining. There is a filler that connects the two storage boxes and cushions to make for a nice comfy bench.
There are several nice features that give her nice character such as the butterfly hatch in the main salon and the nice wooden deck boxes beside the main mast. There are also seven light prisms throughout the boat which lighten up those unlit areas.
On the top is the butterfly hatch and on the bottom is one of two wooden deck boxes

There are four large brass windows in the back cabin surrounding the berth which allow for lots of light and the opportunity to roll over and look down into the water without leaving your bed. There are numerous opening round and rectangle brass ports that will allow for much needed ventilation when away from the docks.
One of the 4 brass windows in the aft cabin
One of many round ports
A shot of the stern showing that traditional Vagabond look
Some of the detailed wood work that I'm sure will keep me busy many hours

She is a beautiful boat in our eyes and although she needs some TLC, a little elbow grease, and lots of blood sweat and tears, we know that she will be worth it in the end. She is currently in the boatyard having a new bow sprit put on, her compression post under the main mast redone, and her bob stay redone for now. A few new through hulls put in and a couple other odds and ends is all our wallet can take right now. She will go back in the water sometime the first week in Sept and then Dirk and I will begin the task of giving her a good cleaning and moving on board. Until then we will try to update you on the boatyard progress as it happens.

Dirk and I in the boatyard with Renegade

So please feel free to comment leaving any input or information you may have. After hunting and looking on the Internet there just doesn't seem to be a wealth of information regarding the Vagabonds.