I think that the story of Ravat's projects is really some sort of an exponential function. The more I get into, the more I think I need to do. Probably the same for every boat owner who digs into learning marine systems for themselves, but since this my first boat I have no baseline.
The real introduction to managing the projects associated with Ravat's refitting came from Don Casey's This Old Boat
. There a lot of books out there to teach you how to run marine wiring, or bleed a diesel fuel line. There are not, however, many books that can take a novice from purchasing an old boat to having a project plan.
Throughout the book, Casey continues to reassure you that you are not dealing in rocket science, and that by putting one foot in front of the other you will arrive at your destination. At this point, I'm still putting that last point on faith as I have a long way to go. The This Old Boat approach to managing a refitting project involves dividing projects into categories:
- Safety: If these remain unattended, someone can get hurt.
- Structural: The bones of the boat need to be solid. This category includes all rigging.
- Finish: Things like paint, and other aesthetics.
- Features: The stuff you put on the boat such as electronics.
The basic idea behind this methodology is that you don't want to spend time painting your hull before you complete its fiberglass repairs. Or, you wouldn't want to work on installing a new VHF radio when you have cracked hoses below the waterline. After buying the boat I spent many lunch breaks, evenings, and weekends poking my head into crevices with a flashlight, and making notes. I don't think I really finished the survey until many months after the boat had been back in its cradle, but the methodology have me a framework in which to organize my findings.
Trying to present the projects I've completed in the above format is a bit hard to follow, so I'm following the same sort of categories that most marine chandlers use to organize their goods. Within this section you will find all projects organized by the major marine system they fall under:
- Electrical: Batteries, chargers, wires, panels.
- Electronics: Devices connected to the boat's electrical system.
- Engine: The diesel power plant located under the cockpit.
- Plumbing: Just like your house. Hoses, fittings, valves, and pumps.
- Rigging: Lines, wires, sails, winches, and their associated hardware.
- Structural: The fiberglass foundation of the boat, hatches, ports, etc. Also includes interior cabinetry and trim.
To dig in, select any of the categories above, or in the navigation bar on the left.