What I discovered as I dug into books and articles is that before you can even begin to pick your products and techniques you need to understand what your goal is. For example, an electrical installation for an ocean-voyaging vessel is fine for a freshwater coastal cruiser. However, a technique that is adequate for that coastal cruiser might not be sufficient for the ocean going vessel. A race boat may also have very different needs than a day sailer or a cruiser.
My intention in writing this section is to describe the underlying assumptions behind my projects, techniques, and product choices. At first I was laying out my project plans based on what the real salty ocean going vessels would use. After all, if it worked for them it would certainly be right for me! What I discovered quickly was that given the scope of my restoration project I was not possible in terms of time or budget to bring every system up to long distance cruising levels in one season. Nor would it be appropriate. A boat needs to be sailed in order to understand what she needs and how you live on her. While I had some time in, it was not enough to commit to a complete refit.
The foundation of my plans comprised the following points:
The other design element is one I learned from a friend who helped me remodel the kitchen in my dry-land home. At some point you need to stop analyzing and just get into it. Once you get into it you trust that you will find a way out. I actually spent weeks trying to figure out which sealant to use for the deck to hull joint, and the toe-rails. Yes, weeks. I have finally reached a point where I do my best to identify the choices, then I make one and move on accepting that it may be wrong. I believe that in most cases my brief research leads me to better decisions than most people (who don't bother to research!) make with much nicer boats than mine. On a fiberglass boat there is nothing you can't fix. I don't fear breaking it.
One last point I need to make involves overall cost and scope. I do have a budget, and it is relative to average selling prices I found for CS27s. That being said, one of the goals I have for this boat is to really learn marine systems and develop self-sufficiency as much as reasonably possible. I want to know how things work, and learn by doing. I know that I will mess things up along the way once in a while, but that is part of the intended journey. I have learned that having others do work on your behalf does not always produce as good a result as work you do on your own behalf, and so I move forward without (much) fear.