Refit 2006      Back to Projects

NOTE: For faster loading, the postings are in reverse chronological order.  YOU MAY NEED TO RELOAD/REFRESH THIS PAGE TO GET THE LATEST UPDATE.

9 February 07  I have been asked to evaluate the contractors used during this refit.  The following is my personal opinion of them and I will provide details on request.

RATINGS: A = Work performed to specification. No rework required.  No supervision required
  B = Work performed to specification. Some rework required.  Some supervison required.
  C = Work satisfactory.  Moderate rework required.  Close supervision required.
  D = Work unsatisfactory.  Extensive rework required.  BLACKLIST - DO NOT USE FOR SUCH WORK
CANVAS CREATIONS Main stackpack A  
Received the 'Best Contractor' Mizzen stackpack A  
award - a Yacht VALHALLA  Bimini A  
tee shirt. Dodger A  
CHAMNANSIN (MR. PEH) Saloon upholstery A  
  Vee berth overhead B Left spray glue on adjacent varnished surfaces.
CIRRUS AIR CON & REFRIG Refrigeration repair D Failed to find leak; replaced evaporator unnecessarily; unit failed after one week.
Lawrence Leow      
EASY AS .. (LIAM) Interior varnishing  D Recommended by interim manager of PHILIPPE & NAM.  A disaster.
MACHINE SHOP  Refurbish windlass A  
(outside gate) Fabricate shaft A  
Stainless Steel Fabrication Bimini frame A  
  Dodger frame A  
  Small part polishing A  
  Stanchions B Replaced two which were fabricated at wrong angle and too short.
  Pushpit & side rails C Had difficulty in making fair butt splices.  Left stains on teak and scratched the topsides.
  Solar panel mounts C Basic good design but misaligned fastening points makes use cumbersome.
PRO. YACHTING  Painting cabintop/deck A  
*JILL & PRO* Teak toerail & bowsprit A Sub-contracted to PHUKET INTER WOOD WORK.
  Fabricate propane locker A  
  Seal hull-to-deck joint A  
  Painting  topsides B Failure to provide shade as requested resulted in secondary cure of starboard side.
  Bottom work B Questionable need for stripping to 'dry out'.  Email me for reason.
  Cockpit teak C Replaced poorly cut strakes.  Replaced caulk that was not sealed with primer.
  Replace hatch frame C Hatch would not seal until owner reworked hinge locations.
  Reshape rudder D OK after three tries.  Refused work of making a NACA foil shape.
  Interior varnishing  D Varnish would not dry after two days.  Sloppy.  Deleted from work list.
  Painting spars D Done while owner away.  Surfaces not fair.  Response was "We know topsides but not spars".
  Mainsail B Would not tack under backstays.  Recut required.  Slides unsatisfactory.
  Mizzen C Wrong shape.  Rebuild required. Slides unsatisfactory.
YSE MARINE ENGINEERING Refurbish engine B Cut fitting from oil removal line requiring replacement by owner.  Final bill required negotiation.
  Engine removal/replace C Mount arrangement correct after two tries.  Filled transmission with ATF, not engine oil.

27 January 07  THE REFIT IS OFFICIALLY FINISHED!!!!  Here's Rose looking pleased with the interior.  Terry fabricated a spray curtain for the navigation station area .. especially handy when going downwind.  And the final touches to the canvas work have been completed. The mesh side and rear curtains give shade and they let both air and a view through.  A set of canvas side curtains have also been fabricated for heavy rain days.


23 January 07  While waiting for the remaining contractor jobs to be completed Terry built a new cockpit table using 10mm Starboard.  The dodger has been completed and an extension between the rear of the dodger and the bimini plus the bimini side curtains are under fabrication.  To permit folding the dodger frame forward and gaining easy access to the companionway, a pelican hook attaches to the mizzen mast to provide tension on the dodger frame.  The refrigerator has been repaired with a new evaporator and is under test.  Departure is now planned for the middle of next week!


20 January 07  The bimini is taking shape with a drum tight fit on the frame.  Windows above the helm give a view of the Windex at the top of the main mast.  Side and back curtains remain to be fabricated.


18 January 07  It's been a long wait but some progress to report. The stackpacks are finished! (FINALLY).  Dodger and bimini have been promised soon.  The lazy jacks are of 6mm braided line and can be brought forward to the mast to permit setting the awnings.  The vessel name that I spent hours fabricating on the old sail cover has been salvaged and sewn to the mainsail stackpack.  Since the bimini will block ready access to the mizzen stackpack a small line attached to the zipper permits opening or closure from either end of the boom.  Fridge is still not repaired but a new evaporator is being fabricated.  We will check out of Thailand next week and leave ??.


8 January 07  Re-installation of the electronics suite for navigation and communication prompted the creation of a schematic showing the integration of the hardware and software used on VALHALLA.  It's been a bit of a struggle finding all of the cables and wires to get everything connected plus the software settings required to make things work together, hence this record for future reference.



3 January 07  Yep ... we splashed.  The canvas work is underway and will take another two weeks time.  The installation of overhead liner in the vee berth has also been delayed until now.  And some electronic 'toys' remain to be installed.  So the refit isn't officially over but a major milestone has been reached. 

30 December  Rose arrived yesterday on schedule.  The fabric for the bimini, dodger and stackpacks also arrived yesterday ... finally.  Have decided on installing stackpacks (integrated sail cover and lazy jacks), especially for the mizzen which is now a bit difficult to hand with the bimini obstructing ready access.  The full battens on the sails also make it a bit more difficult keeping the sails under control when lowering them.  Lazy jacks (a web of lines on each side of the sail) are the solution.  Don't you just love life's trade offs?  But now we are faced with the New Year's Holiday long weekend so nothing will happen until the middle of next week, 3 January, WHEN VALHALLA WILL FINALLY GET A WET BOTTOM!!  Meanwhile the interior is taking shape and electrical work is 90% completed.  If you read this in time, have a HAPPY AND SAFE NEW YEAR's eve.  In any event, may you have a happy, prosperous and enjoyable 2007 and always have water beneath the keel.

21 December Rolly came through, as promised,  with a new mizzen and this one looks like what it should!  The re-installation of the interior furniture and trim has been completed.  Still to go is a lot of electrical wiring at the navigation station and installing the carpet and upholstery.  Fridge repairman comes tomorrow to find the leak.  Bimini and dodger are still waiting for the fabric to arrive .. it's been in Customs in Bangkok for a week.


19 December  The 13th came and went and still on the hard.  Got the mainsail back and wonder of wonders ... it clears the backstays by 1 inch!  BUT .. bent the mizzen and found it has been cut wrong.  Notice the angle of the boom ... another Rolly Disaster and a new one promised this week.  Most of the interior bits and pieces have finally been delivered and are installed except for two doors (promised for tomorrow) and the sink unit.  The varnisher broke the tailpiece on the sink drain and there are NONE in Phuket to match.  Fabricated one from PVC fittings and it's better (stronger) than the original one ... serendipity!  The interior hinges and other hardware are being replaced with new, including some locally made twist locks for security while underway.  The bimini and dodger frames have been completed BUT .. the canvasman has known for ten months that he was to use beige Sunbrella but waited for the frames to be done before ordering the material and, of course, that color is out of stock!  This week?  Maybe.  A nearby lightning strike a month ago put paid to the inverter/charger.  Had a new one shipped to Langkawi and it was delivered by another yacht and is now installed.  (BUT it is larger than the old one and would not fit in the same small locker so now takes up some valuable space in the former quarterberth which is now a storage area).

And the fridge has quit working!!!!!        "Oh .. by the way, Mrs. Lincoln ... was it a good play?"


9 December  Spraying the interior varnish was a failure.  This was done while Terry was gone to Penang, Malaysia for a visa renewal.  The 'varnisher' failed to use an exhaust fan and it left overspray on the varnish, making it feel like non-skid!  So another week of sanding and painting (again, but this time Terry showed the guy how to do it) and it is finally finished to an acceptable, not perfect, result.  Another setback was the main sail.  Too much roach in the fully battened sail and it would not tack under the backstays.  It's back to the sailmaker (Rolly Tasker .. or Disaster?) for modification.  Meanwhile, Terry has done more canvas work fabricating lee dodgers for the cockpit rails.  A pocket on the starboard side holds the horseshoe buoy and MOB strobe light.  Waiting on the stainless steel contractor (who has been sick) to fabricate the bimini frame and complete the dodger frame.  The launch date of 13 December is now in doubt.  Bummer.


24 November  The canvas work continues with newly designed awnings for the portlights.  'Wings' on the end of each awning are held in place by stainless steel wire (welding rod) sewn into the edges.  The mizzen mast has a new look with the wind generator relocated above the radar (it would occasionally foul the mainsail topping lift), and the satphone and AIS antennas mounted on the spreaders.  The new belaying pin handles (varnishing thanks to Rose) replace ones made 24 years ago in Hawaii.


The  'squall proof windscoop' over the forward hatch and windlass cover are serviceable and don't require replacing at this time.  Fitting of hardware on the bowsprit is complete.  This closeup of the anchor in it's roller shows the modification made years ago the to roller base ... the sides of the roller are notched to fit the anchor shackle (allows a one handed capture of the anchor in the roller) and a stainless steel pin gives security while underway.


Now for the NEWS!  The launch date has been scheduled for 13 December.  The boat show here has blocked out our launching until then.  This is actually a blessing in disguise since the bimini and dodger have yet to be fabricated and heaps of wiring remain to be done.

16 November  Progress!

The bottom work is done (except for the area under the cradle pads), and the masts are up.

The first and last 25 feet of the anchor chain have been painted white (shows up better on the bottom and signals the end of the chain).

Time now for a big push to get the remaining things done and in the water by the end of the month.








11 November  We did an overnight visa run to the Andaman Club, located on an island belonging to Myanmar near Ranong, Thailand.  This casino/resort is virtually deserted during the week while on the weekends it is booked out with the 'high rollers' flown to Ranong from Bangkok by the resort's own airplane.  A minivan ride with comfortable 'business class' style seats took us to the club's wharf with it's own Thailand immigration.  A short ferry ride to the resort and a nice lunch is included in the package, which also includes an overnight stay in upmarket rooms and breakfast for 5100 baht (US$ 140) for two.  Two hour massages and a pool to ourselves was a delight.


Meanwhile, work continues on VALHALLA.  Rose and a Filipina friend, Jona, did an acid cleaning of the Aries windvane while Terry worked inside on electrical wiring and stripping the cabin sole then applied a protective coating of epoxy (we use carpet so varnishing isn't necessary).  The contractor has filled, primed and barrier coated the bottom of the boat.


4 November  While doing electrical and fuel connections to the engine, I noticed that the engineering contractor had changed the mounts .. but put the rear ones on the starboard side and the front ones on the port side!  That has now been redone, correctly this time, and the engine installation is complete.  A new Balmar alternator and regulator have been fitted, retaining the dual belt drive from a previous modification.  Work on the bottom has begun with the application of layers of epoxy filler.


26 October  While the engineering contractor, YSE, corrected the previous day's mistake of installing the engine mounts in reverse fore and aft order and realigned the engine and shaft, we installed some hi-tech rub rail around the dinghy gunwales. From Taylor Made, called 'Gunnel Guard' it's a polypropylene cover that looks like fire hose with a 3/4 round closed cell foam core.  Goodbye topside marks from the dinghy!

25 October 

The physical installation of the engine has been completed using a fork lift to snake the engine in under the tent.  Electrical and fuel connections remain to be done.  All hardware, wiring and rigging on the masts has been fitted and they are ready to be stepped.  The mainmast is covered for protection from overspray while an adjacent boat is being painted.


A rowing seat has been fabricated and installed on the bulkhead of the aft section of the dinghy.  To permit nesting of the forward section inside the aft section, the seat  is designed to fold down.  A piece of the old teak lazarette seat and parts from the old dodger frame were used plus a quick-release clevis pin.  A movable seat has been fabricated from the old propane tank cover and hides the spare outboard gas container.


17 October  The Lifesling boxes (there are two, one on the port side contains the Lifesling and the one on the starboard side contains miscellaneous items that would otherwise clutter the cockpit, so we call it the 'clutterbox') have been mounted inside the pushpit sides.  This location provides a comfortable seat back when sitting athwartships on the lazarette seat.  Continuing installation of hardware and wiring of the spars has begun after cleaning by our 'Vietnamese helper' (actually Rose in disguise).


28 September  Interior painting has been completed and awaits the varnishing contractor.  Insulation (Silver backed MPE, 10 mm thickness, R-12) has been installed in all lockers on the interior surfaces of the hull to below the waterline and also under the deck.  Refurbishing of the portlights has been completed - all stainless steel fasteners have been replaced and bedded with Duralac, the rubber seals cleaned and re-bedded with silicone and the trim rings painted to contrast with the cabinside color.  The interior of the lazarette has been painted. The propane installation has been completed with a solenoid shutoff (under the protective cover) and a tee and valve for the BBQ.  The vent hose has been run to the transom fitting without any sag to prevent collection of propane in the hose.



17 September  The depth sounder transducer has been mounted in the bottom of the clothes locker, well forward along the length of the boat.  The transducer was embedded in epoxy filler directly to the hull, which, in this picture, is transmitting light through the fiberglass to give the orange color.  Interior work is in progress with painting of the bulkheads, cabinsides and overhead. 


12 September  I was asked by a sharp eyed visitor to this page why there were two hose clamps on the light colored hose shown in the 'fuel shutoff' photo below.  This hose is the air vent for the fuel tank.  Once upon a time (sound familiar?) I was having trouble bleeding the fuel system after changing a fuel filter.  This was before I had an electric fuel pump installed in the feed line.  We were underway and needed to get the engine going.  I cut the air vent hose and used the dinghy air pump to pump air into the tank which forced the fuel through the system and permitted bleeding the air out.  I've retained this capability as a backup to the electric fuel pump.

8 September  An insurance survey is being made on VALHALLA and the surveyor found two major problems.  The propane regulator was planned to be installed in the lazarette, which is not in accord with ISO regulations.  This plan was based on the lack of space in the locker for the regulator.  The fix has been made ... a recessed box (made from Starboard) is now installed in the back of the locker.  The next major problem was that lifelines at the gate require a lower line in addition to the upper one.  This awaits completion of the stainless steel work. A minor problem was that the ISO regulations require a fuel shutoff at the tank.  This has now been installed.


27 August On the left is the old set of Morse engine controls ... corroded and with handles so long they were in the way.  The next photo is of the new set with shortened handles and a teak spacer to give clearance with the locker lid.


23 August Pulpit, pushpit and stanchion work has been completed with folding mounts for solar panels (75 watt) on each side of the pushpit.  (The blue masking tape is applied prior to caulking)  An upright for the outboard motor mount has been fitted. 


11 August Pulpit, pushpit and stanchions have been fabricated and removed to the shop for finishing (tubing for lifelines in stanchions, completion of welding and polishing).  The rails and lifelines are increased to 29 inches above deck for added security and clearance for the solar panels to be mounted on the side rails of the pushpit.  The rails and lifelines have been moved outboard by angling the stanchions to the inside line of the toerail.  Standing rigging is ready for installation - de-rusted, cleaned, Sta-Lok terminals inspected, and turnbuckles chromed and threads coated with anhydrous lanolin.  New wood 'ratlines' are being fabricated.


2 August The rudder repair/modification has been completed (enlarged aperture and 'barn door' shape to bottom).  The reworked tailpiece for the cutlass bearing has been fitted.  Stainless steel work (pushpit, bimini, dodger, stanchions and pulpit) scheduled to begin 7 August.  A view from the top.


24 July Canvaswork contines ... sewing the name on the main sail cover was tedious but since Tenara (Gore-Tex) thread was used it should last 10-15 years!  Rose has been busy removing rust from the rigging and Terry refurbishing hardware prior to re-installation.


23 July With the exception of the genoa T-track, all of the on-deck hardware has been re-installed, including the chain plates.

   This is the specification I gave to the contractor regarding bedding of hardware.


    NOTE This technique makes an 'O-ring' where the fastener penetrates the substrate (fiberglass or wood), providing an improved seal.










11 July  With the completion of painting the dingy (and the exception of the antifouling) the painting is finished!!!!

26 June  With a 'cocoon' of plastic sheeting, the cabintop, deck and cockpit have been painted.


24 June  The cove stripe, boot top and transom lettering have been applied. 


18 June The topsides are painted!  Not too shabby!!


16 June Rose applied the final coat of varnish to the wheel and the second primer coat is being wet sanded. The cutlass bearing tailpiece is ready to be fitted.  Terry has been busy re-fitting hardware to the spars.


12 June The past two weeks have been painting preparation days.  The dinghy and 'bits and pieces' have been primed and are being sanded and faired.  The second primer coat of the cabintop, cockpit, deck and topsides has been applied.  Machine shop work has been completed on the windlass and cutlass bearing tailpiece.  A new shaft is being fabricated.  Assorted parts have been re-chromed. 

28 May  While preparation for painting has been underway Terry did a nonskid application to the bowsprit grating.  Each stringer was masked and coated with epoxy glue.  Finely ground cork (leftover from the deck nonskid job 23 years ago) was sprinkled over the stringers and the excess brushed off (and saved) after the glue was dry.


The painting has begun.  A fully enclosed tent over the boat gives a dust-free and dry environment.  The first primer coat is on!


18 May The propane locker and cover have been fabricated and the toerail and bowsprit have been fitted.  The teak insert in the fiberglass grating gives support to the bow anchor roller.


12 May The bowsprit is in final stage of construction with lots of chiseling and fitting.


The prime contractor (Jill and Pro ... that's Jill on the right).  Bits and pieces are being prepared for painting.


The new forward hatch frame and repaired cover almost done.  The propane locker glassing nears completion.  The spars have been painted.


2 May Returning from a two week visit to the Philippines to celebrate Terry's 70th birthday  found good progress on the teak work.  The toe rail has been dry fitted and the bowsprit is under construction.  Note the 'Thailand Bandsaw' .. a circular saw cutting into very expensive pieces of 4 inch thick teak, worth the price of a new motorcycle!


12 April The new speed transducer is dry fitted with alignment into the deflected water flow from the bow.  The dodger 'breakwater' shape is finalized.


9 April The cockpit teak nears completion.  Extent of salt water corrosion to the engine is revealed.  A leak from the sink drain in a hidden area was the culprit.


Rose has begun to learn the 'fine art' of varnishing!


4 April Rudder shape finalized, dodger 'breakwater' shape defined, fiberglassing into 'coffer dam' for leveling hull to deck joint, and cockpit teak fabrication continues.




31 Mar Grinding of the hull and deck joint begins.


30 Mar Ordered a new suit of sails from Rolly Tasker.  Full battens in the main and mizzen (shortened for the new bimini) and a larger genoa (135% vs 130%).


28 Mar Sanding of the topsides begins.


25 Mar Fabrication of the cockpit teak begins.


23 Mar  The initial moisture readings of the hull are taken.              



22 Mar The major grinding is done.  Terry marked the rudder aperture areas to be cut out for more prop clearance.  Back at 'home' the canvaswork begins with sail repair; re-stitching the sacrificial cover on the genoa and fabrication of new awnings and small covers.


18 Mar Returned to find the boat 'tented' and the process of grinding off the bottom paint begun.  The toerail was removed and the bolt holes filled with hardwood pegs.  The cockpit teak required chiseling off thanks to the sealant (3M 5200) that had been used 10 years ago.


17 Mar (St Patrick's Day)

A Visa Run to Myanmar to renew our one month visas.  Captured a pix of a stature fending off a fish eagle :-)  This was during the ferry trip between Thailand and Myanmar when the ferry engine quit and we had to be rescued by another ferry.


11 Mar  Terry disconnects the triatic stay between the mainmast and the mizzenmast.  The crane arrives for pulling the spars and engine.


6 Mar  Hauled out by travel lift and the bottom cleaned by 'AB' with a power wash.  Moved off to the hardstand and put in a cradle.


1 Mar  Arrived at Boat Lagoon Marina.  In a wet berth, we began stripping the boat of provisions and gear and moving into our 'apartment' about 10 minutes away by car.