Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness

Boat Repairs, Part 1



Celeste in the boatyard, October 2016

Back in August, when we hauled Celeste out of the water, we anticipated launching again in early October, but ‘plans are drawn in sand at low tide’, as the saying goes, and that’s not how it worked out.

We did manage to get all our planned repairs completed by the middle of October. These were the last items to address after the storm in Dutch Harbor last winter – the mangled toerail, bent genoa track, and bent stanchions and stanchion bases.

Toerail damage

The mangled toerail – Dutch Harbor, June 2016

We also mounted a new liferaft, ran new wiring for one of our solar panels, replaced the cutlass bearing for the propeller shaft, and had some new varnish and bottom paint put on. So we were all ready to launch!

Before re-stepping the mast, though, we checked over the rigging, and it’s a good thing we did! It was clearly due for replacement, probably from a combination of age, hard sailing, and the strains put on it during the ex-typhoon in Dutch last winter. We found two cracked strands in the wire rope of the lower shrouds, a hairline crack in one of the turnbuckles, and then the threaded rod at the end of one of the swageless fittings had been bent in the typhoon:


Fitting bent by the force of the storm in Dutch Harbor last winter

Out it all came, to be taken to a local rigging loft for measurement and replacement. Actually, just yesterday we picked up all our new standing rigging – shiny new wire rope, turnbuckles, toggles, fittings, etc. etc., which we’ll start installing very soon!

In the meantime (back in mid-October) we decided to launch without a mast so that we could move back aboard the boat while we waited for the rigging. As it turned out, though, we discovered a new problem almost as soon as we got back in the water! Our keel bolts were leaking! Again, this was probably due to a combination of age and stress on the hull, keel, and bolts, but no matter what the reason, we had to address it – the last thing we want is rot and/or corroding keel bolts. So we hauled out again less than a week after launching – a pretty big disappointment.


Little boat in big TravelLift!

Since then we’ve been working and trying to get outside on days when it’s not raining. The Olympic Peninsula is not at all a bad place to be stuck – the National Park is huge and varied and we’ve really enjoyed hiking here. Pictures to come in future posts!



16 thoughts on “Boat Repairs, Part 1

  1. Pingback: Boat Repairs, Part 2: At the Boatyard (Sept – Nov 2016) | Gone Floatabout

  2. I’ve spent many years roaming the Arctic in the 1970s and your adventures brought back many good memories. I love the lines of Celeste and I’m wondering if it the same Celeste as shown on Jespersen web site, http://www.jespersenboats.com/celeste.html Keep up the work on your web site.

    • Hi Bob, Thanks for reading our blog and commenting! I imagine you’ve seen some changes in the Arctic since the ’70s – not least the melting summer icepack…. Yes, Celeste was indeed built by Bent Jespersen – we’re very lucky to be her second owners!

  3. Hello, I’ve looked for your video/s here and on Cruising World. I can’t find them. I’ve never had luck with the CW site, so is there, or are there other site that I can view?
    Thanks, and good sailing.

  4. Ahoy you two. It wonderful catching up on your adventures. Often think about you both. Merry Christmas to you and hope 2017 will guide you to many exciting places. Lotsa love from the Bahamas.

    • Hi John and Shirley! So good to hear from you guys! Hope you’re enjoying the Bahamas and that 2017 brings lots of great cruising for you also! Happy new year!
      Ellen & Seth

  5. Pingback: Hiking the Olympic Peninsula | Gone Floatabout

  6. I love the You Tube Gone Floatabout Trailer! Beautiful photos – especially the one of you two newlyweds walking off into the sunset 😉 And your Mum’s piano accompaniment – brilliant! X

    • Thanks so much, Carolyn! So glad you enjoyed it! It was a lot of fun to put together – picking out the pictures and video clips to use, doing the editing, and – probably the best part -doing the music recording with my mom – I’d always wanted to record her compositions and this gave us a great excuse!

  7. Oh crap – keel bolts could be expensive. Are you gonna drop the whole keel?

    • Our original thought was to drop it a few inches to dry everything out and re-goop it all properly. But when we removed the nuts and washers nothing happened – keel still firmly in place! On the one hand, that’s great – it obviously isn’t going anywhere! On the other, it makes troubleshooting the leak a bit harder. So we’re exploring different options. It would likely damage the keel to try and force it and that would be really bad!

  8. Are you on board for the winter this year?

  9. One thing leads to another, but it is better to find all these problems now! We certainly can relate to these. Hauling out tomorrow for about 10 days, just before we are due to cruise to Tasmania for two months. Fingers crossed!

    • It’s definitely better to find and fix these problems here where there’s a good boatyard! And I’m sure it will come right in the end and then we won’t worry about big structural issues when we’re out at sea! Hope your haul-out goes well and then your cruise to Tasmania – sounds wonderful – looking forward to your posts about it!