We entrusted Celeste to Platypus Marine in September 2013 and were delighted in April 2014 when they agreed to offset some of the costs of the refit with sponsorship.
Recommended to us by a trusted friend, shipwright, and founder of wooden boat video blog OffCenterHarbor.com, this full service yard in Port Angeles, WA was an easy choice for our 25-year refit.
Thanks to the skill and care of the fiberglass, paint, joinery, and mechanical departments, Celeste had a complete outfitting for years of voyaging to come, no matter what the latitude. Platypus Marine mostly serves large craft such as Coast Guard vessels, fishing boats, and mega yachts, but—as our shipwright friend correctly assured us—they also work on sailboats and their high standards and excellent workmanship show on every boat launched.
We’re very picky about work done on our boat because we’ve been in the habit of doing it all ourselves and have definite ideas of how things should be done. Paid work prevented us from doing much of our boat’s refit in 2013-14, though, so we were pleased to see what excellent jobs were done on Celeste in our absence!
After stripping the paint and thoroughly drying the hull (a preventative measure against future osmosis), the fiberglass team laid up two new layers of GRP over the entire hull, plus a layer of Kevlar as ice protection along the waterline. Just as much as the ‘glass people made Celeste even stronger than her original build, the paint department produced such a gorgeously fair hull that Celeste looked like a new boat! Lots about the project in Ellen’s feature article for Ocean Navigator magazine, “Armor Belted“.
We’ve also been pleased with our new Yanmar 3YM30 engine as well as with the cabin heater and various instrument panels installed by the joiners and welders.
Throughout the refit, we were kept abreast of the work with reports and photos sent by the project manager (who is experienced both with cold-molded classics and with boating in ice).
And upon our arrival in Port Angeles, the yard was super helpful and accommodating with us doing a bunch of our own work: re-wiring the boat, doing some carpentry and varnishing, and installing our new batteries, watermaker, solar panels, high latitude sat phone antenna, and all our new electronics. Everyone was amazingly helpful, friendly, and professional—we couldn’t have asked for a better place to have work done or to do our own work!
Articles and blog posts:
- Ellen’s feature article “Armor Belted” in Ocean Navigator Jan/Feb 2015 issue, all about weather-proofing Celeste for the arctic.
- Ellen’s feature “A Brief Introduction to High Latitude Outfitting” in Blue Water Sailing, October 2015.
- Introducing Platypus Marine as a sponsor and recounting the refit
- A bit about our own work at the yard
- More about our own installations
- Launch Day
- Photos of the refit on Platypus Marine’s own website
- Our blog post for ZEAL Optics recounting the huge refit, how long it took (no blame to Platypus!), and our subsequent decision to cruise Alaska in 2014 instead of making straight for the Arctic. Excellent decision!
- Kevlar and GRP layers tested in bergy water off Columbia Glacier, Prince William Sound, AK
Celeste left for Alaska with a stowaway! Read about Platy’s Adventures:
- Part One: Port Angeles to Winter Harbor, Vancouver Island
- Part Two: Winter Harbor to Petersburg, Alaska
Lots more of Platypus Marine’s work at http://www.platypusmarine.com.