The idiots guide to refitting a catamaran

After a month I’m almost done with the refit. I took 6 days off, that makes 28 working-days I’ve been at this.

I thought I’d let some things fall out of my head and splatter unceremoniously into this blog. After a month I’m almost done with the refit. I took 6 days off, that makes 28 working-days I’ve been at this. I figure I’ve got another two weeks left before I cast off.

idiots-guide-refittingIdiot thought #1: It’ll be easy

I’ll give you an example: I know a guy who recently bought a catamaran – let’s call him “Masochistic Martin.” Well Martin bought the cat knowing that the windlass installation wasn’t completed. It was mounted, and the foot switches and some wires were there in a box, so he called it an “easy job” to wire it up. Holy shit was he wrong. He ended up having to buy a $50 remote switch for the cockpit, running 16/3 wire all the way back from there to the windlass, cutting holes and bedding the foot switches, getting the correct size lugs for the 6 guage battery cable, getting the tool for the lugs, breakers, shrink-tubing, tie wraps. It was days of work. Solid days. Poor stupid Martin.

Idiot thought #2: I get to buy new toys! Yay!

So you’ve spent 15 hours researching solar controllers. You’ve read all the online forums related to it, and think you’ve got the right one selected. You’ve watched webinars, and read wiring diagrams, and have a pretty good idea how you’re going to install it. So you make the $450 purchase. Woohoo! It arrives in 4 business days… You unbox it and there’s 17 parts, a mounting bracket that will need to be reinforced and bedded, wiring to run and hide, anti-chafing, external connectors, power, battery temp monitor, shunt-current monitor, solar panel input, switch, and breaker. Go.

Idiot thought #3: Is there anything else that I could do?

Since I’m planning on painting the deck, now would be a good time to take care of a couple cracks in the under-lying glass, maybe dremel out those fasteners that are coming up. I also need to re-bead a few deck fittings, and while I’m at it there are a couple access hatches that I don’t like. Come to think of it, those hatches may leak sometime down the line – causing fresh water intrusion and wood damage. Better take them out. WTF? Do you see where painting got me?

Idiot thought #4: WTF was I thinking

Now that I’ve written it all out I’m convinced that the previous owner is an evil villain, or possibly a malicious broker, or at the very least an unpleasant boat-enthusiast. Why would someone do this to me? Oh… Wait… I’ve done it to myself. Shit.

Idiot thought #5: I want to buy a catamaran!

See thoughts #1-4.

I have been out sailing. Twice. For a total of 5 hours. Total investment = $8k. That’s a net cost of $1600/hr. Wow. This boat better start making me lunch …

author’s edit: After reading this over it sounds a little harsh. I just want you to know it’s 99% in jest. I’m still very happy with the boat, and learning a lot with the refit. Mark Z (the previous owner) and Richard Edwards (the previous previous owner) have been a wealth of knowledge and very patient with my naivety. Can’t wait to leave. Just fooling around.

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