Making Usable Space. Making It Pretty (Phase I)


The Cal 30 was originally equipped with a 14′ boom with end-boom sheeting and a traveller that went across the aft area of the cockpit.  Since a previous owner had modified the sail plan and shortened the foot by 4′, the sheeting is now through a cabin top winch  and hard mount near the companionway (no traveller, no problem).


So the huge space at the stern of the boat was not really usable for anything but sunbathing; the interior space was functionally not available since the only way in was to:

  • Chuck things through the tiny access behind the rudder and, when access was necessary, sticking one’s head (shoulders wouldn’t fit!) through and fumbling in the dark for whatever, or
  • Crawl through the quarter berth on either side, nearly suffocate from squeezing through the tiny passage hole in the bulkhead and fumbling in the dark for whatever.IMG_0708The solution was to carefully measure, look at available Bowmar access hatch sizes, measure twice and cut two large holes in the afterdeck.The result was complete access to the stern of the boat for storage, wiring, plumbing or whatever. The hatches are large enough for me to open, step in and contort myself into working on nearly everything is the last 20% of the boat length.I installed them temporarily earlier and decided that this area would be the first for the complete makeover with shiny white smooth paint and white KiwiGrip on the nonskid area.

    But the many, many, many coats of paint had to be removed. IMG_0709 IMG_0710  IMG_0712 What a mess. What a pleasant project to do on one of the most spectacularly beautiful days of the summer.

    Armed with plenty of cold drinks in my Engle and some Aircraft Fiberglass stripper, I made two applications and removed many layers of paint.

    Surprise, surprise! There is actually non-skid underneath all of that goop – the kind that is embossed into the fiberglass at the time the hull was built.IMG_0861 IMG_0862 IMG_0863 IMG_0864 IMG_0865

    Doing the whole topside will be a very labor intensive and messy project, but I can already picture who beautiful the old girl will be. I’m eager to sand the smooth area and get the first coat of EZPoxy (one part for base coat) on so it can be taped off for application of KiwiGrip in the non-skid area. Then, the hatches can be permanently installed. I think I’ll make some snap on Sunbrella colors for both of these to make a really weathertight afterdeck under the cusom cushions that are plnned.

A Winter Storage Voyage – A Tearable Journey

N ot all voyages take you somewhere different.  Some times, a voyage starts and ends in the same place – but things happen in between.

That’s the story with the winter storage voyage of 2013/2014 which started well and ended – let’s just say less well.  Possibly tearably!

It all started with the purchase of Amalia and my discovery that the improper shrink-wrapping job would require a complete hull (freeboard) paint job.  Sadly, this could have been avoided had the PO (previous owner) taken the time to pull the mast down and use the custom canvas cover that came with the boat.

So, when it came time to put it pull it for winter storage last October,  Kevin and I pulled the mast, dropped her on the massive oak cradle and covered her up for a long winter’s nap.  I was amazed that I was able to wrestle that massive cover up over her horizontal mast and deck and have it tied down in about an hour.

Asleep for the winter of 2013/2014 at Muskegon Conservation Club on her sturdy Oak cradle.
Asleep for the winter of 2013/2014 at Muskegon Conservation Club on her sturdy Oak cradle.

I came back within a few weeks and added the custom end-of-the-mast sleeves that I’d made to keep even more wind and weather from entering the coccoon.

And, there she sat for an epoch winter season with more cold and more snow than anyone had seen for many years. I started checking up on her in January and made trips out in February, March and early April to begin pre-launch activities and start upgrades and repairs.  I was delighted to see how well she weathered this ball-buster winter under her snug canvas cover.

Cover removed on cockpit

So, it was a complete surprise when I came out to continue my cutless bearing project during the week of April 14 to find that I no longer had a boat-draping, custom canvas cover over my craft.

Instead (see phontos) I had a variety of torn canvas pieces draped around the base of the cradle.  This was not a cover with a few tears, this was a pile of canvas pieces!

While I had heard about the severe storms, massive rains and high winds (up to 75mph, straight-line) on the news, I hadn’t given it much thought until I saw the results.

My custom “cover” is now residing in the back of my Explorer for a detailed examination to see if I should use it to build a new cover or make repairs and some desired modifications.

Oh, did I mention that, after being covered all winter with the hatch boards in and front hatch just “cracked” for ventilation, the now uncovered boat had been left (pre-windstorm) with the hatch boards out and v-berth hatch wide open?  So, there was actually a bit of frozen snow on top of the engine cover inside and iced-over cockpit drains in the cockpit.

It could have been much worse and I’m grateful it wasn’t.  If I have any area of the cover that is torn in the future, I will repair it before it is subjected to storm disassembly!