The entire boat is being fully rebuilt. The hull has been sanded down to bare fiberglass both inside and outside and basically everything that is not part of the fiberglass hull has been replaced. The whole deck, beams, stringers, keel bolts, the whole interior and even the chain plates are new. Only the core of the hull, some parts of stringers and minor parts of deck support structure, the aluminum masts and Hundested variable pitch propeller system are left from the original boat. Everything else is part of the rebuild project. End result will be more or less like a brand new sailboat.
Until we get to the finished end result this is going to be a story of two guys with big dreams and accordingly sized sailboat being rebuilt. When we get the boat ready we’ll go sailing. Somewhere where it is warm.
When previous owners bought the boat they had a survey done for it and their intention at that time was only to replace the teak deck. After boat was lifted up back in 2007 and work started the true extent of the problems was revealed. The plywood underneath the teak deck was totally rotten and underneath the plywood the problems just kept going on. Beams, bulkheads and more or less everything that was made out of wood was beyond repair. They ended up stripping the complete hull to bare fiberglass and started the painstaking rebuild.
Unfortunately the project was halted after almost 3 years of work.
To buy or not to buy?
After having the boat almost 8 years on the boatyard the previous owners decided that it was time to sell Chebec. We noticed the ad and the sailing pictures caught our attention immediately. We’d been looking for a boat that would be good for a live-aboard and still have the charm of old classic sailboats. Something that would be big enough to take us wherever we might want to sail and still be manageable for a short handed crew. Teak deck and fully wooden interior were a must. December 2016 we flew to southern Sweden to check out the boat.
What a beauty. Even in the grey and cold environment where she was sitting underneath broken tarps she was something else. Interior was dark and dirty and did not provide the best possible layout for our needs but still… We ended up sitting in the cockpit drinking beers despite the freezing weather. Dreams of future adventures kept us warm enough.
We had to think for the decision for weeks. Then, with sad hearts, we decided that it is a no-go. There is no way we could buy a boat that needs so much work and is located so far away from us. Besides we had some ideas of what we wanted and Chebec was lacking especially the two same sized cabins and a sheltered center cockpit. Not mentioning all the other more or less important things we wanted from our future boat.
One problem we had was that Chebec was originally full of small cabins but during the rebuild the interior got rebuild to have only two cabins and a large open saloon. The new design was good for the previous owners needs and would have suited us otherwise but we had some problems with the cabin layout and sizes. We wanted to have decent amount of space and privacy so that long term living on a boat would be feasible. It would have been too time consuming to modify the already done work so if we’d buy the boat we’d have to work around the existing interior walls. Then there was the problem with the sheltered cockpit with easy access. There was no a such thing on Chebec. There was no engine, no electrics, no equipment, no nothing. The inside was a bare space with a few walls and the exterior was lacking everything. So a no go it was.
Months went buy and we were looking for other boats. Flew to Mediterranean for some scouting and test sailings also. But all the time we were comparing boats to Chebec. Nothing was as beautiful as she would be when ready.
Spring 2017 we went to see Chebec again. And ended up buying her. Beauty came first. Then the rest. We would work out the problems somehow.
Rebuild begins -again
Summer of 2017 ended up to be the coldest summer in 155 years. So basically we bought the boat and tried to rebuild it outdoors in the worst weather in one and a half century. It was raining heavily almost every day and it was too windy to build a big enough cover around the boat to have it sheltered. In hindsight we would probably have spent a few thousand euros for a good cover but the summer took us by surprise. We were planning to do only the necessary work so that we could launch the boat during the fall and sail her from Sweden to some more convenient location for us.
After buying the boat one of us did drop out out of the rat race and quit his job. Moving to Sweden for the upcoming months gave us a good fighting chance to launch during 2017 even with incomplete interior. But the insane weather made a mess of everything. And of course as with all boat projects we found out that we were missing small bits and pieces here and there that were supposed to come with the boat. Not good for the budget either so we were lucky that one of us was still spending time in the office.
Summer of 2017
The preliminary schedule that we had was scrapped quite quickly. The weather made it impossible to do work in proper order. Just had to do what was possible and try to make boat rainproof so that we could work on the interior. There was still one major curve ball waiting for us. A floorball festival at the otherwise empty boatyard. They rented the field just beside Chebec and they were hoarding all the power. We were without electricity for 3 weeks. Didn’t see that one coming.
We did get t some work done during the summer. Storage and storm damages were repaired, 6 years old varnish from the deck was sanded down and redone. The hull was sanded down and a few layers of epoxy was painted above the waterline. New engine was installed with a new driveshaft. Interior had some things done and so on. We did as much as posible and as for long as possible. Then it was time to cover up the boat and wait for next summer.
Pictures and updates of the work can be found from our instagram account.
Where we are now
Some smaller stuff has been done during the winter. We’ll update our instagram feed as we begin to install those. At the moment we are just waiting for the weather to get a bit warmer so that it would be possible to work inside the boat.