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Watertight Hatches and Bulkheads
We subdivided the boat into five watertight compartments and added watertight hatches. Each watertight compartment has the capability to provide enough buoyancy to keep the vessel afloat if all the others were flooded. The hatches were originally sliding-type. We found that the sliding hatches were not able to keep the extreme weather out. We once had a sliding hatch blow open during a sudden ferocious williwaw in Devilfish Bay in Southeast Alaska. We installed two quick-acting hatches that are rated to seal a 29 foot column of water on top.

Deck Work
Various projects were completed on deck. This includes, but is not limited to, the following projects:​

  • New cleats around the deck.

  • Fixed position heavy-duty railings.

  • Increased bowsprit spreader width, bowsprit step added, and bowsprit handles

  • Revised bowsprit socket.

  • Deck Crane with radar/navigation lights, and radio antennas.

  • New helm position binnacle.

  • General two speed deck winch 62.5 : 1.

  • Dorade vents.

  • Chimney.

  • Chimney protection bars.

  • Fire suppression hose.

  • Handholds.

  • Solar panel array.

  • Anchor line reels.

  • Perimeter floodlights.

  • Windvane/spare rudder.

Colvin Gazelle Bowsprit
Aluminum Sailboat Bowsprit Step

Bowsprit Widened and Handles Installed

The bowsprit spreader was widened by six inches on either side. A step was added when you get on the other side of the rail. We still need to make a net under the bowsprit.

Hand Spliced Galvanized Sailboat Rigging

We hand spliced all of our rigging using a marlinespike and other tools that we made. We used a vise to hold the wire while we spliced. The wire was treated with boiled linseed oil and the eye was leathered. I made some splicing cheat-sheets for any future projects.

Galvanized Sailboat Rigging

Handspliced Standing Rigging

Deck Seal Push Tools
Scanstrut Deck Seal

Wire Feeding Tools

These are tools (left photo) we made for feeding wire through watertight deck seals. You can push the sharp tube into the rubber seal, feed electrical wire through the center of the tool, then withdraw the tool to leave only the wire through the seal. Every place a wire passes through a bulkhead or the deck, one of the fittings at the right is used. This (right photo) is a Scanstrut Deck Seal.

3D Printed Sailboat Parts

Custom Knobs

We 3D printed a new valve handle (on left) to replace the too long valve handle (center).

Aluminum Sailboat Through-hull fitting

Custom Thru-Hull Fitting

Custom Hose discharge through hull for above the waterline. We do not have any though-hulls below the waterline except for the propeller shaft.

Michigan Wheel Propeller
Michigan Wheel Propeller

New Propeller

New Propeller. We increased both the pitch and diameter to load the engine more. 

Sailboat Propeller Shaft
Sailboat Without a Cockpit
Barient Winch

A good friend gifted us a self-tailing winch with a 62.5:1 mechanical advantage. We made the base and installed it as a general purpose winch.

New General Winch

Solar panel roof
Making solar panel roof stanchion fitting on the lathe.

Rain Collector/ Sun Shield
Solar Panel Roof


Solar Panel Roof
Solar Panels Installed
Solar Panels Installed on Sailboat
Sailboat Solar Panel

We fabricated a roof to hold a solar array. This array is 640 watts. The roof doubles as a rain collection area and as protection from sun and rain when steering outside. It is designed to fold-down to the cabin top by removing two bolts. This also protects our heads from the swinging boom of the mainsail.

Scuba Diving in Alaska

Before we had bottom paint, we scraped the hull to remove the growth. It usually took about two hours (in cold Alaska water). This was necessary about every 4-6 months in low-light arctic water.

Scraping The Hull

Grinding the Aluminum Sailboat
Grinding the hull

Bottom Paint!

Grinding the Hull
Aluminum Sailboat Hull Paint
Aluminum sailboat hull paint

This is the first coat of bottom paint on the hull. Hopefully it will save some scuba diving scraping time!

Painting Boat Documentation
Painting Name and Hailing Port

Hailing Port and Name

Vessel name Painting

The vessel name is required to be marked on the bow for documented vessels. The name and hailing port is also required to be marked on the stern The bow markings were already on the boat so we added the stern markings and painted them. Other than the bottom paint, this is the only paint on the boat exterior. There is almost no maintenance required on the hull and deck!

Homemade Bicyle Cart

Bicycle Cart

This is a bicycle cart we made for getting supplies. The cart folds and the wheels can be removed.

Poop Deck

port and starboard side. An additional cleat was placed on the center stern. We also constructed the two seats on the aft cabin. There are two line spools under the seats that hold 250' of 3/4" nylon line which are attached to two emergency anchors. There is an access cap next to the aft most cleat that provides additional spooled line from below. Additionally, we added flood lights on the port and starboard sides.

The Aft deck had an H-Bit and nothing else. We loved the H-Bit but it was taking up too much space. The H-bit was cut off and replaced with two cleats on the

Poop Deck on Sailboat
Emergency Anchor
Aft Deck

Aft Deck Modifications

Sailboat Windvane

This is a windvane we made for an auxiliary rudder. 

Marine Compass

We installed a new compass!

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