Once we had completed our crossing from Hawaii to the Pacific Northwest
we knew we needed to make some changes to Lealea to make her safer and
more comfortable for the kind of voyaging we had planned. Aside
from the problem with our standing rigging caused by the defective wire
we were sold in Honolulu, there were few things that really
needed changing. Take a closer look at the photos at right.
Most are self explanatory.
The failure of the jib halyard that herniated after we left the jib up
for three weeks untouched demonstrated the need for a spare
halyard. While we had the mast on saw horses alongside the boat,
we added a block for that as well as improving the block arrangement
for the topping lift. We also replaced the old aluminum masthead
sheaves with new ones of delrin with bronze oilite bushings and
replaced the halyards and topping lift along with the standing
rigging. At the same time I added a second block for an improved
arrangement for the radar reflector and added two more cleats at the
base of the mast.
We knew we needed a dodger or spray hood and we had some specific ideas
on exactly how we wanted that to be built. It needed to be
sturdy; far more so than most of the ones we had seen on other
Vegas. We wanted handholds on it to make moving from the cockpit
to the foredeck safer and we wanted it strong enough that a body thrown
againse it would not cause it to collapse. It had to offer good
protection from the elements yet not create too much additional windage
and still be pleasing to the eye. After consulting with several
canvas shops we settled on Port Townsend Canvas. Cost: about
US$2000 in 2007.
The large portlights in the main cabin house are a known weak point in
the Vega and we had intended to cure that before we left Hawaii but the
cost proved to be prohibitive. We correctly assumed that the
price would be substantially less on the other side of the Pacific and,
with the help of the Shipwrights Co-Op in Port Townsend replaced the
old rubber-gasket mounted glass windows with 3/8 inch polycarbonate
through-bolted to the cabin sides.
The Shipwrights Co-Op also helped us with replacing much of the
interior woodwork which had become wet and mildewed and had begun to
delaminate. An important modification to the interior that we had
mocked up before we left Hawaii was the conversion of the port side
settee to a dinette. This modification allows us to have a
permanent table that does not block the aisle in the cabin. The
table is configured to allow the cook stove cover to be used as an
extension creating a long counter top work space for the cook.
Very handy. At the suggestion of the Co-op, we chose yellow cedar for
the ceiling,staying with sapele for the rest of the interior woodwork.
The table, incidentally, was a wedding present made by a dear
friend, Frank Adams, in Honolulu and is of white oak and Honduras
As time permits we will fill in the details of our refitting and add more photos on this page