Week 12.

Another fully loaded week for the good ship Kata Brava. Where to start as so much has happened since the last update only 7 days ago.

So we have been busy loading Kata Brava’s bottom with coats of primer and in between the 3rd and 4th coat of primer it was time for a little filler in the odd cavities here and there. IMG_0688


A light sand and another coat.IMG_0717



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With the excess paint Cheryl is painting the bilges which are turning out quite nice.



Our rudder is also now completed, two weeks ago I was wondering the best way to repair it. The lower section of the one side of the rudder was badly deteriorated and the other side only had a few holes, so the quick fix would have been to cut out and replace the bad lower section of the one side and have a few inserts on the other. However that would have been a bit tacky. The next option was to strip it to its stock and totally rebuilt it which is what we did.


So we stripped the rudder to its stiffeners, made a template of the stiffeners  and welded the new stiffeners on.Then laid the rudder frame on a new sheet of metal and outlined it.


We then cut the outlined X2 and welded the one side to the stock and the stiffeners and painted the interior with high end navy grade barrier coat.





Once that was done we then tacked the other side to the rudder stock and to the stiffeners, now that it’s fully tacked, it was time for the long welds to fully seal it.




To finish it we welded a couple of bolts to both sides that will support the anodes and voila a brand new rudder is made.






With all our carbon steel work completed it was time to do some stainless steel work. So here we have Campbell welding our two piece pull pit back together.



Here is our modified midship stantions. IMG_0735Originally they were through bolted to the deck which we had water infiltrations through. So we modified it by closing those holes and welded a mounting plate to the deck on which the stantions are now mounted on. In turn the stantions had to be modified and shortened.

The highlight of this week was the holding tank. We have been pushing this project back for some time now as there was other priorities.

Weeks ago we opened the inspection hatch of the holding tank to find that it was full so we had it pumped empty which was fine. Then a few weeks back once the deck got sand blasted quite a bit of water came into the boat through the various holes so the bilges and the opened holding tank needed emptying again. As we were emptying the bilges the level of the holding tank was also dropping, Hmmmmm it looked like we had a hole or several holes in the holding tank.  So it needed to come out and we have been pushing this project back.


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So here we are welding pad eyes to the top of the tank and Campbell and I pulling hard on the chain falls and come alongs but the tank would not budge.



We built a A frame over both ends and banged and banged wedges between the tank and the side of the keel to get it moving.



Hours later it gradually came up, the tank was sealed/locket into place with tar, hence it was difficult coming out.

Now that we have the tank out of its pit we will have to fix it or make a new one.  The question is if we fix it do we do it in the boat or do we cut it up and fix it out of the boat as its not coming out in one piece through the companion way.

So I slept over the options and on Saturday I cut it in two pieces then Cheryl and I pulled both pieces out of the boat.



What a job, the tank we believe is original to the boat as its made in one piece (no welding seams) so the only way it could have been fitted into its pit was lowered straight down when the pilot house was not part of the boat.




Now that the tank is out, it was time to clean the engine room and the holding tank pit which is 1.5 meters deep and narrow.


Scoop by scoop and hours later we got all the muck out and now have a much cleaner engine room.



Here we are looking a little dirtier then normal but happy to have finally put this job behind us.


While I was this dirty I took a little tour into the diesel tank to scoop any muck from its bottom too.




Quickly before we called it a day at 19:00 Cheryl layered up the transom with more primer.



There we have it this weeks update with more pictures then words.

A+ Morgan

Week 9.

Well this is our last single digit week since we started refurbishing Kata Brava with plenty more to come.  The question is how many more weeks will it take? We are progressing at a very slow pace to say the least. There are two factors that we are struggling with, one of them is  Mother Nature.  We all know very well there is not much we can do about that, it is what it is and we have to work with it which is exactly what we have been doing.   We are always keeping a sharp eye on the weather front and prioritizing certain jobs.

Our next factor is Human Nature, yes Human Nature…this factor is a mistake of ours, or should I say mine, it is one that can be and should be avoided with better judgment. I thought I had a good sense of reading/judging different people, obviously not this time. For the last couple of weeks its been excuses after excuses, holding us up in our progress and setting us back. This week we have had enough and needed to do something about it so we have a new welder since Wednesday and we are finally making progress again.

We have closed up all the small remaining screw holes on deck that was brought to light after the sand blasting.  Stainless steel brackets have been welded to support our dorade boxes and now our deck is totally completed with the welding.



Now that this is done we started the long process of leveling all the small cavities with high build fearing compound.

A big task on the job list was to lift our +1000 liter stainless steel water tank out of it’s pit in the keel to access a cut out that was made prior to us buying the boat so that we can close it up.

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So we squared out the cut out as it was roughly cut made an insert with a nice big bevel to allow a few passes of welding and now finally a closed hole.

Having the tank out of the keel pit we took advantage of cleaning the pit. Gave the walls a good go with the wire brush and a coat of barrier paint with another to come.

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Also below the waterline we welded a stainless steel pipe inside and outside in the engine room for a seawater inlet.

The rudder skeg is nearing completion too, we inserted a new plate on the starboard side of the skeg. We also made a new shoe for the skeg with nuts welded on the inside to support the rudder when in place and also fitted a new trailing edge which is a 3″ channel iron.


There we have it another week down the channel and a smiley face after a long days work.IMG_0413

Have a good one. A+ Morgan

Week 8.

This weeks update will be brief as this weeks progress has been based on preparing areas to be worked on for next week.

The week began with a thorough cleaning of the interior by Cheryl.  During the glass blasting, water and glass got into the boat, so this needed to be taken care of.  Whilst she did this I prepared the gunwale for painting.  The gunwale was a section of the deck which was hard to get with the glass blasting machine, so I made sure any corroded sections, was chipped, grinded and cleaned.

IMG_0325We applied our second coat of barrier coat/primmer to the deck and cockpit so now its all well and sealed.


Cheryl is in the process of taking apart the winches, cleaning all the parts and putting everything back together.  A long slow process which needed to be done and by the looks of things haven’t been done in years.  IMG_0334So far 7 winches are off the boat and 5 more are still bolted to the mast and coachroof.

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We went to Summer ville and picked up our hatches which have been powder coated and now looking like new.  The new acrylic has been ordered and should be with us by next week.


I spent two days chip hammering, sanding and cleaning the lazarette and the steering locker in preparation for painting.  Everything is now looking nice and clean.IMG_0319

This week has been a tough week weather wise.  Temperatures dropped considerably and was in the low single digits most mornings.  With the cold came a strong bitter wind which didn’t make working out side very easy.  We are keeping our fingers cross for warmer weather for next week. This about sums up this week.

Have a Happy Easter weekend.

A+ Morgan & Cheryl

Week 7.

Kata Brava has a NEW LOOK.

We started the week tending to some final welding that needed to be done before we could start with the sand blasting.


IMG_0244Also finishing protecting what didn’t need sand blasting with plywood, cardboard, tarpaulin and roles and roles of duck tape.


Cheryl plugged all the deck bolt holes with round rode which she tapered and bunged into the deck to create a plug.


Our sand blasting machine arrived on Tuesday, ready for an early start on Wednesday.


However on Wednesday the machine did not work and after a lot of fussing a new one was brought in so with half a day gone only a small portion of the deck was done.


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Thursday was nonstop sand blasting and by the end of the day the boat was almost bare and free from rust, glue and paint, a great feeling.


Friday morning we did a little bit of detailing here and there, washed down the boat as it looked as if we had landed on a beach somewhere.


We let the deck dry for a couple of hours and by mid afternoon we were both in full swing, painting away.

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We started on the bow and worked our way aft finishing in the cockpit by applying the last small square area standing on the helm pedestal.

There we have it Kata Brava finally has a new look and this week we feel we have made a big step forward.

A+ Morgan.

Week 6.

I dont know if its the same for everyone or if its just me but the weeks are flying by at an incredible fast pace, week six has already come and gone.

Well its all coming along slowly but steadily.

IMG_0161 IMG_0169We’ve done a few cut outs. Our first cut out was around the hole that we had found in the engine room. Once the cut out was cleaned and trimmed we welded a new plate of 1/4″ or 6mm Steel.

IMG_0174 Second cut out is a section in the stern. The Auto pilot bracket which is made of thick stainless steel was welded in 3 different spots to the hull.  In turn on the out side we could see that the metal had deteriorated and was weak and therefore needed replacing so we cut out the auto pilot bracket and a big section of metal.  WIMG_0184e then used this piece as a template and cut a new piece of steel which we spot welded into place. Being so close to the end of the transom this was the best way to go about it rather then having 3 small inserts that would correspond to the 3 different legs of the auto pilot bracket.

The third cut for this week was in the tailing edge of the rudder skeg.IMG_0181 The skeg had a few pin holes in the tailing edge, side and on the shoe.

The forth cut out was the cooking gas locker in the transom. This locker had rust holes in all four corners making it very difficult to repair so the idea is to take it fully out and improve the setup which will come later.

IMG_0188 IMG_0185We fed the new pipes for the Main engine and generator exhaust.These two exhaust’s are welded with support bracket’s along the decks crossbeams and travel from the transom locker through the lazaret, through the aft head and into the engine room.

We got all our deck hatches cleaned up and totally disassembled and sent them to be sand blasted and powder coated. IMG_0178We are also in the process of getting all new acrylics for the hatches.

Our deck paint is on its way.  We had scheduled two weeks ago to get sand blasted this week, however unfortunately the yard wasn’t ready for us. So we are now scheduled to get the deck sand blasted mid next week.  We are really looking forward to a new look.

IMG_0206Cheryl got all the stanchions out of their deck supports and started taping up the stainless steel bollards, turnbuckles, mast base and so on. IMG_0191

I chipped, wire brushed and sanded all around the top and outside side of the gunwale and few small spots on the hull and primed them. Its much easier to do this outside section and spots by hand and grinder instead of sandblasting as there would then be too much risk of damaging the topside. IMG_0195This is the first bit of fresh paint that Kata Brava has had in a very long time.


So there we have it, in all a steady progress and fingers cross for a new look next week.

A+ Morgan

Week 5.

This weeks update will be short.

In all it has been another non stop week for the both of us,  a seven day week for me which is taking it’s toll.  As always we are preparing or advancing a job for later on. We have managed to progress as much as we can in terms of preparing for the sandblasting and advancing the areas to be welded by cutting and grinding.  However the welding has progressed very little or not as much as we have hoped.

Our contractor Tommy has injured his knee and therefore been in and out of the hospital and not been able to come down to the boat much which is very frustrating.  We have scheduled to sandblast at the end of next week and are now wondering if we will be able to keep up with that date, what can we do???

On the up side of things, the deck is now clear of wood and ready for sandblasting.  It took us about two days in total to get the hatches and surrounding teak off.  What a long process.

IMG_0108Cheryl has started to take apart the deck hatches so that we can send the frames out for powder coating and order the new acrylic’s.IMG_0120

This week she has also tackled the galley ceiling again.  It needed to be taken care of, so unfortunately she had to strip nearly the entire ceiling from the ceiling panels, the wooden frames and the insulation and plastic which was the main cause of the water soaked ceiling.


Our paint for the bottom and the bilges has arrived.  So finally once the last of the welding on the hull is done we can start painting the interior sections of the boat that requires sealing.

With Tommy being away most of the week, we have only had Red on board.  IMG_0114He has completed the last of the cockpit area.  I have cut away the bad/rusted sections of the gunwale this week and Red has nearly completed re-welding new sections of steel on. IMG_0122 IMG_0131

This weekend I cut out the majority of the transom area that needs replacing, so now it’s ready for new plates to be installed.  IMG_0133

We have also been busy getting quotes for various new items that we will need which all takes time.

We can’t wait now to be in in the fixing mode rather than in the demolition mode.  We can only hope next week will be better.

A+ Morgan

Week 4.

Another week bites the dust.

This week started with rain so on Monday we couldn’t work outside at all and obviously there was no welding.  However we did managed to unbolt all the nuts of the staysail track and in between two shower spells we took off the tracks and duck taped all the bolt holes up to limit water coming into the boat. So slowly the deck is getting clearer.IMG_0038

Tuesday, it rained like mad and it was pretty windy too, there was flooding alerts for the Charleston area and the possibility of tornado’s. So we didn’t do much at all.

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Wednesday was another cold and windy day so Cheryl worked inside and disconnected all the mast cables and pulled them out as both goose necks were leaking. So we will have to cut them off and weld new ones next week.

Thursday got even colder and windier so Cheryl started investigating the ceiling over the galley. IMG_0056 The main big hatch in the galley showed signs of water damage, so she to started pulling at the wood panels and insulation.IMG_0087 IMG_0085 Unfortunately there was a lot more water than we had hoped soaked up in the insulation and wood framing.

This is our first big hurdle we have come across.  The area that needs to be cleared is a lot bigger than we had hoped.  So far what we have found is numerous screws have been just screwed through the deck, this could contribute a lot to the water coming in. Unfortunately in the days to come the majority of the wood panels will need to come down.  If we are to try and do this without moving the galley cupboards etc. which will be a huge job, then unfortunately the galley ceiling panelling will most probably need to be completely replaced.

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On Friday Red came to the boat and welded up the various small screw holes that was on deck.  We started getting the deck hatches off and replacing the openings with plywood until the deck has been sand blasted.

I’ve cut out more poor steel from the cockpit coaming, the gunwale and also the remaining exhaust pipes going through the lazaret.

IMG_0098 IMG_0102When Tommy comes back next week with his team it will be welding nonstop.

With the weather being down this week I made progress in the engine room and got out the refrigeration compressor, IMG_0069 fuel filters and accumulator tank.IMG_0053

I’ve cut out the ceased seacocks and old unused generator mounts and got rid of meters and meters of stiff/old hoses.

IMG_0076Basically clearing the engine room from clutter and getting ready for some welding and fresh paint. In all this week has been slow but we’ve progressed in various areas of the boat in preparation for the next steps.

A+ Morgan & Cheryl

Week 3.

We arrived at the yard after a week of not really working on Kata Brava full of energy and to our surprise the gates were closed and on top of that the combination code had been changed so we were stuck outside the gates for a while. Luckily enough John the yard manager arrived and we soon found out that it was a public holiday ‘Presidents Day’ so the yard was closed but it did not stop us from advancing on Kata Brava.

IMG_1531We built a tent over the aft section on the boat as the weather for the week was due to be unstable.


With more rain predicted for the end of the week and for the weekend we decided it would be good to try and weld the areas in the cockpit to limit further water entry into the boat.

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We cut out the porous metal around the cockpit drain holes and welded in new plates. Cockpit seats areas also got new metal and part of the cockpit coaming was changed too.


We did a little  modification or improvement by getting rid of a storage compartment in the cockpit and gaining more headroom/space in the aft head.IMG_1532

On deck we cut away the flat bar going around the boat which was used for the teak deck limitation.


This automatically improved and gave the deck a new feel of more space.    IMG_1550


IMG_1578We also started unbolting the staysail tracks from the deck. This involves first clearing all the ceiling lining, getting rid of the insulation to reach the nuts, 60 of them.

All this in the confined space of the saloon cupboards, forward head and midship cabin, a long slow process.


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Before we knew it Friday was here and along with it the forecast of rain that was  predicted for the weekend. We got half a days worth of work before packing up. In all this week was kind of short but we progressed well.

IMG_1560 A+ Morgan