When you buy a boat (or a house), you see it as you want it to be rather than as it is.
It is rare that it is complete at the point of sale – you set out to put a bit (or a lot) of yourself into it.
So it was with Blue Mistress.
This is the third stage of the work that I thought we would need to do when I first saw her in 2006.
I’m not such a visionary that I could have said then ‘right, we’re going to do this in three stages’, but I could see where we would need to go and, now that I’ve learnt a few ropes, this is how it has worked out.
Broadly speaking, in stage one, we worked on the deck – reseating fittings, sorting out leaks, recoating it in to a finish that is hard and durable.
Stage two, involved a new engine housing, installing a new fuel tank and moving the batteries to a locker of their own, as well as upgrading the electrics and installing a new VHF/DSC unit.
Now, in stage three, the top sides are getting repainted (five layers of epoxy primer so far),and the rudder rehung, to include a new upper pintle.
Down below, the main cabin is being upgraded, detail seen to, edges rounded off, surfaces smoothed and repainted, a couple of locker lids reworked and so on.
So is this a totally rebuilt boat? No, all good boats have a character that can be encouraged and brought out.
A little bit here a little bit there transforms them. In keeping them up to scratch, they gain a new lease of life.