After Nico, a very likable mate from Hamburg, has bought the King´s Cruiser last week, it was this very weekend we agreed to meet again. There was a whole basement full of wooden parts, equipment and of course the sails to be handed over. Besides, I was keen on getting to know how he was coping with the boat and what his first impressions had been. Clearly, his plan, as he had already told me, was to bring the boat back to her element as soon as possible …
Receiving his text message that he was on the Autobahn heading to Luebeck, I began haul out all the parts I had brought here from the boat to be stored either in my basement or in my flat. These were mainly the cushions, the three sails consisting of mainsail, Genoa and the jib and a load full of wooden parts along with some spare parts for the Volvo-Penta engine.
Emptying the basement
As good as the idea was to bring the bigger parts to my flat in order to have freed the space inside of the boat to have more room for the actual works going on, the bad this idea was in the end to have these things in my basement: I live in a fairly old house and apparently the basement is not just moist but – partially – wet. So this environment was certainly not beneficial for these parts.
The damage was minimal, lucky me and Nico, but the smell was awful. A strong moldy stench. Oh boy. But Nico reacted cool: “No problem.” The wooden parts will get sanded and re-painted with glossy paint anyways and three years ago I had packed the sails into thick garbage bags so that in the end it wasn´t that bad.
For me the process of emptying my basement was interesting too, it almost came with an archeological feel: Having worked so dedicated in the boat for three years now I almost forgot about these parts so that a seeing them again after such a long time almost felt like a proper reunion. And after Nico sent some pictures of hist first hours in the boat (sorry for the quality though) I realized something …
First Progress on the King´s Cruiser 33
“That´s the first 4 hours …”, he texted upon sending some pictures from the boat. The day of the hand over, after giving him the keys to the boat and saying Good bye he told me: “Plan for today is to thoroughly clean the fore cabin to gain some storage room for the cushions.” And he did so. Seemingly this was a lot of fun so that just another hour later he send another pictures from the saloon: Cleaned!
Here I realized what maybe was one of the biggest mistaked of my “career” in yacht refit: Chaos. During my reign I jumped from project to project – stuff had been partially built and put away for drying or hardening whilst I began a new project in another corner of the boat. In the end, sanding, painting, cutting, epoxy-works and all projects produced dust, chips, drops of paint and … well, chaos. Finishing one project meant, well, nothing – because three others still open occupied the boat. This resulted in a constantly grubby boat. Seeing OLIVIA becoming so tidy in a matter of hours made me realize that periodically cleaning up your boat even during refit is a must. Because it simply keeps up the faith in the project seeing the yacht in a nice state.
“I love the cushions!”, Nico said enthusiastically. Me personally, I didn´t really liked the color much from the start and wanted to have them re-done in white-blue striped, but Nico insisted that he wanted the boat to look as original as she could. He had also read my article on OLIVIA´s original name – and told me: “You know what? I will give back to her the old name. I really like OLIVA.” Well, I can´t agree more.
In the end I was amazed and enthusiastic to see Nico´s progress on the boat just after two days. I must admit that I was (and parts of me still are) very doubtful that anyone could pay money for a boat in a state like mine. Well, the amount due was fairly small, that´s true, but still, the amount of work to be put into the yacht is at the same time very high: When we negotiated the end price of the boat, Nico told me: “I know it´s a lot of work. But I like projects.” Well, my friend: This yacht is a project indeed!
Nico´s next steps
As I understood correctly, Nico has now finished cleaning up the interior of the yacht completely. He cleaned the boat´s internal cabins, removed the adhesive protection from the new hull windows and re-attached all wooden panels to the boat. “The coming week I will refurbish her underwater hull with a new antifouling and look for the engine, clutch and stuffing box”, he says: “Then the boat will be craned to the water again.”
The joke about this all is that Nico, as he is a resident of Hamburg, will bring back the yacht to the marina of Wedel, where she was stationed the first 1.5 years before I moved away. “I won´t go for a truck transport”, he said upon my offer to organize a transport: “She deserves to be sailed on her own keel back to Hamburg.” Well, that´s exciting. I like how he approaches this project and now, after a week I a pretty confident that he is the right guy for this yacht.
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