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Cockpit Drains

New Cockpit Drains

Before we had even sailed the boat, we thought we would be clever and opened up the original tiny cockpit drains, packed the void between the inner and outer hulls with filled epoxy (and bondo) and added rectangular Sea Stop flapper covers. The cockpit drained beautifully when at anchor. Unfortunately, the drains are below sea level when under way at any speed above a crawl and the flappers are not watertight. We got a lot of water into the cockpit when heeled over or when under power with a few people in the cockpit (weight aft).

The next season, we filled those large holes and bedded in a couple of 3/4" bronze couplings. To these, we added 90 degree street elbows (pointing down), short nipples and then 45 degree elbows pointed aft. This puts the drain openings down into non-turbulent water and they suck the cockpit floor dry at any speed or angle of heel. Unfortunately, they look pretty awful.

I intended to bed 1" couplings into the aft corners of the cockpit so that they are flush with the aft section of the hull just forward of the transom break and above the nominal water line. A simple bronze street el should then be sufficient to act as a self-bailer. (Note: still not done as of 2021 season - the present ones work just fine.) If we were planning any significant blue water cruising (which we are not) I would add back the Sea Stop flappers but up at about the height of the cockpit seats. It is a large cockpit, which is great for cruising and socializing but not if you take a wave aboard.

As part of the rebuilding of the galley area and to increase the sea worthiness of the boat, we raised the bottom of the companionway by about 5 or 6 inches. I mounted a Formica faced piece of plywood, coated with release agent, to the exterior and built up a 1/4" thick layer of glass and epoxy on the inside. The companionway framing was trimmed to fit. We also replaced the original aluminum rails under the companionway hatch cover with stainless to eliminate the staining from seawater dripping off the aluminum.

Starboard side in fog

Foggy Day in Portland

We replaced the original Beckson opening ports with new ones. We trimmed the extensions so they mount flush with the outside trim ring. This was a fairly easy job. (It only took my son and me a couple of days!) Most of the mounting holes must be re-drilled. At some future time, we may add a pair of smaller Beckson opening ports in the V berth area to improve ventilation there.

We replaced the cabin port lights with 1/4" smoked Lexan. We cut the plastic as large as the outside of the original frames and just bolted them to the outside of the cabin using barrel nuts (with O-rings as sealing washers) on the outside and a combination of black double sided industrial foam tape (from McMaster-Carr) and black sealant as a gasket. We made up quick and dirty plywood frames for the inside, which will be replaced at some point (still not done 20 years later). This frameless assembly has the advantage that there is only one joint to be sealed (between the glazing and the hull).

Another find on our Florida trip was a set of 2 hole stanchions. We had our local rigger make up new upper and lower lifelines. The lowers only come back to the last stanchion so we only have to unhook one line to get on and off. We replaced the original teak blocks under the inboard side of the stanchion bases with white plastic (polyethelene?) blocks cut from a kitchen cutting board. (StarBoard polymer sheets would also work fine for this.)

Our largest single expense to date has been the new dodger. This was built locally and seems to fit our needs while complementing the lines of the boat. The original proposal was going to be, essentially, a new room. The design we settled on is much smaller. We can see over it. It doesn't offer much protected area to sit under on deck, but it does cover the companionway so that we can keep the hatch open and stand at the galley in inclement weather. We had an additional zipper included at the aft edge so that we can attach a Sunbrella bimini if we need some shade at anchor. It has a 3/4" CPVC tube as a spreader at the aft end and ties to the backstay and lifelines.

Majaca has been a real family project. Our son Matt did most of the grunt work with major contributions from my wife Maggie. In particular, the two of them did most of the work involved in the refinishing of the interior and exterior. It was fun and rewarding for us to be able to work together on a project that we are all committed to finishing in as professional a fashion as possible with due regard for the fact that this is not (never was, never will be) a Tartan or Sabre. If she had been a Tartan or Sabre, we probably would have been much more hesitant to undertake some of the projects in fear of causing more problems than we solved. As things have turned out, we seem to have been more successful than we had any right to expect. She sails very well and we will not be afraid to turn our kids loose with her for their own explorations of the coast of Maine.

At Hurrican Island with friends

Majaca, Trader, & Moondance
at Hurricane Island
Racing with Tup

Majaca & Gravy Train
Photo by Stephen Tewhey
Wednesday Night Race

Wednesday Night Race
Photo by Stephen Tewhey

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last modified: February 12, 2021