Maintaining a 40-year-old sailboat can be mentally draining. To be successful, not only do you need be a good electrician, diesel mechanic, plumber, seamstress, cook, project manager and sailor, it also doesn’t hurt to be a good bartender.

We tackle a pile of projects in the episode, including reinstalling the chainplates, recoring a part the deck, creating a mold of the nonskid, rerigging our forestay and sewing a canvas extension panel between the bimini and dodger. We’re getting close to launch!

Hope you enjoy,

Lauren & Kirk

FILMED: December 2019




Kirk’s Instagram:







We’re always looking for music! If you, or a friend, relative or acquaintance makes original music and would like to feature it on our channel, give us a shout at

Theme song: “Adventures” by A Himitsu —

All others: — Use this link to get 2 free months of Artlist!



by REV: — Use this link to get $10 off your first order!

Thinking About Buying a Boat?

Boat Buying Dashboard

Episode Dialogue

– We are playing the chainplate drinking game.

– Yeah.

– Lauren, come and look at this.

– I already see the, oh my God! Whoa!

– [Lauren] Last time on “Sailing Soulianis”.

– We are chasing down a leak in our port forward lower shroud.

– [Lauren] A creaky spot on the deck and some water stains inside the boat prompted us to remove all of our chainplates for inspection. Well, nearly all of them. So we almost got this one out. This is a puzzle. How on earth did they get this bolt in and we can’t get it out? Hey, tell everyone that you got that out of there.

– I had to cut this bolt with a dremel.

– [Lauren] Sometimes the only way to solve the puzzle is to recut the pieces. With all the chainplates removed, it was time for preventative measures.

– I’m gonna rout out the inside of the core just a little bit so I can fill them with thickened epoxy. That way we never have to worry about this core getting wet again. Tartan did a really nice job of actually using hardwood around the chainplate openings in the core, so it was really solid wood. They just didn’t seal around the core with epoxy which at the time, 45 years ago, they really didn’t even think that this boat would last this long let alone think to put epoxy in there so I’m gonna get to work. All right, so I’ve got all of our chainplates out here, and they all look pretty good. I’m gonna go through and get all the rust, gunk and sealant off them. I’ve got acetone, rubbing alcohol, and metal wax with a rust converter in it. After I cleaned all the sealant off of them, I started wet sanding them at 400 grit, and I am now up to 3000. I’m only doing 3000 on the parts that we see and the parts that go through the deck. The parts that we see just ’cause it looks nice. It’s like a polished mirror finish, but the parts that go through the deck just to make sure that there is no big gouges or spots where water can kind of pool and corrosion can set in. So after I do 3000 here, I’m gonna polish them with a dremel, put some polishing compound and then-

– [Lauren] Oh my God ,

– Be reinstalled, and then I’ll wax them with metal wax.

– And I am going for run.

– So I’ve polished up our old chainplates and we’re putting in all new hardware. I’ve resealed around all of our chainplate openings, and so now we’re gonna start putting these back in. Not too bad.

– [Lauren] All right, what are we doing?

– We are playing the chainplate drinking game. Every chainplate we successfully put in, we take a drink.

– [Lauren] Yeah.

– Cheers.

– Okay, so we just successfully put in the port upper, now.

– Now we’re gonna do the port aft.

– Okay. I think we just drank three times to the port upper.

– That was a big one.

– That’s true. Onward.

– You’re going in there.

– I need a tool.

– Your tool’s already in there.

– Oh.

– You brought it in there.

– [Lauren] Did I?

– Yes.

– I can keep track of your tools but I can’t keep track of mine.

– [Lauren] All right, which number?

– Five.

– We came up with this ingenious idea. When I say we, I mean, Kirk.

– All right, one.

– [Lauren] One. To tighten the bolts from different rooms but both tightening at the same time, so that we’re doing two times the work, right? Instead of having just one person hold, ’cause it’s hard, like you don’t know when someone’s gonna turn and then spin and turn so.

– [Kirk] On.

– [Lauren] Turn. I’m pretty tight.

– [Kirk] Okay.

– [Lauren] Which number now?

– [Kirk] The same one, four.

– [Lauren] Okay. Turn. Ooh, that one is tight. Kirk said turn and I said, nope, that’s not how it went. Kirk said the number of the bolt that we’re on, and that let me know that he was, I’m one half drink in, that he was ready, and so I got my wrench onto the other side and then I said, turn, and then together.

– But that’s not how it worked.

– We turned together.

– Yeah, it is

– No.

– [Kirk] Okay, look for the three.

– [Lauren] Three, okay.

– I would say the number.

– Yeah.

– And then I would say on.

– [Kirk] On.

– Five, on, turn, whatever. Whatever, we’re getting better at this whole communicating thing during boat projects which is.

– Just not when the camera’s in our face. Five of six chainplates installed.

– [Lauren] Five of six, bottoms up.

– That’s all we can do tonight because we have to rip out the deck after sixth, but that’s awesome. Now we just need to put some sealant in and put the top plates on and we are done with five of six. New hardware. They’re all nice and polished and shiny. It’s awesome.

– [Lauren] I just want you to tell me what’s going through your mind right now before you put on your surgeon’s gloves and make the big cut?

– I’m wondering how much better this GoPro 8 that we just got is gonna be than the GoPro 6.

– [Lauren] Way to deflect the question.

– Tripod’s pretty cool.

– [Lauren] It is adorable.

– I’ve been dreading this project. I drilled a bunch of holes in the deck to find our rot, which was maybe kind of dumb, I don’t know.

– Hey, if the rot wouldn’t have been as extensive.

– Yeah, I would have been smart if I only had drilled like four holes. We probably could have approached this from the bottom and cut out the bottom layer of fiberglass, but the glass lamp is really thick there. There’s not very much room to work. I’m working overhead. It’s inside the boat so it’d be getting the inside of the boat very dirty and messy, and I didn’t feel comfortable building up enough glass in that small of space without taking out even more of the cabinetry in the bathroom to get the lay-up strong enough for that high load section of the chainplate and the bulkhead. So I decided to just tackle this from the top side which means our decks are gonna look kind of ugly which is a bummer because our deck is very nice. It’s in great condition for the age of the boat. And I’ve gone through stages of just get over it, Kirk, it’s gonna be fine. The boat’s gonna be solid and you’re gonna go sail to the Bahamas soon. And then other stages of oh my God, you’re cutting into this deck. It’s a beautiful deck. What are you doing? You’re an idiot. And so I’m just dreading doing this. So this is our chainplate opening right here. That’s where about where I’m gonna grind. I’ve been putting it off and putting it off, and I just need to do it so that we move on. That’s the opening I’m gonna cut.

– I approve.

– [Kirk] Do you approve?

– I approve.

– [Kirk] Do you concur?

– Dr. Harris?

– Yes.

– Do you concur?

– I’m sorry, what?

– I concur with what, sir?

– As soon as I start cutting the hole in the deck, I’ll feel fine. As soon as I’m done and I pull it off, I’ll realize I did something wrong and I’ll be really upset with myself, but then I’ll just be at the next stage and have to figure it out then.

– [Lauren] All of these stages of emotional stages of both projects.

– Yeah, they’re emotional stages. So, I need to take the emotion out of it and say, there is a problem. I’m gonna fix it and get to work. Lauren, come and look at this. I wanna get your reaction.

– Oh my God! I already see the, oh my God! Whoa!

– [Kirk] That’s kind of crazy, huh?

– We can throw this in the composting toilet.

– [Kirk] Yeah.

– [Lauren] Except it’s not dry so that probably wouldn’t help.

– [Kirk] This is the only part where it’s a little bit moist still but I did a pretty good job of.

– [Lauren] Yeah.

– [Kirk] Of going just beyond where I think I needed to.

– That’s pretty wild. Kirk, all the mystery has been revealed.

– [Kirk] Is it solved?

– It’s just amazing how big of a thing it was, because like we just didn’t know.

– Yeah, no, I mean, I knew what to expect. I’ve seen this on YouTube a few times from people, but it’s still scary.

– [Lauren] Yeah.

– I’ve had a heater going on this all morning ’cause there’s a little bit of condensation from last night, just to make sure that the core is really nice and dry around there. So now I’m gonna sand the top of the bottom layer of glass, make sure that everything is nice and clean and ready for my new core material to go in. Got my template for the cutout of the deck, got my new core material here which is end grain balsa, so now I’m gonna transfer my template and test fit that before I start epoxy. I’m no engineer even though I play one on TV. I chose balsa to re-core decks because it was the original material, so I knew it was a safe bet. There are probably better options, but they’re also more costly and it required much more research to figure out the pros and cons of each. If we were repairing a huge portion of the deck, I would have spent the time to do my due diligence but I had my hands pretty full figuring out the rest of this project. So next we just gotta get just some epoxy flowing in there.

– [Lauren] So, what are we working with?

– I got it pretty much smoothed out. Before there was a straight up and down cut mark here.

– [Lauren] So from here to here, you made a nice.

– [Kirk] There’s a transition ramp, yeah. so that the glass will lay nicely inside of here. I have not had the pleasure of having a grinder until just now. This thing’s like a magic eraser for fiberglass. I would have been here all day with a sander so I’m excited. That was a good purchase.

– [Lauren] Last episode, we became proud new owners of a Sailrite industrial sewing machine. My first project with it is an extension panel between the dodger and bimini so we’d have full shade in the cockpit. Typical day in the boat yard today. That’s what I was doing, and Kirk is fiberglassing. So how’s it going?

– Pretty good, I think.

– [Lauren] It looks nice.

– [Kirk] I’m just trying to build up this edge a little bit ’cause the glass was a lot thicker along this edge, and so I didn’t quite get it nice and flush. I’m gonna to have to come back with fairing compound, I think. Camera swap.

– Thank you. This project was simple enough, just one trapezoidal piece of canvas lined on all four sides with vinyl. Two zippers on the fore and aft edges to attach to the dodger and bimini then binding all around to finish it off.

– [Kirk] How’s it going?

– Good. This is my last cut of vinyl. Bye, old forestay.

– [Kirk] Whoa! What do you think of that?

– Almost would have missed it if you didn’t say anything.

– [Kirk] Yeah?

– Yeah. ‘Cause I was only looking right in between that boat and the van and all I could see was that gray part right there.

– We got some projects done today.

– Did we?

– I don’t know.

– I feel not accomplished.

– I finished laminating the deck for the most part.

– Yeah.

– I cut the rigging and removed it from the forestay so I’m ready to take measurements on the new rigging tomorrow and possibly install it. I don’t know, that’s a pretty good day.

– It was a pretty good day I guess.

– But that’s dumb. I shouldn’t do that because we’re getting rain in two days. I need to finish the deck.

– Yeah .

– I am going to use our helm seat as a mold. I’m gonna then use that, flip it over and squash it down on top of the spot on the deck that I want to have that non-skid pattern on. It smells like surfboard epoxy. I’ve got our helm seat, coated it with PVA yesterday which is Polyvinyl alcohol mold release. It’s water soluble. You can paint it on or spray it on, and it will create a very thin flexible barrier between whatever you spray it on and whatever you don’t wanna get something on. We’ve got our gel coat, our MEK, and our gel coat tint. That much?

– [Lauren] Sure.

– That looks a little bit off white. Basically my process is, I’m gonna coat this with gel coat, let it set for a little bit, and then I’m gonna put one layer of chopped strand mat with some epoxy to wet it out over the top, and then let that cure and that’ll give the gel coat kind of like a substrate to attach to and some rigidity so it doesn’t all crack up.

– [Lauren] All right, so what’s happening?

– We’re checking out the mold that I made yesterday. I made it really nice and smooth on this side. That part looks good.

– [Lauren] Oh yes.

– [Kirk] Oh.

– [Lauren] Is that a happy chappy?

– Yes. That’s super freaking cool. That looks just like our deck. So we’ve got our mold coated with PVA so that we can pull the mold back off and I’ve coated all of the outside where I don’t want the new gel coat to stick, and so that’s gonna go lay down on top after I’ve got the gel coat down and it’s kind of started to set up just ever so slightly. And then we’re gonna just layer some stuff on top of it to keep it weighted.

– Compared to the bimini, this thing has been a piece of cake. The hardest part was measuring it because we had it in our minds that we should be using patterning material but the Sailrite instructional video actually just has you use a couple of tape measures to measure the distance between the bimini and the dodger. So finally, when we started following their instructions, started to go pretty easy. This will be my second day more or less working on putting it together, and all I have to do is tape all of these pieces of vinyl around the perimeter, and then I’ll set up the sewing machine and start sewing the binding. The last step is to sew on the zippers.

– What’s up?

– [Lauren] Just checking on your project.

– New forestay. Just don’t wanna drag it through all the sand and stuff. I’m just trying to figure out how I can do it and not get it all dirty before it goes into our furler. ♪ And there’s nobody out there like you like I am ♪ ♪ There’s nobody out there that can say my name ♪ ♪ And nobody out there like you like we are ♪

– [Lauren] Got it.

– [Kirk] That was way better than I thought. ♪ I’ve been walking down the line and I gotta take time ♪ ♪ So I better shape ♪

– I just wanna show how good this looks. I did call it sexy. I don’t know, can canvas be sexy?

– [Kirk] Yes. ♪ Cause there’s nobody out there like you like I am ♪ ♪ There’s nobody out there that can say my name ♪ ♪ And nobody out there like you like we are ♪

– [Kirk] Just enough left.

– Yay! ♪ Like we are ♪

– Well, it’s definitely non-skid there. So things didn’t quite go as I planned here. The mold I made worked, but I really should have used some sand bags or some bags of water to clamp this down. So you can see along here, I didn’t get the mold pressed down very nicely. The gel coat just, it just didn’t squeeze enough out to cover this. The cool part though is that now that I have the mold and I know what I’m doing, I can take another crack at it. Meanwhile, it’s water tight. But we’re learning.

– I’m on the home stretch of finishing this bimini dodger connector. Just sewing on the zippers and that is it. Then, I just have to trim the zippers and melt all of the ends of the threads, but that’s easy stuff. This will be the last of the stitches that I need to sow. It got really windy outside and it’s quite cold, so I’m sewing in the van. That’s it!

– [Kirk] All the zippers are done?

– That’s the last stitch.

– [Kirk] So we can go test this out?

– Yeah.

– [Kirk] Holy Smacks! That’s awesome.

– Yeah.

– Let’s go do it. Cool.

– It’s done. It’s probably not my best work. I think because it was such a simple project, I was expecting it to turn out more perfectly .

– It looks great.

– It’s a little bit flappy on that side.

– Yeah, but it’s because it’s unsupported. You’d have to put a lot of tension in it to make it not flappy.

– Yeah, that’s what Sailrite kept saying in their videos, was this isn’t supposed to be tight, it’s supposed to have a little bit of slack in it so that it’s easy to zipper on and off. I’m gonna go cut all the zippers off and,

– [Kirk] Finish it.

– Do all the finishing touches, yeah.

– [Kirk] Cool.

– We’re going in the water. Yes!

– This center board, man. So this is day two of the cockpit locker chronicles.