The S/V Libby is a girl, and a girl lives within. When she sailed under a different name, she was a liveaboard boat for 30 years, and I have to assume that she was inhabited by a y-chromosomed individual, one who didn’t put a great deal of thought into her interior. When I first saw and fell in love with my boat, I saw so much potential for beauty, and lots of work to be done to make her look amazing. Now that I’m living here, it’s time to start making plans for how to bring her out of the seventies and into the new millennium.
As I described in this post, the fabric colors are disgusting. If you don’t care to read or reread that post, I’ll give you a refresh: the cushions are the color of earwax, which do nothing for the varnished wood or my mood. They need to go. Sooner rather than later.
Libby’s canvas work (what covers the mainsail, tiller, and lots of other places inside and outside of the boat) are royal blue. Royal blue is my least favorite of the blues, but I’m not in a financial situation to change all of her canvas to suit my petty needs. Besides, limitation spawns creativity. Colors that work well with royal blue are bright greens, bright blues, white (shouldn’t count, as white goes with everything) and certain shades of orange or pink. What’s nice about this scheme is my locality; all of the Seattle teams use the dark blue, bright green/blue and white color scheme, so I know it works well and looks snazzy, and she’s a Puget Sound boat.
Below is a before picture of my salon. Photoshopped after photos of various color possibilities are under the “Table Top” heading.
You’ll notice the table top is lovely. If you missed it, that was sarcasm. Fortunately I have a solution to the gorgeous wood laminate (more sarcasm), and I’m already working on it. My plan is to overlay the table with an artistic but accurate map of the Puget Sound, using the same color scheme for my boat. So the water portions will be bright blues, the land bright green. It’s going to take a while to complete–since the map must be printed at such a large size, the file to create it is huge and takes forever to save to my 3 year old computer. But it’s coming. Below is a photo of what the table will hopefully look like after it’s been modified.
Shelves and Drawers
Everything has its place, everything has its space. Living aboard a boat means organization. If you’re not organized, you’ll end up in a rubber room, mumbling and rocking yourself. When I first moved aboard, I brought a lot of stuff onto the boat, including tupperware bins full of clothes (and that was after I purged my closet and reduced it by half). Having my clothes in several tupperware bins got old fast, and when I took two huge bags of laundry to shore, and an equal number of clean clothes stayed on the boat, it was time for the second purge. I gave away socks, shirts, and towels (none of my winter clothes are yet aboard), then got rid of the tupperware and purchased two fishnets to hang in my v-berth, to store everything but my pants. Those are still in one tupperware bin (as you can see). What would be oh so loverly: shelves and drawers. Below that bin is my kerosene tank, which fuels my stove and oven. I need easy access to the tank to pump it and refuel it. There originally was a settee there, as well as a heater. I don’t need the settee, and I need the heater, and I could also use extra counter space. Shelves and drawers right there would be perfect. It would also be great for storing charts.
The little countertops that I have are crappy looking. Nothing says old and cheap like cracks, gouges, and exposed fiberglass. A winter project if ever there was one, the countertops need some laminate or at least something to cover up the scratches. Once I have the funds, time, and know-how, I’m fixing the counters. (Photos Below)
One of the main things that drew me to this boat was the warmness of the interior, executed by the gorgeous wood. There are some places where the wood is chipped, scratched, or some substance stained it or made it otherwise ugly. To return it to its original charm, the interior woodwork may need to be sanded, smoothed, and revarnished.
Light colors make a space seem larger and nothing is lighter than white. Like the countertops, the walls and other surfaces are chipped, cracked and scratched, and need a healthy coat of paint. Ultra bright white can sometimes make interiors look like that of a hospital, so I’ll try a warmer off-white, cream, or something similar.
Hauling ice into my boat a few times a week is kind of annoying. Okay I’ll admit it, it’s terribly annoying. I’m not the only person it annoys, for there are refrigeration conversion units available for marine living. I’d love to eventually swap out my ice for a battery powered cold plate, which can be installed in the existing icebox. A Norcold Refrigeration unit costs several hundred dollars, so until I can afford it, I have to keep bringing ice aboard. But the refrigerator is moving up the I Must Have List rather quickly…
Libby needs painting. Badly. Sailboats need the bottom of their hulls painted every few years, due to the growth of various life on the hull and constant exposure to salt water. Since she also has one osmosis blister where the keel meets the hull (this is great news for a 40 year old sailboat, to have just ONE osmosis blister), she has to be hauled out for the repair, and I might as well paint her once out of the water. Painting takes a long time, a few days at least. But having a gorgeous, freshly painted boat will also be wonderful, and it gives me an opportunity to put my signature on the girl.
The transom, where Libby’s new name resides, was recently painted and doesn’t need work. Since the transom is white, so will the rest of her, but she needs some more color. I’ll most likely bring more color to the bottom, perhaps even dark orange or sky blue, so when she heels, she’ll show off some personality (it may also be fun to write something, perhaps “yeeehaaaw!”). Libby is named after a fictional individual, who’s cute in personality and looks. It might be fun to add vector graphics of Libby to the hull, giving it that pop of color and personality she deserves. Below is a current picture.
I. Want. A. Dodger. Dodgers keep water out, and since I live in Washington, keeping water out is just as important as drinking the stuff. It’s much cheaper to make your own dodger, and since I’m so cheap by nature and necessity, crafting my own dodger may have to go on the winter project list. Man, that list is getting long! One thing’s for certain: I won’t be using royal blue. I’m not sure what colors are available to me for the dodger, but I’ll have to give the dodger a different color. A rusty orange sure would look neat!
Every time I want to go outside, I must pull up five teak slats. In the summer I just wait until it’s warm enough in the morning, then pull them out, and leave them out until I go to bed. That plan’s not going to work well in the winter, when it’s 30 degrees or less, and rainy. Going in and out of the sailboat by removing and replacing five slats is inconvenient, so I’ll need a door with hinges and everything. If I can’t figure that out, I may need to create one giant slat, maybe with plexiglass inside to let light stream in.
Want to help?
These many needed improvements take time and money. My novel, Jaden Baker (the boat was named after a character in the novel), is available for purchase from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as a paperback and ebook (ebook price is cheap!!!). Buying a book would not only help support my sailboat fund, but also my dream to be a novelist, and just a novelist.
I’m also a designer of websites (I did this one) and can create a nifty WordPress or custom HTML/CSS site for you and your business. To learn more, please visit my business website True Northe.
Or if you just want to donate a few cents or bucks and forget about my book and business, you can use the PayPal donate button in the footer (bottom) of this website.
And of course, if you’d rather not donate a dime, and simply wish to opine, well that’s just fine. 😉
Have some ideas?
If you have worked on a sailboat and have some tips, tricks, or photos of before and after, I would LOVE to hear about it. Please leave your comments below!