Friday, January 14, 2011

Talofa Lee

Talofa Lee enroute from Florida to Alabama
Talofa Lee just prior to "barning" for repairs
In late April of 2010, S/V Talofa Lee, a 1978 aft cabin Norsea 27, sank at her berth in Sarasota, Florida.  She was re-floated, surveyed, and written off by the insurance company as a total loss. Her owner bought the salvage rights in the hope that she could be restored and put back to sea.  In July of 2010, I bought Talofa Lee from the owner, transported her to my home in South Alabama, and began evaluating her needs to allow restoration.

Tensie Mae just prior to launch in 2010

The Norsea 27 is a well-designed, well-found, and well-built boat, capable of round-the-world passages in fair weather and foul.   I have owned another hull of this design since 1983, and had recently completed a number of restorative projects on that hull, S/V Tensie Mae.  Several of the projects I completed on Tensie Mae were quite complex, and the experience I gained readied me to take on restoration of Talofa Lee.  My primary resource in completing the projects on Tensie Mae was the internet, especially the Yahoo-based Norsea 27 forum, where a running discussion of sailing and maintaining Norseas has been going on for about a decade.  I am indebted to all who have posted there for their insights and advice.  In their spirit, I decided to do this blog to document the restoration of Talofa Lee.  By doing so, perhaps some other sailor will get an idea or two from the blog, or maybe even make a comment that could help me as I work on this project.

I am beginning the blog with this purpose statement, and will in the next few days try to bring it up to date on my progress so far.  Most of the progress so far has been destructive, tearing things out of the boat.  I have some key decisions to make before I begin restoration, and will try to highlight how I reached those decisions.  Finally, I will document the technical study, physical effort, tools, parts, money, and advice I receive as I move along.

I am not trying to restore her to showroom status.  I am trying to make her seaworthy...robust and tough, with a view toward keeping things simple, safe to sail and maintain.  And I have a somewhat limited budget. I would ask any readers who happen to run across this blog to keep those things in mind in their comments. Of course, any constructive comments you may have, or encouragement, would be well received.

Thanks for reading.


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