Part 3: Starting The Renovation Project
Once on our new home mooring at Wroxham the renovation and refit started in earnest. We decided to rename "Our Choice" as “Second Spring” the point of a renewal of energy and opportunities, conserving and nourishing the self.
We decided to start work on the inside first, and hoping to lift out and repaint the outside in the summer. Paul seemed to go into demolition mode and stripped out the boat. Every night it felt like we filled the car full of stuff to get rid of or repair. I can remember thinking what's left....
We joined the Hampton Safari Boat Club and were invited to the friendly meet up at Salhouse Broad. We thought this will be a great way to get some ideas.
Some kind Safari owners let as have a nose around, but we actually realised that we couldn’t make a comparison as the MK1J layout is totally different to any of the other Safaris we viewed. We decided we would embrace the difference.
On Every evening and every spare day off, we have been working on Second Spring. Work started by removing the old sink unit and stripping out the front bulkhead.
Paul pressure washed the bilges with years of grime - an awful job but very satisfying. He changed the bilge pump, stained floorboards, and generally fixed things,
I was purchasing items online ready for when we start to put the boat back together again, which seemed a long way off. We also completed a lot of detailed research on things like heating systems and toilets.
We decided on shower wall panelling for the front bulkhead. We also bought cladding for the ceiling and boarding for the walls, with many hours spent painting and vanishing. We found some original stained mahogany that Paul stripped back to its natural wood colour.
The job list just gets bigger as you realise what else you want to add.
Another Hampton Safari owner had told us that they were having their pump out toilet removed and were reverting to having a porta potti. Mainly due to the smell and the cost of pump outs after roughly every eight days use. After some reflection we decided to do the same, for the time being at least.
So far, this project has rekindled a passion for marine DIY, that I always knew Paul had, but I hadn't realised that bringing an old boat back to life within a tight budget was such a driving force for me too.
Our motivation of sharing the love of a sturdy refreshed Hampton that was built over 50 years ago feels so worthwhile.
November seemed to be a month of going one step forwards and 5 steps backwards. Its aways a busy month for us as we have our yacht to lift out of the water. Paul is away much more, but we managed to finally get the walls boarded.
The drawers under bunks and and writing desk looked so homemade, we tried to paint them but the paint easily marked. We then tried self adhesive wallpaper which was a disaster. In the end we repainted them again for a wipe clean finish. It doesnt look perfect now, but decided we cant spend anymore time on these.
As we intend to use Second Spring all year round, there are much more important things to do such as installing heating for the winter. New wall lights were installed which again turned into a long job, as it was difficult to access the wiring behind the bunks.
Paul asked a good friend and former dinghy racing colleague (John) to check over our Perkins engine as he maintains them at work. "All looks good" was the very welcome positive news and outcome...
Our current aim is to spend Christmas Day afloat on Second Spring....TO BE CONTINUED IN 2023!