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Latitude Nation: What’ve You Been DIY-ing Lately?

Like the arrival of the rain, the setting of the sun and the rotation of  planets, so too comes work on the boat. The project may be something you’ve been meaning to do, or something that broke on your last sail. Maybe you’ve contemplated hiring someone to do the job, but maybe you’re a brave soul and you’ve decided to Do It Yourself.

“I was certainly unsure what the future would hold for Sarah, my C&C 34, when the mast came crashing down in the Bay of Cartagena, Colombia, in February of 2016,” Fred Reynolds wrote us in late 2017. “I soon realized there was only one solution — repair the mast myself. It took me three trips down to Cartagena, carrying the splice and all new rigging/fittings/wiring/lights/etc. over the course of a year and a half.”
© 2019 Fred Reynolds

We’d like to know what DIY project you have going out there, or something that you’ve done recently — within the last year-ish — that you’re especially proud of. We’d also like to know if there are any projects that have you perplexed. Could you benefit from a how-to article?

Some of the most prolific DIYers are singlehanded round-the-worlders, who have limited boatyard options on the high seas. Randall Reeves was fixing stuff on Moli for nearly two years straight.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC /

While those of us in Northern California are blessed with mild winters, the rain, cold and short days can still be a factor in making sailors say, “I’ll get to that project in the spring.” Are you a hibernating DIYer, or are you an all-season DIYer?

Based on your responses, we hope to put together an article in the coming weeks and months. Please comment below, or send your responses here. Pictures are always appreciated. We will also have the next installment in Joshua Wheeler’s Resourceful Sailor Series in the near future.

Happy DIY-ing!

2 Comments

  1. Joshua Wheeler 2 years ago

    Oooh, the anticipation!

  2. Scott Henry 2 years ago

    So a few weeks ago I was sailing with my “winter” sail, the genoa. During a gust, the track pulled up! Needless to say, I terminated that sail pretty quickly. Fortunately the trip back to my slip (in Alameda) was on the other tack (and mostly downwind). It turns out that the genoa track is only screwed into the teak toerail, which is through-bolted and holds the deck-to-hull joint together. The boat is only 24ft long, so screws are actually strong enough, assuming the 51-yo teak rail doesn’t split! Unscrewing 10ft of 1in stainless flat track was made easier by an electric screwdriver. I then epoxied the cracks and clamped them over a few days. I rescrewed the track (and moved it forward by a few feet, to better suit more modern sails). I just finished the job on the last trip to the boat, so haven’t had a chance to try it out yet.
    Oh, I still need to move the track on the other side, so the boat is currently asymmetrical!

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