Wednesday, August 2nd. “Fleetwood” will rise again. _/) _/)

Written by Jack van Ommen on August 2nd, 2017

A week ago, after a week of cleaning up, removing the remaining sea water and thick mud from the bilge, I discovered additional dammage besides the split along the lower port chine and the damage of the rudder post and “sugar scoop”. The lower chine on the starboard side is also split and the stringers broken at the masthead bulkhead and the floor timber at the masthead bulkhead.

I was ready to throw in the towel after all the nasty cleaning and the discomfort of the back ache. But after consultation with Todd, the builder of this particular NAJA kit, I decided to go for it anyway. Monday I got the confirmation that the insurance will cover the $19,000 wreck removal bill. Now I can draw my plans. It will take a number of months. Chisseling out the damaged stringers and parts of the chines and floors, cleaning out the breaks, scarfing in replacements. Reinforcing the weak areas with carbon fiber, etc. After I have repaired and repainted the underwater parts of the hull and installed the engine replacement and the solar panel, I plan to move the boat back to the Nautical Boats Marina in Portsmouth to finish the interior and above the water exterior, wiring, electronics, etc. Make up new floor boards, cock pit grills and the one lost hatch, companion way entry, etc.

In case any of you have suggestions, I am looking to replace the one cylinder 10 1/2 HP engine with a two cylinder 12 to 18 hp, Kubota Nani N-14) or Mitsubishi (Sole Mini 17) block, Westerbeke 12-D or a Yanmar YM2GM or similar in a good used or rebuilt engine. Preferably near the Chesapeake Bay.

Once I get the damage where the weather does not affect it any longer, I plan make the postponed trip to Quebec to meet up with Roger Simard of the 1980 Naja “Bonita”. On this road trip I might be able to stow an engine in the trunk and plan scrounge the  New England consignment/salvage yards for the many items I have lost. Fisheries Supplies will be getting a long shopping list I am working on. Fortunately I still have a decent discount set up from the days that I was selling and assembling the NAJA kits under my company A&T Marine Services. I have not been in Cape Charles since last Wednesday evening. On Thursday I had an appointment with the back surgeon. Since I had not experienced any relief from the surgery, he ordered another MRI and X-Ray, which is scheduled for the 10th. My occupation with the boat did not help in the recovery. In the meantime I am house and cat sitting for my daughter and son in law on their 9 day vacation. I may end up as cat food unless I hear from them soon as where her dry food is hidden. They took the bicycle I was using with them and walking the three miles to the nearest market is not agreeing with my back.

Here are a couple of pictures of the additional dammage I discovered:





broken bulkhead and 4 mm gap from keelson

broken bulkhead and 4 mm gap from keelson







Just the replacements of the lost/ruined items is over $ 10,000 and that is a little more than my current savings. This does not include the repair materials. The alternative would be to walk away from the project, hope that enough salvage items like winches, deck hardware, rigging, etc would cover the cost of what is left to go into the dumpster.  Then I might find a fiberglass substitute for say $ 10,000 that would take another $5,000 plus to outfit. But it will never be the sailboat that “Fleetwood” has been and potentially will be again. I realize that my age is slowing me down but I am looking forward to the challenge and progress and to be reunited with my faithful friend with the hand on her tiller a bone in her teeth and a smile on my face.

Every last week of the month there is a nearly $2,000 Social Security deposit on my account. My books royalties are slowly growing. One of the regular readers of this blog has already stepped up with a very generous offer towards the “resurrection” with a $1,000 offer. My twin brother, Jan, has already deposisted a similar sum on my Euro account in The Netherlands. In 2010 I had to replace the old Renault engine in Romania on the Danube, far from any marine cacilities and that added to the expense of about $8,000. It cleaned my savings, but I managed to restock and when I lost the original “Fleetwood” in 2013 in the Mediterranean I managed to purchase the current boat for $7,000 and again built my savings back up. So, I am expecting that the Lord will again take care of it.  But if I get in a bind, I will avail myself of your aid.

You can do me a great financial favor and your self the pleasure or as a gift to your friends to purchase “SoloMan” and/or “The Mastmakers’ Daughters”. In particular if you buy the printed version from instead of Amazon. I am also keen on giving a presentation to a crowd of potential readers in the Northwest in November/December or here on the Atlantic Coast.

I insert part of my spreadsheet of the insurance estimate with the items that need replacement. Just in case you might have it in your garage or know of a good source.

Repair Estimate sailboat “Fleetwood”

Replacements: Costs

Solar Panel Kyocera and controller $350.00
Inflatable Dinghy $750.00
Engine, installations rebuild mounts $7,000.00
Engine upgrade from one to two cylinder -$2,000.00
Engine hatch material, lost $50.00
Life Raft $2,100.00
Boat tools $1,000.00
Two batteries $700.00
All wiring including mast $375.00
Horse shoe life ring $50.00
Windvane vane $60.00
VHF radio $400.00
AM-FM radio $150.00
Handheld GPS $150.00
Galley two burner propane stove $350.00
AIS-GPS transponder Vesper Marine $940.50 (This might still be resurrected)
Cockpit floor grates, teak $150.00
Cabin floors, oak strip $200.00
Hardware boat spares $350.00
Broken lines & halyards $50.00


Comments are closed.