Head Remodle

So the Admiral and I agreed that the head area needed  work. It was dark, dingy, full of holes and rough edges. Restoring the wood to it’s natural state was going to be too much work and would never really look right due to the holes and discoloration over the years.
So we filled the holes sanded and painted. Along the way we changed out the faucet, re-routed the drainage off the mast and covered the ugly holes from the old holding tank & toilet.

Then sanded and primed and painted with a one part polyurethane (West Marine Sea Gloss White).

It was an amazing amount of work for such a small space! Took twice as long as I expected!

After painting the door we decided to use a fabric curtain. This was lighter and gave a big guy like me a little extra elbow room.

Pretty happy with the results!

Greg S. – Wailana – Hull #1




Rudder Post Post

From Jim H. on Sabrina – reply below if you can help a brother out!

Hi folks…happy Spring to all. Had my first sail last weekend and my rudder is sloppy, making clunking noises in a seaway. Does anyone have the Jefa part numbers to replace the original Harken bearings?


Connections – Epiphany and Carioca

Our website at its finest:

Epiphany – slow wednesday night

“My husband and I were the first owners of the Express 34 Hull #26. Much to my surprise I have just stumbled on this site and there are photos of the boat flying our spinnakers and I think also even the main. I recognize the colors and the sail number; I can’t believe they are still in use! I notice that the present owner has posted photos and blogs about the boat, which is now called Epiphany, or at least in 2016 it was. He says he doesn’t know much about her history. I don’t know how to reach him but perhaps you do and can put him in touch with us so we can fill him in.

The boat, which we named Carioca, was brand new when we bought it in 1989 although the Allsberg Bros. had by then gone out of business. We found it in a boat yard in Rhode Island and it had never been commissioned. We had it trucked to Mobile, AL, where it was commissioned and sailed to Tampa, FL. We then raced it in Tampa Race Week, 1989, and did quite well. We sailed her home to Naples, FL, where we dry sailed her, as we have a lift in our back yard (we live on a cove which leads out into the Gulf).

We raced her for over 8 years with much success, but we almost never cruised her; in fact we had never even cooked aboard, although we had raced many overnight races and had cruised short distances. We raced her to Key West several times as well as numerous other local day and overnight races. We raced her quite often and have lots of trophies to show for it, but eventually realized that because we were mostly day racing and day sailing we should go with a lighter boat that could be easily sailed or raced with fewer people. (We replaced her with a J105 but in my heart the Express was always the best.) She still looked brand new when we sold her as we loved her and took very good care of her. We sold it to someone from Burlington, VT, who told us he was going to store the boat in his boat house in the winter. The present owner says the boat was in pretty sad shape when he bought it.

If you can put us in touch with the present owner we can give him some insight into the boat’s background.”

I so want to go to this!

Unfortunately I’ve committed to doing Swiftsure this year. Oh and also it’s 1,200 miles away…can somebody please go to this and report back?!

While you’re there, kidnap pull aside Terry Alsberg so we can interrogate politely ask him questions!

How big is your stick?

From Kimball on ‘Hall Aboard’,
Well, its definitely still winter here in the northeast, but boat work is under way.
My boat got dropped off in the yard in RI in early December, which puts it in the front of the line for going in the water in April.  I live about an hour away from the boat, and have a couple of kids, so project time is somewhat limited, but I have 3 main projects that I’d like to get done before the summer:
  1. I’m replacing the rod rigging, because I have no idea how old it is, and it is showing some signs of wear.  I’ll feel much better if I know where I stand on that one.
  2. I don’t have a holding tank.  A previous owner put in a macerator pump, whcih discharges the waste directly overboard, which is a big no-no pretty much anywhere I’m going to be sailing.  I need to add a holding tank, but I think I’m going to keep the macerator pump on one side of the Y-valve downstream of the holding tank as an option for pumping waste overboard if needed.
  3. I was thinking about keeping the wheel for the first year to see if I like it, but I just can’t do it.  I’m removing the wheel, replacing the lower rudder bearing, and adding a tiller, engine throttle, and compass.  This is the one I have a question about.  Do you have a picture of your tiller you could send, including the attachment to the top of the rudder post?  Also, do you know how long your tiller is?

Pre-made tillers for the Express 34

Hi Kimbal,
I’ve got two tillers. The one in my garage is 58” long. The one that’s currently on my boat has been chopped down to 44” long. Both have butt ends measuring a hair less than 2 7/8” x 2 7/8” to fit my Schafer rudder head hardware.
I’m assuming the previous owner did this to reduce the cockpit clearing sweep of the long one. I’m now curious to try the long one. Neither tiller has much ‘drop’ to them. In fact the long one has a bit of ‘rise’. See the pics.
Greg Sutherland
Wailana – Express 34  – Hull #1

Thanks for the pictures and info about the tiller length, I’d be curious to know how long other boats tillers are.  Do you ever feel you don’t have enough leverage with the shorter tiller?  14″ is a lot to cut off!!!

Yes, I was a little stunned when I saw the long one!

It’s interesting that the one from Rudder Craft is the same length as my short one.  It might also have to do with where you sit in the cockpit with the hiking stick.
I’ll post this to the site and see what we get. What say you internet?
So how long is your stick?


Tiller with hiking stick

Wailana’s short tiller with hiking stick

Rudder Post Head

Rudder Mount

Close up of the rudder post head.

Wailana’s Long Tiller

Long tiller top view

Jim Hahn – Houdini

Bad news about one of our own from Sailing Anarchy


Jim Hahn

Our friend Jim Hahn was doing what he loved on Saturday, February 3, skiing in Vermont, when he had a catastrophic accident that has left him paralyzed from the waist down. Ski patrol rushed Jim down the mountain and he was airlifted to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, where he underwent surgery Saturday night to stabilize his spine. Jim, being the character that he is, made sure to quiz the Helo pilot on the maintenance records of the helicopter during the flight.

Jim is a loving father and husband, who, when not traveling the coast working boat shows for Ronstan, enjoys quality family time on their Express 34 Houdini, skiing with friends and family in Vermont, cooking up a meal, kicking off the “Merry Making Season”, “warming the deck” in May, and dreaming about sports cars, among many other things. A consummate cheerleader for everyone, Jim is always there with an encouraging “Send it!” in whatever you’re doing. In short, Jim is not just the life of the party, he puts the life in every day.

Jim has been a staple in numerous classes, including the Swan 45 and Swan 42 class. Alix, Jim’s wife, is a two time International Women’s Keelboat Champ (2016/2017) and a truly incredible person on and off the water.

There’s some chatter in the forums, and a GoFundMe site for those who wish to contribute or send positive vibes. The Hahn’s are attacking this full force, and are extremely grateful for the support they’ve received from our incredible sailing community.

Traveler blues

Sticky. Hard to pull. Unsmooth.
Time to rebuild the mainsheet traveler.
It’s a Harken windward sheeting 27mm standard car (not high-load). Retail 2018 price is $708 for just the car!

Getting the track off was the hardest part. It’s easy to screw up the gelcoat. Using the halyard was key. I used Bed-It Butyl Tape to re-bed it.

Removing the caulk from the traveler was a pain. Slight amount of corrosion between the aluminum track and the stainless steel bolt plates inside the track. I coated them with Teff-Gel before reassembly.

I soaked everything in a bucket of warm soapy water overnight and then rinsed. Broke them down as far as I could, cleaned and then re-lubed before reassembly.

If I had the money I’d spring for the ‘High-Load’ car and new blocks on the fine tune system.

Flat spots on your balls are bad.


Using the main halyard to help lift the track.

Patience…working one side at a time – just a little.

Success! Only a little gelcoat was harmed during this process…

Time to strip, clean and rebuild.

Removing the adhesive caulk. #!%&*@!

Time to break it all down and make it shiny.

Everything back in…doesn’t look all that different!

Cost = $50 for the  48 – 8mm torlon bearings, $80 for the stand up toggle (to keep the block from flopping around when the sheet is slack). $20 for the OneDrop lube. $20 for bigger washers for the inside of the hull to disperse the load better. Added larger eye straps where the control line exits as the old ones were too confining. $20.

Total = $190

Time = 12 hours.

Hint: Take of picture of how the mainsheet is run before disassembly. You will forget.

Harken Traveler Q&A

How to wash your balls.