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.
“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.”
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:
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
It was owned by Larry U. It is hull number 2 and was the boat that was shown at the Annapolis boat show in 1987. It was then brought to the Connecticut boat show where Larry saw it. He is the only owner of the boat and had quite a race record.
He sailed it primarily on Long Island sound, we sailed it though Hells Gate in NYC and up the Hudson were it will find it new home on Lake George NY.
It is currently completely stripped down and we are working hard on a complete restoration. She had issues with a wet top deck so all the hard ware has been removed and completely redone with new top side paint and non skid.
The inside of the boat was hardly used but we have gone through this and redone everything inside. These are very well made boats and a pleasure to restore. There is not an inch of this boat that is not being redone at this point hoping to give it another 30 years of life.