3 Little Wins (Brio’s 2015 Refit)

We accomplished quite a lot in our 12-day “refit” (including spending $4000 — ouch!!! — which I’ll breakdown in another post) but I thought I’d start with 3 silly little wins.

Full disclaimer though: If you read this and think, “you two are ridiculous, how did you wait FOUR YEARS to make these changes??” well, you’re not alone. We’re asking each other the same thing 😉

Small Win #1: Fixing the fridge lid

Fixing the fridge lid on a sailboat - thickened epoxy

Soooo…. if you ever came over for dinner and found some random little white flake in your food, I apologize. We went to all the work of installing the fridge, including buying new batteries, a new alternator, a new regulator and increased solar power… but somehow we managed to ignore the paint flaking off our fridge lid for 4 entire years. *Insert shame face here*

Since quite a few of our “big” projects involved lots of down-time (like waiting for new parts, waiting for epoxy to cure, etc), we had time to sneak in a few of the projects that have just been hanging out on the list for-ever. This was one of them.

Jon removed the flaky skin, applied 3 coats of thickened epoxy, and then sanded it all down and gave it a nice glossy shine. Now every time I open the fridge I glance at that smooth shiny flake-free surface and smile. Don’t judge. Just be grateful when you come for dinner 😉

New fridge lid repair on sailboat refrigeration


Small Win #2: Crossing the cockpit drains

Crossing cockpit drain hoses

I don’t have a picture of this one (since it’s buried deep underneath our cockpit) so you get my smiling “I just finished a project” face instead 😉

Again, back when we bought Brio in 2011, one of the items on our survey was “cross the cockpit drain hoses to prevent flooding at sea”. Do you think we listened? Of course not! To be fair, this was partly due to the lack of good hoses in Mexico (or the prices of the few that were available!), but we managed to avoid this project until now too.

The real implication (for me, at least) of crossing our drain hoses is that our cockpit is now DRY when we’re sailing hard. It used to be that even a slight heel would result in 1-2″ of water in the low side of the cockpit well (1-2″ water = salty wet feet = unhappy Leah).

With the drain hoses crossed (so the port-side drain goes to the starboard-side thruhull, and vice versa) we don’t see ANY water until we hit about 30 degrees of heel. At which point we probably need to reef, so we’re not focused on wet feet anyways 😉

Small Win #3: Installing a v-berth step

Installing a v-berth step to get in and out of bed

The short(er) people of the world will emphasize: it’s HARD to get in and out of the v-berth! You may remember that when we first bought Brio, I took it upon myself to slice the v-berth mattress in half (horizontally) to make it thinner. It’s not that I don’t like thick mattresses — I just couldn’t get into bed without a running start!

The smaller foam has helped, but it still took some early-morning gymnastic-style maneuvers to get in and out of bed (always a bad idea pre-coffee!) so I finally convinced Jon that a step that would help. We had this beautiful piece of Panamanian Cedro that Jon carved to match the other Nor’West trim, a few coats of epoxy, some through-bolts, and voila! I can get in and out of bed with ease 🙂

Just one more little project that is currently bringing us joy aboard Brio!

Showing off the v-berth step

Now obviously these are just three little baby projects, but isn’t it funny how sometimes it’s not the big projects that bring the greatest joy?

Like yes, I’m happy that we have a dripless shaft seal and new prop (kind of), but I’m downright EXCITED that I can get in and out of bed easily and make dinner without white paint flakes and not have wet feet when we’re sailing.

It’s the little things 🙂



3 Little Wins (Brio’s 2015 Refit) — 4 Comments

  1. Ha ha. If I had to list my top 10 favorite “upgrades” to our boat, I’d say probably half would fit into the “baby project” category. Sometimes they can have the biggest impact! Good job on the projects 🙂


    • Deborah I just read back through some of your blog posts, and MAN do I feel your pain on the whole “my neighbour ruined my paint job” thing! We had a workyard neighbour decide that waxing his mast track was a good thing to do (with spray wax floating all over the place) while we painted… let’s just say that paint + wax = some super crazy paint designs! Plus we had a similar rudder issue so we’ve got all sorts of workyard similarities 🙂 I’m curious to hear more of your favourite little projects though… any come to mind right away??

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