A cockpit grating for Sundance

The aft cabin Nor’sea 27s have a nearly square cockpit that is often fitted with a grate that can be raised and placed in chocks to fill in the cockpit flush with the level of the seating and thereby provide some extra sleeping space.

I have had my eye out for grates and grating materials, and when I attended a boat swap meet in Berkeley last Sunday I got lucky! The sale starts at six and I was out there at 5:45 with a flashlight scoping things out.  As the third seller was unloading I found this teak cockpit grille and I was all over it.

I held my breath while I measured it up and was amazed to discover it was just about perfect – an inch longer front to back than I’d need.  It’s a few years old, but nothing some glue and clamps can’t fix.  I think it’s mahogany and not Teak, though. I won’t know for sure until I sand off the finish.

I believe the sale price was $45 trimmed just a bit from $50.  I also bought a few other items from the same seller, including a trawler lamp that needs a new glass chimney.

I’ll update this post when I get the grating cut to size and refinished.  Be sure to add to the list of things to take to the swap: cash, want list with measurements, flashlight, tape measure.

This grating was almost a perfect fit.  It has me curious which boat it came from?

2013-03-17 Instruments

I met Deano in Antioch and bought a few odds and ends from him.  A ships wheel, two bronze 8″ bronze ports and a couple of gauges. From the ad:




I polished up the humidity meter quite a bit with some 225 general purpose sandpaper.  It actually “cuts” less than 500  carborundum paper, which I followed with 1000, then Brasso .  It’s too bad about the clock being converted to digital.  It works and looks fine but the mechanical version had Ships Bells.  I found on eBay they have an electronic movement that has a ship’s bells feature for $130.   I may look at getting one of those if it fits the bezel.

In vintage new condition I see the clock and humidity gauge pair on a Canadian website for $899.

New Stockburger gauges new are about $75 or so but much smaller.


2013-03-17 At the Boat Wrecker

Today I met Dan in Pittsburg, CA. He’s actually a boat wrecker and probably a good contact for the future.  He had two trailers full of Chris Crafts chainsawed into strips, so there wasn’t much in the way of straight lumber and most of it was covered in two plies 3/4″ thick.  There were some big chunks from the transom but they were oddly shaped.

The trip wasn’t a total bust –  I did get several nice varnished mahogany trim pieces 6-8′ long, 4 inches wide and just under a quarter inch thick, a small bundle of teak trim and those may be useful down the road for some purpose. Also to round out the deal he threw in a teak louvered companionway accordion type door with drink holders built into the base.  At least I think they’re drink holders.  They are a pair on both the inside and outside of the hatch so I don’t think they’re for poles!  Maybe it could fit the aft companionway, but that’s a tight squeeze as it is without having to dodge things.

Most of the leftovers were firewood.

2012-02-16 Minney’s Yacht Surplus

I made a trip to Minney’s in Costa Mesa on Saturday and brought home a haul of goods.  I took a wish list with me that had all the critical dimensions.

  • Two teak hatch covers $75 each. These mesaure abotu 36×30 but are parallelograms, not square cornered hatches.  I have a plan to square them up at the cost of just a couple of inches of length.  Hopefully they aren’t glued too well!
  • Manual Vertical Capstan Windlass.  The windlass was $95 and the Barient winch handle was $28
  • 2 Yanmar manual starter cranks.  I bought one last visit for $3 but it turned out the inner diameter was too small.  These are definitely larger and a couple of different lengths, too.  Each was $3.
  • Companionway doors.  These are light but really well made and feature some integral removable screens and glass panels.  One glass panel is missing and the bottoms were roughly cut.   The kick is that the width was just about perfect – 11.5 inches.  They’ll need to be cut to length – about 25″ and radiused anyways.  The best part was the price $21 each!
  • four bits of pull-apart perko hinge I can use on the door, they were priced $3 but they were thrown in.
  • A water faucet for $12.  I’m hoping that I can open it up and replace the leather valve.
  • Cole stove with stack.  This one is similar to the one on Jules but came with a 3″ stack that has a damper.  it’s a little larger in the frame and has a side deflector.  Perfect  for Oz – $145
  • The coup – two bronze bollards for $16 and $48.  Check out the price over at.  Basically these went for the price I would have paid for shipping on “the one that got away” over on eBay
  • A hatch prop for the forward cabin $12
  • A bag of miscellaneous teak stuff for $20 and another Teak Handrail bit for $12
  • A wooden teak & holly cutting board for $5
  • A red bag about 8′ long that I think will make a nice tiller cover

They had a good price on a Hille-Range propane oven but it was looking a little tired and the door had some rust through on the inside, so I held off hoping Craigslist will turn up another Origo 6000 or Force 10 oven, or something similar.


On the way out we stopped in Long Beach to stop at the Captains Locker, which I was hoping was another consignment place but it turned out to be a well stocked boat supply that sold only new items.  On the way out though I checked out the West Marine at the same harbor to see what they had in the discount section, and there I found a 6″ nickel plated bell, new for $5.17.

2012-12-13 Update – a Fan and some WM Gear

Boat Stuff

I found a nice ventilation fan at Restore today for $8.  They also had a bar sink faucet for $12 that may work well in the main cabin, and a Stihl 12″electric chainsaw for $30.  I found I could get a new one with a warranty for $50, so I passed on the saw.

West Marine Sale – West Marine is having a $20 off on $100 purchase today, so I picked up an anchor rode bucket, a tide watch, rigging knife and some Cap’t Tolley’s Creeping Crack Cure  that I thought I might try on Lilikoi.  Does it work? I don’t know yet but you have to love the video!

Insurance Update

BoatsUS sent me an email today with a PDF telling me that I needed to complete the survey soon to keep my policy active.  However, considering I don’t have the boat in the water and don’t have plans to do so in the immediate future, any survey wouldn’t be able to assess things like the standing / running rigging, engine or seaworthiness.  I called them to ask about deferring the survey until I spring and they suggested we revise the policy for storage only, and I’ll need to complete a survey before I splash the boat.  Fine by me – the boat isn’t going to sink in my driveway!


2012-12-07 – A trip to Blue Pelican Marine

I made a trip out to Blue Pelican Marine in Alameda CA.  This is a marine consignment store run by Tom Bliss.  They recently expanded, more than doubling the square footage, and I believe he also does a fair online business with e-Bay consignments.  Blue Pelican is the kind of place you go looking for something and leaving with something else. There’s a variety of vintage nautical gear as well as lines, teak, chandlery, safety equipment, winches, books rigging and usually a couple dozen items you wouldn’t expect to find anywhere.  Prices are generally very fair.

Cockpit grate material – some shutters and 1×2 teak

I went in today looking at some material for a cockpit grate for the Nor’sea.  In picked up some type of louvered hatch and some 1x2x6′ strips that I believe I can turn into a serviceable grate that can be used to cover the cockpit. I am not sure the 1/2×2 material currently used in the slats will be rugged enough for long term use as a cockpit grate, so I thought I could beef it up with the 1×2. In any case it was $40 for the grate and $30 for the three pieces of unfinished teak, 1×2″ x 6′.


Infrared Space heater with a nice nautical wood box

I also found this cool infrared heater, which has a thermostat, LED display and a very nice wood cabinet.  It has wheels on the bottom, too.  It might fit into the area between the Nav station and the galley counter where the current stove is.  It was $49 and retails online for  around $120



Some beautiful 6-loop handrails

This pair of beautiful teak 6-loop handrails was $59.  it will need some new teak plugs and there is a chip down toward the end. I have 5- and 4- loop rails on my Nor’sea.  I have new 4-loop rails.  I’ll need to decide whether to cut these down to 5-loop or use them as-is on the Catalina 27. This was about the same price Defender charges for a single 5-loop handrail, unfinished.


This relief band is worn on the wrist and sends out a periodic electrical stimulus. Supposed to last a couple hundred hours on non-replaceable batteries.

Finally, I found this interesting anti sea-sickness device, which is designed to electronically stimulate acupressure points in the wrist.  A year ago I worked with a gentleman at Cardica, Inc. who previously was involved in marketing a similar medical device for nausea. Could it be the same thing?  It’s called the ReliefBand.  The website indicates it was discontinued and replaced by the prescription-only Reletex. It was $8, so I figured I would give it a shot This is intended for my wife, Kathy, who can get seasick on the dock. . Batteries are non-replaceable, but I may be able to find a way around that, being an electrical engineer in another life.

12-6-2012 Update – A New (old) Countertop

I picked up the blue formica I bought at at Restore yesterday using our trusty 2000 Mazda MPV van, and carried it up the 7′ ladder and down the companionway to the galley table with almost no damage – just a nick on the hidden right side edge.  I also stopped for an oil change at lunchtime.  The van had 900 miles clocked in since the last oil change – 5 years ago!  I can’t say enough good things about Savendra Dutt, the manager of SpeeDee oil change in Redwood City.  He came out personally to go over the technician’s work order and make recommendations concerning their findings. Very polite and professional.  I believe he also operates the store in Los Gatos, CA.

Back to the counter – I will need big cutouts for the sink in the center, the Origo 6000 stove/oven at right, faucet behind.  I still need to decide what to do about the icebox, either install a front loading 12V unit I have, go back to the original top loading box or try something like Greg Delezynski did – modify a Norcold cooler to fit, although he says if he had it to do over…

If I was starting from scratch now, I would NOT build it in. What I would do (no matter what) is build a shelf in the galley sized to hold one of the Norcold or Engel units on. That way, when (not if) is goes bad, or they come out with some new super unit that uses on 0.1 Amp to freez 100 Lbs of meat, you can just swap out the old unit.

Links of Interest:

The formica counter is backed essentially with particle board, so a treatment of the underside with some penetrating epoxy would also be a good idea.  I am not sure how I feel about the blue yet.  It definitely give things a vintage sort of look, which isn’t a bad way to go.  I did find some really nice looking marbled tops at Home Depot and Lowes, but I am not sure that goes well with the stainless double sink I plan to install.

I would need to install a fiddle strip across the front, or I could possibly cut it back and make the front edge entirely teak. I saw a 6′ piece at blue Pelican for $28 that would make a very nice edge and fiddle combo.

You can see I have big work ahead of me with the portlite and surrounds, which both have a lot of water damage from leaks.

This is an inexpensive, five-foot section of blue formica from Restore that I am using for the test layout of the Galley.