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  • Big news. I have been offered a job working for a holiday yachting company in the Caribbean. Those that know me well know that I spend a lot of time talking about boats and the sun so this was an offer that I simply could not refuse!!

    I love Pärlan, but sadly she is not ready to sail the Atlantic so I have to let her go. She is now for sale in blocket together with a large collections of boat bits which sits in the corner of my studio...

    ... If you are interested in her then please take a look through my archived blogs and you will see a full history (in video) of everything I've done to her.

    I'm selling everything I have in Sweden so that I travel light. Here is a list of stuff for sale if you are interested.

    I leave at the end of September and I will continue to blog here. I doubt if it will be too long before you see me taking sailing lessons out there and maybe finding another boat from which I can take you all on video tours of the Caribbean!

  • I spent yesterday fitting the engine surround box. Here's how far I've got...

    If it is sunny next time I'm on her I'll sand the box and finish it, else I'll start the wiring and electrics.

  • Renovating and painting the wheelhouse on Pärlan; a 1958 wooden sardine trawler.

    Part 1... Preparing the wheelhouse for paint.

    Part 2... Painting the wheelhouse.


    ... and after...

  • Fixing the fuel tank and exhaust into Pärlan; a 1958 sardine trawler built in Gothenburg, Sweden.

  • Pärlan; a 1958 sardine trawler built in Gothenburg, Sweden. Putting in the stern flooring.

  • Pärlan; a 1958 sardine trawler built in Gothenburg, Sweden. Putting in wooden beams for flooring.

  • Pärlan; a 1958 sardine trawler built in Gothenburg, Sweden. Today I cleaned the engine and continued to clean out the bilge - nasty oily work:)

  • Pärlan; a 1958 sardine trawler built in Gothenburg, Sweden. I removed the last of the interior wood today, pulled a load of rubbish out of the bilge and cleared up.

  • Pärlan; a 1958 sardine trawler built in Gothenburg, Sweden. First spring day on Pärlan and it's time to tidy up the bow section and remove the last of the pine wood that will stop her from drying out.

  • I've just spent three days on Pärlan with the sole aim of getting her as dry as possible.

    There are two aspects to this; stopping rain water getting in and getting airflow through the hull to dry her out.

    I started with taping over the cracks you can see in her wheelhouse. This is very ugly, but it will hold out the water until the Summer when I can re-fiberglass and paint it.

    The bow (front) of the boat has a sleeping area which has been lined with polystyrene foam and pine stripping. All that has to come out to let the air circulate around the hull.

    After several hours I got the floor up and was able to take a look in the bilge (the middle bottom of the boat).

    After removing about 9 buckets of water we can now see the bottom of the boat!

    Getting to the engine was difficult (it is green and to the left of the white wall) so I needed to remove all the old woodwork around the engine to give me plenty of room to service it.

    Here everything is stripped out and the engine is more visible. I sat down after this and realized that Pärlan is actually a very spacious boat!

    She has a fantastic curve which I hope will show up even better with some new flooring in her.

    The engine is now visible and easy to work on. Before I do that though I have to clean out a huge amount of old wood. I have a bicycle trailer and hopefully if the weather is good next weekend I'll take the good stuff back home to dry out and find a Valborg (May day) fire for the rest of it.

    More soon.

  • Pärlan; a 1958 sardine trawler built in Gothenburg, Sweden. Spent the day trying to uncover the engine and get myself a decent working area so that I can service it.

  • Pärlan; a 1958 sardine trawler built in Gothenburg, Sweden. Day 2 started with looking under the flooring in the midsection.

  • Pärlan; a 1958 sardine trawler built in Gothenburg, Sweden. Day 1 and I start by trying to keep the water on the outside.

  • Yesterday was a crazy day. I spent the afternoon in a rain forest and the evening on a boat watching the snow come down (more about the rain forest in my work blog).

    I met Annika yesterday at Pärlan so that we could sign a contract and had over ownership officially. I could see how much Annika liked Pärlan; kind of felt like ripping a baby away from her mother in a way. I'm not so surprised; after all a wooden boat in Sweden becomes a place from which Summer memories are kept.

    I have some pictures of the inside to share with you today:

    You can enter the wheelhouse from either side of the deck. Once inside you'll see a centrally placed wheel, stairs o the starboard (right) side and if you turn around you'll find a bench table and double doors that you can open.

    If you go down the stairs, turn around and look up you'll see the wheelhouse table...

    Look down and you are looking towards the stern (back of the boat). Under the cables is the engine and yes, she needs a tidy up;)

    The engine is a Volvo Penta, but i'm not sure which make. One of my first jobs over Easter will be to find the serial number on it.

    Turning around to face her bow (front) you'll find a continuation of the mess..

    Lastly looking straight down you see what she is really made of. She could be made out of Teak or Mahogany. Most of the wood is covered in tar so I can't be sure...

    ... any pine will be taken out over the next few weeks and put into dry storage along with anything that is not bolted to the floor, then I'll use a wet spring to trace any leaks and focus on getting her as dry as possible (inside at least). More photos after Easter.

  • I have a new girl in my life. She's about 30ft long, 8ft wide, floats and made of wood - yes, I have a boat. Her name is Pärlan (which is Swedish for "the pearl") and over the next three years you'll be able to follow this blog as I restore her.

    She's moored a stones throw from the city of Stockholm, Sweden on lake Mälaren.

    The plan is for 2008 to strip the inside, replace the electrics, service and clean the engine (a Volvo Penta), fix the fiberglass and paint the top, get her dry inside, fix the batteries in place and add a proper fuel tank. I also want to make a plywood rowing boat for her.

    The fiberglass is temporary. I want her to eventually have teak decking, but the top side can only really be overhauled after the bottom of her is stripped of paint, rotten wood replaced and an epoxy resin applied to the wood. This will make the wooden underside of her look beautiful (seems a shame to have a wooden boat covered in fiberglass and paint)!

    The main point of time spent in 2008 is to get used to her, relax on her over the summer and plan the overhaul of the underside of her that will need to happen in 2009.... as I said, a three year project:)