Turning a Goblin’s cave into a boat


This is not exactly a post dealing with boatbuilding.

My intention is to focus on some small refurbishment works that can be done by a hobbyist boat owner to give a new fresh aspect to the interiors and furnitures of his/her small boat.

Marinas here in Italy are currently packed of small second hand motorboats and sailboats that can be purchased for a reasonable amount of money, boats ranging form total wreckages to good bargains; several of them are, all in all, boats in decent or even good shape, with safe and sound hulls and rigs, working deck hardware , a decent engine, and often a good wardrobe of sails; but most of the times the real drama lies down the companionway hatch.

These boats’ cabins are dirty, stinky, smell of rotten fills every inch of the cabin, the last thing you can dream of is to spend a cruising week in such a kind of mushroom plantation.

Several months ago a friend of mine purchased one of this small boats, a 6,8 meters sailboat 25 years old, his purchase was focused on sailing the boat with his family in coastal cruises of several days here in southern Sardinia, mostly during the warm season.

We took a look the boat: the interiors were exactly as aforementioned: old, stinky, and “tired”.

The boat was not worth spending a huge amount of money to be refurbished, so we wrote down a small list of low cost works that could be done:

  • throw away the old plastic coating that wraps the interiors: an horrible diamond-shaped plastic carpet glued on the cabin ceilings, half detached and totally and definitely dirty and smelly.

  • Remove the patch of yellow glue and clean everything, than apply a layer of fresh white gelcoat

  • throw away the old floorings: rotten and too dark ;

  • before throwing them in the garbage use them as templates for the new ones “teak effect” : basically they’re made with a layer of marine grade 10-12 mm plywood (okumè or mahogany), routed to simulate teak planking, decorated with black sika strips filling the routings, faired and covered with semigloss painting to protect them.

  • new mattresses for berths , old ones where wet and rotten.

  • replace the mast pillar (new one is not yet installed on pictures; old one was a chunk of small diameter gas pipe !!!) with a real one, before the mast compressione crunchs it;

As you can see these are all works that can be done during the winter by a normal hobbyist with an affordable budget, and can definitely change the aspect of your boats’ interiors as shown in the pictures.

the boat before refurbishing works  (unfortunately smell simulation devices are not installed on our tablets and computers ! )


before refurb 1 before refurb 2 before refurb 3 before refurb 4


the boat after works

after refurb 4 after refurb 3 after refurb 2 after refurb 1


the new floorings

flooring 1 flooring 2