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We haven't gone dark...

We've just been busy. But things have been happening in Ryboville! Let's get you caught up--starting from the bottom.

The old keel has been removed and replaced. SEA Marine master craftsman, Bob McMurray, planed and shaped the purpleheart wood and feathered 16' sections together for strength. As usual, the process revealed some things we expected and some we didn't. Expected: clams and worm damage. Not expected: the finishing of the old outer keel. The cold molded hull was constructed then fiberglassed per usual, but the outer keel was not fiberglassed or bonded well to the hull, thus the worm damage. Regardless, the old clammy mess is gone, and a beautiful, strong, bonded and fiberglassed new keel is now in its place.

Top: Bob prepping for new keel Above: Old clam-infested keel Right: Bob building the new keel

After seeing a magazine article about our restoration, Sam Hill contacted Pat. Sam owns Rybovich hull #66, originally "Little Mike," the boat built after our "Little Pete." Little Mike is now Tall Cotton and Sam has been an invaluable resource, sending pictures and details of Tall Cotton's recent rebuild (keel and so much more!). Thanks, Sam, Tall Cotton is beautiful and we appreciate the inspiration.

New keel installed; bolted, bonded and fiberglassed

While we're down there...what the hull? There's a hole in it! Bow thruster tube installed.

Next up, the bow.

Pat spent a weekend chipping off the fiberglass layer to reveal the planks on the deck of the bow that need replacing, the first of many not-so-pleasant

recent tasks.

Then Bob removed the damaged section of the two layer fir deck planking and ground out the damaged wood around the side decks. After that he replaced

8 rotted deck ribs, significantly reinforced the anchor/bow section backing, beefed up the

foredeck bulkhead and improved the

anchor locker.

Click the arrows on the pictures above and left for slideshows.

And, finally, we've started REBUILDING! Hallelujah, we knew this day would come!

Once the foredeck is rebuilt we will fair and fiberglass the bow, including over the toe kick and outer hull edge sections (not fiberglassed originally), build the new top side bow pulpit and foredeck, rebuild the mahogany toe kicks and then work back to the cockpit and transom.

Meanwhile inside, Sara finished scraping wallpaper residue and removed all the wood trim from the staterooms and heads. Pat squeezed himself into more confined spaces and tore off old insulation, wiring, ancient hoses and drains, metal paneling and all the associated gunk, and has started cleaning all the compartments under the cockpit. He then headed up to the flybridge to tear more stuff up in preparation for moving the helm station forward and repairing yet more rotted sections. At some point, we think soon, there will be nothing left to remove (have we said that before?)!

And, last (for now) but not least, we know the suspense has been killing you...

We had a locksmith break open the safe in the floor of the master stateroom. The video speaks for itself.

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