Deck, Mate

Cruising World - - Contents - By Onne van der Wal

A clas­sic plas­tic gets new hard­ware and a re­vamped deck lay­out.

The lat­est chap­ter in our on­go­ing se­ries about the com­plete over­haul of a clas­sic-plas­tic ur­ing the win­ter and spring of 2015 and 2016, I com­pleted a to­tal re­fit of my Pear­son 36, Snoek, so named af­ter a salt­wa­ter fish in­dige­nous to the wa­ters off South Africa, where I was raised (see “The Snoek Chron­i­cles,” in the Hands-on Sailor 2017 is­sue, and “Plumb Crazy,” April 2017). The first two ar­ti­cles dealt with an over­view of the project and the re­vamped plumb­ing, re­spec­tively. Con­tin­u­ing on with more de­tail on spe­cific ar­eas of the boat, this month we’ll take a look at the new deck lay­out.

DPear­son 36 homes in on the deck lay­out.


With the all-new, color-coded run­ning rig­ging from Yale cordage in place, and the Lew­mar ad­justable genoa cars ready for ac­tion, my wife, Ten­ley, takes a turn at the wheel on a beau­ti­ful sum­mer day on Rhode Is­land Sound (right).

Th­ese be­fore and af­ter photos show the run­ning-rig­ging ar­range­ment at the base of the mast. The orig­i­nal blocks and line were very old, tired and dirty (left). I re­placed ev­ery­thing with new Lew­mar stand-up blocks and turn­ing blocks; for the lat­ter, I made the spac­ers my­self, out of Star­board marine-grade poly­mer (above). Hoist­ing sails and reef­ing them be­came much eas­ier and more ef­fi­cient.

Un­der a tarp dur­ing the win­ter months, I re­moved the old saloon hatch, stripped all the wood and took ev­ery­thing into the shop to re­fur­bish it (be­low). When all was said and done, I ended up re­plac­ing sev­eral of the hatches. Here you can see the hole for the head hatch just prior to bed­ding it down with sealer and bolt­ing it home (bot­tom).

I found two 6-foot-long-by-2-inch-wide stain­less-steel bars on­line to use as back­ing plates for the new genoa-car tracks. Be­cause I went from im­pe­rial holes to a met­ric off­set with the new Lew­mar gear, I had to re-drill ev­ery­thing — which I didn’t mind do­ing as I had to seal it all up any­way (top). Here I am with my caulk­ing gun, get­ting ready to lay down the new track (mid­dle). Down be­low, the back­ing plate for the new track was much cleaner and bet­ter look­ing than the old one (bot­tom).

Not all the hard­ware you wish to re­move wants to come off. Take this cleat (be­low). The only way I could re­move it was by cut­ting it in half and spin­ning the pieces while hold­ing the nuts un­der­neath. I felt a lit­tle bit like a can­ni­bal, but it was the only way. I didn’t keep any of the old hard­ware; it all went to the con­sign­ment shop, which took it with open arms (left). I was amazed; I thought it might all go into the dump­ster. But I guess there are folks who like vin­tage gear. As for all the old fas­ten­ers, they ended up fill­ing half a bucket (be­low). It was crazy. I re­ally should toss them, but for some rea­son I just don’t have the heart to do it.

Here’s the fore­deck tem­plate that I used to po­si­tion the wind­lass (above). You can see the old stay­sail track at the bot­tom of the photo; I re­moved that and filled in the holes. I also got rid of the spin­naker pole, which was big and bulky and re­dun­dant since I was go­ing with an asym­met­ric kite for off-wind sail­ing. You can see the po­si­tion­ing for the new bow roller. I hung strings to get ev­ery­thing lined up cor­rectly, then started drilling.

One of the world’s premier nau­ti­cal pho­tog­ra­phers, Onne van der Wal lives in Jamestown, Rhode Is­land. For more on his work and his gallery, visit his web­site (van­der­ Check out fu­ture is­sues of CW for fur­ther edi­tions of The Snoek Chron­i­cles. For the com­plete work list on Snoek, visit cruis­ing­

The sin­gle big­gest job on the deck lay­out was mov­ing the steer­ing pedestal. When I pur­chased the boat, the wheel was just aft of the com­pan­ion­way and the main­sheet sys­tem, both of which were awk­ward to ac­cess or use (top left). With the help of the team at Ed­son, we moved the new pedestal aft — and added a Ray­ma­rine chart plotter to it — which opened up the en­tire cock­pit for loung­ing and sail­han­dling (top right). Here are my sons, Billy and Adrian, rac­ing the boat home on Nar­ra­gansett Bay (be­low). The cock­pit is clean and open. It was a re­mark­able up­grade and im­prove­ment over the orig­i­nal helm po­si­tion.

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