Ellie has been Sold…. We’re Working Furiously on Quix-toxic!

For those of you who aren’t aware, we have sold our beloved Ellie to our friend Kurt Roll of San Diego; he will be taking possession here in Fiji in a couple weeks. So….since we lose our floating home mid-July, it’s imperative that we can live on Quixotic by the time Ellie sells. With that timeline in mind, we have been working furiously putting in very long days to get her back in the water, or at a minimum to get her livable.  This week we have had 12-15 people working on Quixotic each day; 5 guys doing glasswork, 5 guys inside prepping for interior paint, a few guys fixing all the stainless pulpits and stanchions and me and Lyss rebuilding and painting the port saildrive and engine.

Alyssa has completely taken charge of the interior and it’s coming along great. She picked a great off-white two-part paint and we had it shipped here from Suva. We hired a team to sand, tape and drop-cloth the entire interior of the boat and they will start spraying on paint this weekend. After the interior paint is done we will flowcoat the bilges, let her air out and then start moving in!

The guys have been making great progress on the bottom. We now have the entire bottom completely sanded down to the old epoxy barrier coat – what a mess! We tried to keep the dust contained but without the proper controls it made a huge mess and was nothing short of a small environmental disaster of a worksite. We have cleaned up as much as possible. Now we know why it would cost 20x more to have your bottom paint removed in San Francisco! We found the old waterline….5 inches below the current paint! The brackets for the crossbeam have been fit and will be finalized early next week. We had to order more glass so the keels will be reinforced and faired next week. But otherwise, the bottom is watertight and almost done!!  We have also bought all the epoxy barrier-coat sealer, two-pack Interprotect primer and Micron 66 bottom paint we will be using. We’re so close!

Alyssa and I have been working hard on the saildrive and engine. This is the first boat we have owned with saildrives and we were a little hesitant about the one square foot hole in the bottom of the boat….so we bought a new diaphragm ($500 Yanmar!?!? really???) and have torn the saildrive apart and rebuilt it. It was underwater for two weeks but the oil seals held and there was no water in the oil. So the work to rebuild included rust treating and painting the steel brackets, installing a new flexible mount, replacing the diaphragms and stainless rings, replacing the oil seals, new zincs and then stripping the antifouling down to bare aluminum, priming with Interprotect and then painting with Trilux 33. Alyssa was cute painting and she kept saying that she was loving our “art project date nights.” Do I have the best girl in the world or what?!?!? 🙂

Oh, and you’re not going to believe what we found in the raw water cooling hose that runs from the saildrive to the engine! I was blowing through the hose to check if it was clear and I couldn’t get air through so I ripped it apart. Alyssa noticed a flimsy hose fitting on the engine side and she loosened the clamp and removed the fitting. She exclaimed “Oh my God, it’s a Gatorade cap!” It sure was, and the cap had closed when I blew through it. We were both astonished that the cooling system – such a crucial part of the engine – was relying on a cheap plastic bottle cap! And below the waterline at that! We can’t say for sure that the fitting was used in action, it very well could have been to flush the saildrive after she was brought out of the water….but an exciting find none-the-less!

Today we will continue working on the engine. The engine was pulled immediately after being brought out of the water, then immersed in a diesel bath overnight and then ran hard, oil changed and then run again. So the internals should be fine. It’s all the external parts we are worried about. So we are pretty much stripping and replacing everything not contained within the engine. Parts such as the water pump, starters, alternators, sensors, electronics, wiring, etc. We are also cleaning the heat exchanger, replacing seals and gaskets, replacing belts, clamps, hoses, some fuel lines and an oil line. Then we will de-grease, de-scale, prime and paint. When we’re done it will look like a new engine and should be a powerplant we can rely on for years to come. That’s our weekend project so I better run to get back into it.

Here are a few pics. Will try and post more later. Cheers!!


More Quix-toxic than Quixotic in this shot…


Crossbeam ON!!


Alyssa pulls out the Gatorade cap


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Replacing oil seals in the saildrive

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Replacing the main and secondary diaphragms

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The Blonde Mermaid and her antifouling “art projects”


  1. Richard's Gravatar Richard
    July 2, 2016    

    Ah, to be young and have more energy and passion than money. Good on you.

  2. Pirate Bruce's Gravatar Pirate Bruce
    July 2, 2016    

    You guys Rock !!!!
    I have witnessed this first hand and and being mechanically minded myself and comparing how far you have come since we first met in Mexico 3 or 4 years ago to NOW is SUPER impressive…………you will remember this project for EVER !
    Well fu+%*#g done !!!!!
    The Pirate…………ahrrrrrrrr !

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