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The Renovation of Zora
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The Boat, Before....

When we bought  Zora in May 2002, she'd been sitting on the hard for two years, neglected. The local boatyard cats had found an open port and had used her as a cattery for a while, and between them and the abundant mildew, she smelled pretty rank. The portlights and hatches had not been rebedded in 15 years, if ever, and the significant resultant leaks had rotted much of the main salon furniture. Parts of the teak and holly sole were delaminated. Interior varnish needed work. Her exterior teak had not been attended to in years and was weathered and broken in a few spots. The deck had some ugly gel coat cracks. The cockpit coaming boxes were completely delaminated and rotted away. The spars were scratched and needed repainting. When we delved into the systems we found a terrible rats' nest of non-marine wiring....... You get the picture: she definitely needed some work.

But there were positives, as well. The hull was solid and sound and had no evidence of blisters. The primary winches were nice beefy self-tailers. There was a brand-new, still-in-the-box North Sails genoa. We liked the basic layout, she had enough room for our family without being too huge for us to handle, and the price was right.

Here are some pictures from our first visit to the boat. Note the delamination and water staining from years of leaking hatches and ports!

In early May 2002 we got a 4 AM ride down to Connecticut, got on the Cross Sound Ferry, and arrived just in time for Zora's launch. (We had spent a week the previous month getting her as ready as we could: cleaning surface mildew, checking seacocks, checking engine, cleaning the fuel tank...) The travellift eased her into the water, and she didn't sink! We hopped aboard, bent on the sails and stowed the food, and were ready to go. The previous owner and his partner had come down to the marina to see us off ( he was sad to part with her, I think!) and they gave us a very kind send-off with a bottle of champagne. We cast off the docklines and maneuvered her out of the narrow Shinnecock Canal. It was VERY exciting! As Neil and I were a little uncertain about handling such a large boat ourselves, we had excellent crew along. We had met Al Schober on the email discussion group for Tartan owners, as he was a fellow Tartan 30 owner. He proved to be wonderful crew, cheerful, resourceful, very knowledgeable and calm. We were glad we had him aboard. If you would like to read about the delivery trip, it is on the Tartan Owners' web site:  click here.

Next: The Boat, During the Refit...