Can you believe it’s 79 degrees in August in New Orleans at 10:30 in the morning? I can’t…I mean I know it’s true cause it says it right there, but really, what is going on here?
August Weather

Approaching the end of August has sent a new found electricity through our household. By god ya’ll we only have 16 months! Seriously, about this time next year we’ll start the process of moving aboard and getting rid of our stuff. It’s really exciting and I actually had butterflies in my stomach the other day thinking about it.

This fall should fly by as we are going to (awesomely) crew with Todd on Moonrise, another Westsail 32 we met at the recent Westsail rendezvous mid Oct for the Harvest Moon Regatta, which is an offshore Gulf of Mexico race 150 nm from Galveston Texas to Port Aransas. The race takes about 24 hours and is scheduled under a full moon, how cool is that?! The best part will be getting some real offshore experience, on a Westsail no less.

When we get back it’ll be about time to move Sundowner to the boatyard to commence some major work like dropping the mast, rebuilding the mast step, replacing the stern pulpit and boomkin, and removing the aft caprails. That should bring us into early 2014, with only 8 months left till we start moving aboard. All these years of dreaming are starting to come true.

These days since the major work is postponed until the fall, I’m able to continue my tinkering with the interior “pretty maker” projects. Throughout the interior refit I removed a lot of the cabinet doors as many had broken or brittle hinges and just didn’t open and close right. Now finally I was able to put them back on.

These broken hinges have troubled me for some time, really since we bought Sundowner. I knew they were old, like probably original to the boat circa 1974, and dreaded trying to find a replacement and figured it would cost a fortune. Surely they didn’t still make them like that? Anyone who has replaced cabinet hardware can tell you, such a simple thing like changing a hinge could be terribly difficult and unsightly is you don’t get a perfect match. I was hoping to not have to drill new holes for whatever new type of replacements were out there, preferring of course to find a perfect match and simply replace and install.

I studied the broken hinges and then researched online through images what those hinges were even called. Turns out they are “offset semi concealed” hinges with a 3/4″ offset and the holes varying distance apart in stainless 304. I looked up my old friend Ebay and to my astonishment found someone selling 15 pairs of the exact hinge I needed for $50 ($2/pair) including shipping. WOW, I can’t believe I was so lucky, I mean on Defender it would have cost $135 plus shipping ($9/pair) so I quickly scooped those up and hoped they would match.

And match they did as yesterday I removed the old broken and brittle corroded hinges from 7 doors and replaced them, using the same holes with the new shiny hinges.
15 hinges and two doors
Broken hinges close up

The old hinges were partially through bolted, and partially screwed in. Going back with the new we went all through bolted for greater stability. Installation was not as easy as I had hoped as I had to reposition the doors just right and then hold it in place while I bolted them tight and for one door I actually had to sand off some of the inner bottom to keep from rubbing too much, but in the end the doors work better than they ever have before and the place is really starting to look like a home.

Things are starting to look up. The Salon before and afters:
Veneer in the salon
Salon without doors with broken hinges
Salon with Cabinet doors

And the head looks a million trazillion times better with the painted wood, bilgekoted cabinets and painted formica (will topcoat in September), I mean really, is this the same boat?
Head before
Head without doors with broken hinges
Head with doors and new hinges

The aftermath:
Pile of broken hinges

Now, what’s next?