Sojourner is very different now to the boat she was in 1974. During the last two and a half years we have owned her, she has been completely re-built from stem to stern. All hull fittings below the water-line have been replaced, including the through hulls (bronze sea cocks that pass through the hull), rudder stock, propeller shaft, cutlass bearing, depth transducers and speed & temp sensors. Above deck we continued the extensive re-build and replaced all the rigging with new 9/32 stainless 1 X 19 wire. All turnbuckles were replaced, and Noreseman fittings were used aloft and at the deck. While we had the mast down we inspected all the fittings and spray-painted it with Awlgrip to match the deck color (it was previously gold-anodized). At the masthead we installed a weather station, tricolor lamp and ion-dissipater (to reduce the chance of lightning strike). A Raytheon Pathfinder SL70 radar was added along with new steaming lights and spreader-mounted deck lights.
At deck level we replaced the tiny plastic dorade vents with big stainless steel ones for better ventilation when all hatches were closed. Then had a stainless steel guard built around them to prevent the sheets (ropes) getting snagged on the vents. All the teak was in poor shape and much of the cockpit sole (floor) and lazarette (locker) lids had to be re-furbished.
and , re-finished all teak, re-furbished the teak cockpit sole, re-built the steering/compass pedestal, added a Plastimo compass, painted the deck with two-part epoxy and new non-skid. All stanchions were replaced with beefy custom-made welded bases, and new lifelines installed. All hatches and lazarettes were re-sealed, and the canvas replaced throughout the boat. In addition we added stainless grab rails around the entire dodger for safety, and mounted two Kyocera solar panels on top. Two additional Siemens M55 solar panels can be mounted anywhere on the boat where there is sun. Total solar input is 11 amps at peak. For cloudy, windy days we stern-mounted an Aerogen 6 wind generator from England. With the rubber mounts this unit is virtually silent, and puts out a whopping 10 amps in 15 knots of wind.
Below decks we re-built the head (toilet), re-upholstered everything and a designed a custom navstation. This integrates the chart table with HF radio, GPS, battery- monitoring meter, laptop computer and terminal node controller for email and weatherfax. A Paneltronics breaker panel was added for AC and DC safety, and propane control center with auto alarm shutoff. For further safety installed twin independent 2000 gph bilge pumps, to supplement the Whale 10 and Whale 25 manual pumps. For the galley, a custom fridge was built in with 5" to 6" of closed cell insulation and a Grunert compressor. It's small, but keeps the steaks and beer cold...! The entire boat was re-wired with Anchor tinned-copper, and a high capacity Balmar alternator (100 amp) added to the engine. Initially the torque of this system burned through a belt in less than 20 hours, so we were forced to design a dual pulley system. This required a custom fresh-water pump pulley, crank pulley and lots of bracket modifications for perfect alignment. Slipping belts are now a thing of the past even with 80 amps out of the alternator.
As for the big green Volvo monster... nothing less then a complete re-build. The Volvo Penta MD21A (75 hp) was stripped to the block, the head and all pumps re-built. Every bearing was replaced, and duplicate spares bought for everything. All parts were coated with zinc chromate and re-sprayed with Volvo green enamel. The worst part was the heat exchanger and oil cooler which were completely clogged with sea grass, calcium and salt.
As a final precaution we installed an Avon Offshore canister life raft, and 406 MHz EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon).
So these were just a small sample of the projects which took 3 years to complete - and made Sojourner ready to sail the worlds oceans. Now it is time to see if they all work............