well, now that tea is home, it is time to go over the good, the bad, and the ugly. Overall, I could drop this 25 year old Monty in the water today and go sailing -if the DMV was not closed due to the virus and not due to reopen until march 30. She is in just that good of shape.
Like everything else though, it is the small things that can make or break a love affair with a boat. While I will wait a year to make big changes such as opening ports and paint, there is much I can do now to make tea into a much more enjoyable boat.
While not seen on any of these pictures, she actually comes with a very nice upgrade in the form of a "high performance kick up rudder assembly" from Rudder Craft. While not as pretty as the original Monty Rudder, this promises better balanced "feel" and appears to be smoother in operation in raising or lowering. It certainly is heavy.
As we are at the rudder, I need to point out that my Monty no longer has her stock engine mount, but instead has one that can be raised or lowered. Unfortunately this has led to some serious gelcoat cracks along the hull to deck mount area. I am going to have to grind out this whole area and repair it. I might update to a better removable engine mount.
She also has a small hole in the middle of the top of her stern. Not sure what it was put in for, but it was not done on accident. Again, something to be repaired later.
I will also admit to hating the boarding ladder. I will be doing something about that, just not sure what yet. Between the Rudder, boarding ladder, and engine, tea's stern is extremely cluttered and that annoys me to no end. What is the sense of owning a pretty boat if you are going to hang shit all over it?
And of course there is this lonely little stern light. The previous owner had ripped out all the wiring and lighting off of my boat, but left this poor thing to hang on the stern and do nothing. I will be rewiring and adding navigation, anchor, and steaming lights back to tea, but I will be upgrading this poor light to something more modern and LED.
And to round off the stern: There are several outlets and mounts in the cockpit that need to be addressed. I am not planning on powering anything up back here, so all this will have to go and get cleaned up.
The cockpit itself has plenty of storage. As Tea is a four berth Montgomery, the storage areas beneath the cockpit benches is quite shallow and small, suitable for hiding fenders and the like from out of view and out from under feet. At the aft end of the cockpit all Monty's have a large storage area that could be called a "lazarette". It serves triple duty as a seat, a storage area, and a method to drain the cockpit. As it is open to the water, it can be safely used to store gasoline or other liquids that have explosive gases to worry about.
Moving forwards, the dropboards are made of what looks like starboard, and while functional and rot proof, not very exciting or pretty. I have a sheet of Sapale in the basement, so I will be building something more classy here. The bottom board I am going to keep though. As I am not fond of the small step over lip that separates the cockpit from the cabin, I will keep it in place while sailing and add a compass, radio, and airhorn mount to it so they fall more easily to hand when out and about on the water.
Inside the cabin looks decent enough at first glance. Plain but functional with some non-grotty velvet green cushions on the v-berth but not on the quarters. These will be going away, but it is not a pressing need as they are still quite functional at the moment.
The problem is when you look down. That big gray panel is where tea had all her electrical switches and controls. This is going to be a big repair that will make a distinct change in how the cabin looks. As I will be adding electrics and electronics back to my Monty, I will need to add switches back along with power points, and such. Watch this space.
No surprises in the storage areas of the cabin. Battery on the Port side, portapottie on the SB. Under the cushions is in really good shape and the lift off panels look almost new.
To the left is battery storage. I may put an almost new AGM battery here that I have laying about from my GP14's "powerbox" and then move it further forwards out of the way.
On the right is the Portapottie. I shudder to think of the horrors that lie within. I am not a fan of this kind of toilet, so I will be removing it and doing some surgery to install a c-head or similar composting toilet. It's never going to be a comfy place to do the dirty deed, but at least I can make it less noxious.
Looking into the quarter berths and under the cockpit reveals no surprises. I do need to replace the cockpit drain hoses as they look to be at the end of their lives. I just do not trust them to keep the deep blue sea on the outside of the boat.
Under the cockpit I want to add some pull out drawers to make storage more accessible and organized. I will be borrowing from the overlanding community to design and build these.
Looking up is where the cabin space falls apart. tea has obviously had many rigging changes over the years. The underside of the cabin top is a minefield of bolts that are just waiting to scalp the balding. Some of them are only there to fill holes from equipment that was removed, others were added haphazardly as pulleys, cam cleats, and handrails were added, removed, moved, and put back. I am thinking I will have to do a lot of filling and sealing before adding something decorative to this deadly looking area.
Moving topside, I only see two things that annoy me. Not a fan of the dark gray anti-skid. The guy I bought tea from painted it and was planning on doing the same to the gunwale strip along her side. I am thinking something less harsh to look at and cooler on the feet like a light tan or sand colour.
And finally, as the previous owner was getting up in years and his older wife was positively elderly, he removed the teak toerails from the aft end of the deck to put in jibsheet guides. This allowed him to control everything from the aft end of the cockpit and not bother his wife with lines or tripping hazards as she moved from side to side with the ever changing heel. I would rather have the toerails as I usually sail alone and tend to sit further forwards.
Overall though, aside from not being able to register her in my name till the end of the month and the drainage hoses that need to be replaced before she sees water again, I do not see anything keeping me from splashing tea right now and going for a sail. I also have enough small little projects to keep me happily occupied for a while.
Going up to Long Island and back to bring Tea home was anti-climatic. Nothing seriously wrong happened, nothing broke, I didn't get lost, and nothing fell off. I did get kicked off of the Southern Shore Parkway, but that was the extent of my trials.
The hardest part was the 335 miles it took to go up there and back. Even the tow back was not that arduous and if she sails half as well as she tows, she will be a dream to pilot around the back bays and ocean.
Of course if you look at the date I am publishing this: We are day two into a two week non-essential shut down of all state offices to help combat the dreaded Covid 19 virus. This means I cannot register Tea or her trailer into my name till March 30. I am currently on furlough due to the virus too, so this would a perfect time to take my new boat out for a sail.
Oh well, gives me a couple of weeks to sort out some details and fix a few things. The cockpit drainage hoses are not looking too hot at the moment, so I do not trust them to keep the water out of the boat. The rest is just cosmetics, as you will see later
It was a rainy winter day that was not at all that wintery. Yes, it was gray and rainy, but it was uncharacteristically warm for the middle of February. I had spent all morning driving up to Long Island to the town of Babylon NY on the shallow waters of The Great Bay to look at a small 17 foot sailboat designed by the legendary Lyle Hess. I found her in a small boatyard, looking quite tiny compared to the sleeping behemoths that towered over her shapely form.
I had come all this way to buy a boat, and I did. Unfortunately I did so to replace my beloved SeaSprite 23, a boat that was both lovely to look at and riddled with serious structural problems. I never got to sail her, but I certainly did a lot of working on her over the years. Flirt had taught me a lot, but I could not resurrect her. It was a both a very sad and a freeing day when I took a sawzall to her shapely hull. She had hung around my neck like an albatross for far too long.
Tea, came with a trailer that had never been dunked, two year old sails, and a well maintained outboard, she still has enough small blemishes and questionable modifications and repairs to keep me happily busy working on her for a long time. I could also drop her in the water tomorrow and go Sailing. All her blemishes are cosmetic, nothing I can't address next winter or even while she is in the water this summer.
Now I just need to go back up there with my Rover and drag her home...