Poop Deck: My 1976 Ranger 29, The Best Of Skipper Jenn

Happy Gotcha Day Poop Deck! 2 Year Anniversary: Projects That Make Me Look Cool on the Interwebs

Seattle Snowpocalypse 2019

They say the best two days of a boat owners life are when you buy the boat and sell the boat. I hate that saying. Two years in and I get why people say it, but I still hate it.

I love Poopsie. I love her more and more each day. I love her more through each project, task and event. She’s a fat bottomed girl (insert Queen theme song here) who is sturdy and quick. She’s got a big cozy cabin and fun lines. What’s not to love about my girl?

I didn’t think I would own a boat. I didn’t think I would almost completely refit a boat. I didn’t think I would live on a boat. Poopsie has seduced me into all of it with her charm. I sometimes think of a bigger boat. Sometimes one with more room for amenities. Then I think of not having Poop Deck and I get sad. I’m fine with smaller space and less stuff. She teaches me efficiency.

I’ve written at length on her name origin, how boat ownership mirrors life, living aboard, her rainbow sails and on various adventure stories so far. This post is to simply celebrate 2 years of of being her proud mama! We’ve done a lot and come a long way together.

And we’ve just really begun…..

(Caption: Crazed faces on Day 1 with my male entourage and 4k purchasing cash! Little did I know that day how much more cash was to flow into her from there! Eric, left is my nerdy scientist sailor boyfriend. Andrew, right is my woodworking artist brother and BFF.)

It has been hard not racing or cruising while I complete a refit. This past year, since November 2018, I decided to work on her in earnest. I even took out her gas tank. I have a long ass list of what I’ve been up to below. I hope it looks as cool as I think it does. It’s been a hell of a lot of work and time. Thanks to all my friends who have been patient as I disappeared and promised day sailing without delivering as projects took so much more time than I thought. I miss the joy of sailing. I run a thriving full time business, then mostly weekend warrior the rest, so it’s been a hell of a year. I did take some time off to do big chunks as I kept finding more wood rot from years of sitting leaky and neglected. Soon she will be hooked up and the sailing will begin again in earnest, she’s gonna be prepped to drop lines and go whenever I damn well please!

(New galley via Andrew and alcohol stove)

For some things like fine woodworking and electrical, I hired my male entourage, Eric and Andrew. Thankfully, they gave me a deeply discounted friend rate or else I would be screwed. I have no idea how I would have done this without them. These guys have been so generous and sweet with their time and expertise. I seriously would have lost my shit without them. Andrew said to me five million times, “Don’t focus on the whole thing, just the one task in front of you for the next hour.” Invaluable advice. He has helped my sanity more than I can express. His woodworking and design have been exceptional. Even with the boys help, the majority of the labor has been all me. I have been in my boat through all seasons, alone in my Dickies. I have cried a lot, yelled, been stumped in overwhelm, sang with pride, yelled with whoops, and laughed. Mostly I’ve learned. It’s been a ride.

Along with the physical tasks, I cannot tell you the hours upon hours of research I have done. I truly knew nothing of boat systems and work before I bought her. I even had to learn how to use many of the tools. I’m a jigsaw queen now. My head still spins thinking of the steep learning curve of the past year. No one talks about the mental load of a refit, it’s immense. I remember thinking at one point, “how does the drainage work on this boat?” Pleased to say I know now because I replaced it all.

The only previous experience I had was when redecked a small Snipe in the 90s. So, I was familiar with fiberglass work and gratefully laying cloth and tabs was like riding a bike. I even got to show Eric how to do it. Other than that it was internet, books and asking lots advice. The Facebook group Women Who Sail, and their subgroups are undoubtedly the best sailing resource out there, it is also the friendliest place on the internet to get sailing advice. Men, step it up and make better spaces online for support! Les Profit, who runs the Ranger 29 group also has a good thing going online and I have benefitted greatly from the information shared there. Lastly, I need to give a huge shout out to Eric, the boat savant, who has been instrumental in helping me resource and teaching me. The electrical would not have happened without him. Dyslexia, which I have badly with directions and numbers, does not go well with electrical. It also makes navigation fun. Insert eye roll here. I took two classes, one with the guru of boat electrical Nigel Calder, and still was struggling. So, I hired Eric for the majority of it and was the decision maker on system options and configuration. Part of the mental load is decision fatigue. So many decisions!!! Part of the stress is “BOAT: break out another thousand.” I will brag that I loved the parts where we disagreed on how to do something and I would override and proclaim, “my boat!” Then later relish when he would say, “I wouldn’t have done it that way, I think yours is way better.” WIN!

(New bulk head, will have access door soon.)

I am making a detailed before and after video soon to show progress. For now, enjoy this short one of her on her first day with me and a recent day after move in on YouTube.

Intentionally, I started with the systems and interior. Next year will be the outside paint, rigging, lifelines and windlass install. She’s got her unicorn farting sticker and new colorful name logo ready to be placed during her spring outhaul. Dream list: a dodger and max prop. Santa?

Overall, when she is done I will have made myself a basically bran new boat and tiny home for less than $30k all told. Some of you have cars that cost more. For anyone wanting to pimp out an old boat yourself, you can do it with a lot of commitment, determination and elbow grease. They don’t make these boats like they use to and these mid 1970s hulls are sturdy AF! Rangers are a good one to invest time into. Once, when speaking with amazing PNW boat designer Robert Perry about my Poop Deck’s Gary Mull design, he spoke highly of Rangers and encouraged me to invest in fixing her up. He also reminded me, “You started with an irrational decision, you can’t make it rational now, it’s a boat.” Truth Mr. Perry, truth. I will be excited to sail her soon, maybe even this weekend?! I will see you all out on the water! Wave to me!

May my Poop Deck sail in peace forever!!


March 2019 New Sails day!

Here is my epic list:

  • Inside hull completely stripped and redone with epoxy and paint.
  • Wood sanded and refinished with tongue oil.
  • Windows buffed and rebedded with butyl tape
  • 2 bulk heads replaced
  • Quarter berth bed floor mostly replaced
  • Battery platform, box and batteries replaced
  • New ice chest insulation
  • New galley insert and cooktop
  • New shelves and sliders
  • All new water hose, hand and foot pumps
  • All electrical AC and DC and wires replaced new with upgraded ABYC standards, new blue seas panels
  • New smart plug receptical
  • Galvanic Isolator
  • Balmar Battery Monitor
  • Battery charger
  • Gas tank re-secured with dynema for strength and rubber for vibration
  • New lighting all LED
  • New wood stove
  • New engine gauges and panel
  • New nav system
  • Atomic 4 engine taken apart, cleaned, painted
  • All new engine hoses and exhaust system
  • All new scuppers and drain system
  • Bilges cleaned and painted with Bilgekote
  • Toe rail tightened
  • New Harken traveler installed
  • Put in an automatic bilge pump with float switch
  • New fans for blowers
  • Curtains handmade
  • Decor and organization is pimp and stowed to be ready to drop lines at any moment
  • Hypervent and foam for main v berth bed
  • Medicine cabinet installed
  • New main sail and 135% Genoa with profurl system by Ballard sails, rainbow heart included by Prism Graphics
  • Strong track installed for mainsail
  • Two new to me used spinnakers
  • Two dinghies, one hard one inflatable also new to me and used

Poop Deck, formerly named Snaps, from what I know, had been co-owned by the same folks for over 20 years and just sat on Lake Washington. Her bones were good even though she had lots of water damage inside and mold. Dionne Howe bought her and did the following work the year before I purchased her in 2016:

  • Standing rigging totally redone
  • Bottom paint
  • Old head and tank removed and c-head installed (composting toilet)
  • Some engine and electrical had been repaired so she would run, we quickly found out she needed a lot more with everything being original.
  • 1 thought on “Happy Gotcha Day Poop Deck! 2 Year Anniversary: Projects That Make Me Look Cool on the Interwebs”

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s