The Pokalong

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The Pokalong as she appeared before purchase.

Our new to us liveaboard, the Pokalong, is a 1973 Grand Banks 42 classic. She was loved and cared for (and fished hard) by a wonderful friend of mine. After retiring, for many years he took her up to Barclay Sound on the west side of Vancouver Island in BC for the summer. He was a meticulous mechanic, with spare parts for just about everything aboard. The engine room was famous in town for being ‘polished’, always bright and clean.

The woodwork, however needed some work. The mahogany hull is in excellent shape, but the flying bridge, bulwarks and wheelhouse were showing their age.

My lovely wife was happy aboard, our daughter thought it was a great adventure. Then the rains came. The stress of owning 2 boats came. I got grumpy being thoroughly soaked in drenching rain and 50 knot winds down the 2000 feet of our dock. That my wife remained married to me at this point is much more a mark of her stubbornness than it is my value as a husband.

So we ended up moving ashore, relocating to a much better school district and much better weather in December. I was working M-F at the time, and would stay a few nights a week on the boat to reduce the number of 100 mile round trip commutes.

Moving off the boat gave me a chance to start tearing into the boat and finding out the depth of the rot, which is more difficult when everyone is living aboard. It soon became apparent that 3/4 of the flying bridge needed to be replaced, about 20% of the wheelhouse walls, and 100% of the aft cabin walls. This would have to wait until better weather.

Come the spring, work could be started in small bursts then covered with a tarp between days of rain.

First to go was the flying bridge. The more I took apart, the more problems I found. During one of the rainy days I added up the cost of replacing the entire flying bridge, and it came to materials of about $1500 and a significant amount of time. Then I started toying around with the idea of removing it all together. I had seen pictures of this done on a handsome GB in Puget Sound called ‘Ebb Tide’. I modified the drawing:

I also considered what it would be like to extend the house aft on the main level, or remove the aft cabin all together. Something needed to be down because all 3 bulkheads in the aft stateroom were rotted out from window leaks, in various stages of disrepair.

First the flying bridge was removed, and the topside turned out pretty clean:

Pokalong 24 April 2018 side

Pokalong 24 April 2018 topside

To be continued…

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