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A Short History: BANANAS is K-38 # 32. Her second owner, David Feinstein, acquired her in 1958 and campaigned her successfully to a total of 9, count 'em, 9 national championships. This record was accumulated during the decade of the '70s. Her later years were spent cruising the Channel Islands and challenging one and all in local, club events. As a member of the Del Rey Yacht Club in Marina del Rey David berthed her at their marina for most of her years. She received regular attention and maintenance over the years.
Currently: Upon acquiring BANANAS in February of this year my plans were to attend to her cosmetic needs in the Spring and sail her among the Channel Islands this summer as she appeared to be far more sound than my other K-38 CHELSEA, hull #27. My first vacation in about 15 years was set. BUT... not so fast, bub. We hauled her on April 30 to sister a few cracked ribs, re-set a seam or two, install an engine, re-set the stanchions, etc. etc. Light weight stuff, do-able in a couple of weeks, right?
What we found was sobering. Electrolysis had turned the screws below the waterline into dust and caused serious delignification of the planks and ribs. According to receipts she had been re-fastened in 1986; so the ambient electricity in her berthing marina must have found a convenient ground in the hull of BANANAS. We are not just talking about a few ribs here. We are talking about each and every rib fastened to a plank touching water!!! The floors were involved too. By the time we discovered the extent of the damage we were two weeks on the hard with all the attendant expenses; so the choice to "chainsaw or renovate" meant that the "chainsaw" choice would be like burning cash. In addition to the costs of two weeks expense in discovering the truth, a surprise to the former owner as well given all the professional care he had poured into her over her lifetime,.the lay days cost at the yard was 6 times that which I had experienced in Berkeley, the hull could not withstand a truck trip to a yard I could more easily afford; so the choice was to re-novate the hull, fast!!!
It's been two months of 10 to 12 hour days for two to four people so far. We've found sisters installed by professional yards which were only stapled to the planks and never properly fastened; ribs appearing to be perfect from the outside but mush on the inside; and delignification that not only affected the planks and ribs but also bulkheads and floors. The photos and captions tell the story.
Renovation: There's an old saying that giving birth is much easier than resurrection. BANANAS can attest to the truth in this saying.
She now has all new ribs and floors below the water line and then some; re-built or replaced bulkheads, and the planks are to be fully penetrated with epoxy and either splined or fiberglass roped instead of traditionally "corked and caulked" as I did with CHELSEA. The use of one of these two techniques has been opted for due to the condition of the planks and the incapacity (read: my wallet is empty and credit cards max'd) of re-planking. Hence, the term "re-novation" to describe the work she's receiving rather than "restoration". Again, the photos and captions will tell the story of what we've accomplished.
Other K-38 owners have dropped by to check out the work as word has spread that it is underway. The comments run along this line: "She's a brand new boat!"
Now what?: My conservative estimate is that about 2000 hours have been invested in this renovation as I write this with about 800 hours to go for completion. This is not an expense I had anticipated, nor is it one I have the capacity to handle. Accordingly, BANANAS is for sale. I am still attempting to total up the costs involved in this project so as to be able to establish a fair price for her. Call me at (916)847-9064