Copernicus had some problems that, if not addressed, would send the boat into fast decline. The most serious issue was the keel-hull transition where the floor timbers were too short to give the structure enough support. Byron had a grounding and opened a crack where the hull meets the floor timbers on the starboard side and I did the same on the port side. That made the the ocean trickle inside on either tack, and with no bilge to speak of, even a small amount of water would run up the sides and wet everything in the lockers when the boat heels. That brings us to the other issue: excessive heeling. Byron recognized that problem and added some lead to the bottom of the keel increasing the drought by about 20 inches. That was not enough to ameliorate the problem , so in 2011 I have decided to save my beautiful boat, make her stronger and safer. With the help from Eric Jespersen and his crew of very skilled shipwrights and the guys from Blackline Marine Services from Canoe Cove Marina in Sidney, British Columbia I embarked on a 23 month project to accomplish that.



Haulout and building the workshop

Out of the water at Canoe Cove Marina- September 2011

Masts stowed away and shipped out for painting

Power tools made it possible to get it done over a weekend

Masts pulled out by the crew from Blackline Marine

Construction of the workshop begins

And ends

Interior work

Interior gutted and ready, keelson notched for the new floor boards

Floor boards fastened in place

New sapele floor boards laminated 

Four additional keel bolts installed

Rebuilding of the interior

Adding ballast to the keel

Designing and shaping additional ballast

Drilling through lead was no fun at all, but grease helps

600 pounds of weight added,but it didn't make a difference I had hoped for

moulds made with concrete

Lead poured

With a bit of sanding it is ready to be bolted to the bottom of the keel

Scraping the hull and fairing the keel/hull transition

Scraping the hull

Scraping below waterline took me a lot of time and effort, the topsides were much easier

Fairing the hull- keel transition

Sealing and glassing the hull

Sealing the hull with epoxy

The crew from Jespersen Boat Builders glues 9 ounce glass cloth with West System 105+206 epoxy in one 36 foot piece

The bottom leyer glued in place

After sanding, the hull is ready for glass

Procedure repeated on the other side

All glassed and faired with epoxy mixed with West System 407 low density filler, sanded and ready for paint


Two coats of Interprotect paint applied to the keel and hull

Boom painted with Awlgrip paint

And the masts

Topsides painted with semi gloss Easypoxy

4 leyers of bottom paint applied

The same for the bow sprit

Out of the shop and back in the ocean

Patric and Derek from Canoe Cove Marina expertly pull the boat out of the Taj Mahal

Loaded on the truck for a short trip to Westport Marina

Picked off the truck by the boat lift

Almost out

Waiting for the ride

Arrives at Westport Marina

Byron Burns shows up for the occassion

23 months to a day and Copernicus is back in the water

Stepping in the masts

Masts are ready for the crane

Attaching forestay, inner stay and the shrouds completes the refit and Copernicus is good to go

Main mast in first

Followed by the Foremast

The Final Chapter

Two years later Eric Jespersen designed and built a new rudder to replace the original  with the more streamlined  and much more efficient one