Today marks the one year anniversary for the Norwegian 2020 Covid lockdown. Our yacht was on the hard for a massive refit to get her ready to cross the Atlantic. And then everything went to shit.
We got our Beneteau 411 on the hard on March 6th 2020 to get her ship shape and all systems running by April 1st. Ready to sail the 12,000 nautical miles from Norway to the Caribbean, and back to Norway again over the next 14 months. Or sailing buddy Bjarne the Yacht Mechanic and his friend had travelled from Denmark to help.
We had already taken the mast down for a thorough rig check, and were in full swing taking out old through hulls, rudder off for service and bearing replacement and so on, when news started coming in.
Country after country were shutting down their borders, and long story short – Bjarne and his friend managed to jump on the very last ferry back to Denmark before the Danish borders were sealed.
Simultaneously, nearly all deliveries to our refit stopped, shops that we depended on got closed, the sail factory that was half finished with our sails got shut down…it was a fucking mess.
It took 4 months before we got our boat on the water again, and when we did, we still had projects unfinished, and still waiting for deliveries.
We eventually came to a point where just couldn’t sit on our asses and feeling sorry for ourselves. We HAD to go sailing. That was the start of our epic Norwegian Covid Coastal Cruise Part 1 and Part 2.
What follows below is a shitload or pics, tips and tricks on all the stuff we did during our refit 🙂
The full 2020 refit list
- Mast down + rig check
- Forestay replaced
- All new running rigging
- New sails: Tri-radial laminate genoa & main, dacron cross cut Code 1
- New tricolor LED lanterns
- Mechanical wind indicator
Technical & mechanical stuff
- Heat exchanger for the Yanmar diesel replaced
- New starter battery
- New propeller shaft, coupling, Volvo shaft seal, and cutless bearing
- Full service on rudder & quadrant refurbished
- New POM bearing for the rudder
- Through-hulls replaced to Trudesign composite + many hoses
- Salt water foot pump for the galley (to be installed shortly)
- All new propane gas system for cooking
- New propane stove (by previous owner in 2019)
- Propane bottle compartment rebuild to accommodate 2x 10 kg bottles (to be done shortly – blog post coming up)
- Extended the anchor roller to serve as bow sprit
- New Rocna 25 kg anchor
- Added 50 meters chain, to a total of 80 meters
- Replaced windlass control box and cabling
- High latitude cockpit enclosure (& lazyjack bag) blog post here
- Serviced the 3 Kw Mikuni diesel heater
- Installed 2.6 Kw electric ovens
- Insulated roof and sides with 30-40mm Armaflex blog post here
- Installed insulated heat ducts throughout the entire boat
- New natural latex mattress topper & DIY custom fitting
- New VHF antenna cable
- All new ship’s electronics (will be installed this year)
New through hulls
With the rudder off, we used the opportunity to inspect the propeller shaft etc, and it turned our the cutless bearing was completely demolished. Further inspections revealed pitting in the propeller shaft, and so the entire assembly was replaced. A costly operation, but better safe than sorry.
A bonus is that she is now running MUCH more quiet under sail – you can hardly hear the propeller turning 🙂
Ahhh…the excitement of new sails! After being stuck in the factory for months, we finally got them!
However – we got another guy’s genoa so we had to send it back, they had delivered the mainsail with the wrong slides, and the Code 1 luff was too long….AAARGH!!!
To make matters even worse, I have had to follow up on several occasions, but given absolutely no response from neither their seller, nor their CEO. We still haven’t had the chance to use the Code 1, even after over a year because they still have it.
In short, we are absolutely underwhelmed with Gran Seil’s level of service, and we will not even consider them for our next set of sails. Which is really sad, because the sails are absolutely magnificent, and we love them so much 🙂
I guess that sums it up!
We have documented everything very well, taking tons of photos along the way. Some of the projects are already published as blog posts, but please do let us know in the comments below if there are anything on the list you’d love to see as a new post 🙂
Thanks for sharing your experience! It was interesting to read. Could you tell us more about the interior decoration please?
What interior decoration?
Great work! I’m preparing to take slowly my rather old Finnsailer 35 from Greece to Norway in 2023/24 (mostly single-handed. I understand there is a need for a stern anchor to moor properly in the northern latitudes. Could you share any photos, description of how your stern set-up, if any? Also, as my boat is a motorsailer with a fairly large tank (430 lts) would you know if fuel is available in little harbours along the Norwegian cost, perhaps by minitanker? Many thanks!
Hi! That sounds like a fantastic trip! A stern anchor is nice to have, but absolutely not a necessity. We don’t have one, and rarely miss it.
But I would make sure you have a very good main anchor. For your boat, a 15 or 20 kg Rocna for example. 20 kg is serious overkill https://rocna.com/fitment-guide/. It is simply the best boat insurance you can buy. And minimum 50m chain, ideally 70-80m, plus some nylon anchor rode, ideally a anchor bridle. You want nylon since it stretches well and works great as a shock absorber when it’s blowing hard. Then you can ride out a storm in shallow waters with 10:1 anchor scope.
We have not had any problems finding fuel anywhere in Norway, even in the most rural areas 🙂
Other tips: https://www.norgeskart.no/ is the latest map updates from the Norwegian Map Authority. They also have an app. All free to use. Check out https://sailingselkie.no/voyaging for pics, info and great anchorages on the Norwegian west coast 🙂 This blog post has some good info about sailing in the Norwegian fjords, and our wind systems that could be useful for you https://sailingselkie.no/the-2021-norwegian-covid-coastal-cruise-part-3.html