In Wales we discovered that the windows leaked. We already knew that the hatches leaked but they seemed to leak more in Wales. We also had a list of smaller jobs that we were going to need some assistance with. Rustler Yachts are based in Falmouth so as we approached we sent them an email saying “we have a 25 year old Rustler and it leaks. Can you help us?” Once management had explained how busy they were, we were passed on to Barney, their refit manager who agreed to meet us the next day. We met on the pontoon and showed him our problems. He thought that everything was doable and told us to be back in the same place the following Monday.
On Monday Gary appeared and set to work on the first hatch. The next three days he was joined by Steve and together they worked their way through our list with Barney supporting them in the workshop. When they removed the heads hatch we discovered that it must have been leaking for a few years as the ceiling was completely rotten. No problem for these guys, they made all the parts new.
Heidi decided that she was going to strip off all the old weathered external varnish, sand down the teak and oil it. This was a massive undertaking but she finished everything in four days despite preparing a full lunch for all of us every midday. She got lots of compliments from the men walking past and I was asked for the trick of motivating your partner to get involved in boat repairs. We think the poodle walking wives were less impressed by her example.
We also had a new heating system installed so I removed the old one to make space for Gary to install the new innards. I also installed a new wind generator and charge controller system before letting Barney make a nice wooden surround for it and Gary make all the fiddly connections. Everything works like a dream. We even added stainless steel rails to hold the planned 160 Watts of solar panels.
A local rigger spliced us a fantastic anchor bridle to replace our well worn and somewhat frayed example. This one is not something we are going to worry about in a storm.
On the second afternoon a passer by asked if we were involved in a complete refit. I laughingly told him that we had only come in to have a hatch sealed.
While repairing the heating, Gary discovered that the work on the anode had not been done properly in Scotland so on the Friday we had to have the boat lifted out of the water for him to fix that properly. It also meant that the hull got a pressure wash and is now once again clean and shiny.
The three men from Rustler Yachts refit team are brilliant. Very professional and great fun to work with. Everything was done with a smile and nothing was too difficult. If you have to spend money on your boat at least it is more fun to spend it on guys like this.