12 May 2021
Following ten years of extensive bluewater cruising and Bucket-style racing, the 151ft aluminium ketch Christopher has completed a major refit in Finland illustrating our Service and Refit’s ability to tackle any yacht of any size in Palma or Jakobstad
The aluminium ketch Christopher has spent this winter undergoing a detailed schedule of work to meet the requirements of her 10-year survey and has now been re-launched at our waterside premises in Jakobstad.
Project manager Matt Dean from our Palma office, alongside Göran Svenlin our project foreman in Finland, has been overseeing the work using his knowledge of aluminium to handle some of the character traits unique to this method of yacht construction.
A stand-out feature aboard Christopher is the extensive use of teak cladding over the coachroof and deck saloon sides, extending to the coamings for both cockpits. To provide access and complete re-finishing to a high level the teak cladding was removed. This provided unrestricted access to the aluminium deck structure.
To remove the timber to access the aluminium structure, plus porthole and windows frames which also needed servicing, some of the timber was destroyed. With the teak 50mm thick in places, removal was one thing, but replacing it was another.
NEW CLADDING SOLUTION
“We wanted to replace it in such a way that when it has to be removed in future for any repair it needn’t be damaged,” said Göran Svenlin. The new cladding looks identical, but as Göran explained, by using a composite glassfibre and foam laminate with a 3mm teak outer veneer it is not only much lighter, but a new method of attaching it to the refurbished aluminium means it can be removed intact. “It is a good example of the Baltic Way, looking ahead to the next planned maintenance work,” said Göran.
ENGINE RE-BUILT IN SITU
Other major tasks have been a complete re-build in situ of the Caterpillar 12-cylinder C32 main engine, using local engineering firm Avesco-Caterpillar. Matt Dean said, “Avesco removed, replaced or refurbished just about everything except the block and crankshaft in addition to removing the propeller and pulling the shaft.” Both rudders have been removed, the rudder stocks, lip seals and bearings inspected and serviced and the extensive hydraulics system serving both masts has been overhauled replacing seals and pipework.
Both masts have been pulled, by Marine Results UK, for survey and painting and Christopher’s extensive carbon rigging package has been returned to Future Fibres in Valencia, Spain for survey and service.
Down below the galley and crew mess have been completely re-painted and the yacht’s 30 glass hatches and deck locker hatches have been removed, refurbished, re-glazed and replaced. Much of this work has been undertaken by the yacht’s crew alongside external contractors.
Her extensive programme of work has benefited from many of Baltic Yachts’ service and refit disciplines and has prepared Christopher for many years of global cruising. We wish her well in her next voyage as she departs Finland.