The first “project” shown here is one that is the closest to home for me. She’s a 1982 Nordica 30 that was previously called “Atlantis Quest” and will probably be sailing again under the name of “Atlantis” when she’s launched. I believe she has spent most of her previous life in the Florida (Boca Raton) area and would really appreciate hearing from anyone who might have known more about her there.  - LM

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Qtr-Berth area was is in tough shape - standing water and deck leaks helped to replenish the supply each time it rained.

There were several leaks to the interior and most were kept fed by the lack of deck drains. Without these, the water would build up on the decks and further challenge all the thru-deck fittings. 

The two open box areas to the right are for (2) Grp-27 batteries.


(4) Lockers / Lids provide additional storage with access and ventilation.

Photo above-left is the qtr-berth “lid” with supports for access panels to (4) locker spaces. All surfaces were fully epoxy coated and then painted before installation.

Left - Engine access to the front was a major issue - “if it’s difficult, you’re not going to do it!” - Panels will be fully removable when the galley cabinetry is finished. Now I can work on the alternator, water pump, engine mounts without guessing as to what’s being done. 

“A” shows the access area to reach some of the bilge hose fittings installed below the cabinet base. “B” shows the two engine compartment openings added to improve access to the engine mounts, alternator, water pump, etc.

Panels fitted and in place - galley surfaces cleaned and painted prior to starting the insulation for the new refrig. box. All of this has to be done prior to finishing and installing the rest of the galley cabinetry.

Here’s a photo for reference in your N-30. 

A- Shows the location of (4) thru bolts & nuts for the uppermost stainless rudder gudgeon bracket. It would be tough to remove this fitting without access to these nuts. Cutout panel will be replaced with one that has a removable access insert.

B- Low point and water collection spot for any drainage in this area. Water was trapped here and couldn’t escape!

C- Discoloration marked with arrows shows the level of water that was being held in this compartment. Didn’t find any money, but there were a few miscellaneous screws and hose clamps.

Not many sane people would do this to their v-berth ... unless they really wanted a cold drink of water! I’ve installed a “wedgy” bow tank that fits the interior hull shape pretty well. In order to get it in place, I had to saw out the opening you see and once the tank is in, add the cross bridge pcs. to help support the load above and keep the tank from moving around. Two more pcs had to be fit in the angled areas to support the cover to be added back.

Also added the access port on the top to inspect and clean the tank when needed. The fill and vent are shown on the left and the outlet is below and on the centerline. The tank exterior was lined with 1/2” foam closed cell foam to minimize the moisture sweating issue.

After the hull was sitting on stands I kept noticing a very slight amount of water dripping off of the “point” just aft and slightly above the prop. It wasn’t raining, so I started looking for the source. When I couldn’t access this locker area behind the engine compartment, I was going to just cut an access opening and then make a cover to seal it off again. After making a couple of ragged saw cuts, I could see a lot of water soaked plywood pcs. (opposite side of the engine area) coming loose. Further checks revealed that atleast two-thirds of this entire panel was totally softened from standing water, so it’s all coming out and a new one (with a removable access panel) will replace it. It’s difficult to see into this area, but worth checking out if you have any openings to look thru.

My best guess on the source of this problem is possibly from two areas. One is possibly the limited protection from blowing rain or sea water that may reach either of the two vents on the aft deck area.  The second possibility is that the “cover” for access to the fuel tank area was left open or atleast was not sealed enough for some period of time to keep the area dry. It looks as though this water had also been draining into the aft end of the quarter berth and would have also assisted in its deterioration as well.

           What’s to keep this from happening again... check back in coming weeks and see what’s been done.

I know you’ve seen a similar photo to this before and it showed a blue colored bottom surface. It’s all gone now and is in the process of drying out. There were a lot of obvious blistered spots and after peeling, a lot more showed up that were hidden below the gelcoat surface and would never have been detected otherwise.          Click on the small “thumbnail” photos for a larger view..

Nav Station Base
V-Berth Paneling

Nav. table base shown in place - The top is being modified yet to permit easier access to table and qtr. berth. It was reinforced also to give a more secure attachment for the drawer and electric panel that will be mounted on top of the “drawer and lid” arrangment. 

The new “level foot rest” area permits better footing for getting in and out of the Qtr-Berth area.

Mounting strips to attach the ceiling boards on left - Insulation and ceiling strips being added on right.

Insulation added, strips cut, pre-positioned, attached, . then removed, varnished,re-positioned and installed again.

What’s the condition of your original hardware that might have been installed 20 to 25+ years ago? If you think it’s not a problem because it doesn’t look like there’s a problem... don’t kid yourself.  Salt water or fresh water needs to stay on the outside of your hull for sure but the more “invisible” type of moisture can be working against you just as well - as you’re sitting there admiring the scenery! Here’s a few examples that I’ve found on Atlantis that are pretty typical to any boat, anywhere... don’t let it be yours!

<---- Wasted metal samples from the rudder - this fitting was above the waterline. Lack of caulking and or entrapment of moisture within the rudder could have caused this type of damage over time.

Wasted Metal (stainless steel)
Crevice Corrosion

Crevice corrosion is the culprit. This 1/4-20 bolt looked good before I put the point on the end to transfer a center point - when I backed it out, it turned to mush - the interior is totally wasted away.   ---->   

Wasted U-Bolt

It’s just a U-Bolt.... right?

Yes, but it’s one of two that supports the mast!!!

This U-bolt came from the stern deck and is one of the mounting points for the short split back stay. It looked good from the deck level and even underneath the deck, but the rusted area was hidden by an untreated piece of plywood intended as a backing plate. Untreated to me means “open cells and ready to absorb all the moisture it can.” Almost all wood (especially plywood) has internal moisture. Using it on your boat without any effort to seal both sides and the edges will certainly give it a chance to react to metal (yes, stainless too) and mother nature will prevail. Stainless hardware lasts longer than mild steel, but over time and in the right environment, your hardware will eventually waste away to rust and powder. To keep your surprises to a minimum, think about “what’s holding your boat parts together” and then check to see that the parts are still capable of doing what you expected them to do.

One element of rebuilding that you become aware of very quickly is the sequence of when things are done during the whole project. I’m sure it’s that way as any boat is being from scratch, but studying out the reasons and priorities for each task along with the best time to “remove, rebuild or leave for now” takes a good deal of time as well. Long lists of “to-do’s” and “laters” makes it possible to plan and focus on the sequence that serves the overall picture the best and helps somewhat to keep your expenditures on track with the most relevant tasks at hand.

Here’s some progress photos on the starboard side (aft of the hanging locker) showing the locker and shelf for a small heater. More to come on the progress of this 10 hour project which is turning into a 40 hour endeavour. ... so what’s new!

The smaller view to the far right shows the type of settee backs that will replace the original type that was hinged at the top and in order to look for or store anything behind it, you had to move cushions, lift quickly, throw it in even quicker and then try to slam the back down before your goods fell out! No more of that stuff for me... storage space is hard enough to find and should be easily accessable.

Ever wonder why it looks like I’m working on so many different areas at the same time... there’s a good reason. Part of it is explained in the paragraph above, and the other part is dictated to some degree by where epoxy is curing, paint is drying, measurements are known (or not known yet) and last but not least, coordinating the materials I need to get with other trips around town to make the “boating portion” of the day seem more justified. It’s always a juggle of timing and having things work out the way they were planned, but then that’s part of the fun too. The original factory schedules didn’t have the luxury of time the way I do so I’m sure many details were done as best as could be done in the time block they had to work with. 

Work on the boat has been slow this past year but I did manage to start the installation of an overhead hatch opening. The “cutout work” was pretty easy, and now the framing and reinforcement is underway. This is a BIG TIME improvement in natural cabin light and will be a great plus for ventilation too.

Several readers have inquired about my progress on “Atlantis” and I always appreciate the interest. I’ve not had as much time to work on her this winter but did manage to re-work one of the previous tasks that I thought was done!

Seems that when I was working on the v-berth area I used an automotive black coating to cover the vertical strips that I mounted the “ceiling strips” to. I’ve used it on other surfaces but had not tried it on epoxy. Long story made short - it’s not a good combination at all. I did the typical sandpapering and washing down the surfaces to get rid of the amine blush wax and thought I’d done a decent job. After the coating cured for several months, it absolutly lost it’s grip on anything! It cracked and peeled and basically came off in sheets. Keep in mind that I’d already cut and fit and varnished the ceiling boards four times and had mounted and removed them another three times, so you can imagine my enthusiasm to do it all over again.... but then that’s what I had to do! ... (The new coating is working just fine... looks good and has dried solid and tight..)

Sometimes the work isn’t fun but I’ve just finished reworking this area again. I believe the results will last now and am glad to mark that task off the list. I used a polyurethane non-skid deck coating and aside from being almost odorless it takes a bit longer to set-up to final cure and the adhesion seems to be very good. We’ll all know for sure in another 6 months! In any case, I’m telling the story to provide a bit of encouragement to others to persist in spite of minor setbacks! There will be more I’m sure but then if it was too easy, it wouldn’t be as interesting. Stay tuned.. the coming months will have some new photos for sure. - LM

I was pretty much convinced that no one else was working on their boats in such an intrusive fashion as I am, so I just kept adding more photos of “Atlantis” but all of a sudden the doors have opened!!!

 Here’s another sailor who seems to be enjoying the process of ripping out the old and installing the new! If you’re doing this kind of work on the side and not telling us about it, you’d better “fess up” and share some of that carpet dust and FRP whiskers with us! We learn from each other and can all benefit from your work.

I thought this might be a shot of the results from what can happen when you try to re-ignite your alcohol burner too soon after it goes out, but John said no, he just wanted to work on the windows that day! He just got this great looking boat and trailer and is already rippin and tearing away, but I know he’s going to end up with a first class example of a great Halman 20.                    Thanks John

I’ve heard from John regarding his adventures in “Fandango” and he has also mentioned his interest in moving to another boat and from what I’ve heard this past summer, he did sell “Fandango” and is probably eyeing up another hull by now. Good luck to you John in your next adventure and I would certainly appreciate hearing from you ... even if the next one is not a Halman or Nordica. - LM 

Here’s a very clever idea from John that he has installed on “Fandango” - He built his cookstove into a sliding storage unit that moves aft and out of the way when it’s not needed and pulls out and opens up with a work surface area when it’s serving time! Whether your boat is 20 foot or 200 foot, there’s always some trade-offs for storage space and being able to use what’s there efficiently. Another photo from John shows a “built in” seat sitting where the locker lid is in the photo on the left. Sounds like he’s trying to figure out how to make it a reclina-lounger type unit that accepts “looneys and toonies” for the large screen video on the port side! Just kidding but ideas like this could prompt someone else to try it!

Received this nice looking photo from Capn’ Joe showing the progress he’s made on the exterior of his Nordica-20. He’s refinished the exterior recently and launched her back in the water and is now starting to take on the interior to get it the way he likes it too. We’ll be interested to see some more photos of your progress and keep up the good work Joe.


He would also like to find out if anyone else knows of his boat or where she came from. Seems that he bought her in Dallas, Texas some time ago but believes she came from Florida prior to that and for some reason thinks she might have been spending a bit of her time “underwater” there! She’s a 1984 model and has the sail number of # 602. If you know anything about this boat, please send Joe an email at [ ] - I know he would appreciate hearing from you.

Here’s a simple little photo of something I’ve seen from time to time and more recently have received this photo from a reader. Seems that when you fit out the thru hulls on your boat, the tendency sometimes is to presume that plastic lasts as long as metals that might get eaten up (by the underwater bugs that eat metal things) - no matter what the person behind the counter tells you, plastic thru hulls should never be used if they exist below the waterline... and that includes the waterline you create by heeling! If this was on your boat at a 30 degree heel, I’ve got another little chart that tells how many gallons per minute could pass thru the hole where this fitting is supposed to be! Don’t risk it ... spend a few extra dollars, rupees, ringits, euros, pesos or whatever and use metal below the waterline.

I’m adding a photo of “Lady Liz” to the projects page as an incentive for Cap’n Tom to send some more photos. He’s going to work on the exact color of that hull and we’ll have to wait to see what color she really is.

He’s just acquired his N-20 from an uncle and made a rather lengthy journey from Milwaukee, Wisc. to the Woodstock, CT. area so he’s already invested in this project.

Something tells me we’ll be seeing some more of her on the way to a great looking restoration. Now you’re on the hook Cap’n!

Here’s a few photos from Cap’n Christine who has been busy this year with reconditioning her beloved 1978 Nordica 20 named “Njord’s Noatun” in the Illinois area on Lake Michigan. (Christine had emailed me some time ago suggesting that she was going to fix this boat up for some classic and comfortable cruising and she’s done just that. So to all you “Lady like Captains out there, don’t think it can’t be done...!!!)

With some serious elbow grease (it’s available to all Capn’s - male or female) and an interest in making the surroundings comfortable, safe, practical and without giving up your life savings, your “home away from home” can be done. In the time you own the boat, you get to enjoy the results of your efforts and IF you decide to part with her for some reason, you’ve added value and made your investment go a little further in the process.

Thanks for sharing the photos Christine and anyone cruising on Lake Michigan should keep an eye out for “Njord’s Noatun” and get some tips from the Cap’n.

So how many bottles of cleaning “juice” and towels, and rags and scrapers and vacuum cleaners does it take to get the glued shag carpeting out of the interior of your boat....

Cap’n Daniel says - A LOT! - But look at the bright side (no pun intended) - you only have to do it once!

Check back for some more photos of his restoration on this Nordica 20. He would have been done sooner, but he said it did get a bit hot inside on those nicer days!

Keep at it Daniel... we’ll look forward to seeing the next phase when you get time. Thanks.


Getting this diesel engine back in shape has taken quite a long route and series of events. Some of it was rather predictable but other portions were truly a gift from “Murphy” who indirectly oversees most of what we try to do to our boats. The satisfaction of “whipping him at his own game” is worth all of the effort it takes - take a look at some of these photos and the progress made so far in the efforts to get back in the water with a dependable and reliable “auxiliary” engine.

Here’s a great looking (and functioning) modification that Cap’n Bill has completed on his Halman 21 with a new “Main Sheet Traveler” system. Click on the photo to the right to learn more about this nicely done change.

Bill says the total cost was around $500.00 and what a difference in being able to control the boom. He’s even detailed out the specific parts and numbers so you’ve got no excuse now...!!!


So you think you know your boats don’t you... at least you recognize that familiar sweep of the deck and the rudder profile, right? And if you said it doesn’t quite look like a Nordica and the ports are slanting the wrong way for one of those “Halmans” - you’re still right!

This is one of the original photos of Cap’n Tony’s “Lynaes” boat “LYN” or “Lightning” he says in English. He bought her for $5000 (about $950.00 US) and has had the original Vire 7hp engine fixed and has taken on quite a lot of other nice “fixes” that add to the boats overall attractiveness and utility. That’s the “practical mans” dream to get both of those attributes into one “result.” He intends to sail her in and around Denmark where there are still quite a few “Lynaes” to be seen. With the improvements he’s added, she’s going to be someone’s pride and joy for quite a while yet. He’s not sure about the approximate age of the boat but does know that she’s hull # 12 - he believes to be one of the earliest. Click on the photo to learn more about her!

(I’ve included a couple of additional photos on the “Vire-7” for those of you who don’t know this engine. - LM)

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