Soluna is a 2002 Maxim 380 that we found in Pensacola, Fl. She had been on the hard for about two years and needed some attention. After a few trips out to work on her, Soluna was really starting to come together.
Soluna is an owners version with three cabins and two heads. We were looking for a boat with this layout because it offers Tripp and Carrick their own cabin and space to call their own. This also give us our own hull to escape to, when possible.
For a 38ft boat, we found that Soluna has a large amount of storage. This is good/bad for us because we now know that there is room for more of our stuff. And, trust me when I say….We got Stuff!! Dive Gear, Surfboards, paddle boards, board games, transformers, a ridiculous amount of Legos, and enough tools to choke a whale.
Soluna has gone through a fairly detailed refit so far. Here are some photos and information on the things that we have done so far. We hired a couple of outside companies to tackle some of the tasks that we could not do ourselves, mainly due to time/location constraints. We are currently in Texas and Soluna is in Northern Florida. We hired Troendle Marine to work on the hull and cabin concerns and Zurn Rigging to replace some of the rigging. Both Zurn and Troendle are located onsite at the shipyard, so it made it very easy for them to work on Soluna, and for us to keep in contact when onsite.
Troendle Marine has been very easy to work with and we are very happy with the quality of their results. Our main contact has been John, and he has been very responsive to questions and requests for info since we are too far away to pop in for a look at the boat.
Here is a short list of areas that we had them address:
- new bottom job
- repair/replace all thru hulls
- new zincs/props on the sail drives
- clean and polish hulls
- remove old decals and replace with new names on hulls and stern
- clean and polish deck, including
- Repair/replace boom tangs (due to excessive wear)
- inspect and repair the refrigerator/freezer (sub-contracted Sea-Air)
- repair deck gelcoat cracks
- repair deck leaks
- Strip and repaint salon ceiling
- repair soft spots on salon floor
- Inspect Inverter/Charger (eventually needed replacement)
Again, Troendle has been really easy to work with and very helpful when it came to things that popped up during this refit. Here are some photos of the new name and the salon ceiling that they repaired for us.
Zurn Rigging came highly recommended by our Surveyor, Bob Kriegel. After purchasing Soluna, Zurn completed a rigging inspection for us. They recommended changing out the aged running rigging and replacing the lifelines, which were in poor shape. During the inspection, they noticed that the chainplates were in need or replacement due to some micro cracking. We met with them onsite and they explained the issues to us. We decided to go with their recommendations, and replace the running rigging, lifelines, and chainplates. During the rigging replacement, Rick and DJ contacted us with some changes to how the reefing lines were run on the deck. The reefing lines were run to the mast, not the cockpit. They recommended to use the existing hardware and re-route the reefing lines to the cockpit to eliminate the need to go to the mast to reef.
Here are some things that Zurn completed for us:
- Full running rigging replacement
- Replace Chainplates (sub-contracted Chainplates Express to manufacture) Chainplates Express is actually only a few miles from our house in TX.
- Re-route the reefing and other lines
- Replace and upgrade the lifelines
- Inspect and replace standing rigging components, as needed
- Future removal of sails and Mack Pack, if needed
Here is the new chainplate that was installed…..nice and shiny!
In addition to the things that we got Troendle and Zurn to address, there was a litany of other tasks to complete. In order to make sense of my Big Book of Boat Notes and Lists, I can break everything down into our trips out to work on Soluna.
Trip 1 – I recruited Jason Ellis with S/V Mimzy to help me with my initial trip out to see what I got myself into. This is the same Jason that welcomed me to the club of boat ownership with the phrase ” Haha…Sucker!” We went out with the intention of making lists of issues and inspect the concerns from the initial survey. We ended up tearing through the boat like rabid monkeys, and disassembling things at a very high rate of speed. We discovered that many items listed as concerns in the survey were not as bad as they seemed. The inoperable bilge pumps actually all worked, minus one in the port hull, and the engines not pumping raw water ended up being only loose belts on the raw water pumps. We decided to remove the pumps for rebuild anyway. We actually psent a majority of our time in the engine compartments disassembling the exhaust systems and removing engine belts. We removed all four, yes…four, alternators to get them rebuilt. Each engine had a 55A alternator for the start batteries, and a 125A alternator to charge the house bank. The water heater was toast, so we bypassed the plumbing to it. We will remove the remaining carcass in the future since we will not be replacing it. We ended our trip with a very large pelican case full of broken boat parts to fix/replace in Houston.
Trip 2 – For this trip, the entire Fam trekked out to Pensacola for Spring Break. The intent was to show everyone the boat and get a few things done (namely install pumps and alternators), and enjoying the beaches on the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Texas seriously got the shaft when it comes to water quality in the Gulf….Thanks a Lot, Mississippi River! Once we got to the boat, the kids ran around and made it their own jungle gym. They loved it. Rachel decided to see what a little scrubbing would do to one of the cabins. The boat sat for a very long time with leaking hatches, so all the walls were covered with mildew. The difference in the walls after cleaning was amazing! Rachel ended up cleaning almost every surface inside the boat. She decided to skip the toilets and floors for now. I couldn’t blame her. The interior looked brand new! While Rachel scrubbed, and Tripp tied Carrick to the mast, I dove back into the engine compartments to reinstall the components that we rebuilt. We decided to stay on the boat late one evening, and have dinner onboard. We discovered that all the lights, minus the nav lights, had been converted to LED. They all worked, and made the boat look awesome.
Trip 3 – After two previous attempts, I finally was able to work out a trip to the boat with my dad. I am very glad that I did. We only had three days to work on the boat, and had a huge list of things to get completed. We got 98% of everything done.
We had to:
- remove faulty Inverter/Charger
- Determine new location for new Inverter/Charger (very different shape than original
- Rerun cable for I/C to new location
- Route cable for radar to and up the mast
- Mount and test radar dome
- Finalize new Start Battery connections and cables
- troubleshoot and replace Port Bilge Pump
- Replace all broken hatches
- Replace fuel filters
- Test new LPG system
- Test latest fix to fridge/freezer (it failed, but the issue was identified…hopefully)
- Install new electric Head pump
We were worried about the heat and the amount of work that we had to do, but the breeze was pretty consistent, and we had purchased Breeze Boosters that made the cabin down right pleasant to be in. This trip really made everything fall into place for me on what I expected the boat to end up like. I know it will be endless work, but now I feel very comfortable with the boat systems and troubleshooting issues as they come up. The ongoing saga of the fridge and freezer is still there, but i believe a solution is near. There is not much else to replace on these units, and I am ready to rip them out, if needed.
Rachel and I really want to get Soluna in the water during the summer, but the decision was made to store her until after hurricane season. It is difficult to work on something for so long, just to put it up for a future date. I WANT TO PLAY WITH MY NEW TOY!! I think we will have a full summer of traveling and visiting family, so hopefully the season will go by quickly, and without incident!
Until then I will be sure to have my tool bag well prepared for the inevitable!