Wharram World > Spirit of Gaia Renovation, 20 years after her launching

Spirit of Gaia Renovation, 20 years after her launching

Spirit of Gaia is a test case to see the durability of wood epoxy and of various design elements we used in her. Twenty years since her launching (1992), she was sailed hard during the first 6 years, including a round the world voyage. She spent the next 9 years sailing during the summer in the Ionian Sea and Adriatic and the last 5 years quietly resting in Trizonia, while we went off sailing the Lapita Voyage and had health problems to deal with.

In these 20 years she had overhauls in 1996 in New Zealand, a major one in 1997 in Australia, in 1999 in Corfu after completing her circumnavigation, another major one in 2002 when we renewed the hardwood toerails and netting, removed the bow centre boards, shortened the rudders and repainted the deckpods and the upper hullsides. The last time she was out of the water was in 2005 and last maintenance work was done in 2007. Two years ago I did a survey and found various patches of rot in hatch coamings (all outside the glass covering of the hulls) and the lids of the engine boxes were becoming cracked and rotten. These parts have been heavily used as part of the centre deck and living area.

Hanneke, James and a varying team of helpers have made an annual visit to Greece since 2012 to carry out maintenance work. These blogs cover this work in detail and we hope they may be useful to you in carrying out your own maintenance or renovation project.