Ppalu’s Refit, in Photos

Wooden catamaran Ppalu underwent extensive refitting in St. Kitts in 2013, then suffered major damage after grounding in early 2014. Owner D. Randy West shares the process in these photos.

Hauled Out

After I bought Ppalu in 2013, we hauled her in St. Kitts for a complete refit.

Bilge Condition

Most everything was a mess, including the bilges.

Clipper Bow

Unlike most modern cats, Ppalu sports traditional clipper bows.

Forward Beam

Like most parts of the boat, the forward beam also needed attention.

New Nav Station Renovation

Once the new nav station was under way, we were getting somewhere.

New Table and Settee

By the time the new dining table and settee were in place, I began to envision a real world cruiser.

Shavy and Randy

My mate Shavy, a longtime St. Kitts boatbuilder, helped with the refit.

Last Plank

Fitting the last plank to replace all the rotted ones was a huge milestone.

Final Coat

With the topsides painted, the old girl was starting to look pretty darn good.

Pulling Last Tape

My girlfriend, Joanne “HQ” Roberson, pulls off the last section of boot stripe tape.


Of course, Ppalu also needed a new trampoline.

R&J Hole in Hull

We’d sailed to St. Maarten after the first refit, where Ppalu grounded on a reef. HQ and I survey the damage.

Haulout at Bobby’s

Luckily, we were able to get air bags underneath the boat, then had her hauled at Bobby’s Marina.

Hull Cutout

Having bounced on a reef all night, the damage was extensive.

New Planks

Now Ppalu is undergoing a second refit. Soon she’ll sail again!