I started out with very little knowledge in boat restoration. What I had was experience in woodworking, painting, plumbing, and electrical from my work in construction. I had also built 4 small wooden boats; three 16 foot McKenzie River drift boats and one Doug Hylan designed 13 foot Maine Peapod. I used three main books for reference during this project, Don Casey's This Old Boat, Nigel Calder's Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual, and Beth Leonard's The Voyager's Handbook. I also talked to boat owners and read blogs on the internet and of course Googled.
The 1974 Hallberg Rassy Rasmus 35 Hull number 337 was in serious disrepair. It was a wreck. It took me 5 years(2.5 years part time and 2.5 years near full time) to turn it from a wreck to near new condition. The work is documented here: www.lizardheadone.com. Everything on this boat was replaced except for mast and boom, a few cleats, and the interior cabinetry(I did replace the galley cabinetry). I did 99.999% of the work myself. It took thousands of hours in labor, tens of thousands of dollars, and energy and motivation that at times became hard to come by. This project became a grueling marathon that never ended. But it did.
The transformation started almost immediately after stepping the mast. My body released the tension and anxiety that had built up over the last two years of restoration. My legs went weak. It was actually hard to stand for a few hours. A sense of calm and satisfaction was replacing anxiety and stress. The boat restoration had taken it's toll on me. The burden of a job of this magnitude was lifted and it felt good. Now it's time for ME to rehab.
In hindsight, I would have taken another coarse in becoming a boat owner. I would have purchased a boat in better condition for starters. One with a nice equipment list. One that would take far less effort to bring back to condition. There was no financial advantage to buying a low cost boat and rebuilding it. With all the advantages that I had (boat shed at my house, woodworking shop, time, and sufficient funds) the project was almost too much for me. I had doubts many times about finishing. Posting my work on the internet really helped in keeping me motivated. I heard from folks around the world and they gave me encouragement and advice. Thank you.
This restoration project did, however, give me a enormous sense of accomplishment. It also gave me knowledge necessary to repair any system on the boat. I really know this boat. This project was a journey in itself, and even though I doubt I would ever attempt something like this again, I believe I will always be glad that I did it. ONCE.