About the REFIT

The Wanbli has been left in the waters - unattended - for two years at the Marina Aquileia, by which it has been seriously affected.


We must therefore attend to important restauration work. Furthemore, the Wanbli has to undergo reconstruction/reinforcement in certain areas for the round the world sailing tour.

March 2017

Armin - the 'divine' engine mechanic - arrives and detects that the chiller is porous. He removes it and takes it along for mending.

May 2017

We return to the Wanbli and Armin reinserts the chiller. Then, we also install new batteries and the engine is revived. 

We want to take the Wanbli to the crane right away, but get stuck after 50 meters in the middle of the marina due to the low tide. ;-)

We tow back between the moorings and wait until midnight. At high tide, we get the Wanbli to the crane and it is put on land the next day.

June 2017

I get to Aquileia directly from Biograd - after all, I do have to work a little alongside leading my sailing school. And completely lose it! The Wanbli has really sufferend immensely, the underwater hull is a massive case for restauration!!!

I would actually never have thought that a six-year-old steal ship which had lain in fresh water for three years would look like this. To splash a little paint on it will not fix a thing! Michele, the positive spirit of the Marina, comes by and says only one word: SANDBLASTING!

September 2017

An important decision is imminent: 

I myself do not have the time to refurbish the Wanbli on my own. To lead Austria's biggest navigation school means to teach sailing courses 26 weeks a year, and to spend the rest of the time in the office, working. And I won't get far with the occasional help of friends. Furthermore, we are in need of accomplished professionals who could essentially contribute to the project's development! 

Bernhard, a fellow sailing ethusiast, is a handiman and has time! I assign him the complete refit of the Wanbli! He is thrilled ;-) We'll tackle it mid-September... 


Markus of "Maritimo" and the company Hempel have supplied us with a concept for the colour composition, dozens of paint pots !!! 


Heavily loaded with spare parts, paint, tools, ladders etc., we drive back to Aquileia.

In total, we are carrying almost 200 liters of paint in the trailer!

We arrange the building lot. My big trailer serves as our storehouse. 


I clear out the entire boat for one day, dismounting the sails, every winch, splint, roll, string, anchor, chain etc. 


Bernhard cuts off the weird 'Targabügel'. Now the Wanbli looks like a real sailing ship again!!!


Then, the unnecessary plastic-teak deck has to go. How one comes up with the idea of sticking a plastic flooring, which is supposed to look like teak, onto such a beautiful steal ship, is completely incomprehensible to me. And what is more, it was ridiculously expensive as well. Not only did this 'teakdeck' not last, it also partially peeled away so that water got in and the whole thing began to rust from beneath! Thus, it's clear - we have to get rid of this shit!  And that's really a lot of work! In parts, it still sticks well so we have to remove it inch by inch with the crowbar; but in other parts, it just peels off - along with the subjacent colour coats.  

Then we sand the deck entirely and treat it with rust primer. This may sound like little work, yet the devil is in the details: all crossings between steel and stainless steel have to be sanded especially subtly, we scrape off glue from underneath the genoa tracks, and so the days go by! Always sanding in between! 


We manage to apply four layers of primer - intermediate sanding! - another four will be done in the springtime...

In the meantime, I negotiate with the sandblasting company. But in vain, since the whole thing costs a fortune - and yet, there is no alternative. The guys come at 9 o'clock, with truck, compressor, overalls and oxygen masks. These folks don't fiddle about!


Then they build a plastic tent around the underwater hull. Let's get started!


They're done at 4 p.m. The underwater hull now looks as if we had painted it matte silver. Bernhard almost orgasms in light of the great result - verbatim quote, "You can sharpen your pencil on this surface!" 


Yet, time is short. Because now, one layer of epoxy primer has to be applied immediately. In fact, before the surface lightly rusts again due to evening dew!!! 


The weather gods mean well and Bernhard even manages to apply four more coats to the underwater hull, before we close the building site for this year! 

We will continue in April 2018!


Bernhard and I are already planning excitedly how we shall proceed. After all, the Wanbli should be ready this July.


This is the remaining to-do list (and it seems to refuse to get any shorter!):

  • four more layers of primer on the underwater hull, then antifouling 
  • paint the body white with one pretty, blue streak
  • set up logos, name and sponsoring banners 
  • paint the deck another four times plus finish
  • in the cockpit, a service hatch has to be cut into the coamings 
  • the plexiglass of all side hatches must be replaced 
  • the plexiglass of the deck hatches is also torn!
  • the interior will be painted entirely
  • the seating covers for the caboose will be renewed 
  • the entire lighting will be changed over to LEDs
  • the shrouds will be replaced by new, fundamentally stronger ones 
  • empty and clean the diesel tank 
  • disinfect the water tanks
  • entirely replace the running rigging
  • service winches
  • stretch the rig
  • order and set up the bimini top and sprayhood 
  • at least the sails have been adapted and the main sail has a fourth reef! That's something!