“The boat took a bad hit during a hurricane,” says Rick Breitenstein, production manager for Hatteras Yachts in New Bern, North Carolina, and the guy who headed up the most recent restoration of the 54-year-old, Jack Hargrave-designed Hatteras Knit Wits. “And mold took over afterwards. We had to gut her and start over.” Breitenstein tapped his entire workforce for the project, although to guarantee elbowroom only four or five people could actually work on the boat at any given time.
The accommodations area forward (with two staterooms and a head) was in part salvageable. Teak veneers were applied over mahogany plywood bulkheads and other surfaces that were still okay and secured with 3M 94ET contact adhesive. Then came Watco teak oil and new soft goods. Curtains were created in-house and the rest came from the Canvas & Upholstery Center (www.canvasuphcenter.net) in St. Augustine, Florida.
“The after half of the boat was the toughest,” explains Breitenstein, “She’d been repowered during an earlier restoration but the replacement diesels were iffy. We sent ’em off to Western Branch Diesel (www.westernbranchdiesel.com) for rehab.”
Everything else was extracted from the engine room as well. Then the place was cleaned and painted and many new components (fuel hoses, bilge pumps, bonding cables, etc.) were added. Eventually, the refurbished diesels, with brightly polished valve covers, were remounted with fanfare.