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Old 13-04-2013, 09:24   #1
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Beaching Leg

I fabricated this beaching leg to allow occasional cleaning of both sides of my hull bottom during only 1 tide.

The 1 inch bolt at the top will secure to the Gunwale through an unused chain plate pad. I will rig lines to the foot running forward and aft to control pivoting until loaded.

I have no experience with a beaching leg and I am not sure if the surface area of the "foot" portion is large enough to prevent sinking. My boat displaces about 14K lbs. and I have sized the leg length to allow a 10 deg. list. I will use an anchor on a halyard to keep things going the right way.

I will seek sand or gravel beaches only - no soft mud.

Does this look like a workable set up?

Steve
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Old 13-04-2013, 14:59   #2
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Re: Beaching Leg

That's an interesting project. I know next to nothing about the topic, other than basic physics suggests two of those going fore and aft of the chain plate attachment point might work a little better, with a drop-in cross-piece to tie the "feet" together at a fixed distance.

I would be concerned about deformation of the chain plate as only one hole could be supporting a fair amount of weight if a) the boat leans a bit due to taking the ground poorly, or b) a wind on the beam while drying out creates unexpected forces. I think I'd want more than one bolt, which would act as a pivot point. You have to be very sure that the chain plate is as close as possible to the balance point of the boat's mass fore and aft.

What kind of keel are we talking about and would this be done with fender boards, etc. against a sea wall?
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Old 13-04-2013, 15:34   #3
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Re: Beaching Leg

The general wisdom about beaching legs is to have one on each side, to keep the boat upright. This way, the keel carries most of the weight. The purpose of the legs is just to balance the boat, like small wheels on children bikes.

It is recommended to have the legs slightly shorter than the keel, to reduce the weight they have to carry. But "how much shorter" is the question. It depends on the keel footprint and the firmness of the bottom.

Alain
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Old 13-04-2013, 15:47   #4
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Re: Beaching Leg

How about having the lenght adjustable. Also on 36 foot Moody Halberdiers I've seen pictures of legs made of a couple of shorter sections, easier storage. The feet on the ones I've seen are quite small and as a previous poster said" they are to balance the boat, not to take any real weight.
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Old 13-04-2013, 17:01   #5
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Re: Beaching Leg

Thanks for the responses,

Panope's Keel could not be longer or more strait (see Pic). I am not too worried about stability in the "pitching" or "yawing" directions.

The keel is also about 1 foot wide and totally flat. She might just stand upright without any legs - but I would not try it! The ultimate "clam crusher" perhaps?

The boat only draws 4 feet and lays over just fine without any support at all - so no big deal if she leans the wrong way for some reason (sinking keel?). The only reason that I am bothering with any leg is to be able to clean the entire bottom on one tide instead of two.

Adjustability would be cool (tube in tube and a pin with multiple hole choices) for different beach slopes or lumps. Generally, I should be able to find nearly flat sandy areas to dry out

The single bolt is nice so things can pivot if necessary. I might even make a tapered plastic washer/spacer that will allow a bit of movement in all directions. Gunwale is welded aluminum and together with the chain plate pad, thickness is over 3/4 inch. Bolt is 1 inch diameter. Tube wall thickness is about 5/16 inch. It's all really beefy stuff.

I agree that a leg on both sides is more typical (as seen in photos via Google search) and certainly safer from the standpoint of keeping the boat directly upright. I have cut my leg to put the "foot" about 3 or 4 inches above the keel so maybe 10 deg. of list. I was planning on a well set anchor abeam with increasing tension as things dry out to keep the boat tipped the correct direction. Perhaps I will jam some safety legs of wood (2 to 3 feet long) under the chine before venturing underneath. Or maybe just get a long pole for my scrub brush and not go under at all.

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Old 13-04-2013, 20:47   #6
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Looks like a great solution for your boat. Never used one.. Or two so I can't comment except to say when I lie against a wharf and dry out I use a weight halfway up the masthead line to ensure she falls the right way. Once I even set it up through a block on a nearby dinghy shed when I was there for a couple of months. It worked great except I forgot to untie it before I left, and damn near pulled the shed down..

I always liked Brent Swains solution to legs, socketing them into the hull under the chine. Short and strong.
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Old 13-04-2013, 21:04   #7
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Had a cunning plan once for my dream boat... She was a modified Sangeen Witch copy, with a raised deck amidships. A slightly shallower keel and twin daggerboards port and starboard. I figured she could dry out on them like legs, and they would improve the windward performance and reduce rolling downwind.

Anyway now i've got an old IOR warhorse with a 7 foot fin keel, about as far as you can get from a sangeen witch...
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Old 14-04-2013, 00:14   #8
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Re: Beaching Leg

A few drums of water suspended off the boom (outboard) may also help with the careening process as the tide drops. Once the boat has settled you can empty them of course.
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Old 14-04-2013, 03:39   #9
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Re: Beaching Leg

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panope View Post
Does this look like a workable set up?
Legs have been discussed a few times on CF before, so worth a search.

I hesitate to chip in with any comments as despite living in a tidal area where legs are common (and have owned boats with legs in the past) nonetheless plenty of scope for things to go badly wrong - so please do not take anything I say here as "gospel" .

Ok, disclaimer out of the way.........

You look like you are in the ballpark . One leg is a bit outside my own comfort zone, but I can see the logic and no reason why it cannot work - just increases the risk of murphys law applying.....but given that you appear to have already beached (careened) her already on a beach without any issue then have a bit more scope to survive the unplanned.

I dunno which area you are in and what the tides are like but my first choice would have been to lay her against a harbour wall - or even a post. The price of that likely would have been the need to turn her around to do the other side because of the lack of easy access.....but you have built the leg now. (and just to say that if you or someone else moors against a wall never put the leg down on the inside - even when you have 2 of them! - the risk is that the leg hooks on the wall or forces the boat too far over so wayyy too much weight on the outboard leg as the seabed next to the seawall tends to be higher than even 6 foot out).

As I am sure you know already, don't park the boat on any seabed you have not already seen with own eyes when dry (same applies even on a boat with no legs - odds are will be ok, but only takes the one time to be a disaster).

Over here no one parks a boat on a beach with legs as simply too exposed to sea conditions (and other people in boats zooming past at the wrong time), might be fine when parking - but 12 hours later you don't get to pick the conditions. Not to say that it can't be done, but risk goes up a lot - and certainly I would want to be onboard (and awake!) when she settles and when she refloats. Of course over here plenty of options available (for free!) so a beaching with legs not actually neccessary.

The risk is that the boat snaps a leg (actually not that common) or the more common leg folds under the boat. Leg likely still straight but the power of leverage on the through hull fixing (and fore and aft ropes) is enourmous with the weight of the boat on the leg if it digs in as the boat heels and moves sideways - that happens if the tide / wind is playing silly buggers! particularly from any swell (including that created from boats zooming past)......the time of risk is just when the boat is settling, boat is bumping on the bottom (that happens even in ideal conditions) lifts a few inches (or a few feet if things are bad!) and comes down at an angle - with full weight on the leg .....it don't matter how strong the leg is as it's all about the leverage...........and that happens even in protected harbours, including on boats with far shorter legs than yours. That often enough not a great problem until the boat settles on the leg as afterwards you have at best a hole in the hull around the fixing or worse a hole in the hull caused by the leg itself - which don't matter greatly immediately, just when the tide comes back in ..........not to say that everytime a leg falls off or folds under is a complete disaster, but less than ideal!...........anyway, forewarned is forearmed.......so my "advice" is to do the beaching somewhere protected, ideally in a harbour.

My own boat has triple keels (main keel kinda like yours - with slightly shorter "bilge" keels each side that do the same job as legs, except less of a PITA )....she also often balances on her main keel, but she will rock onto her bilge keels depending on what I am doing onboard - in your case with only the one leg I would make damned sure she was not balanced! - for that all you need is some weight on the leg sidedecks, plenty of it for safety (buckets and containers of water - I would say also the anchor and chain, but you will need those elsewhere!) and even then I would hesitate to have anyone onboard wandering around just in case she overbalances the other way . In regard to anchoring / mooring her you want to avoid her broaching / slewing broadside as the tide recedes / comes back in.....so at least a stern anchor, and then your guess as good as mine!, but personally I would have no faith in also having an anchor amidships to keep her leaned onto the leg due to the inability to guarantee that would always have enough tension / the right angle of pull.

In regard to your leg itself, you are spot on with only a few inches shorter than the keel (the leg is a prop not to bear the weight of the boat) and if that angle (in the pic with the leg leaned against a sheet of plywood) is the same as when on the boat then looks about right. A mighty sized bolt on the top!, my concern would be around what that is fixed through inside the boat as whilst pretty much nothing will cope with the leverage of the full boat nonetheless the hull sides should be able to cope with a fair bit of that before giving up. In regard to the foot size, bigger than I would have done by a few inches, but I don't think it matters.....my main concern is about the bracing being on the underside. Unless you are parking the boat on concrete then the keel will sink into the seabed at least a few inches and so will the leg (as long as the seabed pretty much the same of course)......and you want the leg to do that to match the keel....therefore I would have put the bracing on top as my expectation would be that the bracing as is will slice into the seabed (so the leg measurement I would be working with is down to the foot plate only and not the extra 3(?) inches of bracing), but no guarantee that it will be the case if the leg bracing hits a rock or large stone under the surface - that don't matter so much if you have a leg on the other side! but could tip her over or simply put too much weight on the leg. Basically what I am saying is that it brings in an uncertainty on the leg measurement .....and in addition a bit more uncertainty on whether the leg will snag / trip on the seabed as she settles rather than a smooth foot being able to glide / move a few inches as she settles.....those things not bad enough for me to say you need to get the angle grinder out, but nonetheless would make me a tad less comfortable.

Anyway, the above a bit longer and a bit more rambly than I had intended!, and whilst I think you are in the ballpark nonetheless the results very much down to you...aka don't blame me .

Pics of the result would be nice.
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Old 14-04-2013, 09:25   #10
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Re: Beaching Leg

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozskipper View Post
A few drums of water suspended off the boom (outboard) may also help with the careening process as the tide drops. Once the boat has settled you can empty them of course.
Good point Ozskipper. And better than an anchor cause it will tend to not move the whole boat before she is firmly "planted" and thus minimize some of the potential failings that DOJ mentioned. My boom is very long (25' +) so not a lot of weight needed.

Thanks,

Steve
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Old 14-04-2013, 11:03   #11
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Re: Beaching Leg

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Legs have been discussed a few times on CF before, so worth a search.

I hesitate to chip in with any comments as despite living in a tidal area where legs are common (and have owned boats with legs in the past) nonetheless plenty of scope for things to go badly wrong - so please do not take anything I say here as "gospel" .

Ok, disclaimer out of the way.........

You look like you are in the ballpark . One leg is a bit outside my own comfort zone, but I can see the logic and no reason why it cannot work - just increases the risk of murphys law applying.....but given that you appear to have already beached (careened) her already on a beach without any issue then have a bit more scope to survive the unplanned.

I dunno which area you are in and what the tides are like but my first choice would have been to lay her against a harbour wall - or even a post. The price of that likely would have been the need to turn her around to do the other side because of the lack of easy access.....but you have built the leg now. (and just to say that if you or someone else moors against a wall never put the leg down on the inside - even when you have 2 of them! - the risk is that the leg hooks on the wall or forces the boat too far over so wayyy too much weight on the outboard leg as the seabed next to the seawall tends to be higher than even 6 foot out).

As I am sure you know already, don't park the boat on any seabed you have not already seen with own eyes when dry (same applies even on a boat with no legs - odds are will be ok, but only takes the one time to be a disaster).

Over here no one parks a boat on a beach with legs as simply too exposed to sea conditions (and other people in boats zooming past at the wrong time), might be fine when parking - but 12 hours later you don't get to pick the conditions. Not to say that it can't be done, but risk goes up a lot - and certainly I would want to be onboard (and awake!) when she settles and when she refloats. Of course over here plenty of options available (for free!) so a beaching with legs not actually neccessary.

The risk is that the boat snaps a leg (actually not that common) or the more common leg folds under the boat. Leg likely still straight but the power of leverage on the through hull fixing (and fore and aft ropes) is enourmous with the weight of the boat on the leg if it digs in as the boat heels and moves sideways - that happens if the tide / wind is playing silly buggers! particularly from any swell (including that created from boats zooming past)......the time of risk is just when the boat is settling, boat is bumping on the bottom (that happens even in ideal conditions) lifts a few inches (or a few feet if things are bad!) and comes down at an angle - with full weight on the leg .....it don't matter how strong the leg is as it's all about the leverage...........and that happens even in protected harbours, including on boats with far shorter legs than yours. That often enough not a great problem until the boat settles on the leg as afterwards you have at best a hole in the hull around the fixing or worse a hole in the hull caused by the leg itself - which don't matter greatly immediately, just when the tide comes back in ..........not to say that everytime a leg falls off or folds under is a complete disaster, but less than ideal!...........anyway, forewarned is forearmed.......so my "advice" is to do the beaching somewhere protected, ideally in a harbour.

My own boat has triple keels (main keel kinda like yours - with slightly shorter "bilge" keels each side that do the same job as legs, except less of a PITA )....she also often balances on her main keel, but she will rock onto her bilge keels depending on what I am doing onboard - in your case with only the one leg I would make damned sure she was not balanced! - for that all you need is some weight on the leg sidedecks, plenty of it for safety (buckets and containers of water - I would say also the anchor and chain, but you will need those elsewhere!) and even then I would hesitate to have anyone onboard wandering around just in case she overbalances the other way . In regard to anchoring / mooring her you want to avoid her broaching / slewing broadside as the tide recedes / comes back in.....so at least a stern anchor, and then your guess as good as mine!, but personally I would have no faith in also having an anchor amidships to keep her leaned onto the leg due to the inability to guarantee that would always have enough tension / the right angle of pull.

In regard to your leg itself, you are spot on with only a few inches shorter than the keel (the leg is a prop not to bear the weight of the boat) and if that angle (in the pic with the leg leaned against a sheet of plywood) is the same as when on the boat then looks about right. A mighty sized bolt on the top!, my concern would be around what that is fixed through inside the boat as whilst pretty much nothing will cope with the leverage of the full boat nonetheless the hull sides should be able to cope with a fair bit of that before giving up. In regard to the foot size, bigger than I would have done by a few inches, but I don't think it matters.....my main concern is about the bracing being on the underside. Unless you are parking the boat on concrete then the keel will sink into the seabed at least a few inches and so will the leg (as long as the seabed pretty much the same of course)......and you want the leg to do that to match the keel....therefore I would have put the bracing on top as my expectation would be that the bracing as is will slice into the seabed (so the leg measurement I would be working with is down to the foot plate only and not the extra 3(?) inches of bracing), but no guarantee that it will be the case if the leg bracing hits a rock or large stone under the surface - that don't matter so much if you have a leg on the other side! but could tip her over or simply put too much weight on the leg. Basically what I am saying is that it brings in an uncertainty on the leg measurement .....and in addition a bit more uncertainty on whether the leg will snag / trip on the seabed as she settles rather than a smooth foot being able to glide / move a few inches as she settles.....those things not bad enough for me to say you need to get the angle grinder out, but nonetheless would make me a tad less comfortable.

Anyway, the above a bit longer and a bit more rambly than I had intended!, and whilst I think you are in the ballpark nonetheless the results very much down to you...aka don't blame me .

Pics of the result would be nice.

Thank you David for the detailed, experienced advice.

No worries about liability and disclaimers - I do not share the trend to deflect responsibility that more than a few of my countrymen have become known for

My boating area is Washington state's Puget Sound. 10 to 15 feet of tide and lots of areas with long, flat pure sand beaches with no rocks. Virtually no walls available and no pilings that are used for drying out......

I will certainly be mindful of the need for protection from waves, and wake. A related note is that I will not need the full 12 hours. Since the goal is to only scrub the bottom , I can use the "bottom" 2 or 3 feet of tide only (will use hip boots) - so only a 4 or 5 hour exposure......

Good point about leg snapping/bending due to the boat bouncing around before things get "heavy" on the keel. My hope is that I could leave the leg folded up and completely out of the water until the boat is very firmly settled on the bottom - maybe 6 inches of ebb tide? Only then pivot the leg down and in place and only then apply listing force (either by anchor or weight suspended from the boom). Later, when the tide is rising, I figured I will relieve the listing force when water is still 1 foot down from the water line. Maybe even apply listing force the "wrong way" to flop the boat over to the other side (hang on!). And then remove the leg completely.

Regarding the foot.....I actually thought it would be better to have the bracing on the underside to prevent the foot from sliding out from under the boat. After reading everything you wrote I can now see that a little bit of sliding (at least until motions settle down) is probably a good thing. I did assume that the underside bracing would penetrate the bottom and yes, I measured/calculated the leg length from the foot "plate" - not the bottom of the bracing. Easiest way to change is probably to simply flip the foot over and weld new mounting (to leg) tabs on top of the existing bracing.

Yes, the angle in the picture is about what it will be when boat is upright. When the boat is leaned over on the leg, I figure the leg will be about vertical.

I assume that many of the problem scenarios that you mentioned occurred because the legs were set up permanently for use as an upright mooring in a "dry" harbor - and thus unattended. I will stress that my intended use is only for occasional bottom cleanings and zinc changes. I haul the boat out during winter so I am only looking at maybe 4 or 5 (semi) dry outs per year to keep the "big stuff" cleared away.

Also noteworthy - The driving force behind all of this is my decision to no longer use any antifouling paint (expensive, pita, aluminum boat - nothing works well without dissolving the hull or breaking the law - TBT).

Thanks again for the lengthy explanations. Very appreciated.

Steve
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Old 14-04-2013, 13:50   #12
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Re: Beaching Leg

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panope View Post
Good point about leg snapping/bending due to the boat bouncing around before things get "heavy" on the keel. My hope is that I could leave the leg folded up and completely out of the water until the boat is very firmly settled on the bottom - maybe 6 inches of ebb tide? Only then pivot the leg down and in place and only then apply listing force (either by anchor or weight suspended from the boom).
That could work - but it might not . The reasons why not are twofold:-

1) Boat (keel) sinks into the seabed a bit more than expected, leg now too tall to bolt on (or to drop vertical)..........leg would have settled into the seabed nicely same as the keel if fixed on beforehand - but now you are left trying to pile drive it in!, good luck with that , not so much from effort required (although the size of that foot plate won't make it easy! - probably need a trip over the side to dig a hole! - and holes in seabed underwater like to fill in!) but leg will also be bl##dy awkward to manhandle, which brings me onto the second (and main?!) reason.....

2) timing! amazing how quick the water dissapears when you have a boat aground and a leg yet to fit on! - trust me . Perfectly doable when all goes smoothly - but always scope for a snafu or 2 that delays things. I have never had a boat fall over, but that due to practice of putting legs on (as you worked out - legs a 24/7 thing here) and some luck .

On the timing / ease of fitting front, you might want to consider a handle at the top of the leg to help you manhandle the leg into position (as well as it simply not slip from your grasp into the oggin!) and in regard to the bolt I would suggest that it be fixed in place on the leg - not for any structural reasons but simply to stop it dropping in the oggin!, plus one less thing for you to juggle when kneeling on the side deck manhandling the leg. In any event I would suggest that this be a 2 person event, at least for the first time - for putting on the nut inside if for nothing else. May also want to practice a few times when afloat as well.

Personally I would fit the leg on only when in position (and with plenty of time before she settles) - could also jump overboard as she settles (4 foot draft means ok, unless you are an Ooompah Lumpah ) to make sure that the leg is settling in ok (no rock under / is not snagging)......I like your idea of taking the weight off as soon as you can as she rises, the sooner you can get the leg off the better (less time = less chance for Murphy on a Jetski going past ) even if the price of that is her sitting at a bit of an angle when still bumping on the bottom.

Oh, and make sure the leg is always tied on! - one of the guide ropes loosely fitted is fine........I am guessing that this leg don't float - and even if it did very awkward to retrieve!

Quote:
Regarding the foot.....I actually thought it would be better to have the bracing on the underside to prevent the foot from sliding out from under the boat. After reading everything you wrote I can now see that a little bit of sliding (at least until motions settle down) is probably a good thing. I did assume that the underside bracing would penetrate the bottom and yes, I measured/calculated the leg length from the foot "plate" - not the bottom of the bracing. Easiest way to change is probably to simply flip the foot over and weld new mounting (to leg) tabs on top of the existing bracing. Am not saying it is clearly bad enough to merit changing, especially as will be for occassional and used with care - but out of choice I would prefer it as I suggested....as IMO (no science!) would give a bit more to play with. So, a bit of a judgement call. Likely if I had the leg as is then I would give it a go!, but that because a) I can't weld and b) I am kinda like that .

Yes, the angle in the picture is about what it will be when boat is upright. When the boat is leaned over on the leg, I figure the leg will be about vertical. Looks about right, don't want it dead straight down when the boat is level as when she leans over the leg will be prone to tucking under .....but also don't want the leg kicked too far out as a risk of the leg splaying away from the hull.

I assume that many of the problem scenarios that you mentioned occurred because the legs were set up permanently for use as an upright mooring in a "dry" harbor - and thus unattended. I will stress that my intended use is only for occasional bottom cleanings and zinc changes. I haul the boat out during winter so I am only looking at maybe 4 or 5 (semi) dry outs per year to keep the "big stuff" cleared away. Yeah, unattended - but also to bear in mind that simply because someone is on the boat does not mean they can actually do something about a problem that is occuring - that mostly to do with boats being heavy!.......so like lots of stuff, the answer is often prevention
I am sure all will go smoothly (but pics either way!) - that keel of yours will make life a lot easier than with many other boats as no risk of tipping forward and less of pivoting as she dries / rises.
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Old 14-04-2013, 18:01   #13
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Re: Beaching Leg

The Yacht Leg Company - Yacht Legs

for some inspiration

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Old 14-04-2013, 20:48   #14
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Re: Beaching Leg

Nice looking boat. Do you have any interior pictures? It looks really interesting. Good luck.
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Old 14-04-2013, 23:35   #15
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Re: Beaching Leg

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Nice looking boat. Do you have any interior pictures? It looks really interesting. Good luck.
Thanks Palarran.

Here are a few shots. The galley is a bit of a mess still and the pilot house interior is still not done.

I recently started a thread chronicling my modification/refit that includes numerous pictures and explanations. Here is the link:
Happiness is a Warm Spool Gun

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