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Old 12-10-2013, 20:32   #1
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Done a self survey yesterday have some questions

Hi Everybody,

The wife and I spent some time yesterday doing a self survey on a vessel as the only surveyor in the area where the boat is located is unavailable for about three weeks, so we thought we'd do a kind of pre-survey survey as we need to complete the sale in about the same time frame, so this will allow us time to investigate any major issues and decide ultimately whether to purchase the vessel or not. The attraction to us of this particular boat is that #1 it is a design we really like and it is located relatively close by; has a new engine; and the price was hard to resist.

Now the boat does need some TLC which is fine by us (been there and done that on previous boats - yes we are suckers for punishment!) but there are a couple of issues that have us scratching our heads, hence the reason for this post in that hoping some knowledgeable folk can contribute one or more answers to the questions below.

First and foremost, when we first inspected the boat (which is on the hard) the bilge was filled with water. The water was predominantly fresh, but there was some salt mixed in. The reason for this is that the owners had to rush off and had the yard haul the boat and didn't return for 10 months or so. The bilge water level rose up above the bottom of the engine as can be seen by the water marks in the picture below



The owner has since drained the bilge at our request and further investigation revealed that there is some electrolytic corrosion that has occurred. I suspect the alloy gearbox and bellhousing has been the least noble metal. Some examples of the corrosion:





One of our primary missions yesterday was to get the motor started. We failed. Initially the motor was slightly frozen. I free'd it by swinging the prop while in gear. When we tried to start the engine, the starter spun but did not engage the flywheel. I suspect that the flywheel was corroded and was "locked" to the bell housing initially and that the starter's bendix is also corroded in the retracted position.

Starter (note corrosion in general vicinity and + terminal):



My question from those that feel qualified to answer. Is this motor toast? It has less than 20 hours on it and has not had the first service. I'm prepared, if need be, to pull the motor at some point in 12 to 18 months and clean up the corrosion.

Now for some other items on the survey.

Back in the engine bay, the shaft seal has a grease gun plumbed into it. Not sure if this is a design or a bodge. Can anyone shed some light? A picture (as best I could) of the seal is below. For reference, the shaft diameter is 1.25 inches.



The boat has a nice new genoa which of course isn't mounted to the roller furler. I can't figure out how the top bearing of the furler works. It's a pretty old unit and I don't understand how the halyard tension is transferred to the top of the mast?



Cheers - Jeff.
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Old 12-10-2013, 21:03   #2
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Maybe try penetrating oil in the cylinders before you turn it over for real. Hand crank to move the cylinders and lubricate the sleeves. The starter probably shorted.
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Old 12-10-2013, 21:05   #3
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Re: Done a self survey yesterday have some questions

There is at least one furler that has an integral halyard for hoisting sails. Not familiar with it and can't remember the name. Did you see any sign of such a halyard. Is that squarish object at the top of the foil the swivel. Looks like those may be sheaves on the side for the halyard. If it's not that type, looks like someone may have pulled the halyard out of the mast. Assume you didn't see any sign of a jib halyard.

The engine is probably fine if you didn't see any sign of oil in the catch pan or water in the engine oil. Not unusual for boats with steel pan to have them rust out, however. Looks like the paint is still intact with very little corrosion. If the engine starts right up, would expect the engine to be just fine.

If the transmission case is aluminum, it could have been eaten away by electrolysis though I'd doubt it would be enough to cause serious damage. If it was me, would pull the engine and carefully inspect and repaint if needed. Paint aluminum transmission with zinc chromate after thoroughly cleaning all the corrosion and gunk to bright metal.

That engine looks way cleaner than many good running engines I've seen in sailboats.
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Old 12-10-2013, 21:09   #4
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Re: Done a self survey yesterday have some questions

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Maybe try penetrating oil in the cylinders before you turn it over for real. Hand crank to move the cylinders and lubricate the sleeves. The starter probably shorted.
The motor broke free by turning the prop. As we have only put a deposit down so far, I felt it best not to anything involving teardown of the engine. The weird thing is the starter appears to spin fine.
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Old 12-10-2013, 21:22   #5
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Re: Done a self survey yesterday have some questions

I really can't answer your questions but if I were you I would back away from the sale until the engine is running. It should be up to the seller to prove to you that the engine is in good shape. Alternative is to assume you have to re-engine and base purchase price on that. Also assume you must replace transmission. That's my $.02 worth.
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Old 12-10-2013, 21:33   #6
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Re: Done a self survey yesterday have some questions

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
There is at least one furler that has an integral halyard for hoisting sails. Not familiar with it and can't remember the name. Did you see any sign of such a halyard. Is that squarish object at the top of the foil the swivel. Looks like those may be sheaves on the side for the halyard. If it's not that type, looks like someone may have pulled the halyard out of the mast. Assume you didn't see any sign of a jib halyard.
Hi Roverhi. Yest that is the "swivel". but it doesn't appear to be a swivelwhich is the mystery. There are two sheaves that block that look like they are set up for wire. That fine line passing through one of the sheaves is tied to a more conventionally sized braid which appears to be the halyard, although it might not be. My first thoughts are that the tension is set by tying back to the furling drum, but I would have thought it needed to be tensioned to the top of the mast to work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
The engine is probably fine if you didn't see any sign of oil in the catch pan or water in the engine oil. Not unusual for boats with steel pan to have them rust out, however. Looks like the paint is still intact with very little corrosion. If the engine starts right up, would expect the engine to be just fine.

If the transmission case is aluminum, it could have been eaten away by electrolysis though I'd doubt it would be enough to cause serious damage. If it was me, would pull the engine and carefully inspect and repaint if needed. Paint aluminum transmission with zinc chromate after thoroughly cleaning all the corrosion and gunk to bright metal.

That engine looks way cleaner than many good running engines I've seen in sailboats.
My wife would love to hear that opinion as she has her heart set on this damned boat! Dopey me forgot to pull the stick on the transmission (and by the look of the paint it's never been pulled) but the engine is fine and there is no oil leaking. Most of the fuzzy rust I suspect is electrolysed alloy as when rubbed off the bolts the metal underneath isn't in as bad condition as it first looks. Fingers crossed we can get it started!
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Old 12-10-2013, 21:36   #7
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Re: Done a self survey yesterday have some questions

when i bought this boat i took 15000usd off the sellers asking price due to blown engine.
that is one option
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Old 12-10-2013, 21:43   #8
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Re: Done a self survey yesterday have some questions

If the starter is spinning then either the bendix is stuck and not engaging the flywheel, or if there is decompression levers they are open. The flywheel never touches the bell housing.

Looking at the photo of the mast head, my eye was drawn first to the corrosion at the top of the mast and the discoloration of the fore stay swaged fitting. Never good to have discoloration like that. It could just be surface rust, but normally surface rust does not look like that.

Is the cap shroud rod rigging. Could not tell if it was wire, but looks like rod. Thing with rod rigging you can't tell if its bad or not till it breaks. Plus the spin, and main halyards look well worn. Signs of a neglected boat that needs lots O work.

You can also see where the wire cable used to raise the jib has cut a slot on the furler tube.

Your probably looking at getting the standing and running rigging redone sometime sooner then latter. I would check the base of the mast for corrosion too as well as

The Engine is most likely OK if it turns over it looks pretty clean. Could be poor wire connections at starter solenoid, though as the starter runs, I'm guessing not.
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Old 12-10-2013, 21:48   #9
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Re: Done a self survey yesterday have some questions

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when i bought this boat i took 15000usd off the sellers asking price due to blown engine.
that is one option
Lol. This one was a case of offer half and don't be surprised if ya get it. Well we were a little surprised but there will be some work todo.
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Old 12-10-2013, 22:12   #10
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Re: Done a self survey yesterday have some questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
If the starter is spinning then either the bendix is stuck and not engaging the flywheel, or if there is decompression levers they are open. The flywheel never touches the bell housing.

Looking at the photo of the mast head, my eye was drawn first to the corrosion at the top of the mast and the discoloration of the fore stay swaged fitting. Never good to have discoloration like that. It could just be surface rust, but normally surface rust does not look like that.

Is the cap shroud rod rigging. Could not tell if it was wire, but looks like rod. Thing with rod rigging you can't tell if its bad or not till it breaks. Plus the spin, and main halyards look well worn. Signs of a neglected boat that needs lots O work.

You can also see where the wire cable used to raise the jib has cut a slot on the furler tube.

Your probably looking at getting the standing and running rigging redone sometime sooner then latter. I would check the base of the mast for corrosion too as well as

The Engine is most likely OK if it turns over it looks pretty clean. Could be poor wire connections at starter solenoid, though as the starter runs, I'm guessing not.
Thanks sailorchic.

The electrical connections are sad indeed (see below). In the end we ripped the battery out of the car and used that to get electrical power to the engine. I'm not convinced we weren't getting a 'orrible voltage drop, but the starter sounded healthy enough spinning.

The mast is painted, which I hate, but the corrosion I don't think is too bad it's more just the bubbling in the paint. The base is ok. The support less so, but it can wait for a year or so. The rigging is wire, but needs replacing sooner rather than later. Check these pics out:



This is the base of the decked stepped mast's post:

Probably good for another few years but why - oh - why do they make them out of mild steel?

Oh yeah, here is the view behind the electrical panel, usually a good indication of the general quality of wiring:
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Old 12-10-2013, 22:28   #11
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Re: Done a self survey yesterday have some questions

If the starter is spinning but your engine is not then you need to pull the starter to see why the pinion gear is not engaging the flywheel. At the same time you can see what the teeth on the flywheel look like.

Maybe just a tap or two on the starter will get the thing to engage but that's wishful thinking.

Good luck.
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Old 12-10-2013, 22:50   #12
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Re: Done a self survey yesterday have some questions

WOW, you do like a challenge. So the T track is up from the deck and the fixed fairlead that was installed outside the cap shroud on deck, went walk about too.

I'm wondering how they bent that lower stay.

Very impressive wiring..... That's going to give many days of enjoyment.
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Old 13-10-2013, 01:20   #13
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Re: Done a self survey yesterday have some questions

Yeah, I wonder about those tracks. It's a production boat and that's where they put them standard so there must be some reasoning for it. I've poured over pictures of other boats and seen the sheets being passed in between the shrouds and all sorts of other arrangements.

Funny about the wiring. I rewired and repowered the Vega, including all new engine beds and stern bearing and the rewiring was by far the most PITA and time consuming job requiring contortion into all sorts of unnatural positions. And I'm an electrical guy so go figure.
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Old 13-10-2013, 03:18   #14
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Re: Done a self survey yesterday have some questions

I have two of those furlers on our boat and they work well. Australian made by a company in the NSW town of Manilla (I wish I could remember their name).
The top casting is locked to the furler extrusion, and so is the furler drum.
The whole thing rotates around the forestay. There are no bearings at the top.
The wire which passes over the sheave in the top casting is the halyard, and is led down to the drum casting where it is tensioned by a small block and tackle arrangement. When you first fit the sail, this halyard needs to be temporarily lengthened by a rope tail.
This all spins together and is wrapped in the sail when furled.
The extrusion is under compression from the halyard loading.
It is all pretty foolproof an we have had 25 years of trouble free service out of it.
Regards,
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Old 13-10-2013, 03:47   #15
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Re: Done a self survey yesterday have some questions

Quote:
I have two of those furlers on our boat and they work well. Australian made by a company in the NSW town of Manilla (I wish I could remember their name).
The top casting is locked to the furler extrusion, and so is the furler drum.
The whole thing rotates around the forestay. There are no bearings at the top.
The wire which passes over the sheave in the top casting is the halyard, and is led down to the drum casting where it is tensioned by a small block and tackle arrangement. When you first fit the sail, this halyard needs to be temporarily lengthened by a rope tail.
This all spins together and is wrapped in the sail when furled.
The extrusion is under compression from the halyard loading.
It is all pretty foolproof an we have had 25 years of trouble free service out of it.
One of the companies which produces furlers with this arrangement is called "Reefurl" They are fairly low cost and dependable However they have the disadvantage that if you lose the forestay you tend to lose the lot overboard and difficulties then ensue.

Corrosion on alloy pretty well always looks worse than it turns out to be but I would definitely do something about that mast step arrangement, the bottom plate looks buckled up.
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