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Old 12-09-2014, 21:19   #1
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Location: Portland, OR
Boat: 1969 Grampian Classic 31'
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1969 Grampian Classic 31, on the CHEAP!

Hello, and thanks for having me!

First off, I am new to sailing (I sailed a little sunfish for an afternoon 25 years ago).

I'm not new to fixing things up. I have been riding and fixing my own motorcycles for 23 years now. I have build frame up choppers, dirt bikes, and road racing bikes. I have 15 years low voltage and AC expereince with the phone company. My point in all this is I know how to fix stuff. I also know how to rig stuff up (call it what you want) to get it to work.

I'm also not new to online forums. I am very well aware of the different personalities that are online. I will ask this: if you are a sailing/ woodworking/ fiberglass/ mechanic "purist", stop reading now, and find something better to do with your time. I am going to ask how to short cut, rig up, and spend the least amount of the little money I'm going to put into this boat to make it work!

With that being said, and since you are still reading, let me give you the history of my Wandering Star. The baot sank at the dock a few years ago. I was told the toilet valve was let open, it back flowed into the boat and sank. Now, fast forward, two people have owned it whose goals were to live aboard and so they started working on cosmetics, although they didn't get too far.

Since I bought the boat (for $1500, including 1 months morage) I have done so work and a good amount of clean up. My goal for this boat is to learn to sail over the next 18 months, while i fulfill my work assignment here in the Northwest (Portland).

I bought the boat assuming the motor was basically a "boat anchor" (pun intended). However, a quick pull of the dipstick revealed no water/sludge in the oil. I removed the exhaust canister (why it was in front of the flywheel, who knows. Ill find a better spot for it long term) and turned the motor (Universal Atomic diesel 5411) over by hand (i have a strong grip). Then I hooked up a battery to the ground, starter cable and through the start button and turned the motor over with the battery, starter is good. I ordered a new fuel filter and water seperator filter. I cleaned out the tank. I will be testing the fuel guage and sending unit this weekend. I will have to replace all the fuel lines (looking for a CHEAP source). I have three alternators, 2 are only cores at best, the third is iffy. I will have one rebuilt. I have several belts. I'll just run them till im through all of those. I was happy to see liquid in the fuel lines when i pulled off all the old hoses. My thought was that means there is a decent chance at the fuel pump not being clogged. And there was an auxilary electric fuel pump that tested ok.

My plan is to re-plumb the fuel system, wire up the starter, battery, alternator, key, glow plugs (to be tested still), starter button, mount the exhaust canister out of the way, but still below the waterline, and fire this thing up!

This boat has a broken Edson worm drive, which i will eventually fix and probably put back on, but i need to re-attach a tiller for now.

I'm going over the side this weekend to check the bottom since i dont know when the boat was last out of the water. Its in the Willamette river, fresh water.

I have one piece of running rigging "plates" that needs to be re-rivetted to the mast.

Here are my current questions:

1. The potable water tank is built into the hull and had a lid at one time. I cut a piece of wood, painted it with some one coat deck sealant (this was before i realized it was the water tank). Now, i would like to know what i can cover (paint, seal, or???) the bottom (water facing side, drinking water safe) to be able to seal up the tank? Also, what sealant should i seal this piece to the fiberglass "tank"?

2. Wood trim - I won't put a lot of money into this boat, because I won't get nearly any back out of it. With that being said, I would like something like the "one coat" wooden deck sealant I've already used for the floor piece. Does anyone have experience using something like this? I just want to stop any further deterioration (especially on deck). I'm not looking to "restore the natural beauty" of the wood.

3. What is the best money spent to learn to sail? Schools, pay someone to teach me on my boat, volunteer to crew at local races, all of the above? My eventual goal is to cruise Mexico/Carribean for 2-3 years.

4. running rigging - the lines look to be in good shape, but i though about buying a good length of each size to have in case of a line failure.

5. if anyone has fullsize photos of this model vessel, i would greatly appreciate you sharing. I have contacted the webmaster of the Grampian owners website. HE has provided all he has.

Thank you ahead of time for your time and shared wisdom.
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Old 12-09-2014, 22:08   #2
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Boat: Grampian 26, Mercury 15, Formosa 41
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Re: 1969 Grampian Classic 31, on the CHEAP!

Hi Rob,
For starter, join the Grampian yahoo group (not the same as the Grampian owners web site), it's a smaller group with a handfull of hardcore fans but you'll get more pictures plus a bunch of other advice on the particular quirks of these old boats.

Other than that, epoxy will be your best friend as far as getting everything cheaply repaired and in sailing shape. Get your hands on a book called 'This old boat', by Don Casey. It should give you the crash course in just about everything you need as far as fiberglass boat repairs go.

As to the sailing, either get your hands on a book called Seamanship secrets by John Jameson, find someone at a local yacht club willing to sail with you, and/or take an ASA course in your area. If you really don't remember much about sailing from your sunfish days you may want to start with a book called 'The Craft of Sail ', by Jan Adkins.

I'd like to help more but mines a Grampian 26 liveaboard. I've seen a few 31 but don't have any pictures myself.

I remember reading a blog a few months ago about a 31 owner who sort of accidentally took his G31 a good chunk of the way around the world. I don't have the link any more but it's worth Googling.

Good luck!

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Old 12-09-2014, 22:18   #3
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Re: 1969 Grampian Classic 31, on the CHEAP!

there seems to be a million brands/types of epoxies and paints. Is there a brand or certain one you recommend? I have gotten several book, and im swapping them out constantly via the Powells used book store. I will definately find these books too.
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Old 19-09-2014, 12:29   #4
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Re: 1969 Grampian Classic 31, on the CHEAP!

West system epoxy is probably the easiest if you're new to that stuff, they sell pumps that screw to the top of the resin and hardner jugs that make the mixing ratios easy. West isn't cheap but it works and is very nearly fool proof.

As far as paint goes.... That's a big discussion and everybody has their favorite brands and types. I like the old Alkylide enamels, bit I'm a bit of an odd duck on that count. Most people go for either the newer one or two part polys.

Don Casey's book has all that sort of information in it. Good starting point.



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Old 24-09-2014, 15:06   #5
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Re: 1969 Grampian Classic 31, on the CHEAP!

Don Casey's book has all that sort of information in it. Good starting point.


- I picked up this book, great read! thanks for the tip!
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Old 24-09-2014, 16:11   #6
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Re: 1969 Grampian Classic 31, on the CHEAP!

Glad to help. Good luck and enjoy the journey. :-)

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Old 30-09-2014, 16:54   #7
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Re: 1969 Grampian Classic 31, on the CHEAP!

This boat of mine already had most of the flaking paint/gelcoat in the salon scraped off. on a 31' boat, how much gelcoat will i need to buy to redo the entire overhead only (thats all the was scraped)?
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Old 30-09-2014, 20:27   #8
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Re: 1969 Grampian Classic 31, on the CHEAP!

Overhead interior? Sounds like a bit of messy business. Rough figures list about 80sq ft per gallon, or 20sq ft per quart. How bad is it? Any chance of just sanding and painting?

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Old 30-09-2014, 21:15   #9
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Re: 1969 Grampian Classic 31, on the CHEAP!

Here is a pic of one corner. I don't kno much about fiberglass, but I was under the impression that the gel coat was scraped off and needed to be replaced?
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Old 30-09-2014, 21:16   #10
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Re: 1969 Grampian Classic 31, on the CHEAP!

Not sure why my pic didn't post.
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Old 30-09-2014, 22:06   #11
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Re: 1969 Grampian Classic 31, on the CHEAP!

Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByCruisers Sailing Forum1412136348.314200.jpg
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ID:	89051
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Old 30-09-2014, 22:11   #12
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Re: 1969 Grampian Classic 31, on the CHEAP!

Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByCruisers Sailing Forum1412136677.252589.jpg
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ID:	89052my take is that most of it was peeling, like this
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