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Old 07-04-2016, 14:51   #1
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New member Intro, wisdom sponge...

Hi all,

New member to the site and first time posting.

I'm Joel Quillen. I'm originally from Nashville, I currently live in Denver, and own an Allied Princess 36 which is in St. Pete, FL. I bought her a couple of years ago for a catharsis and mechanical project to tinker on, but due to an untimely job loss, had to put her needs aside to address my own. I am an amateur mariner, but interested in learning all I can and respecting the process as I come along.

I'm about to pull my tent stakes and move to FL to get her fixed up and pick up where I left off.

She is a 1973 model with the original layout for that year range. I had spent some time researching what kind of boat I wanted, and for what purpose. I wanted a sturdy boat that is safe and capable enough to take offshore, when my abilities are up to snuff. I paid 10k for her, and despite some issues that will require attention, I feel I will come out ahead. I know what BOAT stands for, but I'm single and childless, so I have the luxury of blowing my checks on the impending refit.

I had purchased her from the PO with a handshake as to the condition she would be in when I took her over. I'm a helicopter mechanic, so I have a general insight as to whether things are in order or not. My first and most salient issue thus far has been the engine.

On my first trip out in 2013, the engine experienced a catastrophic oil leak and threw a rod out of the crankcase. I had test run her in the yard with coolant and everything seemed fine then. Go figure. So, my first serious repair is to do an engine swap with another Perkins 4-108 I have a bead on. I had planned to do an accessory swap w/ new gaskets and hardware, look over the Hurth tranny, and put the whole lot back in. I'm not trying to do an overhaul right now, just the minimum needed to get her seaworthy and closer to a cheaper yard where I can begin to do a legit DIY refit.

So, some general questions for those who've gone before:

What advice can you offer about swapping one Perkins for another as I've described? Common problems, labor bottlenecks, incompatabilities with different S/N's, etc?

There has not been a marine survey done. Yes, I know. Newb mistake.

I haven't detected any soft spots on the deck other than a wobbly stanchion. If the rest of the deck hardware seems solid, is it reasonable to assume all is well, or do I have to take them all off, drill the old epoxy & re-epoxy, rebed & refasten as part of the refit?

As I've come to learn, the Princesses of this vintage were mostly finished using that cheesy Formica veneer and trimmed in wood. I'd really like to look at something nicer in there, but I'm not an experienced woodworker, nor do I want to screw with removing the bulkheads if I don't have to. Is there a such thing as covering the 1970's student desk-esque formica with a another wood veneer that could perhaps be glued over the old stuff? I really hope so. I wonder why they didn't go ahead and put the cottage cheese and glitter ceiling paint job and avacado green oven for good measure.

I've already read a lot of great articles from this forum and look forward to getting to know you folks on here. I welcome your input, constructive criticism, and cajoling when needed. I will pass along my tidbits here as I get them as well.

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Old 08-04-2016, 19:37   #2
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Location: Saskatoon, Canada & Eastern Caribbean
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Re: New member Intro, wisdom sponge...

Welcome to CF synclavier. I can't give you any advice on swapping out a Perkins engine, but if you are a helicopter mechanic you should handle this job without too much trouble. And I'm sure there are many others here that can give you good advice.

Reading your post, I'd say you are on the right track. Get an engine working, fix things up and that 36' boat of yours will be a joy!

I always found this gal Nike & her YouTube channel White Spot Pirates very interesting. She didn't have much of a boat to work with but she's out there now and enjoying life. She just learned along the way and doing fine. A good example for all of us.

Happy sailing!

Wherever we want to go, we go. That's what a ship is you know - it's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs. But what a ship is...really is, is freedom. ~Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow
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Old 09-04-2016, 06:57   #3
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Re: New member Intro, wisdom sponge...

There is something to be said in favor of having a survey to get an organized third party evaluation of what is needed. Several hundred dollars well spent to give you a good roadmap?

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Old 09-04-2016, 08:09   #4
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Re: New member Intro, wisdom sponge...

Welcome to CF. Sorry to hear about your engine disaster. We also were in Denver when we bought our boat (on the Left Coast), fixed her up, and eventually went cruising. We moved to the boat like you are doing.

We have an older Perkins now but hopefully it will last a while. I'm not an expert on the engine (we had a Ford Lehman before). There are lots of differences between models/serial numbers/etc. You will probably get some help from some of the Perkins shops/parts vendors which have lots of experience with them. Finding a really good mechanic with serious experience with Perkins would be invaluable. He/she could do the survey and do some of the work that you can't do or don't want to do and perhaps could advise you on the work you want to do yourself. Some parts can be hard to find. You'll need to document all the model/serial numbers of the engines and major components, e.g. fuel pump, transmission, etc.

And there is a lot of Perkins experience with CF members. I have found that very specific questions work best but you will have cases (like just starting out) where you don't even know what question to ask or how to ask it.

If your budget would handle it, installing a newer non-Perkins engine might be best in the long run - but you would have to deal with measurements, redoing the engine bed, installation, and all the miscellaneous other changes required. It would not be cheap.

Good luck,
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Old 09-04-2016, 08:21   #5
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Re: New member Intro, wisdom sponge...

Good luck with your projects. Agree with getting a good marine survey. You will need it to get insurance in most cases. A new engine and probably transmission will set you back some and you may find a few more issues when repowering. While you may not have to pull the prop shaft to repower, the prop shaft, cutlass bearing and stuffing box should be scrutinized while you are at it.

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Old 09-04-2016, 09:00   #6
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Re: New member Intro, wisdom sponge...

Welcome to CF!

To answer your veneer question...It is labor intensive to veneer over Formica, not extremely difficult. Formica needs to be roughed up with 60-80 grit to get a "tooth" for contact cement to grip. It is tedious to get proper alignment, plastic sheeting helps immensively...the trim is what takes time and skill. I have done my interior with rosewood veneer and teak trim. Some of my Formica was Harvest Gold, so I an early awful interior...had plaid Herculon cushions and curtains as well...


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Old 14-04-2016, 15:30   #7
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Boat: Allied Princess 36
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Re: New member Intro, wisdom sponge...

Thank you folks for a warm welcome and good advice.

I agree with the advice on getting a marine survey. I will get one as soon as I can. In the mean time, I need to move the boat from where she is in St. Pete down to Ft. Meyers due to cost increases at the yard, and because I'm disallowed any DIY work. That is what's necessitating a quick engine swap so I can move her, put her back up on the hard again, and then do these things in a protracted, "legit" manner.

Thank you sir for the info on redoing the veneer. I figured on the items you mentioned as being the most salient considerations of that job. I had hoped there was some sort of Teak veneer available, or something comparable. I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet.
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Old 14-04-2016, 15:55   #8
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Re: New member Intro, wisdom sponge...

Hi, there Joel,

Well, what an aggravation! Sounds like you might want to install an alarm for loss of oil pressure. That's a real shame that happened. Dang!

Welcome aboard, looks like you got the veneer issue solved. Stoves and ovens and fridges can also be repainted. Paint's cheap. Some friends actually researched with a couple of paint companies first, and then painted out Formica that was "walnut wood grain", turned all that to a clean, bright white, and varnished the timber trim. It really lightened the boat and still looked "shippy."

Good luck for a speedy engine switch, and finding your boat a new home.


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