Please bare with me if I do this wrong. This my first experience with responding to forums
. I have used a computer for navigation
fax since 2000, (out cruising), but only been connected to the internet
for a couple of years. I have gone back and read ALL of these pages, & found it very interesting. Some of my coments may be old news...
Roy, WOW, your boat is very nice, as is your workmanship. When I sent you those photos of our dodger
, I thought to myself: "know one but me, would spend 1000 hours on a dodger". Perhaps I was wrong? Your new ports
look GREAT! I thought of doing mine that way back in '91, but opted for the "nuts & bolts" lexan
version in the plans, to save time. Mine work quite well, & have never leaked, But look like a sherman tank! I have recently polished out the "haze" to an acceptable level, so will keep them. (between my 3 cruisers, I have spent 20 years in a obcessive boat project
, so my cosmetic standard goes down as my energy level & time runs out)
Anyone out there that may not know... On plastic sheet, the expansion & contraction is about 10 times that of the boat. My app 6' wide dodger
front of lexan
, can vary by as much as 3/8" from 0 degrees F. to 100 degrees F. !!! (smaller ports
, perhaps 1/3rd of that) Bear this in mind when building in your ports... which ever way you do it.
is fascinating. And, the finish you have achieved is extraordinary! Yours seems to be the lightest 34 that I've ever seen. I think that this is as much responsable for your boats stellar performance, as the light rigging
, but the synthetics have to REALLY improve the motion. I am considering the DUX on replacing my runners, but before doing them all, will wait & see about these other issues, ( UV, chafe, & lightning). I have gone to great pains to ground my mast
& wires, & wonder what happns to this stuff if the boat gets hit. Where I live, this happens all the time! (I've had the boat RIGHT next to me get hit on 3 occasions) DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO WET SYNTHETIC SHROUDS IN A DIRECT HIT?
Going WAY back here... Mating hardware
or ss plates to one another. IF IT can never "move around at all", caulk the interface to keep water
out. Otherwise, in cases like cleves pins, chainplate holes, STALOK holes, forks, eyes, etc. I goop up ALL of the surfaces with TEFFGEL. Lanocote is OK, but TEFGEL is best. Then I clean up the excess on the outside, with mineral spirits, as this is nasty stuff.
I have painted my interrior "failing" paint
a number of times. I have lots of little cracks in the epoxy
coating, (fir ply), that eventually come back through the paint
. This is with one part paint. I like Easypoxy semigloss white. This is also in a situation where you don't want to really nasty up the now wired, plumbed, lived in boat. When it starts failing after a few years... First wash the surface with mineral spirits, then isopropil alchohol. Then I use numerous rolls of duct tape in little 8" strips. I fold it over on itself, sticky side out, then dab up & down on all of the areas that even MIGHT have poor adhesion. (use each one once or twice) This leaves what is "stuck enough". Now, sand lightly only the areas that are mottled with missing paint. If you can live with a bit of texture in your new painted interrior, this saves a lot of the sanding
& stripping. (After 12 years living on our boat, cosmetics are less important) Now do your painting in segments. Solvent wash as above, 30 min before you start. this gives a chemical bond to your old, even unsanded, surface. Use a bit more solvent, to thin your first coat of paint. We do the fillets at all of the stringers first, with an artist brush. (6 coats) Then the stringers, with a 1" brush. (6 coats) Then the inbetween flat panels
. (6 coats) In each case, do a very light solvent wash as above, before each session. It took a while for us to figure out that our stringer fillets were not getting as much paint with a "too large brush", and that 3 or 4 coats was not enough to REALLY slow down the passage
vapor in & out of the wood @ these cracks. This gives a paint job that is maybe a 7.5 or 8, with way less work than a 9 would be. The extra coats makes the cracks stay away for 6 years or so, rather than only 2.
After THROUGH epoxy
coating of bolt holes, I prefer to caulk the hdw, under the bolt head
, and shaft of the bolt... but not the nut & washer inside. Like you said, If the exterrior caulk fails, you want it to come in, so you'll know. I re caulk around those deck
chainplates, at the top only, every other year. They are vulnerable!
For ama ventilation. If your down turned nicro scoop vents, have the press in plates, this is not safe! The screw in plates with "o" rings are fine. I used 6" Beckson deck
plates with the screw in "o" ring. Using PVC cement, I glued this to a PVC sewer pipe 90 degree elbow
. I think the 4" one, with adaptor sleeve over it, perfectly matches the deckplate's inner flange. Then I cut a circle of nylon screen
, and with PVC cement, glued it in the opening of the deckplate, just beyond the threads. (keeps dirt dobbers out) Now I caulk / screw this deck plate / elbow
, to the inside of the ama bows & sterns, with the elbow facing up on the inside, and about 1" from hitting the ama ceiling. This keeps the area ventilated, bugs out, and when the caps are on... water OUT too! 14 years later, even the screens are still there.
We have vent hole netting JUST like yours, except at the TOP of the vent hole. (easier to walk on) When the coating gets thin, right away you can recoat it, with liquid vinyl. (black is best) Even the vinyl perimiter can be coated, once the scrim starts to show. By then it is porous & it will stick. (coating may be sticky here for 6 mos) If you do this, the netting will last the life of the boat. Same applies to that big hole nylon net that we use @ the bows!
CB trunk removal
on the 34: It comes out the top.
On the 34, the CB trunk at the bottom slot, should have a LOT of glass rounding up into the slot. The top of the CB is WAY thicker than this lower slot. To remove the CB... Really loosen the rig, & using a jack, push the mast
base all the way forwerd to the front of the sub floor. Remove the pedistal. (In our case we remove the trunk "cap" that we put in to reduce sloshing.) Then with a handy billy, hoist from the boom, by the stoutly installed CB down haul line, once you un reeve it. (if it & the hdw looks STRONG!) Once you wiggle it out, a couple of very strong guys can carry the CB. 300#s???
Ours is glassed about 3/16" thick all over, & 3/8" on the leading / trailing edges, so is heavy. Still, my wife used to carry the light end... while making references
to my liniage!
Ovens... Tell your wife, if she doesn't already know, that you'll do fine without one. With a varity of "dutch ovens" out there, one can make bread, cake, pizza, what ever!
General thoughts... especially the 34s:
: Our refrigeration
is in the standard possition under the sterncastle table. Works great. It is easier, "in a small boat", to lift
ones feet, than to clear the counter top, to get in. Two cubic feet is plenty of space. You can achieve the equivilent of 6-7" of insulation
, in this small space, by using VACUUM PANELS
. With thousands of nights "on the hook", even in the tropics, it runs < 1/3rd of the time & < 30 AH / day. (IF you don't make ice) The "box" is the same weight as a similar cooler, and the compressor
will add about 30#s to the boat. (we used Sea Frost) Our 285W of solar panels
replaces this by noon.
After many years with a cooler & ice, & wet Towels, & all that expense... this really improved our life!
Best SEA bunk: When beating hard to windward in 30+ knots of wind
, & 10' seas, the only place to get rest is in the aft cabin
bunk, on the floor between the settee seats, wedged between pillows. It is LOUD! We only use the wing bunks, when sailing like sane people. It seems like due to all of our island hopping, we are frequently going to windward... I'm working on that.
on a 34? :
Most 37 & 40s have them, most of the others don't. I never missed one in my youth, but having installed one on our 34 recently in Trinidad, WOW that's nice! I had switched from 35' to 110' of 1/4" HT chain, for the deeper Eastern Caribbean anchorages
, and along with our 35# Delta
, this was a load in 30' deep water! The real isue was that my wife can NOT drive the boat straight & SLOW, for me to pull it up, in 20+ knots of wind
. She would go faster & faster, or fall off a bit, followed by the wind throwing us in a circle, while I dumped all of the rest of the chain QUICKLY, so it wouldn't cut up the ama, as it pulled tight off to the side. This embarassing spectacle was going to ruin my marrage.
So, I started buying parts
of the system in St Martin
, then Grenada
, Then Trinidad. Manual windlass's are heavy, & WAY to slow to solve our problem.
We found a "QUICK" brand that was quite small & light, yet powerfull. Problem was, the anchor locker
. It had to be removable, as I wanted complete acess to the interrior hull
forward of the locker. I made it the shape of the space up there, out of 3mm Okume, glassed both sides, with a lid that connected to a vapor tight "witches Hat" of Hypolan. This connected to a Hawse pipe under the windlass
. To drain the bottom, which was too low to go overboard
, I put in a screened sub floor, into which I put in a float switch. This actuates an external diaphram pump. Added a salt water
wash down too. The box is rubber mounted all around. (sits in there) So the hull
can move. The hose & wires are quick connect too. Once I empty the chain / rode
, I can get the box out in 3 or 4 minutes for maintenance
The box, pumps, windlass, & it's wire, added 75#s to my weight sensative bow. This is why I put it off for 11 years! Now, when going to sea, I remove my Delta
from the bow roller, and put it in the wing locker. (sometimes, chain & all!) Small price to pay... except the 6 months that all of this took to figure out.
With the 34, this is a desperate last resort, due to weight. Thing is, I have back injuries, don't want another boat, & I still love cruising. Works for us.
Enclosures: We designed the rig, winch
/ cleat placements, after designing the hard dodger & enclosure. Staying out of the sun, & having protection, are important... as is the 3rd cabin
that connects the front to the back cabin. When at sea, we have the front 2/3rds of it in, only if it is REALLY nasty, but having it then is WONDERFULL!
, when back in "work mode", We heat & cool the WHOLE boat as a unit. (not just the front & back cabin) We use several electric
heaters. Also, I mounted a window AC unit in a ply section, that has canvass & zippers all around. I can zip this in place of the middle aft enclosure piece, (over the aft companionway). We leave the companionway
flaps up, too heat & cool the cockpit
too! This cuts down on condensation
. When cruising, we leave this all in a storage
unit or something. (the acessories, not the enclosure)
Still, Searunners are BEST for really cruising, & in the tropics or temperate zones at that. The stringers trap condensation
Dockside, just living aboard
, they lack insulation
& privacy. We had lived aboard for over 12 years, but about a year ago when my wife came home from her hospital job, @ 1:00 AM, and found the bed sheets
FROZEN TO THE WALLS, she said: ... Well, we are currently renting
a small house near the boat!
WEIGHT: Now, having added all of this crap to our little 34' boat, we are constantly in a weight strugle. I refuse to add MORE weight! We have replaced all of the FLAT PANELS... floors, cubby lids, eng box, etc, with vacuumed, cored composits. I don't carry a complete set of wrenches. (not the ones that don't fit anything on the boat) We even tear out the extra pages in another language, from eng manuels! Some things like, the water maker, don't really add weight. We keep 30 gals of tankage FULL, and the unit is lighter than another 20 galons of water. If one is going to REALLY remote parts
of the South Pacific
, avoid gadgetry! Where we go however...
When we were up the Rio Dulce in Guatemala
, we could still get an electric
pressure pump, but our friends could not get a replacement arm for their foot pump. Things have changed.
Sometimes I wish I had made all of these creature comforts into the 40'er, which can better carry the weight. Untill I am under the boat scrubing barnicles... then 34' seems "just enough".
A frame Searunner 31s:
Be sure Yours has the new "BROWN" re designed metal connectives. (new like, 25 years ago!) The orrigionals were underdesigned, and have been known to fail.
OB kickers: I had one on my last boat, A seaclipper 28. Only way to go for the 25. OK for the 31. Really marginal for the 34 and up... IF you intend CRUISING, rather than just day sailing
. We have had some 3 day island hops, that the weathr turned on us, and we needed to sail about 3 degrees tighter than the boat could go, to lay our destination
. (35 knots, & 14' seas) It sure is nice to be able to motor
sail & get that extra 5 degrees! But this is a personal choice.
Moorings from a single
"lightweight" type anchor
Even a HUGE fortress
is intended for a single
direction of pull ONLY. They work great in pairs, or in a triangle! I even got my buddy Chuck's Searunner 34, through a 150 MPH hurricane
doing this! But, by themselves, if the wind reverses STRONG, the lightweight designs frequently flip & are are fouled with firm mud, or a conch shell, or a beer
can. They do make great 2nd anchors!
You never know. Depends on WHERE you are. My friends floated their half built "Carisa" all the way to the Gulf, down the Tenn Tom, from their farm in Tennasse.
After 5 years building, we were 150 miles from the ocean, and were told that we couldn't haul it! I saw MUCH larger things being moved, so looked for options. Helicopters were WAY expensive. We did have a series of rivers & lakes, a canal, & 78' lock down... but THAT started 75 miles away! The "State DOT" said that a 21' wide boat couldn't be moved 1"! I looked at the photos on the wall & suggested that we call it a HOUSE. They gave in, but 20 miles was the Max distance to move a house. I suggested 3 consecutive house moves, of 20 miles EACH, on 3 seperate days! They bought this too... but I had 3 counties to go through, so I needed 3 permits from the engineers of the 3 counties. First I ran the route
, & cut low limbs for 75 miles. (with a yellow light on my truck) Then,with permits in hand & a crane service
, and an escort service
, we made the trip in 3 hours, blocking the road the whole way. ($7,000) If I got stopped for the infraction of not doing it on seperate days... I figured: "OK officer, we'll leave it right here untill in the morning". No Problems. Then the several days to float the boat to big water... (That's ANOTHER story) This, having the route
to the sea close up around us due to development, was why we launched several years early. DESPERATION! Funny
what tens of thousands hours of labor will make a person do.
Well, this catches me up with what I would have said from the get go, if I had known about this site from the start. I hope I havn't been out of line with this REALLY long entry.
If anyone knows about lightning
issues & synthetic rigging
, pass it on.