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Old 24-07-2013, 21:56   #1
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Checklist for First Slipping

Hello Cruisers,

We are due to slip our Swanson 42 (GRP) for the first time in a month or so. I am trying to make a full list of what I should be checking when she is up, and I would appreciate any additions that I have not thought of.

For the record, we are trying to get a sort of maintenance baseline on the boat. She has been reasonably well looked after for most of her life since 1978, but the documentation is patchy and I figure it's better to be safe than sorry, so replacing something early, within reason, is not a problem for me.

So far I have:


1. Plugging off about half a dozen obsolete skin fittings below the waterline, and another three or four above the waterline. These will be done by a professional, as although I am ok with fibreglass, I will never trust them if I do them. Some kind of personality defect there.

2. Replacing the skin fittings on the remaining three that I plan to keep, and replacing the seacocks and hoses on each. Planning to use bronze fittings with one of the 3M sealants that people are recommending on CF.

3. Replacing the dripless seal on the drive shaft. (unknown age) Not sure what sort to buy though.

4. Replacing the anode(s) and associated wiring.

5. Inspection and maintenance as required on the lower and upper (skeg hung) rudder fittings. (Not sure what to expect here, as I have no idea of what keeps the bottom of rudder attached. Sky hooks?)

6. Antifoul, apparently I am going to need something like 16 litres.

7. Check for osmosis (unlikely, fingers crossed, Swansons have a good reputation and the prepurchase survey gave it the all clear.)

8. Inspection/replacement of the lower bearing on the drive shaft (can't remember what happens on these either, some kind of flooded bearing from memory.)

9. Remove propellor and check for balance. I have some odd vibrations at different revs that MAY be the lumpy old truck diesel or may be a balance problem. There is no movement evident in the drive shaft at the top end, but the bottom end might also be the cause.

What have I missed? Up till now it has been mostly trailer sailers and they are so much easier.

Thank you,

Matt
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Old 26-07-2013, 02:30   #2
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Re: Checklist for first slipping

OK, 71 views and no comments....

Hmmm, I read this one of three ways...

1. Checklist is complete, nothing to add.

2. Checklist is so far wide of the mark nobody can figure out where to start.

or

3. It's one of those "anchor thread things".

I hope it's 1.

Matt
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Old 26-07-2013, 14:36   #3
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Hi Matt, I just slipped my Clansman a few months back. Rudder inspection is on your list so I would replace the bearings if you are able to. Have the angle grinder and epoxy ready in case there is osmosis. Apart from that, I think the list is pretty well full.
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Old 26-07-2013, 14:57   #4
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Re: Checklist for First Slipping

what's the age of your boat? You might consider drilling a small hole near the base of the rudder and see if water runs out... then again.... you might not want to know!
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Old 26-07-2013, 15:06   #5
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Re: Checklist for First Slipping

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Hello Cruisers,

We are due to slip our Swanson 42 (GRP) for the first time in a month or so. I am trying to make a full list of what I should be checking when she is up, and I would appreciate any additions that I have not thought of.

For the record, we are trying to get a sort of maintenance baseline on the boat. She has been reasonably well looked after for most of her life since 1978, but the documentation is patchy and I figure it's better to be safe than sorry, so replacing something early, within reason, is not a problem for me.

So far I have:


1. Plugging off about half a dozen obsolete skin fittings below the waterline, and another three or four above the waterline. These will be done by a professional, as although I am ok with fibreglass, I will never trust them if I do them. Some kind of personality defect there.
So, you are going to have the boat painted ($$$$) or live with mismatched paint on the ones above the waterline?

2. Replacing the skin fittings on the remaining three that I plan to keep, and replacing the seacocks and hoses on each. Planning to use bronze fittings with one of the 3M sealants that people are recommending on CF.

3. Replacing the dripless seal on the drive shaft. (unknown age) Not sure what sort to buy though.

4. Replacing the anode(s) and associated wiring.

5. Inspection and maintenance as required on the lower and upper (skeg hung) rudder fittings. (Not sure what to expect here, as I have no idea of what keeps the bottom of rudder attached. Sky hooks?)
Often the bottom bearing etc is a cast bronze piece embedded in the skeg bottom with buried screws.
6. Antifoul, appar ntly I am going to need something like 16 litres.

7. Check for osmosis (unlikely, fingers crossed, Swansons have a good reputation and the prepurchase survey gave it the all clear.) You're about to find out if the PO, filled the blisters and painted over to sell.... robably not.... but has happen to me (twice!) Nothing evident on survey....

8. Inspection/replacement of the lower bearing on the drive shaft (can't remember what happens on these either, some kind of flooded bearing from memory.) Cutlass bearing, usually rubber interior. wiggle the shaft, too muc play and it's worn.

9. Remove propellor and check for balance. I have some odd vibrations at different revs that MAY be the lumpy old truck diesel or may be a balance problem. There is no movement evident in the drive shaft at the top end, but the bottom end might also be the cause. Might have a slightly bent blade, however many marine diesels ahave a rough spot at certain rpms... usualy the prop doesnt spin fast enough to be a balance problem.

What have I missed? Up till now it has been mostly trailer sailers and they are so much easier.

Thank you,

Matt
Looks like good list to me, some comments added in bold.
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Old 26-07-2013, 18:02   #6
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Re: Checklist for First Slipping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Looks like good list to me, some comments added in bold.
Cheechako, that's a very helpful set of comments, thank you.

FWIW, on your point about painting, I plan to live with the mismatched topside patches for now, the aesthetics of the topsides are due to be attended to in about two years on the current plan. No good having a pretty boat if a kaput skin fitting sinks it so I am going for the safety/functionality stuff first.
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Old 26-07-2013, 18:05   #7
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Re: Checklist for First Slipping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
what's the age of your boat? You might consider drilling a small hole near the base of the rudder and see if water runs out... then again.... you might not want to know!
It took me a moment, but I think I get the point here.. is this to see if the rudder itself is becoming waterlogged and thus structurally unsound?

I'm not actually sure how the Swanson rudders were constructed. Logic seems to dictate that they will be GRP like the rest of the boat.... but maybe they were timber. I will check as you have suggested, this fits firmly in the safety/functionality group of jobs.
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Old 26-07-2013, 18:23   #8
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Re: Checklist for First Slipping

Re dripless seals.

We are using a plain VP seal (rubber boot). Like this here:

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/i...l-w18Gro5_9jpQ

It is a good piece of kit. I replaced ours (was 10 y.o) last year with same model. Nearly maintenance free. Recommended. (The 10 y.o. one was immaculate, but VP recomends replacing them and they are not too costly, so cheap insurance.

Whenever we slip the boat, I will check: rudder bearings, ballast/hull seam, all thru-hulls, all senders, anodes and general condition of the kasko. Also the wet side of the drive train - alignement, bearings condition, shaft condition, screw and its holding nut, etc.

If you have any fittings that attach close to the waterline (say a waterstay, etc) then it is a good idea to inspect and (if necessary) replace - even if this can be done in the marina. Often access to such fittings is better when high and dry.

Another item worth doing is full clean of raw water side of you engine cooling - from the seacock to the pump. Often there is plenty of debris and dead sea life there. Easy when the whole thing can be emptied, inspected, and flushed.

b.
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Old 26-07-2013, 19:02   #9
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Re: Checklist for First Slipping

As far as seals go, you're going to get opinions on both sides. Traditional gland will drip, but when it fails it fails slowly. Dripless does not drip, but when it fails you reach for the liferaft. That said, with dripless if you follow recommendations, inspect it frequently for alignment, and replace the bellows every six years you should be in good shape.

Consider if you want to add any throughulls. For example, if you want to add air conditioning this would be a good time to do it.
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Old 27-07-2013, 00:06   #10
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Re: Checklist for First Slipping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
As far as seals go, you're going to get opinions on both sides. Traditional gland will drip, but when it fails it fails slowly. Dripless does not drip, but when it fails you reach for the liferaft. That said, with dripless if you follow recommendations, inspect it frequently for alignment, and replace the bellows every six years you should be in good shape.

Consider if you want to add any throughulls. For example, if you want to add air conditioning this would be a good time to do it.

Your remarks about dripless are consistent with what I have read on this forum and other places. I am torn on this one, and I suspect I will eventually go back to the old system of stern glands with the newer packing. Just doing a bit more reading on this one. We have a few more years before the boat does anything more adventurous than short haul costal cruising, so I am slightly less worried about the pros and cons of the two seal types right at the moment. Putting the dripless in now is kind of an easy-out for the interim.

As for adding through hulls, I am trying to decide if it is worth just putting a new skin fitting on one of the through hulls I am planning to blank off, just in case I change my mind later. I guess a new through hull with a brand new sea cock should be reasonably low risk, particularly if I run a hose straight up from the fitting to a point well above the waterline. Right at the moment the boat has a lot of dead equipment that uses these fittings that I can not imagine replacing, such as the watermaker and the eutectic freezer. But I concede that I may want to add something else later.
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Old 27-07-2013, 00:10   #11
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Re: Checklist for First Slipping

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Re dripless seals.

We are using a plain VP seal (rubber boot). Like this here:

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/i...l-w18Gro5_9jpQ

It is a good piece of kit. I replaced ours (was 10 y.o) last year with same model. Nearly maintenance free. Recommended. (The 10 y.o. one was immaculate, but VP recomends replacing them and they are not too costly, so cheap insurance.

Whenever we slip the boat, I will check: rudder bearings, ballast/hull seam, all thru-hulls, all senders, anodes and general condition of the kasko. Also the wet side of the drive train - alignement, bearings condition, shaft condition, screw and its holding nut, etc.

If you have any fittings that attach close to the waterline (say a waterstay, etc) then it is a good idea to inspect and (if necessary) replace - even if this can be done in the marina. Often access to such fittings is better when high and dry.

Another item worth doing is full clean of raw water side of you engine cooling - from the seacock to the pump. Often there is plenty of debris and dead sea life there. Easy when the whole thing can be emptied, inspected, and flushed.

b.
Good addition about the raw water system, thank you, I will do as you suggest.

Any opinions on adding an external strainer to the skin fitting for the raw water inlet? I can see pros and cons with this. I am watching our inline filter closely at the moment, and it is staying pretty clear, I wonder if there is a risk of the external filter/strainer getting blocked and being harder to clear than the internal sort?
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Old 27-07-2013, 00:18   #12
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Re: Checklist for First Slipping

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
....will check: rudder bearings, ballast/hull seam, all thru-hulls, all senders, anodes and general condition of the kasko.

Kasko? Not familiar with that term? All I could google appeared to relate to some form of insurance?

Matt
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Old 27-07-2013, 00:28   #13
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The rudder may be http skin but the structure that is loaded is metal that attaches usually welded to the post. Concern would be that if it is wet it is also prone to corrosion at its load point. Like any wing there is a skin but behind it is a form that takes the load.
You should check all the stearing linkage blocks cable etc.... And lune. But now were getting into stuff you could do after launch but before use.
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Old 27-07-2013, 00:38   #14
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Re: Checklist for First Slipping

Quote:
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The rudder may be http skin but the structure that is loaded is metal that attaches usually welded to the post. Concern would be that if it is wet it is also prone to corrosion at its load point. Like any wing there is a skin but behind it is a form that takes the load.
You should check all the stearing linkage blocks cable etc.... And lune. But now were getting into stuff you could do after launch but before use.
I am guessing a "http skin" is not a hyper text transfer protocol skin?

Sorry, I am a computer programmer, and that's all I could think of. Second term to sink me (figuratively speaking) in as many minutes. What DOES that one refer to please?

The rest of the steering system has mostly been overhauled/replaced now, since I could get to it easily enough, and I had a few worrying moments bringing the boat home. Though it turns out most of the problem I was having steering was simply that I had a very poor choice of sails for the last leg. Experience = low plus fatigue = high => sail choice = BAD.


Matt
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Old 27-07-2013, 08:43   #15
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Re: Checklist for First Slipping

Matt,
I assume that when you are slipping a boat you are placing it on the hard (what we call it here) I use that opportunity to do much more than the undersides. To start off with:

1. Get everything off the boat that isn't connected. You would be amazed what you find in the tight corners of the boat. You might want to flush the contraband immediately. You certainly do not want to get caught with it.

2.Are you taking the masts down? if so it is time to paint lube and check all electronics on the top of the mast. Running rigging will be easy to replace. Also the standing rigging from chainplates to top of the mast should be carefully gone over and looked for corrosion, cracks and hooks.

3.If you have the mast down and the chainplates out, now is an ideal time to check the deck for leaks and rot. The first time I had my Valiant on the hard I had parts of the deck lifted, the wood underneath replaced and new decks. Expensive but necessary if you have rot.

4.With it on the hard, It is an ideal time to check for those small fresh water pluming leaks you get from pressurized hot and cold water. Put some water in your tanks, pressurize and check to see if you get any in your bilge.

5.Electrical- good time to check your grounding with the thru-hulls and any other mess electronically that you want to fix. The shops are usually closer to the haul out than they are to the dock.

6.Finally the engine: all the zincs (both on the outside and in the engine) should be replaced. Changing the oil is usually easier because you not so paranoid about spilling it in the ocean, and since you have your plumbing somewhat disassembled you can check the hot water fittings.


In short, with a new to you boat, just completely disassemble and put it back together the right way. Easy
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