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Old 12-05-2011, 07:14   #1
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Design Flaws - Any Advice ?

I'm refitting a 40 year old Luders-33, and keep running across issues I consider design flaws that need to be corrected. I think she's fine for weekend use, but I'd like to use her for extended offshore work. Here are a few things I think need to be fixed -- your comments are welcome:

1) toerails: she has large teak ones that a) leak, b) have the jib track mounted on top (lots of torque), have no built-in scuppers and tend to hold water on deck, and require deck drains (see next item).

Solution: I plan to remove them, glass the joint, and either build up a fiberglass one or add some sort of aluminum one, move the track inboard, and get rid of the deck drains. I'll include scuppers and voids for cleats and chocks, so she should shed water quickly.

2) deck drains: the deck drains are just aft of the companionway and inside the toerails on each side. They are connected to a chase glassed into the inside of the hull and coming out a hole a few inches below the water line. The chase is connected directly to the drain by a one foot piece of hose, but has no seacock or value of any kind. If I'm on a tack, this opening could be under the waterline which might only become apparent when heeled over.

Solution: I can obviate the whole deck drain system with the toerail fix above, but still need to glass over the hole and remove the chase.

3) cockpit drains: I have four 1 1/2" drains in the cockpit, but they all drain into my two main 1 1/2" seacocks on either side of the engine. Besides all the hoses running everywhere, that doesn't seem adequate.

Solution: Remove the 2 aft drains and associated hoses, and add two drains that go from the aft end of the cockpit directly out the transom. I'm considering glassing in 2"+ fiberglass tubes and add external scuppers to the transom -- the transom is never under water except when taking a wave from the stern.

thanks...
don
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:36   #2
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Re: Design Flaws? Any advice?

Geez, that sounds like a lot of work for not much gain.

Making the toe rail area look good after removing the toe rail is going to be a challenge. Sure the toe rail needs rebedding after this many years. Butyl tape would be the best solution to stop leaks for your lifetime (and maybe the next owners). Assuming that the tracks bolt through the teak and the hull/deck flange this is really strong. Moving the track inboard to the deck will be much weaker unless you do some fancy engineering.

Those deck drains aren't ideal but if you replace the hose and put a proper size cork at each one it's pretty darn good since they are above the waterline when not healed. Drains at deck level are safer but you then have to live with a constant dirt streak down your topsides from rain runoff when not offshore.

Finally, I'd measure very carefully that your transom drain idea won't cause a puddle in the cockpit when healed or even in a following sea. If it's close, consider putting the scupper for the transom drain 3"-4" above the cockpit sole in the side of a seat. It will help drain a full cockpit quickly. I'd leave the existing system since it's worked for a lot of years (replacing the hoses would be a good idea). Two 1 1/2" seacocks to drain a small cockpit really is pretty good.

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Old 12-05-2011, 08:42   #3
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Re: Design Flaws? Any advice?

Having tracks on the outside rail is a good solid way of tying in the deck hull joint. I would contact other Ludger 33 owners and see if the boat has had problems with the deck hull joint. Otherwise I would look at rebedding what you have there. Having the jib tracks on the outside is nice when you are sailing off the windb/c you can adjust the leads for a reach.
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:03   #4
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Re: Design Flaws? Any advice?

Don, the drains sound good, I'd just add a proper seacock on the hull and replace the hose from time to time, i.e. every 5 years or so. Or use a different material to replace it.

Without knowing what kind of deck/hull joint you have, it is hard to guess about the rest. Glassing it over may just result in an unsightly mess and busted glass if the joint still wants to work, all it may need is resealing. Can you point to, or put up, a picture/sketch of what type of joint they used?

And if you can replace the teak with an aluminum slotted toerail, using the same bolts hole, that certainly would be low maintenance and strong but I don't think the teak ones should be a problem IF they're in good shape, and perhaps you add some scuppers with a little saw work.

How on earth did you find someone that allows liveaboards on CI?
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:11   #5
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Re: Design Flaws? Any advice?

Thanks for the comments.

As for the toerail, it's completely split out under the entire length of the job tracks, 8', all the way back to the stern. That's roughly half of the 33'. I repaired them last summer, but some places have already split out again.

To replace just the bad parts, I'd need mill down 3"x3" stock for those section, and replace a 3-4' section at the stem which would require 4"x3" stock. The piece on the stern is much wider and curved, but it's split out as well. Not sure what I'd need there, but it might be repairable.

From underneath, I can see that a PO replaced them some time back because he didn't bother to match up the holes, so I have caulked holes every 8-12" fore and aft under my toerails. So, I need to repair the hull/deck joint anyway, but as for fixing/replacing the teak, I don't think that's really doable at my income bracket, hence the alternative.

As for fiberglass work, I've already done a lot on the boat including replacing 14 sqft of cork core on the fore deck and under the mast step, as well as fixing numerous holes left from old gear that had been removed. Those holes often had small round teak covers -- I still have the covers, but haven't found a use for them yet.

Anyway, I'm very comfortable with fiberglass and do professional quality work -- you can't tell by looking what's been fixed.

As for the deck drains, I'm just uncomfortable with thru-hulls below the waterline that don't have seacocks. Without removing the chase, which is glassed it, I can't get to the actual hole to the outside, however, when heeled, the other end will probably be below the waterline for extended periods. New hose would work fine, but it's the hose fittings that concern me most -- over half the other ones that were originally glasses in have been replaced by the PO, no doubt because they broke off at some point. That includes 3 out of the 4 under the cockpit. I guess I could just be paranoid, but it makes me uneasy.

Finally, although I haven't measured it yet, I think there's sufficient drop from the end of the cockpit to the transom, but I could also make the hole come out on the underside which is also always dry. Although I was planning on putting the hole through the vertical bulkhead at the aft end of the cockpit, your idea of coming off the side is interesting, and I'll certainly look into it. However, I do like the inherent strength of running a tube between one vertical bulkhead to a near vertical transom.

Thanks again, your comments were very helpful. I hope to start these project this fall -- whatever they turn out to be.
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Old 12-05-2011, 13:48   #6
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Re: Design Flaws? Any advice?

if i remember correctly you have an inward facing flange at the hull to deck joint to gain real strength you should glass the joint from the inside so it becomes one. you would still have to put on a toe rail of some sort. it stops you from sliding over the side if you slip. you will also figure a way to attach your genoa track. the track is outside your stanchions because of the fore sail design. if you move the track inboard much you will decrease the slot effect and hinder your performance. where as your deck drains are below the water line i would cut them off flush and install seacocks/through hulls. as for your cockpit drains i think your on the right track, but i would go larger so as to drain faster if you get pooped. coming out under the counter above the water line would not detract from the boats' appearance, and give a steeper angle for drainage.
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Old 12-05-2011, 13:55   #7
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Re: Design Flaws? Any advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
How on earth did you find someone that allows liveaboards on CI?
It sorta found me. I lost my transmission last December at night just off Hewlett Point, across the Sound. I anchored for the night, and got towed here the next day. When they pulled her and let her slip in the sling and broke off a chainplate below deck -- it left a nice golf ball sized hole.

There was already another live aboard here, but under the circumstances I couldn't go anywhere, so they let me stay too -- and charged me of course, it is NYC, but let me stay. I hope to have those repair complete in a few weeks.

All in all, it was only slightly more expense than it would have been somewhere else, and I'm glad the chainplate broke in the sling instead of out at sea.

I'm at Consolidated.

take care...
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Old 12-05-2011, 14:08   #8
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Re: Design Flaws? Any advice?

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Originally Posted by mike d. View Post
if i remember correctly you have an inward facing flange at the hull to deck joint to gain real strength you should glass the joint from the inside so it becomes one. you would still have to put on a toe rail of some sort. it stops you from sliding over the side if you slip. you will also figure a way to attach your genoa track. the track is outside your stanchions because of the fore sail design. if you move the track inboard much you will decrease the slot effect and hinder your performance. where as your deck drains are below the water line i would cut them off flush and install seacocks/through hulls. as for your cockpit drains i think your on the right track, but i would go larger so as to drain faster if you get pooped. coming out under the counter above the water line would not detract from the boats' appearance, and give a steeper angle for drainage.
Sorry, my post was already long, so I didn't include anything about the joint. Yes, the hull comes up and turns inboard with about a 3" flange. The cork core in the deck stops about 8" from the edge and sits on top of the 3" hull flange. It appears to be glued together, not caulked. I have good access to the joint along it's entire length, so cleaning up and strengthening the inside isn't a problem.

I also plan to strengthen it on the outside and build up a toerail out of fiberglass. I'd leaving voids for drainage, cleats, and chokes. If I get rid of the teak toerail, there's really no reason to move the jib track too much. However, I'd make the built-up toerail in that area wider and lower to reduce the moment forces. What I'm contemplating is similar to a lot of newer boats I've seen around. My thought is that at that point, I won't need deck drains -- two less holes to worry about.

In fact, I plan to build up fiberglass pads for all my deck hardware at some point. Not only with it strengthen them, it will also help shed water and reduce the chance of leaks.
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Old 12-05-2011, 14:19   #9
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Re: Design Flaws? Any advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike d. View Post
as for your cockpit drains i think your on the right track, but i would go larger so as to drain faster if you get pooped. coming out under the counter above the water line would not detract from the boats' appearance, and give a steeper angle for drainage.
Mike, I just took a look and like the idea of coming out underneath much better. However, I don't think that would allow me to use an external scupper. I'm not sure how big I can go, but I may have to make my own that'll sit on the cockpit side.

Btw, does any know a good place to get fiberglass tubes? The only large ones I've been able to find are sorta expensive and designed for exhaust systems. Is that all there is?

thanks...
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Old 13-05-2011, 11:48   #10
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Re: Design Flaws - Any Advice ?

I'd just replace those hoses to the deck scuppers...sounds like a good system and shouldnt really need a valve that high up. I like the idea of running two of the cockpit scuppers out the back....beware...you will want check valves or flappers back there....otherwise "old faithful" with every big stern wave! For a cruising boat I'd leave the tracks at the toerail..strong and not a toe breaker on deck. The extent your toerail needs refit is hard to tell from here. Is the cracked teak cosmetic or a strength issue? I've heard those are sweet boats... the work of using fibreglass tubes is not worth the cost of good hose. Good hose will flex with the hull and be much less prone to catastrophic failure. Rigid tubes become highly stressed. Sorry...re-reading...I guess your deck scupper drains are below waterline? If so, they need a valve.
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Old 14-05-2011, 20:16   #11
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Re: Design Flaws - Any Advice ?

Aloha Don,

I've got some 2" fiberglass tubing in one foot sections. What diameter did you need?

kind regards,
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Old 15-06-2011, 08:55   #12
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Just wanted to follow up. The hose fittings all turned put to be 1 1/4, the the 1 3/8 hoses were loose and didn't even give me the flow expected for the hose which was still one size less than the thru-hulls.

I has to pull everything out to fix the transmission anyway, so I've replaced it all with 1 1/2 hoses and fittings. I still may add the 2" pipes out the back, but I want to see how well this works out first -- should be at least a 50% improvement in flux already by going from an 1 1/4 to 1 1/2.

Thanks for the advice...
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Old 20-08-2011, 23:05   #13
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Re: Design Flaws - Any Advice ?

Hi Don
I have had a Luders 33 for about 10 years. She resides in Mexico. I had the deck drains glassed over below the waterline. I didn't care for the scenario and anyway one of them started seeping. I still use the deck drain but now it drains above the waterline. Works fine and I didn't have to cut scuppers in to the toerails. I haven't changed the cockpit drains either. You know-they seem to work just fine the way they are.
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Old 20-08-2011, 23:47   #14
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Re: Design Flaws - Any Advice ?

Look at Hal Roths book How to Sail Around the World.
I believe in that book he describes how on his 30'+ Spencer WHISPER he removed the toerails, glassed the edge over (I can't remember if there were bolts or fasteners helping seal the hull to deck joint. I do remember that he did not compromise the structural integrety of the joint in all this) and attached narrow "whaleboards" onto plates that were welded onto the stanchions. He claimed that it worked well, giving him a stop for runaway tools and for his feet in a seaway while allowing water to run freely over the side.

Made sense to me so I did the same recently for my flush-deck Dreadnought though I have not yet attached the teak boards. With Molly B there aren't any structural concerns as the aftermarket toerail was just shallowly screwed into the decktop and not intended to help hold things together... may be different in your case.

I can upload a pic tomorrow of how it looks on my boat though I goofed up and had the plates welded too close to the stanchion bases so was barely able to fit the outboard bolts through (duh! I may have them re-done).

It cost me $200 to have the stainless plates cut, drilled and button-welded onto 6 stancions.

You can see a picture of how this turned out on Whisper on pg. 34 of Two Against the Horn and some close ups throughout After 40,000 Miles.

I had similar integrally run deck drains on my LeComte and another thing that worried me was how hard (impossible)it would be to get them opened up if they plugged badly for some reason.

Hope that helps, good luck with the project!
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Old 21-08-2011, 07:20   #15
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I redid the cockpit drains, as described above, but other than replacing hoses, haven't tackled the toerails or deck drains. That'll have to wait till this winter, and I'm leaning toward glassing in the existing ones and finding a suitable alternative.

Where did you place your above the waterline thru-hulls? The transom?

I've also read Roth and initially got the idea from one of his books. I'm definitely going to reglass the hull-deck joint, but haven't decided how I'll replace the toerail. I don't want to ruin the look of the boat, so that may constrain me a bit. However, I was able to get rid of almost all the leaks. The remaining ones are small and where the toerail is splitting and beyond repair.
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