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Old 06-08-2014, 08:32   #1
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IP Refit Question (Tanks and Chain Plates)

Howdy folks,

As mentioned in a recent thread, my wife an I are seriously considering buying an Island Packet. Considering 38/40/370/380. Cross country roadtrip begins tomorrow afternoon to look at a bunch of boats.

Anyway, the more I research the more I'm concerned about the expense of replacing chain plates (glassed in) and water/fuel tanks which in most of the models we're considering are aluminum and mounted under the sole. I've reviewed several threads from other sites detailing the process and it appears to be very labor intensive. My gut is I could accomplish this, but I'd be very concerned about getting it all back together and looking nice, so I'm curious if there's anyone here who has done either job and what the costs where for your boat.

Every boat we've researched particularly when 20+ years old has potential moneypit features and I'm just trying to get a feel for what this will cost us once it needs to be done. Seems to be a matter of when, not if...it will need to be done.

Thanks,
EB
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:20   #2
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Re: IP refit question (tanks and chain plates)

Tanks - holding tank would be the primary concern rather than water tank or fuel tank. Uric acid and aluminum do not mix. Most holding tanks will likely need replacing around 12 - 14 years of use, if aluminum. Most 38's and 40's should (hopefully) already have their tanks replaced due to the age of the boat. IP 380 should be right in that age range now. We have a IP 380 and are in the process of replacing the holding tank as we speak. A newly fabricated poly tank will cost about $700. On an IP 380 the tank is accessible by cutting into the sole in the forward cabin. We got all the measurements and specs from Island Packet on it's exact location. If you have reasonable wood working skills, this job can be done yourself. My husband has already help a friend replace his holding tank on an IP 350, so he knows the process. The labor to replace would be most of the cost if you are not doing the job yourself. I have heard other IP owners pay in the range of 5K to 10K for labor and tank to have it replaced. The IP 370 is a newer model. By this time the IP factory began putting a fiberglass resin coating inside the aluminum tank. In theory these tanks should not fail. The tank location on the IP 370 is problematic, as it sits under the head floor which is a molded fiberglass pan that is utilized for the shower. This would be impossible to cut into to get to the tank for replacement and have it functional again without replacing and re-glassing the entire head floor.

Chain plates - I would be concerned about these in the older models IP 38 or IP 40. Island Packet changed it's process of attaching the chain plates after these models. The issue with the glassed in chain plates was the lack of weep holes for drainage of any water that found it's way beneath the chain plate covers and the non-draining water intrusion that allows degradation of the chain plates. Island Packet added the weep holes and improved this process is later models - IP 380 and IP 370. The key here is to have regular maintenance of the chain plate covers. They should be re-bedded every 2 - 3 years.

On any IP, I would question the current owners process of how he has been handling the water tank. Was all water filtered before it entered the tank? How was the tank cleaned at all? Was bleach ever added as a cleaner to the tank or small amounts of bleach as a purifier for the water? Bleach in any amount will accelerate the corrosion of the aluminum tank. The reason for filtering the water coming into the tank would be to remove any chloride that is in the water source that would also accelerate corrosion.
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Old 06-08-2014, 14:21   #3
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Re: IP refit question (tanks and chain plates)

On a 38, I could do the waste tank in a half a day or so without cutting anything,
Call the factory about chainplates and water tank costs, they would I assume be at the high end of any pricing, but it will give you a good idea.
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Old 06-08-2014, 14:22   #4
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Re: IP refit question (tanks and chain plates)

Oh, and when I do chain plates, they will be titanium and never have to be done again, cost of Ti chainplates is not as high as you may think.
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Old 06-08-2014, 19:09   #5
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Re: IP refit question (tanks and chain plates)

Yep the factory refit program is 10k for chain plates and 15k to replace water tank.

Seems a bit steep....


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Old 06-08-2014, 19:28   #6
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Re: IP refit question (tanks and chain plates)

It all depends on how hard it is to get the tank in question out. Pick a boat that you don't have to destroy the furniture to get it out! The other option is how much fuel do you need? My 44 footer had 3 tanks, one under each setee and one in the bilge. The bilge tank went bad and I replaced it, but my experience since is... for my travels, the two tanks would have been plenty and the fuel would have been fresher! Could you have a backup plan? "If the bilge tank goes bad I will put a new tank (s) here..." Just thinking out loud here....
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Old 06-08-2014, 20:03   #7
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Re: IP refit question (tanks and chain plates)

there are 2 guys who documented the replacement of the fuel and water tanks on their IP38. take a look at the ipphotos.com website but i think you may have to join to to be able to see the pics. it is under the plumbing section. IP could have made it so much easier by installing a removable panel but i guess that's asking way too much
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Old 06-08-2014, 21:27   #8
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Re: IP refit question (tanks and chain plates)

Another concern with IP's is the scrap metal and concrete they used for ballast.
When the various bits of re-bar and damper plates from 73' Chevy Nova's start to rust, they expand and turn the concrete in sand. Thats why so many of the older ones have very unfair keels.

How on earth do they justify the price they ask for these things ?
Brilliant marketing ?
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Old 07-08-2014, 00:28   #9
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Re: IP refit question (tanks and chain plates)

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
Another concern with IP's is the scrap metal and concrete they used for ballast.
When the various bits of re-bar and damper plates from 73' Chevy Nova's start to rust, they expand and turn the concrete in sand. Thats why so many of the older ones have very unfair keels.

How on earth do they justify the price they ask for these things ?
Brilliant marketing ?
Oohhh noooo... a naysayer!

But a knowledgeable one, so listen up, you guys. There's more to it than dicky chain plates and tanks.

Jim
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:02   #10
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Re: IP refit question (tanks and chain plates)

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
Another concern with IP's is the scrap metal and concrete they used for ballast.
When the various bits of re-bar and damper plates from 73' Chevy Nova's start to rust, they expand and turn the concrete in sand. Thats why so many of the older ones have very unfair keels.

How on earth do they justify the price they ask for these things ?
Brilliant marketing ?

So, I've read things like this before on CF but have always chalked it up to the same type up FUD I see thrown around about many older boats that otherwise seem to have a great rep. I certainly dont have the experience to dispute this viewpoint but I'm curious if this is based on seeing things like rebar and concrete in a factory IP keel? From what I've read on the factory site and other "professional review" I've always thought the 38/40 and certainly newer models had lead encapsulated in resin and then glassed in place. If you have first hand experience with seeing this type of stuff in an unmodified IP, I'd be interested to know the specifics.

@Jim - I've always respected the balanced view that you and Ann bring to the threads I've read here. Have you actually seen this type of stuff on IP's in the past?

We haven't committed anything other than time to this process yet, and I certainly don't want to invest what for us is a ton of cash into a sub-standard boat. From what I've personally seen the IP boat we've looked at (more to come this weekend) seemed to be very well put together and for us the design (full keel, comfortable boat with plenty of living space) I think would work well. But so far I haven't owned or worked on one myself.

I am concerned about the cost of replacing chainplates and tanks but am curious if there are bigger structural issues I should be concerned with.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:49   #11
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Re: IP refit question (tanks and chain plates)

I believe the ballast is Iron and not lead, pretty sure of that
Don't believe there is any concrete though, that's Taiwan built boats isn't it?
I looked and spoke to many as I don't like Iron, but could find no single instance of any problem.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:51   #12
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Re: IP refit question (tanks and chain plates)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ErBrown View Post
So, I've read things like this before on CF but have always chalked it up to the same type up FUD I see thrown around about many older boats that otherwise seem to have a great rep. I certainly dont have the experience to dispute this viewpoint but I'm curious if this is based on seeing things like rebar and concrete in a factory IP keel? From what I've read on the factory site and other "professional review" I've always thought the 38/40 and certainly newer models had lead encapsulated in resin and then glassed in place. If you have first hand experience with seeing this type of stuff in an unmodified IP, I'd be interested to know the specifics.

@Jim - I've always respected the balanced view that you and Ann bring to the threads I've read here. Have you actually seen this type of stuff on IP's in the past?

We haven't committed anything other than time to this process yet, and I certainly don't want to invest what for us is a ton of cash into a sub-standard boat. From what I've personally seen the IP boat we've looked at (more to come this weekend) seemed to be very well put together and for us the design (full keel, comfortable boat with plenty of living space) I think would work well. But so far I haven't owned or worked on one myself.

I am concerned about the cost of replacing chainplates and tanks but am curious if there are bigger structural issues I should be concerned with.
Yes, I have actually seen it. In fact the 1994 model I saw with the keel opened up is on yachtworld.com right now.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:09   #13
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Re: IP refit question (tanks and chain plates)

I just rebed the chainplates on my '99 IP380. Not a spec of visible corrosion below the chainplate cover. The whole process felt like overkill preventative maintenance given the great condition of the original bedding compound. But at least I now know it's not something I have to worry about.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:17   #14
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Re: IP refit question (tanks and chain plates)

Ran into this in a review, I have read somewhere the entire process, I would have though on IPY.com, but I can't find it.

"The internal ballast is a combination
of lead and iron encapsulated in
the keel cavity and covered with a
thick layer of laminate, which in
effect creates a double bottom—a
reassuring feature for any cruising
boat."
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:41   #15
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Re: IP refit question (tanks and chain plates)

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
Another concern with IP's is the scrap metal and concrete they used for ballast.
When the various bits of re-bar and damper plates from 73' Chevy Nova's start to rust, they expand and turn the concrete in sand. Thats why so many of the older ones have very unfair keels.

How on earth do they justify the price they ask for these things ?
Brilliant marketing ?
Yeah... but think of the value on the HotRod market of those 73 Nova parts!
Iron vs lead keel: sure Lead is heavier and resistant to any rusting etc so it's better , but a whole heck of a lotta boats have been built with iron and steel. Actually many boats , including US, have been done with hydraulic cement also. The world doesnt end with the use of either, but sure we all want a Hinkley for IP prices! A lot of fishing boats that spend their lives overloaded in rough seas in the northern latitudes are cement ballasted.
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