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Old 17-11-2017, 13:38   #1
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Long term steel boat cruisers - what would you change on a major refit?

Overview - Boat is an Ebbtide 33, love it , tough as old boots offshore but 35 years old and some nasty rust needs sorted in a few localized areas and well overdue for a major refit. I liveaboard time rich if not dripping in cash, hauled out in a boatyard in Portugal so weather is nearly always sunny.

So, if you had the grinder and the welder out what would you have on your steel boat cruiser list of changes?....


Main thoughts are -

* No holes in the steel anywhere unless no other way. So here this means pullpit, pushpit, radar arch, stanchions, grab rails, toe rail supports etc. All out, holes welded up and thought gone into how they can be attached via welds.
* No wood touching steel anywhere - stainless tabs welded on or whatever makes sense to attach any wood, inside or out.

That's the main kind of thrust of the emerging plan, maybe some stainless on deck like the rusty bit where the refleks heater chimney comes out, maybe some stainless round the anchor roller chain plates. Plus probably weld a lip up round the hatch openings so if any water can seep through the hatch bases it can't get inside. Also having the interior so that you can take much of it apart to get to the inside of the hull would be wonderful.
Probably weld on a roller over the transom to make it easier to pull up an anchor from astern or jordan series drogue.

So this will take a few days or more like a year 😉

So for the ocean crossers - what would you add to the list given the chance.. ?
Or things you've changed which worked well

Ta
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Old 17-11-2017, 18:28   #2
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Re: Long term steel boat cruisers - what would you change on a major refit?

You have the right ideas, I am not sure what else you are looking for. Aside from my never ending project list that will only get done when I have funds and time available in a suitable location - a rare thing- here are a few things on my wish list:
Replacing the railings on my aft deck and the lifelines with stainless railings. A few strategically located pad eyes for permanently mounted tethers for when the sea state requires that I am harnessed to the boat Two pad eyes on the transom for streaming a drogue. Chocks for the dinghy with tie downs places for the oars and launching skids. railings around the main hatch to hold onto when the hatchboard is bolted in offshore. A removable railing to protect the heater's smokestack from the foresail.
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Old 17-11-2017, 22:56   #3
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Re: Long term steel boat cruisers - what would you change on a major refit?

I am doing that at the moment after owning the boat for thirty years.
Have replaced the steel anchor handling sprit with stainless.
All steel cabin top handrails are now stainless.
Stainless chainplates replacing steel.
Welded in place 304 exhaust outlet instead of the rubber Vetus one. (Apparently 304 works better with exhaust than 316)
Stainless sections in toe rail where things bolt on.
Stainless wear pads where I pull ropes over the side.
Big stainless eyes welded in cockpit for harness attachment.
Welded stainless eyes for mainsheet blocks.
Welded in 316 threaded stub for head seacock.
Welded s/s platforms for sheet jammers.
Stainless capping for toerail near cockpit where we board.
Stainless transom steps.
Stainless hinge posts for all hatches.
Stainless pipe welded into cabin top near mast foot for wires. Sticks up and takes a loop of flex hose as water trap.
Fabricated and welded in bollards for springs (one pair doubles as holding tank vents), pump out fitting, flush fitting and deck wash fitting.
There will still be holes where things bolt on (stern rail, vents, nav lights) but these have been pretty trouble free over the years.
Staunchions and pulpit already bolt into threaded stainless stubs welded to the deck, as do the genoa tracks.
Doing all this has made a hell of a mess of the paintwork, so it is just as well that she will be abrasive blasted and re coated before going back into the water!

Regards,

Richard.
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Old 18-11-2017, 03:24   #4
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Re: Long term steel boat cruisers - what would you change on a major refit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormantx View Post
Two pad eyes on the transom for streaming a drogue.
Chocks for the dinghy
Thnx, I have some stainless angle already made to weld onto the transom for a JSD , good call for the dinghy tiedown points, might add some stainless tabs with holes each side on the beam to allow for legs from some local scaff. Steel scaff is everywhere and don't really have room to carry purpose made legs.

Gonna take a while this, once upon a time the boat had a teak deck on top of the steel
When it was taken off they just chopped the screws and painted, so a million screw holes to weld up, means getting to the underside of the deck as well.

Oh well, least it's nice here
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Old 18-11-2017, 03:27   #5
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Re: Long term steel boat cruisers - what would you change on a major refit?

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Originally Posted by boden36 View Post
I am doing that at the moment after owning the boat for thirty years.
That's a load of work - good luck! Any pics?
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Old 18-11-2017, 09:54   #6
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Re: Long term steel boat cruisers - what would you change on a major refit?

Nomad has been my home for the last 14 years, I rescued her from becoming a derelict. There are a few major projects left to complete, but every time I get a few coins in my pocket I start traveling. I have gutted and rebuilt everything in the boat except for the aft cabin, starting from an empty hull, so everything is set up for durability and ease of access.
I used pipe cleanouts in the ventilators, they can be sealed from the inside with pipe plugs. I can literally make the boat air tight if need be.
If you have empty void spaces in the keel, put tops on them with the appropriate fittings for use as extra fuel tanks when needed. Reinforced points on the deck or bulwarks for shackles so you can easily be lifted out with a crane. A watertight paint locker on deck. Boat legs, so I don't need to pay for a haulout. These are all on my project list.
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Old 18-11-2017, 11:01   #7
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Re: Long term steel boat cruisers - what would you change on a major refit?

If your steel boat has intrigal tanks, fuel and water, I would pay particular attention to these especially if your hull forms one or more side of these tanks I.e. if these tanks are built in part and parcel to the hull. Cut inspection ports if none exist and or ultrasound the hull especially in the area of integral tanks and in areas of excess oxidation like around the prop and rudder area.
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Old 18-11-2017, 11:13   #8
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Re: Long term steel boat cruisers - what would you change on a major refit?

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Originally Posted by seasick View Post
If your steel boat has intrigal tanks, fuel and water, I would pay particular attention to these especially if your hull forms one or more side of these tanks I.e. if these tanks are built in part and parcel to the hull. Cut inspection ports if none exist and or ultrasound the hull especially in the area of integral tanks and in areas of excess oxidation like around the prop and rudder area.


Ultrasound underway already, transom below, drawn up in cad for reference next time. Quite fancy drawing up the whole boat in 3D to while away some winter evening hours

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Old 18-11-2017, 14:46   #9
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Re: Long term steel boat cruisers - what would you change on a major refit?

Will take a camera this week and take some snaps.
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Old 18-11-2017, 15:21   #10
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Re: Long term steel boat cruisers - what would you change on a major refit?

If you're really stripping it down then check first that there are limber holes everywhere water, particularly condensation, can collect. If there are limber holes check that they are flush with the hull. If the hole isn't flush then you can give it a tickle with one of those small sandblasters and then pour in epoxy up to the level of the limber hole.

If you are ultrasounding its really worth identifying those places where water could have collected and being very thorough around those spots rather than a grid check which although seemingly thorough is actually organised random checking (if you get my drift)

How do I know this.........................
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Old 18-11-2017, 16:26   #11
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Re: Long term steel boat cruisers - what would you change on a major refit?

I’ve nothing to offer over what has been said. Impressive posts. Out small boat has some plywood seat backs in the cockpit. They were epoxy coated but wore on the top edges. I found a place online that would roll a custom ss unequal length u- channel that I put on the top edge to take the chafe from lines. Also I find rust anywhere there is stainless NEAR mild steel but not actually bonded. Rust next to a ss hing plate for example.
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Old 18-11-2017, 16:28   #12
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Re: Long term steel boat cruisers - what would you change on a major refit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormantx View Post
Nomad has been my home for the last 14 years, I rescued her from becoming a derelict. There are a few major projects left to complete, but every time I get a few coins in my pocket I start traveling. I have gutted and rebuilt everything in the boat except for the aft cabin, starting from an empty hull, so everything is set up for durability and ease of access.
I used pipe cleanouts in the ventilators, they can be sealed from the inside with pipe plugs. I can literally make the boat air tight if need be.
If you have empty void spaces in the keel, put tops on them with the appropriate fittings for use as extra fuel tanks when needed. Reinforced points on the deck or bulwarks for shackles so you can easily be lifted out with a crane. A watertight paint locker on deck. Boat legs, so I don't need to pay for a haulout. These are all on my project list.
Where in Newfoundland? We over winter the small boat in Lewisporte.
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Old 18-11-2017, 16:31   #13
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Re: Long term steel boat cruisers - what would you change on a major refit?

Conachair,

How are your chines constructed? Our Pape Steelmaid (44’) chines are solid steel rod with the plate welded to them. Thus no stringers to collect condensation. I really like that construction. I don’t know if it’s a Pape thing or the builders thing, CMC.
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Old 18-11-2017, 16:42   #14
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Re: Long term steel boat cruisers - what would you change on a major refit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by qwert View Post
If you're really stripping it down then check first that there are limber holes everywhere water, particularly condensation, can collect. If there are limber holes check that they are flush with the hull. If the hole isn't flush then you can give it a tickle with one of those small sandblasters and then pour in epoxy up to the level of the limber hole.

If you are ultrasounding its really worth identifying those places where water could have collected and being very thorough around those spots rather than a grid check which although seemingly thorough is actually organised random checking (if you get my drift)

How do I know this.........................
This is very good advice! I had to replace 75 square feet of steel in my bottom due to this exact problem. All longitudinals in the low area of the hull now have limber holes. Replacing the bottom plating required removal of the entire interior, not exactly the kind of refit I had in mind when I purchased the boat. The Audio gauging of the hull by chance failed to land on any of the rusted areas that were not accessible from the inside and showed no problems. A couple years later I was hunting for the source of water in the bilge and found it by by cutting holes in the floor with a 6" hole saw. Not something I would do to a boat didn't yet own, but the lesson is that the more difficult a part of the hull is to access, the more important that it is to see it.
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Old 18-11-2017, 19:32   #15
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Re: Long term steel boat cruisers - what would you change on a major refit?

There have been some stellar recommendations in these posts, incorporate them as much as possible. As a guy whose family, ten years ago, adopted a German navy circa 1930 sail training Brig of 77 tons i can tell you that your thinking process is on the right track. An older Kriegsmariner who sailed on the Horst Wessel, now USCG Eagle, told me they looked first for where bad weather water could get them..... and then at the real enemy where water ran and seeped and sat, whether from rain or sea.... look for simple solid solutions that will hold up based on the life left in the skin of your vessel..... we were lucky the Reichsmarine stipulated all sail vessels built for their service were double plated From bow to forward chainplates at 2cm going to 9mm until the bustle on the aft hip and 5mm round the stern.....Krupp supplied the plate. Lots of life left in Panther.......everyone in the forum now will be in Fiddlers Green long before our hull passes away....I feel you will have a similar experience based on your common sense and clear head and hope we may meet in the future! Happy Welding, keep us posted!
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