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Old 26-07-2007, 12:55   #1
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pirate Need advice on a good (cheap, dry) boat yard.

Hello from the crew of Gadfly II!

We our currently sailing our 38' Kiulani south from Juneau, AK towards Mexico. Plan is to find a good (cheap and dry) place to haul out and repaint entire boat. Originally figured Mexico would probably fit the bill but I'm worried about not being able to get what I need south of the border without time delays and customs problems. Here is a list of questions I need suggestions on. Thanks for any advice you can provide!

1. Cheap Dry Boat Yard- We are currently (7/26/07) in Crescent City, CA. so somewhere south of here. Also, we are doing our own work so I am really just looking for most reasonable yard rate with fairly close chandelry and services.

2. Chandelry- Is there a more inexpensive place to purchase our materials then West Marine?

3. Fillers- Our Kiulani is Steel from top to Bottom and when it was built in 1986 they sprayed a coating of hot zinc over all the steel. For some reason (probably uneven cooling of the zinc) on the deck we have many areas where the paint "blistered up" and after scraping and sanding those we found that the zinc had not bonded and lifted in those areas. Apparently this was a common problem and they do not use that process anymore. Sooo...some of these "blemishes" are a good 1/4" deep and up to 6 inches in diameter where the zinc just flaked off. We have been sanding and priming with a rust inhibitor as they show up but looks pretty bad. I am thinking I'll just remove all the paint off the top and then refair it with some kind of filler. Can anyone suggest a good filler that will bond well with zinc/steel? Will regular bondo work?

4. Paint- Can anyone suggest a good, durable paint? I have been leaning towards Petit Easypoxy. White top deck, Electric Blue hull, Gold stars and stripes and Black Trinidad SR bottom paint.

5. Monitor Windvane- We are also looking for a good condition used Monitor Windvane that will handle our 38' 14 ton Kiulani.

Thanks again for all of your comments and suggestions.
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Old 26-07-2007, 17:43   #2
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It sounds like your boat is headed towards a total rebuild.

You have not mentioned the interior but you are probably in for some unpleasant surprises when you start the stripping out.

If you have deep "blemishes" then this indicates that some replating (or welding in of patches) is going to be necessary.

The key decision is going to be whether to go for a total rebuild or necessary repairs.

If a total rebuild is necessary then completely stripping the boat while on the hard, repairing the hull and then repainting and rebuilding would give the best result.

Your decision of where to do this may depend more on your financial and social position than any other factor.

When faced with a similar decision on "Boracay" I elected to go with a dock close to my flat, my wife's work and our existing social network.

It would have been cheaper and easier if I could have taken my boat from Sydney up to Queensland but this was not possible.

Some photos could help in this discussion.
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Old 26-07-2007, 20:31   #3
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Penny Wise, but Dollar Foolish?

Sorry, Boracay, but I find your post almost compeltely indecipherable. I'm not arguing, but your reply threw me for a loop.

Quote:
It sounds like your boat is headed towards a total rebuild.
A total rebuild? Not of the yacht, certainly. Of the deck, you mean. That's what the topic is. And how did we get from blemishes to a total deck rebuild, w/ no photos?

Quote:
You have not mentioned the interior but you are probably in for some unpleasant surprises when you start the stripping out.
You can't mean stripping out the entire interior (but perhaps you do: you seem to have the whole hull rusted away). You mean removing the saloon headliner in anticipation of the below-mentioned welding work?

Reminds me of Hiscock putting out little fires in his saloon while the torch was put to the outside of his hull in the yard.

If there's no deep rust pitting on the topsides, the deckhead (the bottom of the plate) should be fine.

Quote:
If you have deep "blemishes" then this indicates that some replating (or welding in of patches) is going to be necessary.
Why would this be true, if it's just the zinc coating that has lifted? Those are the "blemishes" that are being referred to. I don't know how to fix that, but no one said anything about "deep" anything: I understand Napalm's talk of filler to mean fairing the deck once the steel is sealed up again, and that is likely to be very thin. Nothing has rusted through, and they ain't falling through the deck quite yet. Seems to me it's a bit early to begin talking about welding in new plates. What does welding do to the surrounding zinc? Napalm needs an experienced professional.

Quote:
Your decision of where to do this may depend more on your financial and social position than any other factor.

When faced with a similar decision on "Boracay" I elected to go with a dock close to my flat, my wife's work and our existing social network.
They're taking a 38' yacht to Mexico: their social position puts them above 98% of the populace they are liable to interact with, but I don't see how this factors in to the problem. And unless they have friends there, what "social network" are we talking about? Pretty soon they'll be three thousand miles from their starting point. They won't have a social network.

You seem to be unnecessarily pessimistic, but maybe I'm just reading you wrong.
*** *** *** ***

Napalm,

As I read, the facilities and workmanship in Mexican marinas has improved markedly in the last decade. Surely if it were a just simple bottom job, or even rolling the deck/topsides, you would save a few pesos by having the work done in Mexico.

But who knows where your underlying deck problem will lead? We're all looking for a deal, but I'd get that taken care of while I was still in California, where potential communication problems will be minimized, materials are readily available, I could have some recourse if the job went, er, south (no pun intended), and delays would not strand me in a foreign country. I have no first-hand experience with the level of workmanship/artisanship in Mex. boatyards, but since you have some special requirements about the topsides paint (designs, colors & brand names), I'd have that done state-side, as well, and just save the more straight-forward bottom work for south of the border.

A search should yield a list of Mexican marinas with e-mail addys, if you want to inquire ahead. But take their answers with a grain of salt: they're selling, and likely to promise the best results sight-unseen.

Maybe someone here knows of a good yard in California, or can attest to the quality of painters' workmanship south of the border.

Good Luck & Fair Winds.
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Old 27-07-2007, 03:30   #4
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I Know the area you are in and heading for. I would highly recommend
Moss Landing in the Monterey Bay around 400 miles south of you, Between Santa Cruz and Monterey. Great prices, friendly, family owned yard with a small chandlery. Worst Marine is 25 miles north of there in Santa Cruz.
Filler wise, I would use Red hand...NOT BONDO!!! Red hand is an epoxy. I would gently sand the flakey areas, use a proline epoxy primer next then Red Hand filler and finally the proline primer over that and then what ever finish. As far as paint goes. Petit monopoxy or enamal is fine. With steel it is going to be an ongoing maintenance anyway. Not a big deal.
To qualify, I have built (from scratch) two steel boats. Good luck
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Old 27-07-2007, 03:54   #5
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Pessimism...

Sorry about the negativity.

I'm 1,400 hours and $50K into a build/rebuild of a 7 year old steel boat and it gets to me sometimes.
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Old 27-07-2007, 07:55   #6
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In Ventura there's a small boater-friendly yard called Anchor's Way. Their rates are relatively modest (a cheap boatyard = a calm hurricane) and a wide range of goods and services is available nearby. In the same place is Ventura Harbor Boatyard, larger and a bit more expensive, but has more resouces as far as skilled services. A WM is about 4 mi away; about 10 mi away is a good commercially-geared marine store called Port Hueneme Supply. You're about 1.5 hrs from Los Angeles there (nice drive down the Pac Coast Hwy). Next stop south is Marina Del Rey, and there is a well-run yard called Windward, also two others, The Boatyard is OK, the other I can't remember the name of & have no experience with. WM is within walking distance, and there's a very good marine electrical supply West Coast Marine Electric, about 4 mi away. Further south in L.A. Harbor is Al Larson Boat Shop, a primarily commercial yard good for steel work.

In Ensenada, Mx., Baja Naval has come a long way in the last few years, and is good for steel work & painting. Essential (that is, basic) materials availability is pretty good, but you'll likely be making trips to San Diego (1.5 hrs) for a lot of stuff.

I might be able to save you a few $ - I do also have to make a few $ - on major items or list of items known in advance, through my wholesale account with a supplier in Seattle. Otherwise, West Marine with their West Advantage card is probably the best retail deal around, unless you spot something you need on eBay.

Edit: No matter what, Mexican work must be supervised at all times!
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Old 27-07-2007, 08:13   #7
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In the Bay Area there are several "cheaper" boatyards and of them, I'd recommend The Berkeley Marine Center, which allows DIYers. They have a small chandlery and there are 3 West Marine stores within a 10 minute drive and also Svendsen's in Alameda (although finding anybody who can retail cheaper than WM is not likely.) Of course there are many, many marine services nearby and I'm sure getting whatever specialized work you need done would not present a problem.

http://www.berkeleymarine.com/
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Old 27-07-2007, 09:51   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by napalmadventure
3. Fillers- Our Kiulani is Steel from top to Bottom and when it was built in 1986 they sprayed a coating of hot zinc over all the steel. For some reason (probably uneven cooling of the zinc) on the deck we have many areas where the paint "blistered up" and after scraping and sanding those we found that the zinc had not bonded and lifted in those areas. Apparently this was a common problem and they do not use that process anymore. Sooo...some of these "blemishes" are a good 1/4" deep and up to 6 inches in diameter where the zinc just flaked off. We have been sanding and priming with a rust inhibitor as they show up but looks pretty bad. I am thinking I'll just remove all the paint off the top and then refair it with some kind of filler. Can anyone suggest a good filler that will bond well with zinc/steel? Will regular bondo work?
Why not have a welder look at spray welding the areas with zinc. This process is called "Thermal Spray" and it does what it sounds like - comes out in a spray which allows the coating thickness to be adjusted by the amount of coats that are applied. The process is offered by some portable welding companies, and costs shouldn't be that high for what you need...especially since you will have the areas already prepped.

Good luck - wish I was on your boat instead of in my office!
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Old 27-07-2007, 15:07   #9
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Thanks for the Great Response...HERE'S SOME PICS!

Boracay- Yeah, whoa there! We do not have any rust...just zinc flakin off in a few spots. Boat was built extremely well with no corner cutting. She is very tight and we have no plans to "gutt" her.

Captain Jeff- You have a good handle on my situation. Thanks for clarifying and the good advice. I am leaning towards southern Cali. now.

Celestial Sailor- Thanks for the Marina tip and I'll check out the Red Hand Filler.

EngNate- Wow, sounds like you may have hit on some winners. Thanks for the offer to use your account. We'll let you know.

fstbttms- Checked out the Berekly site. Sounds great. Just wish it was further south.

Wannafish- Definately would like to find out more about replacing the zinc. Some guy was telling me to just by bars of zinc and melt it onto the spots that flaked. Didn't really know how to do it exactly though. Seems you would have to heat up the steel a bit though and I am unwilling to start tearing out the insides to remove the foam insulation as to avoid starting a fire.

Ok guys. Here are some pics. Again, there is no rust, just zinc flakin off in spots which we have scraped and primed with the gray primer you can see in the pics. Pretty much all limited to the deck. I assume this is because there is so much fairing material on the hull. She has a nice smooth full radius chine after all! Thanks again!
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Old 27-07-2007, 17:03   #10
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Napal - On your way South, just past Morro Bay, is Port San Luis. It is a DIY yard, and very inexpensive compared to anything you would find in Ventura, LA, or SD.

From MY understanding, the Boat Yard at Moss Landing (Gravell's) has been sold. When I was there, I thought their prices were outrageous - specially with bottom painting.

In Port San Luis, I got the paint for the bottom at minimal mark up from the PORT SUPPLY prices (not Worst Marine retail). Port San Luis will also allow you to live aboard while you work. You NEED to call ahead. It is a popular place Marty or Dell should be able to clue you in on available contractors for the metal work.

P.O. Box 280, Avila Beach, CA 93424
6 AM through 5 PM, 7 days/week
Business: (805) 595-7214


Good Luck.
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Old 30-07-2007, 02:15   #11
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Unless Moss Landing was sold in the last 90 days, I was not aware of the change over. They do not clarify that you have to use their bottem paint. I usually paint my bottem on a Sunday, so there is never a question. I have been to San luis and yes they are cheap but it is a little remote to get boat items.
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Old 30-07-2007, 08:31   #12
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When I was going to haul out 2003, they would indeed let you use your own paint ... of course they also wanted to charge a "corkage" fee of $110/gal. Which, amazingly enough, came out to what they wanted to charge a gallon, if you bought from them. To me ... well, lets just say that I don't like bending over, or companies that require you to. So, I took my boat and my money to PSL. Yes, PSL is remote - 5 miles to Pismo Beach, 13 miles to San Luis Obispo. But, the local chandalery will order (as I said) what you need, and their upcharge is minimal. And, yes, you have to wait a day.
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