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Old 14-06-2012, 19:24   #16
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

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... BTW Rob, my brother's boat is in Newcastle- the Bayfield 29, Pretty Lady (was my dad's before he passed).. his name is Andrew if you see him around,he may have some 'local' insight on your new boat- Good Luck and get it sailing!!
That's cool. If you talk to him and he sees me or Jay (my gutsy, trusting, and 'likely quite crazy for going along with this' wife) working on 'Goshawk' feel free to come over and say hi.
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Old 16-06-2012, 17:51   #17
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

If you only have small spots of rust, I would suggest getting a hand sandblaster and a small compressor and doing the spots sooner rather than later. Rust digs holes. You can pick up the gear you need at Princess Auto. They also have 100 grit Aluminum Oxide media and some new stuff which is made from crushed glass. Supposed to be easier on thin metal like cars but I bought some anyway. Its $10 a bag. The AlO is $50
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Old 17-06-2012, 06:02   #18
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

Back in the day, we used to use crushed walnut hull for a blasting media when we didn't want to dig too deep.
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Old 17-06-2012, 10:11   #19
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

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Make sure all your packing glands on the shaft and rudder are in good condition, check the rubber for cracks or hardening. Ops test your bilge pump system prior to launch. Probably be a good idea to renew the packing on both shafts if it is dried out.
Excellent advice and congratulations.

You might wish to (insert own horn tootling here) my steel boat fixin' in Toronto blog for tips, although it sounds like you are on the right track.

I would also suggest you check ALL engine control linkages for stiffness in the cabling and looseness at the attachment points. and check crtical connections, like at the starter and the gauges, for corrosion. Homebuilts aren't always bad, but you do find household, non-tinned wiring in them on occasion. I would also inspect and replace the impeller in the seawater pump and check for through-put on the hard using a bucket of water.

I would suggest once you are launched, you motor out on the calmest day you can find, and look for a nav aid. Five boat lengths from said aid, throw the engine into neutral while observing SOG on a GPS, which will probably get erratic below 2 knots. See how far the more massive boat (perhaps to you) "coasts" in neutral. See how quickly full reverse will stop the boat. See how the prop walk plays out.

Then do it all again docking on a seawall.

After several "virtual dockings", you'll have a handle on the big steel boat's "little ways" and will likely be able to dock with confidence and without dents.

I do not think a bowthruster is necessary if your boathandling is up to it. I believe the fewer holes in a steel boat, the better, and a bowthruster "tunnel", plus the current to run it, are big holes to my mind.

Good luck and welcome to the club.
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Old 17-06-2012, 10:17   #20
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

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Good suggestion about the packing glands. I didn't even think about it. Is there a way of cheking them before she gets wet, or am I just relying on a visual inspection?
Checking the bilge pumps should be easy enough. A very good idea.
Assume they are, like the impeller, perished. They are pennies to replace (OK, ten bucks). If the impeller's good, it's now a "spare".

One of those "coffee filter baskets" post seawater pump and pre-block is also a cheap fix and good insurance. I've caught all sorts of rubbish in them that didn't end up in my passages, which sounds a bit rude, I suppose.

I have rarely gone wrong with the idea that if I can't figure out the age or level of the "consumable", I should simply replace it and note in my maintenance log that said item was now "brand new" from date X...and I had a spare if it failed.

The idea is to extend the life of the systems aboard by resetting the odometer, so to speak, of every critical system from a question mark to "this was fixed at date X".

It still doesn't mean it won't fail on your watch, but you remove a question mark.

Good advice on the anode installation as well. Get the Nigel Warren book "Metal Corrosion in Boats"...excelent primer on running loads of current non-destructively inside giant Faraday cages....
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Old 17-06-2012, 10:26   #21
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

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A quick question;
Is there anything I should be aware of specific to doing the antifouling on a steel boat? Is there any major no-nos or recommendations for type or brand? She'll be primarily (at least for the next 5 to 10 years) on Lake Ontario. She'll come out this fall, and go back in the water next May. At which point, she is going to be our full time 12 month a year home. Lots of work to do before move in next August.
You need to determine what the barrier coats were, including the customary zinc coatings. I hope for the sake of inspection you were not foamed below the waterline inside the hull, as that limits inspection and can trap water.

You need to figure out if it's ablative or hard anti-fouling. Ablative is probably done after two years' out, for instance. Also, if the barrier coat is compromised, it's clear that a copper-based paint and a bare steel hull aren't going to play well.

Join Ontario Boat Builders' Co-op and get deals on Endura and Ameron paints. You've got to think less "West Marine" and more "bulldozer on a salty beach in Newfoundland. Nine-tenths of the care and feeding of a steel boat is keeping the rust at bay through proper prep and application of the undercoatings, proper prep and application of the inside surfaces and fixing the dings.
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Old 17-06-2012, 11:07   #22
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

Bottle of bleach in the water tank and then lots of flushing through whilst your on the hard standing (assuming you are within reach of a hose).

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Old 17-06-2012, 14:40   #23
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

Yep, that's a good one. Can tick off the neighbours if you wait.
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Old 17-06-2012, 18:06   #24
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

Wow, thanks everyone for some excellent input.
Just to fill you in a bit on our progress, we've spent the entire weekend going over the boat from stem to stern... And the list grows

The good: We talked to a couple of long term residents of the marina, and it seems that everyone knew the former owner, and respected him greatly. Here is an interesting fact. He put two new masts on her the final year he had her, and by the accounts of two different residents, he never sailed her with the new rigging. I thought it looked pretty new, but I never would have imagined... Then we took the sails out to have a good look at them. On the survey it said they were in good condition, but you never know. Especially after sitting in bags for 2 years. Well, we took them out, measured them for our records, and were totally astounded at the shape they were in. They were IMMACULATE! Beautiful, pure white looked very lightly used. WoW, what a relief

The bad: Bilge water... Need I say more? I spent most of today up to my shoulder in the bilge getting the water out, and wiping it down as best I could. All in all, it looks much better than it could have been, but the bilge under the engine is going to be a bitch to get sorted out. Not sure what I'm going to do there, but at least there are no signs of rust down there. At least not where I can see.

The ugly: There is some rust at along the stringers from about 8ft from the bow, to amidships. Most of it is accessible, but the forward head has a steel floor, and poking my head down below into the bilge you can see that the stringer that runs under the head is rusted as well. I scraped away some of the rust along the stringers where I can get at them, and it is lightly flaking rust. Not too big a deal this year, but I wouldn't want to wait another 5 years before addressing it. It looks like it could be a big problem eventually. It looks like I may have a fairly major issue down the road.
I'm thinking the water is coming in through the anchor locker, so first job is to make sure I address where the water is coming from, but assuming I can stop further water infringement, does anyone have any suggestions on what to do to slow down the progress of the inaccessible rust in the meantime? It's at least 6 feet from where I can access without pulling up the whole floor.

Anyway, its now 8pm, and I'm going to bed. Its been a long day...
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Old 17-06-2012, 21:27   #25
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

You need to establish, I'm afraid, if there are proper limber holes in the frames to allow water to flow and not just stand in place (although I'm sure being on a cradle hasn't helped here.

However, you are correct in trying to source the persistent leak. Steel boat anchor wells should, ideally, drain overboard without entering the actual hull. That could mean a redesign or even dropping in a fibreglass triangular "bucket" to keep the water out (and to keep the steel from chipping).

Anchor well or locker design aboard steel yachts is an interesting problem to solve, but generally, you want far fewer holes in the deck than an F/G boat.

If applicable, feel free to poach ideas from my blog here:

The world encompassed: The well-grounded anchor well
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Old 19-06-2012, 16:42   #26
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

Thanks
Frankly, I hadn't given much thought to the anchor locker. Cool, another project...

Today, we noticed some water infiltration at the ports and took the wood trim and surround off and as expected, moldy wood. Some of it pretty nasty looking as a matter of fact. Good news is that is seems to be fairly localized, and not effecting the steel. (We wanted to replace the cedar paneling anyway. I guess we just moved it to the top of the list. Now that we've uncovered it, we are reduced to working with masks until we remove it all.
So, the list is presently as follows:
1/ get rid of the moldy wood.
2/ New inverter/ charger, Galvanic Isolator, and batteries. (on order)
3/ Fix wiring issues. (reversed polarity, eliminate Mars connectors on 120v system. Install GFIs, trace mystery wiring.
4/ Get in a diesel mechanic to have a good look.
5/ Bottom coat
... and so on...
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Old 19-06-2012, 17:10   #27
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

Anything between your butt, and the bottom of Lake Ontario, replace, rebuild, or inspect knowing there as good as new.... just my $.02
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Old 19-06-2012, 17:13   #28
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

Alchemy, I like the drawing of the chain locker, and how it deflects the chain so it doesnt jam. Since you plan on a circumnavigation, I have a suggestion that I hope makes sense to you. You show the bitter end of the chain as attached in the bottom of the chain locker, presumably with a shackle. Most boats with all chain rode (which is the best IMHO) attach the bitter end to a piece of nylon rope that attaches to the bottom of the chain locker so that in the event that you have to slip your cable ( a very old term) you can let all the chain out and cut the nylon, rather than having to try to undo a shackle in the bottom of a locker when time matters greatly. If some big ugly fish boat (or yacht) is dragging down on you, there may not be time or room to motor up over your anchor and get out of the way. I always kept a small bouy with 40 foot of line attached to it to do a quick rolling hitch on the chain and CUT AND RUN. Go back for the anchor when things have calmed down. I put a bunch of strips of spinnacre cloth on the chain so the I knew that I was near the end. This practice is pretty common on boats with all chain. I hope this helps._____Grant.
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Old 19-06-2012, 22:26   #29
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

I know of the nylon bitter end trick and approve of it and thanks for the suggestion. It wasn't necessary to add that detail to the diagram!

A further improvement, I think, would be to hang a cheap sailor's knife (WM makes an OK $9 one... I have several) next to the bitter end and to tie with 3/16ths line a bleach bottle or fender with the boat's name on it. If you have to cut and dump the chain, it'll greatly simplify retrieving the chain, assuming it's the sort of place you can dive and the depth is not too daunting...just look for the bleach bottle/fender holding about two feet of chain off the bottom!
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