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Old 13-06-2012, 18:18   #1
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Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

Ok, I did it. I just bought a 43ft steel sailboat! Don't know whether to laugh, or cry
In truth, I'm very excited, but I've got plenty to do in a very short period of time. Bottom line is shes been on the hard for almost 2 years, and I've got about a month to get her in the water, and out of the marina she now sits in before the channel becomes too shallow to get her out. Structurally, and mechanically she is top notch (the engine; A Perkins 4.236 with about 2000 hours on it), but shes a very bare bones boat as far as equipment goes. A clean slate per se.
Here is a short list of what I know has to be done before launch.
Put in a starter battery, and a couple of house batteries.
Remove the automotive charger/inverter, and install a proper one.
Add a galvanic Isolator.
Get the engine started.
A general clean, inventory, and checkout.
and lastly, put on a fresh coat of antifouling.

Bottom line is that I'm looking for advice.
Pick a item on the to do list, and have at'er. I'm looking for suggestions, product recommendations, advise, ideas, and general caveats.
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Old 13-06-2012, 18:24   #2
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

I would suggest you put in an isolation transformer in a steel boat, rather than a galvanic isolator.
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Old 13-06-2012, 18:27   #3
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

On your suggestion, I've just been looking online and there doesn't seem to be that many for sale out there, plus they look to be about 3x the price. I assume you think its worth the extra time and trouble. Reasons?
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Old 13-06-2012, 19:17   #4
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

Unless you have a few strong mates to help (and maybe even then) think about a bow thruster.

Take a long hard look at your existing antifouling. Get as much off as you can, prime with at least two coats of primocon all over and then do your antifouling.

If you are going to be using the boat at least monthly use Propspeed on the propeller.

Go over the hull carefully looking for rust spots. Use Ameron, POR15 or similar to fix.

Put two anodes on the prop shaft. Put at least two on the hull near the prop/rudder and at least two on the rudder - don't use the smallest possible here.

Check your fuel system thoroughly(fuel tanks must be totally clean), replace any suspect component and install an auxiliary electric fuel pump.
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Old 13-06-2012, 20:36   #5
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

Add an Isolation Transformer to your boat
Quote:
When properly installed, an isolation transformer will electrically isolate the AC shore power from the boat’s AC power system. There is no direct electrical connection between earth-grounded shore AC power and the onboard electrical system. The shore ground is connected to a shield that is wound between the primary (shore) and the secondary (boat) transformer winding. The connection of this grounding wire only to the shield of the transformer “isolates” the boat’s AC electrical system from shore. This then results in the elimination of in-water shock hazards.

As an added benefit, the nature of an isolation transformer also eliminates the stray galvanic currents from boat to shore that destroy your sacrificial zinc anodes, so your polarity alarms and galvanic isolators are no longer needed.
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Old 13-06-2012, 22:38   #6
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

Congrats, looks like a nice boat.

Very good downloadable book on real world maintenance available here..

Metal boat maintenance-A do it yourself guide by Scott Fratcher (eBook) - Lulu

I would be careful about paint, I only ever use 2 part epoxy, Ameron as mentioned in the book works well so far. If it's been painted with 2 part then best to stick with that. Primocon and por15 are single part.

A silver/silver chloride half cell is a good investment if you can find one, see what your anodes are really up to.

Otherwise can't think of anything else, get her in the water and do some sailing
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Old 14-06-2012, 08:42   #7
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

i am in the process of fixing my steel 58ft boat shes been sitting for 3 years now i plan to sandblast and start from the bare steel
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Old 14-06-2012, 09:41   #8
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

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.
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Old 14-06-2012, 09:51   #9
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

Hey Rob, where are you - at the Outer Harbour marina?
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Old 14-06-2012, 13:57   #10
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

Congrats. I have built 3 steel boats. Two of which were mine. I also sailed on a Roberts 43 in Mexico. Nice boat!
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Old 14-06-2012, 15:57   #11
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

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Originally Posted by SVTatia View Post
Hey Rob, where are you - at the Outer Harbour marina?
Nope, she's at the Port of Newcastle at present. To be eventually moved to Frenchman's Bay I just hope the channel gets dredged like it is supposed to this summer, or by August I might just have a floating cottage.
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Old 14-06-2012, 16:02   #12
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

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Originally Posted by captain58sailin View Post
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.
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.
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Old 14-06-2012, 17:44   #13
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

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Originally Posted by cruise View Post
i am in the process of fixing my steel 58ft boat shes been sitting for 3 years now i plan to sandblast and start from the bare steel
I'm glad thats not something I'm going to need to deal with. At least in the short term anyway The paint is in excellent shape, other than a bit of surface rust at the toerail, and a 10" spot in the cockpit where water has been pooling because she was stored slightly bow down. Hopefully I can put off doing any major paint work until at least next spring.

But, while I'm on the subject of paint...
Bare with me, I'm new
We take possession tomorrow, and haven't even done a full inventory. I know there is paint stacked up in the corner of the workshop, so I guess I'll know more tomorrow, but my mind is racing right now.
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.
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Old 14-06-2012, 18:06   #14
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

Nice looking boat! Worry not much about the charger for now and make sure the zincs are adequate and the bottom paint is good, so you dont have to haul soon again. Some bottom paints need redone after out of water very long...
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Old 14-06-2012, 19:06   #15
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Re: Readying a Steel boat that's been sitting for 2 years.

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Nice looking boat! Worry not much about the charger for now and make sure the zincs are adequate and the bottom paint is good, so you dont have to haul soon again. Some bottom paints need redone after out of water very long...

I was thinking the same thing- do the bottom stuff, charger and inside/topsides can always be done in the water, and it will be coming back out in a few months anyway. No one has mentioned- check your seacocks- can you move them? No way of knowing if they need reseating until in the water, but if a hose is split somewhere and you can't shut the seacock, thats a bit of pain to deal with.
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!!
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