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Old 12-12-2006, 11:16   #1

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Worst Thing a Previous Owner Did to Your Boat ?

Mark recently posted a story about his bilge pump outlet being connected to nothing at all. Made me think that there are probably a lot of stories out there about weird things a previous owner did. Here are mine - done by the guy we like to call "Lazy Larry", or the PO before him:

*Smeared silicone all around the long ports running fore and aft, getting it not only on the areas around the ports but also on the ports themselves, the coach roof and tracked all the way out to the hull-deck joint.
*Applied new interior varnish each year. Right over the old without sanding or cleaning it.
*Rigged up the furling system so it had too much line on the spindle fouling it every time we set the sail
*Never used the mainsail - this is a mystery to me. It was never on the boom, is much less used than the genoa.
*Had a great inventory of parts for the heads, including for Vacuuflush. However, the boat didn't have Vacuuflush heads and none of the heads worked.

Guess mine aren't so interesting, but Mark's sure was. What did your previous owner do?

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Old 12-12-2006, 11:39   #2
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Many years ago, a chap that owned an Islander 37 called me and asked me to have a look at his wiring, something "not working quite right". I smelled the burned wiring before I saw it. Opened the main switch panel and found the insulation melted off of most of the wires back there. I traced this back to a burned portion of plywood bulkhead (yepper ... for real flames) where 2 wires went through. Following these two crispinized wires back, I found that they went to a squirrel cage bilge blower mounted in the transom. There was indeed a fuse holder inline ... I dug the fuse out, and found a 35AGC fuse in it .... Hmmmmm should have been no bigger than a 6A. Seems that every time the boat got pooped, the blower got wet, and a little more corroded .. so it would blow it's fuse, the solution they found was to keep putting in larger & larger fuses until ....

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Old 12-12-2006, 11:43   #3
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A couple:

Cut the outboard engine well so a too large engine would fit. Looked like a drunk child cut it with a bent jigsaw.

Used automotive filler on the deck to fix two soft spots.

Rolled in sand for nonskid, then just happily painted over the sides. If I need nonskid on the side of the cabin I have worse problems then slipping.

Used a strip of plywood as a backing plate on 1 genoa track, but nothing under the other.

Used plywood for a backing plate for the stem chainplate but no washers. Yes, the nuts pulled into the wood. Also it was too small so one nut was exposed on the side of the plate.

Used a water spiket on the holding tank that was installed using some epoxy and fairing filler. It leaked continusouly (slowly) when there was water in the tank.

Used too short of 3 wire cable up the mast for the deck/steam light combo and then used black electrical tape to secure a couple wires to make it just long enough.

And we won't get into the sheer number of splices in the electrical system that caused ground faults. Why does the bilge pump stop when I turn on this light?
Sing to a sailor's courage, Sing while the elbows bend,
A ruby port your harbor, Raise three sheets to the wind.
......................-=Krynnish drinking song=-
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Old 12-12-2006, 11:58   #4
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Plumbed the fresh water tank to a salt water pump. I guess it was to flush the system but still what if the check valve fails...
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Old 12-12-2006, 12:01   #5
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I got a few PO horrors too!

1. All AC wiring done w/household variety 14/3 solid conductor cable labelled CMHC Approved. CMHC Is Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation. Oh and was aluminum not copper.

2. Main DC conductor from main battery buss to panel appeared to be "clothes line wire".

3. Anchor rhode not tied off to anything. Had I paid it out fully I would have lost it all.

4. Boat had a dual wiring harnass for model with twins. Mine only had a single. Someone wired everything up resulting in a few dead shorts. Only got 6 volts at the ign switch and burnt my hand when I touched it. It eventually fried the coil and elec. ign module. I traced every wire and cut out what was redundant.

Like Frank said, we won't go into the rats nest of wiring under the dash. I'm sure there's more I'm not done looking yet.
Yours Aye! Rick
"It's not the boat "you built" until you've sworn at it, bled on it, sweated over it, cried beside it and then threatened to haul the POS outside and burn it!"
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Old 12-12-2006, 12:02   #6
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Installed a big beefy 12 inch cleat on the port toe rail. Too much trouble to use a backing plate however, even though there is unrestricted access from the chain locker below...


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Old 12-12-2006, 12:03   #7
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I put in new cockpit drains that obviously ran to a thru hull valve. The thru hulls were in a difficult position to get the hose hooked to the bronze valves. After working on it while basically standing on my head and finally got the hose hooked up and double clamped...the damn valve appeared stuck in the open position. I did everything to free it, finally in frustration I stood on my head using a big pipe wrench and removed the valve. I figured I could soak the old bronze valve and get it smooth again. When I finally got the valve out I could see there were no guts to the valve at all. There was nothing inside!!! Nothing!! While this thru hull, for the Deck Drains, may not be as important as valves further under the waterline I was astonished that someone would have a valve like this, a valve that was non operational!!!
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Old 12-12-2006, 12:32   #8
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vhf aerial cable was not connected to aerial.....but went into lining and was hidden so you assumed it was.
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Old 12-12-2006, 12:39   #9

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I'm probably not the only person who has ripped out a previous rewire that was done with lamp cord. You know the stuff, about 18 AWG, copper wire, brown insulation for rewiring table lamps. I guess it is cheap....

We won't even talk about the AC wiring removed. The old version did have one benefit... the panel would get warm enough to take the chill off the nav station on cold nights... Horrors!

How about 5200 used to bed mast hardware? May the idiot who did that die a painful, slow death!

From the dangerous, to the frustrating to the merely annoying....

Assemble a project with whatever screw came to hand. I have had to remove things that had one phillips screw, two flatheads, and two square drives.
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Old 12-12-2006, 13:03   #10
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1. Put an extra 120kg of lead in the bilge, and glassed it in with about 6 layers of glass and resin, OVER THE TOP OF THE FORWARD KEEL BOLT

2. Carefully timber-preserved the faces of lots of the marine-ply panels, BUT NOT THE END GRAIN.

3. Had no possible acces to several areas in the bilges (short of ripping the floor out)

4. Added various cam cleats around the cockpit using standard wood screws into the grp, with no backing plates
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Old 12-12-2006, 13:05   #11
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Neglect, simple neglect
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Old 12-12-2006, 13:10   #12
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Here's a thread destined for greatness! Moderators we need a prize for the most annoying / most stupid / most dangerous....

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Old 12-12-2006, 13:24   #13
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Aah this thread brings back memories...

We got to calling calling the previous owner the rube goldberg/micky mouse engineer. He did all kinds of stuff on a home grown basis, and bad design..

Some standout examples include:

1] A fuel system that allowed you to recycle the fuel so you could polish it [good idea] it had 19 different valves that had to be set just so to make it work [ bad implementation]

2] Wiring that had multiple splices in short runs - best example was the compass light - had 3 splices in 5 ft.

3] Added capacitors in the generator control circuit to force it to run hot all the time. This fooled the control circuitry to allow extra load.. ganged them in place in the lazarette where water could drip on loaded capacitors.. [not good]

All of these have since been corrected or totally removed... but it was fun figuring out what was done and how it was done.
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Old 12-12-2006, 13:36   #14
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Worst in the past: Radar wing/arch made out of PVC pipe and glue together holding rador dome, aerials.

A week after I sold the Morgan 50 I recieved a call from one of my sailing buddies. He went off on me asking me why the "heck" was there a seadoo hanging from the back of my boat. I had no clue what he was talking about until he went into detail.
Apparently the new owners had new davits installed complete with electric winches to lower and raise their seadoo.
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Old 12-12-2006, 14:12   #15
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Immediate past owner took out the portlights and let the boat sit for 6 months filling with freshwater over and over again when there was no bilge pump. He put it in a slip that was too shallow for the boat so that it wouldn't sink with all the rainwater and let it bounce up and down on rocks for several months.
The previous owner to him burned up the engine when the exhaust system failed so the thing is he didn't want his water injection system spraying water into the boat so he shut the valve for cooling water. Pistons were seized to the liners. I don't know what the wiring was like because there wasn't any in the boat when I got it. There is a 3/4" thru hull that I can't figure out what it is for being under the port saloon settee. Not a proper valve but a small gate valve on the bronze thruhull fitting.
Crazy weird stuff.
Why do people do that kind of stuff?

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