FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GRAMPIAN SAILBOATS
F.A.Q Index Page
I will be keeping an eye on the other Grampian Forums and adding here any interesting information regarding repair and maintenance from these other sites plus any information you want to provide on "fixes" you have made to your Grampian that apply to all Grampian models and that others might find of interest. Please contact the Webmaster with any suggestions. If you do not find what you are looking for here, check the F.A.Q. pages for the different boat models. There may be something in one of those that will assist you. Also check the Club House. The discussion threads may have something of interest.
How do I import a boat from the USA?
I'm thinking of buying a Grampian. What potential problems should I be aware of?
Any suggestions for painting hull and Deck?
I have to replace my bulkheads. Help!!
Can I attach stay to toe rail if problem with chain plate?
How do I replace my windows?
How do I get enough electrical power to meet my needs?
Repairing Keel Rust
Where do I find the Hull Number?
Ice Boxes & Refrigeration
Cooking on Board
Tuning Your Mast
Forestay Fitting Failure
Soft Deck Repair
Contact Cement Removal
Tuning your Rigging
Tips on Deck & Cockpit Repair/Replacement
We bought a G26 in NY State and imported it into Ontario last October. The process is simple.
As others have said, there is no duty on Canadian or U.S. made boats coming into Canada.
When you import, you must pay the GST (federal Goods and Services Tax for our southern neighbours) and PST (Provincial Sales Tax). In Ontario, at least, all boat transfers pay the PST, so it doesn't matter where you buy.Private sales in Canada avoid the GST (8%), but dealer sales and imports pay it. So there's not a big difference tax-wise to the buyer between a U.S. or Canadian boat.
If you tow the boat yourself, you declare it at the border. They pull you aside where you pay the GST and PST. I've heard they may look closer at the trailer than the boat to make sure it meets roadworthiness standards.
We had Andrews Trucking of Niagara-on-the-Lake haul our boat (they did a great job, by the way). They're customs bonded, so they brought the boat to the customs warehouse in Hamilton (where I am) for the importation. I met the trucker at the warehouse, paid the sales tax and got the license numbers on the spot. This customs office, in fact, had a big poster on the wall listing the steps for importing a boat, and a stack of license forms on the counter. Fill out a couple of forms, hand over the credit card, and you're done.
So it's not difficult for a Canadian buyer to bring your boat home. Arranging transportation was the biggest job. If your G23 is on a trailer, that should be easy, too. (Thanks to Tim Nye) (Back)
Grampians are well built boats but as with any 30 year old boat, problems do occur. The most common advice given is that once you have found a boat you like, have it professionally surveyed. It may cost you a few hundred but it may save you thousands. Don't buy without a survey, you will have to get one for insurance purposes anyway.
Some of the areas you might want to check yourself first for obvious problems are the following:
- Deck delamination or spongy feeling caused by water entering. Tap over any suspect areas and if not sharp sound, may be a problem
- Check all the bulkheads and chain plates. Rot here may require replacement of bulkhead, glassing and other work. Not insurmountable but will stop you sailing for a while.
- Check the rudder itself carefully, ensure water not entering into it. Check the rudder shaft tube for leaks. You can see it by looking in from one of the cockpit storage areas. If the boat if out of the water, check the rudder shaft for wear.
- Check the windows for leaks, crazing or turning opaque
- Check the wiring and fuse panel/breaker box for obvious signs of corrosion. Check all lights work.
- Check standing rigging. If you encounter many "fish hooks" when you run hand over (be careful) may need replacing
There are other areas like the plumbing and head etc. but the most frequently asked about items are the rudder, bulkheads/chain plates and windows.
Have a knowledgeable sailing friend take that initial look at the boat with you. If you both like what you see, get the professional in. (Back)
I undertook a complete renovation of my Grampian 26. I had to paint the deck since the gelcoat was too far gone and I wanted to repair all the hairline cracks and other cracks and dents.
I used Interlux paints, 2 coats of 2 part epoxy primer and 2 coats of 2 part polyurethane. I was quite satisfied with the results. The paints were applied basically with a thin nap roller and the results were good. It takes a bit of practice to get the paint thinning right. A lot of care must go into the preparation:
- dewaxing with a solvent wash
- sanding everything with 80 grit
- repairing the cracks:
- small hairlines: opening them with a Dremel tool and filling
- bigger cracks: repairing with fiberglass tape
I tried as much as possible to identify the source of the cracks such as no backing plates under stanchion bases and correct this. I had cracks between the cabin walls and the deck. I opened those and covered
with a thickened epoxy mixture ( ideally with fibers) topped with a sandable epoxy mixture smoothed with a spoon to create a cove.
I also had to identify the delaminations and repair them either by opening up and removing the bad balsa and replacing with epoxy or by injecting epoxy if the wood was dry. This is the worst part of the job and if you skip on this cracks will reemerge.
Also I removed all fixtures
Painting over the antiskid can lead to slippery antiskid if it is already worn. Several solutions are possible but in my case, I sanded it down and covered with antiskid pads . This is expensive but gives a very good result both esthetically and from a security standpoint.
The job I did, which was as complete as could be, ( removing all hardware and repairing all cracks) took me more than 250 hours, but the paint job itself was relatively quick, about 25-30 hours.( 2 coats 2 parts epoxy primer and 2 coats 2 part polyurethane)
The results with a roller and some foam brushes, while not a 'mirror finish' and more like 'orange peel' is quite good and professional looking if you take care to catch the paint runners with the foam brush. But I would definitely say that 2 part epoxy is a pain in the neck and requires care in terms of the correct thinning. You have to practice to get the feel. Also you have to proceed quickly and not go over and over the same area. It is not easy and it is a messy job.
The results after 2 years are still as new. The 2 part paint is very resistant and I have read that it could last 10 years especially in our latitudes. I certainly hope so.
As for the spider cracks covered with the epoxy primer they have so far not reappeared
(Thanks to Eric Maille for this) (Back)
I painted the hull and deck of my G26 a couple of years ago. Did a very thorough job on the hull, less thorough on the deck as we were running out of time.
On the hull (flag blue) we sanded three times starting with 80 grit and ending with 250 grit. We patched all the nicks and bumps with Bondo which is actually an automotive market product but which worked really well. We did not have any blisters on the hull or I would probably have used something more specifically marine.
We then used two coats of Interlux's 2 part epoxy and three coats of their 2 part finish. Sanded between each coat starting with 250 grit and ending with 800 grit. Applied the paint with a 6" foam roller and tipped it with a brush dipped in the reducer. I was pretty pleased with the results although I think one more coat would have given the perfectly glossy and deep finish of spraying. This method left no orange peel. Part of the trick is to thin the paint much more than you would think-- the thinner the coat the better, less build = less orange peel.
On the deck we filled all holes with Bondo and painted with the one-part urethane finish in a tan color. On the non-skid we used flat finish on the smooth parts we used high gloss.
I also re-glazed the cabin windows at the same time and while I had the aluminium trim pieces out we spray painted them with a high gloss white enamel.
I was pretty pleased with the effect over all. When I pulled into the slip for the first time after the paint job the neighbor shouted out, "now there's an old girl who's looking good." Guess that was good enough.
(Thanks to M. Reynolds for this) (Back)
- I did it about 7 years ago, and used Imrrom by Dupont, this is polyurethane paint, is used also in aircraft painting.
If you subscribe to "Practical Sailor" their Feb. 15, 2003 issue rates topside paints. Their quote re "One -Part Wonders" is as follows:
"One-Part wonders Interlux Toplac and Epifanes Mono-Urethane give two-part brews a run for
their money--a short way into a long event".
As stated earlier, I used Toplac (white) three years ago and with good preparation (as Interlux recommends) and application with a 3" foam roller, it took a weekend. My deck hardware was removed for rebedding, so I'm sure that contributed to the short time to do the job. It still has that "new waxed" shine three years later.
- I don't have much experience on this subject. However, I did use Interlux one part on the cockpit which included some of the nonskid surface. The thing I did correctly was to thin the paint and roll it on with a very short nap roller. This prevented clogging up the nonskid pattern and destroying its usefulness. (Back)
Rot in the bulkheads is one of the more common problems in older boats and Grampians are no different. Since one of the chain plates attaches to the bulkhead, this can be a dangerous situation and requires the replacement of the bulkheads. A few questions?
- What's "acceptable" material.....is teak or marine plywood absolutely necessary or will regular treated plywood suffice?
- How thick....1/2, 5/8, 3/4?
- Mine (a '73) doesn't appear to have screws and/or any fibreglassing. Is epoxying acceptable? If epoxying is acceptable should I also expoxy along the hull side? Is there any reason to fiberglass along the hull side?
- I'd like to remove as much of the old bulkhead in tact so I can use as a template.......any pointers on best way to remove without causing further damage?
- Use 3/4" marine ply, teak or mahogany veneer each side
- The bulkheads are held in place with screws and not fibreglass or epoxy. You will find them behind the head, and across the top of the forward port locker. You will have to remove the centre top teak piece from between the bulkheads. This is a bit tricky but once you see the angle they used at the factory, it comes together and gets easy. You will also have to unscrew the shelving in the forepeak.
- You can loosen off the fore and backstays, and totally disconnect your front and rear lower shrouds, leaving just your uppers and slack front and back stays as mast support while you proceed to replace your forward bulkheads.
That will take any pressure off the cabin trunk roof and make your inside work a proper fit.
Don't forget - when you are all finished, always tighten up your fore and backstays much tighter than your uppers. They don't create the compression that the upper and lower shrouds do
- Remove the old bulkheads (both port & starboard) and use them as templates on your new 3/4" ply. Don't forget to use the old bulkheads as a template to mark where all the screws go back in.
- Cut out the new bulkheads, sand where necessary to get the correct fit, mount them into place with the screws, and you are good for another 15 to 20 years. (Thanks to Jim Quibell)
Unstep the mast, or at a minimum loosen all the tension off the shrouds and forestay and backstay, to reduce the load on the cabin trunk roof. This will allow it to spring up so the new bulkheads may be fitted better.
Make the bulkheads fit tight as possible into their space with the mast unstepped. The bulkheads are the structural support for the cabin trunk, mast, mainsail and boom, and all the tension on the shrouds, so you don't want any space for the trunk roof to flex downward before resting on the bulkheads.
Where there are woodscrews holding the bulkheads to the hull liner, replace them with stainless machine screws, washers and nuts. Drill through the liner and put the nuts on from inside the storage lockers.
Woodscrews into fiberglass are a one-shot deal and replacements don't hold very well.
You can use fiberglass tape (I believe it was 2" wide tape he suggested) and epoxy to "tab" the perimeter of the bulkheads to the hull liner. As these boats have all survived 30+ years without tabbing from the factory, this addition is optional. (Tips from Gill Bibby to Tim Nye) (Back)
Remove the 4 screws at the bottom of the bulkhead on the head or hanging locker side. It'll be necessary to
- How do you remove the forward bulkheads?
remove the head shelf which butts up against the bulkhead. It's necessary to remove the teak trim board that
bridges the port and starboard bulkheads.Should be able to remove bulkhead by pushing at bottom from v-berth side (may be necessary to "pry" off from
the v berth side by inserting flat blade (i.e., screwdriver) between bulkhead and locker).
There should be no screws or adhesive at top of bulkhead
- Special notes:The vinyl trim that runs along the top of the bulkheads contains wiring for lights on head and v berth side of the
port bulkhead.The trim piece that bridges the port and starboard bulkheads is secured by 4 screws (2 on each side) slotted
from the bottom and top.Carefully remove the bulkhead as you will need it as a template to construct it's replacement.
(Thanks to Joe Gilmore) (Back)
Go to Bulkhead Replacement for photos of one replacement project.
The question has been asked whether it is safe to sail with a stay attached to the toe rail if there is a problem with one of the stays (rotten bulkhead)? The general consensus appears to be that this should not be attempted under anything but emergency circumstances (lets go while sailing.) As one person stated, "If the toerail was strong enough, boat manufacturers would have saved the cost of chainplates by eliminating them long ago."
Question? I need a little help with my batteries.I want to hook up 2 batteries on my boat. I have the big switch that has 4 positions (battery 1, battery 2, both, off). The positive side is pretty easy to figure out, but do I take the 2 negative cables and bolt them together on the negative terminal bar?
Suggestions: That's the way mine are hooked up to the 4 position switch, but on reading more on the topic of battery switches I am finding that you definitely must have fuses in place. Many are not recommending the use of these switches any more.
There is a huge amount of current wiring information on the www.sailboatowners.com website. Go to the archives - type in "wiring battery switches" - mark "all" and stand back. You will be amazed at what will come up for you. West Marine also has wiring details on the on line catalogue under battery advisor.
Another site to check is www.amplepower.com They know 12 volt systems and have many wiring details on their site. (Jim Quibell)
Take a look here on the Grampian Links page and here for trouble shooting. Both are .pdf files. (Webmaster) (Back)
Question: I'm looking for advice on window replacement on my Grampian 23. I have one window cracked all the way across and "starred" at bolt/screw holes. This window leaks quite badly. Should replacement material be Lexan, Plexiglass or some other material?
Any advice regarding the fitting of the windows would be appreciated. The current windows are frameless - just sit on the outside of the openings overlapping by about one inch and held ( I think) by adhesive and screws. The screws go through the window and the fibreglass and into a receiving nut of some kind on the inside of the cabin. I think a lot of the cracking is due to these screws having been over-tightened.
Suggestions: I have experience replacing windows on sailboats and I think the most important aspect of replacing windows like these is to slot the mounting holes in the acrylic or Plexiglass. The fiberglass expands at a different rate and often cracks the window if there is a hole just large enough for the fastener. I also have a Grampian 23 that I recently bought and am going to fill the window opening and install
opening portholes with screens. A much more ambitious undertaking! (Dave Ruiz)
I've got the G26 that I did the windows on this weekend. I removed the old frames completely.....man did Grampian love to silicone those in. I reused the white weather stripping that covers the raw fiberglass edge. A bit of soap and water and they came clean. Once all the old silicone and goop of previous owner trying to stop leaks was removed I got down to a clean surface. I used tinted Lexan 3/16" thick. Lexan is more expensive than Lucite or Plexi, but Plexi suffers from clouding problems and Lexan is a bit more durable than Lucite. I purchased mine at a local glass shop and had them cut a rectangle shape. It is easy to shape with a 20 teeth/inch jigsaw and belt sander for final shaping. used the old frames to cut the shape. I made them about an inch wider and longer than the original frames. moving the frames accordingly to compensate for the oversize during tracing. I did this to cover any old marks from old window i.e. fading gel coat, I drilled holes every 6" around the outside. For sealant I used black glazing tape, this stuff is really sticky but doesn't dry out. I through bolted using 3/4" binder bolts (sometimes called Chicago Bolts). The screw goes into a tube that has a flat end with a slot, so that they are flat inside and out, I didn't want a nut on the inside. Don't over compress as you want the glazing tape to remain in roughly the same thickness, just snugged to the window and fiberglass. This took the weekend to do at the marina, a day/ side to get them out and prepared, then took my time getting them on so they looked right....plus the assorted break as everyone stops by to see what's up and have a beverage. oh well ...tis life at the dock!! At the end i let the hose run on them for about 15 min. and no leaks. Haven't had rain yet, but don't foresee a problem.
The G26 three slips down did the same thing last year except he didn't through bolt, he used 5/8" #10 screws and went through the gelcoat and into the core as he didn't want to see any nuts inside. He's had no problems, but I didn't like the look of the pan head screws and preferred the flat screw head of the binder bolts.
I got the binder bolts at Spaenar in Kitchener for $24/hundred. they were 61 cents each at the hardware store when I finally found them. They come in aluminum and plastic. In hindsight I should have got the white plastic heads for inside and the black plastic tube end for outside to blend with the tinted windows instead of all the silver buttons, but after screwing about 80 of these on I won't change them soon. (S. Piper)
Grampian never used silicone on the windows as you mentioned - they only used the grey butyl sealing material that was used as well by C&C and CS to name a few. You can still obtain the original butyl sealing material from Holland Marine in Toronto.
I notice that a few owners have chosen to use the screws, binder fasteners, etc. rather than replacing with the original material, but if it works for you - great. Replacing the windows is so easy when you use the original materials, and you can do all six ports in one day.
Plexiglas is the material that is recommended for port replacement. It doesn't scratch as easily as Lexan. Lexan is softer than Plexiglas, and Lexan crazes much more quickly than does Plexiglas There are a number of lengthy discussions on this topic on the various Grampian Forums site. (Jim Quibell)
Binder posts are not "accounting book" fasteners they are a description applied to a fastener in which a threaded portion screws into a tubed type nut that has a star or slot type crease on the top. You end up with a nut and bolt type fastener that has a smooth barrel with over sized caps for sealing. They are commercially available from most good industrial type hardware stores and are bought in boxes of hundreds. The sealant of choice is "Polyshim" from Tremco. This is a memory retentive extruded profile that will retain its shape and sealing properties for years. It is cheap and easy to apply and not messy. It will tend to weep in the heat. Do not over tighten the binder posts. Snug them just a little over finger tight and you will be able to adjust for years. As for the window material it is a matter of choice. Many really good plastic materials are commercially available and the durability and flexibility is largely a function of price. Nomex is ideal if you want t o dispense money or stop bullets. I re sealed the windows on my G30 over 6 years ago in the manner described and anticipate that they will see me out!
Some models' windows were fitted with an aluminum frame and some were not. Mine is not. Either way Polyshim is the sealant of choice. It is a non weeping extruded semi rubber compound that has an aluminum profile through its entire length. It amazingly retains the profile under most conditions that you might expected in North America. It is bought as a roll. You unwind it, press it gently to the gel coat and locate your window, tighten up the binder posts as previously suggested and "Voila!". Success. I think I used very small amounts of SikoFlex 291 on the outer sleeve of the binder posts as I installed them to ensure a water tight seal between the laminates. The advantage is low mess, nothing sets on you, and you can take your time and enjoy the job. Once you locate one or two binder posts you just proceed at your pace. I also use two parallel polyshim tapes around each window . Unnecessary, but I like a little too much at times.. No clean up, no leaks and home for lunch or out for a sail. I used the inside of the binder post to mount inside mahogany window trim which cleaned the entire job up very nicely Hope it works out for you. (Geoff Hearns)
As stated above, check the various Grampian discussion groups for other ideas and suggestions on window replacement and leak stopping. There are many if you search. (Back)
Question: What have owners done to ensure they have sufficient electrical power for long trips, especially if they want refrigeration?
I am a member of a sailing club that is all moorings and has no electricity at the docks. We are all cruising all the time as far as electricity is concerned. I have been working on my G26 simple electric system for 4 seasons and have come to the conclusion that a combination of solar panels, wind generator and motor alternator are ideal.
I have only 2 normal deep cycle batteries hooked up in parallel amounting to 55 amps max. With them I run my running lights, anchor light, auto helm, stereo, GPS, depth finder and start the motor. I do not light my interior with the main electrical system, I use solar patio lamps & cheap battery lanterns for my interior lights. I have a 15hp electric start Honda with a small charging unit. I only run the motor when leaving or returning to the mooring, going short distances (2 miles or less) or when the wind is against me so I am lucky to run it more than 50hrs a year. My main electrical energy re-supplier is a 15W solar panel that keeps my system topped up. My batteries have never been below 12v and are usually above 13.5v. My season is from late April to mid October and I use my boat every day for at least 4 hours. I believe it is possible to generate more electricity than your storage system can manage.
I bought my ICP 15W (1amp) solar panel on sale at CTC 3 years ago and it has worked like a champ. I start charging in late April when I launch and the unit keeps everything topped up until late October. I suspect topping up 2 batteries (30 amp/hr. each) is the unit's limit. I am on fresh water so I don't know what it would be like on the ocean.
I have 3 neighbors that built their own windmills to charge their massive 700 amp live aboard systems in boats that range from 36' to 50'. As near as I can tell to keep up with them and their refrigeration units the batteries necessary would weigh so much they would raise the waterline on my G26 about 1'.
Your battery bank needs to be protected with a regulator of some sort so it doesn't get over charged. You can charge a 12v battery up to about 14v before the battery starts to over-heat & breakdown. My ICP 15w solar panel is mounted horizontally off my stern pulpit with heavy duty aluminum accessory holders. Because I am on a mooring (same as an anchor) I don't have any neighbours or obstructions blocking the sun so I get maximum advantage of my panel. Several times this year my regulator (ICP Controller) cut power off from the solar panel to the bank because the panel was overcharging the 2 batteries. The regulator also shuts off the panel power when the motor is running.
If you are talking refrigeration for a cruising boat you might need to figure in your estimated amp hours according to the insulation value of your fridge box. That will tell you how big your battery bank needs to be and whether you need a windmill as well to act as an aggressive charger when the winds are good. (Brian Lumley)
I used a 15w ICP panel - I won it - Anyway the 15 watts would indicate a little more than an Amp of output so I was excited! In practice, however, Its output is more like 0.25 amps - I installed a meter & the 3sq ft panel takes up a lot of space - mine was somewhat helpful, but in the end it's just a sheet of glass & unfortunately didn't last the season. I also found that shadow really reduced output as well as anything covering the panel - a bird dropping is effectively a switch! For the money, it might be OK to trickle a boat that isn't often sailed, but as an effective power source the ICP panel is disappointing. The high efficiency panels that produce higher voltages and 75 watts are a different technology. I'm in Toronto too & our live-aboard guys look to wind power here. (John Waddell)
Ialso have the ICP 15W panel mounted on an arch I constructed off the stern pulpit. We run a Koolatron (sucks big amps) but with 2 deep cells can run it, the lights, water pump, and occasional TV for those rainy nights.. Panel keeps up for about 3 days without running engine so it's great for weekends.
We do 2 weeks straight often and between panel and occasional motor use we haven't had a problem. I have had previously not enough juice to electric start outboard, unplugged Koolatron and within 3 hrs had enough juice to start engine. If I had to get going sooner I could always pull start. (S Piper) (Back)
Keel rust is an ongoing problem with the Grampians that have cast-iron keels. Rust spots and worse are common leading to many questions on what should be done to prevent an annual repair job. While it is unsightly while the boat is on the hard and if you are a serious racer may cause some drag in the water, for most of us it may be a case of "out of sight. out of mind" and the keel will never rust away in your life time.
For those of you who do want to effect a more permanent fix to the rust problem, here are some ideas:
- There is a full description of the treatment recommended by one owner at this address: http://www.grampianowners.com/Links/Keel_Rust.pdf
- From Briggs Monteith, "I had some rust spots on the keel, I worked in a boat yard at the time, and the painter recommended sand blasting the entire keel, priming it with epoxy primer( us paints 545 epoxy primer was what I used), then I scuffed the primer with 180grit sandpaper. Then I filled it with epoxy filler (not bondo) west system epoxy has an excellent product line. then I sanded that smooth and primed it again with epoxy primer. Then I applied bottom paint. It took two weekends!"
- From Tim Nye: "In addition to what Briggs said about sandblasting, if you're just touching up smaller spots, you can use an angle grinder.
Grind off all the loose and rusty stuff until you're down to bare metal surrounded by good paint. If the iron surface is too rough for the grinding wheel to get into the nooks and crannies, you can get wire cup brushes (~$15-20) for the grinder that will clean out the pits much better.
The epoxy primers seem pretty good. I heard a guy from Interlux talk once, and he said you want to get the primer on within a couple hours because the bare metal will start to oxidize in the air and will make the coating less effective.
Since you're grinding old bottom paint, I'll suggest a good dust mask, tyvek coveralls, eye protection and washing good afterwards"
I sail in Lake Huron, a large fresh water lake. I do not have your problem, but I am a consultant and I specialize in erosion, corrosion protection in the Petrochemical and Nuclear Power Industries. It is how i make my living.
Salt water posses serious problems in corrosion protection. To do the job so it does not reoccur, means a series of steps.
Typically to solve a corrosion problem completely, this is what must be done. I will give you the text book way. In reality, it's done with short cuts ( that I also know)
The sub straight must be blast cleaned using only an angular grit blast to achieve a profile of 3 to 5 mil. In salt water this usually has to be repeated. The sub straight must then be degreased using acetone or MEK. Do not use Varsol or paint thinners. They leave a residue. Once you have achieved your profile it is imperative you apply your coating within 4 hrs. of blasting. Oxidation immediately starts again when you blast clean. If you leave it, the areas of oxidation that are now forming, now become potential areas for failure. What you are trying to accomplish is completely encasing the keel, so no oxidation can take place.
It is a lot of work, but it does work. To help I would like to make the following suggestion. When you grind try if you have the tools, to grind at a slow speed. High speed grinding has the tendency to want to polish the keel. What you want to do is create a surface that what ever you put on has a chance to anchor its self to the lead. This is what the blast profile creates. But for sure, use acetone or MEK to clean the surface before you apply any coating. It is easily brushed on and helps dramatically improve a successful application of any coating going on. This step takes no more than 10 minutes and will only cost about $ 6.00 in acetone. Money well spent. (Greg Faubert)\
One approach that seems to work pretty good is to use a rust converter on the iron before applying more epoxy coats. Things like Ospho or Rustoleum Rust Reformer. They are available in paint departments of hardware stores.
They convert rust into an inert black oxide material that seals the surface. The great feature is that you don't have to sandblast or grind out all the rust pits -- you just need to remove the loose rust and paint over the rest. This coating seals the iron surface completely, then the epoxy goes on to protect the coating (Tim Nye)
Using information gathered, I've found that that the active ingredient in some of these agents is phosphoric acid, that when applied to rusting iron converts the rust to a ferrous phosphate layer which adheres to the iron tightly and inhibits rust formation thereafter. (It also converts the iron, but more slowly; rinsing with water and/or a mild base stops the reaction). Other such preparations are Naval Jelly and Rust-X. The resulting layer is stable and can be painted. (Nick Evans) (Back)
Another annual task is painting the bottom of the boat to reduce marine growth on it. Here are the views of a few owners on this task on what to do and what to use. After learning the hard way my recommendation if you are using an ablative paint is to use less rather than more. Thinning the paint reduces build up and is cheaper.The harder the bottom paint, the harder it is to remove, regardless of how you do it. I am currently doing three, One is a 1997 Mac 26', I power washed it when I pulled it at 1850psi, wet sanded in about two hours and is prepped and ready. It had Petit Hydroseal on it a water based bottom paint. It also had been in the water for the last five years and had a huge growth of danzella on it, hit it with the power washer and stink, man it would stink.The second boat was a 2002 Catalina 25', again with Petit Hydroseal on it. Dealers like the Hyroseal due to it being a water base and cheap. Anyway, again a power wash at 1850 and a couple of hours wet sanding and it's ready, in fact it's finished, about 10 hours start to finish. The Mac is not painted yet as it is a swing keel and that takes longer anyway with all the back crawling.The third is a real basxxrd! It is a 93 Hunter 27', it has been painted several times, had never been sealed. I pulled it, power washed it and low and behold, blisters, blisters and more blisters. The first bottom was done by the dealer, the remaining jobs done by a local "professional shop", it was sprayed, not rolled, never barrier coated. You can see the different layers as you sand. Now with this one I have been fighting weather a little, the first two. One I prepped in the fall and have the keel off for other problems, the second I did about 10 days ago and weather was grand, the final one I have had bad weather days to do it. In fact Sat we had winds 40 with gusts over 45, air temps in the low 60's. Not good weather for wet sanding and stripping three coats off. So yes I had to use the old method, the DeWalt DA, SMURF time. It took two hours to strip the keel, will keep you posted on the progress. The first layer came off pretty easily, the remaining two not so fast, still working on them, wishing for a warmer day. This boat ended up with over 450 blisters, three layers of bottom paint and will be just plain more time intensive.Last fall I stripped an epoxy job, due to the colder weather did the DeWalt thing, it took about 60 hours and about a hundred bucks in discs, strippers wouldn't touch it.Also the paper and grit are important. It seems that all the cans say, sand with 80Gt in preperation for paint.Well most of the wet sanding I use is with 100 grt wet or dry, the dark gray stuff, it is better paper than open coat and lasts longer. Two of the above boats I used less than half of an 8.5X11 sheet of paper. For the epoxy stirp job it took probably 100 discs. If I have a really hard one, I will move to 80 grt wet or dry, have never had to go coaser.For dry sanding, I use a tyvex suit, positive pressure resperator if I can, a two stage if I can't, and a DeWalt 6" DA(dual action) sander. The grits I use for this range from 120 to 40, yes 40. If I have to use 40 like on epoxy I hit it fast and keep moving, then move to 80 for a final sand, I use 120 on the leading and trailing edges. This is an area that cuts really fast. You will develop a touch and each boat is a little unique due to age, number of coats, type of paint etc. and you will do the little things a little different,Bottom line, your method has to match the bottom and the weather.Wet sanding advantages, cuts fast, no dust to breath, gives you great pecs and arms. But you need a little warm weather here, in a short sailing season this may be hard to get. It also is pretty forgiving unlike dry you can cut the gel coat pretty fast if you get the DA cocked. I prefer it when I have the weather as I have experienced some of the problems associated with it, got blue sinus, even got my liver out of whack once, respritory stress etc.Chemical stripping can be done on the gooey ones like VC Tar, the paper just loads too fast to get anything done. Fumes can be toxic and have long term negative effects.Blasting also works for the VC Tar, is quick, easy but can be expensive, I would NOT do sand, would only do soda blasting but personally would only do it on Tar, never a paint. Dealers like it because it's fast.What ever method you use, think your health first.I do every bottom like it was my bottom. I used to work on this old guys little fishing boat, he's dead now, but he loved that boat. He never made a great deal of money and that little 16' fishing boat was his yacht, it was spick and span always. One of my guys got a little sloppy with it and spilled some anti-freeze on it, it really pee'd me off. He said, "well it's just an old fishing boat", I said yeah but it is his yacht, it's all he can afford, he takes impecable care of it, he's 80 years old and that is to last the rest of his life and you will respect it and him or you ain't working for me, on second thought your fired. One' mans ghetto may be another mans mansion, we got to respect one another.Well, anyway, no one tool or method works for every situation, try what you know but don't be afraid of making a little change. The one boat I was using 60 grt, was going slow, went to 40 and bang things got twice as fast. Have seen it go the other way, go to a lesser grit and iproved speed.It just takes time, let the paper do the work and as was in the movie Karate Kid, wax a on, wax a off, wax a on, wax a off, build those pec's and arms, take up a new hobbie, like arm wrestling. (Ken Cox, O'Day)
Ok, a couple of things you may initially disagree with, but while I was at Strictly Sail in Chicago I went pretty much head to head with some factory guys and have changed my opinions on a few things and believe me I don't change what has worked for a long time for me easily.Here are some thoughts. First, VC-17 is an excellent paint, second I will never use it again!Reason being I can get as good of a bottom with the two upper end Interlux products, one is for salt water and one is for fresh. You can get as smooth of a bottom, it will last multiple years and will burnish as smooth or smoother. You can touch up easier, do a larger build up for less cost, don't need to do every year, indicator layers and more. The difference in VC-17 and the top end products could not I bet be measured in performance on the race course, you can make more time up by saving tons of hours doing bottom paint and having more time for rig maint. and time to practice and reduce errors on the course. You would lose more time in a blown tack than the difference you have with VC-17. My race boat is not kept in the water but inside and covered, it is performance waxed before every race by my crew.Third I wlll never use the 2000 series epoxy product of Interlux(I did three last year), I like this stuff and have used it for years and will never use it again. Here is why, it refers to micro plates. I don't have a catalogue or can in front of me so a little memory work here. That chemical is the vein dust out of granite that is used to ABSORB and channel the water out of the stone. It will also fracture and fail and still give the possibility of a local blister, but does reduce the possibility of large scale multiple blisters.The Interlux bottom paint doesn't HAVE to be sprayed but it could be. I think you get better build up by rolling and then you can burnish it better. I think if you spray it you get a cheaper thinner job. I used to have a competitor that sprayed bottom paint, he did a lot of jobs fast and cheap but had to do them more often. I would almost guarantee you that if you spray it you waste a major portion that never makes it onto the boat and is paid for and lost, now with it thinner if you burnish there is less to burnish and you will re-coat sooner.Now for what I think is the final items, blisters and barrier coat. I will take them one at a time. Blisters, three options, take the one you like they are all epoxy. Marine Tex, two part Epoxy, sands easily, easy to work with. Interlux, I think the part number is like 402 & 403, it has recently been reformulated, not as good as the old product, thinner, sags more in a 24 hour time frame, harder to sand, can cross contaminate, must be purchased in larger quanity and most of the time requires two layers, that shoots a week end all to hell. Final choice, West or MAS Epoxy, tricker to mix with fillers, be careful to get the right filler, glass fibers can cause major lung problems, hardest of them all to sand and fair.Barrier coat. This is the one that will make you think but think it through before you disagree, because I argued to great length here at the boat show. I no longer use Interlux 2000 series because there is a better product, West Systems or MAS. I prefer MAS, the reason being, less thermal build/distortion and no amine blush. I have used West for years for many things but not barrier coat, late last year had to use MAS to finish a repair job as I couldn't get West in time to complete on time. I used the MAS and it is more user friendly, 2-1 is easier to use in small quantity's than 3-1, as least for me. Don't have to have the pumps that fail waste product etc. I also no longer use Acetone to clean fiberglass. This also leave a residue that has to be cleaned and now I use thinner. I no longer will use Imron paint either. My lungs say thank you. Pigment can be added to MAS for color. The MAS can be sprayed but I wouldn't, it will require two people, one to roll and one to tip, would get in area's not wanted, overspary etc.. You must also not get in joints like the rudder to hull. You must also remove the tape faster so as not to get it hardened in. I also think the product cost for a MAS barrier coat will be cheaper than the Interlux but haven't put a pencil to it. I could give more reasons but this should cover it.Your local Boaters World has the MAS, in fact they have discontinued the West line. (Ken Cox, O'Day)
In the past I have used a grinder on the keel to remove rust. This last year I had a fellow come and sandblast the bottom as well as the keel. In my opinion, the only way to go. It took about 30 minutes for all the old paint to be removed from the bottom of my 26 footer. I went to the Interlux web site and decided on using Primicon for the base coat and Micron for the finish. October the boat will be hauled for the winter and if the paint is still attached to the bottom, I will be a very happy Grampian owner. Fairing the bottom and keel did take some time. The keel isn't symmetrical because when it is poured the one side of the keel doesn't match the other side. I use 3M Premium Filler for this job. Where the keel meets the hull, I use Sikaflex. you might want to ask Jan Mundy at DIY Magazine, about having the bottom peeled. It sounded interesting but I decided to follow a more traditional route.
I did run into one problem at launch time in the spring. I thought the bottom paint had dried and therefore allowed the hull to sit on the support pads of the cradle. When the crane lifted my boat to put it in the water, one of the pads was stuck to the hull. It took a lot of effort for the pad to be removed. I would be interested if any one has a solution for this problem. It sure makes you gulp when you see the fiberglass bulge when the pad is removed, I was surprised I didn't end up with a portion of the bottom torn off the hull. (Seventstoo - Delphi) (Back)
Where do I find the Hull Number?
On most Grampians the Hull Number can be found on a small brass plate in the cockpit by the cabin entrance/companion way. On some boats it is actually etched onto the transom of the boat. On a G30 it has been reported as being etched low down on the Port side near the exhaust.
It can be in at least a couple of different formats that I have heard reported. The most common has the format GRMsshhhmmyy where GRM is the builder, (GRaMpian), ss is the model (size) of boat, hhh is the hull number and mmyy is the month and year the boat was built. It has been reported that boats built in Canada may have the prefix ZRM and this is in fact registered to Grampian by the US Coastguard http://www.uscgboat
ing.org/recalls/. No one has ever reported seeing this prefix however. mic1.aspx
Some owners have reported, especially on older boats that the number on the plate is just sshhh with the same interpretation as above. The hull number can often also be found on the mainsail, especially if it is original. Many owners have had it placed on new mainsails also.
I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has found a different format or position for their HIN.
Ice Boxes and Refrigeration
Owners have questioned what others do for keeping food cold and how best to utilize their Ice boxes and whether refrigeration can be installed. Here are a few suggestions from owners:
The evaporator part of this little item from NorCold
will fit in the G26 icebox nicely (the big one in the cockpit). You still have to find a place to stick the compressor, but it will go either in the adjoining locker/lazarette, or if there's no inboard then where that would be. Have to arrange for ventilation of course. I got one and would have installed it but found a 2nd hand top loading freezer/frig that fit in the pilot berth for much less money. However, since I had already insulated the icebox with a combination of blueboard and expanding foam it will now keep ice for several days in summer (Gulf Islands area off Vancouver Island - doesn't get super hot here).
Some P.O. had already installed a small icebox accessible through the galley counter, but there's not enough space there to do much. Can't see how you could get any more out the storage behind it either. Since the cockpit icebox is such a monster you should make the most of it (Nick Evans)
On Haefen, a G28, one of the previous owners took parts from small bar fridge and installed them in the icebox. The compressor is in the lazarette along with the heat exchanger and then the pipes are put through a small hole into the ice box
and connected to the cold plate (the ice box on a G28 has access from the galley and from inside the lazarette). The whole thing is plugged into the shore electrical - so when I am in the harbour I get ice against the cold plate and refrigerator temp on the far side - whole thing keeps good and cold for a day of sailing when off power, and way cheaper than a "marine"
unit if you know how to solder up the pipes and refill the refrigerant....(Liam Donworth)
I installed refrigeration in the ice box itself. The ice box on the G30 could be used for another state room. I divided it off with a vent hole to pass cold air from the freezer section to the forward fridge compartment. We went on a three week trip and it worked pretty good.
Don't think I have any pictures of the install but it was just two plates you put inside the ice box then the compressor I installed on a shelf in the starboard storage area, which is also huge. (Bob & Sherry Whittall)
There has been discussion on the Yahoo Discussion Group as to how to best clean your hull and what is the best product to use. Here are some of the suggestions. (The Grampian Owners Marina Website does not endorse any specific product.)
I use a product called Aqua Buff 2000. it will clean up the original gel to new, Its easy to use and works great with an orbital buffer at slow speeds, then give it a good coat of wax and it looks like new gel;
I use Collinite hull cleaner No 920 (apply with a damp cloth) and follow up with Collinite wax No 845. Labor intensive but well worth the outcome. Our yacht club members thought we had purchased a new boat.
You might want to consider Poly Glow, it is applied easily and does not require buffing. Check it out at http://www.poliglow-int.com. We've used it for years and are very happy with it
Cooking on Board
Another discussion on the Yahoo Discussion Group has been on how and what to cook on board with limited space and resources. Again, here are some of the suggestions made:
Arrange running water at the sink & use the bottom of the conk stove lid (formica on my boat) as additional counter space by setting it on the quarter berth.
Don't know what you're talking about. The galley in my GC31 has more counter space than the galley kitchen in my post WWII kit home in suburban Maryland.
I have to agree, the galley on our 2-34 had more counter space than our first apartment! Add in the propane 2 buner stove with oven and we had no problem cooking anything we wanted. For a while we were cooking out of the weightwatchers cookbook as (oddly enough) we found that a lot of dishes in there didn’t need refrigerated ingredients!!
Since we only have a propane stove on our G30, my wife and I like "The Two Burner Gourmet: The Cookbook for Cooking Far from Home" by Terry Searfoss. As the title suggests, it has recipes for boating, camping, etc. See http://www.amazon.com/Two-Burner-Gourmet-Cookbook-Cooking/dp/0964373300. We ran across this some years ago at a boat show where the author was demonstrating (and promoting his book).
Another book to look at is One Pot Wonders by James BeardWe have a simple 2 burner unpressurised alcohol stove which is less hot than propane or diesel/kerosene, but works fine and is totally safe. On our G26 the cook/mealprep space is increased by an extension from the built in galley to a shelf extending aft from sink about 2 ft towards the so-called 'pilot berth'. Use folding shelf supports to hold it up, and stow stuff underneath. Don't use the berth as a berth, but for stowage - in our case a top-loading, slide-out fridge-freezer
Check out a cook book called, the Two Burner Gourmet - The Cookbook for Cooking Far from Home.. Written by a deceased friend, and Great Lakes Sailor, Terry "Foss" Searfoss.
The mast just sits in that big aluminum channel between the bolts. It's a little surprising at first but she will sit there happily for many miles if the rig is tuned well. And tuning the rig is the question I think most people have because just stepping the mast is pretty straight forward. I do remember being fairly apprehensive before stepping my mast for the first time but I needn't have been because the marina guys had done it a hundred times and helped me out quite a bit. It all goes from a loose, floppy mess to a steady, standing mast pretty quickly and you'll notice your mood will do the same.Of course you will have done all the prep work:
- make sure all the lights are working
- set all your sail and flag halyards
- radio antenna in place, Windex set and tightened
- wires labeled so you can connect them quickly
- special coin ready to place under the mastI always loosen the turnbuckles to the point of just about falling off so that when connected and tightened the studs pull into the body evenly from both sides. This probably has more to do with aesthetics than functionality but it just looks right. Lube the turnbuckles so everything turns easily. Once things are firmly hand tight or better, the mast isn't going anywhere and you can move the boat away from the crane if need be. If they let you stay and tighten everything up right there, so much the better.As for tuning the rig, a lot has been written on this. I pasted one write-up I found online below. If you like being precise and exacting, you will want to buy or borrow a tension rig gauge though it can be done without one. Having a second person on the opposite side of the boat matching you turn for turn is a big help. The write-up below wasn't written for Grampians per se so there are a few bits that don't apply:
A Mast Tuning Guide - The Light Version
Mast tuning is simple if you remember a couple of basic principles. If you understand these principles, you can tune just about any mast.
The first principle, and probably the most important, concerns tuning the mast athwart ships. The diagonal shrouds, lowers and intermediates, always pull the mast to weather at the spreader where they terminate. The spreaders, on the other hand, due to the compression from the wires going over their tips, push the mast to leeward. In order to tune a mast, you need to establish a dynamic balance between "pull" of the diagonal and the "push" of the spreader.
The second principle is that the length of the headstay controls the rake of the mast, i.e., the amount that the mast is aft of plumb in the boat. Masts, in general, should always have at least a small amount of rake, they are usually designed for one to two degrees of rake. The feel of the helm is the ultimate test of the rake. Making a mast more vertical will help weather helm and more rake will help to correct lee helm. This is a bit of a simplification, but after all this is the "light" version of mast tuning.
The third principle is that most masts should have a slight "prebend" over their length with the headstay firm from a minimum of backstay load. Prebend can be visualized best by stretching the main halyard down the aft face of the mast. The maximum distance that the back of the mast is in front of the halyard is the prebend (you should take into account any offset that the position of the main halyard sheave causes). Prebend can be attained by tightening forward lowers, chocking the mast forward in the collar at the deck, moving the mast step aft (on a keel stepped mast), or lengthening the headstay. The amount of prebend varies from about 1" for a single spreader deck stepped mast to 6" for larger keel stepped spars.
The last principle concerns the amount of tension in the rigging. As a general rule, when the rig is fully loaded up (top end of the #1), the leeward shrouds should be beginning to appear to slacken. They can be deflected by hand, but not swinging loose. This will approach optimum general rig tension for most normal boats. Individually the wire tensions should be higher in the lowers and uppers than in any of the intermediates.
The tuning sequence that has worked the best for us is to start by centering the spar in the boat athwartships with the uppers. We tighten the uppers slightly. Next the lowers are adjusted so that the mast at the lower spreader is centered on the masthead. Sighting up the sail track is the best way to determine this. If the mast has multiple sets of spreaders, then the intermediates are adjusted next starting at the upper spreader. When the mast looks to be in column from the deck to the tip, then rig tension can be applied (chock the mast sideways and fore and aft now if it is a keel stepped mast- make sure the step position is correct for the required prebend). We add additional tension by adding equal numbers of turns to each side of the turnbuckles in the same sequence that we first used. Make sure that the turnbuckles are lubricated with heavy lubricant to prevent galling and damage to the threads. Check to see if additional adjusting of the shrouds is necessary as you add tension to the rig. Check the headstay to see if the rake of the mast is correct. Check the prebend. Tension the backstay and see if the mast remains straight under load. That should conclude the dock tune portion of the setup.
A Few Hints
1. If the tip of your mast seems to fall off, and your uppers are fairly tight, try loosening the intermediates.
2. Check the rake of a mast by tying a heavy object to the main halyard and measuring the offset from the back of the mast. Subtract any sheave offset present.
3. Make sure to do the final tuning of the mast when sailing. Make sure that the mast remains straight athwart ships. Check that the mast bends forward in the center (the reason for prebend).
4. Check to make sure that the bottom of the mast is square athwart ships, and for a keel stepped mast that the mast is straight through the deck. If it is not, the mast will be forced into an S bend that is impossible to tune out. We usually tune a keel stepped mast with the deck chocks out and shim the mast sideways after the mast is straight athwart ships. Mast steps and mast collars are rarely exactly on the centerline of the boat.
5. Use a steel tape run up the pole lift or main halyard to get the mast vertical in the boat.
6. Always pin and tape turnbuckles and cotter pins after tuning. Be sure the cotter pins are taped so that the sharp ends are covered to protect people and sails.
Well, there it is, twenty-five years of experience condensed into one and one-half pages. Now you should be ready to tackle tuning any mast. In fact, I hear there are some openings for riggers for the next America’s Cup.
Buzz Ballenger, Pres.
Ballenger Spar Systems, Inc.
Another Forestay Fitting Failure: One of my customers brought this casting in last week. This is a replacement for the original casting and it lasted a mere 2 weeks.
As you can see, not only did the chainplate portion fail but the casting also chipped where the front leg of the bow rail is inserted. I think there is only one conclusion to be reached, someone has gone into the business of re casting these stem heads and is using the wrong alloy. During the days when Grampian was building boats ,they used a foundry down on Front St in Toronto. The alloy they were using was Almag 35 which was used specifically for it's strength. My guess is that someone is using a utility grade aluminum and are not aware of the dangerous situation they are creating. (Stainless Outfitters)
You can find more information concerning Forestay Fitting Failure on the G26 and G30 FAQ pages.
Fall is the perfect time of year if your boat is covered to expose any wet areas and let them dry during the winter months. On the days its -2 and up on sunny days the temp. under the tarp is a lot warmer and will help with evaporation.
How big is the area to be fixed? On my G28 I fixed an area approx about one square foot around the mast step where the previous owner just drilled holes for the VHF and mast wires and sealed them with I hate to say, silicone. Needless to say this led to my project. This was part of my full deck restoration and subsequent awl grip paint job.
You need to take out as much of the saturated core as you can. Plywood will hold it's integrity to some degree however the more saturated it is the more compromised it becomes. Mine was 100% saturated and still firm (I could actually squeeze water out.)
How I fixed it:
Read step 9 first.
1) drill a series of 1/2 inch holes (you can go smaller if you can remove the core but the larger holes make it easier to remove the core) as close together as possible 1/4-1/2 inch apart (using a spade bit in reverse until you are through the glass and into the wood this prevents the gelcoat from chipping) and only piercing the top layer of gelcoat/fiberglass and the core. Leave the bottom layer of glass so go slow. while probing the core as I went with a dentist pick. Remove as much wet core as possible. Generally the water will come in through anywhere the deck has been penetrated and not properly sealed and will over time spread mostly through gravity but some will wick in all directions.
2) use an Allen key or sharpened nail bent 90 degrees in a drill to remove as much of the wet core from the area and around each hole (not as easy with plywood as apposed to balsa). Try and remove as much core under the top layer of glass around each hole.
3) bevel the edge of each hole with a dremel tool. I did approx 30degrees
4) place a halogen work lamp directed at the wet area not too close if you are leaving it unattended it shouldn't get hot to touch but warm (make sure your insurance is up to date haha). Halogen works best but be careful. Leave this as long as you can if the boat is covered until you must seal it up. I'm in Ontario Canada so mine was drying for half the year haha. The longer the better.
5) cover up anywhere you went through the bottom layer of glass from inside with tape. A good strong tape is heat shrink tape and epoxy doesn't bond to it.
6) pour just enough resin (no hardener) into the holes to coat the remaining core. Work it into all the voids with your gloved finger. Let it sit for awhile. An hour or more (maybe not necessary?) but you want it to soak into the remaining core.
7) mix up enough epoxy with hardener to fill your area. Mix in cabosil and cotton (you can get this at most marine stores that sell epoxy. Noahs in Toronto area) so that it is thickened to a light paste. Work in the epoxy until it comes out the adjacent holes. Make sure to work it into all voids and work out any bubbles. you can use a large bore syringe to squeeze it in. It's important to fill the entire area with no voids. It's ok if the epoxy is coming above the holes since it will shrink a little as it cures and you can always sand it down after. I used a wooden stir stick courtesy of Starbucks to work it into the holes.
8) once the epoxy has cured you can sand the epoxy flush to the deck.
9) I was lucky since I was painting my decks afterwards so that as long as the deck was faired out smooth I was ok. You'll have to decide how to cover these repairs be it paint or attempt gel coat. Or you can leave them since I hear girls dig scars? At least at this point it is dry and structurally sound.
Note: it is possible to do this from the inside and not piercing the top layer however it is difficult to work with the epoxy upside down and also the location inside. This will be less noticeable if you are worried about the covering and paint.
This may seem extensive but there really isn't a quick and easy way to repair this. It took me approx a total of 5 hours combined to do this so not that bad. I hope this was clear enough and didn't confuse you. (ANTEUP II Mike Ante)
Might I suggest anyone who is looking at doing this kind of work invest in a copy of Don Casey’s book “This Old Boat” I bought a copy and it’s full of good methods for just this type of repair. It looks as though a second edition has come out since I purchased it so I may go and buy a second one myself.
Just posted a soft deck repair video on Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/captnpauley (Paul Esterle)
18. Contact Cement Removal
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to remove contact Cement from fiberglass? I'm trying to get ready to re-tab/tab some shelves and bulkheads to the hull and I have removed the carpet and it seems as if grinding doesn't do much other than clog up grinding disc and sand paper. (Briggs Monteith)
I've heard there is a 5200 remover available. Maybe that would work on your contact cement removal (Tom Roberts).
We've had success with adhesive removers like "Goo Gone" and "Goof Off". I found them in the paint department at Home Depot. One was water based and the other solvent based. Some old sticky gunk came off with one, other gunk with the other. (Tim Nye) (Back)
19. Washer/Rudder Assembly
I have a Grampian 30. I noticed the other day (after the nor'easter blew through NC) that a brass washer has split and broken away from my rudder assembly.
It goes on the floor of the cockpit (horizontally) where the rudder shaft comes through the boat. It seems to be a washer (1/4 inch thick) between the shaft and tiller connection.
The washer is split in two pieces. How important is this piece? Where can I get another (what is it called so I know what to ask for?)? And how to reinstall it without removing the rudder shaft? (Timothy Hickman)
If I recall correctly, there should be a pin through the rudder post that sits on this flat washer. I think this is the main device that holds the rudder onto the boat! check out http://www.grampianowners.com/G30/faq%20G30.html (Dan Sundy)
The only washer for the rudder on my G30 is steel, goes on the rudder post and, above that, a pin goes thru the post to secure the rudder when the tiller is removed. Without the washer, the pin would ride on the cockpit floor (which of course is not sturdy enough without the washer to protect it). From memory, both the pin and washer are about 3/16 to 1/4 thick/diameter. Is this the washer you are referring to? If so, you probably have to get a machine shop to fab one. (Bob Weiber)
We have a G26 and it sounds like the arrangement on your G30 is the same.
As Dan said, there is a cross pin through the rudder shaft that rests on this washer and bears the weight of the rudder. Without it, the tiller head casting is all that holds the rudder on the boat.
As a temporary fix, I'd go to a welder and see if this washer can be brazed back together. If so, orient the repaired washer so the break line runs fore-aft on the boat centerline. This will keep the cross pin at 90 degrees from the break line to insure the cross pin will rest virgin material and not the repair.
I've tied a line to the bottom of the rudder and up to an aft cleat in order to support the rudder's weight while I took off the tiller head casting and cross pin. Of course, I've done this on the hard while you'll have to get wet, but I'm sure the water's warm where you are.
;-) I wouldn't try this in deep water, just in case.
Measure the washer while it's off, then try industrial bolt and nut places (check the yellow pages for "Bolts" or "Fasteners"). Try sailing hardware suppliers, too. They might be able to source something off the shelf. If you can only get something close, then take it to a machine shop for a quick job, or if you can't get anything like this, a machine shop can make a complete new one.
One warning though -- there are bronze bearings that might be available in this size, but some of these are made from metal powder that has been compacted and sintered (baked) together. This is great for a bearing since the porosity allows oil to move through the bearing, but these are weak and crumbly under heavy loads.
On our G26 the cross pin had cut through the washer and cut into the top of the rudder tube in the cockpit sole. As a fix I got a 6" square of 1/8" stainless steel sheet, drilled a hole in the center for the rudder shaft and countersunk holes at the corners for flat head machine screws, then bedded this plate onto the cockpit sole. I filed flats on one side of the ends of the cross pin and put the flats down to rest on top of this plate. This fix replaces the brass washer completely.(This repair method wasn't my idea by the way -- I found it on someone's webpage which I can't find now.) (Tim Nye)
I replaced the washers on my G30 last season. There should be 2 washers. One made of a white nylon plastic and the other made from stainless steel. Take the broken pieces to a marine machine shop and have them make you new ones. Alternatively you can measure the diameter of the rudder shaft for dimensions. The pin is what is holding the rudder on the boat. To remove this pin without taking the boat out of the water, tie a rope to one of the stern cleats, use a docking pole to place the rope under the rudder, then pull the rope tight and tie the other end to the other stern cleat. You should be able to lift the rudder's weight up off the pin by doing this allowing you to remove the pin. You may need to use a winch on each end of the rope as the rudder is quite heavy. The nylon washer should go on first with the stainless washer on top of it, then the pin. Use some water proof grease on the washers when you put them on.
If you don't have a shop locally, call Barry Schnur at White Water Marine in Port Huron, MI 810-987-4837. He made both washers for me. (Jeremy Thompson)
Re rudder - washer for G 30 and perhaps others. I had a bad system until a mashinist pal got a washer made of something called Tessa 4970, I think it is a sticky tape that he glued under a .015 ss washer which I stuck onto the cleaned deck, waterproof grease a .10 thick ss washer with ss welds acting as troughs for the pin and a shiny new ss pin to hold up the rudder. It is a smoothe turn and dose not rub against the gelcoat. (Hans Nita)
20. Tuning Your Rigging
How do I tension the rigging on my boat?
The first couple of years I had "Patience" I marked the turnbuckles when the mast came down so I knew roughly what tension to put on the next year. I have got a little bolder in recent years. What I do is tension all around hand tight and then equally tighten the upper stays. Next I check to see the mast is straight using plumb line and eye. If Ok I start tightening the bottom stays equally checking the mast that it does not develop a bend. How tight? That is the question. All I can say is that mine are tight and have no movement. I have read that when sailing the off wind stays should not be flopping around and should retain their shape. Mine are a little slack but I still feel the rig is tight enough. The one I am not sure about is the front stay. I just tighten that till it feels good!! (Ken Corbett)
Since putting out the feeler for tension info I had to get on with the job. Fortunately there are some pretty good guys in our club, one of whom had a tension setting tool. The literature along with the tool gave tension in lbs for the wire diameter and recommendations for the stays, though nothing on the shrouds. I set the front and aft stays at about 750 lbs, cringing as I cranked on the tension; the outers I set at around 500 lbs. The shrouds a little less. The literature mentioned that generally most people apply too little tension, being afraid of driving the mast through the deck or tearing out the chain plates. Nothing untoward has happened, the boat sails well and I have not had to make any adjustments so I guess the tensometer info was o.k. Under a heavy load, heeling over to the rail the outer stay remained taught while the shrouds had a little slack; the pro's said that was quite o.k., even perfect.
I too did what Ken mentioned, making note of the number of turns removed etc when taking off the mast last fall but folks around here said it doesn't work out because the structure of the boat changes just that weeny bit due to winter weather, and last years settings are not necessarily right to kick of in the spring. Makes sense. With the tool it's a breeze, the cheap variety costs around $70, and the one I was loaned, really excellent, is around $120. I highly recommend the tool if you can beg, borrow or steal one. (Ken Davies)
21. Tips on Deck and Cockpit Repair/Replacement
Here are some tips from owners on having to repair the deck or cockpit on a Grampian.
There are those who have re-cored their cockpit/sole, decks, and more. Sometimes it's fixed by drying and injecting epoxy into the old core. Sometimes it's a full removal of the old cockpit sole, and using supports, creating a new inner skin, adding a new core, then glassing the new core over, with the usual grinding and layering of new glass, etc.
I owned 1973 G-26 #583 for many years. The cockpit sole was fibreglass over 3/4" marine ply covered with a layer of epoxy at the very bottom.
I had some softness issues at the start, but after sealing up and redoing the rudder bearings etc. I was able to seal off the entire cockpit sole. Owned the boat from 2001 to 2014 and never had another soft cockpit sole. Once it dried itself out after the sealing, it was perfectly rigid again
I would drill a few holes half way through the cockpit floor from the inside. Be careful not to go all the way through. I would cut out a piece of plywood to act a a cockpit liner. Seal around the tiller and scuppers. Sail the boat for the rest of the summer. Then tackle the floor over the winter. By then the water should have squished out the holes. Personally since the cockpit is a small area I would not go with epoxy injection but some one who has experience would be better able to comment. I would save my repair time for rebedding the pulpit, the grab rails and mast foot so that further damage would not happen.
Is the entire deck of the Grampian 26 made with plywood core instead of balsa core?Yes - only marine ply and some hardwood pieces as backing for fasteners etc. No balsa on a G-26.
I recently removed all the balsa core from my cockpit floor and also the step leading into the companion way.
It was all soaked to the bone.
The replacement is half inch plywood and reglassed. It's a job, but with the right tools, ventilation, and good working gloves, it is well worth the effort. Closed cell high density foam would be ideal to use as the core, but it is expensive.
Plywood works well, just make sure you seal it well.
What if I use treated plywood for the core? I check on west system epoxy and they claim that the bond is as good as standard plywood.
I used pressure treated and regular polyester on a power boat. Be sure to buy it from home depot or similar where the plywood has been sitting in doors and is well dried out. Its also the moisture content that makes it less sticky. In the floor setting its not going to need a lot of adhesion anyway as force of t you standing on it is not a lateral force ripping it off. Did you drill a test hole from the inside?
I became the proud owner of a G28 late last season. I have since had to repair or replace every system on the boat. In the course of this work and the work on my 3 previous boats I can tell you with absolute assurance that you really want to do it right the first time!
I have had to do core repairs in the side decks and cabin top due to shoddy construction and misguided owner repairs. My side decks (coamings) were cored with standard plywood. They were completely rotten from end to end. The reason that marine ply is best for this work is that is is made up of woods that are very slow to absorb water and are naturally resistant to rot and the glues used are waterproof. Standard plywood will soak up moisture like a sponge and the glues are NOT waterproof. The result is delamination and core rot returning.
Who wants to do this cap twice? It's easy to say you'll do better that original but all you'd do is the same thing they did really.
The cost of a sheet of marine ply is not cheap, but it's not out of reach either. To do the entire cockpit would only require one sheet, would leave you with leftovers for other projects and would mean you did it right. If you love your boat, do it the right way. Avoid the redneck repairs whenever possible, you'll get more enjoyment out of the process and the results.
While I tend to agree the jury is still out on whether pressure treated is better than marine in some applications. For sure regular plywood is no good. I bought a boat and the guy showed me the invoice for a floor repair from redneck marine and tractor parts. It looked great. But I didn't care as I was going to strip the boat. After I stripped the boat I gave away the hull. I folded back the carpet to show the guy the new floor. It was totally delaminated and rotting after only 2 years since the invoice date. In my other application after 8 years I think pressure treated was the way to go. If I wanted to replace core I would consider divinylcell foam also as if marine ply were perfect we would be talking about something else :-)
I agree, foam is the best. however, if you do use plywood, marine grade or regular BC sanded. Here's how you can prevent delamination.
After you cut your wood to the shape and size you need, take an 8" sander with some 60 grit just to lightly take the mill off. then coat both sides with resin. I usually kick it off pretty hot so I don't have to wait too long for it to set up. this will seal your wood to prevent moisture getting in, or resin to seep down into the wood when you lay up your glass. (If your wood is not sealed, then when you lay up your glass some of the resin will seep into the wood while it is setting up thus allowing dry spots in the lamination, and in turn, delamination.)
Another thing, about using pressure treated wood. When I started building boats and working in boat yards doing fiberglass repairs more than 20 years ago, I was told by all the old timers to never lay up fiberglass to pressure treated wood. They told me it will delaminate. so, since I was learning a new trade by the best in the business, I have never tried to use PT wood in any of my fiberglass projects, or on any customers boats. Since I never used it, I will not dispute someone else's experience that they may post on here. I'm only sharing what I know. again, using the method I described in the beginning about sealing your plywood works very well. I have never to this day had a customer come back to me with any of my work delaminated.