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Old 03-30-2003
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6 year lay up

Hi there:
I just bought a catalina 27 that was out of the water for 6 years. It has an atomic 4 gasoline engine. Mostly in good shape.
The question, What to expect and also look out for in the prep this spring. Any must do''s or must not''s? Basically, any help to get me started is appreciated.
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Old 03-30-2003
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6 year lay up

Sounds like the engine is going to be your biggest headache. If the fuel wasn’t treated, or perhaps after that long, even if it was, you may need to go over the entire fuel system. You’ll have to get rid of the old fuel and clean out the tank. Just putting new fuel in there isn’t going to be an answer. The sludge won’t break down well and if the system should suck up some of it at an inopportune time, it could be disastrous! Rebuild or replace the fuel pump and carburetor and clean out the fuel lines and replace the filter(s). Spray carburetor cleaning fluid works well.

Go over the engine cooling system. Clean out the heat exchanger, if you have one and replace the water pump(s) impeller(s). On some engines, it’s possible to pump some lube into the pump shaft(s). Check all of the rubber and replace hoses as required. You may want to test or just replace the thermostat.

Change the oil and filter and replace the drive belts, plugs, wires, points, condenser, cap and rotor, and you should be all set with the engine. Check/change the fluid in the reverse gear and R&R the prop shaft packing gland. Lube the shift and throttle linkages.

Hook up a “Fake Lake” and run it up to check all of the systems and alternator output before you go in the water. You''ll want to re-change the oil and filter after this run up. You may need to replace the batteries too.

I think that you may want to uncouple the prop shaft from the reverse gear until the boat sits in the water for a while. Even fiberglass boats will “twist” after sitting ashore for a while and the shaft may need to be realigned to the engine after she settles back in her natural environment.

Of course there’s most likely going to be a need to replace or rebuild most if not all of the switches and breakers in the power distribution panel and lighting. Painting all electrical connections with petroleum jelly will help maintain good mechanical contact and keep corrosion in check. Bilge pumps should be tested and rubber diaphragms replaced as required. Potable water systems need to be cleaned and flushed.

Before you look at all of this work as perhaps a bit overbearing, just remember how much you’ll be learning about your boat. For the modern sailor, I don’t think there could be a much more unnerving situation then crawling out of the bunk at 2:30 AM to answer natures call and stepping into sea water up to your knees! When the crap hits the fan as it does, at the worst possible time, you’ll have a far better idea of what to do to fix It quickly and with less guess work.

Good luck!

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Old 03-30-2003
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6 year lay up

The good pirate covered a bunch of key points. To add a few more:

Plumbing system:
- disassemble and lube all seacocks,
-check all hoses and hose clamps,
-check for strainers that have been removed or disassembled
-grab and pull on all thru-hull fittings as they are often backed with wood blocks that shrink up as they dry out allowing the thru-hull to loosen from the hull.

-Check all swages for signs of cracking.
-lube all winches
-Check all chainplates and bulkheads where chain plates are bolted because in 6 years these would be prone to leak and rot out the bulkhead.
-Check all hardware for leaks and movement. Again in 6 years the caulk will have deteriorated and allowed rot in the deck core.
-check all halyards and lines in the mast. Internal chafe can just about cut through a line and it is easier and cheaper to replace a halyard or lift before it fails.

Engine: The pirate covered most of it but I don''t think, he suggested checking the exhaust system, including the waterlift muffler.

Unless someone had the foresight to check out and repair the sails, there will often be areas of the sails that have been chafed or otherwise damaged that might need attention when you commission the boat. My boat had been laid up for only a year and half or so before I bought her and the owner had taken the sails into a sail loft for repairs.

Ground tackle:
Things have a way of going wrong on a boat that has been sitting that long. Make sure the ground tackle is in good shape and can be used in a hurry.

That is all that I can think of right now.

Good luck,
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