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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-02-2004
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Need stainless bow railing

Yet another question! I''d contribute to the discussions, but I don''t know anything!

In an on-going attempt to give our boat a "nose job" I need a stainless bow railing. Anyone had a good experience with a manufacturer that will make custom railing? Anything in Florida, that I can drive and pick up?

Thanks in advance!

Paul g.
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2004
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Need stainless bow railing

Paul, where are you in Florida. I can highly recommend JTR in Gulfport (a suburb of St. Pete on Tampa Bay) but of couse it''s a big State...

You''ll find specialty shops around the country that offer marine stainless work and work with folks long-distance. Tops in Quality up in Michigan is one such example, and is capable of doing nice work altho'' the last report I heard (friend with a custom order this Winter) suggested they were slow and work had to be redone. However, for something like a bow pulpit, I''d prefer to work with a local outfit, cart in the old one along with your ideas and their experience, and enjoy a more iterative discussion before firming up the design.

JTR Enerprises (speak with Derek) 727 321-6321
(This shop used to do the Gulfstar, Morgan, Endeavor et al. stainless work when Derek''s father and uncle were running it)

Jack
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Old 03-03-2004
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Need stainless bow railing

Jack,

I am not yet in Florida. I plan to be there very soon,(next month or two)or as soon as my insurance company works out a settlement. We live in the Mid-West (Kansas specifically...Dorothy and Toto do not live here...) and that is where the fire damage to our ketch happened. So, my plan is to take this boat to Florida to do most of the work in a do-it-yourself boatyard and have professionals do the stuff I don''t want to attempt (Fiberglass repair, Awlgrip paint, etc) We have very good friends that took jobs on the Air Force Base in Jacksonville, so we may head to St. Augustine or around that area. Always helps to have sailing/maintenance friends around.

We intend to circumnavigate, so Florida could be a good place to get coastal sailing experience for a while and then "Jump Off". Just now though, our boat has damage.

I''d be interested in your opinion on my plan. Do you see any BIG mistake that may be making? (other than bringing a blue water boat to Kansas....that''s another story)

I will check into your suggestion for the bow railing, sounds like it could be my answer.

Paul G.
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Old 03-03-2004
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Need stainless bow railing

Paul:

Can you imagine some of the comments one might overhear in the cars on the Interstate as they pass your ocean-going, burned out ketch being hauled east...?

"We intend to circumnavigate, so Florida could be a good place to get coastal sailing experience for a while and then "Jump Off". Just now though, our boat has damage. I''d be interested in your opinion on my plan."

As I mentioned to another person perhaps two months ago, if you''re looking for a place to prep and test a boat before long-term, long distance sailing, I think Florida''s a great choice. The summer''s kinda tough and you should assume it won''t be as enjoyable or productive a time period as you might hope (get a window a/c unit in the companionway if you''ll be living aboard), but otherwise I think there''s much to recommend the location. Agreeable weather for seatrialing and coastal hops with prevailing SE or frontal systems at least 9 mos/year. An initial foreign cruising ground that''s not so foreign that you can''t get parts easily (PR, St. Martin, Trinidad are all especially easy) but the conditions will give both you and the boat a good shakedown that will also be fun. Depending on your timetable, you can take the express route (via Windward Passage and S then SW to the Canal) but that will eliminate most of the ''easy'' aspects of cruising in the Caribbean with a refreshed boat that might need some tweakingl. Hopefully, you''ll take longer and enjoy the E Caribbean before heading W to the Canal.

What I would suggest you rethink is Jax as a place to stop and work on the boat. The boating communities in the area are not near the coast, cruising options N or S in day hops aren''t especially abundant, and while there are some yards in the area, I''ve yet to meet someone who did what you''re thinking about doing and was glad they made Jax their choice.

Instead, if needing/wanting to be on the East Coast, I''d suggest you look at the Space Coast area, roughly from Titusville to the N down to Melbourne, all along the Indian River. Lots of yards, marina & yard costs decidedly cheaper than further S (Vero, West Palm and Ft. Liquordale) and, if you position yourself near Port Canaveral, you can zip out into the Atlantic whenever you want via one tame lock. Plus there are lots of cozy spots on the Indian where you can weekend. The Abacos are ''next door'' from Port Canaveral (altho'' the Stream does have something to say about that...).

We''re from St. Pete and I think it''s a wonderful place to visit by boat (even if the boat is in a yard...) so you might consider that, as well. The Salt Creek area has yards, vendors and such, and is roughly 1.5 miles from downtown St. Pete with its free park concernts, museums, street parties and generally pleasant setting; you even have free bus transport around the downtown area after a short walk from the yards. Seatrialing would initially be on Tampa Bay with some nice, peaceful cruising nearby on the Manatee River and then down to Charlotte Bay. If you can slip under a 48'' bridge, you can take the Okeechobee Waterway across to Stuart before heading for the islands.

Let me know how else I can help you sort things out...and good luck on the upcoming projects.

Jack
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Old 03-03-2004
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Need stainless bow railing

Jack,

Thanks for all your suggestions on my many posts. I really wasn''t sold on Jacksonville either. I figure that If I am gonna drag 16 tons of wood and fiberglass to the coast, I want to actually SEE the coast, maybe even walk upon it! We went to Satellite Beach this year and I really enjoyed the area. House-sat for some friends who live on the canals there. Cape Canaveral was great. I like that area. Have you spent any time in St Augustine? That was my destination up to now. I''d like Tampa as well. Been there for business once and liked it. Better sunsets maybe. Do you find that prices/people/boatyards are more reasonable on the west coast of Florida as opposed to the East coast? I do like the Titusville to Melbourne area.

One thing is for sure, we seem to be sold on Florida. A sailing friend told us about a place on the Texas Coast...Port Lavaca. He says they have livaboard slips for $3/foot or something crazy. Sounds good, wonder if it is true? Since the fire though, I may need the support of a really good boatyard, havn''t found one near Port Lavaca, TX. Maybe too humid there for fiberglass and awlgrip, but then where isn''t?

Thanks for the advice, I''ll start calling yard further south. We will spend a lot of time in the Caribbean. We are only 32 and aren''t in any hurry to stop sailing. We are gonna take it easy.

Paul G

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Need stainless bow railing

Paul:

"Do you find that prices/people/boatyards are more reasonable on the west coast of Florida as opposed to the East coast?"

In general, I''d describe costs as comparable. On the Space Coast, yards and vendors are stretched out along the Indian River and time & effort is required to source work. Most of the boatyards are solely work areas; trade skills beyond running a lift and painting a bottom aren''t "on staff" and you need to bring in your own vendor. Given your project, I''d definitely sort out vendor possibilities before locking in on a location. Were I in your shoes, I''d want to network with other sailors before selecting any given vendor (there are weak ones, as everywhere). The ECSA (East Coast Sailing Assn) is an active group of sailors with a monthly social calendar, weekend cruises, they meet in the Satellite Beach Civic Center (or something close to that name), and they''d be an excellent group to plug in with. Let me know if you want some contact #s for them.

Within Pinellas County, the yards and vendors are more ''clumped'' and center on either Salt Creek (near downtown St. Pete), Bodega Bay (near Gulfport and the ritzy Treasure Is. area at the S end of St. Pete) or up in Clearwater. There is an excellent Clearwater yard (from reports only, I''ve not used them) who''s name escapes me at the moment, but it is quite expensive and probably not what you are looking for. (I find Clearwater to be so jammed with traffic and strip malls, that it lacks appeal to us). I can give you a referral to a private vendor in St. Pete who is ABYC certified and an outstanding craftsman and mechanic, if you wish. You might consider talking with him about yard and shop recommendations for the work you wish to sub out. Let me know...

Have you got the time and circumstances to do a recon before making these decisions? When I''ve been in a similar situation and done that, I''ve been very thankful about doing so - there''s just nothing like putting feet on the ground.

Jack
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Paul, suggest you check out www.ecsasail.com when you have a chance.

Jack
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Old 03-05-2004
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Need stainless bow railing

Jack,

I think I could have time to take a trip, rent a car and check out several of theses places. I agree, they seem totally different on the phone than when you see them in person. I welcome a trip to Florida to look around and find what I need. My wife, who works in television news, could possibly find work in the Tampa area. That would be great. The Space Coast area is close to Orlando I think. That could be an option too.

I''d be interested in any contact information you want to share. Boat yards, sailing assoc. whatever. I am open to anything and every option right now.

I''ll go check out the website you suggest.

Thanks,

Paul G.
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Old 03-05-2004
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Need stainless bow railing

Paul, you might contact Patrick Halbert at 727 656-0250 when visiting St. Pete area. He''s very busy, and this is his work phone so perhaps setting up an after-hours or weekend call to talk ''yards'' would be the best approach. He''s a great guy and a real craftsman. He and I did a total repower on our boat so we spent a lot of time wrestling fun stuff.

The ECSA site will probably give you contact info for that area, but if not let me know and I''ll pass along a phone number on that coast.

Tampa has 4 affiliates (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) plus local and public stuff, and there is also a Sarasota TV affiliate. Orlando (the downtown part, where the stations are located) is a bit of a drive from the Space Coast - allow an hour or perhaps a bit more, without a snarl-up. Of course, who knows what the employment options are like in either of those markets right now...

Good luck on the search! While in/near St. Pete, be sure to check out Clearwater. I''ve been pretty negative on it but there are a lot of boats up that way.

Jack
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Old 03-23-2004
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Need stainless bow railing

If you are going to the Ft Lauderdale area you will find allot of boat outlets that offer a viriety of stainless products Pipe Welders does some fine custom work but they are not cheep. You also have the option of places like Sailorman which has good used or pulpits that were wleded up and the order was never picked up. If you do get around Clear water look up Rich Riddle at Ross Yacht Rich seems to know where allot of things can be found and is just a nice guy all around.
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