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  #31  
Old 01-28-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Now to grill Glenn.
Are you sure your leaks were hull-deck joint?
I read your book very fast so forgive me if I missed some stuff but did you remove everything from the deck and rebed.
Even some handrails or blocks mounted to the deck can let in a lot of water.

Also 5200 is considered the wrong stuff to use for bedding above the waterline.
You want something that stays soft and is not such a powerful adhesive.
The idea is that that a super adhesive like 5200 will not allow any movement and will actually cause things to crack someplace else and allow water in.
Someone will reference the appropriate thread for your next boat.
I'm not sure exactly where the water was coming in, except that it was not from the ten new bronze ports I installed. The deck and cabin top had plastic foam core. My theory was that this foam core was getting saturated somehow, probably from multiple sources, probably chiefly the hull-deck joint. Once the core got saturated, it "rained" inside the boat from hundreds of points! In the end, it seemed like the only thing left to be done was re-bed the joint, which requires pulling the deck off the hull with a crane. That, of course, requires taking the entire boat apart - rig, stays, lifelines, gunwales, EVERYTHING - in Mexico, and I was told it would not be any cheaper than having it done in CA, because the pace would be slower. Even after all that, there would be no guarantee of a dry belowdecks. I would not find out until I had sailed into the equatorial zone the following May on the way to the Marquesas and hit some rain squalls. Note: spraying the boat with a high pressure hose does not provide an adequate test. At sea, the boat is flexing and gaps open up that remain closed when the boat is tied to a dock.
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  #32  
Old 01-28-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

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Originally Posted by glenndamato View Post
I'm not sure exactly where the water was coming in, except that it was not from the ten new bronze ports I installed. The deck and cabin top had plastic foam core. My theory was that this foam core was getting saturated somehow, probably from multiple sources, probably chiefly the hull-deck joint. Once the core got saturated, it "rained" inside the boat from hundreds of points! In the end, it seemed like the only thing left to be done was re-bed the joint, which requires pulling the deck off the hull with a crane.
I've got to tell you that this is very disturbing.
1. A hull deck joint can cause significant leaks underway but not leak at dock.
2. There is no way to know if it will leak until you sail it hard on the wind in waves.

So is it just a luck of the draw?
I know there are some surveyors on this forum and some guys who have a lot of experience on these things.

Is there anything a potential buyer can do to not buy a boat with this problem unknowingly?
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  #33  
Old 01-28-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

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Originally Posted by glenndamato View Post
Jon: The issue that day was big swells knocking me backwards. The Serenity was full-keel of course but I could not sail close to the wind at all because both the wind and the swells were perpendicular to the coast. If you've tried to close-haul a Downeaster at sea directly against large, steep swells, you know what I'm talking about: the swells rob the boat of forward momentum and actually push you backwards across the bottom. I don't know exactly how far off I was, but I estimate my bow was fully 70-degrees off the wind and I could not make any progress away from the coast. If I came up, I lost rudder control. If I fell off, the wind pushed me toward the coast faster. Maybe someone with a lot of sail trim know-how could have (alone!) configured that boat to claw off, but I couldn't see how to do it. I needed to get the engine back.
I totally can see how that would work.
There is a rule of thumb to calculate how much a current will push you from your heading so can do the math in your head you don't have to chart it.
You take your speed and figure out how many minutes it takes to go one mile.
At three knots for example your go one mile in 20 minutes. You multiply that number times the current and that is how many degrees you will loose.
So if the current is 2 knots and your speed is 3 knots instead of being able to sail 45 degrees to the wind you will be lucky to get 85% off the wind.
But then if the wind is high you have to reef and a reefed sail is not as efficient so you might only be able to manage a beam reach at best and not be able to make progress upwind at all.

Now in the lee shore situation above there is no actual current but depending on the geometry of the bottom it makes sense that there would be effectively an onshore current caused by the wind and waves.

A reefed boat does not point very well, a full keel boat does not point that well. You can't get any speed crashing into waves. Every time you try to point up you hit a wave and the the boat stops.

So yes I totally can visualize the situation.
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  #34  
Old 01-28-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Thanks for the heads up on this book, david. It has a number of great reviews, and the fact that the guy is a "nerd" (I prefer, "techno-dweeb," myself) is a plus. Speaking of, this techno-dweeb picked up the kindle version.

That said, welcome aboard, Glenn. :-)
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Old 01-28-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

welcome to the site Glenn. As a future - inexperienced sailor, I look forward to reading this book and learning from your experience.
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  #36  
Old 01-29-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Thanks guys. I live in Marina del Rey, surounded by thousands of boats, brokers, you name it. I am seriously considering getting back into it. With the economy what it is, the deals are incredible.

David - I think the solution is to look for a boat that has been sailed off shore in all kinds of conditions sometime over the last few years, and then hunt for signs of leakage. If a boat leaks bad, it's almost impossible for the owner to cover up ALL the telltale signs. There will be heavy mildew under the cushions. The bilge may show watermarks high up. The lockers will look like they've been filled with soggy mess - or are ALL the lockers repainted? Hmmm. My main point is the usual "hose test" will not tell you much. If ports or hatches leak, they probably only need some adjustment or a new gasket.
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Old 01-29-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

I don't think a leak in the hull/deck joint will cause saturation in the deck core unless there are other breaches into the core. I haven't done that project myself but I've seen and read about other DE owners doing the job (and you don't have to remove the whole deck, just the teak cap-rail). From what I understand, the "top" and "bottom" layers of fiberglass on the deck come together at the edges, completely encapsulating the core. The only place where there is "exposed" core is where the ports and salon window openings were cut. If the boat seemed to be leaking everywhere when it rained, that is likely caused by leaking fittings.

As far as the lee shore description, that sounds like a very tight spot. I hope I never experience that. Sounds like you did a great job in coming up with a way to get the engine going again. If I did find myself in that situation, I think I'd go about it by:

Getting the anchor ready, checking the chart to see if the reef comes up gradually or steep, or if there was a gradual slope anywhere nearby that might successfully grab the anchor if my sailing attempts did not work.

If the wind is up, which it sounds like it was, I would drop the jib before I reefed the main. Going with main and staysail, you can still point nearly as well as you will with full sail, if you have a decent breeze. And if the jib is old and fat, you will point better without it and it will be windage forward if it's flogging, pushing the bow downwind, toward the reef.

Remove everything from the deck that will cause excess windage, time permitting.

It's hard to resist the urge, but you can't chase wind angle with a full keel boat. That's fools gold, if you are going slow, you're not really pointing as high as you think. There is too much leeway if you don't have any speed through the water. I would maybe try to build up some speed off the wind a little, hopefully not giving up too much ground, then pinch up and let the large mass of the boat power through a wave or two, then fall off again and build up speed and repeat. That would be my best guess, boat speed off the wind and momentum, but you have to keep boat speed up or you are going sideways.

Not trying to second guess, just going thinking about what I would do in that situation, since I have the same boat and have a pretty good feel for how it sails. What you describe is a tough situation in any boat. Love the solution to getting the engine started, very clever. Years of problem solving in front of a screen may have saved your skin that day.
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  #38  
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Thanks Argyle. You're right, there were lots of ways water could get into the core besides the hull-deck joint. I had already re-beded the teak caprails in late 2001 - after I put the screws back I filled the holes with epoxy & graphite - nice and black, looked salty, but a really, really dumb thing to do. Would have been hell to get those caprails off again.

The water off that part of Cedros was far too deep to anchor. Very rocky too. The only windage item on deck was the dink, and I wasn't about to toss that over! There weren't any jerrycans, bicycles and the usual stuff cruisers put on deck - I expected the Baja Bash to be tough going and be usually close hauled. What was stopping me were the swells - I remember them as high, steep, and close together - each one seemed to push me closer to the rocks, so that even though I was pointed maybe 30 degrees off the shoreline (60 off the wind) the swells (and leeway) were pushing me ashore slightly faster than the sailing was taking me away. It "felt" like I was sailing away from the rocks, but my trusty Garmin told another story - my track was taking me closer.
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  #39  
Old 01-29-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

After reading this thread last night, I was motivated to download the book on my ipad. I read through approximately 30 pages last night before I had to put it down (it was getting late).

The first 30 pages went by incredibly fast as I was completely engrosed in the story.

Glenn - you will need to go on another adventure and write a second book! If you need some crew, send me a PM!
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Old 01-29-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Sounds like a great winter book I ordered it from Amazon last night and it will arive tomorrow. Love Amazon and cant wait to read the book.
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