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  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-20-2012 12:02 PM
Re: The Spirit 28

Hi there - I also just recently purchased a spirit 28 and love it so far! The only thing that I'm concerned about is not knowing more about how the keel was attached (and can't find any literature on it). The bolts look great, but the floor of the bilge is cracked throughout with what looks like lead or steel exposed underneath. I would imagine that this is not the top of the keel, but hopefully a keel stud perhaps? The part of the floor that's cracked is only 1/5 of an inch thick I'd say, so I can't immagine that being the only thing between the bottom of the boat and the keel, plus it doesn't look like fiberglass, it looks more like a type of plastic or coating. Anyway - any knowledge on this would be appreciated. Hope you enjoy your boat!
08-12-2008 08:46 PM
AKExpat That's why it sits on the poured resin pad that brings it up flush with the upper surface of the sole. It looks like it's just sitting on the deck and screwed into the teak but the base flange just overlaps the wood, covering this nifty rot-proof resin block. The original teak post had vertical dados and was the corner molding for the head compartment but it sat down in that opening where water can collect. My solution was devised to remove any likelyhood of doing rework. Boats are made to sailed, not worked on...

08-12-2008 08:36 PM
sailingdog AKExpat-

Be careful of using aluminum in the bilge. It can get eaten away pretty quickly if you have a wet bilge and any other more noble metals or electrical currents in the bilge water.
08-12-2008 08:34 PM
AKExpat I'm not sure you'll need the knee. I pitched the original compression post and built a new one from 2in aluminum tube. It actaully has a smaller footprint under the mast base than the old teak one did. The PO did the same sort of deck repair under the mast base making it quite solid throughout the raised area and flush all the way across from underneath. My new compression post is nearly centered under the mast base and sits on a poured high-density resin block that sits on the floor beam and is flush with the sole. I have no hint of inappropriate flexing and I've sailed this boat very hard and very powered up at times. I don't know what exactly is in the deck repair they made but it's a lighter yellowish tan looking board type material that you can see through the fiberglass. Could be a phenolic board perhaps, doesn't look like ply, no grain. If I were to do it again I would've gone with polished stainless tube for the post, my aluminum one looks a bit industrial. The guy who did my rail mods estimated he could've built one for about $200 less than I paid for mine.

08-12-2008 08:07 PM
erikdj Excellent story! thank you. Yeah there is a slight sag on the deck but it isn't the result of any problems wit the compression post or down below the sole. It's the cause of the original design flaw resulting in about 50% of the deck step pan floating "in air" along the starboard side of the mast.

The boat is in the shop now having this repaired. They have gingerly peeled back the headliner which is still in excellent shape and are preparing to jack up the starboard side of the deck beneath the unstepped mast. Once they raise it back up, they'll put a thick piece of G-10 fiberglass where the builder had once stuck some epoxy resin (for what purpose eludes me) and then build a teak "knee" to drive some of the load from the starboard side of the G-10 shelf into the compression post. The knee will be affixed to the compression post using bolts all the way through.

All in all, it's a sound solution and one I believe I'll be happy with. The original cost of the boat was so low, I don't see this as a problem at all. It's still worth far more than I've sunk into it.

08-12-2008 07:55 PM
AKExpat Was fooling about and hit this thread in a search. Have you discovered the problem with the deck-sag on your boat? Mine has been fixed, you may not want to hear what the solution is. My problem started as deck sag that the PO tried to fix by sistering the compression post at the top to make it longer. The real problem is at the bottom. The fiberglass over wood floors under the sole below the mast/head/mainbulkhead area were built as one piece of wood framing then the whole thing was glassed over. When the guy came along to install the head plumbing and the VHF antenna cable he drilled through the floors and didn't seal the exposed wood after. The years had turned the wood to crumbles and the fiberglass box section was collapsing. Mine was totally gone, no real wood left, just dusty chunks of wood memories. The guys at the yard in Anacortes, WA said they had seen this many times on all brands of boat in this size and vintage and they had fixed many of them as well. My fix was going to be a near total disassembly of the cabin but I balked and decided I could live with a seam across the sole at the first floor aft of the main bulkhead. They cut it there, tossed the rotted compression post, removed about half the main bulkhead where it was punky anyway, pulled out the head floor-pan and the whole sole all the way up to the V-berth along with the space under the removable section of the V-berth. Took out all the fiberglass and dead wood replacing the wood with Epoxy saturated wood and glassed it all back in. This time in separate floors so the rot can't migrate through the whole thing. Replaced the sole, adding floor hatches that allow access to the whole bilge (a design flaw that allowed this all to go unnoticed in the inaccessable area underneath) put in new section of main bulkhead and the fore and aft section of the head compartment bulkhead. It was very destructive, horrifically expensive and I still have some trim work to do yet. My surveyor who missed the problem pitched in $1000 since I never would have considered buying this boat had I been aware of it, the PO surrendered the whole $2000 that he had set aside for the punky bulkhead sections around the head and I ponied up the remaining $3000. Not a bad first yard bill for my $12K boat! At least I know it's been repaired soundly by concientious professionals and I won't see this type of thing again. If you can determine that this is happening on yours, try to see how bad it is. You may have to do some diggin or put in the three hatches that I have through the sole so that you can get at the floors to see how bad they are. You may be able to get away with dropping the mast, letting things relax, then injecting epoxy to firm it back up again. You may have to do some hole patching to keep the resin from running out the holes drilled by the installers. If it sounds hollow and the wood is gone then you have a serious decision to make. My boat was let go with the sagging deck for a long time in rain country, the mast base holes leaked and water rotted the compression post, main bulkhead, and part of the head compartment. It looked like a $2000 dollar repair tops but when they got the head tore apart and the bulkhead sliced they found the real problem and the price trippled.

I am happy with the boat though I have "two-foot-itis" like most guys do. I sailed it up to Alaska and down to San Francisco with minimal drama. Single handing around Point Arena in a near gale will hold your attention for awhile. Plenty of surfing over 10 knots and saw 14.2 on the GPS once, 13.6 on the paddlewheel. Made an 86 mile run dock to dock in 10 hours!

07-29-2008 06:03 PM
kennya The mast has never been dropped. I have not noticed any soft spots around the mast. Hope I never.
07-28-2008 01:08 PM
erikdj Wonderful! Have you noticed or has your boat ever been worked on for what some would call a "design flaw" in the way the mast is stepped? After starting an upgrade to add a furler and mast plate, I discovered a slight soft spot and dip on the starboard side of the mast. It appears that when the boat was designed and built, only about 40% of the mast sits directly atop the compression post. The other 60% is basically floating. There is some epoxy resin, but no real support structure. What have you found?
07-28-2008 10:24 AM
kennya Erikj; sorry to be so slow in responding, but I have been on the water since Thursday. Yes I still have the Spirit 28 as well as the Manuals for the boat and both of the engine options.
07-25-2008 12:54 PM
erikdj Thank you!
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