Pacific Seacraft 34 Creaks and Groans - SailNet Community

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Old 06-03-2008
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Location: The house is in Kingsport, TN. Boats are on Watauga Lake and in New Bern, NC
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Pacific Seacraft 34 Creaks and Groans

Sailing back to Bimini from Nassau last month we crossed the Bahamas Bank at night. A creak and groan that I had previously ignored really got on my nerves when I tried to sleep. Looking around I found the problem. The starboard end of the arched moulded cutout in the bulkhead over the ice box rests on the top of the ice box as does the fore and aft bit of plywood between the bulkhead and the trim plywood behind it. When the boat twists in a following sea, the wood moves ever so slightly over the top of the ice box and makes quite a bit of noise. I can push and pull on the plywood bulkhead, the moulding, or the fore and aft plywood and duplicate the creak.

I can not see any fastener that attaches the wood to the top of the ice box. I had saved some of the pictures from the Swan website of that 34' being built, but I can not any fastenings in those photographs.

Has anyone else had a problem with noises from this spot ? Does anyone know of a solution ?

Bill Murdoch
1988 34' Crealock
Irish Eyes
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Old 06-07-2008
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Hi Bill,

Sorry to hear about the creak and groan. I haven't experienced anything like that on our 31, but I know what it's like from some other boats I've sailed on. It can be very distracting at night if you're a light sleeper like me. Some folks just get used to it -- like the idiosyncrasies of loved ones -- but for others it is akin to purgatory.

I've been thinking about your question, but still don't have a good answer. The best solution I've come up with would be to wedge some dense closed cell foam into any gaps between the surfaces (if there are any?). This might have the compound effect of reducing the wood-on-wood noise, as well as helping to absorb/dampen whatever noise remains. Possibly unsightly, though.

If there are no gaps wide enough to wedge foam into, maybe there should be and that is the problem? I.e., perhaps the wood components should not be contacting each other? If so, a small japanese pull saw, with the thinnest of kerfs, might be used to advantage to cut a narrow strip of offending wood?

Alternatively, the solution might be to bond the opposing wood together so there is no noise-generating friction between them. This might be done with thickened epoxy injected via syringe into the thin gap (tape the area carefully to avoid spillover). I'm not as thrilled about this idea, though, because of the potential future need to disassemble cabinetry for maintenance.

Best of luck to you, and please report back if you find a solution.

P.S. I checked the Swan website for in-progress build photos, but it looks like Dave has expunged the records of that unfortunate chapter. I admire him for pressing on in the face of adversity and finding another path to achieve his objectives.

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Pacific Seacraft Crealock 31 #62

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Old 06-08-2008
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Spray it with silicone spray. You may have to do it frequently but it will quiet it down. Good luck.
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