Welcome Jeff, great to hear from you here. We've got hull #14, currently based up in Newfoundland, Canada. Hope to hear more about your adventures and projects as they progress.
Hope this helps.Were the through hulls in the cored hulls properly installed with blocking and epoxy sealing of the core at those sites? Have there been any problems with water intrusion cores of the hull?
All my original thru-hulls have been problem free. The only issues I've had are a failed depth sounder which required a whole new housing to be built, and then the replacement of another plastic thru-hull which housed a transducer. In both cases they were in located in the solid part of the hull. No issues with core.
Rafiki's hulls are airex cored, but it's not the whole hull. The coring stops just a bit below the waterline (if I recall).
Those of you that have removed your teak decks (or even if you haven't), was there water intrusion into the balsa core?
I have not removed my teak decks. I am getting some leaks, and it is getting worse, but it's not really bad (yet). My current approach is to redo the caulking and re-plug some of the teak plugs. It's a huge job removing the deck, and it just hasn't got bad enough for me to go that route yet, but a day may come when I do.
Or it may not. One thing about these boats is that they are so solidly and well built is that I don't know if a wet core will produce much change in the structural integrity. This is both good and bad.
Were the original spars wooden?
I think some were. Mine came to me with aluminum spars which I believe are original.
Was the ballast internal iron? Any problems with the hull at the level of the iron?
I've not found a definitive answer on this. In some places I've seen reference to iron, and others to lead. I've had no issues with my boat.
How much demolition do you have to do to replace the black iron fuel tanks?
I still have the original iron tanks. One of my two diesel tanks failed a pressure test and was decommissioned before I bought the boat. The second one passed the test and continues to be fine.
Removing these tanks will be a major project. My thinking, at this point, is that IF my second tank fails I will try and insert a bladder. But I really don't know if this will work.
I would be very interested to hear about your staysail rigs. Do you have running backstays to take the load of the staysail's forestay? Club footed vs. free sheeted. Roller furled vs hanked on. Removable stay vs fixed. Difficulty of tacking the jib with fixed staysail stay.
My rig uses running backs. I rig them when sailing in 20 knots or more on the staysail. This is just my rule of thumb.
The staysail is self-tacking, on its own track (a rod) and own boom. There is a single sheet that runs to the cockpit. This sail is hanked on, and reefable (although I've never reefed it).
My foresail (yankee) is on a furler. The slot between the inner and outer stay is smallish, which makes tacking a bit of a PITA at times. Getting the sail through the slot is a challenge in light airs. In these cases I will tend to furl it in and then release it once tacked.
One owner commented on heavy weather helm and need to move sail area (center of effort) forward. How does she sail with her rather unique absence of a bowsprit? What are your reefing orders?
The main on these boats is proportionally larger than more modern rigs. Hence the need to reef appropriately. I tend to reef our main early (~12-15 knots), which functionally means we're in reef#1 most of the time. I tend to reef the main first, then the yankee, and from there keep balancing the two as things progress. For upwind sailing in heavy winds (35+) we'll got to staysail and double-reefed main.
The nice thing about tiller-driven boats like these are you can easily tell when the rig is out of balance.
I love the boat, don't mind projects, just wondering what I can anticipate. I appreciate your sharing you valuable experience and knowledge of these boats, and I appreciate the love you have for your boats.
I hail out of Penobscot Bay, Maine, US.
Tacking is only an issue in light airs. With anything above about 10 knots the sail passes through without too much bother, and above say 15 knots it's a non-issue. In light airs we'll quickly furl it in and then let it out. Since it's light airs it's not hard. It's not really an issue for me, but I suppose you could install the inner stay with a quick release if you wanted to.Thanks so much for this helpful info. Tacking the jib problem has led some to have a removable staysail stay. I have been told that some have good success with allowing the staysail to back a bit when tacking, this provides a surface and airflow to help the jib through the slot. Lots of different opinions.
I haven't thought out the project in detail, but I think you'd have to remove part of the sole, the table and perhaps some cabinetry. Or maybe it can be cut out in pieces such that limited upper renos would be required. Either way, it would be a big job.Would you have to remove just cabin sole and sole beams or furniture also to replace the fuel tanks?
That's pretty amazing to have a second Rafiki on the GL. I know they're far more common on the west coast. But there aren't that many of us to begin with.Did you get to the St. Lawrence and Caribbean as you had hoped? The boat I am looking into is coincidentally also on the Great Lakes.
Hi John, yes we're hauled out for winter. We've been based in Newfoundland since 2017. We initially sailed down the St. Lawrence and went to Corner Brook, in the Bay of Islands. We based out of the Bay of Islands Yacht Club, which is a wonderful place full of great people.Thanks Mike,
Did you haul out for the winter and come home or stay up in Newfound. I know a British couple that love cruising Labrador (in their ferro cement Colin Archer) and would come south to Maine to winter! Closest I got was to the Bras D'or Lakes, Cape Breton. I wanted to go north through the cut I believe it was through Sydney, then about ?90 miles across to NL, but had to head south back to Connecticut at that time.
Chiming in to say hello from a 3rd Rafiki on the GL. We have a 35’ Rafiki on the North Shore of Superior. (Hull #27 of 32)That's pretty amazing to have a second Rafiki on the GL. I know they're far more common on the west coast. But there aren't that many of us to begin with.
Hi Kam, welcome to this little Rafiki space here on SN. I sailed Superior for over a decade, mostly along the Canadian (north and east) shores. Glorious cruising grounds that I still miss.Chiming in to say hello from a 3rd Rafiki on the GL. We have a 35’ Rafiki on the North Shore of Superior. (Hull #27 of 32)
Currently in the process of doing lots of work on her. Replaced several thru hulls this spring to solve some seepage issues and update electronics. Can confirm the foam core up front but ours was wood cored back by the engine. Launched this past week but haven’t taken her out yet. Replaced the head this year too as they had converted to a bladder and it was a stinky disaster. (Went for a composting one now). Our fuel tank was replaced with a bladder before we bought it but are considering installing a larger one under the pilot’s berth. Our teak decking was also removed prior to our purchase and we’ve only found one spot that’s got a smidge of a leak we have to address. Overall nothing major now as we’ve handled the dire ones prior to launch. We bought her in August so are just starting to delve into the major projects.