Refit of Saving Grace Boat Profiles Forums

avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Refit of Saving Grace
avatar
Rick
Member
Members
April 23, 2015 - 8:01 pm
Member Since: June 3, 2014
Forum Posts: 90
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

OK, here's what we've tackled so far on the major refit we find ourselves in the middle of:

Saving Grace hit the hard here in South Florida about a month ago. Maybe two, I've lost track of time. The first thing we did was have the bottom paint soda blasted off as the surveyor said the bottom was wet but he thought it was trapped in the layers of bottom paint which were very rough. Turns out he was wrong and that wasn' t the first or the worst. The previous owners had ground a bunch of blisters out and filled them with off the shelf Bondo. The kind you use on your car. Then they coated everything with a troweled on layer of epoxy that must have been put on in the rain because it was only half adhered. The parts that hadn't stuck had bubbled of just enough to trap water under that layer and hold it against the fiberglass hull that has been ground away and filled with pourous body filler. It took two people about a week with 8" sanders to get that layer of epoxy off and another 6 days with an angle grinder to get all the bondo and blisters gone. The yard manager has been periodically checking the hull for us and it has actually come down off the far right side where it was pegged because the fiberglass was saturated.

While the hull is drying we've also sanded off all the heavy brush marks from someone who either used latex paint or never read the instructions on what was probably a cheap one part marine paint. They must have tried to get it all covered with one coat in the middle of summer in the bright sunshine because the brush marks were thick. We've started back with Awlgrip but since it's our first ever and since the project has stretched from perfect painting weather in February/March to the rainy season, that's going slowly but we're so excited to be finally putting something back on.

We took the handrails off to rebed the bolts as half of them were dripping and when we did we found that they had been scrubbed and sanded until they felt thin and light, like balsa wood almost. The new handrails are taking shape in the shop but may not even go back on until the boat is finally back in the water. 

There's a pretty talented welder in the yard and he's remade our chainplates and the bowsprit fitting (cransiron?) because it had at least one hairline crack that we found when we pulled the bowsprit off. We pulled the bowsprit off because rot had showed up after the (inoperative) windlass came off for rebuild/replacement. When the end fitting came off we found rot under that as well so it was just as well that we bit the bullet and made a new one as opposed to patching existing as previous owners had done several times.

The new chainplates are going on the outside with old ones inside as backer plates so we've routed out where the old ones came through the caprail and put nice neat plugs back in there. The caprail itself has been adding to the annoying little untraceable leaks so we've been putting thickened epoxy in all the joints and cracks instead of the ubiquitous silicone which was slathered everywhere. We're assuming that they only did that after a number of beers as it was liberal and everywhere and almost uniformly ineffective. I have joined the ranks of those who will not allow silicone on the boat unless there's a window project going on. Which there won't be.

The masts and rigging came off shortly after the bottom was soda blasted and has been at the riggers for replacement as it was 20 years old. Good conditions and I have to complement Sta locs, they looked fine and none of the wires had any snags that I ever found. Still, 20 years is not something I want to worry about the first time things get hairy.

I had a very good friend, my best man from 23 years ago and a crackerjack mechanic "help" me rewire the boat. I say help me because he explained everything as he was going, several times but to no avail. I helped by getting material and handing him tools when he was upside down in the engine room for hours but "we" accomplished it in one long week. I got the panel from Blu Seas with a lot of consulting from Peter Jackson, wires from Best Wire and zillions of heat shrink connectors from somewhere else.

I'm assuming that someone had taken the original wheel because the boat came with a low-rent little spoked wheel that looked like a restaurant decoration more than an actual boat wheel so we found a 36" stainless steel "destroyer" wheel at Sailorman used parts place in Ft. Lauderdale and I treated the boat to leather from Boatleather which looks great. Much better than the rest of the boat right now.

The headliner came out before the boat was even on the hard and probably won't be replaced until I have all the lights and fans situated where they do the most good and all the deck hardware properly installed. We might be sailing like that until the begining of next season which is winter here. We've also completely neglected the deck which has taken a beating and will remain ugly until we're happy with the placement of the davits, travelers and new mast step.

There was an area around the base of the mast, maybe 3' x 4', that was soft. Soft to the point that it had caved in before someone noticed it so both doors into the head were shaved considerably. I'm going to cut that out and replace it with a non compressible fiberglass substrate, something called super something, and add a deck organizer under the mast step so I can lead all the lines aft. Just in case I get a wild hair and want to single hand. 

At the suggestion of my sailmaker I'm going to move the main mast running backs up the mast along with the attachment points for the inner stay/staysail stay. He suggested that so the staysail could be made larger and more effective when the monster genny gets overpowered which it seems to do at about 12 knots of wind. I think Scott made the point once that a self tacking staysail allows one person to tack all they want with very little trimming. I like that concept and am working out my deck hardware to accommodate that.

We found some inexpensive davits that we're adding to the transom as we expect to do less docking and more anchoring and want to explore all the streams and rivers on the ICW heading north not to mention the reefs and snorkeling places in the Keys which are also close.

I know, I know, it seems like wayyyy too much to tackle at once but I have been waiting for this for a long time (the kids are grown and gone) and it's time to pick up and do some long trips. I also really like the lines of the boat and frankly there wasn't much that we've added to the list that weren't priorities. 

Supposedly they had replaced the engine 4 times and this one has low hours which was one of the few "Saving Graces" of the boat.

We're going out for lobsters when we get our first successful coat of Awlgrip primer on the whole boat and the bowsprit goes back on which should be soon. Really soon!

Rick

Print Friendly
Avatar
Scott Carle
Admin
April 26, 2015 - 9:43 am
Member Since: October 10, 2009
Forum Posts: 1358
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Wow a lot of work :) I wish I had your energy to knock out projects.

The only thing I'm going to comment on is the staysail. I'm not sure I would make it bigger. The stock configuration works really well for the slot effect with the stock jib.  I'm sure you could get a bit more power both in combination with the jib and by itself by making it larger. However do you really want it to have more power? This boat will move in any thing over 5 or 6 knots pretty well. Anything over 10 knots and she is very happy. She is stiff enough that you can get away with not reefing anything till 25 knots though you will be more comfortable doing so at about 20 knots. I would go for a code zero on an extend bowsprit maybe for light air performance. The downside of increasing staysail size, is that in heavier winds it will have to much power. Our staysail is of heavy material and has two reef points as well so that it can be used in heavy weather. When the wind is blowing 40 knots you  going to want that smaller sail size badly. Before increasing the size of the staysail I would go to a larger jib on a roller furler first. It is the first thing you are going to start reefing and you will have it all the way put up before you start to reef the staysail. Our reefing runs to  pulling the jib in 30 to 50 %, then we might put the first reef in the main, then pull the jib in to about 25% or put it away. Second reef in main. Start reefing staysail. Then depending on what conditions are like and point of sail  we would put the main or  staysail all the way down. With that larger staysail your going to have to reef it much earlier. It will put a lot of stress on the mast  and you will definitely need those running back stays.

 

All I know is that I really like the configuration our boat came with. It seems to work really well and though she is a cruising boat she sails in light winds well. racing we held just fine with boats rated between 185 and 200. Before I bought Valkyr I had a Beneteau F235 which is a small light racing boat and got the same performance in light winds over 5 knots or under 12 knots as Valkyr. I know this as I used to race against her when the prior owner had her. If valkyr had had a code zero or spinnaker of some sort It would have been all over. she would have left me in her dust. Also after 15 knots there was no touching her. I have been racing beside her in 25 knots of wind doing 7 knots in my F235 and had her blow by by me doing 9 knots like I was standing still. Don't let me make you think she is a great racing boat as she isn't but her performance is better than you would have expected.

Now all that being said this is just my opinion and though i have sailed for years I have never gone around the world or logged 10,000 of thousands of hours sailing. So take it with a grain of salt and as always make up your own mind :)

If you do make the change you need to sail her hard and long and let us know how she handles with that different configuration under different conditions :)

Print Friendly
Scott Carle DE38 Cutter s/v Valkyr
avatar
Sailfish
Member
Members
May 10, 2015 - 5:08 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2015
Forum Posts: 14
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Rick, First off... I applaud your high level of enthusiasm in regards to all the projects you are tackling. Thanks for the informative post. Well done sir! Would love to see any pictures that you have taken along the way. Before/afters, etc. With all your effort, she's gonna be a beauty!

As to the sail makers suggestion, I too would like to know why he/she feels the basic sail plan needs to be changed.

I now have a Down East cutter rig. Hull #109. My first Downeaster 38 was a ketch. All together a different animal to sail. I have lots of ocean miles on the ketch, but not too many on this new to me cutter rig. The previous owner had her for 20+ years. He took excellent care of her and set her up for single handing. She has had thousands of blue water miles under her keel. He also made a number of improvements inside and out that I will post pics of on a new thread. (as soon as I figure out the pic post technique)

Scott... thanks for all the info on your cutter rig and how you handle sail plan changes in regards to winds/weather. I am printing off a copy of your above post to place on the boat. I've sailed other cutter rigs but not with our hull design. And yes... these old girls can sail faster and better than their reputation states. My ketch rig had no problem hitting 7.5 and ripping along smartly. Fun, and a bit wet sometimes! Cool

Cheers!

Print Friendly
Avatar
Scott Carle
Admin
May 11, 2015 - 12:44 am
Member Since: October 10, 2009
Forum Posts: 1358
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Maybe we were pushing it but it never felt out of hand but I have done a steady 7.5 to 8 knots, with bursts up to 9 knots in 23 to 24 knots of wind on a broad reach in 7 to 8 foot seas. 9 knots usually as we tried to start to surf down the back side of the swells. Didn't really surf but it felt like It was trying :) would never have imagined it in that heavy of a full keel boat. We had full sail up and she was just starting to hint at wanting to round up in the gusts as we crested the swells. It was one of those days sailing with people draped all over the deck being lazy, clear blue skys and everyone grinning so hard our faces hurt the next day.  The is a video on my website and about half way through it you can see us sailing that day. http://www.scottcarle.com/word.....p_0003.wmv  from 8:35 to 11 minutes in the video is the footage of her sailing.

general page with a couple videos on it of valkyr  http://www.scottcarle.com/word.....age_id=451

Jib is a midweight 150% and staysail is a heavy 9+oz weight.. main is again a very heavy 9+ oz cruising main that is made for the 17 ft boom. Main has some milage on it and a bit of belly. It will power up pretty good. I have to use the cunningham to depower her or take a reef in when it really starts to blow.

Print Friendly
Scott Carle DE38 Cutter s/v Valkyr
avatar
Sailfish
Member
Members
May 12, 2015 - 6:38 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2015
Forum Posts: 14
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Sounds like it was a great day! Thanks for the sail info and video link. I will check it out.

Cheers!

Print Friendly
avatar
Rick
Member
Members
June 13, 2016 - 3:31 pm
Member Since: June 3, 2014
Forum Posts: 90
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

IMG_6623.JPGImage Enlarger

 IMG_7156.JPGImage Enlarger

 IMG_7462.JPGImage Enlarger

 IMG_8268.JPGImage Enlarger

 IMG_8305.JPGImage Enlarger

 IMG_6776.JPGImage Enlarger

 IMG_6791.JPGImage Enlarger

 

All:

Grace has come a long way from heading for the broken down and forgotten to a sailboat again. 

I've attached some pictures, no idea if they come through. 

You can see before and after: the before have internal chain plates and what must have been oil based paint applied with a broom, the afters feature glossy Awlgrip and exterior chain plates, new roller furlers and rigging.

You wouldn't be able to tell we ground out thousands of blisters or rebuilt the engine but it's there. We also replaced the bowsprit which had lots of dutchmans and a big patch of rot where the windlass housing had been bolted directly to the side of it.

Just took her out for an actual sail last week. It was wonderful! Still have a lot of work to go but she's getting there. Maybe even an actual couple nights out when the weather cools down after hurricane season.

Rick

Print Friendly
sp_PlupAttachments Attachments
avatar
Manukai
Member
Members
September 18, 2017 - 9:08 am
Member Since: January 28, 2017
Forum Posts: 3
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Rick,

 

I admire what you have done with your boat, it truly is a dramatic change.

I am the proud owner of hull #19; which has been sitting in a lake in the Tenn. river for at least 15 years, that people can remember. No one ever remembers seeing it away from the dock and she had quite a collection of moss and lichen so I have been told.

Any assistance on the process of moving your chainplates outboard would be greatly appreciated as this is one task I would like to do to rid myself of those pesky little leaks. I discovered the main leaks were the drains, so all the cabinets were falling apart.

At some times the task ahead looks daunting until I see boat such as yours and Scotts and others, it encourages me.

Thanks:

John

SV Manu Kai

Print Friendly
Forum Timezone: America/New_York

Most Users Ever Online: 42

Currently Online:
20 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming None

Top Posters:

Jonathan Oasis: 161

CAE: 150

bobmcd625: 110

Rick: 90

svbodhran: 84

Erick: 83

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 7

Members: 279

Moderators: 1

Admins: 1

Forum Stats:

Groups: 3

Forums: 13

Topics: 626

Posts: 3316

Newest Members:

sailingirl, de38 Raver, White Falcon, mgav451, roythomas

Moderators: Patrick Twohig: 122

Administrators: Scott Carle: 1358