E32-3 Haulout - Seascape @ San Francisco Boatworks

Hello Fellow Ericson Owners! I have owned Seascape, an Ericson 32-3 (vintage 1985) since the fall of 2013. I am in the San Francisco Bay Area and I race and cruise in the bay and in near coastal waters. I have been reading this site for a few years but never really contributed much. I recently took Seascape to be hauled at San Francisco Boatworks and have an online photo and video album that I started when I got to the yard. As work on the boat is progressing, I add pictures and videos to this album:

Seascape 2015 Haulout - Public Photos and Videos

She was originally at the yard for the usual 2-year haul out/bottom job (Petit Trinidad anti-slime formulation), but I had the yard look at a few other things while she was on the hard. One thing that has been concerning me is that my bilge is frequently full with about an inch or so of water, and I can use a hand pump to remove the water, but it seeps back in over a few weeks. As you can see form the pictures, the keel is smiling (which means that I'm not ;-) and we know that at least two of the keel bolts have lost their threads where the nuts used to be. The yard is pulling the cabin sole to get access to the other bolts to inspect them and if we see more damage, we are going to drop the keel, inspect the bolts and see if we need to add new bolts. If we only see two bolts with damage, then we'll tighten up all the bolts and add shims to the two damaged bolts and then reseal the gap between the keel and the hull. Well, that's the plan anyway. I am on the fence about whether I want to drop the keel and really have a look; as far as I know, the keel has never been dropped on Seascape.

I am also having her rudder post and bearings looked at because (as you can see in the videos), it has horizontal and vertical play. There is also a distinct "bhrrump" sound and shudder when you manually move the rudder from the port side to the starboard side as the rudder nears the centerline. I've been able to check the quadrant, cables and chain in the pedestal when she's been in the water and all looks good there, so I'm guessing it's the rudder bearings. The yard says they definitely need to shim it to remove the play.

The electric windlass is frozen, the shaft and bearings going from the deck-side unit to the motor is frozen but the motor and deck side mechanism seem fine. The yard wants close to $2K parts and labor to fix it, which I am declining, for that price I can replace the one-speed/one-direction windlass with a 2-speed, 2-direction windlass or try to fix it myself. Reminds me of the quote on this forum saying "I bought a boat because burning $100 bills in a fire is not as efficient".

As all this is going on, my sailmaker (Dave Hodges from Santa Cruz Sails, now Ullman Sails) is putting together an A-spinnaker for me. I've learned a lot here from folks that have done the same.

So, that's my story for now, nice to meet everyone here! My dream would be to get enough E32-3's on SF Bay to have a one-design division in YRA races. I only know of two others that race somewhat regularly. Seascape is a great boat for racing, I've done beercans and YRA bay and coastal races and the Great Vallejo Race and the Delta Ditch (in the cruising class since I didn't have a kite) and I've got a great regular crew that is really excited to learn how to fly a kite and make us more competitive. Plus they bring the beer (the benefits of being an MFO :)
 

Rick R.

Contributing Partner
Hi Mike

Thanks for sharing.

Our 32-200 seems to have the smile when we haul every two years. Our keel bolts are all fine and the smile is not as big as what your photos show.

Sounds like a keel drop might be necessary. Can't believe they want to charge you that much for windlass repair.
Rick
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I don't immediately understand why you would have to rip up the cabin sole for keel bolts inspection. If yours is glued down, that means destroying it. The bolts have access through the TAFG, and appear exposed in your access.

There is one simple issue to check, regarding the slop in the rudder post:

The top rudder post bearing is the bronze plate on the cockpit floor just after of the pedestal.

The four bolts pass through the deck and retain the bearing against the underside of the floor. The bearing has an inaccessible Zerk (grease) nipple.

The bolts get loose, the bearing moves around, the rudder post wiggles, the sound is a "clunking".

The solution is simply to tighten the bolts, which takes two people--one in the cockpit, one under the cockpit floor.

A loose top bearing is impossible to detect from the cockpit because the bronze plate never moves.
 
Hi Mike

Thanks for sharing.

Our 32-200 seems to have the smile when we haul every two years. Our keel bolts are all fine and the smile is not as big as what your photos show.

Sounds like a keel drop might be necessary. Can't believe they want to charge you that much for windlass repair.
Rick

Hi Rick,
Yeah, I am thinking a key drop might be in the cards. I'll know more next week. The $2K for the windlass repair is primarily labor to take the thing apart and put in the new parts, which are expensive ($350+). The yard even advised me against doing it this way because of the cost. This would be a good time to get a more modern windlass with multiple speeds and directions.

Mike
 
I don't immediately understand why you would have to rip up the cabin sole for keel bolts inspection. If yours is glued down, that means destroying it. The bolts have access through the TAFG, and appear exposed in your access.

There is one simple issue to check, regarding the slop in the rudder post:

The top rudder post bearing is the bronze plate on the cockpit floor just after of the pedestal.

The four bolts pass through the deck and retain the bearing against the underside of the floor. The bearing has an inaccessible Zerk (grease) nipple.

The bolts get loose, the bearing moves around, the rudder post wiggles, the sound is a "clunking".

The solution is simply to tighten the bolts, which takes two people--one in the cockpit, one under the cockpit floor.

A loose top bearing is impossible to detect from the cockpit because the bronze plate never moves.

We may not have to pull up the cabin sole if we can find all the keel bolts through the existing openings.

Thanks for the tips on the rudder bearing, that's easy for me to check. That might explain the rudder post movement.
 

Rick R.

Contributing Partner
We may not have to pull up the cabin sole if we can find all the keel bolts through the existing openings.

Thanks for the tips on the rudder bearing, that's easy for me to check. That might explain the rudder post movement.

Christian's fix worked for us. The four bolts were the cause of our problem. They need to be tightened regularly.
 
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Replacement rubrail

I have a small dent in my starboard aft rubrail. Anyone know where I could get even a section of rubrail that I can splice into mine after removing the damaged section?

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Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
That rub rail is no longer available anywhere, as far as I could tell when I did the job.

I have one 3-foot scrap of the extrusion, however. I'll be happy to donate it if you send me a mailing tube. Private message me if interested.

Also, Michael, the photos in your album are low-resolution, rather than the high-res shown here in the thread. I suggest checking the settings, I know you don;t want to chronicle your work with blurry pix.
 
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That rub rail is no longer available anywhere, as far as I could tell when I did the job.

I have one 3-foot scrap of the extrusion, however. I'll be happy to donate it if you send me a mailing tube. Private message me if interested.

Also, Michael, the photos in your album are low-resolution, rather than the high-res shown here in the thread. I suggest checking the settings, I know you don;t want to chronicle your work with blurry pix.

Hi Christian,
I PM'ed you about the extrusion, thanks for the offer. I checked my picture album with three different browsers (Chrome, Safari and Firefox) and I am seeing the pictures in the original (high) resolution. Are you seeing them in low resolution at the album link I posted above (duplicate here: Seascape 2015 Haulout - Public Photos and Videos)?

Anyone else seeing my album pictures in low resolution? How about the videos?

Michael
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Good news, the pix are fine. It must have been that I didn't allow the time lag necessary for full resolution.

Regarding the rudder-post wiggle video, mine doesn't wiggle like that. But shimming not a big deal.

Yes, got the PM, rub rail piece will be on its way.
 
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Good news, the pix are fine. It must have been that I didn't allow the time lag necessary for full resolution.

Regarding the rudder-post wiggle video, mine doesn't wiggle like that. But shimming not a big deal.

Yes, got the PM, rub rail piece will be on its way.

I am trying a new picture sharing service from Apple, I used to use Google's Picasa which was clunky but never had issues like you reported. I'm still getting used to the fact that the Apple iCloud picture albums do seem to present a viewer with low-res images at first, and then eventually you get to see the correct resolution images. I'll see if there is a control on my end that I can tweak to change that behavior. Thanks for pointing it out.

Rudder post: I'll try your suggestion about tightening the upper bearing plate bolts.

Thanks for the extrusion.
 
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Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
These Victoria Secret models, they try to get through to you however they can. Just one camisole after another, and of course it always has to be a private message. OK, I'll weed the garden again.
 
Cabin sole not pulled up

I was at the yard today, and they were able to find all 7 keel bolts without pulling up the cabin sole; I had forwarded some sections of threads from this site describing the number and location of keel bolts. Tomorrow, we closely inspect all the other bolts by taking off the nuts and washers, then fill the bilge with water to see if the keel joint weeps. Once we're done with that process (probably early next week to give the water in the bilge time to find it's way out of the boat if that's where it wants to go), we'll torque down the nuts, assuming the rest of the bolts look OK and see what happens. If too many other bolts are in bad shape, down goes the keel and we start the next phase of the inspection.
 
Yard estimate

I got the estimate for all the work on Seascape:


  • Haul out + bottom paint
  • Motor service
  • Steering/rudder service
  • Head service
  • Inspect electric windlass (but not fix it because of the cost)
  • Replace bilge pump float switch
  • Drop keel, add new keel bolts, re-seat keel
    • Includes dropping mast and re-seating mast

The total comes to just north of $20K, the majority of that is labor costs. This is the high end of the estimate, it may be less if we drop the keel and see that the stubbies are OK and just need shims. But you can't inspect the stubbies unless you drop the keel, and you can't drop the keel unless you drop the mast, and you can't drop the mast unless you remove the rigging, and ... well we all know what that adds up to. I've attached the estimate in case anyone has never seen a $20K bill ;-)

The yard is on the fence about dropping the keel or just shimming the bolts and sealing the keel to hull joint. I've asked a friend who has a lot of expertise in this area to give me a second opinion. This is the kind of decision that I don't feel qualified to make on my own.

What do they say about a boat? It's a hole in the water in which you pour money...


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Rick R.

Contributing Partner
Michael,

That seems pretty high. Example over $500 to check the keel bolts and $90 to replace the foredeck light bulb?

I hire out some of the work on our boat because of time constraints so I totally understand that. In our area there are a number of independent contractors who work in all of the yards. Their prices are 1/3 of typical yard labor costs. Very the years, I have identified five or six of the "good guys" who do what they say, on time too.

Rick
 
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Michael,

That seems pretty high. Example over $500 to check the keel bolts?

Well at $160/hour, and the labor involved in breaking free the nuts and finding the bolt near the mast and then removing al the hardware and inspecting and then torquing down all the nuts again, that's not unreasonable.
 

Alan Gomes

Sustaining Member
Well at $160/hour, and the labor involved in breaking free the nuts and finding the bolt near the mast and then removing al the hardware and inspecting and then torquing down all the nuts again, that's not unreasonable.
I realize that what I am about to suggest to you may not be feasible depending upon your situation, but...at those prices you might consider blocking out some time to take a cruise to Ensenada with a few of your buddies and have Baja Naval do the work at a fraction of the cost. (Perhaps you could pre-position the boat in San Diego and then use that as your jumping off point for the ~60 nm. run down to Ensenada.) Their labor costs would be a fraction of what you were quoted and Baja Naval runs a clean, modern, first-rate, full-service yard. All the items I see on your list appear to be well within the capabilities of what this yard can do.

I did a haul out down there with my previous 30 footer and plan to sail my current E26-2 down next year. You could always e-mail them for a bid, just for grins, to see what they would say.

www.bajanaval.com
 

bgary

Advanced Beginner
Blogs Author
I don't know anything....

...and can probably prove it (heck, I don't even have a boat!), but....

...to my eye, a lot of the costs on that estimate can be avoided or reduced.

1) there's a lot of "check, diagnose and advise" items being charged at the yard rate (which, looking at the figures, might actually be $180/hour, not $160). Some of those could easily be done at the slip, and by specialists who would probably charge you by the trip rather than the hour.

2) the cost of pulling or stepping a mast is usually based on crane-time. At my local marina, they figure crane-time at $180/hour, and estimate 1/2-hour to pull a rig, 1/2-hour to step a rig. So... $1200 to unstep and step seems high, unless they charge 1200/hour for crane time, in which case you may want to find another yard.

3) You can replace the bulb on the foredeck light by yourself, either once the rig is out of the boat, or when a rigger comes to the slip to inspect the standing rigging.

4) Same for dock-tuning and pinning the rig. 2 hours at a yard labor-rate is excessive. It's probably a half-hour job for that rigger at your slip.

5) No expert (see above!), but... 8 hours of labor to fabricate new backups for the keel bolts feels... high.

6) and... none of my business, but it "feels" like the yard has double- or triple-dipped on some of the items. Like. they're charging $240 to loosen the keel nuts, and then they're charging $660 to clean the keel seam, and then they're charging $540 to "dress" the seam and clean the bolt threads. Plus another $960 (?) to lift the boat off the keel. Plus $1200 to put the boat back on the keel and tighten the nuts. That's $3600 in labor to undo the nuts, lift the boat off the keel, clean it back up, put it back together and tighten it down. *not* counting any actual repair work. If there are some sort of massive problems (bent bolts, major corrosion that makes it impossible to loosen the nuts, *maybe* that's reasonable labor to remove/inspect/replace, dunno, but... it just seems like they're estimating it really "big". . And we all know that yards *never* come in under-budget ;-)

I guess, overall, my recommendation is to look through the list and see
-- which things you can do?
-- which things you can have a tradesman do at the slip or in his shop?
-- which things you really need the yard to do... and then maybe get some estimates from other yards to compare.

$.02
 
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Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Thanks for posting the estimate. Actual numbers are a great benefit to all.

I have a lot of respect for yards, I use them, and I don't grudge them their fee schedules. BUT:

I think it was GUy Stevens who said recently, in effect, that the guy actually doing the work on your boat at those rates may know just about nothing about what he is doing.

Now, my non-pro opinion: the yard supervisors are the brains, with the experience and savvy to do it right and the responsibility to make it good if they don't. You can interview them about any problem you are having, and they are often quite forthcoming. Gold-platers pay their bills --rich guys who need full-on services, often on boats so big owners just can;t d it anyhow. They aren't trying to gouge us. We're just in a category, like it or not.

I have found that some time thinking through issues, and a thrifty approach, helps in coming to a rational conclusion about maintenance.

Fix it to the level of use. Make it cosmetically beautiful, which most of the time is just elbow grease.

Don't equip for Force 10 if you intend never to be in it, and the prudent sailor will make sure he never is on a typical family cruising boat.
 
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