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Old 05-14-2015, 09:27 PM   #1
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34 Californian Floor Jack Supports

This is a continuation of a conversation we had in the Californian Section several years ago. Here's a link to the previous observations and remedy suggestions.

My 34 Californian LRC has issues with water collecting at the aft house corners and misaligned cabinet doors which I attributed to a sagging deck. The PO had to cut into the aft floor joists to remove the old fuel tanks, then lagged in with new joists in the reassembly process. When I bought the boat, there was a slight, but noticeable, sag causing a misalignment in the the aft cabinet doors. As the years have progressed, so has the sag and the doors were offset by approximately 1/2 to 5/8 inch at the top. The floor creaking and spring had also worsened along with the amount of water collecting at the corners. Something had to be done to resolve these issues.

I studied the construction of my boat and found that the stringers and joists aligned near the corners of my salon engine room hatch. Along the aft edge of the hatch is the area which was replaced by the PO following the tank replacement. I designed some floor jacks based upon Duvie's design illustrated in this post.

I was discussing this project at a gathering of fellow Trawler Forum members last month when Cpseudonym (Craig) offered to fabricate them for me. We got together at the beginning of this month for a morning at the local nautical swap meet and he presented me with the finished product. I took them home and painted them up.



I lined the saddles with rubber backed felt to cushion and silence it.



I mounted them in the ER at the 4 corners of the hatch as seen below. This shot is looking aft from the fwd ER door. The fwd port jack has been adjusted to a more vertical position.



Before extending the jacks, I marked the threaded rod with a red Sharpie to track the amount of lift. Over a week, I lifted the floor from 1 to 1 1/2 inches. My cabinet doors are now properly aligned and while water still collects at the house corners, it's not nearly as much as before. The salon floor is now rock solid with no creaks.

Another problem I was experiencing is that the stbd radiator cap is located directly below a joist. As the floor sagged, the cap became impossible to remove without leveraging the joist up. Now this cap is easily accessed for service.

I have also noticed a difference in the salon sound and vibration levels when cruising. The sound level seems lower with less resonance throughout the cabin. But the floor vibrations have increased due to the rigid connection now in place between the stringers where the engines are mounted and the floor joists.

I can't thank Craig enough for his assistance in making this long-awaited project a reality! Thanks so much, Craig!! You rock, buddy!!

Here's a short video of the supports in place.

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Old 05-15-2015, 01:34 AM   #2
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Impressive work by Craig! Must be satisfying, as the fix works and things return to normal, as planned. Better now than when you bought.
Are the jacks permanent, or is a joist repair possible? The jack struts are so neat you might want to keep them.
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Old 05-15-2015, 02:04 AM   #3
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My plan is to keep them and adjust as needed. It shouldn't need much more than a little tweaking. I won't get back to it for several weeks.
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Old 05-15-2015, 04:57 AM   #4
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What an innovative and cost effective repair to what would have seemed like a boat dooming insurmountable problem. Congrats to you and Craig! "applaud, clap, whistle, applaud"!
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Old 05-15-2015, 07:04 PM   #5
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Now what do we do about the floppy floor on the flybridge? (Please tell me all Californian 34s have springy flybridge)
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Old 05-15-2015, 07:07 PM   #6
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Install a dance pole in the salon? Ask Brittania if he likes his in the fwd cabin on his KK.
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Old 05-15-2015, 07:32 PM   #7
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looks great

Flywright, looks great! Before I supported my floor the counter tops had a visible sag in them. The jacks flattened them right out. I placed a third set of jacks on my boat just forward of the generator and about flush with the front of the fuel tanks in hopes of taking care of the puddling at the aft corners of the house but no luck.
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Old 05-15-2015, 10:45 PM   #8
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Masterful! Now if you could find how to reduce the low-RPM-engine vibration!
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Old 05-15-2015, 10:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Masterful! Now if you could find how to reduce the low-RPM-engine vibration!

That's easy Mark, let it run at high rpm.
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:11 PM   #10
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That's easy Mark, let it run at high rpm.
Yes!, but I was thinking of better/improved engine mounts.
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:13 PM   #11
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Nice job on identifying the problem, finding a solution, putting it to work and seeing the successes of your project.

Good job both of you!
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Old 05-16-2015, 12:14 AM   #12
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Thanks guys - for the show and congrats on your success. Recently I've noted more creaking in our salon floor. Nothing as severe as mentioned in this thread. But, upon seeing this solution I will look at things differently regarding stopping the creaks and groans that occur while walking across the salon sole.

Again - Thanks for the process you undertook and views presented!

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Old 05-16-2015, 06:16 AM   #13
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Good fix FW and Nice work CP . A fabricating boat buddie can't be beat . Great work guys . Did Yall bust out some IPA 's when finished ?
A dance pole hmmm ? I've got room for one on the aft deck . Anchoring out has a whole new meaning .
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Old 05-16-2015, 07:31 AM   #14
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Good fix FW and Nice work CP . A fabricating boat buddie can't be beat . Great work guys . Did Yall bust out some IPA 's when finished ?
Thanks guys. It's a fix I've been contemplating for years. Without Craig's help, I'd still be just thinking about it.

We probably would have broken out the IPAs but it was still morning when we finished at the swap meet, so I bought lunch instead. We had some great prime rib sandwiches at Foster's Bighorn in Rio Vista. The place is loaded with so many big game trophy mounts that my wife refuses to eat there. We thought it was very cool.

Mark, no need for new engine mounts just yet but thanks for thinking of new ways to spend my money!
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Old 05-16-2015, 08:18 AM   #15
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Al,

A piece of Sylomar from Soundown under and over the mounts may reduce some of the refered vibration.

Rob
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Old 05-16-2015, 12:19 PM   #16
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Al,

A piece of Sylomar from Soundown under and over the mounts may reduce some of the refered vibration.

Rob
Great thought, Rob. I found the specs here.

http://www.soundown.com/Product%20Li...sylomerweb.pdf

It looks like the peak loading of both grades of Sylomar is 145 PSI for "rare and short-term loads".

I'll call the company to see if they have other potential materials for the job. I'm also considering the Soundown carpet pad to reduce noise. I'll talk to them about that, too.

Thanks!
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Old 05-16-2015, 04:03 PM   #17
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a tweaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
My plan is to keep them and adjust as needed. It shouldn't need much more than a little tweaking. I won't get back to it for several weeks.
Heck with a little tweaking you could jack a little rocker into the hull shape. Every action equal reaction. Side deck sag is more common in these old boats than you would think. I did a similar repair to a 57' Hatteras last year. I used a portapower to lift the salon side deck 2".
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Old 05-16-2015, 05:28 PM   #18
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LI had a similar issue w my aft deck in the cockpit of Willy.

I removed the FG stern seat that was attached to the cockpit floor and sides. As a result the floor saged enough that I noticed a puddle on the cockpit deck. I cut two (one for each side) 2x4s and taped them in verticle w a hammer. Sounds crude but I don't think the'll ever move. They haven't in about 5 years.

Re the vibration issue;
A. You could try Poly Flex engine mounts. I think the're made out of plastic. I had them installed in Willy when we did the re-power and Willy seems to have less vibration that other boats .. Willard's included.
B. If rubber pads (or sim) under the jack stands don't do much good you may consider bolting or otherwise attaching them positively to the boat. Feel the member at the bottom of the stands and at the floor where they are located and see if there is more or less vibration above or below. Another solution could be to re-locate the jack stands fore and aft as the distance between the stands may cause resonance or exciting an otherwise not vibrating member. A spring fitted to the top of the Jack stand could help or even be a total solution. If everything in a boat was firmly attached to everything else there would be far less vibration.
A higher rpm engine and/or a gas engine may help too. You can take that as an intended joke as it was.

Question ..... Is the top part of the Jack stand free to be lifted out of the lower tube? If so that could very definitely be a problem re vibration. The connection must be 100% solid IMO.
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Old 05-16-2015, 05:39 PM   #19
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Ok, I have a structural question about the fix....but first, as I said before, I admire the ingenuity and accomplishment of the way you fixed it. My question is: Have you now added a rigidity to the entire boat that wasn't meant to be there? Again, being new to this, I'm just curious how it affects the overall durability of the boat now that you've removed any designed in flexibility to the entire structure. Please don't take this as ANY type of criticism...I'm just on a learning curve here.
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Old 05-23-2015, 12:03 AM   #20
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Good question, Wyoboater.

I've seen some Californians with vertical supports spanning from the stringers to the joists that looked like original construction. It's tough to know for sure, but I suspect that the early boats were built without it and the later models had it incorporated into the original build. Mine is Hull #1 of the 34 LRCs and I know there were many refinements and improvements that were offered or built in on later hulls.

My boat's sagging may have been aggravated by the PO cutting into the joists to remove the fuel tanks. This boat has a reputation for having a very stout hull and structure. I seriously doubt the floor jacks will impart a load that the hull and stringers cannot adequately support.

I found this pic on my computer of another Californian owner who performed the same modification in his boat. I'd give credit to the poster if I could find the owner, but it's been lost in the years since I found it. Maybe he'll surface here to take credit for his handiwork.
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