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Old 05-24-2017, 09:29 AM   #1
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City: Signal Mtn., TN
Country: US
Vessel Name: Stella Maris
Vessel Model: Defever 44
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About to Refloat

Due to work and other considerations, our Defever has been on the hard for the better part of two years. This was an excellent opportunity to make some needed upgrades, so we:
  • replaced all the underwater through hulls/seacocks
  • installed new engine mounts
  • installed a Magnum inverter/charger and Charles ISOBoost transformer
  • replaced extensive AC and D.C. circuitry
  • installed larger alternators and external voltage regulators on the mains
  • re-clad the rudder shafts and completely reworked the steering gear
  • replaced the entire bonding system
  • had the fuels tanks cleaned and inspected
  • Replaced all engine cooling system hoses, clamps and raw water strainers.
Now that I'm retired--and unless we hit a snag--we're going back in the water in a few weeks. I'm building a list of things to check out -- besides obvious things like closing the seacocks and verifying that the bilge pumps work and mud daubers haven't taken up residence in the hoses (which happened last time).

I'd appreciate any thoughts/experiences from those who launched after an extended time on the beach. What did you encounter that I should watch for?
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:13 AM   #2
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City: Fort Myers, FL... Summers in Crisfield, MD
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Vessel Name: Slow Hand
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Sat 18 months on the hard during my refit. Lots of wood work boats in the marina that I use. They will tell you it can take a day or more for it to tighten up. That's the gaps disappearing between the boards in a wooden hull. They said my boat should swell right up.

Seriously, don't be in a rush. They put me in the water and pulled me alongside the bulkhead to check systems. Went in with all seacocks closed. Opened and checked each one. Added some water to the bilge with a dock hose and proved each bilge pump. Just cause the pump runs, doesn't mean a bug didn't build a mud nest in the hull outlet. Turned the shaft by hand to make sure the alignment was still good. Swung the rudder stop to stop. Checked the rudder and prop shaft seals. All that before turning the key and verifying the drive train.

Ted
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:01 PM   #3
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When we launched wood boat in NY after 7 + months on the hard we always had the sling lift stay in place for relatively short time after boat hit the water. Gave safe-opportunity to closely check things out before moving boat to a slip nearby.
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Old 05-24-2017, 11:23 PM   #4
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City: Signal Mtn., TN
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All good thoughts. Thanks!
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Old 05-24-2017, 11:43 PM   #5
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Even if not as critical as seacock I would say check all you electrical systems and connections, nav light, anchor light, switches etc etc these little bastards are easy to get some corrosion on connections and often we discover there is an issue too late when trying to use it.

L.
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Old 05-25-2017, 12:22 AM   #6
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This winter we added a stern thruster, changed several through hulls and changed the water pump seals to Speedseal. We also asked to have the slings left under the boat for a while just in case. The thruster and through hulls have not leaked a drop. The Speedseals leaked badly. Couldn't get them to stop leaking with tightening by hand, had to use channel locks to get them to stop leaking. No more leaks in the last week.
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Old 05-25-2017, 10:26 AM   #7
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I've had a few seasons on land myself. The only thing that went wrong was after the new fuel tanks and shaft. We launched the next summer and I found that the yard didn't tighten the lock nut on the stuffing box. It didn't leak when launched but it backed off when I spent an afternoon practicing my "back and fill" technique. I got to practice my "emergency bilge pump" technique when I got back to the dock. If you checked or replaced the packing in the stuffing box(s) and rudder(s) watch them when you launch and check them a few times later during that day.

Also one of the lines supplying fuel to the engine apparently cracked during re-installation. Everything was fine when it was filled and run but later when it cooled down the crack opened up and it filled the bilge with diesel (AGAIN!!) after just getting new tanks. You may want to spend the night on board that first night.
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Old 05-25-2017, 10:43 AM   #8
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City: Paris,TN
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I'm sure you have already replaced yours but my impeller dried out in 4 months and 5 of the 8 vanes split off not long after relaunch.
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:19 AM   #9
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City: Signal Mtn., TN
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Vessel Model: Defever 44
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Thanks again, guys. New impellers and staying in the slings for an hour are now high on my list. (Never again want to find this when I check impellers.)
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