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Old 07-09-2012, 11:17 AM   #1
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Perils and pricing of removing a flybridge.

Hi:
Still trying to find the "right" boat and subsequently bringing it to Nova Scotia. The search has evolved into the possibility of trucking a vessel overland and having to remove the flybridge due to height restrictions.
Does anyone have any thoughts on known issues in removing a flybridge from a "Californian", "Tollycraft" or "Marine Trader" in the 34 to 40 foot range?

1.) Basically, is it a simple bolts and screws operation for these craft or is a "saw" necessary? (resulting in fiberglass and paint work.)

2.) Any recollections on yard pricing for removal or replacement?

Thanks to everyone for your input in advance.

Cworthy
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:40 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by cworthy View Post
Hi:
Still trying to find the "right" boat and subsequently bringing it to Nova Scotia. The search has evolved into the possibility of trucking a vessel overland and having to remove the flybridge due to height restrictions.
Does anyone have any thoughts on known issues in removing a flybridge from a "Californian", "Tollycraft" or "Marine Trader" in the 34 to 40 foot range?

1.) Basically, is it a simple bolts and screws operation for these craft or is a "saw" necessary? (resulting in fiberglass and paint work.)

2.) Any recollections on yard pricing for removal or replacement?

Thanks to everyone for your input in advance.

Cworthy
I have not taken one apart, but had a trawler trucked from New Jersey to Tennessee with the flybridge removed. Don;t forget the safety rails will probably also have to come off. I with the help of a friend reassembled it. It came on the bow of the boat. Make certain that if you have to cut any wires that you label them well, and secure them to a bus bar. Label both ends of the wire as you cut it.

It was no problem putting it together. In fact after we secured the flybridge, we did the rest of the work while a friend piloted the boat the 80 miles to the home port. When we arrived, we had already washed the diesel fumes and road grime off the boat. We just lowered a bucket into the fresh water river, and washed away.

She was looking good when we arrived at home port. We then had a big christening party.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:40 PM   #3
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A good friend of mine just removed the bridge from his old Chris Craft so he could ship it from Miami to Texas. It only took about three days for him and his son to remove it, get it lashed down on the bow and seal the openings with plastic and tape. He had removed it ten or fifteen years ago when one of the fasteners started to leak. He reinstalled it with a lot of 3M 5200. This time he was afraid that the 5200 would be a problem but it wasn't. He just used a thin blade knife to cut the 5200. He suggested that using a piece of fishing leader wire stretched between two handles might have worked even better than the knife.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:06 PM   #4
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While we did not have to do this, removing and then replacing the flying bridge on our GB36 would have been quite a task. In addition to the removal of the flying bridge structure itself, the seat bases would have had to be removed along with the control cables for the upper steering and upper power levers and shifters, all the electrical connections for the engine instruments and electronics (radio, air horns, etc), the venturi panels, and the flying bridge rails.

Fortunately the trucking company we used to haul our new-to-us boat uses specially-built trailers that drop the forefoot of the boat nearly to the pavement. Even so, they told us that of the GB model range the GB36 is the largest model that can be trucked on the west coast without removing the flying bridge. The east coast, they said, is much more iffy since a lot of the bridges and overpasses are old and have fairly low clearances.

But talking to a marine trucking company will let you know if the flying bridge of the boat you are contemplating moving will have to come off or not once they have the "from there to there" info.

Also, they may be able to suggest an alternative destination that might preclude having to remove the flying bridge. For example they recommended to us that we have our boat trucked to Tacoma and then take it to Bellingham on its own bottom because there are some "iffy" overpass clearances in the Seattle area.

So it may be that if you are considering trucking a 34' boat the flying bridge might not have to come off. If the boat is 40' there is a pretty good chance that it will.
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:33 AM   #5
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So it may be that if you are considering trucking a 34' boat the flying bridge might not have to come off.
Sound advice. Removing a flybridge sounds like a desperate last choice.
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:38 AM   #6
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Fortunately the trucking company we used to haul our new-to-us boat uses specially-built trailers that drop the forefoot of the boat nearly to the pavement.
Marin, curious why you decided to have your GB trucked from San Francisco to the Seattle area rather than motoring the boat via the Pacific Ocean.
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:56 AM   #7
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Marin, curious why you decided to have your GB trucked from San Francisco to the Seattle area rather than motoring the boat via the Pacific Ocean.
It was actually trucked from the old Navy base in Alameda to a yard in Tacoma, south of Seattle.

Took 2-1/2 days on the road vs God only knows how long on the ocean with few safe harbors between there and here to duck into. A friend's GB46 took over a month to make the same journey because the delivery crew had to wait out several storms in the few ports along the way.

Our insurance company was WAY happier with the boat on a truck for that journey than out in the open ocean.

The cost of trucking or hiring a delivery skipper was the same at the time (we did not have the experience, the time, or the desire to run the boat up the coast ourselves).

It is an old boat and while it surveyed out very well we felt it was far better that we discover problems in our home, relatively protected waters with safe havens all over the place than out in the Pacific off a coast with few ports to run to. As it turned out we had to shut an engine down toward the end of the day and a half delivery trip from Tacoma to Bellingham because the coolant pump on one of the engines had a bad gasket and gradually dumped the coolant into the drip pan. The temperature rise was very slow and we shut the engine down before it even overheated, but it was much nicer to do this in smooth water only five miles from our destination than in the open ocean somewhere off the coast.

A GB is not an open ocean boat by any stretch of the imagination. If it's a nice day it's okay, but it's not what you want to be in if the wind, swells, and waves kick up which they can do fairly quickly off the coast. And there are only a few places to duck into on that run and some of them can be pretty tricky to downright dangerous what with the bars to cross, so if the weather and water go bad on you, you could have a long run to get out of it and that's not the kind of boat you want to do that in.

Neither my wife nor I have any interest in boating in the open ocean. I because I've had enough of it and my wife because it's a bit scary to her. We've had our 17' Arima out in the open ocean off the west coast of Vancouver Island halibut fishing and while we caught some nice big halibut it was not the kind of boating experience either of us had and subsequently said "That was fun.". So we've never gone back out there.
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Old 07-10-2012, 03:11 AM   #8
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... It is an old boat and while it surveyed out very well we felt it was far better that we discover problems in our home, relatively protected waters with safe havens all over the place than out in the Pacific off a coast with few ports to run to. ...
Agree one shouldn't take an extensive/exposed journey before one fully tests/trusts the boat's systems. Particularly for a voyage along the dangerous California-to-Washington coast.
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