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Old 04-21-2017, 08:29 AM   #61
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Agree with Tom's comments.

Owning several sailboats and rebuilding my last boat gave me valuable insight as what to look for in an old boat. But I still used an excellent surveyor who caught a few things I missed. However, there will always be a few other items where the only solution is a good cash reserve. Some of my reserve was used to replace the starboard fuel tank a month after purchase.

I started this thread to talk about and get feedback on the improvements I had in mind for our Prairie 36. But there have also been several fixes and maintenance items I have addressed along the way. So I hope I didn't give anyone the wrong impression with all of the Prairie praise that our Prairie 36 is without flaws, it's not.

As with many things in life, a boat is just another compromise.

The only perfect boat is the one you just bought, ....
or is it the next one you're planning to buy.
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Old 04-24-2017, 01:48 PM   #62
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FOG;
Having decided on a Prairie, this time I have to learn, plan and see what others are doing has been great.
I enjoy seeing what others are doing and why and learning from others' trials.....I know I have had many on other vessels.

Thank you and others on this forum for their input and honesty.
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Old 06-30-2017, 08:57 AM   #63
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FOG;
So how is the work on the Prairie 36 coming along?
Any time to cruise some?

Just continuing to wonder how pleased you are and what you are learning about her?

Thanks.

Tim
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:26 PM   #64
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I'd like to know how Fog is doing too. As for myself, I;m pretty happy with Islander. We did a 200 mile week long trip over Memorial day holidays and had a grand time. We've been doing day and week end trips and may do another week long trip later this year anchoring out more. So far I've had to replace my Magic Chef fridge but it's replacement seems to be doing well. I've been replacing the old opening ports with new ones and have 4 more to go in the aft cabin. I will be keeping busy with more updates to come.

Kevin
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:14 PM   #65
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Well guys I'll have to admit that my Prairie 36 improvements have taken a back seat over the past few months. Some family issues, home projects, and a recent trip to California have taken priority.

However, we have managed to purchase some wallpaper for the aft cabin, plan and do a little work on the new dinghy davits for the stern, continue to procrastinate on the purchase of the holding tank from Ronco and accomplish some more unexpected maintenance.

I'm also almost done with cleaning and re-installing the port engine heat exchanger. We decided to move the boat to a marina in Carolina Beach. Our year lease was up and we wanted a different location, plus it saved us a few hundred on another year lease.

I went to the boat the day before we were to move it to the new marina; start the engines and just generally check things out before the 5 hour trip down the inter-coastal. A year before this I did the same thing before we moved our boat to a new marina and I discovered the fuel leak in the starboard tank. Both times we were out on a day cruise about a week before the check day and everything was fine.

Anyway this time I noticed the port engine coolant overflow tank was over flowing. I shut the engine down, drained the overflow tank to the proper level and re-started the engine. My thought was that I over filled the tank on the engine. After about a half hour the tank is over flowing again. My thought now is that I have a leak in the heat exchanger and I'm getting raw water into the coolant.

So I rigged the line (plastic tubing) that goes from the coolant tank on the engine to the overflow tank to go into the bilge. I figured as long as I have raw water circulating where the coolant should be circulating it should keep the engine cool. The next day, moving day, all went well. I checked the plastic over flow tube a few times during the trip and there was a small constant trickle of water going into the bilge.
The next day after the move I removed the heat exchanger and flushed the coolant side of the engine with fresh water from the dock hose.

When I got the heat exchanger home I hooked up my air compressor to the inlet and duct taped the outlet. With just a little bit of air pressure air was coming out around the end cap that goes inside the coolant tank. I took the end cap off and there was some kind of putty compound stuff that just crumbled away - no gasket! Took off the other end cap, same thing - no gasket.

On my previous boat, a Mariner 50 Motorsailer, I also had a Perkins 6.354. So I knew that the heat exchanger end caps had thick rubber gaskets at each end. On my next trip down to the boat I did confirm that the starboard engine heat exchanger exterior end cap did have a rubber gasket. The interior end cap that goes inside the coolant tank I'm not sure of. And I'm not going to remove the heat exchanger from the tank just to check.

I believe that if it's not broke, don't try to fix it. I also broke 3 heads off of the 8 bolts removing the port engine heat exchanger from the coolant tank. Fortunately I was able to remove the broken studs from the tank without having to use an easy out.

Here are a couple of before and after pics of cleaning the heat exchanger portion that goes inside the coolant tank using a biodegradable descaler.
Also a pic of the end cap that was inside the coolant tank. Notice the 2 cracks. I didn't see or feel any air coming from the cracks when I did my testing as I didn't know the cracks were there until I cleaned things up.
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Old 07-02-2017, 06:55 AM   #66
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FOG;
Thanks you for your detailed reply. I am living vicariously through you and other boat owners right now; so I enjoy learning and seeing what is happening.

Indeed so many small issues with an older boat, but at least you know as you repair/replace, what systems you can trust and what systems still need some work.

I hope you are getting closer to your Loop trip. And plans are coming along well in that area.

May you get out some these days and enjoy her!

Tim
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Old 07-02-2017, 07:11 AM   #67
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Prairie 36 Improvements

Fog: Did you have cooler re tubed, plug the two leakers or buy a new core? Source? Or local radiator shop?

Have you been able to figure out if there was an underlying cause? Age, no zinc, low antifreeze?
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Old 07-02-2017, 10:58 AM   #68
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Fog: Did you have cooler re tubed, plug the two leakers or buy a new core? Source? Or local radiator shop?

Have you been able to figure out if there was an underlying cause? Age, no zinc, low antifreeze?
Not planning to re-tube, or a new core. Just cleaned it up with a descaler and replace the cracked end cap and new gaskets. Purchased the gaskets, the end cap and a spare from Trans Atlantic Diesel.

I don't know the cause but suspect that the cracked end cap was from age/fatigue or inferior manufacturing. The cracked end cap is not as thick as the other end caps and from a different manufacturer.

However, I don't think the crack in the end cap was the cause of the leak. I believe not using the proper rubber gasket on the end cap was the cause of the leak. Trying to use some type of sealant compound on the end caps that eventually hardened and cracked was not the correct solution.
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Old 07-02-2017, 12:15 PM   #69
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Ok. Misunderstood. I didn't Catch the crack in the end cap. Just want to keep an eye on mine.
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Old 08-20-2017, 01:03 PM   #70
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New Dinghy Davits

I'm almost done with my new dinghy davits. Still need to build and install a crossbar for support, lights and maybe downstream solar panels.
The main objective of getting the dink off of the aft cabin so I can get the hatch fully open has been accomplished.
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Old 08-21-2017, 03:16 PM   #71
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Sweet!!! I may be e-mailing you for plans...
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Old 08-23-2017, 09:54 PM   #72
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Plans ......... ???????

I don't use no stinking plans.









Just kidding. I did start out with some plans, but have made a few mods along the way. Hey, it's a boat. Happy to share with you if you don't mind a lot of "White Out".
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Old 08-23-2017, 09:56 PM   #73
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Ooc, How are the bases bolted to the gunnel, and how did you back up inside? Is that accessible up above the headboard?
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Old 08-24-2017, 08:01 AM   #74
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Quote:
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Ooc, How are the bases bolted to the gunnel, and how did you back up inside? Is that accessible up above the headboard?
The bases are bolted to the deck and the top of the gunwale (toe rail?). I inherited these davits from a previous boat that I sold. Long story. So I flipped them up side down, did some cutting, made new bases and had them weld up to fit the Prairie 36.

The tubes are 2" Stainless Steel with a 1/8" wall. The bases and backing plates are 1/4" Stainless Steel plate. There is a 4" x 6" backing plate under the 4" x 4" deck bases that pick up the 3 of 5 most forward 3/8" bolts. The other 2 bolts missed the 3/4" plywood core so they just have fender washers.

Avoiding the headboard and overhead area with protruding bolts was the objective. Fortunately there are access cabinets on each side of the bed that allow enough room to reach the inside sections for through bolting. Of course some boat yoga is required.

The trick was the port side mounts because they needed to be sandwiched between the headboard bulkhead and a stanchion. I must have measured that area a thousand times.

I decided to beef up one of the gussets, so the davits are off of the boat, ..... again.

Once I get them re-installed, I'll take some detailed pics and post them if you're interested.
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:07 AM   #75
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Nice conversion. Just make sure dink drain plug is clear. A dink full of rain would overcome the physics of the arch I believe. Especially the one on the engine end. It's nice to be able to modify your earlier parts on a new boat.
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:55 AM   #76
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I'm thinking if I did the same thing, I'd mount the bases on the swim platform, and bolt it to the outside of the transom. I'd need davits that swing out of the way when not in use. I already take up every inch I'm allowed in my slip.
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:28 PM   #77
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How about the same type of davits but removable? I have three rod holders on the transom cap. The tubes can bury about 12" deep in them, that should be enough to take up to 150 lbs.
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:44 PM   #78
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Nice conversion. Just make sure dink drain plug is clear. A dink full of rain would overcome the physics of the arch I believe. Especially the one on the engine end. It's nice to be able to modify your earlier parts on a new boat.
Thanks.
I figured I'd save quite a bit by using what I already had.
Another nice thing about this style of davits is the ability to raise the dinghy bow much higher than the stern to get good drainage. Provided you remove the plug.
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Old 10-20-2017, 04:32 PM   #79
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Aft Cabin

Replaced the wall covering in the aft cabin and installed an Oceanair Skyscreen on the hatch.
I have always liked these as you can have a bug screen, solid cover, or open.
I got my buddy, Jack, to help center it on the hatch for installation.
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Old 10-20-2017, 04:34 PM   #80
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Could you put an exterior pic up when it's done. Looking down into the hatch. TY
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