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Old 11-10-2020, 01:07 PM   #1
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Hello all! I have had sailboats for over 30 years. My current one is a 26 foot Catalina Capri with an 11 hp inboard diesel auxiliary. I have redone the shore power, 12 volt, and plumbing systems, done some gel coat repairs, and totally redone the interior adding a lot of woodwork in this boat. I am a licensed civil engineer that retired several years ago and have built several houses so am pretty handy and enjoy building things. My significant other and I moved up to Whidbey Island in Washington from California a year and a half ago.

I was looking for a winter project thinking I might make some wood geared clocks when my local marina had an auction for some boats, one of which was a Taiwanese Universal 36 foot trawler that appeared in decent shape and that had twin 120 hp lehmans. My SO and I ended up getting it for $1700. Hired a diver to inspect and clean the bottom and a mechanic/licensed captain to help me get the engines going. Had to replace the packing as a PO had compressed them down really tight, and had to buy some new house and starting batteries, but everything else from the engine standpoint was good and so now runs fine. Took it 30 miles up the coast to Anacortes a few weeks ago and pulled it out of the water, and so now the fun really begins! A lot of rot, especially around the windows. And think we will be re-doing the decks removing the teak, and also replacing much of the woodwork inside. Anyway, I do now have my winter project! I have enjoyed and learned a lot reading posts on this forum the past month, and look forward to getting advice, hearing others opinions, and getting some questions answered as we continue with this project. Thanks in advance for everyone's help, and wish us luck!

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Old 11-10-2020, 02:37 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. I agree on the decks about removing the teak. You will probably have to do some recoring the decks. We have fiberglass decks except our sundeck but it had stress cracking all over the decks due to the gel coat being too thick. We sanded off all the nonskid and painted the decks with Kiwigrip. Very easy to work with and will hide a lot of minor imperfections in the glass work. Good luck. And we will need photos of the work.
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Old 11-10-2020, 03:43 PM   #3
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That looks like a real nice boat. If you are going to peel up the decks you might as well go one step deeper and make a hole big enough to access the fuel tanks. They are probably bad.

I rarely, rarely, rarely advocate "parting out" a savable boat and yours looks savable, but there are lots of good parts on that boat, starting with the engines.

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Old 11-10-2020, 05:59 PM   #4
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That looks like a real nice boat. If you are going to peel up the decks you might as well go one step deeper and make a hole big enough to access the fuel tanks. They are probably bad.

I rarely, rarely, rarely advocate "parting out" a savable boat and yours looks savable, but there are lots of good parts on that boat, starting with the engines.

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There is a neighbor in my marina who is very familiar with this boat and he actually already replaced the fuel tanks for a PO. I still need to install a sight glass or gauge and sending units, but tanks are in good shape.
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Old 11-10-2020, 06:09 PM   #5
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Welcome aboard. I agree on the decks about removing the teak. You will probably have to do some recoring the decks. We have fiberglass decks except our sundeck but it had stress cracking all over the decks due to the gel coat being too thick. We sanded off all the nonskid and painted the decks with Kiwigrip. Very easy to work with and will hide a lot of minor imperfections in the glass work. Good luck. And we will need photos of the work.
Thanks. So what is recoring? I know there is an intermediate layer of plywood between top and bottom layers of fiberglass, and was thinking I may need to cut off the top layer of fiberglass and replace the plywood and glass over. Maybe that's the recoring? Is there any easy way to see if any of this plywood is still any good? I was thinking that perhaps the plywood in the forward deck area which, has a steeper slope, might still be ok?
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Old 11-10-2020, 07:31 PM   #6
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Thanks. So what is recoring? I know there is an intermediate layer of plywood between top and bottom layers of fiberglass, and was thinking I may need to cut off the top layer of fiberglass and replace the plywood and glass over. Maybe that's the recoring? Is there any easy way to see if any of this plywood is still any good? I was thinking that perhaps the plywood in the forward deck area which, has a steeper slope, might still be ok?
That is recoring. It is hard work but not to difficult technically. If it is a fiberglass deck it is pretty easy to tap the deck with a phenolic hammer. You will quickly learn what sound is good and what sound (dull thud vs a sharp sound). But if it has teak deck over it then you have a much more difficult time to tell if the core is wet and/or rotten. Maybe wet the deck thoroughly and see where it stays wet longer may indicate. But may not. Not sure if a moisture meter will see through the teak or not. There are a lot of threads on how to recore and Boatworks Today has some videos on it. Good luck.
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Old 11-10-2020, 08:33 PM   #7
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Not a great picture, but beneath the bench on my flybridge, there was a small weep that had rotted the core. Fiberglass was removed well beyond the punky wood, the new plywood feathered in and glassed over. Probably about 15 sf of deck removed. In my case, the bench was reconfigured so much of the work needed to be done anyway. There was probably 40 man hours in this.

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Old 11-11-2020, 05:45 PM   #8
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Wow!!! That boat sure does look like a Grand Banks. Right down to the scrolls on the handrails.
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Old 11-24-2020, 08:02 AM   #9
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Wow! I am a new member and started reading and found your posts. I moved from Oak Harbor about 9 years ago and worked at Northern Marine in Anacortes for a few years building big trawlers as a marine carpenter. I lived on a 37 foot sailboat in Skyline Marina in Anacortes for a few years before i made the move to land. I am now in the San Francisco area and currently closing in on the purchase of a trawler in the area. Hope to be able to post about the purchase shortly, even in this pandemic.
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Old 11-24-2020, 04:30 PM   #10
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Ted and Elaine,
Welcome to the forum and congrats on the new boat. Great price, if looked at even from the point of view of "parts", so with the engines running well, and new(ish) fuel tanks you are off to a good start. Dealing with the teak decks is definitely a good idea.

Good luck and keep us "up to date".
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