New trawler owner...Some questions.

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Dec 18, 2007
I recently purchased a 36 Litton and brought it from Indiantown Fl up to Charleston SC.*It has a single Ford Lehman 120.**The trip was a great learning experience, however I*have*some questions.* What should my cruise RPM*be?*Should it be a percentage of WOT or is there an accepted cruise RPM*for the Lehman.* I ran it at*1750*RPM, runnin about 7 kts, O.P. was running*50, temp*155, fuel burn of*1.4 GPH, is this about right?* The PO removed the stove/oven in favor of an extra refrigerator, while I*would never complain about extra beer storage oportunities my wife would like to be able to cook; on to the point.**Is there a reason, (minus*not having a pot rail), that I couldnt use a RV L.P. stove/oven*instead of a marine one?* The PO also removed the mast and related hardware, is there a good source to locate a new mast step, tabernacle, hinge whatever it is called. I can find all other hardware on-line. I had another question about oil changing on the Simms injector pump but see that the concensus is to do it at 50 hours.**I have a valve on a thru hull, (generator raw water), that will not close, the handle as well as the stem rotates but the valve dosent close; I am well up the Cooper river and not close to any haul out facilites.* What is the best course of action here? Add another valve on top of the non-working valve, get a new valve turn on all the bilge pumps and try and change it; (either way there is a lot of water coming in the boat), or just take my chances?* I am going to pull the boat in a little less than 2 years, but seems like a long time to leave a non-working valve. What is the wisdom out there on removing teak decks?* It dosent appear that I have any water intrusion but the decks are in poor shape and less than 1/4" thick, needs recaulking, and is missing many MANY bungs,*so I think my best route is to go ahead and remove them. Can the screw holes be filled with resin and the decks painted with no-skid, or do I need to glass over all the areas that were covered with teak.* Well that is it for now gentlemen, sorry for the length thanks for bearing with me, and thanks in advance for any information you can give me.
Kevin, welcome and thanks for joining.* While I don't have enough experience to reply to any of your concerns I am sure that you will get a ton of help here at* We've got a fantastic bunch of smart and experienced*Trawlermen (and women!)*hanging out here.* Most are misfits and rejects but that's why we love 'em!

Again, Welcome!

-- Edited by dougd1 at 16:11, 2007-12-18
Kevin, good for you! 1750 seems to be the "sweet spot" on Lehmans OP and temps are good and 1.4 GPH is really good. Is there any way you can plug the thru hull valve from the outside? A big gob of plasticene maybe? My opinion is to change out the valve. If your decks don't leak, one thing is to coat them with truck bed liner and forget about them-quick and dirty right over the teak. Fill in the bung holes with epoxy or caulk and go at the whole smutz with a paint brush and roller. hahahaha bung holes....just caught me a bit funny....
Lehman 120s are pretty happy anywhere between about 1500 rpm and 1800 rpm. The oil in the Simms pump should be changed every 50 hours as you've seen discussed. We change our engine oil every 100 hours but the manual says 200. We use the recommended oil, which is Delo 400. For our climate, 30 wt is the best, but your climate may dictate a different weight.

The temperature you quoted seems low--- it should be up around 180 degrees or so--- but this could be due to the temp sender or the gauge (or both). Since it's a new boat to you, a good idea would be to check the actual temperatures using an infrared thermometer or some other direct-reading means. Then at least you'll know that 155 on the gauge realliy means 180 or whatever.

Many boats are fitted with RV-type propane ranges and they work just fine. However, purpose-built marine ranges are generally built of stainless steel plus have pot holders and such, although these could probably be added to an RV-type range. So a stainless marine range may hold up to the salt water environment better than an RV range unless it, too, is made of stainless.

At least one manufacturer of marine ranges uses a retracting oven door--- as you open the door it slides down and under the range and doesn't protrude into the cabin. We have one of these--- they're made by Force 10--- and given the location of our range in the cabin the "disappearing door" is a real asset.

Make sure that whatever kind of range you get has thermocouple safeties on the propane lines to the burner. If the flame is blown out, the gas supply is shut off to that burner. I suspect that most RV ranges have this feature as well as marine ranges.

There are specific safety standards defining things like propane lockers and gas lines to appliances, so make sure these are adhered to if you install a propane system and range.

Teak decks can often be brought back from what appears to be very bad condition, but this is dependent upon how much wood is left. If the deck planks on your boat are in fact only about 1/4" thick, I don't think that's really enough to work with anymore. But if planks are thick enough, a deck can be regrooved and re-seamed (we had this done), and deck screws can be set deeper and new plugs glued in place, something we have also done a lot (well over 1,000 times).

Remember that almost all epoxies have no resistance to UV light, so if you elect to fill empty plug holes with epoxy, that epoxy may not hold up all that long if the boat is not covered.* The best finish for a teak deck is nothing.* Some people try to preserve the "teak look" with products like Cetol but this makes the deck surface a little more slippery, plus every Cetol job I've seen to date on a deck eventually causes no end of trouble as it starts to peel and generally look like hell.** And it's a very time-consuming process (aka expensive) to remove a failing Cetol finish*from a teak deck.

A new teak deck for a Grand Banks 36 is between $20,000 and $30,000 depending on who you get the quote from--- it's NOT a cheap proposition. So if the planks really are too thin to do anything with it may be more cost effective to remove the existing teak planking and replace it with a fiberglass surface. A fellow on our dock just did this himself on his thirty-something foot Island Gypsy, and the results look very good. It was a big job and it took him a good couple of months to complete it, but I don't know how much time he had each week to work on it.* It takes knowledge and skills that I don't have, so all I can say is that it is*possible to do it yourself.* A yard could do it too, but the labor bill would proabably be pretty impressive.

-- Edited by Marin at 18:00, 2007-12-18

A quick PS--- Before you do anything about your deck I'd sure advise that you find a shipwright knowledgeable about the care and feeding of teak decks and get his/her opinion of the actual condition of your deck. My comments above were based on the experience we've had with our deck and on comments I've seen on the Grand Banks owners forum from people with a lot of GB maintenance and repair experience. But just because I say it sounds like your deck may be too thin to restore doesn't mean it is. Talk to a pro before you decide your course of action.

I don't mean to imply that the suggestions you're getting from us are not valid. But our comments are based on your brief written description of your deck. We haven't seen it, and one thing I've learned is that often a problem that seems serious and insurmountable isn't. Of course, sometimes it is........

-- Edited by Marin at 19:07, 2007-12-18
I would not have a single with out a bow thruster.* The reason is you can control the stern by thrusting the stern to the side, and it easy to turn maneuver to the OPPOSIT side of the prop walk, but its a bitch to turn/maneuver TO the side the stern will prop walk to.

The Eagle is a single that prop walks to port.* That is when in reverse the stern will be pulled to port no matter where the rudder is.* So its easy to turn/maneuver to starboard by thrusting the stern to port, then reverse the prop walk continues the stern to port.* However, turning/maneuvering to port the stern is thrust to starboard but the prop walk will counter in reverse going to port.* **

Also it is very difficult to back straight up with a single with out a bow thruster to keep thrusting the bow to port as the stern will walk to port forcing the bow to starboard.* If give the choice I will always turn/maneuver to starboard BUT PREFER a port tie.* The opposite is true with a starboard prop walk.*

Anyway, you will like and control the boat better with a bow thruster than a stern thruster. *If you do not understand thrusting and prop walk a single is difficult to handle.* It took me a while, OK a long long time, to the get the hang/idea of thrusting and the prop walk.*

As for*teak decks most boaters to no know how to maintain and repair them.* Give a liitle loving care teak decks will last as longs as the boat and be leak free.* I re calk and fastened the Eagle's teak deck which is not expensive or hard to do, but it does take time.* However, that is another topic/post.

Man, that's a lot of questions for one post! Looks like several have been answered already.

As for the thru-hull valve, is it a ball valve or rubber plug type? Is it a true sea-cock, or is it a thru-hull fitting with a valve screwed on top. A picture might help. I'm real wary of trying to do anything major that opens up a hole in the bottom of the boat. I would suggest making sure you have a wooden plug attached to that particular valve/seacock and a hammer nearby so you can plug it if something happens before you can properly repair it. If you have to replace it, I really like Groco seacocks:

The temp does seem a little low on the engine. The usual suspects in order: 1. the sending unit, either bad or corroded contacts. 2. The thermostat 3. The gage. I bet it's number 1.

As far as the decks go, I'd nurse them along as best I could for as long as I could, especially since you don't see any leaks and don't appear to have any soft coring (the surveyor did check for this, right?) When you say there's only 1/4" of wood left, do you mean the bungs that are popping out are 1/4" thick? If there really were only 1/4" left, every screw would be standing proud and there would be NO bungs left! My decks are worn so that the bungs are almost paper thin in places, and I replace about 100 of them at a time, assembly line style. Takes about three hours in total. I'll post the procedure in a separate post so it can be found later. I don't think you would be successful painting over a teak deck. You could cover it with pickup truck bed liner, which will work well, but you have to think about the resale value of your boat too.

You can use a digital temp gun on the header tank while you are running the engine and see what the real temp is. The thermostat is under the header tank so it should read close to 180. I have noticed in cooler weather that my engines take a long time to heat up to 180.
I also figured out that the previous owner had installed automotive thermostats in the engines. I had to order the correct one from American Diesel. I searched for one at local auto parts stores and could not find the correct temp.
I think the correct thermostat is 176 deg....

Thanks so much for your replies.* The water temp at the marina is down below 55 so plugging the thru-hull to change the ball valve will have to wait until spring. I guess I could accidentally bump my wife overboard and say "hey since your down there", but not sure I would get the boat in the divorce.*I hadnt thought about just pulling the screws and plugging the holes if the deck is well adhered, I like the teak deck and would prefer to keep it, I will check it out, and as yet no soft coring and no leaks hard to believe as bad as the caulking is*and the lack of bungs. I have a temp gun I will check the real temp as well. Thanks again for your replies again, and dont go anywhere, I am betting I will have several more.* Like anyone have a good suggestion on how to remove the starter from an Onan generator that is 6" from a bulkhead?* Who designs these things anyway?
If you're seeing a quarter inch of wood between the top of a deck plank and the top of a deck screw where the plug is missing, the chances are there is plenty of wood below the screw to work with. If the seams are bad, the old seaming compound can be reefed out and the grooves recut if they are too shallow from deck sanding or the use of "teak cleaners," and the seams re-sealed. We had this done on our boat.

The 7.5 kw Onan MDJE generator in our boat was repositioned when the previous owner had new fuel tanks installed. It is now transferse in the rear of the engine room up against the bulkhead. The starter side is facing the bulkhead. We had the starter replaced a year or two ago, and amazingly the mechanic was able to get it off and the new one on without having to move the generator. It was not easy but he did it.
As far as the generator starting motor, have you thought about cutting an access door on the bulkhead outside the ER. I saw this done on a 34' Marine Trader underneath the front steps leading down to the v-berth. A bit of molding around the cut and viola!

The deck is a total of 1/4, some of the screw heads are flush with the face, I think I could re-groove and re-caulk, but resetting screws would be difficult.* With a bit stop and a lot of care they probably could be, but there wouldnt be much room for the bung to adhere, and not much wood under the screw.* The starter, well I havent really REALLY tried to get back there.* I look at it, open a beer, look at it some more, then put it off untill next weekend, going on 3 weekends now.* I keep looking and drinking beer, but the darn thing isnt getting any better.

I have actually thought about that, while looking and drinking, and that might be the best or easy way to go, that way I could get at it again if needed.* Mine is offset to port, so I would have to put the door behind the foward head, but this weekend I will for sure drink a beer and look at that.
Most of the guys on this forum dissagree with me but I think NO, your cruise rpm should be where your engine is loaded properly. Passage Maker Magazine says one should be at 75% load 75% of the time and I run my boat under that rule. As Marin pointed out older engines may not need that much loading to keep warm enough so the engine dosn't suffer. Marin burns 3 gph so he is very close to 50% loading and on these old low compression engines that may work fine.. I'll admit I'm not 100% sure about the 75/75 rule myself but if there is mutch truth in it at all 50% loading is probably the bottom of the acceptable safe operating range. This would require you to doubble your fuel burn to achive a 50% loading. Good thing fuel's cheap eh?

Eric Henning
30' Willard
Thorne Bay AK
To decide what to do with the teak paint job on the deck , you will need to know what the actual deck below is made of.

Should it be ALL GLASS , the loose and leaky screws will only damage it a bit and not compromise structural integrity much.

Should it be the std TT construction of a layer or two of glass slathered on plywood , the faster you get rid of leaky screws it the better for the boat.

In theory you could lift it , keep track of the position of every piece , repair the deck to watertight , and GLUE , not screw the remains of the teak back in place. If you are an accountant that loves puzzeles , maybe.


Most of the engines used in early trawlers and sail were conversions of taxi or tractor engines , NOT heavy duty marine engines.

As part of their design light loading , ideling or running a PTO , was expected , so most have square cut rings , and the many other build choices that make 2 gph running OK.

Turbos DO have minimum load requirements , but naturals (no turbo) don't, although ideling killes them all.

Congrates on your purchase!!

We recently replaced a 1 1/2" ball valve in a 34' Mainship for the same reason. The exercise took place at dockside. We removed the hoses, clamps and gathered two pipe wrenches, one mid size, one very big and a large cheater bar to assist. Once the old valve was loosened enough to not require a wrench a couple of shop towels were made ready to plug in the thru-hull once the valve was removed. Teflon tape was applied to the thru-hull male threaded connection, the shop towels were removed and the new valve was screwed on. Once the new valve was tightened and orientated for proper valve handle clearance then the hoses and clamps were re-installed. What water came in during the process was taken away by the bilge pump, no issues there. Caution should be used when removing the old valve so as not to disturb the backing plate, other wise pretty straight forward.

Your operating temperature may be higher once the season changes. As for the 1750 rpm's look for the sweet spot, where she just hums along. If you think that 1750 is to slow, then once an hour or so open her up. This should help clean the oil from the cylinder wall and prevent glazing. Your 1.4 gph may change once you get her loaded with, fuel, water & beer.

I have been told that once you begin to use a bow thruster, you begin to forget how to maneuver.

Good Luck,

El Sea
Suite 44
44' Thompson
St Petersburg, Fl.

"Every major problem has asimple solution"
The problem with the above procedure is assembeling parts NOT designed to work together.

Every thru hull has straight threads (unless owner redone with a pipe thread die) and ball valves are built to seal on pipe threads , which taper.

Sure it will screw on , but 3 or 4 turns is hardly a proper job.

Pull the boat and install a MARINE SEACOCK with at least 3/8 Bronze bolts , and you will be able to sleep at night.

"If you think that 1750 is to slow, then once an hour or so open her up. This should help clean the oil from the cylinder wall and prevent glazing. "

Running an engine at higher load may clean out the gunk that gets in the ring lands and sticks the rings, but it does NOTHING to relieve burnishing.

Burnishing is a mechanical process of smoothing & polishing the cylinder walls, whats done is done and only removed with a hone and fine stones.

A harder run might bring the oil temp up enough to boil out any acids from blowby , or it may not.

Simple , just change the oil more frequently to refresh the chemical package in the oil.

I concur with FF about using real marine HW below the waterline.* We may argue about nav lights (probably because I don't run at night), but thru-hulls and fuel systems are sacred.
Yes, proper HW below the W/L but seeing how the PO had passed away and*his son had no time for the boat and a surveyor and new owner were in a hurry to close the deal and the new ball valve was the same as originally installed and had last twenty four years and hopefully the new owner will haul and attent to the list.******** And, that is the long and short of the ball valve replacement.

If it was my boat (and it would not have made the short list) I would have addressed all issues related to mechanical and below the waterline before taking across the big bend to the panhandle of Florida.

Keep the water out of the boat and the boat off of the rocks and enjoy. Keep those BOAT units flowing and enjoy.

El Sea

"Merry Christmas & Happy New Year"
RE: New trawler owner...Some questions. (long as usual)

Been a while since I have been on other than lurking at work and thought I would update my progress and seek more wisdom from the board.* After a short TDY I took a couple weeks of leave. The generator is now running fine, I did have to cut an access door behind the fwd head, nothing wrong with the starter other than neglect, ran new wires, cleaned er up, bench tested, and put*er back on worked fine.**Raw water pump wasnt working, again neglect,
*had my girls rebuild it,*pumps great.*Built and installed new cabinets in the galley, then started removing the teak deck.* Man what a pain in the ***, about 1/3 or so done with it; which brings me to my question(s).*The deck core seems to be in good shape, havent found any noticable soft spots, did find a couple of places with water under the teak,*should I lay down a layer of glass anyway, or just fill screw holes and apply whatever I choose to cover decks with? *Anyone have experience with Decko Dot for a deck covering, made by Nautolex, wondering how it performs, how it holds up, do the little dots get torn off by foot rotation, etc, etc.* What does the learned group think of this type of deck covering? Better to just paint with no skid?* Well there you have it not as many questions as before, but I am still just as long winded.

Troy is in the middle of removing his teak decks and there is post about his progress somewhere on here..... Good luck an I am sure he could answer some questions for you.
Gentlemen please disregard the above post, I ask the question again in the appropriate category. Sorry.

You should attempt to find out how the deck was constructed. A few boats actually have GRP (fiberglass ) decks , unfortunatly most seem to be plywood with a layer or two slathered on.

IF your decks are GRP , no harm will come from leaving the teak to die a slow death.

If the decks are "composite" and NOT SOFT and PUNKY , you have great luck .

IF The hundreds of screw holes thru the glass haven't rotted the core you can do a major rebuild to keep the teak "look."

Or if cruising is more important than a few hundred hours of scut work (that will need to be redone , when this application of sealant dies in 7 -10 years) , shovel it off and put on a layer of glass (if needed) and a good no skid system.

Tight boats with NO LEAKS don't die! Leaky boats DIE slowly and stink.

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