My first lift-in - what should I do?

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My first lift-in - what should I do?

Post by TyroSailor » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:33 am

My Centaur is almost ready to go back in the water after over a year in the yard.

The new engine is fitted, I have the new rigging ready (well, almost) for when the mast goes up in the spring and I shall do the anti-fouling tomorrow (weather f/c is as good as can be expected in January). The engineer's coming on Wednesday at 1100 to fit the fuel return pipe to the filter and make any other preparations necessary. SGR is coming to help as well (thanks in advance, Steve!) Then at the top of the tide (1400) in she goes.

I've buffed up the anode (still plenty left) and checked for play in the rudder. The seacocks have had their barnacles and other wildlife removed from inside the pipes (NOT a pleasant job from underneath with a round file). I know I need to refit the heads hoses to their seacocks and put the log back in its hole. There are a few - well, let's be honest, there are dozens of - other jobs that need doing before I head off for the wide blue yonder, but have I missed anything crucial? I REALLY don't want to have to get her out again!

(I should point out that launching at this most unsuitable time of year has been forced on me by the yard. I was hoping to do it in March).
Last edited by TyroSailor on Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Steve
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Re: My first lift-in - what should I do?

Post by Waka Tiki » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:25 am

Hi TyroSailor,
Just a few random thoughts.
1 Insurance. Are you covered for being afloat and for the launch itself. I know the company I use specifies the sailing season as being from April 31st to Oct 31st.
2. Leaks. Don't allow the lift in slings to be removed until you have checked all of the through hull fittings. Many moons ago I saw a Newbridge that was lifted in and hauled straight out due to a massive leak around a newly and poorly fitted transducer.
3. You say you are having work done on the engine just before you launch. Will you be able to check that the engine will start and run before you launch and if it won't how will you get to your mooring? This is always a headache at the mass boat launch at the Porthmadog Sailing Club each spring. There is always at least one boat with with a reluctant engine that needs a tow from the club rib.
4. For your next haul out note where the slings went this time. I have lift here stickers from EBay on the toe rail of my Berwick as I can never remember the exact spot to avoid prop, skeg and especially the sum log impeller. At the very least take a few photos.
5. Don't be rushed. Yards often need to get several boats in on a tide and are keen to crack on. It's easy to forget to check a potential leak such as the galley or wc or to forget to open the engine water inlet before motoring off.
I'm sure you'll get far more useful advice from other members....!
Regards John.

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Re: My first lift-in - what should I do?

Post by TyroSailor » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:57 am

Thanks John.

Insurance - check. I actually asked them last year to allow me to sail all the year round which they did - at no extra charge. I'll let them know anyway.
Leaks - this is my chief worry. All the seacocks are old (although the two heads ones have been reseated) but were OK when she was in last year.
Engine - other than factory testing, the engine hasn't run yet, but the engineer who fitted it will be on hand to commission it.
Slings - go close in to the keels both ends. There are marks on the gunwales. I shall have my camera, though, to record the occasion.
Rushing - against my nature, but the 'harbourmaster' who'll be operating the lift knows his own mind. However, he's also a seaman, and will appreciate caution. But (assuming there are no leaks) she'll go onto a temporary berth next to lhe lift for engine commissioning and suchlike. I hope there'l be enough tide to get round to my berth when we're done!

Thanks for the advice.
Experience: That which would have been most useful five minutes before you acquired it.

Steve
Tyro (Centaur 1361)
at Southampton

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Re: My first lift-in - what should I do?

Post by Jolly Roger » Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:23 am

Best of luck Steve.

You have been forced to wait for this day for so long. It's a good way to start the year with physical evidence of progress on your boat.

What has been suggest is sensible. Your engineer will be a comfort and probably have plenty of advice.

Several extra comments are:
Make sure you have the kettle on and keep everyone happy and warm.
Have bow and stern lines dropped down as they will stop the boat turning unexpectedly.
Check the stern gland once in the water.
Dress warmly and have gloves on.
Wear your lifejacket.
Take lots of photos and post a couple on here.

Most of all enjoy the day.
Roger
Concerto Fulmar FR38
Photos at http://s1294.photobucket.com/user/Conce ... 2/library/

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Re: My first lift-in - what should I do?

Post by Waka Tiki » Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:40 pm

Hi Steve... Just had a quick look at a few of your posts ... Phew ... You've had a long haul getting this far so as Jolly Roger says ENJOY THE LAUNCH. Remember you'll be afloat while most of us are still using our boats as sheds come man caves! :mrgreen: with envy!

On the subject of leaks, apart from annual servicing of the Blakes seacocks, the fittings on my boat havn't been moved since she was built in 1979. They don't leak (now rapidly trying to find wood to touch) even after 36 years. The water I did find in lockers and the bilge after my first launch was initially alarming but, after a quick non-health and safety taste test, turned out to be fresh. Still in the process of tracking down all the rain water inlets but a few leaky locker lids I can live with.

All the best for the "big day" :D

John

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Re: My first lift-in - what should I do?

Post by TyroSailor » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:50 pm

Thanks Roger and John. Kettle, yes. I think I have tea bags on board but no coffee and certainly no milk. Shopping list required. I need a new padlock too.

Roger, I still have your rigging tension gauge and will use it when the mast goes up in the spring, if you can live without it till then.

The engine bay had 6" of water in it when I arrived yesterday, despite the tarpaulin overall. It leaked. So does the lazarette lid. Fortunately the water hadn't reached my shiny new engine, only the stern seal, which is watertight anyway (I hope!). Pumped out and sponged the remnants. I don't think it'll leak when she's afloat as she'll be on an even keel, rather than bows up as she has been while ashore. I'm wondering about payng the engineer to fit my electric bilge pump rather than taking a day and a half to do it badly myself. Battery power may be compromised by the solar panels falling against the edge of the cockpit seat yesterday (a moment's inattention and it blew over) but despte the glass casing being cracked, they seem to work, So far.

Anti-fouled today, including a not insignificant quantity on my hands, face and hair. Now mostly removed. My specs had many specks.

Now back with the Aged Parent, having partaken of fatted calf, and considering my options tomorrow,
Last edited by TyroSailor on Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Experience: That which would have been most useful five minutes before you acquired it.

Steve
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Re: My first lift-in - what should I do?

Post by Jolly Roger » Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:11 pm

Steve

The water probably entered from the lazarette locker at the aft end of the cockpit. Check there is a seal, if not add a neoprene self adhesive seal to the lid. If that does not work add an extra layer on the opening edge.

Fitting an electric bilge pump is not difficult with a hole cutter. It should take about half a day for you to do.

No rush for the return ofthe rigging gauge as I still have the larger version.

Hope the launch goes smoothly. Just remember your boat is going to get wet (again) and should float if there are no leaks!
Roger
Concerto Fulmar FR38
Photos at http://s1294.photobucket.com/user/Conce ... 2/library/

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Re: My first lift-in - what should I do?

Post by TyroSailor » Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:28 pm

It did. I pumped a bucketful out of there too. I'd like to know how it gets through. I fitted a neoprene seal last year after I discovered the old engine waist deep in water. It helped. As explained above it's happening because of the way the boat's propped up. By Wednesday afternoon it won't be a problem. I hope.

It's the last phrase that worries me. :shock:
Experience: That which would have been most useful five minutes before you acquired it.

Steve
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Re: My first lift-in - what should I do?

Post by Jolly Roger » Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:00 pm

Keep calm, everything will be fine on the day - or maybe not.

Final bit of advice Steve. Keep your fingers crossed that the lift and entering the water goes correctly. :wink: :wink: :lol:
Roger
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Re: My first lift-in - what should I do?

Post by TyroSailor » Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:38 am

Should I tip the crane driver/"harbourmaster"? (Should I have bought him a bottle for Christmas, being an inherently mean soul?)
Experience: That which would have been most useful five minutes before you acquired it.

Steve
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Re: My first lift-in - what should I do?

Post by Jolly Roger » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:35 pm

It is not expected. You can always pass a can of beer for later if you feel t was a good job.
Roger
Concerto Fulmar FR38
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Re: My first lift-in - what should I do?

Post by TyroSailor » Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:22 pm

If he drops the boat and breaks it, do you think he'll buy me a new one? :wink: :wink:
Experience: That which would have been most useful five minutes before you acquired it.

Steve
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Re: My first lift-in - what should I do?

Post by Jolly Roger » Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:48 pm

Your insurer might buy you a secondhand one if that happens. Doubt it would have a brand new engine. So pray the boat is launched smoothly.
Roger
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Re: My first lift-in - what should I do?

Post by Waka Tiki » Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:39 pm

Hi Steve... So how did the launch go? :?:
Regards John

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Re: My first lift-in - what should I do?

Post by TyroSailor » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:28 pm

By the time I arrived at the yard (1030 for a 1400 launch) Tyro was already in the slings on the quay ready to go. By the time I'd borrowed a ladder and set it up, and collected some water to make coffee, Bob (the engineer) had arrived, and (as usual) he quickly got to work to connect the fuel return to the primary filter, as discussed. And by the time the kettle was on, Steve and Olly arrived.

After a coffee I connected up the one remaining pipe to its seacock and refitted the paddlewheel log in its hole. Then I went round to Force 4 to get the remaining bits for the bilge pump while Bob finished sorting out the engine electricals; when I got back Steve and Olly, with help from Lewis, had moved the mast to the brow ready to go down to the pontoons. Barely had we completed that job (and Bob fitted the skin fitting for the pump) when Alan decided that the time was right (an hour earlier than advertised, but he's not a man to argue with) to lower her into the oggin. So I unlashed the ladder, exhorted the others to take photos and prepared all the seacocks for inspection.

Up, across and down went the boat, all very smoothly (he does this nearly every day, with a boat hoist almost as old as I am) and he even asked if there were any leaks before removing the slings. There weren't, so we manhandled the boat round the corner to make way for another boat coming out and Bob tried the engine. It didn't start. The he opened the fuel cock. It still didn't start. After several protracted attempts (I was impressed how well the battery stood up to this) interspersed with twiddling various settings, it ran! No cooling water came through, until we'd primed the pump; then there was a leak from the cooling water pipe, fortunately above the seacock. Then we couldn't get it to stop - problem with the electronic solenoid switch. A couple of phone calls to the manufacturers and considerable fiddling later, that was working too (but I was shown the manual by-pass for this in case it failed), and after attaching the gear-change cables to the lever the right way round, we were fit to motor round onto my berth.

Very relieved that all was (eventually) working, I was even more pleased when my well-thought-out but slightly unorthodox method of turning the boat round into her berth also worked well. We tied her up, fixed up the A-frame on the transom, lifted the mast on and lashed it down. Steve and Olly rigged the tent over the mast while Bob and I carried on with the bilge pump and then decided that they'd call it a day. Many thanks to them, and mutual offers of sailing.

By the time I returned from a second shopping trip it was dark, and Bob had finished. I had a floating boat, a working engine and bilge pump - but a very untidy and messy saloon. However, I was pretty exhausted and did little more than gather up my tools and secure the boat before consigning her to the tender cares of Lewis, who lives on site and had volunteered to keep an eye on her. I'm now back chez Aged Parent after a better night's sleep, and my cough and cold are slowly improving.

So, a successful launch, I should say. Even if I did forget to shine up the anode and wax the propeller.

Thanks to all who have offered advice, and especially to Olly and Steve for turning up and helping.
Experience: That which would have been most useful five minutes before you acquired it.

Steve
Tyro (Centaur 1361)
at Southampton

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