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Diarmuid

Propping the new boat: timber baulks

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We have a boat and a madman to truck it here (no, his name isn't Steadley.) The area behind the shop is cleared out, I've spraypainted the centerline on the ground, raked level and graveled the keel area, and laid seven 3' lengths of 4x4 for the keel to rest on.

 

This is a Swedish boat & might be offended by metal jackstands. We plan on using timber props to keep it upright, lightly wedged at the top, held in place with diagonal bracing, maybe some chain as well. What do I need to know about shoring a sailboat with timbers?

 

We will also be guying the boat to eight or so earth-augers set around the perimeter. And probably to the monolithic concrete shop wall. Because it is really windy, sometimes. :ph34r:

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Let the keel take most of the weight.

Make plywood pads about 12x12 to take the load from the hull to the cradle timbers, or use fairly wide wedges. Cover with old carpet beforehand.

Try to align the timber bracing with bulkheads in the boat but be aware that if you remove the bulkhead the hull may flex in and deform a bit.

Pads at 4 points should be sufficient plus one post under the bow and one under the stern. 6 points will distribute the load better.

In addition to the augers you may want to set the anchor as well, and make sure the bow is pointed into the prevailing wings. ;)

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Let the keel take most of the weight.

Make plywood pads about 12x12 to take the load from the hull to the cradle timbers, or use fairly wide wedges. Cover with old carpet beforehand.

Try to align the timber bracing with bulkheads in the boat but be aware that if you remove the bulkhead the hull may flex in and deform a bit.

Pads at 4 points should be sufficient plus one post under the bow and one under the stern. 6 points will distribute the load better.

In addition to the augers you may want to set the anchor as well, and make sure the bow is pointed into the prevailing wings. ;)

Some owners have taken to using dense foam. Think pink home insulation styro/polystyrene sheets. 2-3' thick. Carpet holds water against your hull, blisters or rot? If you are going to be there for a while the foam idea might save you grief down the road.

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I use (pink insulation) foam. It's very forgiving. But, if this is a long term project, be aware that after a year in the sun, the foam breaks down and becomes brittle. At least, that's been my experience.

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Aha. Ensolite. Endlessly useful stuff. Thanks for the tips! What's the optimal angle for shoring? You see everything from 45 degrees to basically vertical. If I recall my statics, 60* is optimal for this sort of thing, tho I'd appreciate correction if that is wrong. Our 'soil' (so called) drains exceptionally well (limestone sand and gravel), but should I dip the timber ends in a can of old latex paint anyhow? Shores will be either fir or pressure treated.

 

One plan is to build a cradle of sorts right in situ, to augment the timbers Laminated ply, angle iron, square steel tubing.

 

Final question: Rudder has a full skeg in front of it. Should I block under the skeg, or does that risk damage?

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The keel should take all the load. If there is more than just enough pressure on the the vertical to stabilize and keep the boat from tipping over, you risk permanently deforming the hull. Regularly check that the keel hasn't settled and forced the verticals into the hull. Use plywood pads on the verticals to spread out any load. I say the above from experience. The ground settled under the cradle on our boat while we were finishing out the interior. Despite fairly large pieces of plywood on the verticals, the settling permanently deformed the hull. Had to use microballoons and epoxy to fair it back out. If it's a high wind area, hope you are going to pull the stick. Way easier to work on the stick whill it's laying prone and it won't be trying to lay the boat on its side when it gets windy. If you plan on working on the boat take special care that it is level and vertical.

 

Hope all this wood is going to be free and your labor not worth anything. Picking up some used jack stands would make stabilizing the boat an easy 15 minute set up, any later adjustments easy, and not cost you more than a couple hundred dollars.

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Hi, Roverhi. Not a lot of used boat stands in WY, and the shipping from a coast is punitive. I could buy new at $175+s/h; for six jack stands, that's the price of a new roller furler.

 

I picked up three 10' premium doug fir 4x4s last nite for $30. That's six shores, plus a bunch of leftover white oak and pine 4x4s from pallets and our orchard fence. The attraction of jackstands for boatyards is how quick and easy they are to adapt to any boat and to move around while you are bottom painting. Not an issue, here. And our labor is free.:) That's the entire point of bringing the boat up here for three years.

 

I concede jackstands are easier than timber props. Not sure they are actually better. Certainly, the majority of seasonal-hauled boats in Britain and Scandinavia seem to rest on wooden props, some of which look like they were scavenged off the beach.

 

We'll bolt and weld a proper steel cradle together under the boat once it has settled a bit. The mast is down for delivery and will stay down until it is time to mess with standing rigging, late in the refit.

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Tie the two fwd and two aft supports together with a 2x4 top and bottom and two 2x4 on the diagonal. Screw or bolt them in so you can remove a leg if neccesary. Tie the fwd mid and aft supports together similarly. Leave enough room to work on the keel if needed. If you use a bow prop and a stern prop they can just be wedged up snug.

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To prevent the end grain from sopping up water dipping in latex is minimal help. Doing under the house home repairs in the PNW we always stuck a piece of asphalt shingle under a post between the post and concrete. Asphalt up sand down. Works great.

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