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Murphness

Waquiez Gladiator

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Going to look at a Gladiator on Monday for a family cruising boat. We've been talking to a friend about buying his Dufour 3800 (31') but I stumbled across this Gladiator at a similar price point. It tics a few more of the boxes that the Dufour doesn't, namely a dodger, ram AP and a 2008 repower. The Dufour has a davitts and comes with a inflatable/Yammie 5hp which is a huge plus IMO. Downside is that it's got the original Volvo with what has to be at least 3K hours on it. It's been well maintained though as has the whole boat, it looks great for a 30+ yo cruiser.

Does anyone have any experience with these boats? Coming from a mostly racing background, I'd like my cruising boat to at least sail decently. Someone also warned me about the sail drive, specifically the bladder. Anything else to worry about? Core issues, etc...

We'll (family of 3) be using the boat mostly for coastal cruising in New England. The ability to have another family out with us for the day or even an occasional overnighter is important, and I'm thinking the extra volume in the cockpit and cabin will make a difference.

 

Cheers,

Murph

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Hi Murph,
  I’ve had a waquiez gladiateur for 5+ years and can easily recommend the design and build quality. The glass work is excellent, the bulkheads and hull to deck are fully glassed , a very sturdy and quiet boat.The deck is balsa cored but in small squares  and all hardware mounting areas are solid glass. The interior joinery and finish quality is very nice , all above waterline interior hull is lined with teak , molded fiberglass headliner with access panels. Check the connection of chain plates to hull under the settees which is bomber but could be affected by leaky deck fittings. The hull on my boat is epoxy coated and no blisters but this is another thing to check.  My boat has drive shaft so no saildrive experience. 
They have a masthead rig with a high aspect main, old school but balances well.  Will sail to hull speed (7+kn) in 15kn wind, but in light air you are looking at a big genoa or asym to get moving. This design was done by Holman & Pye , London , built by Waquiez so good bones. They have a nice motion, carry momentum well and feel solid in heavy weather . The cockpit in this boat is nice and comfy to stretch out  or sleep.Headroom is about 6’2”. If you could get this level of quality in a boat built today it would likely be expensive.. Good Luck! 

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5 minutes ago, Looncreek said:

Hi Murph,
  I’ve had a waquiez gladiateur for 5+ years and can easily recommend the design and build quality. The glass work is excellent, the bulkheads and hull to deck are fully glassed , a very sturdy and quiet boat.The deck is balsa cored but in small squares  and all hardware mounting areas are solid glass. The interior joinery and finish quality is very nice , all above waterline interior hull is lined with teak , molded fiberglass headliner with access panels. Check the connection of chain plates to hull under the settees which is bomber but could be affected by leaky deck fittings. The hull on my boat is epoxy coated and no blisters but this is another thing to check.  My boat has drive shaft so no saildrive experience. 
They have a masthead rig with a high aspect main, old school but balances well.  Will sail to hull speed (7+kn) in 15kn wind, but in light air you are looking at a big genoa or asym to get moving. This design was done by Holman & Pye , London , built by Waquiez so good bones. They have a nice motion, carry momentum well and feel solid in heavy weather . The cockpit in this boat is nice and comfy to stretch out  or sleep.Headroom is about 6’2”. If you could get this level of quality in a boat built today it would likely be expensive.. Good Luck! 

Perfect, thanks! Excited to check it out!

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I don't have first hand experience but here Wauquiez had the reputation to build really good boats and the gladiator was a very desirable boat in the 80s. They were the "French swans"!

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New England PHRF base rating:

GLADIATEUR 33   138
GLADIATEUR 33 TM   132


By way of comparison a J boat J 32 with a modern frac rig:

J 32.                            114
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A recent re-power vs. a Volvo w/3k hours?  Seems like a no-brainer if the engine used to re-power is a good one.

It's cheaper easier to buy a dinghy and davits to add to the Waquiez than it is to re-power the Dufour. Any idea if the Waquiez is the tall mast version? I would think it would be desireable in your area during the summer.

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56 minutes ago, Ajax said:

A recent re-power vs. a Volvo w/3k hours?  Seems like a no-brainer if the engine used to re-power is a good one.

It's cheaper easier to buy a dinghy and davits to add to the Waquiez than it is to re-power the Dufour. Any idea if the Waquiez is the tall mast version? I would think it would be desireable in your area during the summer.

The crappy photos show a single spreader rig. Doesn't mention anything about TM, but I'll make sure to ask the owner when I see it.

Framing the davits vs engine argument that way makes it a no brainer I guess. The ad says the engine has ~790 hours or something, so not too bad. I've never worked on sail drives before, someone mentioned a bad bladder can sink the boat, so that gave me pause. I've never heard of that happening though, so...

I generally follow the 4 knot minimum rule if we have a destination, so even the TM stuff wouldn't bother me too much as long as the engine is reliable. At 130-140 s/m it's a lot faster than the Dufour anyway which is I think in the 170-180 range.

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@Murphness  Do you know what kind of engine the re-power is? If it's a Beta diesel this really is a no-brainer but I don't know if Beta does saildrives.

There are plenty of folks here who can advise you on the collar seal around a saildrive. I've never owned one but people seem to love them.

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3 minutes ago, Murphness said:

The crappy photos show a single spreader rig. Doesn't mention anything about TM, but I'll make sure to ask the owner when I see it.

Framing the davits vs engine argument that way makes it a no brainer I guess. The ad says the engine has ~790 hours or something, so not too bad. I've never worked on sail drives before, someone mentioned a bad bladder can sink the boat, so that gave me pause. I've never heard of that happening though, so...

I generally follow the 4 knot minimum rule if we have a destination, so even the TM stuff wouldn't bother me too much as long as the engine is reliable. At 130-140 s/m it's a lot faster than the Dufour anyway which is I think in the 170-180 range.

I have no experience with saildrives other than we have quite a few Mirage 26/27s here all of which have saildrives, they are all late 70's early 80's and they all float..  But it strikes me that the "saildrive...it will sink" thing, is in the same vein as: "4 strands of copper in the bilge will sink your aluminum boat" and "offset companionway?  it's going down" things.

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Ad says it's a 2008 Volvo Penta

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34 minutes ago, Murphness said:

Ad says it's a 2008 Volvo Penta

Well...it's still a lot less hours than the other Volvo.

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21 hours ago, Murphness said:

Going to look at a Gladiator on Monday for a family cruising boat. We've been talking to a friend about buying his Dufour 3800 (31') but I stumbled across this Gladiator at a similar price point. It tics a few more of the boxes that the Dufour doesn't, namely a dodger, ram AP and a 2008 repower. The Dufour has a davitts and comes with a inflatable/Yammie 5hp which is a huge plus IMO. Downside is that it's got the original Volvo with what has to be at least 3K hours on it. It's been well maintained though as has the whole boat, it looks great for a 30+ yo cruiser.

Does anyone have any experience with these boats? Coming from a mostly racing background, I'd like my cruising boat to at least sail decently. Someone also warned me about the sail drive, specifically the bladder. Anything else to worry about? Core issues, etc...

We'll (family of 3) be using the boat mostly for coastal cruising in New England. The ability to have another family out with us for the day or even an occasional overnighter is important, and I'm thinking the extra volume in the cockpit and cabin will make a difference.

 

Cheers,

Murph

 Wauquiez from that era are very well built - everything  Looncreek said. I have a 38’ from 1984. Things to look closely at:

- Not all the SS welding was so great on all boats

- In some locations chipboard was used in the interior. 

They used a lot of glass sealing up all bolts - all installations hull-to-deck are fully glassed in to meet some Lloyds requirement and occasionally you can find some dry matt in non-structural areas. Changing deck gear is a bigger job for OE gear. 

- Cockpit slats are screwed in screws up, so as the teak wears, you need to grind down the tips

- Performance wise they will sail to their rating, but won’t set the world on fire. 

- OE Hatches and a lot of deck fittings are properly/offshore sized Goiot from that era. Replacements can be hard to find for some parts, but everything can be rebuilt. 

- Egg crate sound insulation in engine box will probably be needing replacement 

- Skin fittings all use BSPP threads on heavy schedule bronze fitting built into the hull layup. Find out to see if they changed the threading. 

Don’t take these things as a downer, these issues are easy fixes for a boat from this era. These boats are built for offshore sailing so very tough and comfortable. There is a active owners group that is very helpful. 
 

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58 minutes ago, chester said:

I have no experience with saildrives other than we have quite a few Mirage 26/27s here all of which have saildrives, they are all late 70's early 80's and they all float..  But it strikes me that the "saildrive...it will sink" thing, is in the same vein as: "4 strands of copper in the bilge will sink your aluminum boat" and "offset companionway?  it's going down" things.

To me, the downsides of an old saildrive unit is cost.  On an old boat there is always the possibility of needing to replace the drive unit.   And if you repower the old drive unit may not work with the new diesel so a new drive unit may be required.

 

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A boat called a Gladiator would seem a perfect choice if you have a son named Timmy..B)

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1 hour ago, slap said:

To me, the downsides of an old saildrive unit is cost.  On an old boat there is always the possibility of needing to replace the drive unit.   And if you repower the old drive unit may not work with the new diesel so a new drive unit may be required.

 

entirely possible.  all those old mirages were powered by the 15 hp OMC zephyr...2 stroke! http://impliedconsent.us/Zephyr_Saildrive.html

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Pffft...anodes? We don't need no stinkin' anodes...

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51 minutes ago, slap said:

Fastbottoms posted this video on YouTube of a saildrive disintegrating.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88ax4YKe9H0&feature=youtu.be

I don't get it. zinc on leg looks ok - yet leg rotted out?

I acquired a boat with saildrive - sight unseen. Got lucky, prop sacrificed itself, but the leg ok. this is a volvo though..

1961730879_rottenprop.JPG.e18e676d3211440c92b0a6b00e30fba2.JPG

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Saw that one. Seems like owner error/electrical probs. 

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44 minutes ago, Elegua said:

 Wauquiez from that era are very well built - everything  Looncreek said. I have a 38’ from 1984. Things to look closely at:

- Not all the SS welding was so great on all boats

- In some locations chipboard was used in the interior. 

They used a lot of glass sealing up all bolts - all installations hull-to-deck are fully glassed in to meet some Lloyds requirement and occasionally you can find some dry matt in non-structural areas. Changing deck gear is a bigger job for OE gear. 

- Cockpit slats are screwed in screws up, so as the teak wears, you need to grind down the tips

- Performance wise they will sail to their rating, but won’t set the world on fire. 

- OE Hatches and a lot of deck fittings are properly/offshore sized Goiot from that era. Replacements can be hard to find for some parts, but everything can be rebuilt. 

- Egg crate sound insulation in engine box will probably be needing replacement 

- Skin fittings all use BSPP threads on heavy schedule bronze fitting built into the hull layup. Find out to see if they changed the threading. 

Don’t take these things as a downer, these issues are easy fixes for a boat from this era. These boats are built for offshore sailing so very tough and comfortable. There is a active owners group that is very helpful. 
 

Great info. Thanks!

What is a skin fitting?

Do you know how the hull and deck are cored?

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Pretty sure the hull is not cored, solid glass lay up. The deck I think is balsa cored but in a grid pattern with balsa squares surrounded with solid glass so that any potential core saturation can not migrate to adjacent cores, if that makes sense. Here’s a good French language site with a lot of info on the construction if you parley vous, c’est bon... good photos and sketches. 

http://wauquiez.gladiateur.free.fr/index.htm

Also the pretorien is very similar and 2 feet bigger. There is more info and reviews on the bigger sister: 

https://wavetrain.net/2012/02/15/wauquiez-pretorien-35-a-well-built-euro-cruiser/

cheers

 

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1 hour ago, Murphness said:

Great info. Thanks!

What is a skin fitting?

Do you know how the hull and deck are cored?

Hull is not cored. Deck is partially cored - only big flat areas - maybe 2/3rds. Anywhere there is load, a fitting or a joint it is not cored, however watch out for PO installations. 

Go look at the details like the waterways/drainage and how things like lazarette lockers seal. You can tell they made the boat to go places. 

Skin fitting - what the seacock valve screws on to. 

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Father in law sailed a Pretorian for 20 years, fantastic boats. Hard to go wrong with an older Wauqiez (sp?) 

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9 hours ago, floater said:

I don't get it. zinc on leg looks ok - yet leg rotted out?

I acquired a boat with saildrive - sight unseen. Got lucky, prop sacrificed itself, but the leg ok. this is a volvo though..

1961730879_rottenprop.JPG.e18e676d3211440c92b0a6b00e30fba2.JPG

If you pull out your boat and your zinc looks perfect, then you have problems.  You want your zinc to look like it’s ready to be replaced....otherwise it isn’t working. 

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On 2/14/2020 at 7:46 PM, eliboat said:

If you pull out your boat and your zinc looks perfect, then you have problems.  You want your zinc to look like it’s ready to be replaced....otherwise it isn’t working. 

That saildrive is doing a good job of protecting the zinc anode. 

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Some saildrives installations have partial bulkheads fore and aft to prevent the boat from sinking in case of a gasket failure.

Check out the saildrive's recommendation with respect to winter storage. I've heard that some don't like wintering in the water.

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I bought it. This should be fun!

Will need a really good cleaning and going through systems, but it's in great shape. Trucking it home (to YC yard) early next week so I can work on it easier. Wife is pumped which is 95% of the battle!

That anchorage thread with all the Maine photo's has us pretty excited to jump into cruising life. Will still be doing a couple of offshore races every season and the local One Design on our T-Bird, but are definitely ready to jump head first into cruising life!

Thanks for all the advice!

:o

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21 minutes ago, Murphness said:

I bought it. This should be fun!

Will need a really good cleaning and going through systems, but it's in great shape. Trucking it home (to YC yard) early next week so I can work on it easier. Wife is pumped which is 95% of the battle!

That anchorage thread with all the Maine photo's has us pretty excited to jump into cruising life. Will still be doing a couple of offshore races every season and the local One Design on our T-Bird, but are definitely ready to jump head first into cruising life!

Thanks for all the advice!

:o

Great! You might think about joining the owners google group. It's pretty active and helpful. wauquiez-owners@googlegroups.com

A former employee of the yard sent me several gigabytes of photos from the yard, the build process, and some restorations. Some of it is interesting, some of it is helpful (ID'ing Goiot toe-rail product codes, showing some construction plans), some is kind of fun, like old marketing materials. If you do google photo, I might be able to share these with you. 

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4 hours ago, Murphness said:

I bought it. This should be fun!

Will need a really good cleaning and going through systems, but it's in great shape. Trucking it home (to YC yard) early next week so I can work on it easier. Wife is pumped which is 95% of the battle!

That anchorage thread with all the Maine photo's has us pretty excited to jump into cruising life. Will still be doing a couple of offshore races every season and the local One Design on our T-Bird, but are definitely ready to jump head first into cruising life!

Thanks for all the advice!

:o

Pics or you never bought it.

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2 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Pics or you never bought it.

The Yachtworld Pics are shit. I'm heading to boat to prep for transport on Saturday and I'll take some.

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Congratulations!

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Murph, that's wonderful. How long until sailing weather comes to Baahstin?

[We are having our first snow of the winter right now.  I would have to check my calendar for the last time I went sailing.]

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22 hours ago, Murphness said:

[...] Will still be doing a couple of offshore races every season and the local One Design on our T-Bird, but are definitely ready to jump head first into cruising life!

[...]

Not sure what the IRC scene is like where you sail but I would think that Gladiators are decent enough in IRC.

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16 hours ago, Bull City said:

Murph, that's wonderful. How long until sailing weather comes to Baahstin?

[We are having our first snow of the winter right now.  I would have to check my calendar for the last time I went sailing.]

Thanks, Bull! Sorry I flaked on the museum visit. Beers on me if there's ever a next time.

It's been my kinda winter up here. Lots of high 30's and low 40's. We've had a few good storms but only a few inches of snow. I'm hopeful that we'll get the new cruiser in the water in early May. If you get in before Memorial Day, all of the Boston Harbor Islands are still Ranger free and you can almost have them to yourself.

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one thing to check, just across my pontoon there is another Gladiateur, I know the owners quite well, couple of years ago right within the sailing season they lifted out and stayed out until next season, when I asked them what was going on answer was that at a certain moment the missus told her husband she had the impression that the mast support inside the cabin was bending, the man said she needed to go to the eye doctor, she insisted, he took a straight wooden plank, held it to the support and yikes... very visible bending support, they also found that it was compressing into the floor.  It's fixed and this year they did a trip from here to Shetland > Norway > Waddenzee and back, the report was : all ok, sound boat

ps : on the saildrive discussion, last year a rather reputed Volvo mechanic told me that although the Volvo instruction manuals still mention the seal needs to be replaced each 7 years, it's not necessary. So of course question was if and when it needs to be replaced, answer was replacement when it's leaking which normally is not fatal ... to which he added with a little smile that in my case it would never be fatal, what with having an unsinkable yacht :-)

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22 hours ago, Albatros said:

... to which he added with a little smile that in my case it would never be fatal, what with having an unsinkable yacht :-)

here's an oddity: what 30 foot unsinkable cruising boat doesn't even bother with a bilge pump? yeah, also, its made in Belgium..

PS: gonna be installing that bilge pump, just kind of flabbergasted than none came with the original boat.

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1 hour ago, floater said:

here's an oddity: what 30 foot unsinkable cruising boat doesn't even bother with a bilge pump? yeah, also, its made in Belgium..

PS: gonna be installing that bilge pump, just kind of flabbergasted than none came with the original boat.

not mine, it's unsinkable, 30 foot, made in belugistan, but still I have a manual and an electric bilge pump, both original ... did you miss out on something ? or did I ?

 

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9 minutes ago, Albatros said:

not mine, it's unsinkable, 30 foot, made in belugistan, but still I have a manual and an electric bilge pump, both original ... did you miss out on something ? or did I ?

I've got this great looking 2 inch vinyl tube with one end in the bottom of the bilge, but follow it along and it disappears into a closed compartment, starboard, heading aft..

..where does your's emerge? 

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Pics in the google drive link. I promise it's not a virus! Anyone have any secrets for cleaning sails? The mainsail is fine, newer genoa is a bit mildewy and the older 150 is gnarly. It's also got a kite in a sock and a removable solent stay w/ heavy jib.

Main is fully battened with lazy jacks, so that should be easy enough to deal with.

Dodger seems to have aluminum tube instead of stainless, so it's a bit more bendy. Fabric seems solid though, so maybe I'll use the old tubes and make new ones out of stainless.

Bottom has a bunch of layers. I think I'll probably just splash her this year and wait until next year to do the bottom.

We ran the engine today and she purred. Really excited about that. The AP is Raymarine and recent.

Hopefully we'll have it home early next week to start the cleaning/buffing/waxing process. Otherwise I think it's in pretty good shape!

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ezzsk75V4KXrzK7s9

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Congrats! I had seen that one in the listings, forever.  Sometimes a boat that needs work and sails but bought cheap is a better deal, because you'd want to do all that stuff anyway.

I haven't been on a Gladiateur, but I've sailed on two Pretoriens, and they were great.

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Wow, great that you got the boat! Looks like it will clean up nicely!
If you think the sails might be  worth the fee, I have used this company to clean and re saturate sails with their resin process, they come back looking sweet.: https://sailcare.com/site/  Or if you have a big clean surface  to spread sails out and do it yourself.   Also , would recommend tightening all the keel bolts with weight on the keel before splashing.  Might be a shadow in the pics but possibly notice the bottom of the keel stub starting to show. Easy fix... 

Best of luck with the Wauqiez , hope it’s a great boat for you and your family!!! I have #284. 

 

26D00F09-AB59-48E6-A624-47B5FA2A00B0.jpeg

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15 hours ago, floater said:

I've got this great looking 2 inch vinyl tube with one end in the bottom of the bilge, but follow it along and it disappears into a closed compartment, starboard, heading aft..

..where does your's emerge? 

I had a big brother to yours, and the bilge pump and shower sump run off the one pump, with a lever in the engine compartment to swap between them. There was also a manual pump on the same line on the starboard stern. Pump was accessed through starboard lazarette, pipe exited on starboard down near the stern.

Was controlled through a push button switch in the head, label something like 'shower' Above the mirror.

I thought about adding another... then we just got on with life.

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5 hours ago, Se7en said:

... then we just got on with life.

+1. lol.

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Substantial project ahead.....but good boat! 

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On 2/22/2020 at 8:34 PM, floater said:

I've got this great looking 2 inch vinyl tube with one end in the bottom of the bilge, but follow it along and it disappears into a closed compartment, starboard, heading aft..

..where does your's emerge? 

in my case the tube is coiled right under the entry staircase, it's long enough to cover the whole bilge area, and to the back it runs to a big technical locker with a locker door in sleeping cabin big enough to crawl through, even with a big black water tank which I saw the etap guy doing, the locker is big enough for fuel tank, black water, webasto, boiler and that's where the bilge pumps are, all within easy reach.

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On 2/23/2020 at 1:55 AM, Murphness said:

 Anyone have any secrets for cleaning sails? The mainsail is fine, newer genoa is a bit mildewy

After leaving mine on for about 2 years mine also went mildewy, losts of green spots, intuitive idea was to use bleach, when you buy sail cleaning products in the chandlery they smell like bleach anyway. but was a bit weary, so asked it to our best know sail makers, very friendly guys with a huge reputation. Answer was to clean your sail with bleach but you have to be careful not to use too much and too long as it can color your sails, kinda yellowish ... so I dunked the sails one after the other in the bath tub and let it soak for a night in water with a couple  cups bleach, worked a treat, on the genoa I just not used too much, got a slight yellowish hue but after a season sailing that's gone

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Oxy "bleach" has a good rep and won't yellow the cloth.

Oxalic acid is the stuff in most teak cleaners so you know it works - just don't use them on your sails - use the household products.

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On 2/15/2020 at 1:59 AM, slap said:

To me, the downsides of an old saildrive unit is cost.  On an old boat there is always the possibility of needing to replace the drive unit.   And if you repower the old drive unit may not work with the new diesel so a new drive unit may be required.

 

Not really, I have two spare VP saildrives in my shed in good condition, given to me but friends who upgraded.

Lots of VP engine spares camr that wa as well...

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