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CaptainC2

Questions on Valiant Structurals

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I was the proud owner of one of the early Valiant 40s (first ten hulls, #108 – pre-blister). It was a GREAT boat! (Thank you Robert Perry!!) Sadly, life took me in another direction and I had to part with it. I am now considering another shift to cruising/global exploring and Valiants are definitely on my list of possible boats – perhaps a 47 or 50. As time has passed, Valiant is out of business, and the existing fleet has aged. I would like to poll Valiant owners regarding common problems encountered with these older boats – particularly the larger versions (42, 47 & 50). Here are some of my specific questions, but I would be very appreciative of any additional comments or advice people are willing to share.

  1. What have people learned regarding mechanical issues with the keel as these boats have aged? I see a couple of the larger Valiants where the owners have re-bedded the keels. I believe in addition to being bolted to the hull, they were also originally attached with 5200, so re-bedding would not be particularly easy. I also saw a blog where one owner of a 40 had to melt the lead of his keel and re-melt new bolts into the lead (yikes!). What have people learned about the longevity of their keel attachments? Are the bolts corroding inside the keel? Are people dropping the keel for inspections? Radiographs?

  2. I have also read that older Valiants have been running into problems with their rubber as the construction of the rudder itself had some issues – any experiences?

  3. On my Valiant, I ran into problems with the water tanks as they needed to be replaced but as they were glassed in it presented a problem. How have others addressed this issue? I read where some people were lining them with food safe epoxy. Thoughts?

  4. On my vessel, I never got to a really dry bilge. The packing gland always dripped, and I had other challenges I was told were “part of the design.” Should I expect a dry bilge on a Valiant?

  5. Has anyone re-powered? I always felt that access to the engine on my 40 was a bit difficult. I’m wondering if it’s possible to re-power without cutting into the deck. I believe I read that the engine was installed during manufacturing after the deck was attached to ensure that re-powering was possible. Experiences?

  6. On my 40, I had something of a “spongy” feeling foredeck and stress cracking at the hard angles where the cabin met the deck. I encountered that on several other early 40’s I boarded. Has the deck been shored up in later 40s and/or the 47/50?

 

I have a many more questions, but I think I’ll stop with these – my most pressing. I also would like to leave this somewhat open-ended as I don’t know what I don’t know – so any comments or experiences are most welcome. Thank you in advance for sharing you experience and insights.

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Paging @olaf hart to the courtesy phone.

He has recently bought Hull #1 of his particular model. Yes, #1. He can answer many of these questions.

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5 hours ago, CaptainC2 said:

On my vessel, I never got to a really dry bilge. The packing gland always dripped, and I had other challenges I was told were “part of the design.” Should I expect a dry bilge on a Valiant

Buy a dripless packing gland. Conventional packing glands are DESIGNED to slowly drip

5 hours ago, CaptainC2 said:

I have also read that older Valiants have been running into problems with their rubber as the construction of the rudder itself had some issues – any experiences?

Rudder not rubber??

5 hours ago, CaptainC2 said:

Has anyone re-powered? I always felt that access to the engine on my 40 was a bit difficult. I’m wondering if it’s possible to re-power without cutting into the deck.

I suspect you do not have to cut the deck. Drag it forward into the saloon, lift with crane or block and tackle from boom.

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The Pearson 30 engine is tucked under the cockpit, so we used a water-ski to slide it in and out . A bigger equivalent might be just the ticket.

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7 hours ago, Ajax said:

Paging @olaf hart to the courtesy phone.

He has recently bought Hull #1 of his particular model. Yes, #1. He can answer many of these questions.

Thanks Ajax, sounds like the Captain is looking at Texas built Valiants. There is an excellent Valiant owners site and I will link the details. My experience is limited to an early Uniflite boat like his original one, the construction details vary between these and the Texas boats.

My other suggestion is to contact Stan and Sylvia Dabney, they still operate a Valiant brokerage and are an amazing resource on Valiant information.

Not to forget the Maestro himself, and his consultation service.

My less informed comments are

1. Keel details and construction vary depending on the builder and the year, so it is difficult to be specific, it’s a constant topic on the V40 site but not a specific weakness in this design, compared to boats of a similar age.

2  Rudders seem to hold up well, the metal cored skeg and hefty bottom shoe are protective. The late Patrick Childress pulled his apart on YouTube recently, and was surprised by how well it was built.

3. Our water tanks are stainless, holding up OK. Have nice big inspection panels and easy to access. As an aside, under a PO the original fuel tank leaked somewhere in the Mediterranean, and they converted one of the water tanks to a fuel tank to get the boat back home to Australia. needless to say, I have inspected this tank very closely, it is a water tank again and is no worse for wear. The fuel tank was eventually replaced with a plastic one through a soft hatch cut in the cockpit floor.

4. Packing gland access is an issue in a Vdrive, as the Captain would already appreciate, but drip less seals work well these days. Most of our bilge water seems to come down the mast. We have a bulge sump, which helps keep most of the area dryish. I have met other V40 owners who use a lot of disposable diapers to keep it dry.

Our stern gland is a Vetus thing,  put in in Turkey, with a couple of lip seals and needs internal greasing to keep it dry. I would like to replace it with a Volvo seal, had one in a previous boat and it was great, but can’t seem to find one made for a 1 1/8” shaft. If anyone out there knows of one I would love to hear about it.

5. Our boat was also repowered in Turkey with a 4JH Yanmar and V drive, it’s a wonderful piece of machinery, strongly recommended. I also suspect a 3JH would be big enough for this boat. Access is good, apart from an enormous semi dry stack exhaust  with a loop that sticks up to the ceiling, and makes it impossible to be near the engine if it is hot, the water injection is after the loop. A normal waterlock system is high on our to do list.

6 The Texas boats have taken the cabin top further forward, so it is difficult to comment on deck flex, the foredeck is certainly wide and open. The cabin top can also flex, our boat had a couple of knockdowns and they reported cabin top flexing in a 360.

If you are looking at Uniflite boats, the pre pox era was no’s 1 to 19. Interestingly, we have met the owners of no 18, it is here in Oz as well as our no 1, these boats get around!

Jamhass recently sold his Texas built V40.

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The Valiant 40 owners site is at Valiant-sailboats+owners@groups.io

Sorry I can’t post a direct link, this site doesn’t like copy and paste from my iPad.

Its a shame the Captain isn’t in the PNW, the Perry Rendezvous is on at Port Ludlow this weekend, and there is usually a collection of V40’s there, as well as the  Maestro...

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On 8/20/2020 at 3:45 PM, olaf hart said:

The Valiant 40 owners site is at Valiant-sailboats+owners@groups.io

Sorry I can’t post a direct link, this site doesn’t like copy and paste from my iPad.

Its a shame the Captain isn’t in the PNW, the Perry Rendezvous is on at Port Ludlow this weekend, and there is usually a collection of V40’s there, as well as the  Maestro...

The Maestro was there, but sadly no Valiants. Only a few boats showed up but the conversations were good and it was a successful rendezvous. Next year will be great if we can get this Covid Stuff solved.

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Thank you everyone for the feedback.

 

Best.

 

 

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On 8/20/2020 at 5:17 PM, kent_island_sailor said:

The Pearson 30 engine is tucked under the cockpit, so we used a water-ski to slide it in and out . A bigger equivalent might be just the ticket.

I read once that a couple canny Chesapeake Bay engine mechanics used a partial inflated basket ball as a roller for engine replacements. Not on a Valiant. 

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1 hour ago, Max Rockatansky said:

@olaf hart did you recently move your valiant?

It’s in Mooloolaba at the moment, we brought it down from Airlie Beach last year.

Stuck there atm  because of state border closures with COVID...

Recent pic courtesy of marina manager, sorry about the non matching mainsail cover...

 

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Yes, Kanga has moved on to a new owner.  Bittersweet feelings all around.  She was a great boat, and as a Texas-built V40, a really great bargain.  Most of the amenities of a V42, but at a price point closer to the Uniflite boats.  

We never had any serious issues with the boa or its construction.  Our only major issue was with the "marinization" of the Volvo engine.  We solved our engine issues by redesigning the heat exchanger and oil coolers.  We know several other who repowered (Beta, Volvo and Yanmar) and all were happy with the work, none had serious access issues.

The V42 are particularly attractive, as they were designed to make tank replacement a bit easier than on the earlier boats.  Also, the V42 offered some attractive interior layouts.  Plus, the bowsprit helps control weather helm, although that was never an issue on Kanga (at least after we replaced the aged sails.)

I concur with the suggestions to join the Valiant Group at groups.io.  Also HIGHLY recommend talking with Stan and Sylvia Dabney.

Best on your search.

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I owned V50-103 which was a Texas built boat and V42-127 also Texas built. Both were built to aircraft standards. I doubt that you can find an older boat save a Swan that will hold up as well. Rich Worstell did a great job of mechanical planning and installs.

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