Converting sailer to trawler, can it be done???

Discussion in 'Stability' started by pha7env, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. pha7env
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: Lake Dannelly, Alabama River

    pha7env Junior Member

    We are looking at a 55' motorsailer that was designed for a 75 foot mast. It is a canada steel boat, with center keel that causes an 8.5 foot draft. Looking at it, it appears that you could remove about 2.5 feet from the steel keel and an appropriate amount from the rudder, and run a skeg from keep to rudder reinforcing the rudder with a bottom bearing. Adding keel plate forward or aft of the existing keel to balance weight would be simple enough. I would still like to keep a short mast for a steadying and get home sail! With aprorpriate engineering, can this be done? Thanks!
     
  2. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Sure, anything can be done "with appropriate engineering." a preliminary survey and design from a professional naval architect would give you insight into the complexity and cost. That will tell you if the project is worth the time, cost, and effort.

    You will change the stability of the boat, so you will need the professional opinion as to how much that change is and what that will do to the boat's performance. You'll also change the flotation of the boat--you are removing weight, so it will float higher out of the water. How much higher and whether that is a good thing or a bad thing will come out of the preliminary design study.

    You won't be able to get complete advice from this forum--you will need to hire someone who knows what they are doing naval architecturally, and that includes being able to design the added steel that will marry in properly with the existing hull, keel and rudder. The keel right now is likely a hollow structure with ballast in it or attached to it. The new keel structure should probably also be a closed hollow structure, not simply a plate filler in the space between the keel and rudder. Your naval architect will tell you how much of the ballast that would be prudent to remove, again going back to the stability question.

    After you get the scope of work to do, based on your professional physically seeing the boat and taking measurements, you and he can run the cost numbers to see if the whole thing can be done at a reasonable cost. That's the key--anything can be done if you throw enough money at it, but you want to be able to do the work within your budget.

    Good luck.

    Eric
     
  3. pha7env
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: Lake Dannelly, Alabama River

    pha7env Junior Member

    Thanks Eric! Already spoken to the design(Roberts 53) engineer and an architect about refit. But, the "appropriate" buying process might have to be waved in leau of opportunity. There is a consensus that this is doable from an engineering standpoint. My friends and i will be doing the brunt of the metal work for cost(plus boating weekends and the occasional beverage). That is why i want metal. I am figuring 10K for the keel bobbing, but am shooting for 5K. If we do it in trial increments, and i have to pay retail for multiple haul outs, it could go around the 10. Thanks for the response, and, worst case scenario, i loose the truck over it, but not the farm! If someone does not scoop me on it. Time will tell. I will update y'all!
     
  4. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

  5. pha7env
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: Lake Dannelly, Alabama River

    pha7env Junior Member

    Great help Fred. He did exactly what i have in mind. The boat we are looking, if it works, should be simple, once engineered. Hopefully, the buyer first in line will pass on it. It is steel, and i have an affinity for steel But if it gets purchased, i will be searching for another, not a wrecked one, to convert! Great story, great help!!! robert
     
  6. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    Hummm......WTP took $80k in cash and 9000 man hours ? Even at a really low wage, $35 per hour, that's $315,000 in labour! Close to $400k into a boat worth maybe $110k on a good day? You need to keep the boat (and use it) for a really long time to get reasonable payback on that investment......
     

  7. pha7env
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: Lake Dannelly, Alabama River

    pha7env Junior Member

    Tad, you are absolutely right. Not going there! Reading, he said that only 18Kwent to added pilot house and the rest went to restoration and damage repair from the hurricane. No wreck (maybe a steel dent or two), and no hurricane boats. Not sure if i would take one of those on, even if the boat was free. I envy those with the time, and money to do that. This boat we are looking at just needs a shallower draft, and someday, a good used short rig(or not). As long as it is steel, i have quite a few metal fabricators, and myself, willing to trade weekends on the boat, by the beach as repayment. And, they are loaded with equipment. One, who is head of the welding dept at a college has volunteered his class to help, and to fabricate any and all awnings, enclosures and such for the cost of materials, at a significant discount. Surely there will be unknown surprises, and should we find a boat, whether it be this on or the next, that needs modifying, if it will take lots of yard work or hired man hours, HOPEFULLY, with this group, and other's help, we will be steered away from it!
     
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