Modify a Yacht

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by osullivant, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. osullivant
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: cork

    osullivant Junior Member

    Has anyone ever modified a conventional production yacht to create a deck saloon, what would be the issues?

    My wife and I plan to do a few years sailing in the future as soon as kids are sorted etc.

    We have been looking at various boats. In a marina a Deck Saloon such as a Wauquiez 48 or the like would be a super boat especially in port..... but at ferocious price 1997 Wauquiez 48PS Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1997/Wauquiez-48PS-2929668/Netherlands#.WcZ6MMiGPIU

    A Halberg Rassy 42 Hallberg-Rassy HALLBERG RASSY 42 F MK I Sailboat for Sale - Boats24.com https://www.boats24.com/sailboat/cruiser/hallberg-rassy/379109/hallberg-rassy-42-f-mk-i-mit-volvo-motor.html or a 45 Hallberg-Rassy 45 http://www.hallberg-rassy.com/yachts/previous-models/hallberg-rassy-45/ would be a better sail boat at sea but a bit of a cave in port, but a lot cheaper....

    My thoughts are that it should be relatively easy to modify a HR or similar to create a Deck saloon by cutting off the cabin top and cockpit/ super structure and replacing it with a new fibreglass casting which would draw inspiration from the deck saloons by Oyester/ Hylas/Southerly.

    Once the alteration did not upset the cockpit sole, the steering system and the engine controls would remain as original, as would the helmsman's head/boom relationship. The change in height would only carry forward to behind the mast so there would be no alteration to mast height/support position or running rigging, mast electrics etc.

    Similarly the side decks would be narrowed but not by enough to require altering to the sheeting angles or the standing rigging.

    Internally the extra height would make the rear cabin much more usable. and present the possibility of a proper centerline double bed The main saloon would be reconfigured so the galley and nav-station remained as is but the seating area would be raised so that there would be some vision out of the new side and forward facing windows. All existing bulkheads would remain whilst being extended and strengthened.

    By raising the furniture to a wider part of the hull there would be an increase in floor space together with capacity for storage under the the floor, batteries and additional fuel tanks, which are generally kept higher up, would use this space and therefore tend to compensate for the alterations in terms of the center of gravity and righting moment.

    Seating in the cockpit would need a bit of compromising, the cockpit would also need bigger drainage to deal with an increase in capacity, there would be more windage and resale value would be reduced.
    My most obvious known unknowns are:
    • The amount of strength that the superstructure actually provides to the deck and Hull.
    • The best material/specification for the new superstructure.
    • How to make the connection at the new superstructure/deck joint.
    • How to make the best looking non leaking side and front facing windows, that could take an Atlantic storm...
    What other real problems would be encountered?

    Thanks in advance..

    Tony.
     
  2. Nick.K
    Joined: May 2011
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    Location: Ireland

    Nick.K Senior Member

    Hello Tony
    First impressions are that if you wait long enough and look hard enough you'll find something suitable for sale that may need much less modification.

    You haven't stated in the post whether you are planning to do the work yourself but I noted from another thread that you are experienced in fibreglass work. This kind of project would be very difficult to do without a climate controlled shed and quite expensive if that shed is in a boat yard. Once started you would be completely committed to finishing since the boat would have zero value unfinished; if you were dependant on a yard or not in full control of the build this could prove a very stressful period with the bills racking up and no option but to go on. I have seen this many times as a yard worker from the other side.

    I don't know how much strength the superstructure provides, probably only the boat designer could say in any specific case but I can say that the new structure must be sufficiently rigid that the glazing openings won't change shape. On boats I've worked on with large openings flexibility has been a difficult issue to fix and makes it impossible to seal the glazing in the long term.

    Have you looked at any metal yachts?

    As an aside: I sailed once as a crew on a Waukuiez deck house yacht (I think it was a 45) from Genoa to Las Palmas. The story was that the owner was most unhappy with the build, especially his relationship with some of the guys in control of the build. The company was in difficulties so he bought it to finish his boat. Imagine the reaction when he appeared as the new boss! Personally, I think the HR would be a much nicer boat than the Waukuiez.
    Nick
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I've made many modifications to production boats, along these lines. You'll need to consider some engineering work, unless you have considerable experence with production yacht building. These would answer you basic questions about strength, materials, joints, etc. With the plans in hand, you can tackle it yourself or partly or wholly job it out.

    I have to admit, I'm not exactly sure what you have in mind; making an aft cockpit a center cockpit, removing the deck house and replacing it with a pilothouse, etc. At this point I think you need to start with a GA (General Arrangement) sketch of what you're looking to do. It doesn't have to be pretty, just enough to help explain what you're after. With this, some basic questions about your skills, budget, modification goals, etc. can be addressed.
     
  4. Phil Christieso
    Joined: Jun 2016
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    Location: Nelson NZ

    Phil Christieso Junior Member

    Look at Windora's refit for some ideas.
     
  5. osullivant
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: cork

    osullivant Junior Member

    Thanks for the replies, currently in Almerimar.... Really bad wi fi, more detailed response to follow in a few days....

    Tony.
     
  6. osullivant
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: cork

    osullivant Junior Member

    Yes the HR for sailing and safety would be a far better boat... thus the lateral thinking re an alteration....There is not a HR Deck saloon, except the new 64 footer which is out of my league...

    I would manage the work myself, probably make the plug and get it professionally finished and have the new casting made, by a non boatyard fibreglass specialist, in reality as it would be a center cockpit and modifications only from the mast rearwards the size of the modified piece would be relatively short, much shorter if the rear cabin was already high enough ( my HR352 is too tight for comfort long term)

    I would never (again) allow myself to be held to ransom by a boat yard... I would probably take the boat to an industrial complex and organise workers/ do work myself

    The internal joinery would be relatively easy, (among other things i am a joiner by trade) it would be removed and altered to maintain the original style and appearance but in a new configuration, this type of work in solid timber is easy if you understand the process and respect the the correct materials and the original methods. Doing the alteration with the Top off the boat would be even easier...

    There would be no impact on the existing hull until a new casting was completed and ready to sit in. (yes once the angle grinder touches the deck the boat is scrap value until fully finished)

    It should be possible to do a test fit, with a light weight dummy on top of the existing superstructure to check fit/ appearance etc without doing any work to the existing boat, only at that stage would the strength issues be addressed, (subject to allowing room for ribs and framing materials etc)

    Probably a good designer, through analysis of the construction of the piece being removed, could calculate the strength that it would have provided and therefore how much strength/support the new section needs to be provide. ( I am aware this is not a really simple process) but it would be easier to do once the actual "visual design" had been settled.

    I do not want a metal yacht, only GRP.... and ideally a HR42 or 45 there are a few around that I could afford and they are a very easy boat to work on...

    I cannot afford to buy a Yacht manufacturer, but I can imagine the faces of the guys in Waqueiz. Similar story told about when a pair of Paddies bought a resort in the Caribbean, shortly after encountering a snotty nosed Maitre D.

    Regards

    Tony
     
  7. osullivant
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: cork

    osullivant Junior Member

    Current thoughts are about taking an existing Conventional, mid cockpit, yacht such as a HR42 with this side view http://www.hallberg-rassy.com/fileadmin/user_upload/HR42FMkIsideview.jpg

    and altering the cabin. between the companion way and the mast to resemble this......2002 Oyster center cockpit sailboat for sale in Florida http://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/39876
    or this Yachts for sale | Contest Brokerage http://www.contestbrokerage.com/NL/204/97974/contest-42cs.html?gclid=CM-EzemQyNYCFe6d7QodLBsKfw or this...2002 Wauquiez Pilot Saloon 40 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2002/Wauquiez-Pilot-Saloon-40-3113388/Port-Grimaud/France#.Wc0NEsiGPIU

    Thanks
    Tony
     

  8. Nick.K
    Joined: May 2011
    Posts: 328
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    Location: Ireland

    Nick.K Senior Member

    It's obvious you have thought a lot about this...

    The same could be used as the plug for the mould?
     
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