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Thread: cabin top compression on Ericson 33 RH

  1. #1
    Contributing Member I
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    cabin top compression on Ericson 33 RH

    Last year I purchased an E-33 and have had a great season with her. The only issue that will need addressing, other than some cosmetics, is a wrinkle (running p/s) which has developed across the cabin top about 8" forward of the mast, centered around the back up tang for the spar turnbuckle. It is likely that I overloaded the deck when I attempted hauling a heavy dinghy aboard with a spinnaker halyard, in the boatyard last spring, which jumped the shiv.....I was just wondering if anyone else has ever overloaded that part of their deck before and what I might expect to see once I get it apart. there are no spider cracks so I don't think was wet. Thanks in advance for any & all thoughts, Bob Hull #23

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    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Question

    Since the mast is keel stepped, there is nothing to overload the cabin structure that I can think of.
    Some pix should help.

    Loren
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  3. #3
    Principal Partner Keith Parcells's Avatar
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    Bob,

    I’m trying to get my head around your problem. Tell us about the spinnaker halyard which you used to lift the heavy dingy. Was it led through a turning block at the mast collar? That might put an upward load on the mast collar, perhaps at the aft end of it. My spin halyard (on the hull built immediately after yours) does not have that setup. Was the dingy which you were lifting foreward of the mast or aft? I don’t believe that lifting a dingy could impart higher loads than flying a spinnaker would. A kite would be pulling the whole boat through that halyard.

    If you unzip your headliner behind the mast, can you maybe stand on a stool and snake your hand around to where the wrinkle is? If so, what does it feel like? Is it wrinkled below deck also? Can you feel any cracks there?

    A picture of the area, both above and below deck, would be helpful.
    Keith Parcells
    1983 E-33
    Hull #24
    Rocinante

  4. #4
    Contributing Member I
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    Tank you Loren & Keith

    . The Dinghy I was attempting to haul was on the ground, forward on the starboard side of the boat. It was deflated and probably had 100+ pounds of water in the tubes when I picked it, as I left it on the ground over the winter. I knew it was quite heavy but just kept grinding, thinking @ the time it is really isn't any worse than an ounce and a 1/2 oz chute in 30 knots....Problem was that it jumped the shiv. Once I realized that, I took the weight off and tried to work it out by grinding first up (without load) than down (@ various angles) which only made things worse.
    . My boat has all halyards run to the mast collar which may be normal but I really don't like it that way as it transfers halyard loads to the deck while increasing mast step compression. That said I know she is a strong build (not my first Ericson) & had I not put in the double handle and cranked like crazy this never would have happened.....
    . I'll pull the headliner & take a look underneath (great idea !) and I suspect there could be a rib or something beneath the area where the indentation begins, I was wondering if there could be a core change too in that area, which I guess I'll find out....
    . Here is a picture of what I have so far & I'll post more as I get into it. Thank you for any & all comments, Bob
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Question

    We have a similar ss plate right behind our mast color, and on the inside there's a short wire pennant and a turnbuckle for keeping the cabin top from rising due to powerful up-forces from the turning blocks at the base of the mast.

    A friend of mine just replaced some saturated coring in a small area behind his mast on a late 80's boat -- prior owners had never re-bedded fastenings for the mast collar.

    I wonder if your boat has a similar moisture problem?

    picture of our plate and hold-down in this blog entry.
    http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexc...hold-down-Tang
    Last edited by Loren Beach; 12-23-2017 at 11:14 PM.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  6. #6
    Advanced Beginner bgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camelot View Post
    Here is a picture of what I have so far
    It's unlikely that the crease there has anything to do with halyard load. In order to result in that kind of anomaly, you'd have to be exerting enough halyard load to effectively pull the whole deck at that area up and out of shape, and if that had happened I think you'd see more widespread deformation.

    It's more likely that either the tie-down (connected to that plate below deck) has been over-tightened, or there is soft core in the area. Possibly both.

    It's remotely possible that there has been some settling of the mast step itself. If everything was set up taut, and then the mast base settled in some way, it would pull the tie-down downward in the same way. But knowing how these boats are built around the grid and how strong that structure is, I'd be *very* surprised if that happened in an otherwise-sound boat. And again, I think you'd see more widespread evidence.

    $.02
    Bruce
    "Makana" (ex-Thelonious)
    1985 Ericson 32-III #604
    Makana blog: here

  7. #7
    Contributing Member I 67rway's Avatar
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    Mast Area Leakage

    I too had a slight depression around the deck hold down plate immediately behind my mast; an area which I began looking hard at while seeking causes of headliner area water intrusion. This particular leak (one of several) was found to be caused by sealant failure at the mast deck plate and hold down plate. You can see evidence of the sealant failure in these first two pics.

    It appears the mast plate leak was caused by lateral movement of the fasteners while under halyard load, and the fact that the inside mounting surface (where washers/nuts were) for several bolts wasn't perpendicular (flat) to the load. The holes became oblong allowing for excessive movement and leakage, which damaged the surrounding core. Someone had misguidedly pumped a load of epoxy into some of the holes from above, which only made the repair process more difficult since the core had already failed.

    I hope to share more of the core repair process (as Loren mentioned above) via blog, one of these days!
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  8. #8
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    cabin top compression on Ericson 33 RH

    Bob,
    I am looking at a E33RH right now for potential purchase. The survey turned up exactly the same issue with this boat. The surveyor thinks that the turnbuckle on the wire pendant (inside the cabin) that attaches the mast to the tang on the cabin roof was over tightened, the deck is also wet in that area so maybe that also weakened it. I would love to hear more suggestions about how this could potentially be fixed.

  9. #9
    Contributing Member I
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    Thnank you all for some great feedback.

    Thanks for all the feedback,
    Right now the temperatures in Boston are dropping down into the single digits @ night, so the project will have to wait for a couple months. However the information gathering go's on. I will post more pictures of what I find once I get into it. I carefully examined some pictures of that area from before I bought the boat and that compression did pre-exist so the flooded dinghy on the halyard, nor sending my 200# son aloft to fix the shiv did not cause the problem. I know the boat saw little use for the past 15 years and was raced prior to that, so I'm guessing she was left in race tune & mostly in the water for those past 15 years which may have caused some step compression.
    I guess for now I will just have a good look at it from underneath and drill a few holes up into the core from underneath, once things thaw out, to see if there is any moisture in there. Interesting to hear Steve that you found the same thing on another E33. Was she stored years on end in the water as was mine ? I don't think the fix is too difficult depending on if there is moisture & how much. Regardless, when it go's back together the new plate will be considerably more area, circular & shaped to the deck crown so that all pressure will be better distributed to the deck.....& Steve, by all means buy the boat, they are a blast to sail !

  10. #10
    Principal Partner Keith Parcells's Avatar
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    Bob,

    I’ve been thinking more about your problem and have a couple of comments.

    I had a chance to look at my boat (after I cleaned all the soot and ash from the fires off of it) with your picture and descriptions in mind. So everyone is clear on this, it is forward of the mast, not aft of it like Loren’s and as described in post #7. The different Ericsons must differ in that respect.

    I feel that loads induced by over tightening of the backstay are the likely cause of the warpage. It is a bit hard to see how that would happen and which direction the loads would push in that area though. The mast bends like the bow in a bow and arrow when tensioned with the middle section “bellying out”. I guess at the deck level it must both “belly out” and pull downwards. That downward pull must pull that little plate and the deck down. The transverse beam which is forward of the little plate holds the deck strong but excessive downward force behind it must create the wrinkle.

    My $0.02
    Keith Parcells
    1983 E-33
    Hull #24
    Rocinante

  11. #11
    Contributing Member I
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    Thank you Keith

    Thanks Keith,
    My 33 has the tang in front of the mast. I had an E 39 years ago and she had one there too & another lower turn buckle which was tied into the step as well. It wasn't uncommon to see a cable (in front of the mast) either, tying the step & the deck together on many of the former IOR boats as these were pushed hard back in the day.
    I think you are right that about backstay may have caused this or at least contributed to it in a big way & yes my boat does have a hydraulic backstay. I think my boat was raced under IOR in the 80s and I think there's a good possibility that she sat in the water for many years thereafter in tune, maybe even with the backstay on a bit...This likely kept more compression on the step which in turn increased tension on the outer skin of the deck. I will be getting into it & will post some pictures too but at the moment she is on the hard with a fresh coating of 14" of snow on the cover and the temp is heading up to 12 degrees today...Sorry to hear of all the fires & the debris out your way. I guess it's a good thing that they didn't reach the marinas. Thanks again, Bob

  12. #12
    Contributing Partner
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    Hi Guys,

    I have owned my E33 since 2003 and am very familiar with the tang in question. The depression in deck is caused by the turnbuckle that connects the bottom of the tang inside boat to the mast. It must have been over tightened. The riggers at my yard told me it is used to help hold the deck down to offset the upward load from the shrouds. I was advised to install the turn buckle when the mast is stepped and load it up prior to tightening the shrouds. When I tighten it I watch the gap on the bathroom door, as the turnbuckle is tightened the deck compresses and the gap at top of bathroom door decreases. I tighten it to get a bit of deck deflection and still have enough gap at top of door so it opens and closes freely.

    I also discovered last year after replacing my chain plates that the connecting rods between the deck and hull should be loosened when mast is unstepped so that they are just snug by hand. Prior to stepping mast and tightening shrouds the connecting rods should be tightened one full turn. I believe the wrench size is 1/2 inch for larger rod and 3/8 or 7/16 for the smaller rod.

    I can send pictures of mine if you like.

    Sincerely,

    Doug Coyle

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