First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

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Matteob
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First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by Matteob » Mar 14th, '19, 14:32

Am looking at buying a Griffin 17 as first budget foray into TS. Mainly interested in cruising with the family/friends on Lake Burley Griffin, inland waterways, maybe some coastal estuaries down the track.
Boats seems to be in reasonable condition, taking it out for a test sail this weekend. Owner has said she always has quite a bit of water come out of the bungs after a sail, inside the cockpits never wet, any advice on how much water is too much?
Can't see any significant damage to the hull, bit of gel-coating to do here and there, mainly concerned about potential keel housing leaks, and how much work/$ to repair. Don't mind a bit of water in the immediate term (most fiberglass dinghies I've sailed always had some water in the hull at the end of the day) just don't want to take on a large sinking project, literally or $

How much in a Griffin 17 do you think is acceptable after an hour or two in moderate conditions. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks Matt

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Peter Yates
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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by Peter Yates » Mar 14th, '19, 19:33

I really don't think any water getting into a FG boat is acceptable.

I've owned a lot of them and only one leaked and I fixed it pronto. That boat (a CAL14) had a double walled transom and the cockpit drain tube between the walls was leaking into the bilge. So that may be a possibility on the Griffin.

Otherwise, unless it is something simple like a washer on a bung, it means there is a structural fault somewhere and your instinct about the centreboard housing is probably right.

I am not familiar with the Griffin, but I assume they are a swing keel, so likely culprits would be either the hinge pin or a fracture in the front end of the casing due to the board falling down uncontrolled, perhaps after the cable broke.

If it is the pin, it would not be a major job but fixing the FG casing might be a significant job.

I suggest you tread carefully before buying a leaky FG boat.
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zebedee
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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by zebedee » Mar 14th, '19, 20:22

Peter Yates wrote:
Mar 14th, '19, 19:33
I really don't think any water getting into a FG boat is acceptable.
If you've got continuous fibreglass from one gunwhale to the other then there shouldn't be any leaks. A dry boat is a perfectly reasonable thing to expect. Look for any damage in the gelcoat and then for any "designed in" penetration of the fibreglass such as swing keel hinge pin, cockpit drains, bow eye bolt or rudder fittings if close to the waterline, etc.
Peter Yates wrote:
Mar 14th, '19, 19:33
Otherwise, unless it is something simple like a washer on a bung, it means there is a structural fault somewhere and your instinct about the centreboard housing is probably right.
If in doubt about the drain plug, get a large section rubber O ring about the right size for the bung; this will ensure the bung seals with minimal torque.
Peter Yates wrote:
Mar 14th, '19, 19:33
I am not familiar with the Griffin, but I assume they are a swing keel, so likely culprits would be either the hinge pin or a fracture in the front end of the casing due to the board falling down uncontrolled, perhaps after the cable broke.
Yes, swing keel.
Peter Yates wrote:
Mar 14th, '19, 19:33
I suggest you tread carefully before buying a leaky FG boat.
Seconded!

The Griffin is an interesting boat for it's size, with a light and useable cabin space, but the rig is a bit odd with a relatively short mast and long boom, and the storm board slots in the hull are parallel, so that the storm boards have to be dropped in full length from above, rather than put in place and dropped a couple of inches as is usually the case with a tapered opening. It's a daft design mistake which really screams that the designer wasn't a sailor; not uncommon in the early days of fibreglass boats when builders were all looking around for a product to build with their new fangled fibreglass technology. The Dennis TS500 was another design from a non-sailing boat builder who thought that if a boat looked about right then it would be right. He was right insofar as he sold lots of them until his own second hand boats outcompeted his new boats, but they're a pretty ordinary boat.
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garymalmgren
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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by garymalmgren » Mar 14th, '19, 22:41

There you have it, Matteob.
Sound advice from some people who really know.

Rule number 1 when buying a boat is don't fall in love.
Find out where the water is coming in from before you buy, not after.
Better still get the seller to find out.

Welcome to TSP

Gary

Matteob
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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by Matteob » Mar 15th, '19, 10:20

Thanks All for your sound advice, really appreciated.
I just need to be patient and wait to find the right boat, also save up a bit more ;-)
Matt

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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by Sue H » Mar 15th, '19, 11:55

Fibreglass boats should not leak unless there is a failure somewhere.... as suggested:around the bung or around the keel casing. If it's just the bung they're pretty cheap. Anywhere else and you could be in for a world of pain and dollars. Also if the water has got into the fibreglass and wicked up anywhere it is a whole other world to fix. I would get the owner to identify the problem before I pursued it any further, or as you suggested just save up a bit more and purchase a boat which you know is dry.... even if you do have to check the market a little wider than your immediate area... you may just find something which will serve you better long term.

Good luck with your search.

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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by guzzis3 » Mar 15th, '19, 15:54

Matteob wrote:
Mar 15th, '19, 10:20
Thanks All for your sound advice, really appreciated.
I just need to be patient and wait to find the right boat, also save up a bit more ;-)
Matt
Yes.

I didn't want to be the one to say it as I've not had any direct experience of the griffin, but everything I've read about them and just looking at the boat I'd only consider one if it was VERY cheap and I was certain there were no big bills.

The reality is there are LOTS of boats on the market these days and few buyers. You can buy a good design in excellent condition for less than you can do up something like that. Some boats get to the point where even if they are free they are not good options.

Perhapse if you give us an idea of your budget and location we can help bankrupt you ?

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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by Jaime » Mar 15th, '19, 21:08

These guys are full of knowledge. There is always another bargain just around the corner.
To put it in perspective, I paid 4.5k for our Boomerang 20, I have spent probably another 2k at least (I'm not going to look at the receipts because I don't want to lie to the missus when she asks :twisted: ). About a month later another boat popped up for the 5-6k mark with "no work" to be done on it... I do believe that a lot of the boats on the market will always need work done, even if it's just making a gin pole to raise the mast easier!
To make it worse, we have only had her out twice since buying her due to life's fun quirks, but that's another story entirely.
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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by Matteob » Mar 15th, '19, 21:47

RE budget & location, too smaller budget of $3k to purchase at the moment, think I need more like $5k at least. Am in Canberra, seem to be quite a few reasonable boats in WA & TAS, but too far, costly to get transport. After a smaller and lighter TS for cruising and pretty stable to get the family involved. Always liked the Farr's since my TS crewing days years ago, but outa my price range. Actually finding I'm drawn more to the older boats, but at the end of day need working and functional. I'm pretty handy, but not up for a big project.

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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by Jaime » Mar 15th, '19, 22:05

I'd recommend the boomerang 20 for the stable criteria. 1.4t on the trailer so maybe light depending on your version of light.
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garymalmgren
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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by garymalmgren » Mar 16th, '19, 00:05

Matt
Winter is coming.
The best time to buy a boat. (Price wise)
Wait a while.

gary

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mob
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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by mob » Mar 16th, '19, 10:49

zebedee wrote:
Mar 14th, '19, 20:22
........ and the storm board slots in the hull are parallel, so that the storm boards have to be dropped in full length from above, rather than put in place and dropped a couple of inches as is usually the case with a tapered opening. It's a daft design mistake which really screams that the designer wasn't a sailor; not uncommon in the early days of fibreglass boats when builders were all looking around for a product to build with their new fangled fibreglass technology.
I asked my father why he didn't taper the washboard slots, and he said it was because the tapered washboards can float out of their slots in a swamping. So in our case it was a design choice.

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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by guzzis3 » Mar 16th, '19, 11:07

At the risk of starting a flame war/getting political there have been cheap boats in WA because they are essentially in recession. IMO the rest of the country will be down the gurgler by winter. Add to that the long term decline in TS prices and I predict good boats will be available at give away prices soon.

I would think you could get something under 20' that's really worth having pretty near your budget right now, under the 20' seem to be much less sought after from what I've seen.

You are only a couple of hours from batemans and that opens up anything that presents in that bit of the south coast.

I think you now have a team of keen eyes looking out for you :D The only thing more fun than shopping for boats is shopping for boats with other people's money....

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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by colect149 » Mar 16th, '19, 11:41

The parallel washboards on all my Farrs (6000,7500 and now 5000) drive me nuts. the 5000 is a bit worse than the others. To the eye they are parallel but they are not quite, so one has to be very precise to get the lower on in. BTW I love being able to remove all the panels. There have been a couple of 5000's recently for 5K ask.
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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by guzzis3 » Mar 17th, '19, 14:42

It just occurred to me there was a swing keel hunter 19 in sydney recently for about $2k on a trailer. I can't find it atm but they do come up. That would be an excellent small TS. Tough sea boats, well ballasted. A fixed keel followed the sydney to hobart fleet years ago. I know sydney is a drive but one of those wold be worth it.

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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by Jaime » Mar 17th, '19, 22:23

For what it's worth, I considered, and nearly got a careel 18 over the boomerang, but all the ones I could find had issues (rust) with their swing keel. Be wary of these and look at the keel closely. The boomerang drop keel is fibreglass and I believe lead, completely unsure about the swing keel version though.
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zebedee
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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by zebedee » Mar 17th, '19, 22:40

Swing keels inherently involve a pivot of some sort, and almost inevitably involve the opportunity for some really nasty damage when the lifting line fails and the keel swings down and forward until something stops it. If you're looing at a swing keel boat, have a really really good look at the keel, the keel pivot, and the front end of the keel case.
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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by Matteob » Mar 18th, '19, 07:42

Can tow upto 1500kg, open to travel reasonable distance, 3-5 hrs, eg Sydney, lakes entrance
Appreciate all the advice, leads, yeah keel casing damage worries me the most, will make sure I have a little torch with me to get the best look I can under and into the front of the keel casing.

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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by Jaime » Mar 18th, '19, 08:23

The boomerang sounds borderline then. By the time you add the outboard, day trip gear etc. you would be well over.
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zebedee
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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by zebedee » Mar 18th, '19, 09:27

You can be confident anything on a tandem trailer will be over 1500kg.
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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by Jaime » Mar 18th, '19, 11:00

zebedee wrote:
Mar 18th, '19, 09:27
You can be confident anything on a tandem trailer will be over 1500kg.
Except the boomerang :twisted:
But yes, once loaded up I agree. Though if mast up could be ok?
I wouldn't like to be towing that close to max on open road anyway
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zebedee
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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by zebedee » Mar 18th, '19, 12:41

The common axles used for most trailers are rated 1000kg or 1450kg.
A tandem with override brakes typically has a pair of 1000kg axles; most single axle boat trailers will have a 1450kg axle.
A single axle, springs, hubs, wheels, etc, weighs about 130kg, so a boat and tandem trailer which weighs 1500kg would be under 1400kg on a single 1450kg axle. By the time you subtract 100-150kg which is supported by the coupling, you should be able to get 1500kg on a single axle.

Most single axle trailer and boat combinations shouldn't be over about 1500kg, unless they've got a heavier duty axle such as a 1600kg, 2000kg or higher. (which is not to say that they aren't over!)

If you're looking to stay under 1500kg, look for boats which are on single axle trailers. And ALWAYS before you buy, check the weight!
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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by colect149 » Mar 18th, '19, 14:00

Our Drop Keel Ultimate 18 on a single axle trailer weighed exactly 1400Kg with cruising gear on board and no outboard.

Cannot remember about the water but my practice was to travel with minimum water in it's small bow tank. Nothing beats weighing the actual boat you may be interested in.
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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by Jaime » Mar 18th, '19, 14:25

Ive heard many good things about the u18s
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Re: First TS- Griffin 17 buying advice - leaks

Post by Matteob » Mar 19th, '19, 23:00

court 650 caught my interest, like the setup, particualry the pop top, but they look quite a substantial boat, and seen pics of various boats on both single and dual axle trailers.Yep always check the weight, but good to know what boats are likley to be under 1500kg with trailer.

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