Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

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Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by Jon »

I’m writing this topic not as a blog but as a method of gaining knowledge off the forum when I have questions I will place them in one thread so you can see them in context.

The Elliott was purchased to become:
1. Lake and bay family cruiser
2. club racer
3. caravan
4. to be able to be single handed and rigged from trailer to water in less than 30 mins, my goal is to get it down under 20 mins.

I’ve now had it for nine months and decided I want to spend the money to make it right. It was a cheap boat with a stiff hull. A 2010 build hull with a second hand skiff rig, shot sails and a very basic fit out. I bought it as it was a relatively blank canvas. I have a budget and I am working to that and plan to have the boat how I want it in two years time.

So far I have replaced the trailer, built a new boom, fitted a self-tailing winch to lift the daggerboard, created a drain for the fuel tank enclosure (when it rained it used to flood the bilge), rebuilt the daggerboard crane and filled the old drill holes in the cockpit with epoxy. I have also cut out the old galley from the boat. I have bought IKEA foam mattresses and am in the process of cutting them and sewing up new covers. This has been delayed as my Ultrafeed got galling on the needbar and seized. I am awaiting new parts.

My plan by the Sep school holidays (if work doesn’t interfere) is to have the following completed for a tour of the Gippsland Lakes with the family:

1. manufacture a new centre and aft mast crutch
2. collect new mast, change over the fittings, fit mast base and lines
3. Manufacture a gin pole with a braked winch and baby stays (MacGregor 26 type )
4. Join convention and fit cabin windows
5. Paint nonslip on deck, cabin top and cabin floor
6. Move the L/H clutches to the right side. I plan to only have one self-tailer on the cabin with two spinnaker winches aft. Maybe I may setup to cross winch the jib when single handed.
7. Get new main and genoa. Single line reefing and slugs on the main for convenience?
8. Build a mount for the outboard stowage on the trailer in the space underneath the bow.
9. Fix a rudder crack and re-fair
10. Make up new shims in the rudder stock to better balance the rudder. Currently it’s heavy, if that doesn’t work I may try shimming out the top tiller pintle.
11. Build new heads cabin and a galley
12. Fit a fresh water tank and plumb it with a second sink in the heads
13. Fit my 120 Ah battery and wire up the boat
14. Service my outboard
15. Fit a lee cloth to the saloon berth so my daughter can sleep while I sail.
16. Fit my old ST1000
17. Epoxy in a fibreglass icebox
18. Fit forward fairleads and bollard
19. Fit my fishfinder

Later
1. Fill forward end under V berth and quarter berths with buoyancy foam.
2. Remove bulb and lift out daggerboard for inspection. Fair and repaint
3. Anchor well –fabricate bigger one
4. Sew up a new boat cover.
5. Service and reposition the old Barrett winches for spinnaker use
6. Fit a prodder as I prefer asymmetric chutes.
Last edited by Jon on Oct 12th, '17, 21:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by Jon »

Interior stripped out and the old kitchen bench and hanging closet removed. To day with the angle grinder (with full ppe) I think I cut out about 10kg of bog in the tabbing of the liner to the hull. 5 vacuum cleaner bags of dust -a horrible job.

The second image is the basic mock up for the bench. It is an IKEA shelving unit turned upside down just to get an idea. Plan is to have the same IKEA drawers in an epoxy soaked frame. An old benchtop and stainless sink I have in the shed. I will route the bottom of the timber bench to get the weight down. Maxie stove near the daggerboard trunk. I'm trying to build the new kitchen for less than half the weight of the old one.


Behind the bench will be a marine ply bulkhead deckhead to deck to try and stiffen her up more. Heads in front of that.

I was planning to use Western Red Cedar for trim but I'm having difficulty sourching it locally.

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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by INMA »

INMA's sealed buoyancy chambers were filled with plastic bags filled with beanbag balls, its lasted 35 years without fuss.

If you copy this design with sealed plastic bags, they will substitute for foam. They are light, provide flotation and can easily be removed for inspection and maintenance.



You only need the single line reef on the top reef, the rest can be done manually after pulling the top reef in. Basically if you are cruising and you need to reef, the top reef will keep you under control.



Your rudder will be heavy because your rig is not balanced, the cracked foil is evidence the loads are excessive. The drag caused by your rudder and keel not being efficient will make the yacht inefficient and tender. Figure out balancing the sails and the keel because this is the problem.



A classic problem in lighter performance yachts is sail makers often leave too much draft in the sail, it does not need large drafts like a keelboat its closer to a dingy as far as rig design.
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by Jon »

The Elliott has a large main and blade jib and it does have high tiller load on some points of sail. Also I have a tendency to oversheet the main from sailing Taipans in the past. I have had fingertip tillers in the past and and I'm going to muck about with rudder balance to see if I can get it on this boat. Elliott 7s space out the top tiller pintle by 20mm to get a better helm.

The crack is caused by me, I was going through shallow water and lifted the bulb but not the rudder. The rudder stopped the boat.

Good idea about bean bag balls. The retaining bag would have to be strong as that would be the limiting factor. I was thinking of about 2L of expanding foam pored in a freezer bag then laid wet in the v berth. That way it will not absorb moisture and if access is needed then you just unpack the freezer bags. It would be like Tetris getting them back in though. Anyway thats down in the job list so I have time to think about it.
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by INMA »

If you can heat seal, the plastic bags with the bean bag balls loosely inside then the bags provide most of the flotation and the balls stop the bags from crushing under water.

Damage to a bag or two won't reduce the flotation significantly, although the balls are not good if they leak out.
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by zebedee »

Bean bag beans can be readily obtained from people who are trying to give away bean bags...
(I delivered an unloved bean bag to Greg for his greyhounds this evening)
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by mees »

Hi Jon, I'm following your project with interest as I have played with the idea of doing the same With an Eliot. Realistically it will not happen now as I don't have the time so the next best thing is watching you doing it.

I wouldn't use WRCedar, it's a beatiful timber ( light and resistent to decay) but imo to soft to use for trim. It's bound to get bashed as we tend to throw stuff around to get to something else.

Have you considered using a sandwich panel (like duflex) to make a galley and other parts? You'll be able to make that ikea rack out of that stuff with maybe 1/10 th of the weight. that hull looks nice and clean would be a shame to weigh it down to much.

With regards to solo sailing I was toying with the idea of water ballast tanks to replace the 3 or 4 guys on the rail.

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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by Jon »

Mees,
The biggest disappointment for the kids with the Elliott is no trapezes. For their enjoyment temporary trapezes will be fitted. Two little tackers hanging off the side will not equal three grown men but it is the best I will get as I don't want to muck around with water ballast-yet.

Foam cored panels would be excellent but I can't find a supplier nearby. I also have a couple of sheets of marine ply in the shed that comes at the right price.
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by pdandy »

Can you post up the details when you fit trapeezes? Anything to keep the kids happy...

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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by impulse »

That's some list. How long are school holidays down there ! :shock:
Cheers Robin.

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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by Castle 610 »

Yes thats a good list. I am would be lucky to do just one of those. Currently content with sewing up a minor tear in the spinnaker bag!
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by duncanhayward »

Jon wrote: Foam cored panels would be excellent but I can't find a supplier nearby. I also have a couple of sheets of marine ply in the shed that comes at the right price.

Jon - try these guys http://www.plasticcreations.com.au
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by Wanton »

pdandy wrote:Can you post up the details when you fit trapeezes? Anything to keep the kids happy...

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++Hey Paul this would indeed be a good project for you to keep the kids cool and enthusiastic sailors. But you know you have another source of wisdom that frequents this forum who is a very capable (and I mean it), inventor of gadgets to stick onto a Noelex. Call Frank and I am sure he will have good ideas. His Noelex is the only one that I know of that has a removable davit attachment. A trapeze will be a piece of cake for Frank. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by Wanton »

Jon wrote:
My plan by the Sep school holidays (if work doesn’t interfere) is to have the following completed for a tour of the Gippsland Lakes with the family:

1. manufacture a new centre and aft mast crutch
2. collect new mast, change over the fittings, fit mast base and lines
3. Manufacture a gin pole with a braked winch and baby stays (MacGregor 26 type )
4. Join convention and fit cabin windows
5. Paint nonslip on deck, cabin top and cabin floor
6. Move the L/H clutches to the right side. I plan to only have one self-tailer on the cabin with two spinnaker winches aft. Maybe I may setup to cross winch the jib when single handed.
7. Get new main and genoa. Single line reefing and slugs on the main for convenience?
8. Build a mount for the outboard stowage on the trailer in the space underneath the bow.
9. Fix a rudder crack and re-fair
10. Make up new shims in the rudder stock to better balance the rudder. Currently it’s heavy, if that doesn’t work I may try shimming out the top tiller pintle.
11. Build new heads cabin and a galley
12. Fit a fresh water tank and plumb it with a second sink in the heads
13. Fit my 120 Ah battery and wire up the boat
14. Service my outboard
15. Fit a lee cloth to the saloon berth so my daughter can sleep while I sail.
16. Fit my old ST1000
17. Epoxy in a fibreglass icebox
18. Fit forward fairleads and bollard
19. Fit my fishfinder

Later
1. Fill forward end under V berth and quarter berths with buoyancy foam.
2. Remove bulb and lift out daggerboard for inspection. Fair and repaint
3. Anchor well –fabricate bigger one
4. Sew up a new boat cover.
5. Service and reposition the old Barrett winches for spinnaker use
6. Fit a prodder as I prefer asymmetric chutes.

Wow that is a big list of projects. Do you think you will complete them before the start of the next cruising season?

PS: how important is it for your boat to have those buoyancy sections? How effective will a couple of compartments filled with foam or other material be to keep your boat afloat in the event of total inundation? I remember sometime in the past looking at this issue and it was not a very encouraging. Someone did produce a chart of buoyancy ratios, but I cannot remember where I found it at the time. (Old age is a bitch ain't it?) At the time I formed the opinion that the only solution to make sure the boat remains buoyant is to not let water flood the boat. PS: I did have a Hartley that had the below cockpit space filled with foam. I could have used the space in that little boat.
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by Castle 610 »

I think for one tonne of boat you would need about 1 cubic metre of buoyancy...give or take. Probably slighly less due the specific gravity of most of the materials being less than 1. So l agree with you Ed!
Further l would be reluctant to use foam in favour of sealed compartments.
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by Gezza »

On my Sonata someone filled up all the under bunk space with foam, man was that a &$@# job to get it out, all it did was collect moist in the cavities of the expanding builders foam. If you really worried about taking on water get yourself some good high flow bilge pumps, you need a minimum bilge pump capacity of 4000 litres per hour on a vessel over 7 meters anyway so save your money on foam or beans and buy an extra pump. 2 cubic meters of storage space is a lot.
I think for the sailing we do in our little yachts self buoyancy is a waste of time, we won't wonder far on the ocean do we, and if things really go pear shape there are other ways to stop the inflow of water.
Failing all that, then maybe it was just your yachts time and you have to accept it and move on.

Also your list might seem a bit ambitious, I did a total renovation of my boat and it took over a year, I had hoped on a few month. It is like an other thread just posted, every 1 thing you fix gives you 2 more things that need sorting.
Good luck with your project, but give it time and don't get stressed if things don't go as quick as you wanted. Just enjoy it, it will be very rewarding when you are finished.
Then again I don't think you will ever be finished working on a boat.
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by INMA »

Re buoyancy, different yachts represent different compromises.

The designer of a trailerable yacht quickly decides whether a yacht has ballast or buoyancy because the two are apposing in their compromises.

The multi-hulls are a great example of the extreme of that compromise with the chances of the yacht sinking being very slim.

Most keel boats have enough ballast to keep the mast pointing up most of the time but flooded, they will quickly work like an anchor heading into the deep water rather quickly. Bilge pumps and sealed compartments help to delay the inevitable, hopefully long enough for the crew to counter the source of the flood. I watched a big yacht t bone a medium keel-boat in a race and can confirm the two bits of the boat sunk very quickly as the foam buoyancy floated away when released from its captivity.

The good news is there are some trailerables that have a reasonable chance of avoiding sinking, the Macgregors and RLs were designed to float when swamped, there ballast is less likely to drag the whole lot under (by design).

But those compromises are quickly compromised when owners modify their yachts away from the designer's configuration. I recall a few RL24 owners who were proud of their "improvements" where they cut openings in the buoyancy tanks changing them to storage.

I'm not sure about changing the Elliot but that heavy keel is going to take a lot of buoyancy to keep it near the surface if you flood the hull.

Its possible to prevent a heavy ballasted yacht from sinking, I recall a Cole 23 coastal cruising in Queensland that had tractor tubes inflated in the V berth that were there to avoid a sinking, most people would not sacrifice that amount of storage but I admired that owner for making the decision and sacrificing storage for security against sinking.

My point of all these words is an attempt to counter assumptions mono hulled yachts always sink. There are compromises less dramatic than sinking.
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by MartinDreaming »

Castle 610 wrote:I think for one tonne of boat you would need about 1 cubic metre of buoyancy...give or take. Probably slighly less due the specific gravity of most of the materials being less than 1. So l agree with you Ed!
Yes.
And because I'm a nerd, here are some numbers;
Density of pure water (near enough to fresh water) = 1000kg, or 1 tonne per cubic metre
Density of sea water = about 1020kg to 1030kg, per cubic metre
So 1 tonne of boat = 1 cubic metre of (fresh) water
Density of builder's foam = 25 to 900 kg per cubic metre
If we work with the least dense foam, then
* for every cubic metre of fresh water we are displacing 1000 - 25 = 975 kg
* for every cubic metre of salt water we are displacing 1020 - 25 = 995 kg
(You get more buoyancy in salt water, which is why you float better when swimming in the Dead Sea than the Baltic)
But that's neutral buoyancy only. To get positive buoyancy (lots of up-force), we need more than 1 cubic metre for every tonne of boat
And a tip of the hat to Archimedes.
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by Furstin »

Yes, you can save 100l, but the water retention issues imo harbour far more impact to the potential detriment of the longevity of the boats life. Add to that the actual time immersed and proximity to land, offset by insurance and you might say there's better places to spend your time and effort, as mentioned above.

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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by Jon »

Yes it is a big list and once I get my new sails it is going to be hard to work on the boat but I'm keen to give it a crack.

Drove south this afternoon and am currently in the v berth parked in Keeley Marine's drive way to pick up a new spar and spreaders. Tonight this place is colder and winder than Canberra. My new v berth mattress is working well. We will see how the composite mast crutch goes on the way home tommorrow.

This is the first boat out of many that my family have owned that is not positively buoyant. It does weight on our mind a bit having a lump of lead to drag us down. I saw a trailer sailer sink a few years ago after being knocked over on an inland lake. The water flooded the companionway and they were swimming in minutes. (Thermals going across the lake, they had main and genoa cleated in a lull). 10 years ago I also hit a bommie at speed under kite and tore open a hull off Palleranda, NQLD. Luckily the other hull and the foam core got me home.

Way down the job list but I will do IMNA idea of bean bag balls in plastic bags. I will put a rib under the v berth and loose about 50% in bouyancy. More aft, it shouldn't be too hard to do the maths to work it out if I can achieve it. I have been on a EU cat A yacht which have to be positively buoyant. Lots of storage space is given to blocks of closed cell foam.
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by INMA »

Martin, you forgot to include the displacement of the fibreglass and other stuff that may be heavier than water but adds to the flotation.
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by MartinDreaming »

INMA wrote:Martin, you forgot to include the displacement of the fibreglass and other stuff that may be heavier than water but adds to the flotation.
(Sorry, mods, getting off topic)

HHhmmm ... Maybe, maybe not ... I was talking about total displacement.

So, here's an Archimedial problem. You have a shiplift like the Falkirk Wheel, which has two 500 tonne "buckets" that fill with water and rotate on a central pivot. One of these "buckets" has a 20 tonne yacht in it, and the other "bucket" has a 5 tonne yacht in it. How much heavier is the "bucket" with the 20 tonne yacht in it? :roll:
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by zebedee »

Neither has a yacht in it because there's no room for masts!
But yes, a 0.5kg 9 litre bucket filled to the 9 litre mark weighs 9.5kg no matter how much stuff is floating in the bucket.

Without the keel, outboard, battery and spars, most boats would come very close to floating even completely swamped, because the density of the remaining stuff is close to 1. Think in terms of having to float the stuff which won't float by itself.

Or, coming at it from a different direction; remember you can count the volume of the outboard, all the fibreglass, aluminium, etc towards the total volume required to make the whole mess float.

And finally, a boat which is swamped and barely afloat is probably easier to salvage than one which has sunk, even in say 6m of water, but it's still in deep trouble. I'd rather it floated upright and stable enough to motor to safety after being holed.
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by Castle 610 »

To put it another way a 1 tonne lump of wood doesn't require any flotation .
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Re: Refit of an Elliott 7.4.

Post by Gezza »

"And finally, a boat which is swamped and barely afloat is probably easier to salvage than one which has sunk, even in say 6m of water, but it's still in deep trouble. I'd rather it floated upright and stable enough to motor to safety after being holed."

When you boat is barely afloat you won't be doing much motoring because your outboard be sucking water instead of air.
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