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My Cradle is Too Small?!?!?

posted Apr 11, 2011, 4:04 PM by Christopher Hubbell   [ updated Apr 14, 2011, 4:04 AM ]
The ghosts of owners past know no bounds on the torment inflicted upon me and my beloved ship.  Now that I am nearing the end of exercising (or at least identifying!) all the boat's demons, even the cradle is fighting back.

While working to install new 1/2" backing plates for all the of the shiny new through hulls I ran into an unexpected problem under the galley sink.  It's not an area I've had occasion to open since the topsides were painted and the boat repositioned on the cradle.  The wet locker opposite the galley is pretty much covered, so I couldn't really see the other side either.  When I poked my head under the galley to grind the backing plate's mounting area I saw something that did NOT make me happy.

The hull was bulged inwards and oil-canned, and the through hull hole had shaggy carpet sticking through it.  Not only was there no chance of putting in the through hull, I now had new stress cracks in the hull's barrier coat.  Fortunately, the marina I'm in is incredibly customer focused and generous with their assistance.  Unfortunately, it means another repair before launch.  It also means trying to cram in more work while the boat is getting ready to be launched.  I'm not happy about that.

After a little root cause investigation we collectively determined that the problem is most likely caused by a cradle that's about 24-26" too short.   We are lined up perfectly on the forward bulkhead, but we seem to be shy of the aft bulkhead.  So, it looks like I need to investigate either having a welder extend the cradle to fit properly, or selling my cradle and going with boat stands next winter.

When will the poor decisions of prior owners stop haunting me?
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