Hull #53 is in trouble

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Rampant 2 days, 18 hours ago.

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October 2, 2018 at 01:03 #26429

Rampant
Participant

Hi Folks,

Its been a while…. I have sad news to report.  Our beloved Rampant was found sunk in her slip three weeks ago, only 3 days after we had a lovely Labor Day weekend aboard.

I have been through quite a process since.  Surveyor could find no smoking gun why she went down.  Insurance co is covering the loss, but I have quite a dilemma.  The company will sell her back to me for a pittance, but I do not have the stomach for all the restoration that is required.  I would love to find a good home for her, someone who will work on her and get her to sail again, but I am not sure who it makes sense for to take on such a project, even for a very low investment.  She is on the hard in Solomons, MD.

There is a lot to work with.  She was repowered in 2011 with a Yanmar 4JHE5, only 500 engine hours of Chesapeake Bay cruising since.  Engine was pickled properly when she came out of the drink, and runs fine.  But all the electrics are shot.  She had new sails, winches, rigging etc.  Lots of new hardware, inside and out.  But the used boat market is full of low cost offerings.

I know this is hard to hear for you all who love your Nic 38s.  Its hard to tell the tale, believe me!  My options are to donate, let the insurance co keep her, or try to sell her.  Anyone have any suggestions to offer?

Charles

 

 

 

October 2, 2018 at 21:54 #26430
John Tyler
John Tyler
Participant

I’d say try to sell it as a project. Its really only the electrics that are the problem.

The insurance Co may well scrap it, which would be a shame.

October 3, 2018 at 23:53 #26432
Moderator
Moderator
Keymaster

Charles – I’m just clutching at straws for you as to why Rampart sunk, so let me ask a couple questions.

On your last sail, were you sailing hard on a port tack, putting the starboard bilge pump outlet below waterline? Do you have an automatic bilge pump connected to that outlet, without a check value to stop a siphon into the bilge when the outlet is below the water line? Others have taken on a lot of water from this siphon effect, but discovered the problem while still aboard.
Does Rampart have the original cockpit drains that connect to the seacocks in the engine room without check valves? The cockpit sole is also very close to the waterline.

Could it have been that you took on enough water while underway that the siphon continued after you departed, and eventually Rampart sunk?

Even if a siphon is the not at fault here, it seems possible in the wrong circumstances. I think I will add “check bilge water level” to our disembarking check list.

It would be sad indeed if she were scrapped. But I don’t have a solution for you. I’m sorry for your loss.

Marilyn, moderator

October 7, 2018 at 01:33 #26435

Rampant
Participant

Hi Marilyn,

Thanks for your thoughts and kind words.  It is a sad time for us indeed.   We hope that our loss will create an opportunity for another owner.

When we were out for the weekend, the winds were light so we mostly motorsailed.  We were not heeled over. Yes, we do have the original cockpit drains.  I am not sure how we took on water.   The bilge pump was tested later and found to work.  It is truly a mystery how she sank.  According to the marina, she was up in her slip in the evening, and then in the morning was on the bottom.  I am sure it sends a shiver through every boat owner’s spine.  We will need to float her and find out where, and if she still leaks.

Charles

 

 

October 10, 2018 at 06:21 #26436
Anne Brajon
Anne Brajon
Participant

Hi all
Sad news Indeed.
I have read carefully your post, being owner for a small year of TANGAROA.
Would it be possible for Marilyn to have more explanation on this siphon problem. Is this a problem known for this type of boat and what do you advise to do? I would like to send you a picture of the cockpit so that you can tell me what you think….

Thanks. Anne

October 12, 2018 at 01:03 #26439
Moderator
Moderator
Keymaster

Hi Anne –

The Nic 38 has issues with its cockpit drains and its bilge pump outlet being so close to the at-rest waterline – there are other discussions in other postings:

– Topic Self-bailing Cockpit

– Topic Protection for Alternator – this long discussion covers the cockpit drain problem as well

– Topic which captures an email exchange that occurred before this website existed.

There are basically two important points:

– if you have an bilge pump connected to the starboard bilge thru-hull, make sure the line has a check valve (or a siphon break) in it so water cannot siphoned back into the bilge after the pump shuts off when the bilge pump outlet is under water. This is a particularly sinister problem if you have an automatic bilge pump that will cycle on its own perhaps when you are not aware that it is running because you are having so much fun sailing hard on a port tack.

– if your cockpit drains are connected to the thru-hulls below the engine room, you probably need check valves on those to stop water surging back up the crossed lines. Alternatively, many owners direct the cockpit drain water into the bilge, and then pump it out.

Hope that helps explain the problems better.

Marilyn

October 16, 2018 at 21:16 #26443
Van
Van
Participant

Since you were motoring, it’s conceivable that the white metal bearing (bearing through which the prop shaft penetrates the hull to the transmission) may have opened up in such a way that it allowed water to flow in.  Normally it’s adjusted to allow a drop of water every few seconds.  If the nuts holding the stuffing box vibrated loose, I can imagine it letting in a stream of water that would eventually sink the boat.

Yes, this story sends a shiver down my spine and makes me want to go check on Rainshadow as soon as possible.

Van

 

October 23, 2018 at 14:56 #26456

Kari and Lawrence
Participant

Dear Marylin,

 

Hope you, Van and Rainshadow are well?

 

I read your comment about, “check valves” in your cockpit drain pipes, when we were corresponding on that subject before, I don’t recall you mentioning them?! How effective are your cockpit drains, do they work while Rainshadow is stationary?

 

Regards,

 

Kari & Lawrence

October 26, 2018 at 06:33 #26457
Anne Brajon
Anne Brajon
Participant

Hi Marilyn,  I everybody,

I have read all your forums about this problem.

I have a look on TANGAROA too and I think I will have to improve this system.

What do you think about these photos.

I have only one manual pump connected to the starboard bilge thru-hull.

It seems that every cockpit drain water into the bilge.

And I have an automatic pump, connected to the starboard bilge thru-hull. It is located Under the floor of the aft cabin. This one is out of service so I need a new one.

Have you a good reference of pump to give me ?

When you are sailing, do you cut the automatic pump ?

I have read Marylin website on this subject and I have understand that you have created a new pump adjacent to the rudder post on the interior starboard side of the cabinet. I have not understand  where it is located. Can you explain me. Have you a plan or photos ?

Have a good day

Anne

 

November 8, 2018 at 07:01 #26479
Moderator
Moderator
Keymaster

Kari and Lawerence – to answer your question about our cockpit drains, we do not have check valves in our drains. The drain hoses are directed to the bilge, so we must pump overboard any water we take on.

Rainshadow’s cockpit drains work acceptably for the amount of water we’ve taken on. During our passage from Seattle to Hawaii, we had many boarding waves from large following seas, some of which directed a few gallons of seawater into the cockpit. The water all seemed to disappear before we finished reacting to the surprise of being doused with cold seawater.

Given the center cockpit arrangement, and the canvas that can be secured to protect the cockpit when needed (e.g. rain or big seas), it seems the Nic 38 cockpit doesn’t take on much water under normal sailing conditions. We’ve never been in a gale offshore, so cannot answer to that.

But this strange arrangement of cockpit drains being directed to the bilge, and the small drain holes/hoses, has always left me somewhat apprehensive of how she would do in severe boarding seas. No one has ever commented on taking on water that caused a serious problem. Indeed, the only comment I remember came from Peter and family here.

November 19, 2018 at 01:39 #26488

Rampant
Participant

 

I am very glad to report that Hull #53 has been rescued by a fellow member of our Nic 38 group!  I transferred ownership of Rampant and all of her gear to Nicholas Fairhurst earlier this month.

I am confident that Nick will be an ideal custodian of Rampant, so I feel very fortunate that we have found each other, and I have this forum to thank!  I look forward to seeing posts from Nick as he begins his restoration and recovery of Hull #53.

Thankfully, our insurance company paid us out in full, and with the proceeds (and then some), my family and I have purchased another cruising sailboat.  So this is the way my family’s 47 year relationship with Rampant comes to an end.  But despite the tragic sinking, it is a happy ending!  We will gain a newer boat more suitable to our cruising plans, and Nick will gain a vessel and project that he has fancied for some time.  Let us all wish Nick and his family all the best so that they can return Rampant to sail again before too long.

Charles

 

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