Maintenance 2019

Notes from Open Forum evening on Shipman Maintenance
DMYC - 20 March 2019

The forum commenced at 8:00 pm with a good turnout of 25 members attending. A list of subject matters was generated using a flip chart and this list was used as an agenda for the meeting. The discussions ranged far and wide with some members looking for information of specific issues they have with their boats, while others having carried out repairs or improvements happily share their new found knowledge and experiences – both good and bad!

The meeting was experiential – the following is a brief summary of maters covered they are not a verbatim record of all that was discussed, should you like further information on the matters listed we will be happy to put you in contact with the ‘person of experience’.

Gel coat:

  • Boats are made of matt reinforced polyester. Use Plastic Padding for filler. Prime first with No. 3 Thinners before application of 2-pack (epoxy) gel sealant.
  • For cracks, use a chisel or the corner of a can-opener to open up the crack, apply gel coat proud of the surface finish and sand down.
  • No particular brand of polyester gel coat recommended. Note polyester will not adhere to epoxy resin. If you have exposed gel coat below the water line you need to prime it before applying anti fouling.


  • All the spreaders are different but generally spreaders should be angled slightly up, but spreaders should be angled up bisecting the angle made by the shroud.
  • When beating the leeward shroud should be only tensioned off, not loose.
  • Self-amalgamating tape [obtainable in Halfords] - can be used on shroud above and below spreader to hold it in position. However, only hinged spreaders need to be fixed to the shroud normally the shroud is free at the spreader tip
  • Martin Kennedy suggests looking up ‘Rig Right’ – a US site where you can get the parts.
  • Rigger Gerry Doyle: ’One of the best on the east coast’.
  • See also Hints and advice on rigging and mast by Selden Masts

Safety rails:

  • Recommended that safety rails should not be cladded [white plastic] as it’s not possible to see or tell condition of wire underneath.

Rigg Tension:

  • Invader suggested using: Ivar Dedekam [2001] 'Illustrated Sail& Rig Tuning', by Fenhurst Books, Duke's Path, High Street, Arundal, UK - ISBN 1 898660 67 0., as a useful method of rigging masts, copies of the document will be circulated.
  • Mast bend by 75 – 100 mm to stern (or one-half the thickness of the mast)
  • Lewis Gauge for optimal tension.
  • General note on rigging: Shipman do not like to be sailed tight - if you tighten too much you will pull in the hull. Mast lean back by half thickness of the mast.

Replacing Windows:

  • Straggler replaced windows from HD Marine in Denmark
  • Aluminium mast/window, watch out if you use stainless steel fastenings [bolts and/or pop rivets] Corrosion caused by electric reaction between ferrous and non-ferrous metals – need to isolate with mastic seal, or Viking Marine supply a proprietary isolator rivet.
  • Do not use Sikaflex adhesive as the bond cannot be undone. Use butyl rubber instead. Alternative method is to make a custom gasket: wrap the window panel in cling film and form a gasket in-situ with Tek 7.
  • ‘Shelca’ stated that Eagle Boat Windows in UK supplied all 8 windows for €500.

Fuel filters:

  • Derek showed fuel filters - from Agri Shop (Agco?), much cheaper - also has a contact from hoses.
  • Pirtek a good source for all fittings.

Stern glands:

  • Deep seal alternative to packing and grease. Grease or (gravity-fed) oil can be used, but must be waterproof.

Cutlass bearing:

  • How often does it need to be replaced? Check if the shaft is wearing unevenly.
  • Difficult to replace. (Derek Ramsbottom did a replacement.)


  • Check jubilee clips for rust! – all joints should have double SS clips.
  • Braided or solid hoses preferable.
  • Gas pipe lines are date stamped; replace them on or before the stated date for replacement.

MOB [Man-over-board]

The following is a system ‘perfected and used on Viking:

  • The top and bottom blocks of the mail sheet are attached to the boom and traveller using snap shackles. This will allow the main sheet complete to be removed, inverted and attached to say a halyard to assist in lifting a MOB on board.
  • The mast head halyards should not be used to lift as the angle of the rope and sheave are not aligned and may jamb.
  • Handy billy - to recover someone from overboard:
  • Ideally a separate block & tackle (handy billy) should be carried.
  • Jimmy Green Marine, in Devon, sells a handy billy at £99.00 complete. Worth a look, probably cheaper than making one up new
  • Viking also found that a 5-step minimum boarding ladder is required which will hook over the boat gunnel midships. The ladder must have a short length of rope permanently attached for securing

Finishing wood surfaces:

  • Suggested using either Woodskin (3-coat breathable varnish) or Deks Olje (saturates timber, low-build, flexible varnish).
  • Varnish” “International Perfection” the best, but ordinary Sadolins Woodstain cheaper and will do the job.
  • To remove masking tape, use peanut butter and a blade to remove the tape, and WD40 to remove the adhesive.
  • The Deks Olje the agents are: Igoe International Ltd, 135 Slaney Road, Dublin Industrial Est, Glasnevin, Dublin 11 Tel No: 353-1-830 22 50 Email:
  • There are two products [Igoe International] that can be used: Deks Olje D1 is a saturator for mat finish or Deks Olje D2 for a high gloss flexible finish. Both have soft, good wearing finishes, will not crack when and are easy to recoat without heavy sanding.
  • Some boats use Le Tonkinoish varnish for many years with success. It us available from

Non slip areas on the deck:

  • Sandtex Exterior Paint is a ‘very’ cheap solution - 4 patch pots [at €1:50 each, total €6 euro] sufficient to cover all no -slip areas. Add sugar to the paint mix to provide a grip surface; the sugar will dissolve after application.
[Compiled by: Helen Bradley/Gerry Glynn/ Colm Duggan/Brian Glynn]