V17 - Issues/Refit

Discussion in 'Ask A Macgregor Owner' started by Vanka472, Apr 29, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Vanka472

    Vanka472

    Joined Jun 22, 2017
    13 posts, 1 likes
    Macgregor Venture 17
    US Lake Harriet
    Hey guys!

    I am new to these forums but have read through what I could get my hands on, about the Venture 17. A little about me.

    I picked up this boat in May of 17' and sailed it all that summer. The boat sailed, but there were some key issues, that I wanted to fix and need to fix. My goals with this boat are to make it my own. This means putting in more money than its worth but it's my boat and something that I enjoy working on, as much as I love sailing it.

    Issues:
    Mast Step - This is my first and possibly biggest issue. There is a rather large crack, running on the top of the deck (ie: picture) and the core needs to most likely be redone.

    Lowriding - The boat sits quite low in the water, often noticed as lowriding. It looks great (people always say it looks like a pirate ship!) but obviously, this is not good for the boat nor what I want it to be like.

    Keel Wench Tube - Water comes through here depending on the number of people in the boat, and most likely this is because of the rear of the boat sitting so low, there is nowhere else for the water to go. This could also be because of leaking through the wench tubing, but I am not sure.

    I have attached some pictures, for review and have already started working on the boat. I would love some input and would like to make this into an ongoing thread so that anyone else in the future can also look back here as far as any issues they might have with a V17. I love this boat and can't wait to make it run like new again someday soon. The goal is to get this sailing for this summer, rather sooner than later.

    Thanks, guys! I look forward to hearing from you guys.

    Cheers,
    Eb
     

    Attached Files:



  2. Sumner

    Sumner

    Joined Jan 31, 2009
    5,247 posts, 285 likes
    Macgregor & Endeavour 26S and 37
    US Utah's Canyon Country
    First off, welcome to the group!!

    Hard to tell what all needs to be done with the long crack. I'd say you are on the right track that if the core is also gone now that you need to cut the area out and re-core it and re-glass it. I'd get advice from someone who is good with glass work and that can also actually look at it.
    [​IMG]
    Dumb question. The boat does still have its swing keel, doesn't it? I'd imagine the keel is up in the picture above. Does the boat sit like that with it down? I've seen other pictures of the 17 and they are high to some degree in the bow compared to the stern but not like that. Is the boat heavy in the stern because of water intrusion? Has to have weight back there from something.

    I've always loved the 17 and considered buying one as a third sailboat 6-7 years ago but then came to my senses and realized that having two was probably one to many. Enjoy the boat, they are a cute little boat and I think they came about when MacGregor designed it as a college project and it kicked off his very successful business that followed but can't for sure tell you that was how it came about,

    Sumner
    ==================================================================================
    1300 miles to The Bahamas and Back in the Mac...
    Endeavour 37 Mods...
    MacGregor 26-S Mods...
    Mac Trips to Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Canada, Florida, Bahamas
     


  3. Vanka472

    Vanka472

    Joined Jun 22, 2017
    13 posts, 1 likes
    Macgregor Venture 17
    US Lake Harriet
    Sumner, thank you! I look forward to participating here more and be among fellow sailors and Mac owners!

    I love the 17. It's my first boat, and I taught myself to sail on it, even in its condition, it was forgiving and a joy to be on (granted your feet are gonna wet! lol)

    As far as the crack, its probably best to like you said just repair the entire area. I am afraid if the core is wet and soft, its gonna give more and it doesn't help the rake of the mast.

    Yes! The boat has a swing keel. You bring up a great point. I am not sure if the keel is up there or not. Knowing my usual methods of docking it (this is after a day out) I am guessing I had wenched up the keel. I do think the boat sits like that with the keel down too. If you look at the pic where the boat is further away (attached) you can see it still seems to draft like that. The logic is right. I guess I haven't stopped to think about what could be adding so much weight back there. My wife is in the boat in that picture, and it's not enough for one person to bring it down like that. Granted you do notice as you add more people, that the water splashes through the winch hole.

    Now even if there is water coming through that hole for the winch line, there wasn't any water in the cabin. Unless I couldn't see it because of the way the bought sat, but even bringing it home and checking it out, I don't remember water on the inside (unless rainwater or otherwise, which is more concerning the hatch not being able to close properly due to to the crack on the top deck). I was thinking maybe its the mast pulling the weight back but now that seems kinda dumb. I am really not sure what could be causing this...
     

    Attached Files:



    Tsatzsue likes this.
  4. topcat0399

    topcat0399

    Joined Aug 22, 2011
    1,089 posts, 121 likes
    MacGregor Venture V224
    US Cheeseland
    Well, since I'm a confirmed lipstick on a pig kinda guy - go ahead and fix it if that is what you want to do.

    I had to replace nearly every core on my old venture. The one under the mast step was by far the easiest one to deal with.
    Did make some mistakes though. At first I only replaced the core directly under the mast step. Eventually I ended up replacing the entire core on that top deck anyway since it was saturated all the way through and rotten.
    I also had to reinstall all hull bulkheads and most interior decking. I am finally on to the fun stuff like new sails and the the rigging to handle it.

    The way that boat is sitting in the water - huh. I would get inside and look in EVERY space inside to see whats what.
    Even if that meant cutting. Move everything you can forward to get her sitting level on her lines. Add weight in under the Vberth if you have too (I have many many feet of chain as well as 20 Gal of water jugs). If your battery is in the laz move it forward. Mine are now under the companionway hatch on the floor. My scupper tube leaked also causing me to replace the entire cockpit floor.

    It would be good to see photos of your scupper tube since mine is different than yours.

    Since your boat is sitting so down at the stern its hard to tell what your standing rigging is doing. My first guess is that its raked back too far (forestay too long and shrouds too short). Get her level first.

    Keep the pictures coming and I made my Venture my own - you can too.
     


    Sumner likes this.
  5. Vanka472

    Vanka472

    Joined Jun 22, 2017
    13 posts, 1 likes
    Macgregor Venture 17
    US Lake Harriet
    Hey Topcat! Thanks for coming over! I am determined to fix it. haha

    Like you, I was planning on only replacing it directly underneath the mast step, but after further evaluation of that crack, I feel as though it is better to do a good job now instead of having to do it 5 years down the road. I plan on making this boat nice while also keeping it affordable. No need for insane overkill.

    We are in the midst of rain over here in the Twin Cities, so once I get a nice warm day, my goal will to look everywhere and also get photos of everything so that I can get a better understanding of what is going on. I have rainwater in the cabin right now, so I will be working on getting all of that out first. I know the foam blocks that are all the way in the stern are probably moldy and gross.

    When you say get everything sitting on the lines, you mean, the lines of the boat? As in the body lines? Appropriately balanced?

    I have a huge Marine battery that I would be using and that was also placed, as much forward in the v berth as possible. So it is reflected in the photos. I can most definitely add chains and I know there were some empty jugs up underneath the panel in the v berth, which one day might have had water in them. It's a good idea to move the weight forward and something I will look at doing.

    My plan of attack is:

    1. Mast Step. Recore and fiberglass, and get that laid out correctly.
    2. Get the boat in the water to see how it sits, fixing the lay of the boat. I am hoping that adjusting the rake of the mast, will help bring the boat forward. Good call on the forestay line being too long. I don't know how to cut it down and fix it but something I will be looking into.
    3. Looking at the Scupper tube (new words!) and trying to get it fixed. What is the best way to get photos of this? I haven't dropped the keel and don't necessarily plan on doing so, as it seems to be doing its job well. Though I will get a whole set of pictures of everything I can for you guys, this way, we can be on the same page. Any advice on pics that are important, please let me know and I will try my best to get them.
    4. Rigging - I want to get all new rigging and hardware.

    I plan on making this a hell of a boat. Something that will make the wife less scared to be on! Though I don't think she will ever get used to heeling. :D
     


  6. Vanka472

    Vanka472

    Joined Jun 22, 2017
    13 posts, 1 likes
    Macgregor Venture 17
    US Lake Harriet
    I did also stop Express Composites over here in the TC to look at glassing options. I will attach some photos of what they suggested. Couple things.

    1. What kind of wood is best for recoring under the mast step. Balsa is nice, but it's not structural at all, so drilling the holes to attach it to the compression post is probably not gonna be good for it. Or does one use balsa everywhere but the step itself? Marine Plywood works for me, but I know there are a couple of different schools of thought concerning this.

    2. I have never fiberglassed before. They gave me options for different ones, and I know some people use Carbon Fiber, Kevlar, and just cross-hatched Fiberglass.

    3. How thick should the wood be? Is the best option to try and keep everything the same as it was? The one thing that comes to mind with this being an issue is that the deck right now is curved. I would like to make it flat. The top sliding hatch is next to impossible to push all the way because of the curve. Though that be the cause of the fiberglass expanding due to water getting under there. Of course, I won't know really anything till I get to cutting.

    Lots of things running through my mind, but I am trying to consume as much knowledge as possible so I do this correctly!
     

    Attached Files:



  7. timebandit

    timebandit

    Joined Jun 3, 2004
    1,804 posts, 37 likes
    Macgregor 25
    US So. Cal.
    When sailing the boat looks like it is on its lines and the mast rake looks better, maybe the bow up is because the keel is up or it has a big motor with gas tank in the back or maybe the foam in the back is saturated. the hose that the keel cable cable runs through can be as long as not to interfere with the cable drum or it might be pulled off by the cable when winding up the keel. Do be sure to double clamp it.
     


  8. Vanka472

    Vanka472

    Joined Jun 22, 2017
    13 posts, 1 likes
    Macgregor Venture 17
    US Lake Harriet
    Hi Bandit,

    The rake and boat do look a lot better when it outs sailing, The boom still sits weirdly low and the boat is pulling aft too much because water comes up the scupper tube. I've only ever had a small 55# trolling motor on the back so it wouldn't be that much weight.

    You are probably right on the foams back there. I am guessing they are destroyed. How much do they impact the level of the boat? I have attached a picture of someone else's V17, for reference to how I feel like it should sit in the water.

    Edit: Maybe it should be rigged for a backstay or a boom vang, though the vang can get expensive.
     

    Attached Files:



  9. topcat0399

    topcat0399

    Joined Aug 22, 2011
    1,089 posts, 121 likes
    MacGregor Venture V224
    US Cheeseland
    Just some comments.

    Your boat has a design waterline. The picture of the V17 you posted looks like the bow rides a little high to me but that can be a matter of preference also. No matter what you choose it will affect the way your mast ends up situated.

    A backstay and a boom vang have different functions.

    The backstay on a Venture with swept back spreaders fractional rig such as yours doesn't do much unless you use it to induce mast bend. I have installed tackle to do just that. You don't need to do this if you don't plan on sailing in high winds.

    I used 3/8 marine ply under the mast step and a combination of CSM and bi-axial glass cloth and installed about 10 layers.
    I used balsa for the cockpit floor. Directly under the mast step I have made it solid fiberglass.

    Fiberglass work isn't that hard, its just damn messy. If you mess it up, no big deal, get out the boat eater (4" angle grinder with a flap wheel) and redo it. Its just plastic. Practice makes perfect. I made lots of mistakes while learning to do it. The biggest mistake is usually too much resin (glue) which is brittle and not strong. The strength is in the properly wetted glass and the techniques of laying it up. A lot of people use epoxy but I just use regular polyester resin. That's what the boat is made of and its almost 50 years old so...your boat, your choice. I think Kevlar is way overkill.

    It could be that your cabin top has sagged due to the core being saturated and soggy causing the mast to sit lower than it was intended. This of course will affect the Forestay and Shroud length. The cabin top should curved UPWARD, if its curving inward (downward) that might affect your sliding hatch. You also want it to shed water.

    I have ditched most of the foam that came in my boat. I prefer to utilize the space and will rely on seamanship to avoid sinking.
    My boat is way heavier than stock anyway so I doubt it had much value anyway. There have been raging arguments over this subject over the years.

    Your boom hangs so low because your mainsail is likely blown out. Mine did the same but I sailed on that old rag for 7 years.
    A new main sail or a used one in good shape goes along way in reducing heel.

    All of the hardware that came on stock Ventures is CHEAP. I have replaced all of it with heavy duty hardware.

    Learn how to "pot" a hole drilled through a cored deck and how to "bed" hardware. I use butyl tape per Mainsails excellent instructions. All leaks I have ever had on my boat were from above, due to improperly bedded deck hardware.

    Welcome to the fix it club. Its fun and makes you ONE with your floating beauty.
     


    Tsatzsue likes this.
  10. timebandit

    timebandit

    Joined Jun 3, 2004
    1,804 posts, 37 likes
    Macgregor 25
    US So. Cal.
     


  11. Vanka472

    Vanka472

    Joined Jun 22, 2017
    13 posts, 1 likes
    Macgregor Venture 17
    US Lake Harriet
    Hey Bandit,

    Couple questions.

    What is bolt rope shrinkage?
    I totally agree about removing everything from the rear of the boat. I will be fishing in there tomorrow.
    I was actually thinking the opposite with the foams! They are very light but since they should increase buoyancy, I thought they might help the boat sit higher. But weight to effect ratio is probably quite low.

    Topcat I did read your response, and am crafting something back! Thanks!
     


  12. timebandit

    timebandit

    Joined Jun 3, 2004
    1,804 posts, 37 likes
    Macgregor 25
    US So. Cal.


  13. Vanka472

    Vanka472

    Joined Jun 22, 2017
    13 posts, 1 likes
    Macgregor Venture 17
    US Lake Harriet
    Wow! That makes a lot of sense! It is probably also why I was getting really scary heeling in winds of 15 knots. It also made it hard to control the sail and bring it back, even if it was going into Iron's to get out of a sketchy situation. I don't wanna just blame the hardware, I have lots to learn about sailing, but its good to know what else to look for especially while fixing other issues. I will have to look into how this can be fixed (the guide was helpful but I was a bit lost) and be able to be done at home.

    Tomorrow is the start of the mast step and recore project. I will try to take plenty of pictures along the way. Many thanks!
     


  14. Vanka472

    Vanka472

    Joined Jun 22, 2017
    13 posts, 1 likes
    Macgregor Venture 17
    US Lake Harriet
    Topcat! Thanks for that response! Here we go!

    The bow rides a little high for my liking, especially if it lets in water through the scupper hole. I was reading your post elsewhere from a few years back, where someone had questions about a drain hole. You had mentioned that the scupper hole, in this style boat is where the water that enters the outside is supposed to drain through. Of course, with the boat sitting so low, we know that we are getting the opposite effect.

    I am not planning on sailing in super high winds, this is a trailer/weekend sailor for me. I do understand the reasoning behind bending the mast, but not gonna be my goal, especially at my skill level. Maybe I will stay away from the backstay.

    I too was planning on using polyresin. I've heard that once you start with epoxy you can't go back and have to stick with it. On top of the heavy cost, I think there are better options out there. 3/8 marine plywood sounds great. I was thinking about 1/2 but I suppose that since they are close, whatever I can get my hands on. I plan on laying this throughout the entire section I am cutting. (ie: picture). I will stick to what my fiberglass shop says with good options, and stay away from the crazy stuff (kevlar, CF)

    The cabin sag I have is more of an outward effect. The fiberglass seems to have expanded to due to water and cold temperature and caused it to expand in a way, that makes the hatch difficult to open since it catches. Nonetheless, you are right about it repealing water. Is this something to concern about shaping the fiberglass while redoing the coreing? It sounds difficult but with the right tools, I know anything is possible. I am guessing there will be lots of mistakes with this project, but I wanna do it right, so whatever that entitles, it must be done.

    I know the Coast Guard requires it here to have foam, so I will place some in there, because we have a tendency to get boats checked by DNR, and I wouldn't wanna get a slap on the wrist. But yes, the boat should be good on its own, the foam is for prevention.

    Sails. I don't even know where to start. I have seen a few places that when the mainsail gets to blow out to replace it. Though I did like Bandit's explanation and solution for bolt rope shrinkage. I will most likely try this first and then head to new sails. I know they are not cheap. Where does one start to look for sails?

    I can tell the rigging is cheap. It's not quality and seems to make for a boat about 5 feet smaller. Cleats and everything is just a bit small for the diameter of rope I was using. I like thicker rope, as it sits in my hand better, and gives me a peace of mind, also much easier to handle, IMO. I look forward to this step, who doesn't like buying new shiny things? Especially when they work better!

    Pot a hole. Need to look that up. You mentioned Mainsails instructions? Anyway, I could get a link? This will be important once I lay the fiberglass down and get started on setting the mast step again.

    Funny you mention it that way. I have always loved sailing for that exact reason. I feel one with the boat and have never had an experience like that with any other water vehicle. Still brings me joy just thinking about it!

    Thanks for the tips! I get started on cutting and working on that repair to which I will post pictures and hopefully figure out what the next steps are to getting the first part of this project done.

    Cheers,
    E
     


  15. topcat0399

    topcat0399

    Joined Aug 22, 2011
    1,089 posts, 121 likes
    MacGregor Venture V224
    US Cheeseland
    Foam? I am not aware that the Coast Guard requires foam to be installed.
    I do not think that is the case. Many boats are built with no foam at all brand new.
    I feel the "foam thing" is largely marketing. My opinion.
    The foam would probably only do you good if you keep your boat light and all of it is present.

    Bedding hardware. Especially important when going thru a fiberglass/wood/fiberglass deck lay up.
    Here's a link to Mainsails excellent procedures.

    https://marinehowto.com/bed-it-tape/

    Just Google "used sails" and you will find all kinds of links.
     


  16. Vanka472

    Vanka472

    Joined Jun 22, 2017
    13 posts, 1 likes
    Macgregor Venture 17
    US Lake Harriet
    Yeah, I am not sure about the foam. I was just told this by my fiberglass people.

    I will take a look at that link. It seems to have great information. An important step for sure.

    Guess we will see whats under there today.
     


  17. timebandit

    timebandit

    Joined Jun 3, 2004
    1,804 posts, 37 likes
    Macgregor 25
    US So. Cal.
    Just google (bolt rope shrinkage) and you will find enuff information to do it your self and then you may find your sail is better than you thought. :dancing::dancing::dancing::dancing::dancing:
     


    Vanka472 likes this.
  18. Sumner

    Sumner

    Joined Jan 31, 2009
    5,247 posts, 285 likes
    Macgregor & Endeavour 26S and 37
    US Utah's Canyon Country
    [​IMG]
    You can see how we dealt with it here...
    http://purplesagetradingpost.com/sumner/macgregor/rigging-3.html
    We did end up getting new sails...
    [​IMG]
    from Martin at Somerset Sails ....
    http://purplesagetradingpost.com/sumner/macgregor2/rigging-23.html
    ... good prices, made in the U.S. and he will work with your needs specifically,

    Sumner
    ===============================================================================
    1300 miles to The Bahamas and Back in the Mac...
    Endeavour 37 Mods...
    MacGregor 26-S Mods...
    Mac Trips to Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Canada, Florida, Bahamas
     


  19. Vanka472

    Vanka472

    Joined Jun 22, 2017
    13 posts, 1 likes
    Macgregor Venture 17
    US Lake Harriet
    Sumner thank you!
     


  20. Vanka472

    Vanka472

    Joined Jun 22, 2017
    13 posts, 1 likes
    Macgregor Venture 17
    US Lake Harriet
    Hey guys,

    So they boat has been drained of all water and the deck process has started!

    I cut the deck today, and here are some pictures regarding the mast step condition, as well as the wood underneath.

    Thoughts? 20190515_200854.jpg 20190515_200909.jpg
     

    Attached Files:





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