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Advice please for an new *(almost!) Sundowner owner


I've been reading all your posts over the years about the Sundowners... thanks so very much everyone--and especially Doug Robertson to whom I've sent a private mssg thanks. They have been incredibly helpful.

"Prelude" 1987 32' Sundowner #157 is on the market and I have an offer in.

I am very excited and also worried. The sale is "as is/where is" ... she is in Annapolis, MD, not too far from me. But the as-is is worrisome. The owner has put in many high quality upgrades-- she is gorgeous inside. Plus new alum. fuel tanks and a few other mechanical upgrades. But it is the rest I am concerned with... there's some gelcoat repair on the front chine and who knows what the bottom/prop/etc will bring. Very low engine hours and she did start right up.

My husband has turned this completely over to me... my dream & my project-- and we have been boatless for 25 years so the whole thing is daunting. Lived aboard a 40' Valiant sailboat way back when & really thought I'd be getting a larger trawler now that we're not going to cruise any more. Mainly going to use it as a condo down south for the winter. Hence, one of my other big concerns is the size-- no flybridge, etc to add roominess.

Any info or light you can shed on all of this would be greatly, greatly appreciated.

... read more

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Originally posted by Linda Herdering on 09-Nov-15 12:08:24 AM UTC

replacing diesel tanks

Joe, I started a new topic since I wasn't able to reply on your topic.

There are four ways I know to get out the old diesel tanks. 1. Cut up the tanks in place to remove them. I think this would be a very messy dirty and dangerous job in a confined area even if you were able to remove most of the fuel. 2. Cut a larger hole in the aft deck. I did this and will describe it later. 3. Remove the seat back in the salon and pull the tanks out through there into the salon. 4. Cut a hole in the starboard or port hull and remove them through this hole. This is an especially scary idea but is commonly done to replace motors and other large objects in yachts. I wouldn't consider doing this without an expert fiberglass man to repair the glass and gelcoat.

I just replaced my tanks by cutting a larger hole in the deck that was in a grout joint of the teak flooring. This worked out very well and I recommend it. Although my boat already came with a large rectangular hatch that I thought would be large enough to pull the tanks out but when you start to swing the tanks up they need a larger hole. The larger hole also gave me more flexibility when adding the new tanks as well as replacing the floor under the tanks. If I were to do it again I would look into removing the seat back in the salon as this might have been an easier option. If you currently have a small hatch cover I would recommend replacing it with a rectangular larger one which makes future access to the large storage available under there easy. Mine is fabricated out of fiberglass with a couple of half pipes glassed in for added strength. You can literally jump on it without any danger of damage.

My boat came with two 80 gallon tanks which I replaced with two 40 gallon tanks. Since I cruise at about 6-7 mph and only burn 1 gallon an hour this is if anything too large a capacity as I have no plans to cross any oceans. Reducing this size also allowed me to use a standard plastic 40 gallon tank to reduce costs and fit in the area without any problems as well as increasing the storage space in that aft area. At the rate of fuel burn I get I can travel for 7 days for 10 hours a day without refueling and still have 10 gallons which is an adequate reserve. Removing the heavy steel tanks with smaller plastic ones also reduced the weight significantly improving my boats slight tendency to squat down when under power.

Since I now have clean tanks I set up my fuel pickup tube to draw off the bottom so that there will be no future settling of any bad or contaminated fuel. All the fuel in the tank is now run through my fuel polishing panel. Now I don't have to worry about a storm agitating the tanks and introducing contaminants in the fuel when I least want an engine problem.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask and I'll reply to the best of my ability. Good luck! Steve

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Originally posted by Stephen Anderson on 11-Oct-15 05:16:59 PM UTC

Prop cage for 84 Sundowner 30

I just recently purchased a Sundowner 30 from Maine and it has a prop cage installed on her. I have brought her back to Connecticut where others are suggesting to remove as it creates drag. I am looking for any feedback on if I should keep or have removed.

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Originally posted by Jon Swift on 15-Oct-15 01:05:59 PM UTC

Diesel tank replacement

I have an SD-30 "Sea Turtle" 1984 with two 50 gal steel tanks (not SS) showing exterior rust - especially on top. I would like to replace these tanks before I have a leak or worse. Anyone done this? I assume you need to cut the tanks apart to remove them. But how do you drop in two (or more, ie. smaller) tanks without cutting the rear of the boat? Would appreciate any ideas or ?



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Originally posted by Joseph Dunstan on 10-Oct-15 05:41:24 AM UTC

aft sunscreen for Sundowner 30


I am in the process of designing/looking at other designs for an aft sunscreen. I would prefer that it not impact too much on the overall looks or handling of her. I would love to see pictures of any covers out there as well as how well you like it.

Thanks Steve

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Originally posted by Stephen Anderson on 18-Sep-15 02:46:06 PM UTC

Replace marine head with composting head


I have never liked marine heads.

I'm going to replace my marine head with a Natures Head. Has anyone done that? If so what problems did you encounter? I plan to plug off the hoses and just leave the tank in place at this time in case some later owner actually likes a marine head.

Thanks Steve

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Originally posted by Stephen Anderson on 16-May-15 04:12:52 PM UTC

First 32 spotted...ADAMANT...Seattle Wash.... I just spotted #155 .... The first of the 32s . I am the wharfinger at Vesuvius Bay on Saltspring Island BC and owner of Chieftain ( SD# 161 ) . Much to my surprise a sundowner has been tied up overnight at the dock . Great fun to look in the windows and see a near spitting image of the boat I love so much . No one around so I will try and contact the owners in the morning . I have printed the history ( courtesy of Doug Roberts this site ) for him and will drop it off for ... read more

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Originally posted by Derek Sowden on 26-Aug-15 09:29:48 AM UTC

Air Conditioning Raw Water Pump

Has anyone replaced their raw water pump on and SD30 Luminaire air conditioning unit? The original was a "March Manufacturing" non-self priming ceramic magnetic drive pump. When it looses prime its a pain to get started again. Any suggestions?

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Originally posted by J Charles on 08-Aug-15 05:52:17 AM UTC

Softness in Forward Deck

The survey found around 2sq ft of softness in the forward deck. Has anyone experienced this, and what is the fix. This boat is forsale.


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Originally posted by Bob Railton on 22-May-15 09:42:07 PM UTC

GHP 10 Autopilot installation

Hi everyone,

This year I am getting ready to install a Garmin GHP 10 autopilot onto my SD30. My current manual hydraulic steering is the standard Wagner Steering, fed by copper hydraulic lines. I have a few questions.

1.) The GHP 10 requires a hydraulic pump be purchased separately. Your options are either a 1.2 L pump that is recommended for a steering cylinder less than 10 cubic inches. 10 cubic inches seems rather large and I'm pretty sure the 1.2 L pump will work just fine, but I wanted to see what size pumps some of you all are using out on the water?

2.) I need to know if my current wagner steering is balanced or unbalanced. The Garmin website states...

... read more

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Originally posted by Matthew Layman on 01-Apr-15 04:53:27 AM UTC

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