Refit: Eastbay 49

Vessel: Eastbay 49
Name: Ballena
Owner: Mike Prentiss
Hailing Port: Oyster Harbors

So, who DO you call when you receive word that your 2002 Eastbay 49 has been involved in a hard grounding at a high rate of speed? For Mike Prentiss, the answer, now, is Great Island Boat Yard!

Soon after receiving news of the grounding, Mike learned that GIBY is an authorized Grand Banks service center. Then, several of his trusted sources also referred him to GIBY. This provided Mike with added comfort. The damage to the boat was significant. He and his insurance company needed to feel good about the yard that would perform the work. The techs had to be skilled and the estimate for repairs had to be competitive. The job was a big one.

“When you invest in a major project, you want to be sure the work is done right,” says Mike. “The GIBY team was exemplary! The amount of information, photos, and updates we received during this project was amazing; nothing was ever glossed over. Even though we weren’t there, we ‘saw’ all of the work that was being done during the entire process. It was clear to us throughout the project that we were working with people who really know and care about what they do. We’re so glad we pushed for getting the boat to Great Island.”

Mike says his service experience at GIBY was unusual, unlike any he has ever had in the industry. So much so that, while the boat was at GIBY, he decided to have the yard tackle the repairs AND a long list of additional cosmetic and maintenance service items, totally separate from the grounding repairs. This work required coordinated participation from almost every GIBY service department.

Work Scope:

  • Remove, Service & Reinstall Generator
  • Remove & Repair Drive Train, Struts & Rudders
  • Remove & Repair Starboard Stuffing Box
  • Remove & Repair Shaft Seals
  • Repair Fiberglass Damage to Boat Bottom
  • Replace Engine Mounts
  • Extend V-Berth & Replace Mattress
  • Extend Rigid Pilot House & Install New Glass Windows
  • Install Trumpet Horn
  • Service Electrical Systems
  • Replace Head, Hoses, Vents & Seals
  • Varnish Exterior
  • Paint Exterior Window Frames
  • Paint & Varnish Interior
  • Awlgrip Mast & Radar

Though hauled out near the grounding site, in Falmouth, Massachusetts, the boat was transported to Great Island Boat Yard in Harpswell, Maine immediately following the surveyor’s assesment of the damage. The props – one lodged in the boat’s bottom – were mangled, a 2 ½” shaft was severely bent, the starboard rudder and strut were ripped out, and the transmission was broken in half!

On arrival, the boat was rolled into a GIBY service bay and work commenced. Damage areas were cut away, broken gear was removed, and extensive fiberglass work was done to the bottom to prepare the surface for the rebuild. New or reconditioned struts, rudders, shafts, shaft seals and couplings were installed, engine mounts and transmission were replaced, the tie rod between the rudders was straightened, hydraulic steering cylinders were reassembled, and, ultimately, the driveline was aligned. Then work began on the elective items.

Here is some detail on just a sampling of the work performed by GIBY:

Wood/Finish
The forward v-berth was modified to provide an extra 14” of extra shoulder room in the bunk. This required custom carpentry and careful finish work – to color match existing interior wood. To achieve the desired results, the GIBY crew removed and reworked a/c ducting, fit the hull with new ceiling battens, installed a piano hinge to provide access to storage space below the bunk, added a teak fiddle around the foot, and dropped in a new, larger mattress.

Fiberglass/Wood/Paint
A custom, rigid enclosure was also fabricated. Combining the efforts of the GIBY fiberglass, wood, and finish departments, the vessel’s cabin lines were carried aft, preserving the look of the original house, while providing additional weather-tight interior space.

The structural layup of the extension called for a wood mold, which was built in place and skinned with fiberglass. Core material was then added and cured, before the mold was popped. New fiberglass sections were then removed and machine finished in the shop. Once these pieces were glassed back in place, all was faired, primed, and finished with Awlgrip.

Mechanical /Plumbing Systems
GIBY techs installed a new vacuum pump, as well as head hoses, duckbill valves, and vacu-flush seals. Engine and a/c intake hoses, and belts and impellers were also installed.

Electrical Systems
Old batteries, with melted terminals and blown vent caps, likely due to a history of overcharging, were replaced, including four 4D batteries for the house and inverter, two 8D batteries for the engine, and 1 Group 27 battery for the generator and starter.

Where deficiencies were found, the GIBY team made recommendations for electrical upgrades. Electrical boxes for bilge pumps and air conditioning pumps were replaced, new wiper arms and motors were upgraded, a double trumpet Kahlenberg air horn was mounted, and a satellite TV dome was installed.

“Typically, you have to call a yard many times to get any information at all on a boat project. That can be very frustrating,” says Mike. “Boat owners like to know what’s going on, and to be assured. We felt very assured at GIBY, start to finish.”

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