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1970 53' Hatteras Yacht; full refit.

Discussion in 'Hatteras Yacht' started by Pascal, Nov 11, 2015.

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  1. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    I mentioned in another thread that I had recently started a full refit of my aging 1970 Hatteras 53 MY.

    Bottom line, both engines needed a rebuild, the boat was tired with aging systems, the usual flybridge leaks, soft core on deck etc... Got to the point where it made no sense to just rebuild the 8V71Ns, but obviously th boat as is had very little value...

    Beyond engines, electrical, core issues, etc... I couldn't help feel that spending all that money and yet ending up with a dated bio at didn't make a lot of sense either. Don't get me wrong jack hargrave did a great job design the flush deck hatteras back in the 60s so the design became a standard for small MY lasting well into the 80s.

    But nowadays, things have changed,,, galley down and dinette repeal probably half the buyers. While I like the ole Detroits, they are still a pre war design and I am not talking gulf war,Vietnam or Korea... But WWII ! Master while acceptable by 70s standard is small and so is the head. And at the bow, the old over under bunks with about 3sq feet of floor space and wet head just don't work anymore,

    So... I decided to build a new galley up and aft, right by the aft deck. The saloon is big enough for that but having the galley right by the Aft deck is great as this is where we spend most of the time. Port side window to the aft deck will be enlarged and will open on to a breakfast bar

    Freeing space down below allows me to build a new head where the dinette was which will be pretty conforgabke and much bigger than the exisitng forward head. Then by having a head outside the forward bow stateroom I can tear up the bunks, the old head and the washer dryer closet and build a centerline full size bed like found on most boats.

    Old galley will eventually be enclosed into a stwterroom

    Another drastic change is combining the master and guest stateroom into one big master, and also combining the two small heads into a big one.

    Along the way, I am rewiring the whole boat, AC, DC and shore power. On the early 5 e, th electrical panel was in the port engine room which really didn't make a lot of sense. I set up a new one to the right of the lower helm, using blue seas hardware with new shore power inlets and wiring,

    While I don't find the 32v system to be an issue, I figured I may as well convert to 24v

    For engines, I deceided not to rebuild the 8v71Ns as the cost is close to factory recon cummins of similar hp. Really didn't make sense as the cummins come with a 2 year warranty and are more modern 4 cycles, quitter and more fuel efficient. Even though we re not looking for soeed I decieded to stro uo the 450hp C series to have the option to get the Boat on plane if needed which I the natural Detroits couldn't. Price difference is about $8k per engine (incl new ZF gears)

    ACs have been redone over the years so not much to do there, already have digital controls. Genset is a 10 year old Norpro (15kw) so all set there.

    along the way I am addressing a number of other things incl extending th swim platform, replacing the ladder to the flybridge with steps, moving the fresh water pumps, aft Vacuflush pump and tank into a closet outside the ER which will also house a watermaker, eventually. Also moving the battery switches and anchor windlass beaker out of the engine room...

    I am also setting up a proper bilge pump panel by the lower helm, fed dirctly from the battery bank and including individual breaker, pump ready, pump running and high water LEDs, manual override switches for all 6 new bilge pumps and the 2 shower sumps.

    Started all this around mid August. First thing wd to address the leaks in the saloon coming from those dozens of screws hatteras used to fasten the flybridge,,, all drilled directly into the balsa core :( what I did was pull all the screws drill half inch holes in the deck and 1" hole thru the flange then filled each with thickened epoxy, basically creating a big epoxy plug. So far not a single leak....

    The galley is mostly done (some trim and finishing left to do). New electrical panel is installed with 90% of the AC system rewired and on line.Dc panel is set up and I will start the wiring in the next couple week. Ride a lot of cabinetry work around the helm, as well as a new Tv cabinet with lift (manual, homemade :) )

    I have also combined the master and guest staterom and gutted the old heads tearing up the walls. Should have the flooring done this week. Trying to finish the head and all the new cabinetry in the new master this month.

    Some of you have asked for pictures in the other thread, Fenway I don't have time to resize and post pics individually but I have a Facebook album I update regularly. It is a public album, visible by all. Link below

    Initially I was planning this as a two year project but it s going along faster than planned so far. I should have the boat in the yard around January / February for new seacock and thruhulls, new shafts, cutles bearing and engines. Once that's done, I ll build the new forward head, convert the bow stateroom and work on deck coring and finally cosmetics (paint, etc...). I am doing all the work myself, incl cabinetry, tiles, etc.... In addition to engine install the only thing I ll probalby farm out are he thru hulls, seacock a, bottom paint, etc..

    Not having to pay labor is critical to this project... If I had to pay yard rates it would probably not make any sense even though resale value is not a concern. The goal is to have a classic looking boat with a modern layout and modern system for week end use and trios to the exumas. For a couple of years we ve debated gettin a sailing cat but we re not impressed by most sub 50' cats... So now the plan is to redo the hatt and get our sailing fix by towing our 26' gaff rigged sloop to the keys or the bahamas so we get th best of both world: fun sailing but with motoryacht confort at the end of the day :)


    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/...542.1073741827.1452437519&type=1&l=26307af31d
  2. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    Pascal, what a project!
    Having a classic 53 Conv, albeit, a very changed one, I can understand the attraction these wonderful boats create.
    Would not have the courage to undertake the work you are doing.Most the major work on mine was done at Merritts, and it shows, so lots of respect for the project you are undertaking.
    Look forward to some images...
  3. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Thanks, Pascal, we appreciate the details and your letting us in on this rebuild. Sounds like something between a labor of love and masochism. Hope you'll have a YF open house when you're ready to pop the cork.
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Wow Pascal, I'm thoroughly impressed. That's some ambitous project. Very few would put that effort and expense into a 45 y.o. boat. It truely shows the love these boats evoke, and the quality of their build. Most boats built today will be heading to the bone yard long before their 30th birthday, never mind starting a new life at 45. Good for you.
  5. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Well it's pretty simple... I can't afford a million dollar boat :) and none of the euro style boats appeal to us anyway. I feel the styling has compromised what I call th boatability. Take the new smaller hatteras for instance, like the 56 they launched a few years ago, the aft deck, side decks, bow area and flybridge are smaller than what hatteras offered 1/2 a century ago!

    The tend in mid size boat design, say 50 to 70, has been to maximize main cabin size at the expense of outside space. This may work for some people, especially up north where you can expand your short boating season but down here in so fl and in the bahamas it simply doesn't work. We spend time outside.

    Another issue is by completely redoing the boat I can set it up the way I want, the way that will work for us and fix those really annoying issues builders seem to ignore.

    things like having t fresh water pump and often accumulator tank and filters in the engine room... I hate having to wait (and waste water) to clear the hot water out of th line to brush my teeth :)

    Battery charger... Do they belong in a hot engine room? Nope... I am moving it outside in an easy to access location. Same with battery switch... If you get an electrical Fire and need to shut down the Dc system do you want to have to get in a smoky engine room to get to the switches?

    Electrical panel, how many boats have you run where you have to go in th ER to reset a breaker or where you can't read the volt and amp meters from the helm or from the saloon where you spend the most time when not running? It drives me nuts when builders decide to hide the electrical panels and meters behind solid cabinetry instead of lexan so you can see what s going on

    Same with bilge pumps and water alarm... What good are these indicator lights if you can't easily see them?

    And these are all simple things that I have a chance to address.
  6. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    That looks and reads like a very well planned and executed refit to your floating home. I am very impressed how orderly everything looks in the photos while such a major transformation takes place.

    Do you have a workshop ashore and are you still living on it while you do the work?
  7. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    "Battery charger... Do they belong in a hot engine room? Nope... I am moving it outside in an easy to access location. Same with battery switch... If you get an electrical Fire and need to shut down the Dc system do you want to have to get in a smoky engine room to get to the switches?"

    Not sure I agree with this. Your engine room has an automatic fire suppression system.
  8. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Fire Suppression systems are usually designed to work on isolated circuits not live ones.
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I've never seen anyone move the galley there, but it make so much practical sense. Dying to see what it looks like when finished. I also have to share K1W1's curiosity about whether you're still living on board while all this work is going on. My house (wife) gets a little tense if a project goes more than 3 days. lol.:eek:

    P.S. Cute pooch.
  10. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    The workshop is ... The old galley dinette! I have a table saw, pile of wood, band saw, table router, etc... All cramped up in there. I prefer to do everything inside to avoid bothering neighbors with noise and dust.

    Yes, I am living aboard while this is going on...part time though.

    I have though about fire risk from a battery charger but I think they have become extremely reliable nowadays and keeping them cool goes a long way towards reliability. It s also pretty easy and inexpensive to put in a small fireboy in the comportment housing the charger and inverter. For best protection I coudl even rig a relay to shut down power to the charger if the fireboy triggers.
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    LCG is going to be an issue with your project that you're going to pay attention to.

    But if I was changing things around, and this would be a HUGE undertaking. I'd get rid of the split engine room and make a normal one that goes from hull side to hull side, put the generator where the aisle used to be. Then shorten the generator room and make it just a battery and pump room. Add the foward half to the foward stateroom, Make the foward stateroom a real VIP with a real head, although the head up there is already fairly decently sized.

    I've always wondered how those boats would do with more HP and modern engines. Someone did one with modern engines but went too modest on the HP.

    I ran a 58' YF for many years. It had 8v71 TI's but were de-tuned with 90 injectors instead of the 110's it came with. SO it only cruised 14.5 knots, but at WOT it did 20-21 knots and rode great, a heck of a lot more stable in a beam sea, it didn't wallow around like those boats normally do in a beam sea. I would think that boat would've rode great with 600-700HP cats and a cruise speed of the 21 knots it did at WOT with the 8v71's.
  12. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    I don't mind the split ER if the rest of the stuff is moved out like pumps, electrical stuff, etc... access is pretty good. There is simply not enough room to squeeze stairs in the saloon with the galley up. Boats are compromises and I'd rather have the split ER but galley up.

    The genny room is pretty roomy to work on the genny when needed

    Someone repowered a 53 with 550 Yanmars and the boat cruised just above 20 or so. The cummins will give me a little more power than 8V71TIs but they weigh about 1500lbs less. Each. Big difference.

    I m not really interested in fast cruise, I m happy at 9kts but when things get rolly its nice to be able to speed up especially considering how the hull cuts thru.

    Friend of mine has a 58 MY with 8V92T and cruise around 17 / 18
  13. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Was that the project with the long video?
  14. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    When you loose 1500 lbs each engine (think your shy on that number), then half the weight on the clutch.. Then a more efficient motor, You may find your self diddling with those throttles up more often than you think.

    I'm really looking forward to hear about (please send pics) of an ear to ear smile running out da inlet.
  15. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    Wow. Really Nice. Thanks for the link.
  16. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The numbers don't make sense as the old 53's with 8v71TI's would cruise at 18-20 knots. Perhaps the yanmars with their high RPM and lower torque aren't a good match or they didn't get the prop/gear ratio right. I'd think a set of maybe C15's would be a good choice....CAT is pumping out 1000 mhp from the C15 now......
  17. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    None of the 53 owners I know really get a 20kts cruise out of the TIs. 17 to 18 with a clean bottom is the most they get

    That said I was going thru and old log book today where i saw and entry showing 18kts top speed with naturals Sounds great but being dated 1970 I can't help but wonder how accurate this was. No GPS so maybe Loran?
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    They did that when new. About 14 knot cruise 18 knot top with Naturals, and 20 knots cruise 23.5 knots top with 8v71TI's. A friend of mine was Captain of 2 of them back when they were new. The owner first bought a new one with Naturals I think a 1974, then bought a new one with TI's in 1980 I think it was, he worked for the owner for about 12-15 years. Keep in mind now they've got 1000 lbs of bottom paint on them and weight everywhere else.

    The 58' YF I ran was 1979 with detuned TI's and it ran 14.5 at cruise 21 knots top......the flat cockpit section gave it a lot more stern lift at WOT. I like the 58' YF MUCH better than the 53's, 350 gallons more fuel, double the fresh water capacity, storage, much easier to get lines and to get on and off the boat when stern in, Easier to go swimming and can fish......easier to get to the steering gear, and on and on.
  19. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Made quite a bit of progress in the last month or so and uploaded More pictures to the public FB album

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/...542.1073741827.1452437519&type=1&l=26307af31d

    New master head, which combines both original aft heads and the hallway is functional while not finished. Some cabinetry will be done last after the stbd exhsist hose is replaced but at least it's all working including the whirlpool tub :)

    I really like having that pump closet with the FW pumps, Vacuflush, shower sump and all the plumbing with shut off valves. Makes it so much easier to maintain systems instead of crawling in an engine room...

    Got two new battery chargers in. I picked promariners as I ve always had good luck with them and the ProNautic are pretty compact. I decided to install them out of the engine rooms so that they don't sit in there cooking and in a location where their displays can easily be seen instead of having to add remotes. They re under th helm / above the companion way. That's close to the batteries. I ll eventually add some wood trim around them.

    Final two bilge pumps are going in. I already have two in (aft and forward). These two are going in th ERs. Again using 3700s mounted on starboard brackets wit high water switch above the pump. I can't believe it took me that long to come up with these starboard brackets... All these years dealing with hard to reach screws in the bottom of the bilge!! Much easier this way as th brackets are screwed high on bulkheads, stringers or even floors. SErvicing any component like the float switches only requires pulling th screws and the whole thing comes off.

    In one of th last pictures, the pump panel installed at the helm can be seen. Panel is setup for 6 pumps as that's what I m planning on having eventually although for now the four 3700 will do.
  20. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I'd put Rule 2000's in the engine room, the 3700's seem to airlock a lot easier and stay airlocked and the 2 in the engine room are mounted at sort of angles and as the boat rocks they have a tendancy to airlock. I ran a 75' Hatteras MY and the ones on the outbound sides of the stringers were 3700's and always airlocked and a pain. The 2 center 3700's never seemed to airlock as well as the Rule 2000's mounted in the same location as yours on the 58' Yachtfish I ran for many years.

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