First time in water

faxi

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Might be silly question but it's bothering me so let me ask.

I bought this Sterling boat a few months back. It was parked in someones yard for 6/7 years. I cleaned it inside and outside. Cleaned engine started it, left it running for about half hour and was good. Had to change steering cable and helm as it was stuck.

My concern is it looks all right on the outside nothing obvious a little scuff here and there but will it sink when we put it in water first time.
 

Norman_E

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Post some photos. Most boats float when launched. They are designed to do so, so unless someone has done something very silly like left an open hole where a log was fitted it should be OK. The bigger question is not whether it will float, but are you competent to handle it safely? Do you have proper safety equipment, including a life jacket and a kill cord fitted to the ignition assuming this is a small motor boat?
 

ProDave

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Another question is how are you launching it?

Crane in? From a trailer on a slipway?

Whichever way you launch, before you "let it go" totally have a sanity check and look inside for obvious water ingress and if you see something haul it back out PDQ.

Also is it wooden or fibreglass? Wooden boats that have dried out will take a while to take up and will leak, so either be prepared to launch then park it in shallow water to take up, or make sure the bilge pump is in good order.
 

richardabeattie

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If you ran the engine for 30 minutes with the boat out of the water how did you provide it with the essential cooling water? You don't say whether it is an inboard or outboard engine.
 

reginaldon

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Don't do what I did, on my first outing in a creek at the top of springs, after 15 minutes I went on the mud and was neaped for ten days.
 

Aeolus

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As already recommended - keep the boat in the slings or over the trailer, depending on how it is launched, so that you can lift it back out promptly if there is a major ingress. Might be an idea, depending on how confident you are, to have an experienced shipwright with you on the boat to tell you whether any minor leaks can be fixed whilst in the water or whether you need to be lifted out again. e.g. a minor leak may just require a jubilee clip to be tightened but if you don't know that, it could cost £100s to be relifted.
 

faxi

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Post some photos. Most boats float when launched. They are designed to do so, so unless someone has done something very silly like left an open hole where a log was fitted it should be OK. The bigger question is not whether it will float, but are you competent to handle it safely? Do you have proper safety equipment, including a life jacket and a kill cord fitted to the ignition assuming this is a small motor boat?

I tried pics but don't know how to. I am putting link to my google drive don't know if it will work.

https://drive.google.com/folderview...5DWXpzVUZrTTVPWktyNHNEQkV3WFVGd2c&usp=sharing

I must confess I am nervous. I have life jackets and kill cord on key.

Is their such a thing like we can take someone with us first time to teach us general safety etc.
 

faxi

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I will be using trailer to launch.

The boat is fibre glass.

We had engine running in a big tub of water and the water coming out of top of engine while running was good.

Like I said before is their such a thing where we can have someone come with us for a few hours showing us do's and don't s??
 

William_H

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This kind of boat should be very water tight except that it will have drainage bungs at the bottom of the transom. Small plugs or just one screwed in with a rubber seal. Obviously make sure they are screwed in. They are there to drain the hull after you wash it when you get home or to drain rain out. Boat is left on trailer stern down to drain. So normally left open/out until youare ready to launch. You need to work out a regime to remind yourself each launch to cehck or screw them in. There should be no other holes to trap you. Unless the hull has split on the bottom from pounding. If it is a wooden hull look for rot. Espeially in the bottom where rain collects and at the back. Sellers will often put new paint over rot making a booby trap that can cause death. No problem with fibreglass. Just be cautious on first outing. Much of the fun is learning the hard way.
good luck olewill
 

Capt. Clueless

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I will be using trailer to launch.

The boat is fibre glass.

We had engine running in a big tub of water and the water coming out of top of engine while running was good.

Like I said before is their such a thing where we can have someone come with us for a few hours showing us do's and don't s??

If you really feel you need some tuition help on the day, ask around where you intend to launch it. (Maybe a boat club/yard or whatever), as there maybe someone knowledgeable about who is happy to work for a few hours in return for some dosh.
 

ProDave

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I have a friend in a similar situation who has bought a very similar sized boat and so far has lacked the courage to actually put it in the water (he has towed it to two slipways, looked, an towed it home)

I have offered to go out with him to show him the essentials and still waiting for him to take up that offer. his wife says he's to proud to ask for help.

Other advice, take a pair of oars if you only have the one motor, and a handheld VHF radio would be a pretty smart thing to have with you.
 

Norman_E

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I will be using trailer to launch.

The boat is fibre glass.

We had engine running in a big tub of water and the water coming out of top of engine while running was good.

Like I said before is their such a thing where we can have someone come with us for a few hours showing us do's and don't s??

A small fast boat with a powerful engine. What could possibly go wrong? Its a good idea to get some tuition. The RYA have motor boat courses, but they do seem more geared towards motor cruisers and the most basic course appears aimed at crew rather than the skipper. I suggest you contact a local course provider and ask if you can have some one to one tuition on your own boat, from someone well versed in handling fast sports boats. Until you try it you won't even know how it performs and whether it is trimmed correctly. A bit of expert help to make sure that the engine is set up at the correct angle and that there is nothing wrong would be a good idea. P.S. A study of the "rules of the Road" is also a good idea, so that you know what buoys and lights mean and understand the rules when coming close to other vessels.
 
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bitbaltic

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A small fast boat with a powerful engine. What could possibly go wrong? Its a good idea to get some tuition. The RYA have motor boat courses, but they do seem more geared towards motor cruisers and the most basic course appears aimed at crew rather than the skipper. I suggest you contact a local course provider and ask if you can have some one to one tuition on your own boat, from someone well versed in handling fast sports boats. Until you try it you won't even know how it performs and whether it is trimmed correctly. A bit of expert help to make sure that the engine is set up at the correct angle and that there is nothing wrong would be a good idea. P.S. A study of the "rules of the Road" is also a good idea, so that you know what buoys and lights mean and understand the rules when coming close to other vessels.

+1 for calling a powerboat seaschool and getting some own-boat tuition to coincide with the launch. This will likely cost the OP 2-300 quid though. If the OP is unsure about spending that (but has no previous boating experience, which it rather sounds like) a read of the MAIB milly report would also be useful.

http://www.rya.org.uk/wheresmynearest/Pages/Directory.aspx#list/t-2

https://www.gov.uk/maib-reports/ejection-of-6-people-from-rigid-inflatable-boat-milly-in-the-camel-estuary-cornwall-england-resulting-in-3-of-the-people-injured-2-seriously-and-the-loss-of-2-lives
 
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jac

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Two parts to this.

visually inspect everything both before and after launching. Any holes / cracks in the hull should be obvious from an external inspection in which case fix before bothering to trail anywhere. If really scared and nothing in the bilges that will be damaged - it might be worth filling them with fresh water and seeing if anything drops through. If it's water tight going out it will be watertight going in and will also be a useful test of any bilgepump you have onboard.

When you do launch - leave it in shallow water - just enough to float without banging the bottom when waves / wash hit. Leave it there for a good length of time - then check - if it is still bone dry then feel safe to carry on.

Second part.

I'm not sure how much experience you have but would strongly suggest some level of tuition. I think some instructors will do own boat tuition - might be worth finding one local to you who can walk you through the whole process and spend the day with you showing you the basics.
 

gordmac

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Where are you? Someone local from the forum may be prepared to come along and help/advise. You might be better asking on the motorboat forum though. As Dave says above, that looks a serious bit of kit, if you have little experience of something like that be very careful until you get used to it.
 
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