RL24, RL28, and RL34 Trailable Yachts
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Renovating an RL 24
I am in the process of buying an original condition RL 24. It'll need a thorough going over and tarting up but seems basically sound I think. The trailer looks OK and the boat has been under cover most of its life but that will need to be check out too.

Any tips on potential problem areas that I should check out? Should I drop the centre board (its a swing keel) and epoxy it? The areas set aside for bouyancy, are they foam filled or potential osmosis points? What about the rig - the mast seems pretty corroded, etc, etc. Also any ideas on the gelcoat, its in good condition but badly faded in places.
Terry7-Apr-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Renovating an RL 24
A bit more information like where which model and other details might help people give you advise.

greg7-Apr-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Renovating an RL 24
Often when Iíve had a surveyor look at a keel-boat and he knows the design there will be certain points particular to that design that he will home in on. I was wondering if there were any known trouble spots that might develop in RL 24s. Also are there any modifications that are more or less universally incorporated in RL 24s?

The boat is in South East Queensland, I'm buying off the original owner, who sailed it frequently, mostly around Morton Bay, for the first few years then less and less as other activities took priority. Its spent nearly a decade sitting garaged and gathering dust since it was last in the water. Its basically sound in the areas that I can get at, my background is in bigger keel boats so I had a friend who has had quite a lot to do with trailer yachts look at her and from what he can see she just needs a good clean up. Unfortunately, like me, he doesnít know that much about the intricacies of the RL 24.

Some specific points I was wondering about, just to be on the safe side, with a boat this age that has never had major maintenance are:

Should I remove the centre plate and check/replace the pivot pin. I have heard that some trailer yachts develop slap in the centreboard, should I worry about shimming it? Some of the other boats (not RLs) I looked at seemed to have a lot of corrosion on the plate, should I remove and epoxy it?

Iíve been told that a point to watch is that the centre plate might touch and ride up, then drop again and place a heavy load on the little pulley in the top of the centre case. Should I beef up this pulley?

There are quite a few bubbles in the gel coat on the port cockpit coaming, (but none elsewhere), they look like osmosis but are not. The owner said that they had always been there, are they likely to be manufacturing blemishes?

The boat has an old kero pressure stove, which will need servicing or replacing, what do most people use for cooking?

The boat has a bow pulpit but doesnít have life lines all the way around or a stern pulpit. My inclination is to leave this as is and use a safety harness where applicable, what do you think?

Is the RL 24 self righting with the centre plate up or should I implement a way to lock it down?

The outboard is a short shaft 7.5 of the same age as the boat. I intend to replace it, what do people recommend? Going to a long shaft? More horsepower? Four stroke? One of my concerns here is whether I need to minimise weight at the stern of the boat.

Are there any points internally or externally that might develop stress fractures that I might have missed; for example if the boat had been allowed to dry out on an uneven bottom? On that too, is the hull thickness at the outboard cut-out a reasonable indication of overall hull thickness?

I know that Iím asking some broad questions, but I thought there would be others out there who had renovated RL 24s and might be able to share their experiences / problems.

Terry9-Apr-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Renovating an RL 24
It sounds like a great yacht and a real find.

I have seen some RLs with bubbles as you have described. It was cosmetic so just leave it and see how everything turns out.

The outboard in the well is designed to be a short shaft. There is not much to go wrong with old 2 stroke outboards. It might be worth giving it a go in a bin full of water and seeing if you can get it going. Some fresh petrol(and oil) and a good hot run in the tank to see how it works might be all thats needed to confirm whether the engine is worth keeping. If it runs fine for an hour give it a service and run it in the tank for another hour and you should be right.

If you decide to change the engine in the well, the only modern outboard I could fine that fits is the 5hp Mercury or Mariner. These come with a high thrust prop. Do a search on this site for engine information.


Greg11-Apr-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Renovating an RL 24
Tackle the whole issue from a different perspective.
Put the boat in the water (assuming there aren't any obvious faults) and take it for a sail. Then you will get an idea of what needs to be done to make it seaworthy and what could be done later to make it sail better or look nicer. My motto is (safety considerations aside) enjoy first, fix the cosmetics later. You buy a boat to relax in, not become a slave to. As for the keel, check it while at anchor in some lovely calm sunny bay. Save the refurbishment til winter when the weather is lousy.
Mike12-Apr-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Renovating an RL 24
With regard to the centre board, I found that there was movment between the plate and the casing and was told this is not a problem (by the designer) and it has proved not to be. However when sleeping at anchor the continual knocking prevents that luxury. I removed my plate and epxoyed some formica to each side. Problem solved.
I would recomend you replace the wire or what ever is used to lift the keel as soon as possible, its very hard to retreive the boat with no means of lifting the darned thing!
Martyn12-Apr-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Renovating an RL 24

I guess my main concern was the centreboard. Not having much experience with trailer yachts until now thats the biggest black area for me. Is it easy enough to get at the point where the cable shackles on if I take the wooden cover off the centre case or do I need to drop it?

terry18-Apr-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Renovating an RL 24
On my boat the centre casing is also a drop leaf table so it was easier to lift the boat and drop the board, Ive seen some boats where the centre casing top appears to be easily removed. Those that have that system would be better able to advise you.
Cheers M
Martyn18-Apr-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Renovating an RL 24
I copied another RL and fitted an inspection port to the side of the centre case (I can't remove the top easily). I have changed the cable from inside the boat while on the trailer and keep the old one as a spare. Ideally, the shackle joining the cable to the board should have a hex drive pin to keep it narrow.
Another thing to keep an eye on is the u-bolts that join the shrouds to the deck. Stainless steel can and sometimes does, corrode. If they look iffy, replace them. When sealing the hole where the bolts pass through the deck, don't use silicone. A polyurethane sealer such as Bostik Seal 'n flex is far better.
When you check the shrouds, pay attention to where the shrouds contact the spreaders. Again, any evidence of rust and you should plan to replace them. It's a fairly cheap exercise.
mike19-Apr-2006    Edit    Delete 

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