Iron Lady Gets the Treatment

After 4 years and something over 20,000 miles at sea, it was time for Iron Lady to head to the yard for some well deserved service and preventative maintenance work. I thought a list of the work we did and the cost might be of interest to FPB64 Owners – both existing and prospective. After cruising the Inside Passage in British Columbia for the summer, we arranged for Iron Lady to be hauled at Canoe Cove in Sidney BC in late September 2014.

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The following is a run down of the work we did:

1) Full bottom job including repairs to the barrier coat and three fresh coats of antifoul. Fresh Propspeed was applied to the main prop, Gori get home prop and bow thruster props. Zincs were replaced excluding the large hull zincs as they were still in excellent condition;

2) The main prop was pulled and sent out to be tuned and balanced;

3) The bow thruster props were replaced as the blades on one side had been damaged – apparently some debris was sucked in at some point. Lots of opportunities for that in BC waters!

4) The main shaft was pulled, examined for wear and rotated;

5) The cutlass bearings were checked and the aft bearing was replaced as it showed a bit of wear;

6) The PSS shaft seal was replaced out of an abundance of caution;

7 The Spurs line cutter was replaced in its entirety – note to other owners – replace the the zinc and line dampening plugs every year or two – we didn’t and ended up replacing the whole unit;

8) Replace the drive shaft torsional dampener;

9) Realign the motor and drive train after shaft reinstall – the initial alignment was checked and was well within spec after all that time at sea;

10) Adjust the valves on the main engine;

11) Replace the belt tensioners, idler pulley and belts on the main engine – all the removed parts were kept as used spares as they showed no evidence of failure or wear;

12) Remove stabilizer fins and repair small areas of debris impact damage;

13) Remove fin actuator mechanisms, re-bed and replace “O” ring seals;

14 Replace fin position potentiometers and hydraulic cylinders;

15) Remove anchor chain and reverse, spray galvanize chain;

16) Service and certify the Life Raft;

17) Routine oil changes and raw water pump impeller replacements – main and genset;

18) Change out all fuel filters including polishing system.

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Some of the work was performed by my guys, Steve and Jim, such as the routine oil changes etc and they also worked closely with the good folks at Canoe Cove. Some of the work was really done out an abundance of caution as opposed to required maintenance. The tab for the above was roughly Canadian 25,000 including parts. This was really the first major work we have done in four years of cruising including a circumnavigation of both islands of New Zealand, crossings to Fiji and Tonga and back to NZ, NZ to French Polynesia, the Line Islands, Palmyra and Hawaii and onward travels to British Columbia and the Inside Passage.

All in all – pretty respectable for all that time at sea – and now she is fully conditioned and ready for more years seeing the world as it can only be seen on a very capable trans-ocean cruising machine.

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10 Responses to Iron Lady Gets the Treatment

  1. Laird says:

    Yikes! Not for the faint of heart or those more familiar with dugouts and dingys!

  2. Stedem Wood says:

    Really quite helpful information for those who follow. Thank you!

    Stedem Wood
    M/V Atlantis

  3. Rick says:

    Glad you enjoyed BC and the folks at Canoe Cove treated you well. All my stomping grounds! Am insulating an aluminum boat and wanted to use the FPBs as an example. I note in pictures that Steve has used 1/2 Armaflex all over and wanted to know whether this was the thickness throughout the boat or whether it varies in thickness. And was this sufficient for your travels in colder weather. Thks.

    • myironlady says:

      Most of it is 1/2 inch. A few details though – the deck stringers on the 64 are essentially inverted “T’s” or “I’s”. The web on both sides is filled with a separate piece of armaflex and when a separate piece is used to cover the outside of the flange. This results in a much better job then trying to wrap a single piece around structural member. You also need to select an armaflex with a good adhesive on it – we had some problems with the adhesive layer delaminating from the armaflex initially. For more info on that I would contact Steve Dashew at The 1/2 inch was adequate for all the places we have been.


  4. Michael says:

    Hi Pete,

    thank you very much for your tech-blog posts. I really enjoy them, and I was looking for figures about maintainance costs of running FPB´s. Your´s were the first I could find after a long search.
    Do you have any other data according to running Iron Lady since you took off?

    Best regards


    • myironlady says:

      Hi Michael
      I never really compiled a complete profile of costs as there are many components and dimensions to it. Begin with the cost of having an offshore corp – both forming one and maintaining it annually with all the nuisance fees that are associated therewith. Then there is insurance but that varied by as much as a factor of 2.5 depending on the waters we were in. Fuel depends on the local price and how far you are traveling in any given period. At times, there was dockage when we were off the boat and at other times, the nearest marina was hundreds of miles away. The cost of having crew aboard is also a variable. Then there is both planned and unplanned maintainence. There are scheduled things like oil changes, filter changes, bottom jobs and wear parts replacement based on hours or years and there are also things that break along the way and need to be replaced. The other dynamic is how good a boat’s systems are and the FPB is way above thee pack in this area.

      Frankly, one of the biggest costs of boat ownership is the price you pay for it and the resale value when you sell. While FPB’s are not a cheap date, I can tell you from the experience of owning LOTS of boats over more years then I care to admit, that the FPB really shines in this area.

      Sorry that I cannot give you a more specific answer.

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