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TOPIC: 38xx radar arch...repair or replace?

38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 25 Sep 2017 03:34 #1

  • davesisk
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So, I'm spotting some soft wood in the radar arch of my 1989 3818. I can probably get a few more good years out of it, but eventually...

- What's the best decision...repair or replace with an aluminum arch?
- How much does that fiberglass and wood arch weigh? Is it doable to take it off yourself, or is this something that I need a boatyard to do safely?
- I know there's an aluminum replacement arch that would fit (Uni-arch)...it weighs 125lbs, I suspect that's less than the fiberglass/wood arch. That UNI-arch is reasonably priced (around $1300)...I doubt repairing the fiberglass/wood arch could be done for that (unless I could do it myself...that's prob too big of a project for me to tackle though).
- Any aluminum hard-top frames that are in the same ballpark price-wise and weight-wise? It might make sense to replace the arch and bimini with a hardtop.

TIA!
Dave

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38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 25 Sep 2017 03:50 #2

  • fastinated
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Hey Dave!

Glad you're enjoying your boat. I did find rot in mine too, but other than I can shake it a tad it's a "nothing burger" I'll end up removing it when we go to the aft deck hardtop ( arch is too low to walk under). On my boat the only thing on the arch is an old radar, anchor light and the gps puck. So I don't think it's necessary for me. I like the idea of the hardtop over the flybridge, but I can only do one at a time... I'll buy the aft deck hardtop, but I'll fabricate something with solar for the bridge.. That's my plan, but the arches are fixable and with a couple of guys you can remove it. I've also seen some extended to be able to walk under, but it' makes it a little tall the way it looks.

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1985 3870 175hp Hino's

38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 25 Sep 2017 13:50 #3

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Dave,
I just pulled the vinyl off mine across the top- ( I have not removed the side panels yet )
The wood at the front & back on the horizontal section is rotten. I plan to remove the old wood and glass in new. Should not be that difficult. Did you find rot down at the bottom where the arch is mounted?

Mike

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Gibraltar, Mi.
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88 26' Shamrock/ Diesel
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38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 25 Sep 2017 14:19 #4

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The east coast and Florida should have salvage yards for boats, they should have an aluminum arch that would fit.
I visited one yard in Jacksonville FL a few years ago and they has over 40 different arches of different sizes.

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38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 25 Sep 2017 15:43 #5

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Actually, not a bad idea on checking salvage yards for aluminum arches.

How much does the stock fiberglass/wood radar arch weigh? Anyone know? I'm guessing at least 200-300 lbs...

Cheers,
Dave

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38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 25 Sep 2017 19:23 #6

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I can barely lower the arch after un-bolted, if wet then heavier. 2 person job to be safe.

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38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 25 Sep 2017 20:21 #7

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There are a number of posts of rebuilding the arch. It's not difficult but takes time. The aluminum arch would be the way to go if you can afford to replace the fly bridge enclosure.

Here is my rebuild
www.baylinerownersclub.org/index.php/for...ebuild-part-1#539618
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"Martini's Law"
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38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 25 Sep 2017 22:14 #8

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boatworkfl wrote: I can barely lower the arch after un-bolted, if wet then heavier. 2 person job to be safe.[/quote

+1 on two man job.

I have a customer with a 1991 3888 who wants me to use Rot-Fix to firm up the wood in the lower section of the arch where it bolts to the fly bridge. He says he has had good success with the product on other projects. The process involves using a length of something like brazing rod or coat hanger wire to make a long bit to go from about the top of the seat backs to within a couple of inches of the bottom, and sides. Then pour the catalyzed resin via a funnel into where all of the drilled hole come together into a larger hole. He says to seal the edges with duct seal putty to keep it from making a mess. I will let everyone know how it turns out when I get to that task. The upper part of the arch really doesn't need wood in it unless you are planning to put a lot of weight up there. You can through bolt with a backer block to mount antennae and such, instead of screws into the wood (possibly the main reason the wood is there to start with). I pulled the rotted wood out of my arch on a 3270. I have SS fender washers on either end of the trough bolts to hold the arch on. So far it is holding very well. I have had it in some fairly rough water with no problems. There is just the stock radome and a couple of 8 foot antennae up there.

After seeing Trevor's rebuild I imagine I will do the same at some point in time. But for the time being, the through bolts are working. Nor as pleasing to the eye as Trevor's work.

Greg

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Newport, Oregon
South Beach Marina
1986 3270 with twin 110 HP Hino diesels. Name of boat "Mr. Darcy"
Past work history: Prototyping, tooling, and repair for Reinell,. General fiberglass boat repair starting in 1976.
Also worked as heavy equipment mechanic, and machinery mechanic for over 30 years....
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38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 25 Sep 2017 22:18 #9

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Run away from that Idea for a repair!
It will not be sufficient for the issue!

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38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 25 Sep 2017 22:22 #10

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boatworkfl wrote: Run away from that Idea for a repair!
It will not be sufficient for the issue!


I can't say I am thrilled with it, but it is being adamantly directed by the owner of the boat. I tried to talk him into removing the arch and doing it differently but he won't have it.
If it works, great. If not, it wasn't my idea. Just relayed the idea as something of interest. As was said the through bolts to secure the arch are not meant to be a forever fix either. Just wanted to be able to use the boat until have time and money to do like Trevor did. By the way, nice job on that Trevor!

Greg
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Newport, Oregon
South Beach Marina
1986 3270 with twin 110 HP Hino diesels. Name of boat "Mr. Darcy"
Past work history: Prototyping, tooling, and repair for Reinell,. General fiberglass boat repair starting in 1976.
Also worked as heavy equipment mechanic, and machinery mechanic for over 30 years....
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38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 25 Sep 2017 23:01 #11

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Seal the bolt holes to prevent water migration.
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Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
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38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 26 Sep 2017 07:38 #12

  • fastinated
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That's a good reason for repair if the enclosure needs to be changed. Could add some cost unless canvas work is your specialty.

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1985 3870 175hp Hino's

38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 26 Sep 2017 14:40 #13

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After removing and repairing the arch on my 3888 I can tell you it takes at least two strong guy to R&R. The repair itself involves a lot of work and in hindsight, if an aluminum arch was available for $1500 I'd jump at that!

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38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 27 Sep 2017 01:50 #14

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I have a 3888, 1993 with a bad arch. I can move it up and down about 10 inches. I've ordered a new hardtop and arch from Atlantic Towers. The whole thing weighs only 200 pounds. Should have it in a couple of weeks. I'll post pictures of the replacement process and the finished job.

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38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 27 Sep 2017 16:55 #15

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I need a little guidance in determining if my original radar arch needs repair or replacement. The boat is an '86 3870 and I estimate that it has spent about the last half of it's life under cover, which has been a real benefit for the general condition.

There are no obvious areas of the radar arch that look like a problem but I'm not certain I know what I'm looking for. There are no dead areas when I tap the arch and I can push it up a little, which might indicate that the attachment fasteners are loose.

I would really appreciate some insight into the best way to assess this.

Thank you.

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David and Beth
Seattle Area - Berthed in La Conner

1986 Bayliner 3870 "Hokey Pokey"

1995 SeaRay 20 Signature "Flapdoodle"
1993 Bayliner 3058 "SeaYa"

38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 27 Sep 2017 20:03 #16

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Snika wrote: I need a little guidance in determining if my original radar arch needs repair or replacement. The boat is an '86 3870 and I estimate that it has spent about the last half of it's life under cover, which has been a real benefit for the general condition.

There are no obvious areas of the radar arch that look like a problem but I'm not certain I know what I'm looking for. There are no dead areas when I tap the arch and I can push it up a little, which might indicate that the attachment fasteners are loose.

I would really appreciate some insight into the best way to assess this.

Thank you.


You'll be able to tell if there's rot by removing the vinyl covered panels. Main area of structural concern is the wood support stringed where the bolts attached to the fly bridge. You may need to loosen those bolts and pry the arch out enough to see the wood or remove the arch completely. The core also tends to rot on the bottom of the arch as well. See my link above as well. No doubt you’ll find some rot.

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38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 27 Sep 2017 20:34 #17

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Dave, I had the local boat yard repair mine. It was pretty rotten. It was not too expensive (relative to other boating costs). Ask Dwayne or Joe at Bell Hart Marine (Inlet Watch) to provide you with a quote (1 mile from your slip). They removed mine with a fork truck from their dock and had a sub contractor take it away. A month later it showed up all repaired and painted to match. I had the vinyl and speakers replaced myself. It worked out nicely and is strong enough to support the radar etc.
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G W Jackson
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38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 28 Sep 2017 04:06 #18

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gjackson wrote: Dave, I had the local boat yard repair mine. It was pretty rotten. It was not too expensive (relative to other boating costs). Ask Dwayne or Joe at Bell Hart Marine (Inlet Watch) to provide you with a quote (1 mile from your slip). They removed mine with a fork truck from their dock and had a sub contractor take it away. A month later it showed up all repaired and painted to match. I had the vinyl and speakers replaced myself. It worked out nicely and is strong enough to support the radar etc.


Thanks man! So, looks like you have a hard-top on yours...got a larger pic you can post?

Cheers,
Dave

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38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 28 Sep 2017 04:08 #19

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This aluminum "Commander Uni-Arch" will fit the 38xx, according to the maker, and it only weighs 90 lbs...and it's a darned good price at around $1K! Although I'd probably have them keep the bolt-on rod holders and put a flat aluminum plate on top of it instead...18" 3G radome, two FM antennas, and two VHF antennas are the only things up there, so it's not supporting a lot of weight.

www.fishonsports.com/400.html

Someone made a good point...the bimini top wouldn't have to be replaced, but isinglass curtains at least around the sides and back would have to be re-made to fit. Those are in good shape on mine, so I'd rather make this arch last until the bimini and side curtains need replacement also. There is rot in the overhead wood on mine, but I believe the wood where it's bolted to the flybridge is still good (it's stable, not loose...I can wobble/flex the top of the radar arch from side-to-side a little, but it's attachment to the flybridge does not seem to give or be loose, especially not with the side curtains up.) Anyway, at that point where all of this needs to be replaced, a hard-top on an aluminum frame sure would seem to make the most sense.

Dave

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38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 30 Sep 2017 02:54 #20

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Hi there, where are you located?
Thanks

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38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 30 Sep 2017 03:35 #21

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Masterman wrote: Hi there, where are you located?
Thanks


Found this on his post.
Carolina Beach, NC
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38xx radar arch...repair or replace? 19 Oct 2017 04:23 #22

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Curious about what it cost to have it repaired. Have an offer in on a 3888 that needs this done. Since it is purchase time I would like to roll the cost into the overall purchase rather than deal with it later but if it is spendy may opt for DIY later. I have seen some boats with a hard flybridge top and no arch. Wonder if the cost to repair the arch is high enough that it warrants considering going for a hard top to put the radar on.

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Tony Bacon,
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Purchase of 3888 in progress, offer accepted, surveys and sea trial being scheduled
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