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Old 22-10-2008, 20:04   #1
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Looking for your opinions and criticism

What do you think of this boat? I'm not expierenced with power boats at all. My wife and I are considering doing a live aboard in Boston, seems that this boat would fit the bill for live aboard as the owner has lived aboard for 7 years.

1974 Buzzards Bay Seaton Trawler Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

My big question is does she look and sound like she can cruise? I know I would need a surveyor crawling around for the full answer but help a young sailor out here could she cruise down to the Caribean or up into Canada? Does she need stabalizers and all that? How does a general motors 4-71 stand the test of time? Apprently current owner lived aboard but didn't go out all that much couldn't tell me what she burns for fuel....
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Old 22-10-2008, 20:19   #2
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You can hire a surveyor to give you a valuation survey. I would do that first. It will take an expert to see the boat first hand to give you a better idea of its value and its condition. Dont let recent paint sway you in any manner...it may end up being nothing more than lipstick on a pig.

The old two stroke GM 4-71 series engines are pretty darn simple and reliable. They are not the most fuel efficient or clean burning engines though.

For that price, I dont think you are taking all that much risk. Even if you find out it is not safe to leave the dock, you still have a relatively inexpensive studio sized home..
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Old 22-10-2008, 20:27   #3
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Looks pretty rough from the photos and a surveyor is going to pick it apart. I would say this is a project boat, way overpriced, of course it depends on what you buy it for. How much time and money do you have to invest in it?
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Old 22-10-2008, 20:31   #4
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All Else Aside...

Would love as much advice and feedback as possible.

Would it be something you would pursue if you were young and relatively poor... not to insinuate you are old and rich.... why or why not
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Old 22-10-2008, 20:33   #5
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Time and money

I can make the time and as a teacher I get a good amount of summer off so that helps as to money... well I'm a teacher so financing it is going to be the way to go.
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Old 22-10-2008, 20:42   #6
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Financing the boat with the age factor and condition may be a problem so I would suggest you get that issue resolved first. The financing will be determined by the survey and you will have to get insurance if you finance and again will depend on the survey.
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Old 22-10-2008, 20:44   #7
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This is just at a quick glance, and there are MANY people in here that know way more than I do. This evaluation is worth just what you paid for it...

Good.

Nice design. Should easily be cruised.

I think they have an error in their ad. 200 gal of fuel and 500 gal of water? I bet those figures are reversed. 500 gal of fuel is good. If that's not an error, that's pretty bad. 200 gal only gives a range of about 200 miles. So, I put this under good. But if the ad is correct, it's under "not acceptable for cruising".

Bad.

In general, the bad is because it's been a live-aboard and not a cruiser. They have outfitted it for that.

200 gals of fuel. Dang, that's GOTTA be an error.

AC only appliances mean you have to run the generator. A genset at load (especially see note on AC appliances below) will use about 1 gal per hour. You probably don't HAVE to run it except for a few hours a day, though.

Others in here can address this better, but I've have doubts about an air cooled generator in the tropics.

AC refrigerator. What you want for cruising is an AC/DC or propane.
AC water heater. A heater that also works off engine heat is desired.

Conclusions.

As to a survey, you ain't kidding. And make sure you tell the surveyor what your intended use is so they can make recommendations.

A new fridge can be $1,000-$1,500 for multi-power. A water heater will be several hundred including installation. If that genset won't cut it, we are talking thousands.

I wouldn't be surprised if it took $20,000 to get it ready for bare-bones cruising. And you could easily put $50k in a boat like that.

Google for SAMS if you need help finding a credentialed surveyor. Or ask in here if someone knows one in the MD area they can recommend.

Edit: SAMS

I really like the design. I could easily see myself in that boat. If it had been on the market when I was looking, I would have had it on my short list, although I'd prefer a Lehman or Perkins engine.

-dan
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Old 22-10-2008, 22:30   #8
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Not being a power boat guy, I will stick to the engines, not the design. The Detroit diesels are great marine engines, but...
Heavy, Loud, smelly, leaky, oil burners, and not cheap to rebuild.
Fuel economy?
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sorry, had to pick myself off the floor. Hope you have VERY deep pockets.
As for reliability, Detroit's never fail, until they fail big. If these have lots of hours, plan a rebuild. You can find good Detroit mechanics anywhere there are commercial fishing boats. You do have to make sure they are Detroit mechanics. While this is a simple engine, they require some specialized knowledge, and an average diesel mechanic will screw them up.
With new smog regulations, you can count on being required to re power with a more modern engine in the foreseeable future as well. Already happening in Ca for commercial fishing boats. Re powering this boat will not be cheap. If you are resourceful, you might be able to do the work yourself, and find some late model remans to get it done for around $20K. More than likely, you will be looking closer to $40k.
If that doesn't scare you away from the boat, and the surveyor doesn't discourage you, you likely will have a heck of a boat.
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Old 22-10-2008, 22:38   #9
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Originally Posted by DonofPaw View Post
Would love as much advice and feedback as possible.

Would it be something you would pursue if you were young and relatively poor... not to insinuate you are old and rich.... why or why not
If you are old and rich a sailboat will make you old and poor
If you are young and poor a sailboat will make you bankrupt

If you are young and poor a powerboat will make your children bankrupt

None of my business but have you considered a motorsailer? The old saw is that they motor poorly and they sail poorly but they do sail and you could save a bomb on downwind legs.

I was really into pilothouse motorsailers for a while.
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Old 23-10-2008, 04:26   #10
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It might be a fine boat if you plan to chain it to the dock and live aboard. If you plan to go anyplace with the way the world economy and cost of fuel is going I'd get something that needs only the wind to get you moving.
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Old 23-10-2008, 05:17   #11
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Fuel Use

Thanks for the info guys, anyone care to take a stab at fuel use??? Am I talking 2 gal hour 4 gal 100?

Don
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Old 23-10-2008, 05:32   #12
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I'd guess around 20 GPH total.

I don't like Detroits for the reason mentioned above.
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Old 23-10-2008, 06:48   #13
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I'd guess around 20 GPH total.

I don't like Detroits for the reason mentioned above.
Yikes! 20gph? For twin 147hp? I had no idea Detroits were THAT thirsty. Is that estimate at the max 10 kts or the 8kt cruise? I don't have any experience with Detroits in boats, but I don't remember our trucks having that dramatic difference between the DT466's and the 3208's.

DonofPaw - That's why you wait 'til you hear from the experts. My estimate was WAY off.

I calculate my usable range as 2/3 actual range for safety factor. So:
  • 20gph at 10kts - 500 gallons - 250 miles total - 167 usable range
  • 20gph at 8kts - 500 gallons - 200 miles total - 133 usable range
But if the ad is actually correct (no way, right?)
  • 20gph at 10kts - 200 gallons - 100 miles total - 67 usable range
  • 20gph at 8kts - 200 gallons - 80 miles total - 53 usable range
I did a 1000 mile trip in the Intracoastal in a boat with a 100 mile usable range. It was doable, but awfully tiring to always have to search for a marina every single day. My current boat has a 400 mile usable range (conservatively estimated - actually could push to almost 600 at 6kts with a reserve still left). That makes me feel pretty comfortable going across areas of the Gulf. Never done the Caribbean, but I would think a 400 mile range would work most places there.

-dan
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Old 23-10-2008, 07:08   #14
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I think the 20gph would be close for a 4-71 hooked to a genset under full load. At cruise the fuel consumption could be considerably less. You still have to put up with typical DD oil use and disbursement. Meaning they tend to deposit oil everywhere.

They will like as not be running when the boat has traveled it last mile if they have been treated decent.
They look fairly clean and dirty oil is hard to hide.
They don't appear to be turbocharged which is point in your favor. That would definitely have a negative impact on longevity.

Remember this is all opinion. Get a survey before you buy!
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Old 23-10-2008, 07:26   #15
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10GPH each / 20GPH total
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