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Old 22-05-2018, 11:03   #1
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Need advice on purchasing boat

Hello everyone,

I'm looking to purchase my first 'big boat' (30+ft) and could use some friendly advice.

USE CASE:
-Overview: Located in NC and looking to use in the intercoastal waterway - ICW as well as go in the ocean. I plan to use this as a pleasure only boat to bring my family on to cruise and adventure and take in the breathtaking views.

Other info about use: I do plan to stay overnight so I understand having a generator as well as A/C and toilet,etc..Will come in handy. I also plan to go down and work (I work remote so as long as I have internet - seems most marinas have WiFi) for a few days at a time.

I do have a rather large family - wife + 4 kids (possibly adopting two more but its a bad situation so some sea time could to them well). I understand finding anything close to the price range I'm looking in will be a challenge to fit all of my family comfortably. Most I look at seem to sleep 6 comfortably so we can make it work with two more. My entire family will not always be on the boat either.

PRICE: I'm looking for something under $10K. Yes I know that means I'll have to put in some elbow grease which is perfectly fine with me. Also I realize this will severely limit my option which is also fine.

QUESTION: I have found a 40ft trawler style boat that's in my price range and seems to have everything I'd want. It does have a single gray marine 6-71 diesel (I've read its a good/bad thing to have one single). I'm just curious if it'll be capable of going in the ocean (near shore for the most part). Its a narrower vessel it looks like but is 40ft long and seems to be in great shape for its age. The owner said its got a generator, shower, toilet, fridge, A/C, and beds of course. Its in my price range. Any advice if this vessel would be capable of doing what I need it to?



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Old 22-05-2018, 11:42   #2
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Re: Need advice on purchasing boat

Howdy and Welcome Aboard CF!

I see this is your first post. And you made a good one.

I am not a trawler owner (yet), so take my following comments with a splash of salt water.

Other members of CF who do own trawlers and motor yachts will be able to help you further.
_____________

A few comments based on my POV and experience with boats:

1. If the boat ad says it has gear on it is one thing, whether that gear works is a very different thing. I have been on many nice looking boats that have extensive gear (generators, electric winches, electric heaters, diesel heaters, watermakers, autopilots, AC) and none of that gear worked. It was on the boat, but useless. Condition is essential.

So, your linked boat says it has a generator, AC, engine, etc. Those may be on the boat, but the condition of them and the operation ability of them is what is most important.

The best way to tell is to have a proper Marine Survey by a professional Marine Surveyor. This may cost you up to $1,000 but could uncover very costly things that need or require repair for a safe, seaworthy boat.

Since the asking price of this boat is $10K or less, you might think the $1,000 (it may be $500-$800) spent on a survey would be too costly. My POV is that if one is unwilling to spend the $1,000 to avoid problems, one is very likely to encounter unknown (unseen) problems that are likely to cost much, much more.

So, I think it would be prudent for you to have a survey done of this vessel, including the engine (by a mechanic) and the hull.

2. Your linked boat appears to be an older hull, and appears to be a wood boat. Wood boats have their own issues, needs, risks. IF you are not yet aware of those, you really should spend some time to read the CF archives and search for information about maintenance of a wood boat. Here is a link to a long list of previous discussions of "Wood Hull" boats. I suggest reading many of them to get an idea of what may be involved and possibly hidden by fresh paint.
https://cse.google.com/cse?cx=011403...ull&gsc.page=1

While I like wood boats (love them) I do not have the skills or tools or place or time or money to maintain one. If I had a large family of small children, this would be especially an issue, as wood boats can require considerable time for proper maintenance.

3. From the photo the boat appears to have been recently painted. Paint can cover many ills (faults) and is another reason you should have the hull surveyed by a surveyor who knows wood boats.

4. This boat will depend on its engine. That is its critical system. It should be bulletproof. I suggest you pay a diesel mechanic to give a thorough test of the engine. Also make sure you have the fuel tanks and water tanks carefully inspected. You will depend upon the fuel tank and fuel system.
__________

I hope these comments (my opinion) help you consider a few things.

Good luck on your boat hunt!
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Old 22-05-2018, 11:48   #3
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Re: Need advice on purchasing boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steadman Uhlich View Post
Howdy and Welcome Aboard CF!

I see this is your first post. And you made a good one.

I am not a trawler owner (yet), so take my following comments with a splash of salt water.

Other members of CF who do own trawlers and motor yachts will be able to help you further.
_____________

A few comments based on my POV and experience with boats:

1. If the boat ad says it has gear on it is one thing, whether that gear works is a very different thing. I have been on many nice looking boats that have extensive gear (generators, electric winches, electric heaters, diesel heaters, watermakers, autopilots, AC) and none of that gear worked. It was on the boat, but useless. Condition is essential.

So, your linked boat says it has a generator, AC, engine, etc. Those may be on the boat, but the condition of them and the operation ability of them is what is most important.

The best way to tell is to have a proper Marine Survey by a professional Marine Surveyor. This may cost you up to $1,000 but could uncover very costly things that need or require repair for a safe, seaworthy boat.

Since the asking price of this boat is $10K or less, you might think the $1,000 (it may be $500-$800) spent on a survey would be too costly. My POV is that if one is unwilling to spend the $1,000 to avoid problems, one is very likely to encounter uknown (unseen) problems that are likely to cost much, much more.

So, I think it would be prudent for you to have a survey done of this vessel, including the engine (by a mechanic) and the hull.

2. Your linked boat appears to be an older hull, and appears to be a wood boat. Wood boats have their own issues, needs, risks. IF you are not yet aware of those, you really should spend some time to read the CF archives and search for information about maintenance of a wood boat. While I like wood boats (love them) I do not have the skills or tools or place or time or money to maintain one. If I had a large family of small children, this would be especially an issue, as wood boats can require considerable time for proper maintenance.

3. From the photo the boat appears to have been recently painted. Paint can cover many ills (faults) and is another reason you should have the hull surveyed by a surveyor who knows wood boats.

4. This boat will depend on its engine. That is its critical system. It should be bulletproof. I suggest you pay a diesel mechanic to give a thorough test of the engine. Also make sure you have the fuel tanks and water tanks carefully inspected. You will depend upon the fuel tank and fuel system.
__________

I hope these comments (my opinion) help you consider a few things.

Good luck on your boat hunt!
This is my first post! Thank you for taking the time to comment! Your opinions/response definitely makes sense. I wouldn't mind spending the money if it makes sense to which in this case it does - especially being anything I purchase at the 10K or less price point will be older and may have flaws that I want to avoid OR know about.

The owner of this particular vessel stated everything is in working order and operates correctly but as you mentioned having a marine survey done would help to confirm that things work correctly. The owner did state its a fiberglass over wood hull.

Thanks again for your advice!
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Old 22-05-2018, 12:01   #4
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Re: Need advice on purchasing boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudo_kb View Post
This is my first post! Thank you for taking the time to comment! Your opinions/response definitely makes sense. I wouldn't mind spending the money if it makes sense to which in this case it does - especially being anything I purchase at the 10K or less price point will be older and may have flaws that I want to avoid OR know about.

The owner of this particular vessel stated everything is in working order and operates correctly but as you mentioned having a marine survey done would help to confirm that things work correctly. The owner did state its a fiberglass over wood hull.

Thanks again for your advice!
You are welcome.

I just edited my comment above to include a link to previous discussions of wood hull boats. I encourage you to follow that link, and spend some time reading about the issues related to wood hulls. One of the threads, as I recall, was specifically about Fiberglass Over Wood hulls.
____________

What would I do?
To be direct in answer, if I were in your boat shoes, I would pass on this old wood boat, unless you have the funds ($$) to properly care for it (and all the gear) and the TIME and knowledge to do so too.

Instead of this boat, I would use your $10,000 to purchase a smaller (30ft to 34 foot) fiberglass hull sailboat, and enjoy sailing on it, letting the kids experience sailing, and camp off the boat or use it primarily for day sailing.
_____

Good luck on your decision.
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Old 22-05-2018, 14:36   #5
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Re: Need advice on purchasing boat

Only a single engine wouldn't bother me necessarily. Wood, or fiberglass over wood, would be a showstopper, for me.

When boat descriptions say "sleeps 6" they mean they might sleep 2 semi-comfortably, 2 more stuffed in somewhere, and maybe 2 more on a pull-out or jackknife couch in the middle of the floor. (Sort of like descriptions of camping tents: "sleeps 6" usually means 2 adults, 2 toddlers, and 2 toy poodles.)

More folks on trawlerforum.com (a sister site) might know that particular boat and similar vessels. Repeating your first post there (if you haven't already) might net you some additional useful commentary.

-Chris
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Old 22-05-2018, 15:53   #6
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Re: Need advice on purchasing boat

I have a 1942 wood boat. If you keep up the paint and maintenance it lasts a long time. There are 100 year old halibut schooners still fishing. If you let it go, it can become cheaper to scrap it. Keep rain water out of the wood. Keep up your zincs and bottom paint. Salt preserves wood. I keep rock salt, borate, etc., in the bilge.

The Gray Marine/Detroit Diesel 671 in good running condition is the most reliable diesel I have ever known in nearly 60 years on the water. Usually you change the oil, filters, check valve clearances and nothing else for years, maybe decades. I have twin 671s made in 1947. Those engines are one of the main reasons I bought this boat. New and used parts are available all over the world. If you have any engine issue contact me.
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Old 23-05-2018, 09:29   #7
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Re: Need advice on purchasing boat

Even if I am into sailboats and I would anytime choose one of them, if the description matches the reality, it seems a bargain. Check other costs (marina and putting it in the water to have the whole picture. I would not spend too much for a survey, I would ask a (very) experienced friend to check the hull...
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Old 23-05-2018, 09:44   #8
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Re: Need advice on purchasing boat

I will second what Lepke said about the 6-71 engines and also wooden boats.

Well maintained wood can be a bargain but if not it can be a nightmare. The two killers, rot and fasteners (the screws holding the boat together). If you don't have the skill then pay a pro to check VERY carefully for rot in the hull and cabin. There will be some, just depends on how much and where.

Then check the fasteners that hold the planks to the ribs (the frame of the boat). Older boats the screws could be corroding away or the wood around them going soft and all need replacing. You're then talking about a few thousand bronze screws at a buck or so each and labor. That can add several thousand to the cost.
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Old 23-05-2018, 10:21   #9
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Re: Need advice on purchasing boat

I would run away from that boat at any price.
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Old 23-05-2018, 11:05   #10
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Re: Need advice on purchasing boat

I would have to parrot Lepke on the 6-71. Maybe the best engine ever. As long as it's not one of the few Vs made of aluminum.

As far as it being a wood hull, unless you are a shipwright, I would not advise it. A survey would be a must.

Frankly, I don't see what you want happening fo 10K. I'd rather bust you bubble now than after you throwing good money after bad. God bless you for adopting kids.
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Old 23-05-2018, 11:10   #11
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Re: Need advice on purchasing boat

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As far as it being a wood hull, unless you are a shipwright, I would not advise it. A survey would be a must.

Frankly, I don't see what you want happening fo 10K. I'd rather bust you bubble now than after you throwing good money after bad. God bless you for adopting kids.
Have to agree. Too many stories of new or inexperienced boaters getting into old wooden boats and ending up with a boat they can't make work without thousands and thousands of dollars they don't have.
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Old 23-05-2018, 11:26   #12
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Re: Need advice on purchasing boat

My diving buddy and I bought a 50 year old sailboat back when that's all we could afford, after a few trps to Catalina we had it hauled, the yard owner checked it out with his ice pick, His recommendation:
"Get a few gross galvanized screws, a brace and screwdriver bit (or 2), a case of beer, and invite your buddies down for a re-fastening party"
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Old 23-05-2018, 11:40   #13
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Re: Need advice on purchasing boat

Buy a fiberglass boat. Even if the wood boat appears ok initially it wont be long before the caulking is an issue or a plank springs or etc. At least one at your budget. The wood boat shown will likely be a PITA and the end of your water adventures. You can find some oddball design or age out there with and engine that runs.
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Old 23-05-2018, 12:29   #14
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Re: Need advice on purchasing boat

I agree with the other posters about being careful buying an old wood boat. For an inexperienced buyer that can be a nightmare. A boat like that at so low a price sounds many alarms in my mind.



It may be $10K to buy but many times that to make it seaworthy. Bargain boats seldom work out to be a bargain.


Best of luck.
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Old 23-05-2018, 12:44   #15
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Re: Need advice on purchasing boat

And I would be particularly careful of buying a "fiberglass over wood" boat. 90% of the time that is done on a boat like that because repairs to the planking, knees, etc. were getting to be "too much" for the owner. In other words, they were not doing a good job of maintaining the boat and thought glassing it would make their life easier. Additionally, if the boat was kept in the brackish water of NC's bays, it may have been infested with worms and the owner decided glassing was a good defense. But inspecting it at this point is impossible since it's glassed over.

Saltwater prevents rot in wood. On the other hand, a wooden boat's worst enemy is fresh water that leaks in from rain, etc. In a glass over wood boat, unless the wood is sealed from the interior, there is the risk of the boat rotting from the inside out...with repairs becoming extremely expensive and difficult because you have to remove the glass to get to the planking.

In short, this boat is probably a nightmare waiting to happen. It's probably not worth a survey, and if it passed survey it would require some specialized knowledge and close attention to be well maintained. For a new boater it would be an absolute albatross.

Don't get me wrong, it's a cool looking boat, maybe a converted oyster buy-boat or something. But it's not for the uninitiated.
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