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Old 29-05-2009, 21:03   #1
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Need: Steel Pilothouse Shrimper to Convert

I am interested in finding a steel hulled pilothouse shrimp boat or other suitable vessel for conversion to a live aboard trawler. I am interested in looking at ones within reasonable driving distance from Pensacola, FL.

Mandatory items.. cheap :-), steel hull, diesel,

Close to mandatory.. pilothouse forward (just a personal preference)

Variables, length 35-50 (wide variance I know, don't want to limit myself)

I plan on doing all the conversion work myself along with whatever buddy deals I can get worked out. Once I retire in a few years, I plan on going EVERYWHERE on her. Gulf of Mexico a lot, Caribbean a lot, Panama Canal and up the west coast to alaska for a couple of years.

So if you see one of these stinking up your port and it is CHEAP but can still move under her own power without sinking or creating an environmental hazard.. link me to it.

Thanks.
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Old 29-05-2009, 22:13   #2
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Even though I am from Alaska, I have worked all over the Gulf of Mexico, and for the type of vessel you are looking for your best bet is Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, areas, after Katrina, I would not be surprised if you could find a really good deal along the coast somewhere, there are a lot of little back water bayous that hold a lot of old boats, perhaps you could make it like a treasure hunt and cover certain parts of the coast during your times off. I have also heard that Green Springs in Florida has a docking area where there are some good deals.
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Old 30-05-2009, 02:32   #3
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Steel Pilothouse shrimper.

Hello Band Gun,
It was nice to read of your hopes and aspirations concerning this boat.
If I can give you just one tip, it would be to check VERY carefully for rust...
I owned a Corten steel yacht for 18 years. I got it from almost new when she had professionally made with care from 10 mm-4 mm plate, and had all the best sandblasting and coatings available. In turn, I looked after it carefully and kept rust at bay whenever I noticed any.
Along the way, I had many people tease me...."Rust never sleeps," "you can only ever really get 15-18 years out of a steel yacht," etc. I would stubbornly counter this by refering to all the yachts I knew of that survived horrific strandings, whilst we all know how less strong vessels quickly get smashed, cracked and pulverised. My motto was "if it ain't steel, it ain't real."
As the years passed, I noticed how I had to do more and more work to keep up with the rust. While I was busy at this, my friends seemed to need less work to keep their wood/glass/aluminum/ferro yachts neat.
Long story short, I sold the vessel on her 18th birthday. It was great to relax and be able to stop fighting rust!
If you look at steel yachts for sale, you will notice over and over again....they are generally being sold at 15 years of age or a little more.
With a fishing boat, I realise you would be dealing with thicker plate, and maybe more modern coating systems. However, on the downside, you can be certain the owners worked it hard with little time and money spent on combating rust and corrosion as it silently eats away in dingy fish holds and slime-ridden limber-holes. A bit of chipping, and another coat of paint would likely be all that was done here and there.
If you still want steel, I'd spend the money hauling her out and having her hull thickness checked all over. I've watched teams do this on steel yachts with their measuring gysmos.The entire hull gets external chalked thickness readings about every two square feet, and the overall result is simple to assess. Apparantly the most sophisticated systems ONLY measures steel; they don't get tricked with faired filler over dodgy, thin plate.They do not need antifouling removed either.
Maybe you could modify your dream to a simpler medium rather than steel? I read some years ago that in a world-wide assessment that triple diagonal kauri yacht hulls overall have been found to be the least-demanding medium for maintenance.
Keep following your dream by all means, but I think you must be prepared for the rust demon if you go with steel.
Do any other steel yacht owners have any better stories than I encountered? (I hear that Corten steel is no longer highly recommended for yachts..It is really still best suited for bridges. Maybe that was some of my problem? Having said that, how would you REALLY know the exact grade of steel used on an old work boat, unless the drawings and documents state the quality?)
Never the less, I don't regret any of it! I loved my vessel dearly, and she gave me two fine circumnavigations.
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Old 30-05-2009, 03:56   #4
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Greetings, and welcome aboard BandGun.

Mike Sea’s experienced comments should be informative & thought provoking. Good luck in your search!
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Old 30-05-2009, 10:29   #5
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I appreciate the comments and suggestions! :-) I plan on doing several of the items mentioned. I have researched various aspects for years. Some of my reasons for steel are that I plan on going off the beaten path. Steel will give me more mental health if not physical when I hit that log or submerged dumpster (been there with fiberglass), rock etc. If I tire of her in 15 or 20 years, she will have been well taken care of and can be someone elses dream. I suck at fiberglass but can be a fair hand with steel and wood.

I was on a road trip in LA this morning (lower alabama for those not in the know). No luck. I will find one eventually.

Speaking of dreams. Several years ago I came across a website that spoke about a boat that was built out of wood here in Pensacola. It was called the Alligator. I saw a boat cruising west last weekend in the intercoastal waterway and immediately recognized it. I love some of the ideas incorporated into this vessel. Here is a link to some information and pictures of the boat if you are interested. MV Alligator
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Old 31-05-2009, 11:51   #6
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I'de check out Bayou La Batere Al.I know that the shrimping business is nearly defunct here due to pressures from overseas and the reminants of Katerina.Nice drive too.Take 98 to Gulf Shores and follow the signs to the ferry at Ft Morgan then turn on your gps and follow it.I bet you could find what you are looking for.Robby in Mobile
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Old 31-05-2009, 13:20   #7
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2 in key west

there are two on my dock and a few next one over.
most get the rigging off and become grocrey haulers. one 60 ft here still has frezzer intact but rigging allready off.
you must know how to weld if your planning to buy an old shrimper.
PM me with contact info and i'll pass it on, plan on about 20k cash.
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:10   #8
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Originally Posted by Robby View Post
I'de check out Bayou La Batere Al.I know that the shrimping business is nearly defunct here due to pressures from overseas and the reminants of Katerina.Nice drive too.Take 98 to Gulf Shores and follow the signs to the ferry at Ft Morgan then turn on your gps and follow it.I bet you could find what you are looking for.Robby in Mobile

I was going to suggest the same thing.

I don't know what your price range is, but perhaps you should look into the cost analysis of getting an old boat ready to go vs. building or having one built. Diesel Ducks or perhaps an Origami style trawler should be possible. Take a look at Idlewild as a possibility: The Boat For Sale My father and grandfather owned a ship yard in Bayou La Batere many years ago that built shrimp boats. When I brought up a conversion with my father years ago, he reminded me that the hull was designed to carry fuel, ice, and shrimp. Tons of it. They are designed to run loaded down with weight and might not provide such a good ride empty. Those are my points to consider. Take it for what it's worth.
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:56   #9
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shrimp boat

if your looking for a cheap boat, check out all the local banks in the Gulf states.A lot of shrimpers are just abandoned when the owners can't make the loan payments, and take a serious header into a gin bottle. I got a 63' here in La. for 32k with a 12/71 DD and 6k in fuel in the tanks. Be prepared to sink another 200k into fixing it up as these boats have been trashed and steel work is expensive. Check out my blog to see what I've done so far, google Lorenzo and Joyce scow.
Personally I'm very happy with the results and am close to pulling away from the dock and going anywhere in the world I want. I've been working on it for 15 months.
Good Luck
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Old 15-03-2013, 11:20   #10
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Re: 2 in key west

Quote:
Originally Posted by keyspc View Post
there are two on my dock and a few next one over.
most get the rigging off and become grocrey haulers. one 60 ft here still has frezzer intact but rigging allready off.
you must know how to weld if your planning to buy an old shrimper.
PM me with contact info and i'll pass it on, plan on about 20k cash.
Hi keyspc,

I know this posting is old, is it still the same case today re: price to pay for a shrimp trawler around gulf coast......? for around $20k...?

pretty much the same reason as the original poster.. I too have the same ambition, to convert a steel shrimp trawler into a liveaboard cruiser. Preference being to a forward wheel house ocean going boat. with intentions to cruise everywhere in the world :-)

However Im looking for a 75ft boat. (min: 70ft - max 75ft)

I agree completely with 'Mike Sea' re: rust, so would be looking for something with a serviceable/sound hull.

Also, Ive made a brief search re: commercial fishing trawlers on the NE coast USA, but seem to have found little re: places I could buy a ex-trawler.. any pointers any one...?
Thanks all....
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Old 15-03-2013, 12:07   #11
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Re: Need: Steel Pilothouse Shrimper to Convert

Maybe check Yakaz

Shrimp boat for sale texas - Yakaz For sale

$75.00 looks like a steel
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Old 15-03-2013, 13:54   #12
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Re: Need: Steel Pilothouse Shrimper to Convert

Boats & Harbors
having driven a couple i can safely agree with a couple posts above.
running light on a shrimp boat , you'd better bring some polident cause by the time you get there it'll have rolled your teeth out!
don't forget these are for the most part hard chine boats. loaded down to 7 or 8 ft draft and the birds down your in for a miserable day in anything approaching a gale.
Riding light,say only a few thousand gallons of fuel at 3 bucks per, no rigging? you'll be spending a lotof time with boat laid over damn near flat on it's side. Fun on a racing sailboat but side surfing on a 75ft + slab i was to scared to be sick!
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Old 15-03-2013, 14:15   #13
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Re: Need: Steel Pilothouse Shrimper to Convert

Come down to Mississippi. There are shrimpers going out of business like crazy down here. I bet a lot of them would be willing to sell if you walked along the commercial piers at Biloxi, Gulfport, and Pass Christian, and asked.
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Old 15-03-2013, 16:49   #14
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Re: Need: Steel Pilothouse Shrimper to Convert

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Come down to Mississippi. There are shrimpers going out of business like crazy down here. I bet a lot of them would be willing to sell if you walked along the commercial piers at Biloxi, Gulfport, and Pass Christian, and asked.
Hi Group 9,

Thanks for the info, Will bear that in mind From research Ive done their seems to be a huge disparity in price to expect to pay from $20k - $75k+

By chance, any links to bank owned boats for sale...? or is it a case of phoning gulf state banks to find out where/when they are auctioned off...
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Old 15-03-2013, 17:07   #15
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Re: Need: Steel Pilothouse Shrimper to Convert

i saw some old shrimpboats in the brunswick georgia area .. there was a really handsome one beached across from the jeykyll island dock. looked to be 50 or 60 feet with a nice pilothouse but i think it was wood not steel.
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