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Old 25-07-2007, 10:19   #16
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Sean,

The class of boats is likely in Jane's (http://www.janes.com/). Check your local library for a copy. I'd be reluctant to derate from the orginal power by much -- these classes of boats aren't generally built as power houses. Whatever they were delivered with they needed.

If she was originally twin screw I would stay that way. Your idea of diesel-electric has real merit in that scenario: one big genset, one small back-up genset, two electric propulsion motors. Just a thought. Otherwise I'd go for two propulsion diesels (think about fuel economy running on one side) and a small genset. Look at a main engine driven generator for large loads.

I defer to Pat on experience with brands of engines in the appropriate size. My experience is on much bigger platforms. Catepillar certainly has a good reputation (disclosure: I own stock in Cat).

On the experience note: I live aboard my 40' sailboat. I have done an ocean (once). I am a degreed naval architect and marine engineer (Webb '82) with 16 years experience in industry on large combatents and commercial shipping before drifting off to other endeavors.

Something to think about: include a good sized air compressor in your outfit plans and run air around the boat. Get a couple of needle guns. You'll find that the right tools to clean rust and prepare metal for painting can make a rough job easier and faster.

I have to say it isn't the prettiest boat I've ever seen, and doesn't look like a 'big navy' procurement. Maybe something that was modified locally at a naval activity? I haven't looked it up to see. Watch for differences in construction quality.

Can you weld? Learn. Start with oxy-acet gas welding and jump to TIG. (My opinion - YMMV) If you can do finish carpentry (much less cabinetry) you can learn to weld. Go for it.

Build a workshop into your outfit and arrangements plans.

Good luck. I think that would be a very aggressive project, but might be quite interesting.
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Old 25-07-2007, 10:48   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay
SNAME ~ Naval Architecture/Marine Engineering/ Ocean Engineering Forum:
The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers: Public Forums
SNAME has a Small Boats Committee that may have publications of interest. The SNAME HQs in NYC has a library that will have all the publications of the Small Boat folk. See The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers: Technical Committees - Small Craft

best, dave
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Old 25-07-2007, 11:57   #18
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Sean, I suspect you are looking at a massive job and frankly, unless you are DEAD CERTAIN that you are going to spend the next 20 years on it? A moneypit. Consider that the boat you have now, has SOME common market value. But if you fix up that Navy boat...no matter how you fix it up, it's going to be a bear to sell it, when or if you choose to do so.

Frankly, I'd be afraid. Anything that big can eat everything you put into it, unless you can find a way to sell it as a "canal boat" or in a deluxe liveabord community. Then there's the matter of operating costs. The extra twelve feet? Will add 1/3 more to every marina bill, and keep you out of many marinas and moorings. The big diesel engine? Ask Pat what some of the fuel consumption number are for those engines, gallons per hour figuring we all know $5/gallon is coming down the pike real soon.

Even if you grow corn on the foredeck to supply your own ethanol < g > that's gonna be an expensive boat, just to move around.

Could be a beautiful project--but I think it is a rich man's project.
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Old 25-07-2007, 12:16   #19
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Thanks for the tip, Mark. Now THIS is useful information.

I will be going down the see the vessel on Monday - and see wat's left of the hull. I figured they probably didn't do much in the hull maintenance dept seeing as how they retire them after only 10 years in service. (this one was built in 1986)

Thank you very much for the heads up. If the hull is not what it should be... well... there really isn't much else to it, so it's a no go. ha ha



Quote:
Originally Posted by markpj23
Looks like a neat project Sean! And probably better that she's already stripped down - will save lots of time.

Having disposed of a couple Navy craft like this during my career - I know with absolute certainty that hull maintenance was not a big priority on these craft. Not sure what the history is on the commercial use of this one - maybe they put some money into the steel below the waterline, maybe not.

The last craft I disposed of had hull plates so weakened by rust that from within the tanks you could see the bulkheads "panting" with the wave motion outside the hull while the ship was dockside. Made me want to spend as little time below the waterline as possible I have also seen where new plates were welded to stringers that had rusted away at the joints and were essentially suspended in space.

Buy a good audiogage or find a surveyor who knows how to use one.

Good luck with the project - I hope it comes together for ya!

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Old 25-07-2007, 12:24   #20
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Again, very VERY helpful! Thank you. This is good information. I appreciate it.

She sure isn't a pretty boat... I'll agree with that one.

What she is (for us) is useful if there is good hull integrity. I'll ask the officer in charge down there what the original engine was to try and figure out the HP required. Good idea.

I'll try to find out a little more history of the vessel when I go down to VA to inspect. I'll post that up here to add to the thread.

Thank you very much for the inside information. I'm not as well versed in commercial vessels such as this one, so I need to learn the way things are done. It's a whole different animal from plastic sailboats, as you are well aware.

Also, there is a $$ factor here. If the cost to repower and refit eclipses the cost of another steel fishing vessel I have on the list, this boat will be off the list. Unfortunatley, the other steel vessel as a Detroit Diesel! This is what happens when you are essentially looking at a "free" boat and fitting her out to be somewhat tolerable. No loans though... all cash!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Auspicious
Sean,

The class of boats is likely in Jane's (http://www.janes.com/). Check your local library for a copy. I'd be reluctant to derate from the orginal power by much -- these classes of boats aren't generally built as power houses. Whatever they were delivered with they needed.

If she was originally twin screw I would stay that way. Your idea of diesel-electric has real merit in that scenario: one big genset, one small back-up genset, two electric propulsion motors. Just a thought. Otherwise I'd go for two propulsion diesels (think about fuel economy running on one side) and a small genset. Look at a main engine driven generator for large loads.

I defer to Pat on experience with brands of engines in the appropriate size. My experience is on much bigger platforms. Catepillar certainly has a good reputation (disclosure: I own stock in Cat).

On the experience note: I live aboard my 40' sailboat. I have done an ocean (once). I am a degreed naval architect and marine engineer (Webb '82) with 16 years experience in industry on large combatents and commercial shipping before drifting off to other endeavors.

Something to think about: include a good sized air compressor in your outfit plans and run air around the boat. Get a couple of needle guns. You'll find that the right tools to clean rust and prepare metal for painting can make a rough job easier and faster.

I have to say it isn't the prettiest boat I've ever seen, and doesn't look like a 'big navy' procurement. Maybe something that was modified locally at a naval activity? I haven't looked it up to see. Watch for differences in construction quality.

Can you weld? Learn. Start with oxy-acet gas welding and jump to TIG. (My opinion - YMMV) If you can do finish carpentry (much less cabinetry) you can learn to weld. Go for it.

Build a workshop into your outfit and arrangements plans.

Good luck. I think that would be a very aggressive project, but might be quite interesting.
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Old 25-07-2007, 12:41   #21
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Sean,

This is the Internet version of thinking out loud, and some is out of my expertise. It sounds like most of you time will be anchored out, and mvoing from place to place is not your priority. I leave the research to you to run numbers. If you aren't moving much/often/ever why repower at all? Get a nicely sized genset for domestic power needs and do a cost/benefit trade between tows and a nice strong center counsol (sp?) you can rig up to run on the hip. A strong little power boat might be very useful and cheaper .. just a thought and not a suggestion.

If you think out of the box, maybe a small barge with a floating power plant (like the Chesapeake Bay boats with pusher boats) might be worth considering.

dave
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Old 25-07-2007, 12:59   #22
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Interesting, Dave. I was thinking along the same lines too. My mind kept saying, "outboard" or "pusher."

You are indeed correct that we don't plan to put many miles under the hull. We just plan to move it up North a bit and stake out a spot waaaaay out in a bay (not in any town's harbor - 2 miles out min) and make runs in with a reasonably protected jon boat or similar 2nd vessel.

Your idea might just work... I'll reasearch it. Thanks again for the very VERY helpful ideas.

Any tips on finding old commercial/miliatry vessels? I see a spattering of them across the internet, but not any real dedicated site.
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Old 25-07-2007, 13:19   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan
Any tips on finding old commercial/miliatry vessels? I see a spattering of them across the internet, but not any real dedicated site.
Afraid I don't have much to offer. I've done the work for stability certificates, and I think the Navy and MSC passed off to GSA for disposal, but I don't know the details. Not sure how all that works.

I've done some surveys as seller agent and buyer agent, but don't have much insight into the listing process so far.

I'd like to be clear that I do other stuff for a living now. I'm not selling anything at all. If my calendar allows (I race a lot) I'll be happy to look for you, but I don't like driving long distances. If I'm free and you can pick me up in Annapolis I'm happy to come look for you and give you my professional opinion. Remember that free is worth every penny. <grin>

I wonder if you aren't better sticking with your Gulfstar? Flipping assets always seems to be more expensive then making what you have work.

dave
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Old 25-07-2007, 13:24   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auspicious
I'd like to be clear that I do other stuff for a living now. I'm not selling anything at all. If my calendar allows (I race a lot) I'll be happy to look for you, but I don't like driving long distances. If I'm free and you can pick me up in Annapolis I'm happy to come look for you and give you my professional opinion. Remember that free is worth every penny. <grin>

I wonder if you aren't better sticking with your Gulfstar? Flipping assets always seems to be more expensive then making what you have work.

dave
Thanks for the offer, Dave!

Na... not better sticking with the Gulfstar. She's a sailboat meant to cruise... not to sit at anchor for 5 or 10 or more years. Plus, any way you slice it, we're at least $30K ahead getting a junker and fixing it up for liveaboard... possibly more if I can find the right hull.
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Old 25-07-2007, 14:02   #25
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Sean, perhaps this is a silly question about the elephant in the middle of the room...

But how did you plan to get a 57' long unpowered BARGE up from VA to ME? One would think the highway might simply not be possible, and the cost of an oceangoing tow can't be slight.
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Old 25-07-2007, 15:58   #26
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Sean,

Firstly, not too many people (if any) have said that what you are planning is stupid or wrong. Some people have suggested that it may be more expensive than a more traditional option. I am sure that nobody here wishes you ill, indeed, all here almost certainly wish you the very best with whatever you do, but the fact that they do not live aboard full time does not disqualify them from comment any more than the fact that you do offers you particularly more insight into the project that you are proposing to tackle. It is, in my opinion, unbecoming to rant at them just because they have expressed an opinion that is not in concurrence with yours.

Having said that, I certainly don't think that what you are proposing is stupid. There are a few guys around the marinas here who have opted for buying and refitting a "working boat" (i.e a tug or a trawler) rather than buying a plastic gin palace (i.e. a Grand Banks or Riviera flybridge cruiser). These project boats were purchased as vessels that were, at the time of purchase, commercially viable, operational vessels. I have been on board one of them (a 65' converted fishing trawler) and the owner now has a fantastic sea-worthy, comfortable, long range, live-aboard vessel. Nevertheless, the boat that he now has will have cost him a comparable amount to a new or near-new "plastic fantastic". And that is the crux of my concern: That although you can, no doubt, end up with a great, sea-worthy and comfortable live-aboard vessel, it may well be an expensive exercise. Of course, the thing about refitting is that you have more flexibility to spend the money at your own pace, not at the pace of the bank's insistence...

Like I say, all the very best with whatever you decide to do. I, for one, will continue to read of your exploits with interest and admiration.
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Old 25-07-2007, 16:13   #27
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Thanks Weyalan.

Yours is the voice of moderation and it rings well. Mine? Not so much.

It just gets terribly frustrating when you ask a simple question:

"How do you repower this boat?"

and then you end up with people giving you advice on what to do with your life. Know what I mean?

I have had to whack a thread into scope quite a few times lately because someone is always veering way WAY off topic and giving advice or just generally poo poo'ing the grander idea. It happened in my Steel Vs. Fiberglass Over Wood thread too. Once I whacked the thread back into place, it developed incredibly useful information.

The same happened here.

Sometimes it seems, people need a strong reminder of what the question is. My problem is that I need to find better ways of reminding.



Anyway, everyone has their own plan in life. I'm more concious of what I'm doing and where I'm going I've ever been before (even if I haven't figured out the next hulk of junk I'll be living on yet.) We have turned around 100% financially and I intend to keep that momentum going. This is why I'm after junkers to live on. Remember... I'm buying a disposable HOUSE here, not a yacht to impress people or sell to people. I think that point is lost on many who give the advice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Weyalan
Sean,

Firstly, not too many people (if any) have said that what you are planning is stupid or wrong. Some people have suggested that it may be more expensive than a more traditional option. I am sure that nobody here wishes you ill, indeed, all here almost certainly wish you the very best with whatever you do, but the fact that they do not live aboard full time does not disqualify them from comment any more than the fact that you do offers you particularly more insight into the project that you are proposing to tackle. It is, in my opinion, unbecoming to rant at them just because they have expressed an opinion that is not in concurrence with yours.

Having said that, I certainly don't think that what you are proposing is stupid. There are a few guys around the marinas here who have opted for buying and refitting a "working boat" (i.e a tug or a trawler) rather than buying a plastic gin palace (i.e. a Grand Banks or Riviera flybridge cruiser). These project boats were purchased as vessels that were, at the time of purchase, commercially viable, operational vessels. I have been on board one of them (a 65' converted fishing trawler) and the owner now has a fantastic sea-worthy, comfortable, long range, live-aboard vessel. Nevertheless, the boat that he now has will have cost him a comparable amount to a new or near-new "plastic fantastic". And that is the crux of my concern: That although you can, no doubt, end up with a great, sea-worthy and comfortable live-aboard vessel, it may well be an expensive exercise. Of course, the thing about refitting is that you have more flexibility to spend the money at your own pace, not at the pace of the bank's insistence...

Like I say, all the very best with whatever you decide to do. I, for one, will continue to read of your exploits with interest and admiration.
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Old 25-07-2007, 16:37   #28
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Sean-
"Sometimes it seems, people need a strong reminder of what the question is."
Forums are forums, that is, places for public discussion and not places to get tightly focussed professional consults. The tradition is that if you only want specific answers on a specific focus, with no discussion of any other implications, to say it up front.

i.e. "I want to know about repowering steel hulks, and just about repowering steel hulks, please do not get into any other ramifications off that specific topic here."

People who get offended at such a clear notice...can go away and be offended. Sometimes simple bluntness is appropriate (on or off the web) and folks have to deal with that.

So pretending this is all new, OK, you've asked how to repower a steel hulk. That's only half a question, the other half is "repower it suitable for what? " and apparently you only want to repower it for short-range inshore relocations in good weather, essentially just locally moving a house boat.

Is that correct? And all we should focus on?
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Old 25-07-2007, 17:24   #29
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Sean

I'm surprised by your diatribe. No one means you harm and are only putting forth their opinions, while trying to help. Myself included. I've always thought that this forum was created for public discussion about boats. And that's what we are doing. It's not our fault that we've misunderstood your future boating intentions.
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Old 25-07-2007, 18:57   #30
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Sean,

If you don't mind telling us, what is your budget for the project? i.e. both up front cost (survey + purchase + delivery) and refit cost.

I had a quick look around and saw plenty of commercial boats in the 40' - 70' range that while not exactly pretty, were actually funtional boats... sure they probably all needed work, but they did all have engines, gensets, radio, etc already installed and in almost all cases, not just installed but working.

For example: 45' trawler, ready to go, $30,000?
Powerboats - 1981 45' ft Custom Trawler - Trawler - NC - UsedBoats.com

Or this: 72' Shrimp trawler, ready to go, $20,000?
Commercial Boats - 1969 72' ft Shrimp trawler - Dragger - Savannah, GA, 31410 - UsedBoats.com

I just think that it will be difficult to take a hull, even a hull that is essentially free and make a functioning working live-aboard boat for less than that sort of money... (you will, no doubt, go on to prove me wrong, heh)
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