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Old 04-04-2013, 10:39   #46
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Re: Avoiding a Hidden Project Boat

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Originally Posted by haw1961 View Post
Zee, I was referring to the post by Robert Sapp. He was insinuating that boatyards use blisters to ripoff customers, by doing repairs that don't need to be done. I believe that you know exactly what you have. My post was aimed at the less experienced buyer that will think that blisters are something that everybody has and only suckers pay to have them fixed.

i was suckered into my repair job on my first blistered boat--is why i so loudly diss the need for repairing them unless are tunneled or structural....
not only was the job not necessary, the blisters did not affect the performance of either boat that suffered them.
is not just the boat yards that do the scam--is a company named hull tek and some others that charge mucho bludi dinero from the fear of owners of boats with pox....
not everyone gets blisters. only some of the boats built during the change years of procedural mayhem and compound quality problems and budgetary cretinism.(not enough of the proper type of epoxy compounds and substance for making matt and roving stick together, and chopper guns coming into play and such idiocy..epa rulings and such minor issues.)
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:08   #47
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Re: Avoiding a Hidden Project Boat

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Well, at this point the OP, and most of the contributors to this thread, seem to have given up on any hope of getting a survey that has any value. I have to disagree. There are good, honest surveyors out there, and you can find them. It just takes a bit of work.

First, you need to do some homework on your own. You need to read a bit about what is involved in a survey. You need to get out and look at some boats. You need to know about the common problems to look for, including researching the specific boats you are interested in. You need to educate yourself enough that you can do a fair survey by yourself, so that you will know if the surveyor is doing what he should, looking at what he should.

Second, you need to get recommendations. Lots of them. Ask around. Ask here. Find people who have bought boats similar to the ones that you are looking at and ask who they used. And the surveyor does not have to be located in your immediate area. Most are willing to travel some distance, especially if you are willing to pay a bit for that.

Third, when you've narrowed it down to a couple who get consistently good recommendations, and have been in the business for a few years, you interview them. Ask them what they look for. Ask to see an example of a pre-purchase survey that they have done. Ask them for references and follow up. Search on the internet for any comments pro or con about them. Use some judgement.

Finally, when it comes time for the survey, go with them. Be there. Crawl around the boat with them. You should have already done this, just to be sure that the boat is even worth the price of a professional survey, but do it again so you can see what they are seeing. Ask questions. Make sure that they really check everything carefully.

Getting a good survey is not impossible. Not even close. You just have to be willing to put some effort into it. And, frankly, I would suggest that if you are not willing to put this kind of effort into the boat at this point, then you really shouldn't be buying anything more than a couple of years old to begin with.
Surveyors have value, and the have a difficult task for sure, but dont rely on them for more than an opinion or to point out the obvvious. From my list earlier:
Bolted on keels, The surveyor most often can simply say "the keel bolts need checked". ha... pretty hard to do with any real sense of condition.
teak decks, surveyor can point out that they need re caulked or replugged, but cant assess condition of core below the teak.
blisters, They can point out that the boat (obviously) has blisters and attempt to get a good moisture reading, but often these are unrealiable or the owner wont let them remove bottom paint to do so.
old rusty looking engines, Surveyors dont assess engines other than to point out the obvious.
fuel tanks in the bilge, Surveyors can only say, "those tanks may be suspect". Which you already know.
old worn sails, Surveyors dont usually assess sails other than a quick overview.
old rigging Surveyors will say you need a rigger to check it adequately, but will comment on obvious things. (old , rusty etc)
cored decks and hulls Surveyors have value here.
So the bottom line on some of the really big potential problems is you wont have real answers after a survey. JMHO
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Old 04-04-2013, 18:25   #48
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Re: Avoiding a Hidden Project Boat

Often someone will come on this forum with a specific boat requesting information on "what to look for". If you're looking at a particular boat, this is a good resource for finding out about common problems with that model.
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Old 04-04-2013, 18:29   #49
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Re: Avoding a Hidden Project Boat

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ArtM, Boracary: Gentlemen, let's not make this a conversation about yours truly. Having spent a couple thousand hours working on old boats doesn't make me an expert, but handy enough, perhaps?
My comment wasn't about "you". If it was about anybody, it was about me and the project airplane I had to abandon - or have spent 10 years attempting to abandon without success!
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Old 04-04-2013, 18:41   #50
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Re: Avoiding a Hidden Project Boat

Comment on engine age---! Yes, a 10-15 or for that matter even a 20 year old engine maybe has many additional years of fine performance.....but!

The "but" I refer to is that engine had better be fresh water cooled and NOT raw sea water cooled. There are some who will tell of 30+ year old raw water cooled engines that should copy Sear's battery name, Die Hard. But a raw water cooled engine is more than likely Die Easy especially after 10 years.
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Old 04-04-2013, 19:28   #51
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Re: Avoiding a Hidden Project Boat

anything from the 80's or before should have replaced standing rigging and probably chainplates too. fresh water cooled and running and non rusted engines only. avoid teak decks and bolted on keels. tanks over 20 years old are suspect. teak and plywood tabbed bulkheads .. not fiberglass. interior should not smell like mildew or rotten wood or diesel. bilge not nasty. gel coat should have been waxed and not too much oxidation. electronics should be working or should have been removed. all lights and VHF antenna should work. some small blisters only.
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Old 04-04-2013, 19:57   #52
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Re: Avoiding a Hidden Project Boat

All depends on your skills ... I bought a 31 feet catamaran from 1982 that survived 4 hurricanes, all the wood to change, electricity circuit to do, had to rebuilt the engine, get rid of blisters and recoat, repair the rudders, sand and recoat the deck, a lot of plumbery, had to resew the sails which were probably original. basically I had to do a complete refit interior/exterior. I did all by myself, it took me 6-8 months of work. I enjoyed sailing this boat for 2 years. Sold it two weeks after putting ad on the paper, I didn't loose money on it, had a dozen of calls the first week.
So I definitely don't agree with the thread.
I'm about to buy another project boat, bigger this time, and I'm looking forward putting my hand in the grease, sanding hours and hours, painting varnishing .... to finally enjoy a boat that I know by heart and I feel safe sailing because any problem will be easily solved.
A friend who is boat designer told me, if you built a boat, or do a project, do it perfectly and you 'll get the money back in any cases. If you just working like the common Joe, forget about it, buy a new one...
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Old 05-04-2013, 17:00   #53
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Re: Avoiding a Hidden Project Boat

Thanks a lot to everyone who contributed to this thread. I've certainly got some useful information out of it.
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Old 05-04-2013, 17:29   #54
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Re: Avoding a Hidden Project Boat

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Originally Posted by ArtM View Post
My comment wasn't about "you". If it was about anybody, it was about me and the project airplane I had to abandon - or have spent 10 years attempting to abandon without success!
Art you are the guy with the Veloicity right?
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:09   #55
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Re: Avoiding a Hidden Project Boat

In the short few months I have been here I have been looking for a thread similar to this one. looking for the kind of info I wanted was like churning your own butter....
Up and down you go for a long time and you just don't see anything until...you start seeing little specks. Eventually it gets a little stiffer and you start seeing clumps...then you finally realize you have some butter!

A lot of the info on this post has been great!

Now the link that redherring posted? I read it. It sounds to me that the guy bought the boat sight unseen. Sounds to me he never even looked at it. Sounds to me like he would gripe if some hot super model would give him some....
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:19   #56
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Re: Avoiding a Hidden Project Boat

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Originally Posted by Miniyot View Post
Now the link that redherring posted? I read it. It sounds to me that the guy bought the boat sight unseen. Sounds to me he never even looked at it. Sounds to me like he would gripe if some hot super model would give him some....
I do have sympathy with his dissapointment and frustrations - but, as you say, he can't have looked for himself (don't need to be an expert to spot most of the stuff he mentions). and given his claim to have a background in aviation surely the concept of checking at least some things for self not new to him! No one (in right mind!) would even buy a s/h car without at least looking for self - no matter how old or new the vehicle was or how (un!)knowledgable they were.

methinks wishful thinking meets reality once again .

That post seems to be the last one (april 2012), would be curious to know if he has since sold the boat - and if so what he said to the buyer!

I also see he has a list marked:-
Essential Equipment (Subject to revision) (Includes some non-essential but would like to have)

On which are approx 60 items including the following half dozen:-

Chartplotter
GPS
GPS
GPS
Laptops (2)
More GPS
Portable GPS

No mention of any actual navigation tools, except a star chart (no Sextant mind ).....which I think indicates the base from which he was starting, but even so - not even lifting the floorboards himself .
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:07   #57
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I think some surveyors have value. Obviously some more than others. The big value is to a new sailor who may not see the blisters or the water saturated rudder that shouldn't be. My last survey's biggest value was collecting all the equipment type and serial numbers. He noted some mild moisture too around the chain plates too. Beyond that I was using him as a sanity check to my own observations. I asked him to allot an hour after he finished to go over a few of my concerns. He gave me the ABYC standards for things he noted or I asked about as well.

Something I haven't seen any mention of is looking for a complete maintenance log or receipts for work done. I know it's questionable if the work was done correctly but the fact they were continuing maintenance is a good sign to me. It was one thing I specifically asked to see. I have an old boat and yes it has projects to be done but none are major. I bought it knowing I would re-power at some point but the engine as is is fine for now. Did the PO dye test chainplates? Was the engine recently overhauled? New rigging? All signs of a better chance at a decent quality older boat.

When I bought my 31 year old boat it came with a fist full of records. Some normal maintenance but at least I can see it was done. Others are more involved but glad to know someone was keeping her up. The biggest thing I didn't want was a boat that sat uncared for.

I see it this way: all boats have projects but not all boats are project boats.

I think,of a project boat as one that shows up in pieces or with pieces missing or one that has been a victim of long term neglect. Can you get a hidden project boat I'd say absolutely. Been there done that. But there are some good older well loved boats that will take you where you want to go. Look in the classified at the 60 something Hinckley for one example but I do think these boats are a minority. (And no I don't know the people or the boat personally but you can see a lot of history in the thread.)

To me it's about the initial quality of the boat AND more importantly those that owned her and the care she received.
SC
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Old 07-04-2013, 13:34   #58
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Re: Avoiding a Hidden Project Boat

my ericson came with complete engine and boat maintenance logs.
they mean nothing.
the boat had so many bad items on it---there were items for gasoline engines..there werent zincs in engine, there were items mentioned as done that were shot to hell.....
DO NOT TRUST MAINTENANCE LOGS!!!!
look at past surveys. look at e very corner and onto every crevice...
if you leave the groundwork to others, you will get what you pay for--frustration.
good luck and happy hunting.
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Old 09-05-2013, 02:36   #59
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Re: Avoiding a Hidden Project Boat

During repaint and anti foul one year a young couple was having a survey done on their prospective new Boat,after 2Hr survey they received the good news that the boat had blisters on the Hull and rot in the decks.Later at the Bar I spoke to the couple and they spoke of their disappointment on the report and that they could live with fixing the rot in the Deck but that the osmosis scared the hell out them,I had a good chuckle and advised them to read up on osmosis and have another look at the Boat. Next day I had a free carton of piss and the couple bought the Boat the Surveyor had it 50% correct.(The Boat was Steel) No Joke.
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Old 09-05-2013, 03:54   #60
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Re: Avoiding a Hidden Project Boat

What about a "halfway through project" boat? Looking around at listings for boats from the 80ies I often come across boats with a story like this:
1st owner buy boat and keeps it for 20+ years.
2nd owner buys it, and starts upgrading all kind of stuff on the boat but...
2nd owner somehow decides to sell boat after 5-6 years.

I saw for example a listing for a boat that had recently had hull and deck painted, had all running gear replaced and a new engine installed, but that also mentioned a lot of stuff that still needs fixing. Am I right in thinking that such boats could be a good deal?
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