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Old 11-10-2012, 20:06   #1
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To buy this steel hull or not to buy??

Ahoy. I am looking at a 40' steel hull. I know nothing about boats and need some advice. Here is a link to the ad. Steel hull cruiser - Manitoba Powerboats, Motorboats For Sale - Kijiji Manitoba Canada. Please ask the seller directly through the ad any questions you may have and let me know any concerns I should have. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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Old 11-10-2012, 21:34   #2
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Re: To buy this steel hull or not to buy??

First thing, in a steel boat of that age you need to have someone that knows boats inspect the steel hull. If the hull is rusting out then you could spend way more than the boat is worth to fix it. You should know that steel boats usually rust from the inside not the outside, so very carefully look under the floors, inside the lockers, everywhere on the inside you can see. Check most carefully around any steel frames, joints and cracks where water can collect to cause rust.

The engine says a Chrysler flathead so I think that's a gas engine. If you don't know much about boats be very careful, especially with an old gas engine. A small leak the gas and fumes will collect down in the bilge and the first spark the boat could go off like a bomb. Gas can be safe if you are aware but you need to know about it.

Then, what do you plan to do with the boat? If you want it for weekends and putting around rivers, bays or small lakes it looks adequate. Don't think I would take it too far out in the ocean.
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Old 11-10-2012, 21:35   #3
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Re: To buy this steel hull or not to buy??

Having owned a steel hull boat, it's not what you see, it's what you don't see. The issue is how much hull metal is left and the surface condition of the hull on the inside. Very hard to tell with all that interior paneling.

There is a saying when you own a steel hulled boat, "you start chasing rust when you buy it, and it doesn't end till you sell it."

Ted
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Old 11-10-2012, 21:40   #4
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Re: To buy this steel hull or not to buy??

Its 10 Grand and it floats, what more do you want. If it runs then so much the better.

But if you are not able to do the work that it requires yourself then dont buy it as it may become a money pit for you.

If you can do the work then go to the boat with the owner, look it over, if you still like it then offer him 5 grand in cash to his face and take it the same day for added incentive.

He can either say yes or no, and it costs you nothing to look.

Matthew
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Old 11-10-2012, 21:42   #5
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Re: To buy this steel hull or not to buy??

To my eye the refit appears to have been done by someone that also does not know much about boats. A flathead engine would suggest that the vessel is VERY old.
I would suggest that that the purchase price and the funds required to complete combined would get you a newer more appropriate vessel. Particularly in the current economic climate.
Just my opinion. Cheers
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Old 11-10-2012, 22:18   #6
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Re: To buy this steel hull or not to buy??

Having owned 3 fiberglass boats and one steel boat, I would say dont even think about a steel boat as your first boat. You will have more maintainance in a fiberglass boat than you can handle, and a steel boat(even though I like them) will be much more maintainance. Buy a smaller fiberglass boat and move up as your knowledge increases. If you buy a low priced bargain, you will probably sell it as a low cost nightmare. Dont buy more than you can afford to refit and maintain. My 2 cents worth._____Grant.
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Old 11-10-2012, 22:26   #7
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Re: To buy this steel hull or not to buy??

I just went back and looked at the original add and I think that the interior would be nice for a hunting cabin, but pure hell for maintianing a steel hull. I really liked the air mattress in the aft cabin with the old bed headboard. Run, dont walk from this one.___again, only 2 cents worth._____Grant.
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Old 11-10-2012, 22:42   #8
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Re: To buy this steel hull or not to buy??

If you want it for inland waterways, I think the design is excellent. Looks similar to a canal barge. It's less than the price of a second hand Corolla. Haul it out of the water, have it surveyed and, unless it gets a bad rap, buy it. Check the engine carefully. As has already been said, inboard gasoline powered engines can be very dangerous. From memory, I think the old WW2 MTB's were powered by twin flat 6 Chryslers (known colloquially in Australia as 'The White Death').

Again for inland waterways, a small Yanmar or Kubota would be brilliant and costs little. Looks like a fun boat for tooling around in rivers and lakes.
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Old 11-10-2012, 22:42   #9
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Re: To buy this steel hull or not to buy??

are you out of your mind? seriously...

it was built in 1930. that's 82 years ago.

it has a chrysler flat head engine. the last chrysler flat heads were built in the 1950's, so the engine is at least 50 years old, probably more. and it's a gas engine. a GASOLINE engine. even overlooking the extreme fire danger of an old gasoline engine in an enclosed engine space, think of the cost of running a gas engine - considerably higher than a diesel engine. and since it's a motorboat, it's your only source of propulsion.

it says 'the whole top structure was rebuilt'. unfortunately, it's the whole bottom structure that suffers the most from rust. too bad they didn't rebuild that - not that it would make the deal for me anyhow.

it's tough enough buying a fixer-upper in fiberglass that's maybe thirty years old. to buy an 80 year old steel boat is plain nuts. you can't imagine the amount of money you will be dumping down this rusty hole in the ocean before you just plain give up.

do yourself a favor. walk away. just walk away. you will thank me for this.

for more encouragement, there is a thread going on right now on this forum titled 'i wish i never bought this boat'. it's a guy who bought a ferrocement boat three years ago and has dumped everything he owns into it and it looks like he will be dumping a whole lot more before it ever sees the water again....
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:47   #10
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Re: To buy this steel hull or not to buy??

Be very cautious, on a boat this age plate thicknesses are likely to be marginal in parts. Also the join between the wood upperworks and the steel hull will be a never ending source of trouble.
If you just want a boat to potter around inland waterways, and are willling to weld on a patch now and then, then maybe it is a goer if it passes basic survey. Otherwise no.
On the subject of the Chrysler flathead - they are an excellent marine engine - lowly stressed, smooth and reliable. Only if freshwater cooled though, and remember that you have the attendant hassles and dangers of gasoline.
Just an afterthought - is it welded or riveted? If riveted the hull may be iron in which case your corrosion worries will be less.
Regards,
Richard.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:39   #11
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Re: To buy this steel hull or not to buy??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbowon View Post
Please ask the seller directly through the ad any questions you may have and let me know any concerns I should have.
A novel approach - good luck with that .

Ignore all the naysayers , I reckon a couple of weekends work should do the trick. GO FOR IT!
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