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Old 11-12-2014, 20:33   #1
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Would this scare you away from purchasing the boat ...

We are in the process of purchasing our first boat in the 40' range and have narrowed it down to a few. We are trying to do as much of an inspection as we can prior to investing into a professional surveyor.

One of the boats that we like, a Silverton 41, seems about perfect for our needs but we have found the following two problems.

There is a soft spot, about 1 square foot, on the bow deck, where I can feel the deck sink about 1/4" when I stand on it. The rest of the decking seems very solid. The current owner says it was like that when he bought it 12 years ago and has not got worse. I see no cracks or chipped paint.

I have attached a photo of the second issue.



My question is, would either of these two things scare you away from the boat or do you think they are minor enough that the boat should be considered and a full survey ordered.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 11-12-2014, 20:59   #2
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Re: Would this scare you away from purchasing the boat ...

Depends on your skill level or wallet. Neither of these would bother me a bit. Only 1 ft2 is a small area and even if you have to pay someone, is not a big deal. Use it as a bargaining chip after the survey. The second - looks like time for a new shaft seal - I would consider it normal maintenance.
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Old 11-12-2014, 21:09   #3
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Re: Would this scare you away from purchasing the boat ...

Agree. Assuming further inspection doesn't show something worse neither of the two items you mention would be a deal breaker for me IF the price was right and reflected costs of repairs.

I would check the soft spot in the deck very, very carefully. Get a surveyor that knows how to use and interpret the results of a moisture meter. If the soft spot is due to a wet core be careful. Wet core is like cancer and will spread and get worse unless you do the appropriate surgery.

Hard to tell from the photo but the prop shaft might be pitted. Ask the surveyor to check the shaft, shaft log and stuffing box. All can be replaced and the cost would not be outrageous.

For me in a power boat the biggest concern, assuming basic structural integrity, will be the engine. Rebuilding or replacing the engine could be several to many thousand $.
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Old 11-12-2014, 22:59   #4
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Re: Would this scare you away from purchasing the boat ...

The shaft, just outside the stuffing box is badly eroded. Makes one wonder what it looks like inside the box! I'd anticipate replacing the shaft in your negotiations.

Jim
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Old 11-12-2014, 23:26   #5
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Re: Would this scare you away from purchasing the boat ...

I am wondering about rust that appears to be weeping from between stuffing box and the hull. I wonder what is generating that iron oxide?

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Old 11-12-2014, 23:27   #6
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Re: Would this scare you away from purchasing the boat ...

Hmmm. Might be just surface rust looking at it zoomed in a bit....


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Old 11-12-2014, 23:46   #7
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Neither seem to be critical enough to dissuade someone from buying a boat. Delamination is a reality in the fiberglass boat world. Correcting it requires work but not game changing.

I agree with the other commenters post about asking for concessions on the deal. I couldn't imagine more than a few K's to repair at a boat yard. The DIY cost + time doesn't seem unreasonable either.

Good luck.
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Old 12-12-2014, 09:35   #8
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Re: Would this scare you away from purchasing the boat ...

walk away its just the tip of the ice berg. there will be other areas. anywhere they have drilled a hole for deck hardware is a potential source of core detrrioration
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:21   #9
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Re: Would this scare you away from purchasing the boat ...

What they said. Those defects are price changers, not deal breakers. If the seller won't give you an acceptable price though, move on.
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:26   #10
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Re: Would this scare you away from purchasing the boat ...

Neither would deter me. But I would plan on replacing the shaft and shaft log on your next haulout.
Regarding the deck.... Do you know if it's a cored deck? most are unless the boat is real old. Some old decks feel that way as they aren't cored. The cored deck that is soft enough to feel has a pretty significant problem. You will want to investigate that thoroughly. It would be nice to try to evaluate how much of the core is bad prior to survey. You could try tapping with a small hammer and see if you are able to hear the difference.
Is that soft area in a place you can get to from the inside? Ask permission to drill a few small (~1/8") holes under there if you can get to it. Squeeze the balsa off the twist in the drill between your fingers... if water comes out it's wet. Not likely you'll get permission though.

I wonder if a surveyor would agree to come down and tap out the deck for a partial fee, before proceeding with anything else? I think the right surveyor will... had that happen inadvertently once.... he asked me if I wanted to proceed with the rest of survey after finding significant wet deck core in most the bow....
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:03   #11
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Re: Would this scare you away from purchasing the boat ...

Had a 35 ft Fly bridge sedan once with a few soft spots on the deck. These were all around where things had been screwed in the deck. repaired the small ones with Gitrot (spelling I think). The largest one was 6 sq. ft. on the foredeck where someone had installed anchor chocks. Just resealed the holes properly and the soft spot did not get any worse in the seven years I owned the boat. I have never heard of a boat sinking because of a soft spot on the deck. Looks like there is a bit of leakage around the stern tube. May need that removed and sealed along with a new stuffing box and shaft repairs. None of it is a big deal.

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Old 12-12-2014, 11:56   #12
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Re: Would this scare you away from purchasing the boat ...

Get a survey, it will pay for itself, probably need one anyway if your going to insure the boat.
Respectfully, based on the two questions you have asked, you need to hire a surveyor.
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:30   #13
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Re: Would this scare you away from purchasing the boat ...

I think as a former boat builder the advice by A64pilot is the best. If the rest of the boat is satisfactory, dont throw away the baby with the bath water.
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:51   #14
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Re: Would this scare you away from purchasing the boat ...

Almost any used boat will have issues and provide leverage in negotiating price.
Soft spots in coring can be repaired if you can access from below by injection of resin. Had the problem in several areas and removed fabric liner to access area. Drilled hole 1/4" bit careful not to push up thru topside deck. With a piece of coat hanger wire bent the tip 1" attached to drill and dug out area of wet coring. Spaced hole 6" apart. Be generous w resin but start w holes at 12" apart and allow time to cure then drill a hole at 6" between so that resin doesn't flow out from too many openings.
Place quality duct tap over hole while curing. This can be done from topside easier but can't hide as easily w headliner. While resins cure is a good time to address shaft log.
Perhaps a good wire after removal and new packing is all that's needed
but take your time as it is below the waterline and can create major issues if not done properly. Pay close attention to any scarring on shaft.
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Old 12-12-2014, 13:59   #15
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Re: Would this scare you away from purchasing the boat ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailorman Ed View Post
Depends on your skill level or wallet. Neither of these would bother me a bit. Only 1 ft2 is a small area and even if you have to pay someone, is not a big deal. Use it as a bargaining chip after the survey. The second - looks like time for a new shaft seal - I would consider it normal maintenance.
Agree! He also needs a good surveyor.
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