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Old 09-02-2014, 13:07   #166
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Re: I Wish I Never Bought This Boat

yes, best to go with glass. keep a resale value + work with others.

but welding is fun.
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Old 09-02-2014, 13:31   #167
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Re: I Wish I Never Bought This Boat

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Quick update...Boat has been sold to another dreamer. I am currently disliking winter and saving for anther sail boat, something fiberglass and not needing as much work. I still have my 22 walk around to enjoy boating until the next one comes around.
Congratulations!!

I hope to find a dreamer some day.

kind regards,
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Old 09-02-2014, 13:59   #168
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Re: I Wish I Never Bought This Boat

Ok, I was last here in 2011. I've been too depressed over the outcome of my first foray into the used 'fixer upper' boat universe to come back and tell the story.

I bought a 35' Ferro Ketch, which needed work. At the time it was cheap (though there are cheaper/better now...) at $14k on the east coast of Oz.

After some health issues that ate money and time, I finally got there to take her home, coastal.

Well. We got as far as Sydney Harbour and struck trouble.

We got the engine to work (after some time and tinkering) and it started easy and ran nicely. Got the boat to sea from Pittwater and after one false start on a day with a howling headwind and no main or jib rigged yet (jammed halyard and shredded jib on a furler) we anchored in a bay overnight and motored on next day (around 30nm to the dealerships jetty where we were to pick up our promised tender.

Half way, the water pump on the old Yanmar (an odd looking plunger thing on the side of the engine that seems to run off a cam on the crank.)

Well that was a problem. We hove to and let it cool off, fortunately we'd allowed enough sea room for that sort of thing. The pump was still pushing a little water and after some experimenting, found we could get about 2-3 knots just above idle and it would take about half an hour or so to get hot enough to need a break. Set the mizzen which got us another knot or so and got her to the dealers jetty and he found us a mooring for a few days.

Tackled the pump and found that to get it off was non trivial, only two bolts holding the sod on, but one couldn't be got at without removing other bits, which required removing other bits etc. Boat shed quoted $300 to fix it which is ludicrous considering it probably just need an O ring or two. So I started pulling it down. While this was going on, we noticed the floor had a bulge. Pulled the floor boards. Well. Seems that at some point, water (probably rainwater or runoff from the shower) had penetrated into the keel, which apparently used steel punchings in a cement matrix as ballast - common in ferros). It had been 'repaired' by dumping a wheelbarrow full of cement on top of it. Probably worked for a while, but now the steel in the keel was still corroding and expanding, the cement 'cap' was pushing the wooden floor beam over it up to the extent it had broken in half causing a sizeable bulge in the floor. A brief look at the keel a day or so earlier (we grounded at close to low water on an uncharted mud bank fifty feet from the public wharf we used to load up - another story, but we floated her off ok with the tide, no drama) had revealed some marine growth which is took the opportunity to clean off (told later that's not allowed in navigable waters - oh well - water police did pay us a visit, but boat was registered and I explained what happened and they just said if we couldn't get off to let them know and they'd come back with a bigger boat and help pull us off. (Anyone gives the NSW Water Police a hard time in my presence is going to get an earful). Anyway, the keel was perfectly intact, no cracks or other damage. The hull had some rust throughs in places that I was fixing with mortar and Bondkrete and we'd started to paint the upperworks while working to get the engine going. Looking at all I was sure if I could get it home, it would be tedious to fix but by no means impossible or even expensive. However given the stress it was obviously putting on the keel, I considered it might be very risky to sail it 1500 miles home through Bass Strait etc. So after a conference, we reluctantly left her with the broker we bought her from (who in fairness was embarrassed he hadn't seen that issue) and went home empty handed.
The sad outcome of that was that the mooring he found me was not his, as he stated at the time, but in fact an 'Emergency Mooring' which is apparently used by Maritime et al in emergencies only. Didn't know that and my illiterate son was the 'mooring hooker' and aside from checking the mooring each day, I didn't even look at the marker buoy. We don't have those where I come from or I'd probably have woken up then.

A month or so later I got a phone call from NSW Maritime that they were going to impound my boat if I didn't get it off their mooring. I explained the situation and though they couldn't comment much, the particular dealer involved was 'known to them' and that many boats he sold 'wound up in their impound' reasons not stated. Uh oh.

I called him and asked if he could find a mooring for me as it wasn't possible for me to go to Sydney at that time. I was planning to go again at the end of the year and try and fix the keel and engine issue if the boat hadn't sold - which it hadn't even at 5k less than I paid. This was due to the 'market changing' or so the broker said.

With some help from him, I found a marina that would let me store it there for a few weeks at least, and arranged with his business partner (or employee, that was never clear) to move the boat to the marina two days later.

I called the lovely lady from NSW Maritime and explained the situation. They really did sympathise and tried very hard to help and I have nothing but respect for their work. She very kindly agreed that provided the boat was gone from the mooring by the end of that week, they'd leave it there and she waived fining us for being there in the first place. Since the broker assured me the boat would be moved by mid week, which I told her, we were done and dusted. Or so I thought. Got a phone call from her a week later - they had impounded the boat. $24 a day storage, plus a couple of hundred in towing and impoundment fees. I called the broker literally foaming at the mouth and he said, yeah, saw it being towed away. Sorry. I asked what happened as I had an agreement with his partner to move it. Seems he fell off a motorbike or something and decided it was all too hard. Unfortunately he didn't bother letting me know. Maritime would only release the boat to me on payment in full of all owing and subject to it being fit to moor. I tried for over a month to find a mooring, but I needed in total almost a thousand dollars for mooring and charges (which increased daily). They kept it over a month and then sold it at auction for $1000, which didn't quite cover the fees and charges. Out of the goodness of her heart, the Maritime officer recommended that they not pursue the outstanding fees and charges so I can't really find it in my heart to be tough on them. She was genuinely upset at our situation but the law tied her hands. So I did a small fortune in a month. I suppose we had a month's holiday on the water in Sydney and my landlubber wife (after some initially nerve wracking issues with small boats) was quite at home in 2m seas and modest swell on the way to Sydney Harbour - enough to help resecure the genset when the beam sea we were in snapped a tiedown loose. She was also seasick (on the mooring!) at first but the wife of a a very kind secondhand boat bits shop in the Pittwater area kindly gave her some 'accupressure' bands to wear - and to my slight surprise it worked fine, she didn't take them off the whole time until we left and didn't have any motion sickness thereafter, even on the trip to Sydney with a beam sea etc. And she got to sail under the harbour bridge and is still keen to do the whole boating thing, so I guess that's a win.

I've been (very) tempted to try and sue the broker for breach of the verbal contract to shift it, not to mention telling me the Emergency Mooring was one of his, and recover at least some of my money, but don't have the money left now to do it, particularly from half a continent away and he didn't respond to a suggestion that he might like to come to some arrangement. He's still in the business selling somewhat dodgy boats and in fairness, it seems some people have done ok with him. Also, he tried very hard to help earlier and prior to us getting there to pick up the boat, arranged mooring at his expense until we got there almost four months later to pick it up and he gave us a lot of support including loaning us his own runabout as a temporary tender until we got to his dock and picked up ours. I have to balance that with the fact that it wasn't him but his partner/worker that was the direct cause of the confiscation. That guy no longer works with him and he doesn't even know where he went, or so he says. I'm not even sure what the working relationship was, ie employee, a mate helping out, or some other business arrangement.

I am not a lawyer and can't afford to launch a civil action and even if I could, I'm not sure how I'd prove any of this so no guarantee of success. It's two years now but it still hurts. We really liked the boat and she would have come up fine in time. What really annoys me is that the boat was pretty much as I expected it to be, the motor problem was trivial, it was in fact the gearbox - nothing physically wrong, just stuck in gear. I filled it with clean oil and a liberal dose of WD40 and got it unstuck and into neutral. With it in gear, the starter simply wouldn't turn the engine fast enough to start, and it took me a few days to realise what had happened, (probably a frozen dog clutch) and I only picked it up when I finally noticed the prop shaft was turning when the gearbox was supposedly in neutral. Easy fix. With the exception of the water pump (which worked fine for most of a week when we were prepping to go) the engine was smooth, quiet and started easily so no major issues. I've no doubt with enough time (which we were also short of - the Chief Officer wanted to be home in time for the birth of another grandchild and we had expected to be well on our way by the end of January with two weeks to get the boat home. As it turned out we didn't leave Pittwater until the 25th and spent over a week trying to sort the problems before conceding defeat. The broker seemed to think he could sell the boat so I took him at his word, packed the 'disposable' car (bought for $500 just for the trip -part of the deal was to give it to the broker when we left to cover his costs on the mooring) and went home.

With 20/20 hindsight, I could probably have rigged a cheap bilge pump to feed seawater to the engine, however I was (perhaps overly) concerned about the keel popping off under stress. If it had been just me, I'd probably have risked it, but with two non sailors as crew (wife and son) I thought it was best to be cautious so made a command decision and stepped away.

I'm slightly happy I got the boat through into the harbour in the early evening dodging twilight racers, ferries and other stuff with barely steerage way and smoke from the hot engine burning oil off it's exterior wafting out of the companionway. I remember seeing someone in similar circumstances a month or two later (engine trouble, no sails rigged) in virtually the same place having to call for rescue, so I guess I can chalk that up as a win.

Well, now I'm hunting for something else. I don't have that kind of money anymore so my choices are now very limited. Realistically, my biggest problem was being a bit undercapitalised, the four month hiatus while I got some health problems sorted cost us money and time (not for treatment but other things). Had I been able to fetch her soon after I bought her, most of it could have been sorted.

Would I do it again? Probably yes if the boat and price were right. In many respects there was a lot of bad luck involved and in hindsight I would have done some things differently. The timing was bad and there was pressure to get home in time for the birth... many little things that went wrong.

That's my tale of woe. May you learn from it as I did.

Still keen to sail and cruise, but I have to figure out how.

If you are in Sydney and know someone that bought a 35' Hartley Queenslander Ketch from a Maritime Services auction for a grand or so, I'd love to know what happened to her. If you were lucky enough to get her, I'd love to hear how you got on with her as well... Her name was 'Free and Easy' according to the nameplate I found...

AussieGeoff
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Old 09-02-2014, 14:14   #169
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Re: I Wish I Never Bought This Boat

AussieGeoff, I feel your pain. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-02-2014, 14:17   #170
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Re: I Wish I Never Bought This Boat

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Originally Posted by AussieGeoff View Post
Ok, I was last here in 2011. I've been too depressed over the outcome of my first foray into the used 'fixer upper' boat universe to come back and tell the story.

I bought a 35' Ferro Ketch, which needed work. At the time it was cheap (though there are cheaper/better now...) at $14k on the east coast of Oz..........


AussieGeoff

Mate are you serious!!!

I know she was cheap but did you get a survey??? Who was the surveyor?

Which broker is it? I know most on Pittwater and they are all pretty good IMHO, you may not want to sue but at least name and shame.

It usually isn't difficult to arrange a commercial mooring on pittwater, the place is full of them, but I am not sure where you were by that stage.

You are right about one thing though, in all cases I have found Waterways (or whatever they are called now) and the water police to be exceptional.


My wife often asks me why I won't buy a ferro boat, thats why, even if they are built well (and many were) they have been tinkered with by amateurs and ferro boats are not for amateurs

Better luck with the next one
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Old 09-02-2014, 14:45   #171
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Re: I Wish I Never Bought This Boat

Thanks for telling us, Aussiegeoff. I wonder if the broker or his "partner" bought it?
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Old 09-02-2014, 14:59   #172
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Re: I Wish I Never Bought This Boat

Dunno. If he did, he never advertised it. I don't think so, I'm fairly sure the Maritime people would have let that slip if he had. I don't think he's exactly on their Christmas card list...

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Old 09-02-2014, 15:24   #173
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Re: I Wish I Never Bought This Boat

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Ok, I was last here in 2011. I've been too depressed over the outcome of my first foray into the used 'fixer upper' boat universe to come back and tell the story.

... and quite a story it was. Thanks for sharing it.

I think the biggest takeaway is that being a "remote" purchaser/owner is leaving oneself more open to Murphy, especially when you're forced to put faith in strangers who aren't as motivated as you are.
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Old 09-02-2014, 16:05   #174
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Re: I Wish I Never Bought This Boat

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Mate are you serious!!!

I know she was cheap but did you get a survey??? Who was the surveyor?
No, spoke to a couple, none were interested in surveying a ferro. One that grudgingly said he might wanted ridiculous money to do so. All of them seemed to know very little about ferro construction anyway. Don't recall names now I'm afraid.

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Which broker is it? I know most on Pittwater and they are all pretty good IMHO, you may not want to sue but at least name and shame.
He's actually at Woolwich, or he was then. Regatta Sailing. You have a first name in common with the owner.

I have mixed feelings. To be fair, I'd have to say he did a lot for me when we first bought the boat, arranging a mooring when the owner reneged on a deal to let us use his until I picked her up. And he did a lot of kindnesses for us during the almost a month we were there, well beyond what would be required from a simple brokerage deal.

I think he was trying to do the right thing by putting me on a mooring, thinking I'd only be there a few days. Didn't work out that way unfortunately. I don't believe he knew about the keel issue.

The one that really burns me up is his mate/worker whatever, who agreed to shift the boat, (with a little prodding), didn't do it (supposedly because he fell off a scooter or something) then didn't bother to tell me about it. So Maritime towed the boat. I consider I had a verbal contract and that he was in breach of it, but it takes money to go to court, but the original bloke I dealt with was a battler and he was good to us, so I'm somewhat at an impasse, I suspect if I sued and won, he's got no assets to speak of anyway and the bloke I'd really like to nail to a wall isn't the owner. They parted company not long after this and I suspect it may well have been a factor. He seems to work alone these days as far as I can glean from ads for boats he puts out on boatpoint and ebay, so I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. But I'm still out nearly fifteen grand and don't have a boat to show for it.

I'd probably go as far as to say if I'd been a Sydney native, he might have found something as a consolation prize, he's got plenty of low end stuff kicking around all the time from the looks, unfortunately I'd then have to get it home. The reason I bought in Sydney in the first place is that cheap boats are pretty much non extant in SA. Roughly double what you'd pay for similar in Sydney. Buying a cheapy and sailing it home was the plan and I'd still consider it if I had the money.

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It usually isn't difficult to arrange a commercial mooring on pittwater, the place is full of them, but I am not sure where you were by that stage.
Sydney Harbour by then, so it was more complex.

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You are right about one thing though, in all cases I have found Waterways (or whatever they are called now) and the water police to be exceptional.
Yeah, absolutely agree. The Water Police were great and the lady from Maritime I dealt with was sympathetic and even tried to help with a mooring, but by that time it was too expensive to contemplate. I needed about 2k in cash for the mooring and the fees by then, and I simply couldn't raise it.
She was as good as her word and I never got a bill for the excess fees - best she could do for me I think. Often been tempted to try and do what the guy who got my boat did and grab something from them, but I'm not at all sure how they dispose of them other than that it's an auction of some kind.

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My wife often asks me why I won't buy a ferro boat, thats why, even if they are built well (and many were) they have been tinkered with by amateurs and ferro boats are not for amateurs
The boat was professionally built in Melbourne circa 1974 and was an Aus Registered Ship and cruised extensively it seems, under her original name, Aussie Blue. I couldn't find them, the guy i bought it from had used it as a live aboard for around ten years or so and hadn't done the transfer, I couldn't find them either, they only had a PO Box address with the Aus Ship register and I couldn't transfer it to my name without their signature... She was Free and Easy when I bought her, can't recall the rego offhand ZZ something I think.

There was nothing wrong with the boat I couldn't fix, so being a ferro wasn't the issue really. I simply didn't have time to fix it there. The plan was simply to get it home, and do all necessary repairs here, where it's dirt cheap to do a haulout etc and moorings are cheap, but things conspired against me.

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Better luck with the next one
Yeah, thanks. Looking at a 25 foot steel hull, on the hard in Perth, small enough to have her shipped over. Bit of a mess, but dirt cheap - I can weld ok and I have a mate that's a trailer builder with MIG and TIG gear, plasma cutters etc and he's a yachtie as well (22' Duncanson). So if I get it I can ship it here and work on it at home or at his factory. (Small enough to slip on a mates big car trailer at a pinch). I have time but not a lot of money, and I have noticed that even rough boats can be fixed fairly cheap if doing it fast isn't a priority. When I lived in Sydney many years back, I knew several people that bought basket cases and fixed them over a year or more, fairly cheaply simply because they did all the work.

Thanks for sympathising, if you happen to see her around, I'd love to know how she wound up.

AussieGeoff
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Old 09-02-2014, 16:11   #175
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Re: I Wish I Never Bought This Boat

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... and quite a story it was. Thanks for sharing it.

I think the biggest takeaway is that being a "remote" purchaser/owner is leaving oneself more open to Murphy, especially when you're forced to put faith in strangers who aren't as motivated as you are.
Don't disagree. At the time, and even now to a lesser degree - it seems to be more of a buyers market at the moment boats in SA were few and far between under 20k for something anywhere near that size. 20 footers were selling for that or nearly here at the time (2 years ago now).

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Old 09-02-2014, 18:04   #176
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Re: I Wish I Never Bought This Boat

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Yeah, thanks. Looking at a 25 foot steel hull, on the hard in Perth, small enough to have her shipped over. Bit of a mess, but dirt cheap - I can weld ok and I have a mate that's a trailer builder with MIG and TIG gear, plasma cutters etc


AussieGeoff
Hey Mate, didnt you learn from the last one? Lol
Any steel boat thats 4,000 kms away that needs a welder is not cheap. Its a liability.



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Old 09-02-2014, 18:40   #177
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Re: I Wish I Never Bought This Boat

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fascinating how rare things like this conversation has turned to a philosophical one
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Old 09-02-2014, 18:50   #178
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Re: I Wish I Never Bought This Boat

Sometimes even free is too expensive.
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Old 09-02-2014, 21:53   #179
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Re: I Wish I Never Bought This Boat

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Hey Mate, didnt you learn from the last one? Lol
Any steel boat thats 4,000 kms away that needs a welder is not cheap. Its a liability.



Mark
Oh yes, I did learn.

1) I can weld and have access to a factory with MIG TIG and Plasma cutters, metal benders etc etc.
2) It's more like 2500km
3) I'm not paying more than 500 (he wants 1500 but he's dreaming)
4) Backload on a semi from the golden west to here is about 500 for something that size - theres a company that specialises in it.

One bitten forever biteproof. I get it for what it's actually worth and not what he wants for it or I'll wish him luck and walk away.

I'm silly, but not that silly.

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Old 09-02-2014, 22:14   #180
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Re: I Wish I Never Bought This Boat

ISSUU - Points East Magazine, December 2013 by Points East gentlemen, it's a long story...
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