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Old 05-11-2017, 11:28   #1
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What Happens to a Totaled Boat?

Our 1981 Gulfstar Sailmaster 39 was knocked off her stands by Irma in St. Augustine a week after we bought her. I met with a marine surveyor last week who believes she will be “CTL” (Constructive Total Loss). The hull is “fractured,” the boat “twisted” as she fell, and the mast bent such that it is a total loss.

It took a us many, many months (years, really) to find her, and the only time we floated her was alongside Captain Bill of BoatUS as he towed her from the seller’s dock to the yard for a bottom job; I bonded with her mostly in my dreams.

I understand that if she is totaled, the insurance company will write me a check, and offer me the opportunity to buy her back for virtually nothing.

I would rather be sailing than sanding, I have next to no experience with fiberglass (though I’m sure Don Casey can show me the way!), the Perkins 4-108 was overhauled in 2015 and has low hours since, and I live 2000 miles away.

What would you do?

Keep her, dig in, get it done, and keep the dream alive?

Walk away?

What happens to boats like this when they are auctioned?

Thank you in advance.
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Old 05-11-2017, 11:47   #2
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Re: What Happens to a Totaled Boat?

If you were going to do all the work yourself, I think buying the boat back can make sense. However if your going to hire out the work, I think you’ll be money and frustration ahead to leave it to another auction buyer.
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:32   #3
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Re: What Happens to a Totaled Boat?

Walk away! Doing structural repairs is no way to learn fiberglassing. Simply asking the question when you live 2000 miles away clearly shows that you have zero concept of what will be involved.
Sorry to be blunt and all .... but give your head a shake !
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:36   #4
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Re: What Happens to a Totaled Boat?

Be aware that if you buy it back, it may always be uninsurable afterwards. Depending on the carrier and whether a salvage title is issued. The insurer will document the total loss in any case. They'd love to sell it back, so they don't have to pay for hauling it away or auction it. But between commuting, or moving to FL, and trying to learn or hire structural frp work...You can be looking at 1-2 years of a major project, and what your survey found will only be the tip of the iceberg. If you can move to FL and have the boat trucked to a lower-cost yard (maybe Indiantown) and spend the year or two DIYing all the work...then it becomes a hobby and perhaps worth your time.

And of course, with heavy structural repair and a total loss on the record, resale value is also in doubt, so you'd better be planning to keep it for a long time.
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:41   #5
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Re: What Happens to a Totaled Boat?

Bank the cheque and walk away or you will be spending a year living 2000 miles from home fixing her up. Oh and lets be honest the trades you might call on are going to be busy over the next year fixing all the other boats that have been damaged.

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Old 05-11-2017, 13:27   #6
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Re: What Happens to a Totaled Boat?

DenverSailors, so sorry to hear, but at least your insurance is there. What Pete wrote, above, that the workers are going to have plenty work is undoubtedly true, and there are only so many who are really competent. In addition, supplies may be hard to come by, and there will be price gouging.

The job would need to be bird-dogged all the way along by someone on site who knows a lot, because it is structural damage, and only if said damage is reparable. Sometimes, it just doesn't make sense. There is a whole lot at risk and it would be difficult, if not impossible, even if it were repaired, to ever trust its integrity at sea.

We had structural damage, and Jim consulted with a conservative boat builder before attempting the repair. In our case, it was a fairly simple repair, requiring new stringers, a floor, and a great deal of fiberglass and resin. That boat had not "twisted", and it was of stout construction: imo, the Gulfstars are not. We were living aboard at the time, and could put in 14 hr. days till the job was done. It was not fun living aboard in those conditions. Anytime you grind fiberglass below, the dust escapes the curtains you put up, and it drives you mad, getting into your pores in spite of the tyvek suit you're wearing. It's really unpleasant.

Your Gulfstar may not have any bulkhead tabbing left intact, the furniture, agley, and that all takes hours and hours to get to and do well. I would walk away, and re-group.

You will need to do your grieving, and get some more $$ together, if you want to stay with this dream. Or move on to a new one. How does your partner feel?

Ann
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Old 05-11-2017, 14:26   #7
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Re: What Happens to a Totaled Boat?

Ah! My optimist just woke up.

Denver, this is a chance in a lifetime. Trade schools and apprenticeships are big news again these days, so what better time than NOW for you to move to Florida and open a structural fiberglass repair and yacht refinishing school? With gobs of federal grant money for the students, and plenty of free press in Florida because now "There's a shop open the teaches disadvantaged youth and fills the hurricane gap for boat repair!"

I keep forgetting my Chinese (and Tarot) teachings: Chaos IS opportunity!

Also a good time to buy out a boatyard where the owners would rather just walk away from this mess.
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Old 05-11-2017, 14:29   #8
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What Happens to a Totaled Boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Ah! My optimist just woke up.



Denver, this is a chance in a lifetime. Trade schools and apprenticeships are big news again these days, so what better time than NOW for you to move to Florida and open a structural fiberglass repair and yacht refinishing school? With gobs of federal grant money for the students, and plenty of free press in Florida because now "There's a shop open the teaches disadvantaged youth and fills the hurricane gap for boat repair!"



I keep forgetting my Chinese (and Tarot) teachings: Chaos IS opportunity!



Also a good time to buy out a boatyard where the owners would rather just walk away from this mess.


Xynides IS for sale! Waaaait a minute...were you being silly?!?!
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Old 05-11-2017, 14:30   #9
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Re: What Happens to a Totaled Boat?

Thank you all for the thoughtful replies. Sounds like it’s best to mourn the loss and move on.
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Old 05-11-2017, 15:06   #10
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Re: What Happens to a Totaled Boat?

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Originally Posted by DenverSailors View Post
Thank you all for the thoughtful replies. Sounds like it’s best to mourn the loss and move on.
That's the decision I made with my boat. I didn't even have any structural damage. The job of replacing the interior, painting the whole boat, and rebuilding the engine was just not a job I wanted to tackle. Paying someone else to do it would eat up all the money I got from the insurance company and maybe more.
I just didn't want to deal with it.

By the way my agent,Peter Tyson, and the insurance company, Chub, were great to deal with.
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Old 05-11-2017, 15:36   #11
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Re: What Happens to a Totaled Boat?

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That's the decision I made with my boat. I didn't even have any structural damage. The job of replacing the interior, painting the whole boat, and rebuilding the engine was just not a job I wanted to tackle. Paying someone else to do it would eat up all the money I got from the insurance company and maybe more.

I just didn't want to deal with it.



By the way my agent,Peter Tyson, and the insurance company, Chub, were great to deal with.


Was this Possum?
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Old 05-11-2017, 16:40   #12
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Re: What Happens to a Totaled Boat?

I have seen boats cut up with a chainsaw, thrown in a dumpster and hauled off to a land disposal. It's not that you should. It's just one of the options.
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Old 05-11-2017, 19:57   #13
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Re: What Happens to a Totaled Boat?

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Was this Possum?
Yup, she sank during the hurricane. I still don't know how. No holes. Three working bilge pumps. Batteries fully charged until the power went out.
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Old 05-11-2017, 22:36   #14
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Re: What Happens to a Totaled Boat?

If you had the background to do it yourself, it might work out as a good deal. Since you are asking, you probably don't have the background.

The insurance company is "totaling" the boat because to hire out the repairs is more than the boat is worth (and presumably more than the check they will cut plus the cost of disposal). The idea that you can independently repair the boat for less is highly unlikely and if there are undiscovered issues (insurance company doesn't care if they are just disposing of it), could skyrocket the costs.

Run don't walk away.
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Old 06-11-2017, 02:50   #15
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Re: What Happens to a Totaled Boat?

...your age should be factored in...!
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