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Old 26-02-2018, 14:57   #31
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Re: FREE, or close to free!

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Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
I even recall reading about a guy on the east coast (usa) who bought an old wooden oyster boat that was sitting in some farmers field. He bought the boat sight unseen, sitting in a bar, for ONE DOLLAR. What would you say to that guy? Would you call him an idiot? Look him up. Josh Slocum. Good sailor. Turned out to be a good boat.
Yes, But......

He had tons of experience with boats and had to almost totally rebuild Spray from the ground up

If you want to spend your time fixing up a boat for a few years rather than sailing, the free or super cheap boats may be for you.

My $2,000 boat was left by a cruiser that was returning from Florida back to Massachusetts in Virginia

Even though it had sat on the hard for 5 years, it was evident that the PO had prepped the boat before his 2 year cruise which is why I was able to launch it within a month or so after I bought it

But still put $8,500 -$10,000 into it and it still needs work

There are quite a few boats available for $10,000- $15,000 that are almost turn key.

There's a C&C 32 at my dock that's perfect for the type cruising I do and much more efficient than my boat sailing wise......although my boat would be better for offshore work or long distance cruising especially cruising with the tradewinds .....

Point is you can find a boat in good shape already for what you may put into a free boat
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Old 26-02-2018, 15:05   #32
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Re: FREE, or close to free!

Check the local marinas. Sometimes folks desert their boats because they cannot pay the moorage. Often they can be picked up just for the past moorage. I have seen some good deals there on older woodies. Also following the death of the sailor, the surviving spouse just wants to get rid of the damn thing!
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Old 26-02-2018, 15:18   #33
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Re: FREE, or close to free!

Well shucks, what's a poor person to do! Maybe he was just looking for a home.
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Old 26-02-2018, 15:22   #34
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Re: FREE, or close to free!

hamburking, as I said up front there undoubtedly are bargains out there.

But this is the internet and it is "forever". Too many unwary newbs see this kind of nonsense and wind up going broke, or losing their keel, or worse. The majority of the "what a steal!" vehicles, boats and cars alike, listed in classified ads, have been found to be outright frauds and dangers. Sometimes the title actually belongs to someone who is out of town. Sometimes there is no title. Sometimes, there are structural issues which are why the boat was condemned and can't be given away.

And in all cases, someone who is looking for a boat can do their own homework and find the same boats. Putting it up here on the forum? Is like reposting Fox News every night. If someone wants that, they can just go see the original.

You got a bargain? I'm happy for you! There are some folks on YouTube who've gotten fantastic bargains. Heck, I can even tell you missed one boat: There's an Albin Nimbus going for $17,000 right now. Nothing a little paint can't fix up. But at least that one comes with a straightforward broker and an, ah, only slightly optimistic survey. Sadly an estate sale, the PO bought a fixer-upper. But hey, you want a bargain? They're out there.
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Old 26-02-2018, 15:24   #35
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Re: FREE, or close to free!

Hello. Captain Joshua Slocum was very down on his luck and life when he accepted that old boat 'Spray' and frankly need the therapy more than the boat to begin with. About all he really got was the design and the sailing record from the captain that gave it to him. There is no record of him even paying a dollar for it. Building within an old hull to preserve the design is more work than building new because of all the time taken to incrementally pull it apart. No wonder despite his obvious knowledge and skill it took him a full time thirteen months. The original build probably took three months with many boat builders working on it. What he did with it afterwards has nothing to do with this.

What some of us have been trying to caution newbe and wanabe boat owners is this. There are a very few estate sales, and owners on hard times out there. But they are very few and far between. Better if you can get right on them while they are fresh. By that I mean before they have languished in storage or on moorage for a while. Thus in very rare cases it is possible to win. But the probability is; IF they are any good they are probably offered for fair market value.

Hence the caution is this; It has to be considered that when these vessels were built in the first place. They were produced in a reasonable time by a team of skilled workers in a well equipped commercial business premises. During every commercial hour twenty to twenty five man hours of work were produced/

So If you are looking to be cheap. and take on your free boat project. every full week you work: You will possibly accomplish one or two hours work relative to the original build. Thus IF you are retired that might fall under the category of a boat building hobby. If you have to go off to work every day to earn a living/ You will be better off doing that and save the funds to buy something new or immediately usable where the only tool needed is a paint brush or less.

I am trying to restore a custom hand built cold molded yacht built by a boat builder from Finland who was a friend of mine. He is now deceased. The designer also a friend is alive for consultation. I hope that I complete and sail it before I run out of time. So this is my retirement activity. and I write from experience this explanation why it takes so long. It is not one big project it is an undetermined series of small projects to be coordinated into the whole. So accept this advice for what it is worth or go ahead dive into your dream and find out the hard way.
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Old 26-02-2018, 15:31   #36
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Re: FREE, or close to free!

Sunseeker-
That's another very wrong idea. There are very few, if any, states where you can just "pick up" an abandoned boat from a marina. Boats are almost always titled property (once you get over rowboat size) and that's why the marina lets them rot there.
Of the boat owner has not paid up, the marina normally has to file a "warehouseman's lien" (name will vary by state) and go to court and have the title assigned to them. All of which takes time and money. Until that happens, if you "take" that boat? You can be arrested for stealing titled property without permission from the title holder.
At least here in the Northeast, and most of the East Coast, if you want some old derelict the marina *might* allow you to file the lien for them, assign the lien to you, and allow you to file the paperwork and get the title assigned to them, after which they can sell it to you. A lot of marinas just don't want to spend the time or get involved with liability issues.
By all means, pick up an abandoned boat. Just be aware, you're going to be doing a two or three month long paperwork shuffle. And most of the abandoned boats have been there long enough to be thoroughly water damaged.
Some few may be worth it. But first you've got to spend a lot of time and effort hunting for boats that don't have structural rot inside--where you're not supposed to be trespassing to find out. The marina sometimes cares about that, because if you step through a floorboard? Yeah, they don't want to be liable.
If it was easy, you'd see all the folks who say how easy it was, making tons of money by rehabbing boats that way.
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Old 26-02-2018, 15:44   #37
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Re: FREE, or close to free!

Many marinas have boats whose owners have stopped paying their slip fee. The owner of the marina then has rights to ownership since the boat was effectively abandoned. Some boats are not worth much to begin with and those are boats that the harbormaster either has to pay to have cut up with a chain saw and thrown in a dumpster or they sell it for next to nothing or for nothing at all.

If you are looking for a free or inexpensive boat then call around to the marinas in your area and ask if there are any abandoned boats that they are either giving away or are very inexpensive.
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Old 26-02-2018, 17:34   #38
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Re: FREE, or close to free!

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Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
If you are not interested in this thread, you are under no obligation to follow it. Some of us are really enjoying it.

There are other reasons to be interested in free boats. You could put it in your backyard for your kids to play on. It could provide parts. You don't know!

And some free boats really are worth the work. I bought a Paceship29 for $100 and sailed it home. Had many great adventures on that boat. Spent a few $ on it, and it was money well spent.

Not all of us have the resources or the desire to get a new/expensive boat.

I even recall reading about a guy on the east coast (usa) who bought an old wooden oyster boat that was sitting in some farmers field. He bought the boat sight unseen, sitting in a bar, for ONE DOLLAR. What would you say to that guy? Would you call him an idiot? Look him up. Josh Slocum. Good sailor. Turned out to be a good boat.
I agree with what you are saying. Too many knee- jerk reactions to the possibilities of restoring one of these boats. The mind is like a parachute, it needs to be open to function.
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Old 26-02-2018, 18:14   #39
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Re: FREE, or close to free!

I am honestly surprised to see so many negative responses to this thread. Bargains can be found, have found two of them myself. Some of us like projects more than a ready to go boat and prefer them exactly personalized for our wants and desires.

The whole idea that it should be a thread because someone might get in over their head, etc. is silly. If you don't have any ideas what personal responsibility is, that's your own fault. If you don't have the means to accomplish fixing up an old boat and go get one, well shame on you. I don't think it prudent to not have a discussion on project boats simply because someone else might make a mistake.

If you don't like it, don't read the thread and its as simple as that.

Someone else mentioned keel bolts, funny. Both boats I have gotten near free were encapsulated ballast solid fiberglass hulls. I think the term for them is plastic classics. In my mind these older boats often seen free or near free can be very robust. How many newer boats are an inch thick solid glass hulls, include outboard wells, have solid fiberglass decks like the Triton I saw a week ago for I think 3k?

Anyway, you find a gem like that and fix her up and in my opinion you have a more solid boat than most of what you can buy on the market now. No keel bolts, no sandwich core construction, etc. But again, some of us like to build hot rods and off road rigs from scratch or donor trucks. part of the allure.
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Old 26-02-2018, 20:23   #40
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Re: FREE, or close to free!

I found 40 year old trimaran. The owner had sailed it for many years but gave up when his wife’s health failed. When I saw it, it had been sitting in the woods for a long time. A tree had fallen across it and bent the mast. He had tried unsuccessfully to sell it and was worried that he would have to pay for someone to cut it up.

I loved the lines of this funky old boat and was offered it for free in exchange for a promise that I would fix it up. I took him up on his offer. Mounted a temporary outboard on the transom. Hired a boat mover. Paid for a two police escort. And hauled the 17 x 33 boat to the nearest navigable waterway. Then I motored 13 hours to a boatyard where I spent two years of every spare moment I had to completely strip down and rebuild.

In 2016 the boat was relaunched as SV BigBird. Her previous owner and wife and some of his old sailing buddies attended the recommissioning ceremony. It was a very special time for all in attendance. I still stay in touch with him regarding latest upgrades and travel destinations.

Yes I spent a lot of money on this boat and will never see that kind of a return. But to me it wasn’t about the money. I found something that I thot was worth saving and have been rewarded with a boat that has a good spirit and continues to serve me well.
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Old 26-02-2018, 20:38   #41
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Re: FREE, or close to free!

PS. There are pics of BigBird in the multihull section titled “Toni Hansen trimaran”.
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Old 26-02-2018, 23:32   #42
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Re: FREE, or close to free!

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So If you are looking to be cheap. and take on your free boat project. every full week you work: You will possibly accomplish one or two hours work relative to the original build. Thus IF you are retired that might fall under the category of a boat building hobby. If you have to go off to work every day to earn a living/ You will be better off doing that and save the funds to buy something new or immediately usable where the only tool needed is a paint brush or less.

I am trying to restore a custom hand built cold molded yacht built by a boat builder from Finland who was a friend of mine. He is now deceased. The designer also a friend is alive for consultation. I hope that I complete and sail it before I run out of time. So this is my retirement activity. and I write from experience this explanation why it takes so long. It is not one big project it is an undetermined series of small projects to be coordinated into the whole. So accept this advice for what it is worth or go ahead dive into your dream and find out the hard way.
Let me mention two cars:

#1) A 1966 Ford
#2) Johhny Cash's '49, '50, '51, '52, '53, '54, '55, '56, '57, '58, '59, '60, '61, '62, '63, '64, '65, '66, '67, '68, '69, '70 automobile

There were orders of magnitude more 1966 Fords produced. They're a known entity. Parts are, relatively speaking, a dime a dozen. I can go to many websites and buy newly produced parts to fit the old car without me sending old parts/templates. Used 1966 Ford parts are all over Ebay and Craigslist. Anyone who knows anything about car mechanicals could probably walk up to the Ford and immediately make headway. Anyone who does NOT know anything about cars can, with a couple of crescent wrenches, a few screw drivers, and a hammer can remove the thing that isn't working, recording what they do, and reverse the process after procuring the replacement part (which again is easy to come by).

But there's no comparison regarding the work involved between the Ford and the Johnny Special and no one should confuse the two endeavors.

Sage advice for newbies considering doing absolutely anything in life, including restoring an old boat:
-Do you know yourself? Really know your own track record?
-How many complicated endeavors have you pursued?
-How many such projects have you taken to completion?
-How many such projects have you gotten excited about, started, then abandoned?
-If you started the project and abandoned it, how would you feel?
-If you lost money, would this cause you any significant life burden?

And particularly for boats:
-Get a new survey that you pay for no matter what
-Be particularly cautious about custom boats

If you don't know yourself and/or do not have a track record of success, then understand that the dream may never come true. If you understand this and it will not cause you stress, then go for it. Everyone needs a hobby and this isn't a bad one at all.

Yachtworld tells me that the least expensive new boat in the 27+ foot class is $80,000. Boats don't grow on trees. There are 7,000,000,000 people on the planet.

Frankly, in the boat ecosphere....the people who buy, try, and fail are doing a service to future generations by keeping the project viable so long as they don't bugger the project up.
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Old 27-02-2018, 03:13   #43
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Re: FREE, or close to free!

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Originally Posted by Supers0nic View Post
I found 40 year old trimaran. The owner had sailed it for many years but gave up when his wife’s health failed. When I saw it, it had been sitting in the woods for a long time. A tree had fallen across it and bent the mast. He had tried unsuccessfully to sell it and was worried that he would have to pay for someone to cut it up.

I loved the lines of this funky old boat and was offered it for free in exchange for a promise that I would fix it up. I took him up on his offer. Mounted a temporary outboard on the transom. Hired a boat mover. Paid for a two police escort. And hauled the 17 x 33 boat to the nearest navigable waterway. Then I motored 13 hours to a boatyard where I spent two years of every spare moment I had to completely strip down and rebuild.

In 2016 the boat was relaunched as SV BigBird. Her previous owner and wife and some of his old sailing buddies attended the recommissioning ceremony. It was a very special time for all in attendance. I still stay in touch with him regarding latest upgrades and travel destinations.

Yes I spent a lot of money on this boat and will never see that kind of a return. But to me it wasn’t about the money. I found something that I thot was worth saving and have been rewarded with a boat that has a good spirit and continues to serve me well.
I also had an owner transfer a boat to me with the hope it would be restored. It was a Hobie 33 which had been abandonded on the Rio Dulce many years before. I paid the marina to get it out of hock, then eventually tracked down the original owner who was happy to sign it over to me. I renovated the boat enough to use it as a sailing school boat and day sailor. Awesome boat. Great fun to sail.
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Old 27-02-2018, 03:19   #44
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Only 3 out of my 14 boats to date have been less than 30yrs old..
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Old 27-02-2018, 04:04   #45
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Re: FREE, or close to free!

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A wise friend once said..."never take more free stuff than you can afford".
Hahaha!! I like that quote!
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