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Old 06-08-2007, 22:15   #46
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Just a thought for you to think about. If you wanted to keep the boat for yourself you should consider going to Venezuela and getting the work done. The trip will pay for itself on the savings. Blistered bottoms are common and not an end all and be all . You may find that your buyer is just kicking tires..anyway I thought we would give you our 2 cents worth.
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Old 06-08-2007, 23:10   #47
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Sean, DON'T STRESS about this. You are jumping way to much to conclusions. Even as a worse case scenario, from what you have described, you don't have a major problem. It may take some work on your part. A can or two of Epoxy sealer/undercoat and some more hard work. Nothing that can not be sorted with a little sanding and drying and painting. $14K is rediculouse to even consider. This is some of the issues brought about by the Chicken Littles of the Osmosis world running around screaming what a major disarster it all is. It's crap. Yes you can pay someone for a peel and dry and epoxy resin coat and repaint and yes it will cost a rediculouse amount of money. Or you can cut the Gelcoat back or even have it blasted cheaply and then recoat it yourself. A good sand to fair it and an anitfould and Bob's ya uncle....or auntie if it's Darryls Uncle.
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Old 07-08-2007, 03:18   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler
... This is some of the issues brought about by the Chicken Littles of the Osmosis world running around screaming what a major disarster it all is. It's crap ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by brian and clare
... There is a good article by david pascoe that will cheer you up on his website. Its no big deal! ...
Although I have the greatest respect for Pascoe, I must admit that I’m more of a “chicken little”, when it comes to the integrity of my hull.
Water, where it should not be, is just not a mystery I could accept.

Here’s Pascoe's articles on blisters:
Hull Blisters on Boats and Yachts - by David Pascoe, Marine Surveyor
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Old 07-08-2007, 07:51   #49
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WOW! No kidding. My wife and I are not at all adverse to moving to other countries. In fact, we'd enjoy it. How are taxes?

Wheels showed me a much older Gulfstar for sale in NZ listed online. It was going for $198K (NZD) which comes out to $150K USD. I was very surprised.

I'll consider this option in general... thanks for the tip.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat
Sean, move to Australia. I'm serious - there is a desperate shortage of skilled labour over here - in the mining areas you could earn a fortune. If you moved to somewhere like Mackay, you could live aboard on the marina (house prices have skyrocketed there), and earn more than enough to pay off the boat. In WA truck drivers for mining companies are getting well over $100k a year. Unemployment here is around 4%, and I doubt if many of them are seriously looking for work.

If you still wanted to sell your boat, I think you would get a much better price for it over here.

Australia is readily accepting skilled migrants. At least look into it?
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Old 07-08-2007, 08:00   #50
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Originally Posted by brian and clare

I dont speculate why it happens, but on two boats I have seen (Owned by friends I was helping out with in the yard, and one other) you could actually peel the gelcoat off from the first layer of laminate like the skin off an orange, and there was water inbetween the gelcoat and the glass. Gelcoat was not brittle though, more kind of plasticy, but also cracked in spots. Behind it was water, not acid, or the brownish goop that glass turns into when it is eaten by the acid, just plain ol water. The first real layer of glass under the gelcoat was just peachy and clean of any blisters.

PS Nice boat - if its really not woth anything anymore (bah!), Ive got some magic beans here to trade.....
This is the most accurate description of this problem I've had yet! Thanks Brian (and Clare). This is exactly what it's like. Everyone keeps telling me I need all this fancy stuff and equates the problem to blisters, when that's not what it is. It is very different. There is no osmosis, no acid, no brown goop, just plain old water.

About those magic beans... how many of them?
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Old 07-08-2007, 13:49   #51
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OK, so lets look at how the ester lamination is first made. Assuming this Hull was laid in in a female mold!
The Mold is first very highly polished and then coated in a release agent. The Gelcoat is then sprayed onto the mold totaly covering it. Once the Gelcoat has started to harden, the resin/glass mix is then spray on. Normal application was as a chopped strand mix. The Resin and the catylist is mixed in the gun and a roll of glass roving is chopped up and thrown at the mix as it all travels to the mold through the air. It is then "laid" by guys with special rollers, working it out and removing air bubbles etc. In high load area's, glass wovings(Glass cloth) are applied. In more modern days, (remember this was back in the mid/late 80's) synthetics are used, like Kevlar. Then more chopped strands are blown on. Ply and timber are bedded in and the mix built up over and encasing it all.
OK, so to go back to the initial start of this. If it was all done correctly, the the Gel coat, which is Resin with a Pigment added, bonds into the next coat of Resin/glass. The two become one. There is just no way for the Gel to come off. It is part and parcel to the Resin mix. THAT IS IF!!! it was done correctly. If the Gel coat IS coming off, and I believe it is as Sean is suggesting, then there is only one way for this to happen. The Gelcoat was allowed to cure before the Glass mix was applied. This does not allow a chemical bond to occur and the Gell will lift.
If this is the case, then the fix is simple in reality. Remove the Gel and seal with Epoxy. If any of this is above water line, then you will need to repaint the topside as well.
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Old 07-08-2007, 15:03   #52
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45' Hirsch Gulfstar...

Sean: $79,000 with 'known' hull issues may not do it. Yachtworld now has four boats like yours available with asking prices from $89,000 to $112,500 and the one for $89,000 looks very nice.

You've been shown some great solutions here, including: (1) haul your boat and fix it yourself. This type of bottom work is not rocket science, believe me. Study what needs to be done on the internet and speak with some boat yards and some fiberglass experts. This really is pretty easy work, it just takes time and patience. Then you can offer your boat at full price, whatever that may be, and not have to worry about known defects driving the price down and scaring off would-be buyers; or (2) get to work and. pay off the loan, end up with a free and clear boat, live your dream and go sailing. Then when you are ready you can do the needed bottom work.

Put in perspective, this is not a very difficult problem. It's just that you are in the middle of the forest and it's difficult to see the trees. You sound like you are highly intelligent and can work your way through this. Get motivated and solve this situation. You'll be proud of yourself once you come out the other side. Remember: fortune favors the bold! Good luck.
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Old 07-08-2007, 15:17   #53
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Wheels, what you say sounds right on the spot. If the gelcoat simply was never bonded properly--it can be popped off with a paint scraper or pressure washer, once the bottom paint is removed and the cracks made visible. And then simply replaced by another layer of cosmetic filler, i.e. a high fill epoxy paint, as this is just a cosmetic issue. Or, a barrier paint as an extra protection.

Sean-
The problem I see with rushing in to make repairs (aside from outlyaing money) is that to a buyer, if you show them a newly refinished and repaired boat, they have no idea what the real problem and real work was. Personally I would rather see a boat "as is" and have the choice of having the work done--under my own supervision and terms--and adjusting the bottom line to compensate for that.

Assuming the loose gelcoat really is JUST a cosmetic problem, advertise it that way, leave room to adjust the selling price, and don't panic.

After all, with the mortgage market and the financial worries in the US today...boat sales for an upscale boat, late in the season, may simply be slow all over.

If you do decide to press ahead with repairs--document the work thoroughly, take plenty of good detailed pictures, and get references (from contacting those pros) that all confim you did a major cosmetic repair, assuring the buyer that they aren't buying a pox-ridden hull that is going to come back to bite them.

"Make all due speed" but NOT "full speed ahead".
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Old 07-08-2007, 15:25   #54
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First, let me say this: This kind of thing is always scary, so I apologize if I sound scared. Second, this is my home and represents 100% of my net worth. YIKES!! (not well diversified) ha ha

Now, putting that aside... this thread has been more than helpful. Thank you to all who have helped me understand the problem and look at it from another angle. While the problem isn't blisters, the problem IS that water is sitting behind the gel coat and is pegging moisture meters. A boat that pegs moistre meters won't sell.

So, I suppose our choices are to drop the price of the vessel to account for a repair, or do the repair myself (have to pay for the blasting though - nobody rents that stuff or lets you do it yourself).

Here are a few photos of the boat now that she has been on the hard. She's all waxed up, polished (bottom painted since we can't take care of this problem right now financially) and ready to go.

Looking at the pictures on the Yachtworld link and the pictures here, do you think the boat would sell at a reduced price to take into account that the work needs to be done? Especially you, Eventide? Does all of the cosmetic and systems work help me any, or is it just reduced to a hull price? I really only had this one (large) issue come up on survey and my steering cables needed adjusting. Those were the *only* issues that came up. Nothing else. All else was in "excellent" and "above average" condition. Opinions?

YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale
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Old 07-08-2007, 16:13   #55
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Sean: I am certainly no expert. However, I have owned and sold maybe a dozen boats over the years, and I've owned and sold a fair amount of property.

So here are some thoughts. They're probably worth exactly what you are being charged for them: (1) only full time professionals who are always in the market place can tell you what something might sell for. This means boat brokers. They can tell you exactly how much boats like yours sold for, when, where and in what condition. They can also help you arrive at a most-likely selling price today given current economic conditions, which are far from ideal. The real estate market is bad in most areas and boat buyers most often pull money out of their property, via sales or mortgages, to buy their dream boat. Another group of boat buyers will get a bank loan secured by the boat they are purchasing to be able to acquire their desired boat. Whatever the case, the property selling market and the boat selling market are both way down right now. This is not an ideal time for you to consider selling your boat. So it is more important than ever for you to develop a relationship with a good boat broker, and then have a solid heart-to-heart with him so that he can tell you exactly what is really going on. The very worst boat broker is the one who lists your boat based on the price that YOU set, plus his commission. You have no idea what is happening in the boat brokerage arena so how could you possible know what to price it at?

(2) Buyers tend to look at boats as either perfect or fixer-uppers. Boats that are in almost perfect condition generate the highest offers and sell the quickest. A boat in anything less than seemingly perfect condtion will sit for a long time and will be subject to offers from bottom feeders. It is alwasy best to NOT be in this second category. To avoid that you really ought to consider getting that bottom fixed properly. Again, this is not all that difficult. You're smart, figure it out. Get some help if you need it but this is a problem that will slay you if you don't take charge of it. Remember: bottom feeders...you don't want any part of them.

(3) As humans we ALL buy on emotion and justify with logic. It is just the human norm. When a prospect sees your boat you want him to fall in love with it. This is pure emotion. Once he is in love with your boat he will use his logic to justify buying it. Therefore, you ought to include all the foo-foo and trinkets and baubles and bling in the price that you can. Please forgive the analogy, but when you look at a woman who is dressed to kill versus a plain jane, which one are you going to be attracted to? That's why the cosmetics and fashion industries make so much money, plain and simple. Same thing with your boat. Make her shine, make her seductive, make here alluring. Make her beautiful and appealing inside and out so that your buyer will fall in love with her. Then, having already corrected all structural (bottom) and steering issues your buyer will be able to justify closing on his new love interest - your boat.

Once again, you have received lots of great ideas on this forum. And this can only be becaure you are highly thought of. This is not by accident.

Use all your resources to work your way through this problem. You'll be fine. Good luck.
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Old 07-08-2007, 17:34   #56
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Please don't be offended at the following. Sometimes you post like you want advice and sometimes you jump on people for offering it.

I can't add anything to what has been said about fixing your boat. I view the mechanical issue as a minor deal. I have also said that I would buy your boat in a heartbeat if I was in your area. Someone who appreciates and understands boats will buy your boat. The question is when? Bridging the time financially seems to be your biggest problem. You are a very talented person so you should try to remain calm and work this financially not mechanically. It's not like the boat will sink tomorrow.

Again, this is not a boat issue it is a financial issue. Unless I understand all your posts incorrectly you have a $60k note on the boat and you live on it. Adding mooring fees I can't see any much cheaper living than you have now unless you have a very unfavorable and short term note.

You may have to go ashore and get a higher paying job but selling this boat for the note alone and starting over with some iron barge really makes no financial sense.

I get it - You can't afford to go cruising in this boat so you want to sell this and get something you can live on. However you can live on this boat and with you and your S/O working you gotta be able to make the ends meet. This boat is done - ready to go. Lot's of folks are paying mortgages while saving to buy the boat. You are way ahead of them.

Raise your time horizon beyond tomorrow, next week or the next boat payment. Imagine a future time - 6 months or even a year - and with that perspective imagine how it all worked out well for you in the end. I am going to bet it started with raising your income, slowing down from mach 6 and waiting for an experienced and intelligent buyer.

Sorry if this sounds a little touchy feely - maybe it's the SoCal in me popping out.

Good Luck.
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Old 07-08-2007, 17:58   #57
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Sean,
The pictures of your boat are beautiful. If I had 70k sitting around I would have offered it to you two days age. She is a beaut. Do everything in your power to keep her. A little bottom problem that is not structual is worth the effort for any buyer.

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Old 08-08-2007, 09:08   #58
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good luck sean, with whatever course you follow. boats can be heartbreakers, but i often think the trials they impose on us make us much stronger people.
i've had several friends who have done peel jobs in the tropics. it is long, arduous, filthy and a hellish job, but they effectively returned their boats to showroom condition. i don't think the cost was exhorbitant, (though it did cost some bucks), but the labor was very intensive and demoralizing. none of these friends were happy to have to do it, and they weren't young; but they soldiered on and were very successful.
i would like to comment on wheels description of fiberglass boat construction. i believe he is describing a boat built from your era, as my boat has NO chopped strand sprayed with a gun, and was handlaid glass in a hermetically sealed workshop. old boats are often dismissed these days, (mostly, i think because they lack modern day amenities), but solid glass construction, a hull deck joint that is through bolted and glassed in, NO balsa core, and hand laid glass makes for a quality product without osmosis issues.
as to how water has gotten behind the gelcoat on sean's boat, there are many possibilities. to me, the most likely is water intrusion from the (cored?) deck working its way through voids and then freezing in the winter, ever expanding and seeking, coupled with a too thick layer of gel coat (reducing flexibility) that had poor adhesion due to weather when applied. a 3 part whammy, just a theory.
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Old 08-08-2007, 10:40   #59
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Sean,

How many areas have you discovered this problem?

Is the boat floating or on the hard?

It sounds if the problem is localized, you can repair it yourself at little cost. I certainly wouldn't strip the bottom and do the epoxy sealer thingy for the whole bottom if only seen in a few spots.

I like the idea of moving WITH the boat to some place like AU where your skills can allow you to keep the boat and make a decent living and get out of the madness here.

I'm right there with you. Work for me is not great. The only thing which keeps me here is my wife's kids who are young adults and floundering and she wouldn't leave them and I don't think they would come along.

I'd work out a plan to sail her down, but look for a work commitment first. Get some of our Aussie salts to give you a hand.

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Old 08-08-2007, 11:26   #60
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Seriously great posts since the last time I checked this thread.

I want to thank all of you very VERY much for the ideas.

It's hard to take it all in. At first, we were selling this boat in order to downgrade to the barge (does work mathematically very well), but this big hit on my equity (the gelcoat problem) changes the math. So... those of you that say "keep her" have a stronger argument - mathematically.

See... if I was able to get the equity out, I'd get the barge with the equity, refit the barge for $15K or so, and be able to take the rest of the money that would have gone to the note on the boat and put that into savings/retirement/investments. The financial benefits to this are huge, considering compound interest and/or returns.

BUT... If I can't get the equity back out of this boat because the boat has decided to develop problems with its gel coat, that changes the picture a bit.

I guess I haven't been able to sort through all of the issues yet. I'm working on an Excel spreadsheet right now to try and figure it all out financially.

And don't worry... no "spanking" here. I was legitimately looking for input from anyone who had an opinion. I had to do a little spanking before in the other thread because rather than answer the question, I had a lot of folks going off in another direciton. I only spanked in order to try and get a good thread going and it worked. This thread however... is very different. You bare your heart and soul when your boat is cracking and you are cracking.

Everyone is welcome with an opinion and advice.

One of the hard things is this:

I looked at what I have to pay for this boat from now until the end of the note. $101,000 is the magic number. I then look at what the old barges cost: $10K plus the refit, so $30-$40K. I can't help but to think that it's better to take the barge and put all the $$ away rather than spend it on a fancy boat like the one I have.

Anyway... I think I'm derailing my own thread (SPANK!) ha ha

Thanks to everyone who pitched in and posted some ideas. I see merit in many of them, and especially liked the last few posts. They really got me thinking - but of course in 2 different directions, like usual...
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