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Old 02-12-2012, 12:21   #1
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1979 34' Peterson sloop - thoughts and budget confirmation

Hello everyone,

I'm new to this whole sailing scene. I've been researching things for the last year and a half and have done some dinghy lessons, some power squadron courses, and have my PCOC. I've got lots more still to learn obviously but I feel like I've gotten knowledgable enough to where I can make the plunge and really start this new hobby of mine...but still with some help and input from of all you of course!!!

I'm going to put in an offer for a 1979 34' Peterson sloop and wondered if some of you could help me with a few things.

Moorage is transferable. I will have a sea trial and marine survey done as subjects of sale. The boat is clean with a few projects to do which are listed below - I'm hoping that you all could help me put together a budget just so that I have a pretty good feel for how much (as an order of magnitude) I should expect to be spending after I purchase it, at least from what I know so far.

List of things to do (please put a realistic budget against the item):

1. Haul out, clean, strip? and paint hull - time (how much, and cost of labour), materials, equipment and facility rental

2. Beta Marine deisel 3.0 - 3 years old and only 31 hours. The owners said they start it up once a month or so. Is there anything I need to do to ensure it is running in top form after sitting so much?

3. Safety lines around hull may need replacing

4. Rigging - serviceable but starting to age. How much to replace

5. Mast/boom/spreaders - aluminum. May need painting.

6. Some of the lines need replacing. How much for a spool of line that I can cut to size?

7. Exterior cushions will need to be replaced.

8. Interior cushions for sleeping berths (v berth/settees/single aft berth) could use updating

9. There is a slow leak in one of the windows - it may only need sealing? Am I correct to assume this or should I budget for something a little more extensive and invasive?

10. There had been a leak in the mast book which the owner says he repaired (I believe him). However, there is some water that has started to accumulate in the bottom of the lockers, the engine compartment and bilge. It may have come from there (or maybe somewhere else). The boat is not sailed very much. Its not a massive pool of water and the survey should flesh this out. However, could this be coming from the original leak in the mast boot, and if so is this an easy repair or costly?

11. The head does not have a holding tank. How difficult (and how much) would it cost to put in one on this type of boat?

12. I would like at some point to increase the tankage of the fuel (currently only 12 gallons) and water (currently only 18 gallons). There doesn't appear to be many places to add additional tanks (maybe a water bladder under the rear aft berth?). Can anyone suggest how I might be able to do this and how much it may cost?

13. There is no hot water. What is an appropriate, good, yet economical system to do this upgrade, and how much to budget?

14. How much should I budget for a survey, and how much is too much? What specifics should I be requesting for this?

Also, there is no shower in the head. How much do you people miss showing on a boat once you pull out of the marina - do you all actually use your onboard showers a lot, or is it a pain in the ass to use it, clean and maintain it and you avoid using it onboard and seek other methods of showering anyways?

Thanks in advance for any input you all might be able to share!

Rob (hopefully Captain Rob soon!)
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:40   #2
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Re: 1979 34' Peterson sloop - thoughts and budget confirmation

Here are some pics of the boat to share as well.
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:46   #3
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Re: 1979 34' Peterson sloop - thoughts and budget confirmation

More pics...
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Old 02-12-2012, 14:52   #4
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Re: 1979 34' Peterson sloop - thoughts and budget confirmation

Hi Carogan, Welcomne aboard.

It looks as though you have found a nice boat. I am a fan of Peterson designs.

1. Haul out, clean, strip? and paint hull - time (how much, and cost of labour), materials, equipment and facility rental
Painting the hull can be quite a big and expensive job... potentially thousands of bucks. To start off with, at least, Unless the paint is in really terrible condition I'd suggest giving it a thorough clean, then a cut and polish and a wax. Below the waterline, a full repaint is also a big and expensive job. Again, I'd be getting a haul out and inspecting before launching into anything too major. It may be sufficient to just give the existing anti-foul a sand a nd a re-coat (ask the current owner what anti-foul paint he used, so you can use the same or compatible).

2. Beta Marine deisel 3.0 - 3 years old and only 31 hours. The owners said they start it up once a month or so. Is there anything I need to do to ensure it is running in top form after sitting so much?

Marine diesels are pretty robust. With low hours and occasional start up, chances are you don't need to do much. For peace of mind, however, you could get a marine diesel mechanic to service the engine and run his professional eye over the installation. That shouldn't cost much.. he will probably replace the filters and change the oil. It might be worth asking him to check the engine mounts and the alignement with the shaft.

3. Safety lines around hull may need replacing.
Insepct the safety lines. Any broken strands or rust, its probably worth replacing them. This shouldn't be an expensive job, and any mast rigger will be able to give you a quote. Specifiy 1x19 stainless steel wire, AISI 316 grade, uncoated.

4. Rigging - serviceable but starting to age. How much to replace.
Most people would plan on replacing standing rigging every 8-10 years, I guess, others are happy to go to 15 years . Some Insurance companies will insist on replacement at 10 years, if you want your mast to be covered by your policy. I don't know how prices are where you are, but I'd guess it will cost around $2500-$3000 to replace all standing rigging on a boat your size. Again, I inspect carefully (or pay a rigger to inspect and go with their recommendation. In fact, if you are planning to repaint the mast, it is cheaper and easier to repace the rigging while the mast is out. Don't forget - it is just as important to replace the turnbuckles / rigging screws as it is to replace the wire.

5. Mast/boom/spreaders - aluminum. May need painting.
Because aluminium self-protects with an oxide coating, the need to paint is really largely cosmetic. If you do plan to re-paint, the cost will depend very much on how much of the prep you are prepared to do yourself. If you pull out all the halyards (run small diameter "mouse" lines in, so you can pull them back in afterwards), remove the fittings and spreaders, sand off all the old paint, etc. the cost will be less. It will still be an expensive exercise though... etch primer, high build undercoat and top coat! Get 2 or 3 quotes. N.B. If you have the mast out, it is well worth (a) replacing any electrical wiring in the mast (steaming light, mashead light, mashead VHF aerial, etc). (c) It is also worth considering replacing the mashead lights and steaming lights... removing and replacing these is such a pain in the butt with the mast in the boat. (c) also check all the sheaves for the halyard, etc and replace if necessary.

6. Some of the lines need replacing. How much for a spool of line that I can cut to size?
This job is probably not likely to be as simple as buying a spool and cutting bits off. Different lines need different diameters / strengths, etc. It is also a good idea to have as many different colours as possible... you do not want all your lines to look exactly the same. Make an inventory of the different ropes on the boat, recording the sizes and the current condition. Replace the ones that really need it, then work your way through, replacing others in the coming months / years. If you go to your local chandlery, you will probably pay more per foot than if you look around on eBay or on-line shops.

7. Exterior cushions will need to be replaced.
You are going to be paying out a lot of money on other big-ticket jobs. Live with the cushions for now and replace when some of the other more vital expensive jobs are out of the way.

8. Interior cushions for sleeping berths (v berth/settees/single aft berth) could use updating.
You will probably end up doing work inside the boat... painting / varnishing, etc. It is not, in my opinion, woth replacing upholstery until you are done with that sort of work. Maybe consider replacing the cushion in the berth that you will sleep in, but the rest can wait.

9. There is a slow leak in one of the windows - it may only need sealing? Am I correct to assume this or should I budget for something a little more extensive and invasive?
A temporary seal will be fine in the short term. If the windows are at all crazed looking or have any cracks, you may wish to replace. This, however, is a fairly big and fiddly job (although not particularly expensive), so if you can fix the leak (Sikaflex 291 or similar), leave the windows alone for now.

10. There had been a leak in the mast book which the owner says he repaired (I believe him). However, there is some water that has started to accumulate in the bottom of the lockers, the engine compartment and bilge. It may have come from there (or maybe somewhere else). The boat is not sailed very much. Its not a massive pool of water and the survey should flesh this out. However, could this be coming from the original leak in the mast boot, and if so is this an easy repair or costly?
It is not at all unusual to get water in the boat down the mast. Even if the mast boot seal is perfect, water will enter the mast through the top of the mast or through halyard exit boxes. If you get regular rain, expect to have to mob up the odd bucket of water out of the bilge compartments near the mast (or install a small bilge pump and float switch).

11. The head does not have a holding tank. How difficult (and how much) would it cost to put in one on this type of boat?
Without seeing the head installation, it is hard to say. However, it shouldn't be a difficult exercise to install a holding tank.

12. I would like at some point to increase the tankage of the fuel (currently only 12 gallons) and water (currently only 18 gallons). There doesn't appear to be many places to add additional tanks (maybe a water bladder under the rear aft berth?). Can anyone suggest how I might be able to do this and how much it may cost?
Without seeing the boat it is difficult to guess. In the short term, jerry jugs for extra fuel and water stored wherever you can find space (i.e. in the lazarette lockers) may be a reasonable option. If you do go for extra tankage, try to keep the tanks near the middle of the boat... putting extra weight in the ends of the boat is not good. In my opinion, if putting in extra tanks, it is worth going with stainless steel (we got 2 x new 15 gallon tanks in 316 stainless, custom-made to suit the shape of the hull where they fitted, with fittings and inspection/access ports, for about $300 each)


13. There is no hot water. What is an appropriate, good, yet economical system to do this upgrade, and how much to budget? The most common way to get how water is via an engine heat exchanger... this takes heat from your engine cooling system. This is great if you run your engine a lot. The alternatives are on-demand gas heating... efficient, but (a) relatively risky, and gas is not particularly cheap, or electric... 12v is very power hungry. For me, if / when we put hot water in our boat, we will go for a combination that includes an engine heat-exchanger and a short power (240v or 110v) for in marinas.

14. How much should I budget for a survey, and how much is too much? What specifics should I be requesting for this?
You probably don't need to request specifics. The surveyor should know way more than you do about boats and should know exactly what to look for. Do not use any surveyor suggested by the seller. Ask around your friends or ask at your local yacht clubs / marinas / chandleries for recommendations. Expect to pay several hundred dollars for a survey. Keep your survey because the chances are that your insurance company will request a survey.


Also, there is no shower in the head. How much do you people miss showing on a boat once you pull out of the marina - do you all actually use your onboard showers a lot, or is it a pain in the ass to use it, clean and maintain it and you avoid using it onboard and seek other methods of showering anyways?
Depending on where you plan to sail, a solar shower can be a simple and effective way to get hot showers. We have a hatch above the head area, so we hang the solar shower off the spinnaker pole, with the hatch open, have a nice hot shower then sponge out the bilge after. One day I'll get around to putting a little bilge pump in...

Thanks in advance for any input you all might be able to share!
My #1 piece of advice... enjoy using your boat. There are 1,000,000 things you could fix, to make the boat perfect, but if the boat is floating now its usable now!
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Old 02-12-2012, 18:18   #5
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Re: 1979 34' Peterson sloop - thoughts and budget confirmation

If this is the Craigslist 34ft Peterson sloop located at fisherman's wharf. I would strongly caution you to be prepared to spend serious money to make it seaworthy & more than just a live aboard. That is all it's good for in it's present condition. I won't get into the specifics, but an unbiased survey will verify & inform what you need to know. Don't get me wrong, if you have the cash to spend for a complete restoration, this could become a beautiful boat. Otherwise, it's not worth anywhere near the 15K asking price. Best of luck!
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Old 02-12-2012, 20:48   #6
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Re: 1979 34' Peterson sloop - thoughts and budget confirmation

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Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
If this is the Craigslist 34ft Peterson sloop located at fisherman's wharf. I would strongly caution you to be prepared to spend serious money to make it seaworthy & more than just a live aboard. That is all it's good for in it's present condition. I won't get into the specifics, but an unbiased survey will verify & inform what you need to know. Don't get me wrong, if you have the cash to spend for a complete restoration, this could become a beautiful boat. Otherwise, it's not worth anywhere near the 15K asking price. Best of luck!
Why don't you tell me what the issue is then so that I don't need to spend the money on the survey?
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Old 02-12-2012, 22:48   #7
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Re: 1979 34' Peterson sloop - thoughts and budget confirmation

List of things to do (please put a realistic budget against the item):

1. Haul out, clean, strip? and paint hull - time (how much, and cost of labour), materials, equipment and facility rental

If you scrub the bottom before you haul, you can get by with just a light sanding before you paint the bottom. !/2 day to sand and another 1/2 day for each coat of bottom paint. I like ablative paint because it doesn't build up and need to be stripped every so often. Sanding the hull will take about a day using 320 grit paper and a 5"-6" random orbit sander. Fairing any dings, etc will take extra time. If you roll and tip the paint, it won't cost much but you should have at least one and possibly two helpers. It will take time to sand between coats of the undercoat and that will take up at least a day. Figure you'll be out of the water for at least a week and probably close to two depending on how fast you work and the time you can devote to it. You might be surprized how the gel coat comes back if you buff it out with an electric buffer and mild rubbing compound. A couple coats of wax and you are done in two days.

2. Beta Marine deisel 3.0 - 3 years old and only 31 hours. The owners said they start it up once a month or so. Is there anything I need to do to ensure it is running in top form after sitting so much?

Get an oil analysis to find out what's really going on with the engine. The engine should be fine with that few hours but best to be safe. Replace the raw water pump impeller.

3. Safety lines around hull may need replacing

You can replace the life lines with Dyneema, etc line. Easy to splice and use lashing instead of turnbuckles. Should be able to do it for under $200.

4. Rigging - serviceable but starting to age. How much to replace

You should be able to do the rigging yourself for around a $1,000 using Norseman terminals and 316 wire. Just pull down the wires one or two at a time, fabricate new ones, replace, and move on to other stays. Use halyards to stabilize the mast while you take down the wires. A 'Mast Climber' really comes in handy to get up the mast without others help. Really saves time not having to wait around for help. Assuming your turnbuckles are bronze. If they are stainless steel, replace with bronze.

5. Mast/boom/spreaders - aluminum. May need painting.

Hate painted sticks. Always bubbles around SS fasteners, chips off and looks like crap in short order. I'd just live with it and hope it all falls off. Doing a good job prepping and painting the stick will take longer than painting the hull.

6. Some of the lines need replacing. How much for a spool of line that I can cut to size?

Main and Jib Halyards should be replaced with low stretch synthetics. They are pricey a BIG improvent over spliced wire/rope halyards. Spinnaker halyards is probably best left to double braid dacron. You'll only need a few sheets. A 100' of 7/16" double braid Dacron or 3/8" if your hands can take it will do the jib sheets. Main will take less. Spinnaker sheets can be lighter if you are the type that will fly one in a breath of wind. Another set of heavier sheets wouldn't hurt.

7. Exterior cushions will need to be replaced.

Get a couple of those small square cushions for the topside. Add more as you see a need for them. Have two of those canvas seats with a hinge in the middle. They are comfy but take up a lot of space when not on deck.

8. Interior cushions for sleeping berths (v berth/settees/single aft berth) could use updating

Forget recovering the cushions till you sell the boat. Living aboard and cruising are hard on cushions. Might want to replace the foam with a harder type for the berth that you will be using in port.

9. There is a slow leak in one of the windows - it may only need sealing? Am I correct to assume this or should I budget for something a little more extensive and invasive?

R&R'ing the fixed ports could get expensive depending how they are done. If they are plexi through bolted to the cabin, they will probably break when you try and remove them. If they are aluminum framed, should come off easily if you can get the fasteners out without breaking them. Reseal with butyl tape.

10. There had been a leak in the mast book which the owner says he repaired (I believe him). However, there is some water that has started to accumulate in the bottom of the lockers, the engine compartment and bilge. It may have come from there (or maybe somewhere else). The boat is not sailed very much. Its not a massive pool of water and the survey should flesh this out. However, could this be coming from the original leak in the mast boot, and if so is this an easy repair or costly?

Flat bottomed boats are a pain in the butt. Seems like even a cup of water will end up sloshing all over the place and soaking anything it comes in contact with. Would never own a boat without a deep sump. Get yourself a couple of big sponges and a plunger type hand pump and try and keep the bilges dry.

11. The head does not have a holding tank. How difficult (and how much) would it cost to put in one on this type of boat?

Unless you absolutely have to, forget a holding tank. Turning your boat into a floating outhouse is not my idea of what I own a boat for. You won't need a holding tank once you leave US waters.

12. I would like at some point to increase the tankage of the fuel (currently only 12 gallons) and water (currently only 18 gallons). There doesn't appear to be many places to add additional tanks (maybe a water bladder under the rear aft berth?). Can anyone suggest how I might be able to do this and how much it may cost?

Just carry Gerry Jugs on deck or In the cockpit to supplement your water and fuel needs. The boat will sail with very little wind so no need to run the engine much unless you are one of those impatient types who should really own a power boat instead. We had two 40 gallon water tanks and each would last us a month or more. Refilled them from rainwater caught off the awning. Set up fresh and salt water foot pumps and forget pressure water. Pressure water is a BIG BIG water waster.

13. There is no hot water. What is an appropriate, good, yet economical system to do this upgrade, and how much to budget?

If you can't live without hot water, an engine heated holding tank is the most efficient means to heat water as long as you arrange your hot water usage around your engine run times. If you have propane, the tankless water heaters work well and will supply hot water till your tanks run dry.

14. How much should I budget for a survey, and how much is too much? What specifics should I be requesting for this?

Also, there is no shower in the head. How much do you people miss showing on a boat once you pull out of the marina - do you all actually use your onboard showers a lot, or is it a pain in the ass to use it, clean and maintain it and you avoid using it onboard and seek other methods of showering anyways?

Showers are a pain. Condensation will soak the boat if you use them without completely isolating the shower and ventilating to the exterior. If you are going south, won't need one 'cause you can just jump in the water to clean up. Cruised for two years without a shower and never missed it.

Raced on a Peterson 34 that the owner had taken to Mexico for a year with his girlfriend. He made a hard dodger, ran the mainsail control lines back to the cockpit, and added an electric windlass. He was 70 when he left and had a good time though don't think I would've wanted to be his ex girl friend. He was a real tyrant to sail with. Boat sailed extremely well, was a demon to weather and liked the light air in the Alameda estuary. Don't think it was the same design or mfg. as the boat you're looking at, however.

Looks a decent boat that will take you wherever you want to go as long as you can put up with it's racing heritage compromises. Too bad it's got a wheel, would be a great boat except for that.

Thanks in advance for any input you all might be able to share!

Rob (hopefully Captain Rob soon!)[/QUOTE]
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