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Old 06-07-2012, 09:42   #16
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Re: advice on a project boat purchase...

The right approach is to know what you are looking for. I wanted a full keel blue water boat and when the Slocum came up for sale at an affordable price I jumped at it.

So where do you look? In Florida go to all the do it yourself working yards. You WILL find a boat. The same applies wherever you are. Two yards in Florida come to mind, Indian Town Marina in Indian Town and Riverside Marina in Ft. Pierce. Once you find the boat and I would advise getting it surveyed, you need to form a relationship with a store that has it all. The consensus is that it will cost you more to build then to buy one in ready or almost ready to go condition. I know this to be true from experience. Re furbishing the hull, deck, bulkheads and interior is a major undertaking and should be avoided. The cost and time involved is NOT worth the investment. You WILL lose money. It may improve your working knowledge of fiberglass and carpentry but it would be better if the work involved were tied to systems installation. That is how you get to know your boat. So my suggestion is to buy something structurally sound with minimal structural or interior work. Remember, if you have to build your boat out of a West Marine Catalogue you are better off buying new.

In south Florida two great outlets, Sailorman in Ft. Lauderdale and The Marine Connection in Ft. Pierce have it all to refurbish your boat. They liquidate marine merchandise and have a wide variety of new and used gear. And don’t forget that every year in Dania Florida around the middle of March there is the Dania Marine Flea Market, a must go see for anyone refurbishing a boat. This is the biggest show of it’s kind and people come from all over the country and abroad. You WILL find deals.

As far as my boat is concerned I found the Slocum listed in yachtworld.com but had more candidates in sailboatlistings.com. To emphasize my point as far as what you can get if you invest time in finding the right boat, I have below listings for two Slocum 37’s in yachtworld (in great condition) and the old listing for my boat.

Compare and you will see what you can get for considerably less. Remember the original asking price for my boat was 34K and I haggled him down to 29K. I originally offered 21K but that was a long shot. Nonetheless it is a buyers market.

Like I said, all my systems work except the water and holding tanks were removed along with the fuel tanks, which were all black iron. The previous owner installed a new 67 Gal SS fuel tank but she has only 50 gals of water in two bladder tanks. This is something to consider when looking into a used boat. The Tayana’s are great boats but you will find that unless the tanks have been changed you will be faced with black iron. Old boats with teak decks WILL leak. The teak decks on my boat leaked and were removed by the previous owner. What is left on deck to do is paint and non-skid. That’s an easy fix. If you look at the interior, the ceilings or headliner under the teak decks has to be replaced. All the trim is on boat and aside from varnishing the interior and the pattern work involved with the headliners there isn’t much else to be done.

Having been a buyer for two major boat builders and currently running my own marine business, cost of new equipment because I buy direct is considerably less. That said I would say since the engine and all the running and standing rigging is sound, less than 10K will make her ready to go.

BTW, she surveyed at $65900 and was told by the surveyor if I finish off the deck, give her topside paint and finish the interior he will re-write the survey for 90K.

Deals are out there if you take the time to look.

RT



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1989 Slocum Yachts 37 Cutter Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

1986 Slocum 37 sailboat for sale.
This one listed for over 100K

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Old 06-07-2012, 12:57   #17
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Re: advice on a project boat purchase...

There are a couple of books that folks here have recomended more than a few times about (self) surveying a boat - but I forget the names (guys?).

Basically you do need to look at everything and also understand the cost of fixes / replacements (in cash, time and skills required - your own or others)....including for stuff that is still good, but sooner or later won't be. You will anyway once you have bought, IMO makes sense to do all that beforehand - the choice is basically between a bit of light reading and chatting on the internet (plus a lot of wandering about potential projects and poking around in dark places - thinking to self: "am glad she ain't mine" )......vs.......a lot more time upside down in a bilge etc, effing 'n' blinding about the Previous Owner (PO) whilst throwing dollops of cash at problems no sane person would have bought. Boats is all about choices .

Whilst of course makes sense to get a professional Surveyor (although opinions on that do vary - as on everything else!), nonetheless knowing yourself what you are looking at is always better (and cheaper) than simply relying on someone else - ideally with the Surveyor confirming what you already know (albeit of course neither of you will know everything - unless you have x-ray vision! - and only you will find out everything after purchase when (if?!) you get into taking stuff apart that a Vendor understandably would never allow prior to a sale, whether or not he is trying to hide stuff.

At the risk of stating the obvious, by the time a boat has reached project stage (whether already a project or not) it will a) be older and b) likely to have gone through a number of PO's - some of whom will have made up for a lack of cash (and knowledge?) with innovative approaches ........and PO's can be very innovative (and can even genuinely think what they have done is good).

But it can be an enjoyable experiance - just like childbirth apparently, after the 3rd one gets easier
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Old 06-07-2012, 15:49   #18
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Re: advice on a project boat purchase...

A lot of people have very pessimistic views on projects and project boats. For most, its probably due a bad experience in the past.

Depending on your skill-set a project boat could be very rewarding and enjoyable. For me, working on my boat is a significant part of the joy of ownership. Many others dread having to pull out a wrench or a paint brush.

There are a few things, if you have never refitted a boat, that you should understand.

To give you an idea where I am coming from (to put my experiences into perspective), I have a lot of trade skills. I worked for 5 years as an auto mechanic owning my own auto shop, I am also quite knowledgeable with electronics (both house wiring, and circuitry/theory). I also have done a fair bit of carpentry, both on boats and buildings, and finally I also have some painting experience (automotive bodywork/spray). Right now I have decided to go back to school and i am working on a degree in electrical engineering.

The first thing that you NEED to know is boats aren't houses. Everything takes about 100x longer.

I did a total renovation of a 4000sqft commercial building in 3 months with a crew of around 5 people. We redid EVERYTHING. After demolition, we were left with 2 free-standing brick walls, a foundation, and some roof trussing over half the building. At the end of 3 months, we had a new building. If you put this amount of effort into the interior of a 40ft boat, you might be able to refurbish the existing layout if your lucky.

To put it into perspective, the time it took to do around 1500sqft of laminate flooring, and 500sqft of tile (including cutting the corners off every tile and putting nice little "diamond" tiles at each corner) took less time than doing 80sqft of teak hardwood in my old 32ft bayliner express cruiser.

When you can't really use trim to hide things, and everything is at odd angles and curves, every piece needs to be carefully templated, cut, and fastened. The cost is also at least 10x more for materials. No steel, no wood that rots, no laminates, etc. Even wiring is 3 times the price for marine grade.


My point is, it is very easy to bite off more than you can chew. My current boat, a 49' defever power boat, was definitely a project when I got it, however it was still fully functional and usable. I took it 1300nm up the west coast when i bought it. So far I have spent a good 500+ hours refinishing the decks, repainting the hull and cabins, and working on the wood trim. I have no yet even touched the interior.

I expected this amount of work, since this was not my first boat project, but to the non-marine trade expert looking at the boat, they would likely say "meh, perhaps a couple weeks work".

I think the best statement i've read in here is "buying a project boat is like an flexible financing plan". That is a great way to put it. In my case, i was able to use my trade skills and spare time to get into a boat, that in good condition, was beyond my means at the time. Also, while you most likely will NOT save money, you do have the potential to increase quality. For example, after doing all the work on my boat, I could likely purchase a similar boat in good condition for the money I have put in. But this boat would likely not have "stuff" brand new in the past 2 years (new paint, all wood freshly refinished/no buildup, new mechanical components, etc.).

In closing, my advice to you is, for your first boat project, buy something that "looks" like its in "well used" condition, with perhaps a couple broken pieces of equipment... you'll soon find that this is actually quite a huge project. Take any estimates of cost and time and multiply by 10 (seriously).

If you approach project boats from this standpoint, there are still great deals out there (hell, you might even come out ahead if your really lucky), and you won't disappoint yourself.

Ps: the advice on layout is good. Trust me, you won't be significantly changing ANY boat's layout. Get this out of your head now and it will save you regret, and possibly destroying a perfectly good hull.

pps: local classifieds are a good source of project boats... craigslist, local paper, etc.
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Old 06-07-2012, 16:07   #19
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Re: advice on a project boat purchase...

Quote:
1. Where does one FIND laid up project boats?
Don't!

Find the best possible boat you can afford and go from there. Project boats can suck the life out of you after she gets all your money. If being untrained you see something as a "project boat" then don't make an offer to purchase that is more then a negative dollar amount. The details of fixing boats from poor to suitable takes a LOT of money after you spend 1000's of hours being paid nothing. New parts of anything cost a lot of money and the piece by piece replacement of a cruising boat will bleed you silly.

Find the best deal on the best boat you can find and spend a few years sailing it silly is the best advice I can offer. You'll learn the boat from doing it and you won't be 10,000 miles from your support network. You really can't "fix" a boat in less than 9 months because you can't sail it for a season to prove you did. Do you want to bet your life on you that does not have any experience? The only alternative is to get some and test it.

It will take you long enough to fix any sort of good boat into something suitable that you'll enjoy! Minimally finished won't get you home at the end. Even a pretty good boat takes a lot of TLC! You should get to know her on the water not at the dock. Even if you like to work on the boat you'll get a whole lot of it no matter what you buy.
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Old 06-07-2012, 16:34   #20
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Definitely don't on your first boat. No matter how many books you read or forum advice you get, life and your own personal interest will inevitably steer you in another direction. The advice I wish someone had given me when I was in your position is go somewhere warm and buy a boat you can pay cash for. If you are in the states I would highly recommend Puerto Vallarta, La pas or San Carlos Mexico. Very easy cruising grounds for a small boat you carry insurance etc and a easy flight commute for a single guy. Great cruising community as well. Oh did I mention it is warm. After a couple years you will have a flush bank account and all the info you need to make a informed decision on a great cruiser. The west coast of mx is a secret location for picking up amazing deals on turn key offshore boats in a right place right time situation. It is the point where some get with asperations to go west on there perfect boats and decide it is really not the life they envisioned so they unload the boat.
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Old 06-07-2012, 16:46   #21
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Re: advice on a project boat purchase...

All the above cautions are very good. Having said that, Craig's list is an excellent place to find them. Search "sailboat" in you local listing. What is your location? Seattle Craig's list has a Project Rawson 30 just posted for $4000.
A little small maybe per your post.... Some project boats are a huge project. Some just nee a little TLC, new cushions etc.
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Old 06-07-2012, 17:51   #22
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Re: advice on a project boat purchase...

I would be looking for a Hinckley Bermuda 40 that has seen better days, not a Bruce Roberts or a Rawson. If you can restore the Hinckley, you'll have something of real value.
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Old 06-07-2012, 18:19   #23
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Re: advice on a project boat purchase...

Having had a project boat for many many years and am in the midst of repairing things I've repaired before I must say I know every inch of the boat. Still not sailing it but I know it very well.

If you want to sail, then save up your money to by a sailing boat. If you want to build a boat and repair engines, rigging, refrigeration, pumps and plumbing then buy a project boat. You'll also learn electrical and to fiberglass and build things that are not square.

If you are on the island of Hawaii I'll point you to three large bluewater project boats within a mile radius and we're not even near the waterfront.

My advice is save your money and take sailing classes and when the timing is right jump on the boat you want that is already in the water and sailing.

kind regards,
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Old 06-07-2012, 18:28   #24
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Re: advice on a project boat purchase...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allio View Post
i'm 4 pages into the refitting/refurbing thread DOJ started....

I'm aiming for a boat that can tackle high seas and oceanic sailing down the line. from a personal comfort point of view, I'll guarantee my own work but don't know if I'd trust a boat that someone's selling on the cheap... surely the point of the refurb refit is that you'll know the boat will be good when you're 1000 miles out to sea....

my goal would not be pretty, don't believe in fancy pants, I believe in solid and serviceable.... another reason for wanting to prod into all the nooks and crannies that only a refurb would allow....
First...Welcome to the forum
Second...You're not listening. Almost every person here has tried to dissuade you from buying a fixer having zero experience with what sailboats are about . I will add to the list with I have built 3 steel sailboats (2 of my own). Rescued a F/G derelict in the Barstow Desert and two more F/G after that. I have over 32 years of sailboat refitting. I'm pleading with you...DON"T DO IT! You live inland which for more than half the year, nothing will get done on the boat (November to April) when it's too freakin cold in an unheated barn.
Any second hand boat you buy that passes a survey will have plenty of maintenance issues...PLENTY! On a 38 ft. boat, by the time you start at the bow and fix everything that stops working and make it to the stern, it will be time to go back to the bow. Boats like this can be bought for $1000 a ft. If you buy a boatyard queen for lets say, $9000. By the time rigging (running and standing), engine, cushions, up-graded electronics, I could go on for awhile, You'll be into it for an extra $40k-$50K and 3 years working on it part time. You'll make changes to the interior that some or most people will not like and if (when) you go to sell it, you'll have a boat that has $60,000 in to it that you can't sell for $35,000.
Ok...you've heard all the opinions from people who have done it. if you still want to do it...go for it...I did.
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Old 06-07-2012, 19:10   #25
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I just looked on Vallarta yachts there is a tiburom 36 for 49 this was our first boat super easy to sail and a awesome live aboard. You can find similar boats for less and just go sailing they are ready to go. This one even has a new yanmar in it.
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:08   #26
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Re: advice on a project boat purchase...

Curmudgeon,
The Berumda 40 was my dream boat but the price puts it out of reach for most middle class buyers even in this market. However, I almost had a poor mans Bermuda 40 until my wife went nuts and killed the sale. It was a Morgan 41 Aft cockpit center board sloop. See link:

1968 MORGAN ’41 Aft cockpit – centerboard Sailboats

If this boat is available it would make a great project boat. I had her inspected (in the water) and it would be an afordable project boat. It is worth the trip to see her.

Tell Danny Rich sent you....
PS The 4-108 is like new. Loads of sails all good. I had a surveyor lined up to inspect her out of the water when I made the mistake of telling my wife.
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:29   #27
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Re: advice on a project boat purchase...

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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Every boat is a project boat. Some are just bigger projects than others. IMHO you've gotten good advice in this thread, but IMHO the best advice you've received is that, if you are determined to refurbish a boat, find one that's worth the time and effort. You need to scour the nearby boatyards to find a well regarded boat that has fallen into disrepair. They exist.
Right on, right on, right on!!! I SECOND THAT!
Whatever you do, you better love it! The last thing you want is to be stuck with something you cant handle, above your skills, income level, unable to sell down the road.
DON'T GET IN A HURRY! Go out and learn all you can before you jump into the biggest regret of your life!
Two years ago I bought someones broken dream for 10 cents on the dollar. They lost about 80k because they didnt know what they were doing. Their loss is my gain and I have already doubled my money because I know what I'm doing and I have been doing it for along time -40years-My 1st boat was named "Folly" and believe me - it was!! But I've learned from there and have been pretty lucky buying, fixing & selling boats.
Take your time and do it right!
Good luck!
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:47   #28
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Re: advice on a project boat purchase...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
I would be looking for a Hinckley Bermuda 40 that has seen better days, not a Bruce Roberts or a Rawson. If you can restore the Hinckley, you'll have something of real value.
You and about a million others! Yeah the Rawsons are getting real long in the tooth, and werent that great to start with. I have no idea the budget or location..... my advice is DO NOT start with a boat you have to gut and start over, unless your goal is carpentry as opposed to sailing. Boats with an intact interior which appear to be a bit of a project often turn into big projects anyway. If you've not done boat interior work, do a little soul searching. Nothing worth less on resale than a DIY looking interior.
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Old 07-07-2012, 13:49   #29
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Re: advice on a project boat purchase...

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Nothing worth less on resale than a DIY looking interior.
Especially one wrapped around a "novel" layout customised solely around the needs of the owner (and builder) - even if those needs have been conjured out of thin air, rather than hands on. Yes, a big galley is nice and you do only need one berth......just that only one berth will impact badly on resale (especially if the berth is on deck ).......and yes, I know you will never sell and the boat will outlast you, but that likely because you will never be able to sell the bloody thing! (and possibly never give it away either!)....all boats get sold eventually (whether wanted to or not) - and at that point money arriving in pocket will become important. Keep at least one eye on potential resale.
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Old 07-07-2012, 13:52   #30
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Re: advice on a project boat purchase...

BTW I hope OP has not wandered off forever!

This thread does come accross as negative about the whole idea (and possibly about OP?) - but I see it as being very positive. and helpful. Lots to think about. lots. The more "you" think, the more you save (time, money and mental scars!).
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