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Old 19-10-2015, 05:29   #1
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Advice on Aluminum boat Valencin 39, 1985

Hello All!

I'm in my 30-s and in 4 years from now I plan to do early-retirement and sail around the world for 4-5 years (maybe more).
I have experience with sailing mostly on charter boats. Did 3500+ miles. Mostly in Netherlands, North sea and also in Meds and Canary islands. I also have RYA Yachtmaster certificate.

For me, I want an ocean going boat of 36-41ft, 2 cabins and heads.

So I started searching for the boat I would enjoy cruising in 4 years from now and I saw an add for aluminum boat, custom made in France Valencin 39 (built in 1985 by Constructions Navales Carenal, designed by Christophe Huet).

I could not find any information about the builder nor designer. So I decided to go and have a look on the boat.

So far the boat looks nice, hull seems to be in great shape. How ever the engine is pretty old (30-yars old Perkins 4108) and probably needs replacement. The rig and sails probably need replacement and something that I personally did not like is that a toilet is in V-berth cabin (Replacing one of back cabins with a proper toilet and shower?).

The asking price for is 59k Euro.

Her's the links to the pictures and specs:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zwo6azj5g...G6RkKFJaa?dl=0

I'm quite handy guy and I can do and replace all the plumbing and electricity and maybe even do some interior, but I have no knowledge in rigging, painting and engine replacement.

So what do you guys think about this Project boat? Is it worth taking it and in next 2 years replace/change the engine, rigging and re-do the heads?
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Old 19-10-2015, 05:56   #2
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Re: Advice on Aluminum boat Valencin 39, 1985

Welcome to CF xslim!

The boat looks very nice, although I have no knowledge of it at all...

It seems to me as that buying it and changing to fit your needs is more costly than finding the right boat...

I wouldn't throw out a 30 year old engine just for the age...

Good luck!
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Old 19-10-2015, 06:03   #3
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Re: Advice on Aluminum boat Valencin 39, 1985

I calculated that engine change is around 10k, rigging - 5k and interior change - 5k. Maybe + 10k for additional unexpected things.

I searched internet and can't find any aluminum boats in less than 100k.

It is true, for 80k I could buy a 10 year old, 38ft production boat, say plastic Oceanis... but not the aluminum boat that I could go anywhere...
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Old 19-10-2015, 06:20   #4
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Re: Advice on Aluminum boat Valencin 39, 1985

I think your idea had merit, and she sure looks stout from the drawings...

You may be a bit shy on your refit numbers, but not too much...

Search around here for posts on aluminum hulls... I know there's some info on the proper aluminum, and construction... I'd hate to see you get into something that gives you significant problems...

Surely where you are there are plenty if local surveyors with extensive knowledge of aluminum construction...

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Old 19-10-2015, 06:31   #5
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Re: Advice on Aluminum boat Valencin 39, 1985

Thank's for the reply! I'm a constant reader of this forum for almost 2 years, just did not needed to post anything

I plan to hire a surveyor that will also check the thickness of the aluminum (800 euro for that). My personal inspection showed no corrosion on the hull and very clean bilges.

Some things I'm still trying to figure out:
- How hard is to re-build a spare cabin into a proper watertight toilet/shower?
- The paint on deck needs to be re-newed. Is it worth painting or maybe putting synthetic non-skid teak there? (I guesstimate 2k for painting or 4k for Flexiteek)
- Should I replace the rigging even if I don't see any current problems with it?

Thank you so much for support!
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Old 19-10-2015, 06:46   #6
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Re: Advice on Aluminum boat Valencin 39, 1985

No problem on the reply!

We're all here because we enjoy throwing our opinions around whether they are good or bad...

+1 on your surveyor, a good price too... Quiz him on aluminum, but he sounds at least capable of plating thickness... He's probably a good pick...

I don't think it would be hard at all to convert a cabin into a dedicated head and also a wet gear locker... A pan and some dedicated plumbing... Sure lots of time, but you seem very capable...

Me personally, I would go with deck paint... There is some info here on truck bed liner style coating for decks that might interest you as well...

Have your surveyor, or another "rigging surveyor" look at your rig... WELL worth the $$ ... You could save many times the cost of replacement...

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Old 19-10-2015, 07:38   #7
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Re: Advice on Aluminum boat Valencin 39, 1985

Quote:
Originally Posted by xslim View Post
Hello All!

I'm in my 30-s and in 4 years from now I plan to do early-retirement and sail around the world for 4-5 years (maybe more).
I have experience with sailing mostly on charter boats. Did 3500+ miles. Mostly in Netherlands, North sea and also in Meds and Canary islands. I also have RYA Yachtmaster certificate.

For me, I want an ocean going boat of 36-41ft, 2 cabins and heads.

So I started searching for the boat I would enjoy cruising in 4 years from now and I saw an add for aluminum boat, custom made in France Valencin 39 (built in 1985 by Constructions Navales Carenal, designed by Christophe Huet).

I could not find any information about the builder nor designer. So I decided to go and have a look on the boat.

So far the boat looks nice, hull seems to be in great shape. How ever the engine is pretty old (30-yars old Perkins 4108) and probably needs replacement. The rig and sails probably need replacement and something that I personally did not like is that a toilet is in V-berth cabin (Replacing one of back cabins with a proper toilet and shower?).

The asking price for is 59k Euro.

Her's the links to the pictures and specs:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zwo6azj5g...G6RkKFJaa?dl=0

I'm quite handy guy and I can do and replace all the plumbing and electricity and maybe even do some interior, but I have no knowledge in rigging, painting and engine replacement.

So what do you guys think about this Project boat? Is it worth taking it and in next 2 years replace/change the engine, rigging and re-do the heads?
Be VERY VERY CAREFUL! Old aluminum can be very hard to repair or reweld. My analogy: steel gets acne: visible and curable. Old aluminum gets cancer. It looks great until the condition is fatal.

I'm a welder, built my own steel boat 1990-92, still going strong, no rust. Before that, I worked as a marine welder, doing both hull work and fabrication in all metals. Ask any marine welder about old aluminum hulls.

Maybe yours is perfect, but many are not, and they are almost impossible to fix. The old aluminum is not like the metal was when it was manufactured and originally welded. BE CAREFUL.

For a "project boat" I have a simple answer: solid fiberglass (no core) from the 60s-80s. You can bring them back to like new condition with simple methods almost anybody can do.

I put aluminum hulls in the same category as teak decks: Great for the first owner, and pure hell for the third owner in the third decade.
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Old 19-10-2015, 13:47   #8
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Re: Advice on Aluminum boat Valencin 39, 1985

I expect old Travis McGee has a valid perspective. If you could find a Palmer Johnson alloy boat that's been on the Great Lakes (U.S and /or Canada) all its' life then maybe the risk would be acceptable. Why aluminum rather than steel?
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Old 19-10-2015, 14:15   #9
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Re: Advice on Aluminum boat Valencin 39, 1985

I cannot ascertain from the pic... is the forward head the only head? I see it is not enclosed from the V berth (if I'm seeing it properly) Not the best layout if that is true, heads smell ....and you will be sleeping with your nose near it!
Is there an aft cabin?
If the forward head is the only one, it's a big reason the boat may likely be purchased cheaper than many. (or should be) Even only one enclosed head is a deficit when selling often. (Not for me but for the majority)
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Old 19-10-2015, 14:38   #10
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Re: Advice on Aluminum boat Valencin 39, 1985

In my opinion, a cruising boat of this size can be a handful with the tiller - you may consider adding a wheel - although the tiller is perhaps easier with a wind vane.
Key thought on the decks - Plastic teak gets very hot underfoot in strong sun. I appreciate the makers all claim to have improved it, but I keep hearing whinging from folks who have burnt feet, hands and/or thighs. Kiwi Grip deck paint is fabulous, but a core issue with aluminium is to get the key right. Preparation is all important, leave bare metal for a few hours and slight oxidation will affect the bond
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Old 19-10-2015, 14:39   #11
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Re: Advice on Aluminum boat Valencin 39, 1985

Yes, the toilet currently is in the V berth. The boat has 2 big aft cabins. So I'm thinking of possibility to convert one to a proper toilet with shower.
Why not steel - too heavy.
Why not polyester - maybe, but I thought I might sail to greenland some day to see some Ice And it feels more secure in aluminum one.
PS. I can't buy boats outside of Europe
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Old 19-10-2015, 14:46   #12
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Re: Advice on Aluminum boat Valencin 39, 1985

Welcome to the forum Xslim. A first post after 2 years .

There is no perfect boat building material, but for a cruising boat aluminium is the best alternative in my view. However it is vital the that the boat was constructed of a suitable grade (or grades) of aluminium and welded by the best guys in the business. Is is also important that the electrics have been properly done and the lead in the keel is correctly isolated.

They tended to use some totally unsuitable grades of aluminium in the early days so that is first thing to check. I did not see that anywhere in the specs, but perhaps I missed it.
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Old 19-10-2015, 15:32   #13
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Re: Advice on Aluminum boat Valencin 39, 1985

If the water supply lines are in copper then you need to check anyplace that water could have leaked from the copper lines for "corrosion." I read of an aluminum boat built in the 70's or 80's, in a well regarded yard, that used copper water lines. The lines were isolated from the aluminum but the lines leaked. The water leakage from copper pipes was enough to cause "corrosion" on the aluminum where the water landed.

I never would have guessed that would have been a problem.

Later,
Dan
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Old 19-10-2015, 15:39   #14
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Re: Advice on Aluminum boat Valencin 39, 1985

Quote:
I might sail to greenland some day to see some Ice
If the first owner had the same intend great, if not you will probably have a very difficult (and expensive) time to isolate the hull 'against condensation'.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Carsten
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Old 20-10-2015, 00:19   #15
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Re: Advice on Aluminum boat Valencin 39, 1985

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If the water supply lines are in copper then you need to check anyplace that water could have leaked from the copper lines for "corrosion." I read of an aluminum boat built in the 70's or 80's, in a well regarded yard, that used copper water lines. The lines were isolated from the aluminum but the lines leaked. The water leakage from copper pipes was enough to cause "corrosion" on the aluminum where the water landed.

I never would have guessed that would have been a problem.

Later,
Dan
Amazing. Using copper water pipes in an aluminium boat is madness. Every contact with the aluminium hull would need to be isolated. Even a small area of contact would result in rapid corrosion as you then have the whole length of copper pipe electrically connected to the hull. This is a very large mass of copper.

This was even a slight problem when copper pipes were mandated for fuel lines. Special pipe with a very tough plastic jacket was needed. Even then this was a much smaller mass of copper. These days flexible fuel lines can, mostly replace the copper.

One of the few problems with an aluminium boat is you need to be a knowledgable owner to prevent boatyards doing stupid things like this, especially when new equipment is fitted.
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