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Old 20-06-2008, 03:03   #1
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boat list potential causes?

Hi All:

I'm in the midst of buying myself a new boat, and one of the candidates that I'm about to put an offer on is a 29' monohull (a Gulf 29). It needs some lovin' (otherwise I couldn't afford it, alas), and one of the issues that has me frowning is a noticeable list to starboard -- about 4 inches or so. My suspicion is that it's simply a weight distribution problem: the 2 batteries plus an interior helm console plus a refrigerator installed by the previous owner are all on starboard. But are there any other potential causes of a list apart from a leak and subsequent partial flooding, which does not appear to be the case? (I tried googling the problem, but googling "boat list" was a nightmare.)

Cheers,

Buddy Y
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Old 20-06-2008, 04:46   #2
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My suspicion is that it's simply a weight distribution problem: the 2 batteries plus an interior helm console plus a refrigerator installed by the previous owner are all on starboard.
It has to be a weight distribution issue. All boats list to some extent but it's best if you can't see it from the dock. Batteries and tanks as well as lockers filled with who knows what are likely places to look. A section of bilge filled with water could cause it too but you should be able to find what it is.

I would inventory any gear on board and decide if there are things that you don't want or need. Then look at what can be moved (if anything). Include tank levels as well as location. I doubt it came out of the factory with that much list so look for owner completed projects that may need to be un fixed.

I would say your googling isn't going to help you find what is making the list. Piling water jugs on the opposite side until it levels out can help you calculate how much list you have. 8 pounds to the gallon if placed at the widest point in the beam will yield a lever of 1/2 the beam times the weight. That would indicate how much offset you need to find and remove OR if you can move 1/2 of the problem to the other side of the boat you will be level. The more inboard the load is the less lever it has.

If you plan to do some extensive travel you'll probably be adding a lot of stuff so offsetting the list may be simple.
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Old 20-06-2008, 04:46   #3
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While probably a weight distribution problem, if the boat is solid fibreglass or a cored composite then something to keep in mind if intending to buy is that it may be due to one side of the hull being heavier than the other due to osmosis or saturation of the core.

A boat with that problem had a surveyor I know in hysterics one day - the owner couldn't fathom out the cause of a significant list until the surveyor got the boat out of the water and checked the hull.
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Old 20-06-2008, 07:29   #4
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I am with Paul on this one. There is more stuff on one side or the tanks are not balanced.
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Old 20-06-2008, 08:19   #5
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I also agree. We had exactly the same phenomenon on our Hunter 34. Old H34s were very popular boats and we soon learned that the starboard list was inherent in the design - water heater, batteries, and water tank all on the starboard side. You can usually adjust the balance when provisioning or adding equipment. Or, in our case, we switched to AGM batteries and mounted them on the port side - boat then floated flat even when unloaded.
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Old 20-06-2008, 13:52   #6
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thanks for putting my mind at ease

Thanks for putting my mind at ease everyone. I was worried that I'd put in an offer and then find out that everyone in the sailing community but me knows that listing means such-and-such a hideous problem. Weight distribution I can always remedy.

Vent warning -- frustration paragraph ahead.

So now that you put my mind at ease about the list, I put in an offer on the Gulf 29 just now, and I have been rejected within twenty mnutes in an mad manner, i.e., the owner refuses to budge on a price that's $10k too high. That's two Gulf 29s in two days that I've put in offers on, and in both cases the owner has been so out of whack with his price expectations that the two respective brokers have both told me, "Your price is right, but he's not realistic and not flexible--he'll end up selling at that price or less, but apparently he needs to let the boat grow green at the dock for another four or five months before coming to his senses. Give it up and go find another boat."

I know that others have said it before, but goodness this frustrates me. My favourite broker (who sold me my last boat) gave up the business last winter, and when I met him on the street, he told me that it wasn't the high Canadian dollar, the lack of marina spaces, etc., that broke his back: it was his sellers, who would rather let a boat sit a year or more rather than lower their price to suit market realities. Groan.

Well, back to the market... on a sunny day in the middle of June when I should be out on the water.
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Old 20-06-2008, 15:18   #7
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What about posting a wanted advert? (either online or local rag - whatever works in your area).

"Cash buyer seeks Gulf 29, XYZ 30, ABC 31 or similar (IMO don't be too specific) - quick decision made (doesn't have to be strictly true when it comes to completing! - in boat buying / selling "quick" is a relative term .....but a quick no is often easy, on condition / price - or both!). A Vessel requiring refurbishment / updating considered (I wouldn't try just for a "doer upper" by limiting the advert to solely these - wanna see if yer can tempt someone who needs / wants the cash from a quick deal......... who has a nice one!)"

The secret to selling at a good price, is buying at one.

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Old 20-06-2008, 16:19   #8
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Wink Ya theres lots of "optimistic" sellers........

There is a boat across from my slip that has not moved in at least 6 years.
The bimini is in shreds, the boom is laying into the cockpit, and the companionway slider was left open for at least a year.

It was looking a bit low in the water so I had a look and sure enough there was water 2/3 the way up the settees.

I contacted the owner and broadly hinted that if he was tired of the boat(as it seemed to me)I would be interested if the price was right. I was figuring about $10-12,000US and about choked when he mentioned that he had felt insulted a "few" years before when he was offered $25,000.

This boat is an Ohlsen36, a nice boat no doubt if it had been looked after properly(even a little would have been nice). I have seen them listed at as much as $60,000 but they were in immaculate condition with new sails and engine.

This boat needs at least $20,000 worth of repairs. The interior needs to be stripped out, the engine has been partially submerged and is probably ruined, the sails are very old and in bad shape, as is all the running rigging.

The standing rigging is iffy looking and there is at least some water intrusion in parts of the deck. The windlass is rusted solid and the wiring I could see was pretty poor.

After further review I figured if he offered it to me at $5,000 I would be hesitant.

It was only after meeting the owner that I figured out his trouble,........He's an English Major.(a professor no less)

No wonder he has trouble with reality.........m
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Old 20-06-2008, 17:21   #9
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[FONT='Calibri','sans-serif']This boat needs at least $20,000 worth of repairs. [/FONT]
You had better think again. I doubt it could be done for that little.
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Old 20-06-2008, 18:16   #10
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Buy in the winter sell in the summer Ed.
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Old 20-06-2008, 20:06   #11
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maybe I will...

Maybe I will take David's advice and post a "boat wanted" ad, as suggested. Frankly, I've been in the boat market in this area for weeks now, and it's to the point that I have all the broker-listed boats in my range memorized and diagnosed.

My difficulty seems to be that my budget and needs are in an awkward range. I want to end up (after the purchase and basic initial upgrades) with a basic sailboat of 29+ feet, with furling, and a diesel engine that's not ancient or messed up, dinghy, plus depth sounder, VHF. (I don't even need moorage; I've got that wrapped up.) My budget for such a boat, plus the BC 7% sales tax, plus initial upgrades, is about $25k. I've been finding that all the boats around this price range here in BC tend to be: 1) smaller boats that are pimped up or pumped up price-wise; 2) boats that be $30k but which are in terrible shape. There seems to be few such good boats in the $20k range, and lately whenever I find one, the broker rewards my diligience by announcing, "There's been an accepted offer on it...."

In fact, I think I've just talked myself into posting that 'boat wanted' ad. If this weekend's round of boat-inspections don't bring me any luck, I'll start here in the friendly confines of the "Cruiser's forum" classifieds board, before I delve into the mayhem of Craiglist.
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Old 20-06-2008, 20:37   #12
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4 inches at the water line is a lot to me.

I would take everything out of the boat that moves, empty the water tanks and inspect the hulls inside and out.

My concern is a hull repair that you can't see form the outside that may be 4 inches thick on the inside.

With everything out on the dock and the list still 4 inches and the hull is inspected, I'd rest easy.
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Old 20-06-2008, 21:14   #13
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your problem is you are trying to buy in a sellers market - look again in January and December when it's cold raining or snowing. Then if somebody has to sell your chances of a fair deal are better.
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