Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 27-07-2009, 17:37   #46
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Boat: Boat owner hopeful
Posts: 23
Need Help!

I’m new to this forum and somewhat new to owning a boat. I had a 50’s vintage 42’ Owens cruiser in the mid 70’s on a lake that rarely left the dock, which is close to the last time I was even on a boat, but I’ve got the fever again!

Like the Owens cruiser, I’m looking for something that won’t spend much time away from the dock, but instead be a getaway for the weekends where my wife and I can relax and spend time with our children and grandchildren.

I’m an avid tinkerer and have the mechanical skills, aptitude and money to build pretty much anything I put my mind to and the boats we’re looking at are in much need of restoration and TLC, which is also part of my motivation for buying one.

I’ve attached pictures of one of the boats that are high on my list and I need advice. This is a cement hulled boat 64' - 9" LOA with a 19.7' beam and draft of 6' empty that was built in built 1976 by John Buchanan of Fletcher Christian Marine.

It has twin screw propellers @ 38" X 24" on 304 SS 2 1/2" shafts driven by two GM8V 71n diesel engines with 318H.P. @ 2250 RPM. The transmissions are twin Disc TD-509 ratio of reduction 2:1 with internal hydraulic shifting.

The boat is in terrible disrepair and from what I can gather without a survey is really nothing more than a hull, deck and two engines. Topside is plywood with fiberglass overlay that is all rotten, leaking and needs total replacement.

There is nothing above deck or below that is worth salvaging other than the engines and my plan would be to keep the basic above deck design using 1/8” aluminum and revamp below deck living quarters to something more suited to our lifestyle.

You can see by the pictures from when it was last dry docked in the early 80’s that is was a beautiful yacht, but is a far cry from that today and I have no idea where to even begin to negotiate from on price. Can someone please give me a clue?

Gorbachov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-07-2009, 18:33   #47
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario Canada
Boat: 1995 Beneteau Oceanis 281
Posts: 73
The first time a heard of a cement boat I looked up at my father and said "Really? They have cement boats?"

He looked at me and said. "Well, they have cement trucks."

Waterborn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-07-2009, 18:42   #48
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2007
Boat: Roberts 44 Offshore
Posts: 62
Oh boy
winterbuoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-07-2009, 19:12   #49
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Boat: Boat owner hopeful
Posts: 23
Ha! Never thought about that one before, maybe that would be the cheaper route to go, but I doubt the box on the back would float as I think the weight of the chassis would pull it under…Just a bit too much ballast there!

Any thoughts on my question? I could really use some good advice, as I know nothing about this thing's worth. Most folks tell me to stay away from it the minute the hear it's cement, but from what I read that's not necessarily true.
Gorbachov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-07-2009, 20:54   #50
Moderator Emeritus
Boracay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pelican Bay, Great Sandy National Park
Boat: Steel Roberts Offshore 44
Posts: 5,174
Images: 18
My what a big boat you want...

65' is a big boat in anyone's money.
You would be looking at a 15,000 hour restoration job and over $150,000 in cost, not including the price of the boat.

You mention children and grandchildren, and wanting a project so I'm guessing you are looking at a retirement project. If that is the case I doubt that you would ever finish it. The grandchildren most likely will never go anywhere.

Why not look for a nice trawler type around 38' in good condition with a smallish single engine in very good condition, dinghy hoist to suit a 10' rib with 15 hp Yamaha and a usable enough swim platform to tempt the grandkids.

Even a nice boat is going to have lots of things for a dedicated tinkerer to fix.
Boracay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-07-2009, 23:13   #51
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Boat: Boat owner hopeful
Posts: 23
Boracay, thanks for the response! Iíve been contemplating purchasing a larger cruiser for several years as a retirement project, as you guessed and have been actively looking at boats from 30í to 80í of all shapes and sizes from San Diego to Seattle. The $150K is about right from what I can determine and that doesnít worry me as much as not finishing a project Iíve started for other reasons like ill health, but at 57 and in somewhat average health I think Iíd enjoy every minute of this type of restoration project.

I own multiple manufacturing businesses and have capabilities to manufacture virtually anything out of aluminum, steel or composites. Our metal fabricating facility has computer controlled machine centers that can laser cut plate that is 20í wide and 60í long, which can drill, tap, counter bore and slot without hands ever touching the components. We also have some of the best TIG welders working for us in the state, so I have an advantage when it comes to fabricating the aluminum structure above deck.

Iíve thought about building a hull, which from what Iíve seen is a major project. If I can buy a boat like this one pictured with a sound hull, deck and engines and good-looking exterior design I think Iíd be somewhat ahead, depending of course on what the used boat would initially cost. My plan would be to replace the exterior wood fiberglass covered cabin walls with aluminum on a piece-by-piece basis that are fabricated in our plant and bring them to the boat and install the panel sections over time, leaving the non-replaced wood sections intact.

This would allow me to keep the boat berthed in a marina as we enjoy it as a getaway and do the above deck, wall and roof restoration in sections over a period of time, almost like remodeling a house thatís being lived in. Iím used to building and maintaining multiple production facilities, some in excess of a million square feet, so the size of the boat is not something that scares me. My biggest concern is getting a feel for the value of the boat, before I spend considerable time and effort to learn that the owner is asking way more than what itís worth.

Is there anyone here that can give me a rough ballpark idea of what this boat is worth as a hull with deck and motors? The small town this boat is in has suffered greatly over the last 10 years from the timber industry closing all the mills and with the economy being what it is, now thereís lots of boats to chose from where owners can no longer afford the bank note, insurance, berthing fees, or upkeep. An alternative to the cruiser is an 80í double masted steel hulled sail boat in the same vicinity going for $60K, which Iíve attached another picture of.

What I like about the sailboat is it can go around the world at very little expense, using wind as its source of fuel. My wife likes the roominess above and below deck of the cruiser and doesnít care much for the cramped quarters of the sailboat. This particular steel boat is 80í long with two masts and the owner is asking $60K for it. Iíve not delved into its seaworthiness but may examine it further if the Cruiser doesnít pan out. Any guesses to the cruiser worth? Your ďTips on Secondhand Steel BoatsĒ is great info if the cruiser falls out of grace.

The following link is to a picture of the sale boat Double Masted Sail.jpg - File Shared from - Free Online File Storage
Gorbachov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-07-2009, 01:15   #52
Moderator Emeritus
Boracay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pelican Bay, Great Sandy National Park
Boat: Steel Roberts Offshore 44
Posts: 5,174
Images: 18
DIY Power catamaran...

It sounds like you have the resources to build pretty well anything you want.

I went with a Roberts Offshore 44' (sailing) that I brought as a floating hull (no interior) with mast & sails. My wife is nervous and so far we have only motored. Sailing is a big step.

It sounds like any decisions will need to be made with serious input from the Admiral (your wife). Chartering could be a good idea before any serious money is spent.

Have you thought about a power catamaran. There are some nice designs available and one could be within your resources.

The Fusion Power Catamaran (link here) may interest you. Time to complete could be around 3000 hours, putting it within your means.

While there may be some existing boats available cheap near you the end result may not be as good as you anticipate, with the cost much higher than at first thought.
Boracay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-07-2009, 10:25   #53
Registered User

Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 15


Cool project, if you are in to it and able,... kudos just a couple reminders

Buying it is the cheapest part of the whole project.

Cement is ok if done right, its an old hull and will be showing all problems by now, its easy and cheap to fix if done right and only areas are bad,..Type of material not so important...

Like on any hull, who wants a woodie with 376 rotten planks of the 380 that make the boat.

theres a limit to repair vs build.

Only invest what you can afford to lose,

ON any boat but especially a big project the most important thing I can think of is to make the boat GO GO able asap,

reliably, safely, simply, cheaply and quickly in just about that order

A big boat going nowhere is a liability, a safety issue, a demoralizer and a stomping big dead horse to feed for a long time without riding it...

Get a plan on paper, simple and smart and stick to it,.. do not deviate

Only take apart the absolute necessary things to repair and put it back or get it right BEFORE moving on.
yes triple stainless tanks or perfect but...

#1 Get SINK BOAT NOW things first, , hull, thruhulls, hoses, fittings, clamps, bilge pumps.. many,.. blah blah blah...

#2 STOP all major topside leaks however necessary, even temporary will work , (must get back to it properly)... heavy good tarps (not blue) properly rigged or 6mil for light.

#3 Engines , tranny, shafts and all running gear, steering working, winches working and all the simple go go stuff working.
Not new or rebuilt,.. REPAIRED as needed to GOGO reliable,..
not to dream standards.

#4 Bare ,Basic electric working,.. lights, gauges, cigar lighter ect...

must be organized or

Strip the guts if you must ...BUT PRONTO...
put in $500 of ply and hammocks and make the thing GOGO usable,.. even if wide open stem to stern.

AT ONE TIME ------only take apart 1 big project and 2 little ones for a break.

You dont need 24 mile radar,a chartplotter or auto helm to head out for a week or month,.. handheld vhf, GPS, good charts and anchors and and lots of picnic stuff makes it worth it.

Whatever you think it will cost, X by 3 and you will be fine.


my 25 cents ..Kev
kevman1421 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-07-2009, 11:36   #54
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Boat: Boat owner hopeful
Posts: 23
Thanks guys...all good advice! The one thing I'm still waiting to hear though is what's the thing is worth? I'd like to make a counter offer on the $200K he's asking and am not sure where to start. If I can buy the double masted steel hulled 80' sailboat for $60K without any negotiating, I'm thinking the cruiser isn't worth even half that, as all it really is is a hull, deck and a couple engines! Am I off on this reason of logic?
Gorbachov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-07-2009, 12:34   #55
Senior Cruiser
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 6,128
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
If the condition of the interior is as you describe, the only value of the boat is the engines. Figure out what they are worth on the used market and offer that. The problem with Ferro is resale value. People are afraid of the material and just won't pay anywhere near what they cost to create.

At 57, I doubt that you would be able to finish the project doing it single handed, given your actuarial life span. If you hire the work done, it would go faster but would be a total waste of money. If you don't make very substantial progress, (read almost finished before you abandon the project) the boat will probably be worth no more than what you'd pay for it in it's present condition. If the idea is to piss off your kids and spend your childrens inheritance, go for it.

We built a Westsail 32 from a hull and deck. We launched in a year of full time work with quite a bit of the finish work, doors, drawers, etc and some other work farmed out. The boat cost us about 50% more than a completed boat from the factory would have. That was buying everything below Westsails cost, wholesale or below wholesale in bankruptcy or direct import. In short, you couldn't buy anything new that went into the boat cheaper. It also cost me four fingers from an accident. It was a learning experience and we ended up with a way better boat than the factory produced. I'd still rather have had that year to actually go cruising and, of course, my fingers, that buying a factory built would have done.

If you want a boat, find one that is compleat but in need of cosmetics and/or updating, maybe a little remodeling below. You will at least have something that has value at time of purchase and hopefully worth somewhat more with the improvements that you make. If your only intent is to make a job for yourself, then by all means build something or do a major refit. In any case I wouldn't reccomend Ferro simply because of resale value. BTW, the hull is the easiest and cheapest part of building a boat. It's everything else that is really costs in time and money. A guy who had an addiction for building boats gave me a little piece of advise. Unfortunately, it was too late as I was already up to my eyeballs in fiberglass and sawdust. "If you want to build a boat, build a boat. If you want to go sailing, go sailing. Don't mix the two as you'll probably accomplish neither."

I'd find a broker who is sympatico with your plans. Most of them are used car salesman but there are a few that really know the market, the values and how to negotiate. A good one will save you the commission many times over and keep you from making a fatal mistake.

Peter O.
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-07-2009, 13:43   #56
Registered User
cburger's Avatar

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Nyack, NY
Boat: Westsail 32
Posts: 1,575
Images: 1
Peter offers sage advice.
cburger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-07-2009, 22:14   #57
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Boat: Boat owner hopeful
Posts: 23
Iíve heard the two best days of a boat ownerís life are the day he buys it and the day he sells it! Being an eternal optimist I sometimes find myself in over my head and from what Iím hearing this boat has the potential to have me gasping for air and the Oregon Promise may not be as promising as it appears. Would you follows see anything about this boat that would make it attractive to purchase or is it truly one to avoid? Is it not even worth doing a survey on by a well-experienced surveyor of cement boats and to learn just exactly what it can be bought for, or I should run like hell?
Gorbachov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-07-2009, 01:44   #58
Moderator Emeritus
Boracay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pelican Bay, Great Sandy National Park
Boat: Steel Roberts Offshore 44
Posts: 5,174
Images: 18
Gingerbread man...

I'm sorry but the phrase "Run, run, as fast as you can" just jumped into my head and I can't get it out.
Boracay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 20:29   #59
Senior Cruiser
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Whoa, Is this guy with a ferro-cement boat asking $150,000? This is totally crazy. Knock two or three decimal places off that price to get the real "market value" of ferro-cement no matter how big it is. There is too much history of ferro-cement not being done correctly - even if this particular hull was done right - that the market values are very low. And resale, P.T. Barnum is your only hope of getting back anywhere near what he is asking.
- - Even used steel hulls are no-no's unless you are willing to rip out the insides and inspect all the stringers and plates and then get the outside of the plates ultra sounded for corrosion and porosity. "Never buy used steel" is the axiom unless you really get the history and examine the boat very closely. Used steel without such inspections go for $10K or less for a 40ft boat. Best place to find good used steel boats is through the Federal Government Drug confiscation program. They run auctions of all manner of boats and usually they are in decent shape as the drug runners had the money to keep them in good repair. You can get boats for ten cents of the dollar if you know what you are doing.
Remember anything over 40 to 45 feet is going to be a real "pain" in the pocketbook to operate and keep up. Maneuvering anything larger than that range is difficult and marinas bills add up quick when multiplying by larger numbers. The most popular size boat for cruising couples is 42ft. Anything smaller is cramped and there is not much space for storage or entertaining guests. Anything bigger and you get into the big marina bills and problems with maneuvering the boat especially with any winds.
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2009, 00:29   #60
Senior Cruiser
Talbot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Brighton, UK
Boat: Privilege 37
Posts: 3,580
Images: 32
$150,000 for a hull with a couple of engines - ask the guy what drugs he is on and walk away pronto.

Have a look at this for comparison

Here you have a fully functioning vessel - a much nicer design, in much better condition with lots of toys

Personally I would not take that other one even if it was free.

"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
Robert A Heinlein
Talbot is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ferro Cement Hulls ? marleman Monohull Sailboats 1064 06-12-2017 16:11
ferro cement ? need advice bigwhyte Monohull Sailboats 52 12-05-2013 18:52
Ferro Cement Hull ID mudnut Monohull Sailboats 3 31-01-2010 10:24
Make/Model Reccomendation For Blue Water Ferro-Cement Boats AKCoastie Monohull Sailboats 4 20-01-2009 10:30
surveying ferro cement boats pman Dollars & Cents 6 25-10-2008 03:15

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:32.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.