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Old 07-06-2008, 21:01   #1
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Finding good project boats

I would like to know where people find good project boats? I see people here and other places doing great jobs at restoring boats they pick-up for pennies on the dollar. But what I don't understand is where and how they find these?

I am looking for a boat to restore and prepare for blue water. I know if
I purchase a "slightly tired" boat I'm going to pull it apart any way. Why not just start with a project.

Solosailor
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Old 07-06-2008, 23:35   #2
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Hi Solosailor,

Your not on your own.
Not sure where you are but I found and bought a 40 ft steel yacht I am in the process of rebuilding.
It was listed on ebay of all places and at the time I was looking for some parts for an old Hartley cruiser I was doing up when I came across it.
Paid a very cheap $152.50 for it and before you ask the question no it wasn't on the bottom it was floating.

It was a gamble.Getting it out of the water with a crane was not for the faint hearted I can tell you as I was half expecting it to collapse in on itself.
It is now sitting up proud on a hardstand. I have stripped it to a shell and I am just about to start rebuilding it.
My advice for what it is worth for the finding part is simple- look everywhere as you will never know when something will present it self.
The rebuilding side of it- Look for good local advice and within the forum here when you find it-but before you buy it.

There is a wealth of experience at your disposal for the asking.


Regards
John.
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Old 08-06-2008, 00:03   #3
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finding

Maybe I should be looking in Oz?
I am on Canada's West Coast (Vancouver)
I have been looking I guess it is more luck than anything. I was wondering about insurance claim boats though?
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Old 08-06-2008, 00:29   #4
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Go to any marina and ask whats for sale. Most have several that have been abandoned and would love to get rid of them. Most DONT have "For sale" on them.
Better yet is to ask the boaters there whats cheap before you go to the office.
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Old 08-06-2008, 00:32   #5
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When I "sold" my steel boat it would have cost thousands to dispose of it. I would have almost paid some one to take it. But I sold it on ebay.
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Old 08-06-2008, 00:38   #6
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BY the way, even a free boat may have hidden leans on it. When you assume the boat you then assume the responsiblity and libility for it. So it does pay to check first. If some one abandons a boat, what else did they abandon.
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Old 08-06-2008, 00:51   #7
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Wow, thanks that is all good advice. I will start checking out more boats on the hard.
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Old 08-06-2008, 01:15   #8
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Solosailer,

Badsantas advice looks like the best.
I have been extremely lucky with what I got ( I think so far anyway !! )
There are plenty around if you look and like he says-ask the boaties.!!
Scuttlebutt- you cant beat it.

Just this week there was a 31 foot Van De Stadt for sale on ebay here in Australia
It went for the price of $1125.00 but needed only a little bit of timber work redone.
Thats a small price for a 31 ft boat.

Put out what you are looking for and you never know-the universe has a bizarre way of providing sometimes.

Regards and Good Luck

John.
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:16   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solosailor View Post
where people find good project boats?
The advice to “look everywhere” is good… usually the customary “yacht” brokers will not be listing boats fit for us bottom-feeders… look for semi-abandoned looking boats at marinias, back-yards and behind non-marine businesses… often they’ll have mechanic’s liens (or the equivalent) for delinquent slip/storage fees, but usually that can be worked out… tax liens are another matter, and often the jurisdictions aren’t remotely as adaptable, or pragmatic as others… a boat that shows any (any) current maintenance generally isn't a candidate for a bottom-feeder, cuz the dream (if not the actuality...) is still alive in the owner’s eyes… eBay often has outfits like Boat Angel that take in donation boats and sells `em for pennies on the dollar…

Beyond that, just prowl the docks and look for boats that may be beyond "slightly tired" and that have that abandoned, derelict appearance with minimal apparent structural questions -- cloudy gell coat and tired teak are no big deal, buckled or rotted bulkheads can be a chore unless one has the skills/tools…
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Old 08-06-2008, 15:15   #10
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Project Boat Company (Portland, OR)

These folks are friendly and helpful, as a first time buyer I inquired about a 55' Connie and they gave me some better advice than I expected, basically what they list is from $20,000-$50,000.
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Old 08-06-2008, 15:19   #11
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1944 41 foot Motor Cruiser

1944 41 foot Motor Cruiser - $1 (Fort Myers/Estero Island)







Its free!
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Old 08-06-2008, 22:37   #12
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Old 08-06-2008, 23:05   #13
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Well Larry. I don't consider myself a "bottom feeder". I do however enjoy working on boats. The problem of actually building from scratch is the cost. It's the cost of all the bits that kill you. It seems that taking some marina queen and bringing her back to her glory is a fulfilling concept. It could also be considered green thinking. Recycling of sorts.
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Old 09-06-2008, 02:35   #14
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Good project boat an oxymoron?

Surely a good project boat is a contradiction in terms?

My experience is that I would have been better of starting from scratch if I had the space.

I could have built an Easycat 37 for about the same output in time and money that I will have put into Boracay by the time she is finished.

However I could not find the building space close enough to where I lived in Sydney. It came down to a project boat or no boat.

I also needed to show my wife what a boat is really like in service. I could not have done that building from scratch.

It took me two years to find Boracay.
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:03   #15
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Have to agree with Solosailor and Boracay on the concepts of fulfilling ,recycling and green.
They are real " buzz word bingo " type words at present and maybe we should/could all sit up and take notice in one way or another.
Might sound a bit bias to some but if you had to start from scratch the folding stuff ( $ ) soon mounts up.If you don't have the funds available to just march out and buy a boat it is a way of getting into the market.

By the time I get around to finishing my hulking piece of steel my views might change ( and I might also eat humble pie !! ) but there is a certain romantic notion in bringing something back to life,satisfaction that you can do it where others say you can't and probably one of the best points as has been identified to me is you get to really know your own boat.
A few plusses in that.

Interesting debate point.

How many out there have the figures to support the notion or torpedo it.?

Regards
John
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