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Old 18-09-2007, 08:23   #1
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Finish a partly completed steel cruising boat?

Is this a feasible or even worthwhile project if the hull is solid? In two months? Or two years? I'm a fair carpenter and I can finish the interior out. I can finish out the wiring and plumbing and have it inspected. But there's the prop shaft, rudder, steering cables to install, holes to drill and tap, brackets to fasten. Electrical and plumbing to go over and check for problems, diagram if needed. Hire riggers to step mast and run rigging? Looks to be no problem finding the parts and services where she's at. West Marine is right near by, boat yards and suppliers abound, but is this a better idea than simply outfitting an older fiberglass boat?

No, I'm not changing my plans; just asking.


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Old 18-09-2007, 08:55   #2
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Friends of ours built a similar BR in steel just over 20 yrs ago. It's a nice boat for sure. Nice layout and accommodations below. The aft cabin with full size berth is nice and roomy.



Plenty of work keeping a steel boat up to snuff. Mechanical problems with the Mercedes diesel & hydraulic motor have kept them on the hard for a couple of years now. Certainly a well designed and capable offshore boat from what the owners tell me. I wouldn't want to venture a guess on what it'd cost to build new nowadays!!
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Old 18-09-2007, 09:29   #3
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Hiya Rick,

If you triple what they paid and then toss a bit more on the pile I bet you'll come close.

I'll have plenty of time to do maintenance but that was the main reason I didn't look at steel boats. I never looked to see what was involved but it was a common thread in discussions on steel vs. FG hulls. I'm doing some reading on them now and it looks like you just have to keep the paint up in and out, don't let it rust. Not too bad of a deal for the strength of steel!
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Old 18-09-2007, 12:11   #4
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I own a 36' steel spray and wouldn't own anything but steel. Not really anymore maintainence than any other material. Since you will be finishing the boat, just make sure that you sandblast the indide real good and then what everyone said I was doing was over paint it. Just put extra coats of paint inside since that's the harder to get to once cabinets and interior is installed. My boat is going on 20 years old and no rust inside yet. Just watch it like any other vessel and don't put off repairs.
Steel is also a little more forgiving in case you go oops, we like to get in places other people don't go. 4'4" draft
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Old 18-09-2007, 19:41   #5
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Some qsts to ponder.... How old are you? Do you have all the tools or shop to finish it out? If you're married is your wife supportive? Supportive by helping or by not getting in the way? Do you have kids demanding time? Are you employed? Is the climate where you're at condusive to working year round? If you move it indoors will it be cost prohibitive?

We've just finished our second boat. Our first we build from a hull. A 32' and it took about 4 years to get it 99% finished and about 6 more to finish the last one percent. This boat was a refurbishing project and we have 6 years and apporx 9,000 hours in it's redo. It is a fiberglass boat. Since we had completed one boat I felt really confident in what we needed to do and expenses. When we set out we said 3-5 years. It took 6. We said approx adding the pruchase price of the boat back in and we've added two times the purchacing price back in.

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Old 18-09-2007, 21:32   #6
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Single, self employed, have the tools for cabinetry, plumbing, and electrical. The boat's on the hard and 99% of the parts are included, it's mostly interior work from the sound of things. Mast/rigging/deck hardware will be professionally done. In reality I don't know is this would be a project I want and won't unless I actually set foot on her. It is tempting to think I could work my butt off for a few months and sail away on essentially a '08 boat. A few years is out of the question.
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Old 18-09-2007, 22:21   #7
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Do you like Lego?

The boat does look interesting. Many of the expensive parts seem to be there.

You must check along the stringers, frames and bulkheads for rust, then get a survey if still interested.

You need to be able to find between 1,000 to 6,000 man hours to get the boat useable. An extra $50k for incidentals would not be out of line. Don't forget to factor in a few years rent and extras like transporters and crane hire.

While it may not need more welding and cutting it is a very handy skill to have when working on a steel boat.

One of the key aspects of amateur boatbuilding is how conveniently the boat is located. Close enough to home for an hour every evening and six a day on weekends and holidays soon mounts up. Having to drive for an hour each way gets old very quickly.
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Old 19-09-2007, 01:28   #8
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The transport consideration of Borcays is wise words indeed. My boat project is at work 15 metres from our workshop and I live 15 mins away. When I finish work I start working on the boat. No net time loss for travel. It does help that my boss is my very understanding (or suffering) brother. You need to be able to leave jobs half done. Packing everything up at the end of each session is another huge time waster. Its amazing how much you can get done if you stay focused a plod along. Getting the job finished is the best cure for a scrapped boat project. Keep your expectations low and get it into the water. ......and dont do it unless you are going to enjoy at least half of the journey.
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Old 19-09-2007, 01:33   #9
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Ideas to ponder

How much would it cost to hire a professional to help you out, or to have the boat finished by a yard?

While a well-thought-out boat can be rigged for single-handing, and certainly this boat can be, it is cheaper, easier, and faster to rig a smaller boat for single-handing.
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Old 19-09-2007, 02:00   #10
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Professional Help...

When I was getting quotes for professionals to complete my boat (which was in poorer condition to the one advertised) I was advised that the minimum that I could expect was $100,000, with the expectation being that I would pay $70 an hour. Plus materials. There was an assumption that I could be up for double this figure.

This comes to about a minimum of 1500 man hours.

So far I have about 1500 hours in this project and am (hopefully) within a few hours of having a useable boat.
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Old 19-09-2007, 06:49   #11
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Thanks for the comments all,
$100k and a year and a half to completion would be doable...for someone else. Amgine is spot on, another anchor to shore I don't need. Rust in peace sad steel dream.
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Old 19-09-2007, 22:35   #12
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By what i see of the boat going to the websit, engines installed and exterior is finished, mast is laying on the ground chain plates are installed and most interior work is done except for trimming it out. Engine has 50 hrs on it, so its either used or boat has been in the water. Looks like most of the hard work is done. It looks more like boat was stripped down to be remodeled inside. Complete list of electrical, lights are installed and other electronics. This definitely does not look like an uncompleted vessel. If I lived close by i would m be looking real hard at this, Sound like a realm good deal. By the pictures , if you have the skills, it shouldn't take a year at the most to complete..
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Old 20-09-2007, 04:11   #13
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I looked at the pics too. Our boat looked the same 3 years ago in our refit. If you haven't completed a project like that you never know how long it will take. Too; it depends on how fine you want the finished boat. (grin)

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Old 20-09-2007, 05:11   #14
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Well, as I can't sail and haven't even set foot on a sailboat as yet, I probably don't need to take on a project like this. It would be nice but I think I'll just stick with a good, cheap boat to learn on, take a couple of years to get some skills and then I might be ready for a project boat. Damned tempting though. Thanks for all the help everyone!
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Old 21-09-2007, 03:46   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjbeals View Post
Well, as I can't sail and haven't even set foot on a sailboat as yet, I probably don't need to take on a project like this. It would be nice but I think I'll just stick with a good, cheap boat to learn on, take a couple of years to get some skills and then I might be ready for a project boat. Damned tempting though. Thanks for all the help everyone!
Good choice...Lets face it. We all stand by our boats that we have, whether it be FG, steel, wood, ferro or paper mache. Each one of us will swear (lie) about how our boats require less maintenance.
I have built from scratch, 2 steel boats and I have the scares and divorce papers to prove it, as well as total re-fits to 2 FG boats. Most people who have cruised will tell you as they did me, you are better off buying a boat that is perhaps older with some updated equipment for a reasonable price and just sailing her. It's amazing how much smaller a boat can be than what you thought that you had to have
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