Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 25-09-2005, 18:50   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Matawan, NJ
Boat: Beneteau 35s5
Posts: 17
How old is too old?

I am about to make an offer on a 1979 Oday 37. The boat, a center cockpit, looks very comfortable and is in great shape. My hesitation is its 25 YEARS old. Is there a rule of thumb on how long a boat should last or if its maintained can you sail it for another 10 or 20 years? Anybody out there with an older boat or maybe an Oday? I would appreciate any thoughts on the age and the make.

Thanks
Geno
__________________

__________________
Geno53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2005, 18:59   #2
Registered User
 
Steve Kidson's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Boat: Hartley 32 RORC; Vixen
Posts: 193
Images: 10
General rule of thumb should be to check how well she has been maintained. I have seen some boats that are 50 + years old, well maintained by their owners, and reliable and comfortable. On the other hand, you can see some much younger boats neglected by owners that are most unattractive.

If when surveyed the boat is sound, you will probably get many years enjoyment from her.

Fair winds

Steve

__________________

__________________
Steve Kidson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2005, 20:09   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Matawan, NJ
Boat: Beneteau 35s5
Posts: 17
Steve

Thanks for the words of encouragment that makes sense. Have you had any of experience with Oday's?
__________________
Geno53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2005, 20:20   #4
Registered User
 
BC Mike's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Gabriola BC
Boat: Viking 33 Tanzer 8.5m Tanzer 22
Posts: 1,034
Images: 5
Old

I bought my Tanzer 8.5m new in 1979.
There is absolutely no sign of age other than the hull needs polishing.
I do not consider 1979 old. But there were some funny designs in North America in the 60s 70s and early 80s, so I would be more concerned about the design than the age, provided the boat is in good condition and others of the same manufacture and model are also doing well.
Michael
__________________
BC Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2005, 20:24   #5
Registered User
 
BC Mike's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Gabriola BC
Boat: Viking 33 Tanzer 8.5m Tanzer 22
Posts: 1,034
Images: 5
Old part 2

One of our sailing friends just died unexpectantly at age 64. This is not old. Lets make sure we all get as much sailing in as possible. I can not predict the future but I am sure it will be better if we sail often.
Michael
__________________
BC Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2005, 22:57   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
sneuman's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Jamaica
Boat: Tayana 37 Cutter
Posts: 3,167
Images: 37
I have a 35-year-old fiberglass-hulled sloop. Osmosis treatment, replaced bulkheads, etc since buying her 3 years ago. A lot of work, but she's well on her way to being up to scratch.
__________________
sneuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-09-2005, 05:54   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
Jeff H's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Boat: Farr 11.6 (AKA Farr 38) Synergy
Posts: 543
Images: 13
(Much of this was cloned from a response to a similar discussion, so I aplogize if it does not precisely match your question and may be a bit generic)

I would not think that well- designed and constructed fiberglass has a life span per se. Neither properly designed and constructed concrete nor fiberglass truly breaks down or loses strength on their own. They require other causes. The key here is the term 'well- designed and constructed'. Boats like the Oday 37 were not all that well engineered and constructed to begin with, using lots of resin rich laminate with large proportions of non-directional materials (mat)in the laminate (more on that later) and 1979 was in the heart of the period that was worst for blisters and other resin issues.

In the case of fiberglass loss of strength can result from one or more of the following,

-The surface resins will UV degrade.
-Prolonged saturation with water will affect the byproducts formed in the hardening process turning some into acids. These acids can break down the bond between the glass reinforcing and the resin.
-Fiberglass is prone to fatigue in areas repetitively loaded and unloaded at the point where it is repetitively deflected. High load concentration areas such as at bulkheads, hull/deck joints and keel joints are particularly prone.
-Salts suspended in water will move through some of the larger capillaries within the matrix. Salts have larger molecules than water. At some point these salts cannot move further and are deposited as the water keeps moving toward an area with lower moisture content. Once dried these salt turn into a crystalline form and exert great pressure on the adjacent matrix.
-Poor construction techniques with poorly handled cloth, poorly mixed or over accelerated resins, and poor resin to fiber ratios were very typical in early fiberglass boats. These weaker areas can be actually subjected to higher stresses that result from much heavier boats. It’s not all that unusual to see small spider cracking and/or small fractures in early glass boats.
-Of course beyond the simple fiberglass degradation there is core deterioration, and the deterioration of such things as the plywood bulkheads and flats that form a part of the boat’s structure.

Earlier boats had heavier hulls for a lot of reasons beyond the myth that designers did not know how strong fiberglass was. Designers knew exactly how strong fiberglass was. The US government had spent a fortune studying and developing fiberglass technology during WWII and by the early 1950’s designers had easy access to the design characteristics of fiberglass. (Alberg, for example, was working for the US Government designing composite items when he designed the Triton and Alberg 35) The reason that these hulls on the early boats were as thick as they were had more to do with the early approach to the design of fiberglass boats. Early designers and builders had hoped to use fiberglass as a monocoque structure with a minimal amount of (if any) framing to take up interior space.

On its own, fiberglass laminate does not develop much stiffness and it is very dense. If you simply try to create stiffness in fiberglass it takes a lot of thickness. Early fiberglass boat designers tried to simply use the skin for stiffness with wide spread supports from bulkheads and bunk flats. This lead to incredibly heavy boats and boats that were comparably flexible. (In early designs that were built in both wood and fiberglass, the wooden boats typically weighed the same but were stiffer, stronger, and had higher ballast ratios)

Fiberglass hates to be flexed. Fiberglass is a highly fatigue prone material and over time it looses strength through flexing cycles. A flexible boat may have plenty of reserve strength when new but over time through flexure fiberglass loses this reserve. There are really several things that determine the strength of the hull itself. In simple terms it is the strength of the unsupported hull panel (by 'panel' I mean the area of the hull or deck between supporting structures) itself, the size of the unsupported panel, the connections to supporting structures and the strength of the supporting structures. These early boats had huge panel sizes compared to those seen as appropriate today.

This fatigue issue is not a minor one. In a study performed by the marine insurance industry looking at claims on older boats and doing destructive testing on actual portions of older hulls, it was found that many of these earlier boats have suffered a significant loss of ductility and impact resistance. This problem is especially prevalent in heavier uncored boats constructed even as late as the 1980's before internal structural framing systems became the norm. Boats built during the early years of boat building tended to use a lot more resin accelerators than are used today. They also would bulk up the matrix with resin rich laminations (approaching 50/50 ratios rather than the idea 30/70) non-directional fabrics (mat or chopped glass) in order to achieve a desired hull thickness. Resin rich laminates and non-directional materials have been shown to reduce impact resistance and to increase the tendency towards fatigue. The absence of internal framing means that there is greater flexure in these older boats and that this flexure increases fatigue further. Apparently, there are an increasing number of marine insurance underwriters refusing to insure older boats because of these issues.

There are probably other forms of hull degradation that I have not mentioned but I think that the real end of the life of a boat is going to be economic. In other words the cost to maintain and repair an old boat will get to be far beyond what it is worth in the marketplace. I would guess this was the end of more wooden boats than rot. I can give you a bit of an example from land structures. When I was doing my thesis in college, I came across a government statistic, which if I remember it correctly suggested that in the years between 1948 and 1973 more houses had been built in America than in all of history before that time. In another study these houses were estimated to have a useful life span of 35 years or so. As an architect today I see a lot of thirty five year old houses that need new bathrooms, kitchens, heating systems, modern insulation, floor finishes, etc. But beyond the physical problems of these houses, tastes have changes so that today these houses in perfect shape still has proportionately small market value. With such a small market value it often does not make sense from a resale point of view to rebuild and these houses are therefore often sold for little more than land value. At some level, this drives me crazy, since we are tearing down perfectly solid structures that 35 years ago was perfectly adequate for the people who built it, but today does not meet the “modern” standards.

The same thing happens in boats. You may find a boat that has a perfectly sound hull. Perhaps it needs sails, standing and running rigging, a bit of galley updating, some modern electronics, a bit of rewiring, new plumbing, upholstery, a little deck core work, an engine rebuild, or for the big spender, replacement.

Pretty soon you can buy a much newer boat with all relatively new gear for less than you’d have in the old girl. Its not hard for an old boat to suddenly be worth more as salvage than as a boat. A couple years ago a couple friends of mine were given a Rainbow in reasonable shape. She just needed sails and they wanted a newer auxiliary, but even buying everything used the boat was worth a lot less than the cost of the “new” parts. When they couldn’t afford the slip fees, the Rainbow was disposed of. She now graces a landfill and the cast iron keel was sold for scrap for more than they could sell the whole boat for.

Then there is the issue of maintainable vs. durable/low maintenance design concepts. Wooden boats for example represent the difference between a maintainable construction method versus a low maintenance/ durable method. A wooden boat can be rebuilt for a nearly infinite period of time until it becomes a sailing equivalent of ‘George Washington’s axe’ (as in “that’s George Washington’s axe. It’s had a few new handles and a few new heads but that is still George Washington’s axe”.) The main structure of a fiberglass hull is reasonably durable and low maintenance but once it has begun to lose strength, there is nothing that you can do.

The best deals on older used boats are the ones that someone has lovingly retored, upgraded, and maintained. Over the years they have poured lots of money and lavished lots of time into maintaining the boat in reasonably up to date condition. No matter how much they have spent the boat will never be worth anything near what they have in it because there is a real ceiling to how much an older boat will ever be worth and they will often have several times that ceiling invested.

And finally if you buy an old fiberglass boat, paint the bilges white. It does nothing for the boat, but if you ever have to sell the boat, then someone may look in your bilge and say “Lets buy her because any man that would love a boat so much that he went through the trouble to paint the bilge white must have enjoyed this boat and taken great care of her no matter what her age.”

As to the Oday 37 CC. These were mediocre boats in the true sense of the word. They were not the best sailors but not the worst. They were not the fastest boats but not the worst, they were not the best built boats but not the worst. You get the idea. One think that I really dislike about these boats is there center cockpit layout. When you compare the center cockpit version to the aft cockpit version of these boats, it is easy to understand why these are the poster child for why center cockpits make very little sense on a boat under 40 feet.

Good Luck,
Jeff
__________________
Jeff H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-09-2005, 11:56   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
delmarrey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Now in Blaine, WA
Boat: Modified Choate 40
Posts: 10,702
Images: 122
Geno53

I too have an older boat, a 1979.
I believe there is way too much emphasis put on hull structures of fiberglass boats. On an older boat you check all the corners, bulkhead joints, frameing, deck strength, keel section, rudder post assembly, chainplates AND deck/hull joint. If you don't find any damage after 20+ years of sailing, then she must be a fairly well built boat. Delaination would be the biggest warning and that would include large blisters.

I have yet heard of a FG boat breaking up and sinking, unlike a wooden boat.
I have heard of a boat loosing it's rudder support and going down so that's an area to consider watching. As for hitting something, well even steel boats sink. In that case I would think a hull that flexes easily would be to the advantage. Even billion $ space shuttles go down. Nothing is perfect

It's all a matter of personal preference.

If you want a boat that looks NICE then your going to pay the PRICE. But if your just out there to enjoy sailing and move about, a sturdy ole boat is what you want.

It's what's below the water line that really counts when it comes to safety. Will she take a roller over or two and survive.

Oday has been around since FG started being used for boats. That must say something about them. There has been a lot of better manufactures that have gone out of business. Unlike some, like Bayliner who's hulls are questionable, but they still survive.

Get a good hull survey. If it's in "great shape" and that's what you want , go for it............_/)
__________________
delmarrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-09-2005, 18:33   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Matawan, NJ
Boat: Beneteau 35s5
Posts: 17
I would like to thank everyone for their honest and candid answers. It seems to me that the most important thing to use in a situation like this is the help of sailors like yourselves and some common sense. I will be doing some more research over the next couple of weeks before I make a decision. When of if that happens I will post to let you know what I've done.

Thanks for your speedy replies.

Gene

__________________
Geno53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2005, 09:29   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 41
Geno 53 If you find anyone throwing out a 63 splt window vette or a 33 luders because it is too old make sure you get back to me.
__________________
Dman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2005, 13:11   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
Jeff H's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Boat: Farr 11.6 (AKA Farr 38) Synergy
Posts: 543
Images: 13
Delmarrey:

There is a very big difference between your 1979 era boat and the Oday in question. Your boat was almost hand built with state of the art internal framing, top notch hardware, and very carefully engineered laminate designed by one of the top designers of that era. The Odays were nearly devoid of internal framing, were built as slightly better than average production line boats but still built to be high value rather than high quality. Oday made comparatively extensive use of liners which makes access for repairs and upgrades a bit difficult and used a hull deck joint that is comparatively vulnerable.

With regards to the split window Stingray, while they remain really cool cars, a careful look at an unrestored version which has had much use reveals a huge amounts of spider cracking making restoration a major undertaking, and unlike a production boat, once fully restored the Corvette will be worth what you have in it.

Respectfully,
Jeff
__________________
Jeff H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2005, 17:44   #12
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,596
Images: 240
What Jeff might mean by “high value”, is low cost per cubic volume. The Oday’s (& others of her ilk) gave you a lot of “merely adequate” boat for the cost. The trade-off (for extra size per dollar) was, as usual in these circumstances, reduced “quality”.
Compare the Oday to a Larger mobile (pre-manufactured) home, vs a Smaller custom (or even sub-division) built home at similar costs. The mobile home serves a very imoportant & useful purpose - but should not be confused with the other.
Your choice will depend upon your 'needs' and your 'resources'.
Your 'desires' will probably screw up your descision-making process (I know mine do mine).
__________________

__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 13:58.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.