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Old 23-08-2015, 16:13   #1
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Is years out of water bad for a boat?

Saw and interesting boat for sale. Only thing is - the boat has been out of the water for over 5 years. Assuming they took basic care of it - ie covered, kept dry - are there any issues with a fiberglass boat being out of water for that long?

I know a wooden boat shrinks out of water - had a wooden fishing boat in Mn - every spring would have to constantly bail the boat out, but by summer it stayed dry.

I know most of the mechanical systems - anything with lubrication and rubber seals - would need a good going over.

What else would be suspect?
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Old 23-08-2015, 16:19   #2
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Re: Is years out of water bad for a boat?

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What else would be suspect?
How it looks inside would be my only concern ... (if it was good ventilated, kept dry, ...)

Carsten
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Old 23-08-2015, 16:22   #3
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Re: Is years out of water bad for a boat?

She will need new bottom paint... other than that, I don't think there are any other "fiberglass" issues to worry about (rebed the thru-hulls).
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Old 23-08-2015, 16:32   #4
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Re: Is years out of water bad for a boat?

My boat was out of the water "on the hard" for 5 years and no one looked after it because the PO passed.

No thru hulls were rebedded. I did paint the bottom and ended up replacing the engine. It had a solar fan for ventilation. It smelled dry when I opened the hatch the first time.

It's a 1974 and has been fine since I bought it in 2011 for $2,000.00 as for as structure.
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Old 23-08-2015, 17:07   #5
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Re: Is years out of water bad for a boat?

Just be aware that the hull shape changes after years on the hard, so when you relaunch you will need to let the hull regain its "in the water" shape before you align the shaft, or check the alignment of the shaft. We just learned this after relaunching our boat which had been on the hard for over 6 years. It was realigned 4 times over two weeks and there was significant change each time. A smart person would have waited longer to do it.

As others have said, your bottom paint, even if new when the boat was hauled, will be ineffective. Check for standing water inside. There may have been blisters that you probably won't be able to see now because they will have dried out and flattened. Other than that....you'll have the same issues you would have with any boat that had been sitting for 5 years whether in the water or out.
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Old 23-08-2015, 17:30   #6
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Re: Is years out of water bad for a boat?

Probably better out of the water unattended than in the water unattended. Looked at one boat the owner had been trying to sell absentee for a few years and had neglected to hire a diver to clean the hull or change the zincs. The underwater metal was in poor shape.


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Old 24-08-2015, 04:46   #7
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Re: Is years out of water bad for a boat?

It really depends if you are up north or down south. Overall, better on the hard, but maintenance problems still exist. Up north, freeze thaw cycles can create leaks in places that will surprise you. Keeping it under cover is very important and can be a challenge. North or south mold and insects can be a problem as well. We had mud daubers that would enter the engine compartment through the manual pump slot and they can get through the smallest openings.

As pointed out the hull shape will suffer on the hard, but should re-adjust back in the water. Vigah has been on the hard for 15 years. The first 3, I tried to keep it covered. Spent a lot of money on tarps which never lasted long. I gave up and for the last three years I have been paying for the lack of attention. If the boat is too large for a building, Shrink wrap under an EMT frame using Kover clamps will give you room to work, ventilation, and last about 2 years before replacing. Just use plenty of tie downs. I don't actually shrink it.
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Old 24-08-2015, 04:54   #8
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Re: Is years out of water bad for a boat?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, dmksails.
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Old 24-08-2015, 05:25   #9
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Re: Is years out of water bad for a boat?

All the pumps will need to be replaced, even if they appear to be working.
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Old 24-08-2015, 06:09   #10
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Re: Is years out of water bad for a boat?

Replacement isn't necessary. Just rebuild every pump. That includes the water pump in the outboard if there is one. New impeller, seals and/or diaphragm for every one. Don't forget the head. The basic idea is to replace anything made of rubber.

There will also be a problem with dried out grease. Every winch and the furler bearings will need a clean and rebuild. Some of the mast sheaves might have to be removed and cleaned. Same for the traveler and jib cars. All blocks and piston hanks will have to be cleaned. Buy a few gallons of vinegar.
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Old 24-08-2015, 09:03   #11
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Re: Is years out of water bad for a boat?

Good news for me. I have one in the back yard on the hard (1972 Irwin 23) that I bought as a project. Solid boat, many sails, good motor, and trailer that I bought on the cheap. $1500. Just need to make it mine.
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Old 24-08-2015, 09:18   #12
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Re: Is years out of water bad for a boat?

Be careful with old sails. It is very common for the thread in the seams to rot. You might get pre-emptive by having all the seams re sewn. It is also common for plastic slugs (if you have them) to turn brittle meaning they will snap the first time you load then up.

Old sails are often a liability.
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Old 24-08-2015, 09:25   #13
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Re: Is years out of water bad for a boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmksails View Post
Saw and interesting boat for sale. Only thing is - the boat has been out of the water for over 5 years. Assuming they took basic care of it - ie covered, kept dry - are there any issues with a fiberglass boat being out of water for that long?

I know a wooden boat shrinks out of water - had a wooden fishing boat in Mn - every spring would have to constantly bail the boat out, but by summer it stayed dry.

I know most of the mechanical systems - anything with lubrication and rubber seals - would need a good going over.

What else would be suspect?
Anything rubber or plastic needs to be inspected and possibly changed Check well the engine and the engine compartment
Batteries need to be replaced
Autopilot probably u will need a new one
Lights in the cabin will be corroded
Same for the galley the gimbal stove
Smell mould ? Sometimes this smell is incurable unless you paint the whole boat inside out, varnish the wood and change all the upholstery
Good luck
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Old 24-08-2015, 09:31   #14
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Re: Is years out of water bad for a boat?

I believe the assumption that a boat that has been sitting on the hard for 5yrs has recieved basic care is a pretty suspect assumption.

Generally once a boat has sat out more than a year, the owner has lost interest and isn't taking care of it. The longer it sits, the more likely there are hidden issues.

The fiberglass itself is likely to be fine. It's the systems and internal wood that may get wet thats more a concern.
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Old 24-08-2015, 09:49   #15
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Re: Is years out of water bad for a boat?

If the boat has a working solar fan and system to drain water that enters you might be surprised at how little needs to be done. Mine sat for 5 years and the PO passed in the meantime. He didn't live close by either.

The engine was shot in mine so after it failed I replaced it with an outboard, but otherwise I painted the bottom, soaked/washed all running rigging, cam cleats, and cleaned all the crap out of the boat , etc. then went sailing locally. A few months later I sailed it the 75 miles south the last 20 miles across the low Chesapeake Bay in 22 knot NE winds which made the crossing faster but a bit bumpy.

The winches started to creak a year or two later so I greased them. I removed the hand pump for the head (a glorified porta potty) 3 years after my first sail it wasn't used anyway. The pump and it's associated hoses were causing the head to stink up the boat.

I broke the bilge pump 4 years after first sail and replaced it this passed winter.

I probably need to rebuild the roller furling but haven't as yet and first sailed it in 2011. It does get jammed at times. Before I was used to the motion of the boat, I'd be sailing on autopilot and have to go forward to unjam the furler sometimes blowing chunks as I worked on it sailing the last few miles across the lower bay. Good times!

It appeared the boat had been thoroughly gone over though by the PO before he went on a two year cruise to Florida from Massachusetts. He left the boat near here on his return trip. This could be the reason I have had so few problems. That and the fact the boat has very few systems on it.

Autopilot worked but it's remote was ruined by water. Rusty cans etc were removed. Everything was removed and what did get wet was allowed to dry out.

I have sand off or let wear off all peeling varnish. The boat is totally natural.

The pictures are of how I found it except the one with the new bottom job being a month are so later.

Since I spent so little on the boat it was quite enjoyable getting it ready enough to sail again.
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