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Old 12-08-2013, 15:28   #1
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Kelly Peterson 44 Project

I'm looking at buying a 75 Kelly Peterson 44 that could be classified as a project boat. She is in the water and just had a fresh coat of bottom paint applied earlier this year. Her main issues are some of the wiring that needs to be replaced, some of her deck hardware (particularly stanchions) need to be rebedded, her decks need new non skid and her running rigging needs to be replaced. The seller is only asking 35k for her. I know well equipped KP-44s are going for 100-150k, so I'm fully expecting to put nearly 100k into her over the next few years refitting her for cruising, but I wanted to know if anyone had any advice on it? Either the refit or the 44 in general. I plan on having a vessel survey done and a mechanical/engine survey done prior to purchasing, but would like to know things to look out for that should make me walk away.
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Old 12-08-2013, 16:13   #2
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Re: Kelly Peterson 44 Project

Do you have the skills and time to do the refit work yourself? If so, you could end up with a sweet cruising boat. If you plan on paying others to do significant amount of the work, then its probabaly not a good deal. Have you actually listed out what is in the 100k refit?
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Old 12-08-2013, 16:28   #3
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Re: Kelly Peterson 44 Project

I can do most of the work myself, and what I don't know I plan to learn. Both my fiancÚ and I are fine with getting our hands dirty. I have not YET seen the boat in person and am going off what the broker said needs to be repaired. I haven't priced things out yet, but I'm figuring on having to rebed ALL the deck hardware, rebuild the engine despite being told it runs fine (plan for the worst, right?), replace the sails, add refrigeration, replace all the electronics (with the exception of the radar if it works), replace the anchor windlass, add a wind vane and replace the standing rigging (again, told it was good but planning for the worst). From the photos I've seen she doesn't seem to be in bad shape, just in need of deferred maintenance (the PO hasn't even been aboard her in over a year). But again, I haven't yet seen her, so I don't know if she's one I should just walk away from (def would if the deck needed to be recorred, one job I want nothing to do with!) or if she could be a diamond in the rough.
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Old 12-08-2013, 16:40   #4
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Re: Kelly Peterson 44 Project

Maybe you can find a KP yahoo group or owners site. The KP are known for having tankage issues that require some major surgery to remove and replace. If the fittings all need rebedding then the decks are probably rotted if they are cored. Skip the engine rebuild and stick in a new one when this one dies.
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Old 12-08-2013, 16:45   #5
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Re: Kelly Peterson 44 Project

try kp44owners.org it is a great site. I tried for several years to buy one of these boats.
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Old 12-08-2013, 16:46   #6
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Re: Kelly Peterson 44 Project

Ok, well that's good to know. I'm going to talk to the broker again tomorrow and I'll ask him if the tanks have been replaced or if they are still original to the boat. I was told only some of the deck stanchions need to be rebedded. If the deck around the fittings needs to be repaired (but its just localized repairs) that I can handle as I was planning on filling in all the deck fittings with solid epoxy to prevent water damage in the future anyway. Why would you recommend to just go with a new engine? This is the first time I'll ever have to deal with this, so I'm trying to soak up as much as I can.
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Old 12-08-2013, 16:59   #7
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Re: Kelly Peterson 44 Project

Engine rebuilds can cost up to 50% of the cost of a new engine and they add little, if anything, to the resale value of the boat. When you are ready to sell the boat in 10 years it will be a lot easier with an 8 year old engine than with a 30 year old engine.
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Old 12-08-2013, 17:13   #8
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Re: Kelly Peterson 44 Project

OK. See, that makes sense. She's currently got a Perkins installed in her and I've been told that its pretty hard to kill those engines, but I've got no first hand experience with them, so I don't know.
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Old 12-08-2013, 17:16   #9
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Excellent boat I love mine. These boats seem to have some different build quality along with some common issues. I have rebbeded almost all deck hardware which is not a bad job to do as access is good. Replaced engine with cummins 4b3.3. Replaced chainplates standing rigging. Replaced 1fuel tank the one in the engine bay. My tanks so far seem okay. Built and installed new cockpit sole. Tore out all the old wiring. Happy to help if you have more questions
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Old 12-08-2013, 17:28   #10
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Re: Kelly Peterson 44 Project

I'd appreciate all the help I can get! I was told that the boat at one time had an autopilot installed, but all the electronics were removed, though the "guts" of the system were left behind. What would be the best course of action here? Tear it all out and start over or see if whats installed is usable? Also, for some reason, the PO decided to build a pilot house and mount it over the cockpit. The broker said that the pilot house was shoddy work and needs to be removed anyway. Would this cause any significant issues with boat? Either structuraly or in cause water damage from screw and/or bolt holes?
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Old 12-08-2013, 17:31   #11
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Re: Kelly Peterson 44 Project

Two places to check out; kp44.org and join the yahoo group; PetersonCutter : eGroup devoted to the Peterson KP44 and 46 and the F46

Great boats, but, and it could be a very big but. It's a 30+ year old boat, plan on fixing/replacing every system that hasn't been upgraded in the past.
Probably has a perkins 4-154 engine, fine engine but old and parts are difficult to source. Replace instead of rebuild. While engine is out replace both fuel tanks, easier when engine is out. Original ac wiring is scary, replace if it hasn't been. DC wiring is slightly better, but after 30 years it needs upgrading. Plumbing, particularly thru hull hoses need attention if not done. Chainplates and standing rigging, sure, not that difficult see kp44.org. Lots of info there about all of these issues. Water tanks are stainless that may or may not leak at the welds. Rudder should be suspected of water intrusion and degradation of the stainless frame. May or may not have blisters,either way probably not worth worrying about, the hull is nearly an inch thick.
I purchased a 1980 KP44 in "Good" condition and still needed to upgrade most systems, it's not particular to the boat, but the age.
Also remember, every project you think will cost $XX will cost 2X $XX. It's the marine principle.
Not trying to discourage you as it is a great looking and sailing boat.
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Old 12-08-2013, 19:29   #12
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Re: Kelly Peterson 44 Project

Oh trust me, I'd rather have some one tell me up front about any issues with them so if I buy her I'm prepared to deal with them than be blindsided by them! I did ask the broker about the thru hulls and they were just inspected in March when the boat was hauled and new bottom paint applied. I'll ask him about the rudder and/or any blisters. As for the engine, what would you recommend replacing it with? I've read a few articles that gave suggestions, but would like the opinions of people currently using theirs. The one thing that seems to be fairly consistent is that a 50hp engine is really not enough for a boat this size. And Charleston Harbor has some pretty strong currents.
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Old 12-08-2013, 20:12   #13
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It can be particular to the boat. Mine had this insanely stupid install on the ports. Hardly anything but a line of caulk to stopmwater from entering into the core between the house sides. Removed ports and glassed the the holes that were raw edge plywood. Stupid and poorly conceived. Pain in the neck amount of work. Still not done. Others had a different detail and different port. Agree on the hoses did that too. If thw wiring is the original its most likely crap and youll want to scrap it and upgrade the panel. Especially the 110. Engine i replaced with 65 hp cummins 4b3.3 nearly a direct drop in replacement for perkins 4-154. See transatlantic diesel.
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Old 12-08-2013, 20:12   #14
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Re: Kelly Peterson 44 Project

Like Sabray, I also used the Cummins 4B 3.3 with a BW72C from TAD. It's the closest "drop in" replacement you can find. However, the Yanmar would give you a little more room in the engine room. I also replaced all of the exhaust, both fuel tanks, fuel lines and filters, control panel and gauges, throttle and shift cables, rebuilt the pedestal, all electrical and plumbing and steering in the engine room. Plus refer, water heater, lithium batteries, pumps, windlass, 12v generator, 60 amp charger, stove, rebuilt heads, replaced hoses, macerator, led lights, topside paint and on and on. You get the idea, one project will lead to another and another.
I did all of my own work and enjoy doing it, if you don't have the time or $ or ability, I'd think I'd recommend looking at a boat in better condition that required less of an investment in time and $. (Still A KP44 though!) There are alot of "project boats" out there that never get finished. I think you can pick up a nice kp44 for around $80-100K and that might be less than a "fixer upper" eventually costs. On the other hand if your capable you could end up with a nice boat that you know every inch of at a reasonable cost.
Again I don't want to discourage you, just realize refurbishing/refitting an older boat is a BIG job.
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Old 12-08-2013, 21:04   #15
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Re: Kelly Peterson 44 Project

What is the deck cored with on a KP44?
I understand there was a synthetic core on the 46, but I thought the 44 used balsa.
Is that true?
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