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Old 23-03-2008, 17:09   #1
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Need Some Advise

Looking for some help about a boat I am looking closely at a 1983 Hunter 34.

I choose this one because I plan on doing most of my sailing for the next year or two in the Chesapeake Bay, then head south for the Gulf. I have been looking mostly at Hunters and Catalinas due to their "livability" (large cabins, cockpits, storage, etc).

A major selling point for the Hunter I'm looking at is the price $25K. My concern (this being my first purchase of a "big" sailboat) is that she has been sitting on the hard at a marina for the past two years. Owner had little time for sailing and then was transferred (he was in the military). So none of the systems have been used in two years.

My question is should I be concerned that she has been just sitting for two years. What should I look at beyond the normal things before I get a surveyor out to take a look?

Any advice/observations would be appreciated.

Thanks for your help, Bob E.
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Old 23-03-2008, 17:23   #2
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Quote:
My question is should I be concerned that she has been just sitting for two years.
Some what. Normal problem is the fuel tank is full of algae. Assume it is and dump all the fuel and change all filters before going any place. It's the most common problem from being hauled out a long time. Look for fresh water system problems from not winterizing properly. In the north bay a boat for sale is always on the hard. The slips cost too much money. A 34 Hunter would be fine on the bay. Do get a good surveyor and go over it all to make sure things are what they are supposed to be. The price seems a bit low but there may need to be some work done too. At that price you should expect a few items.

If it generally looks fine to you and you don't see anything you feel bad about and the price is right everything else really is the survey. Be prepared to walk away.
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Old 23-03-2008, 20:37   #3
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My advice is:

Make sure that you can afford to maintain a 34 foot boat. If you buy this boat (or any boat in decent condition), and if you maintain it well, you should be able to sell it for what you paid for it. If you buy a boat and can't afford to maintain it, you will lose a lot of money.

If you buy a boat and improve it, you can frequently sell it for more than what you paid for it.

Keeping and maintaining a 34 foot boat costs a fair amount of money. I am sure that some will disagree with me, but I would suggest that if you can't easily afford $7,500.00 a year to keep her going, then don't consider buying her.

You will do far better to buy a 27 to 30 footer in better condition, and keep it in tip-top shape. If and when you decide to sell - you'll get your money back.
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Old 25-03-2008, 12:43   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions. I will dump the fuel and have the tank looked at. The broker (and marina) stated she had been winterized before she was laid up two years ago so water systems should be okay.

There are issues with the boat. One of the winches has completely frozen up and the other three are dry, all the teak on deck will need to be refinished, keel needs to be sanded and repainted and the interiour needs TLC.

I am budgeting $11,000 a year to operate her for the year

Marina 4000 includes water, 3 haulouts/powerwash per year
Insurance 1200
Recurring Maint 3500 includes Annual bottom paint, winterize/commission
OOPS/Breakage 2000
Beer (for helpers) 300

Is this a reasonable budget?

Bob Ewert
"The man who said the pen is mightier then the sword never met up with a belt fed weapon" Gen George Patton
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Old 25-03-2008, 13:16   #5
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Bob, you may have some extras to add. In two years of storage, vermin can get aboard and chew up sails and wiring. Or, water can intrude and damage wood and wiring. If the engine was not "pickled" properly, the rings may have rusted up and frozen to the cylinder bores. And anything unsecure on deck may have flagged and chafed in the wind.

So, you still need to go over the boat from bow to stern, wiht a surveyor, an engine mechanic, and a rigger to check the rigging. On a 1983 boat if you have the original standing rigging, the wire needs to be replaced no matter how good it looks. If you can run a cloth up the rigging and it catches--even once--on a meathook, that means the rigging is shot, but the recent trend is to replace it every 20 years or sooner, no matter how well maintained and lightly used it is.

Similarly the sails may need replacement, that can set you back a fast $4-5000 on that boat. You can get some fast online quotes from many lofts for "stock" sails of varying qualities, figure sails need to be replaced every 5 years as a one-size-fits-none number, if they are regularly used.

You'll also probably need new batteries after two years of storage, even if the old ones were kept on some kind of charger. This is a good time to check over the entire electrical system (you'll find plenty of threads on that) and buy the new batteries with a system overhaul in mind, if what is there doesn't meet your needs.

Boats always find a way to surprise you.
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Old 25-03-2008, 13:30   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobe531 View Post
keel needs to be sanded and repainted


This is something to dig deep on. Why would a keel need sanding and repainting?

Came loose from the hull?

Ran into a lot of stuff and gouged the $%(*& out of it?

The entire hull should need sanding and repainting at an equal amount. If it's just the keel, be very wary. Focus on this and make sure to tell your surveyor about it.

Could be legit, might be a problem. Best to look at it early in the survey.
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Old 25-03-2008, 13:55   #7
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I saw a 1996 Catalina get demo'd last week because of massive delam on its keel. Had regular maintenance, but they just don't (or didn't, in 1996) get their fiberglass situation figured out.

My vote, and I often am not in keeping with popular thought (I dumped my roller furling yankee and put hanks back on it, as an example) would be to look into a westsail or cheoy lee; something with a larger keel, heavier displacement, and reduced sail area.

Here's $10K for a cheoy lee. Same deal as any boat though, you want to inspect every inch of it and make sure it's what you want. But I'd rather have that $15K for repairs and upgrades, rather than top out your budget right on the boat price.

1972 Cheoy Lee Offshore Ketch Boat For Sale

You can get the sailplans and some advice from Robert Perry on the cheoy lee's as well; he's google'able.

I had some light displacement boats before (an Ericson 32 as one of them), and in rough stuff (like is common in the gulf stream), having a bit more weight down at the bottom really helps.
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Old 25-03-2008, 14:17   #8
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I too would think of an Ericson 32 as a light weight boat - less than 10,000 lbs. However, the Cheoy Lee is only 10,750. An old Hunter 34 displaces nearly 12,000 lbs., and a Pacific Seacraft 34 is about 13,000. A Westsail 32 is somewhere between 18 and 20K lbs. - now that's a heavy boat.
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Old 26-03-2008, 21:23   #9
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Quote:
Is this a reasonable budget?
Once you have replaced everything that needs to be replaced - yes. Pay heed to the other posts though, if the boat's rigging, sails and gear are original, they all need to be replaced.

Go out and look at as many boats as you can 50 - 60 - 70, enough that you can start to judge things for yourself... Find the smallest vessel that can do what you need it to, and buy the newest/best maintained specimen that you can find on the market.

Also - remember that boat prices are at their peak right now (spring), they will get cheaper as the year goes on - particularly in this economy.

Good Luck !
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Old 13-04-2008, 18:25   #10
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Thanks for all the good advice. I had the Hunter 34 surveyed and she came out fairly clean except for lack of maintenance for two years.

Had the engine looked at and the mechanic recommended replacing fuel lines, filter, belts and the high pressure fuel pump (owner taking care of it). They said the fuel was fine.

Sails (main and Genoa) were replaced in 2002 so they are 6 years old but were only used for 4 seasons. Standing rigging was also replaced in 2002. Running rigging was mildewed and dirty. Surveyor recommended washing and then rinsing with fabric softener(?).

The keel (iron) is the deep draft version and the bottom of the keel looks like it got dragged on the bottom a time or two and took off the bottom paint and got rusted. Not hard to do in the Chesapeake bay. Also there were a couple of spots of rust on the keel about the size of a quarter. I am considering having the keel sandblasted and barrier coated before I get her bottom painted. Is this overkill?

With luck we will be closing this week. I figure a weeks worth of maintenance/cleaning (not counting the keel) and she will be ready for the bay.

I am going to replace the Origo 2 burner alcohol stove (no oven) with either a CNG or propane stove. Has anyone done this? I am trying to get a feel for how major a project this will be.

Also planning on installing an air conditioner (with reverse cycle heat). Any Hunter 34 (1983 model) owners out there who have done this? If you have where did you put it? Also I am trying to figure out what size to get, I am getting some conflicting advice on this ranging from 9000 BTU to 16000 BTU (high end was from A/C salesman). She has LOA of 34' 05", LWL of 28' 03" and a beam of 11' 07". I am thinking the install will be a major project and best left to the boat yard.

Once again thanks for all your advice. If you are in the Baltimore area beginning in May give me a shout.

Future Captain of S/V Blackhorse
Bob Ewert

The government that is big enough to give you everything you want, is powerful enough to take everything you have. Thomas Jefferson
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Old 13-04-2008, 19:22   #11
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Quote:
Surveyor recommended washing and then rinsing with fabric softener(?).
Yes. I do it regularly. It will take the stiffness out. Make a daisy chain of the line then you can wash it easily without a tangled mess. It goes in the dryer just fine too (not with the clothes or you might raise a few eyebrows at home).

Quote:
I am trying to get a feel for how major a project this will be.
CNG is getting harder to find. Propane takes an external locker vented overboard with no connection to down below plus a solenoid controller. If you can manage the propane locker then forget about CNG. Propane is the hottest (temperature wise). It cooks like natural gas at home.

Quote:
I am getting some conflicting advice on this ranging from 9000 BTU to 16000 BTU
16000 is maybe overkill unless you are in a really hot area. I had 9,000 on a boat about that size and it could have been more. 12,000 would probably be about right. we had solid glass decks and when it was wicked hot you could not get the temp down during the daylight.
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Old 20-04-2008, 21:44   #12
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I am considering having the keel sandblasted and barrier coated before I get her bottom painted. Is this overkill ?
The sandblasting is maybe a bit more than you need to do - but it would be faster and certainly easier than doing the job yourself. Barrier coat is a very good idea with any keel, but particularly with an iron keeel in salt water.

Sounds like you have a good handle on things. Good luck and hope all goes smoothly !
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Old 21-04-2008, 00:06   #13
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I would get some more opinions on Catalinas and Hunters. They have always seemed on the underbuilt side for ocean cruising.
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Old 21-04-2008, 12:24   #14
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you might get more information on the international web site.

Catalina 42 International Association
I own a older catalina 42 and am very happy with it.
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Old 21-04-2008, 13:33   #15
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We cruised an '83 H34 for 2 1/2 years in the Bahamas/Caribbean. They are fast and roomy for their length and vintage; and in good condition, they can be an excellent platform for this kind of use. Everyone who cruises these boats cancels the monster dinette table and converts the starboard salon seats to a U with a smaller table or none at all - this was a standard original conversion. There is also the Home Theater option:

Home Theater seating

If you are considering the Bahamas and points south, you definitely want the propane (NOT CNG) conversion - there's plenty of room for tanks in the lazeretts. Can't help with A/C, but rust spots on the keel are common. You can surface treat them as needed, so a complete sandblast/epoxy coat is probably overkill, but nothing wrong with doing it - it may prevent them from coming back. Otherwise you just live with it and treat when you bottom paint - your keel won't fall off.

For more information, go here:

http://www.sailboatowners.com/reviews/revlist.tpl?fno=0&bbrand=Hunter&model=34

and here - this guy's interior was destroyed while the boat was on the hard in a hurricane - he rebuilt the whole thing:

http://epitomesrebuild.com/
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