I obviously am having a slightly different opinion on this boat (telling by the pictures) than most my co-posters.
A: When shopping
for a reasonable sized boat in that price range, it's pretty obvious that you wont get anywhere close to one of them fancy new tupperware boats.
B: I'd rather trust my life to a steel hull
any time. (I used to have a 60' steel Nordia Ketch
, with my share of rust problems, and my favorite saying was: "If I cant find the harbor entrance, I'll just make one for myself!")
C: One of the big "plus" with this one to me is that it does not have any fancy interior
paneling. (Thus also lacking insulation
which could be nice or bad depending on the cruising grounds you'd be hanging around in)
But as far as maintenance goes, this is great because you can see, check, access and consequently fix possibly problem areas easily (especially since you state you know a bit about welding yourself!)
D: Just because the woodwork in the cockpit is neglected does not necessarily mean that the boat is junk. Any boat subjected to sun and weather
for a while will show that type of neglect first and most of all with the varnished outside surfaces. A couple of weekends, lots of sandpaper, lots of varnish
and pacience and a couple of beers later you'd have a beauty since telling by the pictures the neglected wood does not show any "dryrot" or "blackrot" (not sure of the correct English
E: The visible rust seems to be superficial only. Take a look at them fishing
vessels who take a hammer, knock the rust off, paint over it and once they are done they start right all over again. No big deal, rust has a multiple of the surface and "amount" than the steel it ate, so that little bit of rust visible on the pictures virtually took nothing off the steel.
F: The hull-deck struts-deck problem resulting from "steel <-> wood" ... if such problem would be existing - is the fastest obvious problem. Against "thanks to the much higher volume of rust as opposed to the steel, you would see lifting, "wavy surface" etc. especially if no teak deck
is present. So if you put your eye as close as possible to the deck and look at it, if it looks "smooth" than you probably wont have any problems there.
Now, so far the "good news" in my opinion. Now the real problem zones:
owner seems not to have any hand for electricity. The wiring
is a nightmare (pictures from the engine-room)
This issue would be only cosmetically if we are talking "tupper ware boat" - but steel boats tend to suffer greatly from electrolysis
. Minor currents flowing between metals of different grade, and all you need for that is an "electrolyt" which sea water
is "great" for.
that is bone dry, so this is where you have to go look. Where ever possible and accessibly from the inside, take a screw diver and poke at the steel right along the line where the (filled) keel
transits to the hull. Areas you can not access from the inside need this checking from the outside (have fun diving! if she is in the water)
When tapping along the steel with the back (handle) of the screwdriver the sound will tell you if there any significant weaknesses even without having an expensive surveyor move in with fancy equipment
If that line is sound, the hull is sound, and all you are facing is some varnish
(see above) and DEFINITELY (!) re-wiring of at least that mess in the engine room.
If I was 30 years younger and this would be all I could afford, I'd offer $ 10K for starters and make the deal anywhere between these 10K and 15/16K.
Add a decent wind-vane autopilot
..........[edit: just have seen it already got one!] .......to this assembly and I would see no problem to circumnavigate. (If you dont have any problems with spending extensive time in very confined space.)
It may sound arrogant (and please believe me it is not intended to be) but I personally think that anything (monohull) below 50' is great for "vacation sailing" but true blue-water sailing in decent comfort and safety
starts at 50 feet plus (plus, plus!).
Back to the boat at hand:
At my current
situation, CLOD (cruiser living on dirt) if that boat would be located in Mallorca or anywhere in the Med I'd sure consider it for some fun weekend sailing, especially since I am enjoying it tremendously to work on my boats. Comeon! At less than $ 20K this "thing" sure would be fun and good sailing on top of it since the Dutch sure understand a LOT about boat building and design (especially when it is coming to steel)