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Old 09-06-2012, 16:46   #1
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Refitting - Better than Factory

Can one tear a hull down and rebuild to something more than originally built?
I've rebuilt a 26' Reinell. Tore her down to bare fiberglass, reinforced bedding and added additional bulkheads. I've used fiberglass tabbing on every joint an junction. Replaced all the core material and sealed every kerf with resin. Is it possible to rebuild an old boat better then she was laid down? Is it possible to use scantlings to redesign a production boat that had a iffy reputation for build quality. To make her stronger, more resilient, and seaworthy? My refit/rebuild is 95% complete. So, this is an after the fact question, Can a careful owner make a boat better than her builder?
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Old 09-06-2012, 17:02   #2
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Re: refitting: better than factory.

You certainly can. It depends on how big your budget is.
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Old 09-06-2012, 17:04   #3
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Re: refitting: better than factory.

Absolutely..............i did a keel up renovation on a Beneteau First 456 and ripped out the Beneteau inner moulding floor structure that was no longer attached to the hull due to a series of high speed groundings and sticking plaster repairs by so called professionals in the marine industry. Clowns the lot of them including some big name surveyors who were either totally disinterested totally clueless or just totally incompetent probably a combination of all three really. The 9 foot draft lead keel was wagging about like a tree in a breeze. With the floors no longer attached to the hull the I beam structure was destroyed. Then i designed and had built a egg box floor structure that was much much better than anything Beneteau had ever built or could afford to build and still make a profit.

Might post some pictures tomorrowdays
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Old 09-06-2012, 17:05   #4
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Re: refitting: better than factory.

You can if that's what you like. It will be a negative $ experience (as you likely found out with the Reinell) and you'll be working in Fiberglass and dust instead of sailing. But then... that seems to be what some people like!
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Old 09-06-2012, 17:16   #5
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Re: refitting: better than factory.

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
You can if that's what you like. It will be a negative $ experience (as you likely found out with the Reinell) and you'll be working in Fiberglass and dust instead of sailing. But then... that seems to be what some people like!
Ha! yes, its taken ten months and close to $8,000 in materials (more than 10x cost of the hull), and a thousand plus hours of my time. I know I will not recover much $ from the Reinell 26. So, I'll need to make it up in use. As I stand in the hull and look around, she's almost a new boat, smells like a new boat.

My jury is still out if Reinell was the problem or the chain of previous owners that did obscene things to the boat I now call mine.

It's begining to sound like if you want it done right you've gotta do it yourself.
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Old 09-06-2012, 17:18   #6
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Re: refitting: better than factory.

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Originally Posted by Danosimp3 View Post

It's begining to sound like if you want it done right you've gotta do it yourself.

got it in one!!!!
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Old 09-06-2012, 17:21   #7
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Re: refitting: better than factory.

If you're going to expend that kind of effort do it on something worthwhile restoring. You could spend $50,000 on your Reinell and at the end of the day you still have a $1000 boat that goes 4 knots. Consider that sort of effort on a classic or obtain a bare hull and deck and finish it off.

Over-improving an inexpensive production boat is a recipe for losing money.
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Old 09-06-2012, 17:29   #8
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Re: refitting: better than factory.

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got it in one!!!!
Would not a different boat have given you what you wanted?

Just asking.
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Old 09-06-2012, 18:50   #9
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Re: refitting: better than factory.

Did the same thing on my first sailboat named Forsailbyowner. The name had to do with the motto no one would ever do what I did if they intended on selling the boat. Like you I separated the bottom and top, removed all coring, built the hull and topsides up to minimum 3/8". Reconfigured the cockpit and cut out the transom. Made a kick up rudder and swing keel out of 316l stainless at a cost of over $1000 for just the metal. etc...... I sailed the boat for 15 years going to the bahamas and dry tortugas in separate trips every year. Was it worth it to me in the end? The memories are priceless. I sold the boat for around $4000 when I bought Magic. Even at the low selling price I was glad an experienced delivery captain bought the boat for his daughter. I must have done something right.
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Old 09-06-2012, 21:39   #10
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Re: refitting: better than factory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danosimp3 View Post
Can one tear a hull down and rebuild to something more than originally built?
Can a careful owner make a boat better than her builder?
If you start with a Reinell, then sure you can.

If you start with a Hinkley or other first class boat, not so likely.

But, as mentioned in another post, it doesn't make much sense to invest so much time and money in a poorly designed and executed vessel.

I'm sure that you had some strong motivation to do this huge project, and I hope that you have enjoyed the process and have learned lots. I further hope that you get lots of satisfaction out of sailing your boat when you finish up

Cheers,

Jim

PS I do hope that part of your program was to replace the entire rig. The original was pretty wonky and unlikely to stand up to serious sailing, especially if your mods made the boat any stiffer.
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Old 10-06-2012, 00:41   #11
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Re: refitting: better than factory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danosimp3 View Post
It's begining to sound like if you want it done right you've gotta do it yourself.
I think it more accurate to say

"If you want it done the way you want it, you've gotta do it yourself"

Terms like "done right", and "quality" are very subjective in boat building.

Responders here state the obvious. Boats are NEVER EVER a good investment if you are seeking a financial return on your own time and money.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:30   #12
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Re: refitting: better than factory.

Go for it! It`s your boat,so finish it off the way you want. I`m working on a highly modified Vindo 40. The boat was "free", so I dont feel too guilty by changing the hull to my liking.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:57   #13
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Re: Refitting - Better than Factory

Question:
Is there a point at which an owner can overmodify to the detrement of a boat. I know most boats are made to flex and the tabbing in of bulkheads is usually engineered into the design. Can an owner, through lack of design knowledge, actually weaken the boat by inadvertantly moving the stress points?
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:23   #14
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Re: Refitting - Better than Factory

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danosimp3 View Post
Can one tear a hull down and rebuild to something more than originally built?
I've rebuilt a 26' Reinell. Tore her down to bare fiberglass, reinforced bedding and added additional bulkheads. I've used fiberglass tabbing on every joint an junction. Replaced all the core material and sealed every kerf with resin. Is it possible to rebuild an old boat better then she was laid down? Is it possible to use scantlings to redesign a production boat that had a iffy reputation for build quality. To make her stronger, more resilient, and seaworthy? My refit/rebuild is 95% complete. So, this is an after the fact question, Can a careful owner make a boat better than her builder?
In 1990 I purchased sunburned 1978 Searay Sundancer for $3500.00. Re powered, re painted, new ulpholstry, and canvas, new out drive, new wiring.

Did it all myself except upholstery and canvas.

Sold her in 1996 for $22,000.00, I was not upside down in her, plus I got 6 years of a great boat for my labor.


In 2002 I purchased a 1937 52ft Monk I am just now nearing the end of her restoration. I have 10 years of boating and ten years for labor, she would bring double my investment to-date if I were ready to sell her.
FlyingCloud


restoration photos

Lloyd
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:14   #15
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Re: Refitting - Better than Factory

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony B View Post
Question:
Is there a point at which an owner can overmodify to the detrement of a boat. I know most boats are made to flex and the tabbing in of bulkheads is usually engineered into the design. Can an owner, through lack of design knowledge, actually weaken the boat by inadvertantly moving the stress points?

I think some principals must be followed. On the boats Ive modified I establish full bulkheads and major structural members fore and aft attaching the bulkheads together. So much compromise is done to make a boat feel airy and big inside as a selling feature much structural integrity is lost and you get a boat that beer cans and flexes to the extreme. This puts added stress on the tabbing and everything involved. Then you end up with a boat like the Hunter 460 of my brothers that creaks and groans when anchored in a light chop and sounds like its coming apart in a seaway. I had absolute confidence in Forsailbyowners seaworthiness offshore. Double gasketed hatches were leak free in the meanest weather. The open transom and glassed fiberglass in place of the bottom companionway board made the possibility of getting pooped and flooded very low even with the boards out. At one point I was considering seatbelts in the cockpit and an airhose to breathe from if left turtled for any period of time. Never was turtled even in northers in the gulfstream and being offshore in a no name storm that packed hurricane force winds. Mast went underwater twice in that one but quickly righted itself without going all the way around.
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