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Old 26-06-2006, 15:28   #1
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Something must be wrong here...


I'm new here. I'm a sailing fan and I'm looking for a boat. Found 2 apparently nice boats and very cheap. In fact, they are so cheap that I got mistrusted. Since I don't have much experience, could you please give me some advice about these 2 boats? Can you actually find acceptable boats for such a price?

Here are the sites:

Thank you

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Old 26-06-2006, 15:47   #2
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could you please give me some advise about these 2 boats?
I have no information about these boats other than the listings. I doubt any one esle does either, but you never know. Crusiers forum grows every day.

My sense is these boats are priced too low by a whole lot. They must have underlying problems. As with all boats you spend a lot for, it's in the survey. Never spend serious money without a full survey. The survey is your ticket to walk away and be thankful you didn't buy the boat OR it's the work list for the the boat you just bought.

When deals seem too good they probably are not. In the end you need to decide if a survey is worth the money. If you had 3 surveys done and the third one was a great boat it would be worth the money on the the two you did not buy.

Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 26-06-2006, 16:18   #3
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Never heard of a Bongo.

One of the problems with a custom-built boat is that it by definition has no sisterships to use to judge the quality of the boat and the reputation of the builder.
s/y Elizabethó Catalina 34 MkII
"Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them." ó G. K. Chesterfield
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Old 27-06-2006, 00:09   #4
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I have to go on probabilities here in absence of complete info.
Here is my punt. Steel was a vey popular building material about 20 or + years ago. A lot of amatuers builders. If they made some mistakes in internal paint system it's about time for them to be a rotten mess in the lowest point of the bilges. Good value can be had in such a boat IF you know how or are gutsy enough to 'learn as you go' welding. Problem is if the design is not good your effort may not be well invested. That, I think is the crux of it and the main reason they are that cheap. Expect also, that any thing of value as far as equipment, has already been sold. They were on the hard when photographed... because they were leaking and hauled out and then they got a tradesman in for a quote?? And by the way, no offense Paul but I put my trust in a surveyor once.... and thats how I learned to be a good welder and an expert on rotten steel boats!!

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Old 27-06-2006, 06:45   #5
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Here's my take. Steel boats can have rust problems that are not visible to the naked eye. Throw that in with an unusual design and the resale on a boat like that is going to be very low. From there you may be able to get a good boat for a low price or you may buy yourself a huge project.

Had some friends who had a steel boat. They tied to a mooring in Bora Bora and the mooring gave way in a strong wind and the boat bounced across a reef with no substantial damage to the hull. Broke all there China dishes though. For a long tme after that I wanted a steel boat but maintenance, upkeep, and lack of resale made me decide against it.
Fair Winds,


Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 27-06-2006, 12:23   #6
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Aloha Nuno,
Welcom Aboard. You'll get many answers to each question and I agree with each of the former posts.
Good luck in your search. I chose fiberglass and recommend size 32 - 36 feet in length. I recommend hiring a surveyer before consummating any transaction when buying a boat. I learned that lesson the hard way.
Regards, --John--
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Old 27-06-2006, 19:19   #7
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Bob, while I do not always hire a surveyor for a project boat, I would have to strongly disagree with the idea of not hiring one as a recommendation. The one important thing a surveyor can provide is an objective eye. When you look at a boat for purchase, if you have gone as far as paying $12 a foot for a survey, you are going to be in love with the boat. It will be very easy to overlook the problems on a boat you are already attached to. Aleays screen your surveyor carefully. Always make sure he has LOT'S of experience with the type of vessel you are paying him to survey (In this case, steel). Ask him ahead of time if he is aware of any known or common problems with the specific design you are considering. All boats have weak areas. If he is not aware of any, he is probably not familiar with the design.
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Old 28-06-2006, 00:08   #8
Bob Norson

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Greetings Kai nui and y'all

"I would have to strongly disagree with the idea of not hiring one as a recommendation."

Isn't this slightly OT? (just had to show off I now know what OT means)
Who said not to hire one? not me. What I said was I hired one and got a rotten boat because I took his word, which is true but I understand how you inferred differently. To explain... I abdicated what I now believe was my responsibility. Get all the information you can from where ever you can (like this forum) but in the end... you have to keep in mind that people can be incompetent, some can even be crooks. Self reliance is the name of the sailor game, or at least thats how I play it now. I've seen too much. With lawyers and surveyors, just because you pay them doesn't mean they are on your side. Hire them if you have to, but it doesn't let you off the hook. Look in the bilges... Can the fitout be removed for hull plate inspection? Assume any hidden steel is rotten steel. Was the boat straight when built? Are the welds lumpy and pitted or smooth and pretty? Were the welds done in small sections or did the welder do long stretches at a time causing heat deformation? What kind of steel? cheap mild or coreten? I just sold my steel boat and the surveyor wouldn't have caught it if it had been a bad one. The buyer was lucky, I had spent a year and a half (full time!) fixing her and I was honest.

I am not usualy that lucky! I sure wish some one had given me the advice above about 8 years ago!

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Old 28-06-2006, 02:49   #9
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Iím not qualified as a professional surveyor. Over the years, Iíve done numerous pre-purchase surveys for friends. I usually warn them:
1. Take my positive comments with a grain of salt.
2. Take my inconclusive comments as negative.
3. Take my negative comments to the bank.
4. Accept no mysteries.
I think this may be good (conservative) general advice for evaluating any survey report.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 28-06-2006, 16:20   #10
Bob Norson

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yes yes... well said Gord!

I could see why you would be asked to do reports for friends. I would give your word at least the credability with which it is offered but the case I had and the case many find themselves, is having to do a yellow pages search for a surveyor. My boat was so bad and the fight to save her so extreme,... I met the broker that sold me the boat years later on Lizard Island. In spite of her having a very tough reputation in the business... she knew.. she knew what the boat was and knew the surveyor set me up hard.. she pulled me aside while Kay and I were handing out medalions for the Olympics on the beach and apologised! Admitting it had bothered her for years. The boat was more than just bad, it was downright foolhardy to sail it back to the mooring. (80 miles)

If I have time to fool around I might post some photos on my web site along with a copy of the survey report... it might wreck the steel boat market though! No one who saw what we did had ever heard of a boat so bad being saved, we were proud of that anway. If you are gonna be a dumb ass, be the ultimate one!
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Old 05-07-2006, 19:38   #11

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Nuno, the only way you can find out the truth about a boat listing is by laying eyes and hands on it. Yours, and a surveyors. Which may also mean a general survey, and engine/mechanic survey and tests, and a rigger. In your case it will mean a visit to the NYC area and several days in place, plus you will need to access the interior of the hull (which looks like it has had serious "furniture" installed obscuring it) to assess it.

You could easily spend $2000 to "just take a look" at something like this, I'd suggest sticking to boats that are conveniently traveled to, unless you plan to come to the US and then visit a half dozen ports cities (Newport, RI, NYC, Annapolis, Miami perhaps) in a blitz tour--but I still think that will be a very expensive way to look over boats.
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Old 05-07-2006, 19:53   #12
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If you are new as you say then I would run away from these boats. I can see by blowing up the pictures that they have some substancial rework to be done. Almost all of the woodwork needs to be refinished. Water stains at the bottom of cabinets and doors indicate lots of leaks. Leaks on a STEEL boat promote rot of both the wood and the steel. If your looking for a clasic little boat for a good price tri looking up Triton , Perry , Alberg , Cape Dory . Use yacht world as you were doing.

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