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Old 17-08-2008, 08:54   #1
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Stevens 47 help

Am contemplating the purchase of a 1981 Stevens 47. MY concern is the fact that this boat is 27 years-old, probably started in the charter business, has circumnavigated, etc.. On the surface the boat appears a bit rough, but acceptable. Of course I will need a survey, but in looking back over the last few years, the average price has been around $150,000. I've read much on the subject, have sailed them a bit and am fully aware of the boats sea-keeping ability. My question remains, is a hard-used Stevens worth $150,000? If it passes a survey, what sort of a life expectancy can I look forward to? Any pros and cons on the topic would be appreciated.
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Old 17-08-2008, 09:35   #2
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Quote:
My question remains, is a hard-used Stevens worth $150,000? If it passes a survey, what sort of a life expectancy can I look forward to? Any pros and cons on the topic would be appreciated.
The hull would probably last a very long time. 1981 for a hull is not too old or even on the radar screen for being old. 1981 for all the gear attached may be problematic. All rigging would be suspect though some may have been replaced. An engine would not automatically need replacement but may need overhaul. Things like the fridge usually last 20 years. Winches if maintained could in fine shape as they can last a lifetime with service. Many deck fittings would or should be rebedded to prevent leaks. Looking for past leaks is a good exercise.

It all comes down to if any of these things are original and how many have been serviced or replaced. Problems neglected can lead to other problems. The boat could very well be a great deal or a curse if all we saw was a picture or two. At 47 ft there is a lot of area to check out and perhaps fix. You'll end up with a list of things to fix but if the list is manageable then you can handle it if you know up front what you are getting into.

It's going to be the survey results and how much more you have to put into it that will tell you if it will be worth the price. You don't usually worry about winning the ugly boat contest with a Stephens design. It just needs a very complete going over as would any boat this old or even younger.

You need to sort out the rough edges from the defects and add up the money to complete the project.
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Old 17-08-2008, 10:07   #3
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Thanks Paul - I've been told a hull peel can cost upwards of $15,000 and I just have nightmares of how many times this boat has bumped the bottom in 27 years incurring the knicks and fractures that contribute to the osmotic process.
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Old 17-08-2008, 10:13   #4
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Thanks Paul - I've been told a hull peel can cost upwards of $15,000 and I just have nightmares of how many times this boat has bumped the bottom in 27 years incurring the knicks and fractures that contribute to the osmotic process.
Osmotic process or "blisters" has nothing to do with how many time the boat has bumped bottom or bumped anything else. Boats that have never touched bottom can have serious problems as can boats 30 years old or 1 year old.
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Old 17-08-2008, 12:26   #5
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Thanks Chuck - I realize blistering is basically the process of two liquids (ion-poor/ion rich) seperated by a semipermeable membrane seeking equalization and this can occur in a hull of any age. I was simply referring to the fact that breaches in the gelcoat can excelerate wicking to the resin-starved areas. Not-to-mention the possibility of fissures from heavy shots taken allowing moisture into the ballast material for a different set of problems.
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Old 17-08-2008, 18:46   #6
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Nessie,

I'm more than a bit familiar with these boats. With few, if any, exceptions, they all went into the charter trade. I believe Bill Stevens had them built primarily for his charter business, eventually purchased by Sunsail. The molds were then used to built boats for Hylas.

Personally, we kicked a couple of these around before buying "Merlin", a very similar boat, built in the same yard.

A Stevens 47 in decent condition, should be less than $200K. If your contemplated boat has been well used AND well maintained, that certainly can be better than one with little use, that's been sitting. Get a GOOD surveyor - NOT one recommended by the broker, by the way. Then put together a list of what he/she finds, and how much it will cost to fix. Feel free to post it here - there are many folks than can give you an idea as to what things cost.

As for bottom problems? That's part & parcel of owning an older boat. We spent $1500 on blister repair with our recent bottom job. Personally, unless it was really, really bad, I'd never have a bottom "peeled".

Just to let you know from experience. This boat can, and likely will, eat your lunch. Just be prepared for it. It's a very, very solid platform on which to work - but let's be realistic, replacement cost on it is probably $500-700K.
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Old 17-08-2008, 19:05   #7
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Thanks Bill - I appreciate the advice
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Old 27-10-2008, 22:31   #8
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Work on boats like this add up very quickly and if it's in rough shape it will get VERY expensive. I have a 1985 that was by far the cleanest one around in 2005. It had new rigging, awlgrip, decent engine but have still dropped over $60K and it's just getting started.

That said, these are fine boats, sail well and are worth getting back into shape. If you compare what a newer boat would cost spending 150,000 (in addition to purchase cost) will still get you a great boat for lots less.
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Old 28-10-2008, 00:14   #9
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I have a 1986 Hylas 47, basically the same boat. It's a great boat, I'd buy it again, but I have three major recommendations,
1. GET A GOOD SURVEYOR
2. GET A GOOD SURVEYOR
3. GET A GOOD SURVEYOR!!!!!!!!!!
I can't possibly stress this enough. If I had it all to do again, I would interview several surveyors before picking one, and I would get a separate engine surveyor. Not that there was anything major wrong with my boat, but there could have been, and I never would have known.
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Old 28-10-2008, 04:36   #10
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Look at the boat and get quotes for everything you feel may need replacement: engine, rigging, sails, through hulls, auto, pumps and hoses, cushions, paint, hatches, portholes......... Add it up and decide if the purchase price plus the needed improvements is in your budget. Annual maintanence will be somewhere around 1-2% of new replacement after the boat is up to snuff. If a new replacement boat costs $750k then figure $7k to $15k. And yes as others have said get a good surveyor.
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Old 28-10-2008, 08:51   #11
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good suveyor

Quote:
Originally Posted by john540 View Post
I have a 1986 Hylas 47, basically the same boat. It's a great boat, I'd buy it again, but I have three major recommendations,
1. GET A GOOD SURVEYOR
2. GET A GOOD SURVEYOR
3. GET A GOOD SURVEYOR!!!!!!!!!!
I can't possibly stress this enough. If I had it all to do again, I would interview several surveyors before picking one, and I would get a separate engine surveyor. Not that there was anything major wrong with my boat, but there could have been, and I never would have known.
I hired a "good surveyor" fully certified, years of experience, recommended...etc. He was not the one I wanted, but an old friend wasn't available.

I tried standing back and letting him do his job. I should have put my nose in everything, including reviewing his game plan and methodology before we began. A boat the size and age of a Stevens 47 SHOULD NOT be surveyed in less than several days and take time to really go through every nook and cranny in the boat. One week after the boat passed survey with flying colors I ended up replacing every though hull. It was clear they hadn't been touched during the survey! There were numerous other issues especially mechanical and electrical items. All the surveyor did was power up devices..no check if they actually worked.

Going through a boat with a good surveyor, especially one who has surveyed the same kind of boat before, or even better someone who has worked on and repaired the same kind of boat can provide immense information and advice that you'll never see in the survey write-up
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Old 28-10-2008, 09:09   #12
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A good surveyor should welcome you to follow him on the survey. That way he can point out problems to you and help to familiarize you with the quirks of the boat. Be suspect of a surveyor who doesn't want you to stick your nose where he does.
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Old 28-10-2008, 11:34   #13
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Most of my through-hulls are stuck too. the Boat's on the hard now, and that's one of the "issues" that I'm working on. The next surveyor that I find will be;
1. a sailboat owner who actually sails
2. a mechanic who has experience working on sailboats
3. someone with experience working on or sailing the specific model (if practicable) boat I'm looking at
4. a person who tells me in advance what he plans to inspect, and how he plans to inspect it
5. a person who shows me in advance the checklist that he will use to inspect the boat
6. someone with multiple good recommendations with specific reasons why he's recommended
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Old 07-11-2008, 18:13   #14
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forget the surveyor

use the surveyor to get the boat insured.....but go over the boat with a good boat worker who has the prosect of getting work...he'll find everything
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