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Old 05-01-2012, 15:38   #16
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Re: 38ft Trimaran - Too Much to Fix?

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Originally Posted by andreas.mehlin View Post
According to me the boat need:
New Deck paint
Stanchions needs caulking
Pilot house need some wood replacement due rot (pilot house and bulkheads are made of wood)
Bulkhead rot about 1x2'
New refrigerator
New Toilet and hoses
Needs to be hauled out and bottom painted.
New Autopilot (may go with a wheel pilot)
Some electrical job (now there seems to be an additional electrical panels that have been added with regular glass fuses...needs to be replaced according to me)
The engine is prob. since 1984 (looks clean...and started at first attempt - will this one keep on runnin'?)
New Trampolines needed and some way to fasten these.

....maybe I forgot something (in that case I let you know)

I don't want to spend a very long time fixing this up. Maybe a couple of weeks. To go or not to go?
As already said, once you get "hands on" that list will grow. A couple of weeks is possible on paper - but in reality won't happen - esp. if going mostly DIY.

Presuming you know what you are doing sailing wise / with a Tri - given your plans I would fix up only what you need to do the trip safely, load up with things that will be hard to come by / expensive where you are heading and do the rest of the work down there.....easy to get over involved at the start and quickly end up with a boat not capable of going anywhere!

The engine is always a punt, could last another 20 minutes or another 20 years.....I would bet on the rigging being original, unless proved otherwise......prudent to replace, and fairly quick to do.

Unless the Pilot house is about to fall off, then would put it on "to do later" list - even if you have to add a bit of temporary cladding!.......my main concern would be the rot in the bulkhead, both on how much impact that has on her structural integrity (cheap to replace or fix in wood + Epoxy, but time consuming) and also it is a good indicator that the boat has not had much TLC in at least recent times - so IMO surprises elsewhere can be expected........hard to factor that in........but for the trip intended you do need a sound boat, pretty / with mod cons can come later.
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Old 05-01-2012, 18:48   #17
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Re: 38ft Trimaran - Too Much to Fix ?

I knew a couple with a tristar of same composition about that size. They sailed in the Bahamas and waited for their monohull companions to arrive. The other boats complained abouthow they got so beaten up, the tristar didn't notice anything unusual. There was lots of room down below and they lived aboard, well. Sailed well to windward. If you are handy and methodical, you can correct any problems. Good to have the worst case vision though, not a bad boat to have.
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Old 06-01-2012, 13:12   #18
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Re: 38ft Trimaran - Too Much to Fix ?

#1 Repairs
#2 Maintenance (paint, etc)
#3 Improvements

You have to take it one step at a time. Everyone wants to jump to improvements.....Do not think you can repair. maintain, and get any more than what the bones are. You cannot maintain a Yugo into a Mercedes.

I would be pushing it to take a perfectly tight boat, and be ready in two weeks to go to Panama. Not for me. I drive boats for a living, boats are enormous time and money suckers.

Buy the best maintained boat you can afford. Buy smaller, but buy better.

"The most expensive boat you can buy, is a cheap fixer upper"

You will be in the yard for a year, no matter where you are.

Read the Searunner thread. Drew23 took 2 years he did not figure on to get ready. Mark Johnson story is unbelievable.....

"Projects" grow, and stall terribly. Cost escalate, double your estimate of cost, quadruple you estimate of time. I have seen it too many times. Unless you can throw money at it and yell at everyone to get it done, it will take a long, long, time.

Go to any boat yard and talk the owners. See how they are doing. I always remind them that it is a "pleasure boat" and they usually wince.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:04   #19
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Re: 38ft Trimaran - Too Much to Fix ?

Like JMolan says, I have spent two extra years getting the boat ready - it's finally done, and we're away, currently anchored in San Diego having sailed down from Canada. The boat is lovely, and I have the utmost confidence that I can fix anything that should go wrong... because I have had to repair (often by completely gutting and rebuilding) every. single. system. on this boat!

With wood rot on a trimaran, a good rule of thumb is that you should expect to have to replace 5x to 10x the amount of wood as the patch of rot that you can see... once you expose the rot completely, it's *always* worse than you thought. when you make your repairs make sure you "wet out" your repair wood with thinned epoxy (1/2 and 1/2 with west system epoxy and acetone, I hear MEK actually works better but I haven't tried it) or your repairs will need replacing within a year or two.

My best estimate for my haul out was two solid weeks of hard work. We were out for almost three months, working eight to twelve hours every single day (most days with two or three people working) at *great* expense.

Here's the blog entries to give you an idea of what was involved in those three months:
What I Did On My Summer Vacation – June Edition disengage.ca
What I Did On My Summer Vacation – July Edition disengage.ca
What I Did On My Summer Vacation – August Edition disengage.ca

In no way to I mean to dissuade you; I love my boat, and she has treated me well on this trip so far. We have made all the repairs and upgrades with the intention of living aboard for the next ten years or more, and we are very happy with live aboard!

...just be aware that it can (and will) be a lot more work than you expect. keep telling yourself "adversity builds character" and you'll be fine.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:32   #20
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Re: 38ft Trimaran - Too Much to Fix ?

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Originally Posted by drew23 View Post
Like JMolan says, I have spent two extra years getting the boat ready - it's finally done, and we're away, currently anchored in San Diego having sailed down from Canada. The boat is lovely, and I have the utmost confidence that I can fix anything that should go wrong... because I have had to repair (often by completely gutting and rebuilding) every. single. system. on this boat!

With wood rot on a trimaran, a good rule of thumb is that you should expect to have to replace 5x to 10x the amount of wood as the patch of rot that you can see... once you expose the rot completely, it's *always* worse than you thought. when you make your repairs make sure you "wet out" your repair wood with thinned epoxy (1/2 and 1/2 with west system epoxy and acetone, I hear MEK actually works better but I haven't tried it) or your repairs will need replacing within a year or two.

My best estimate for my haul out was two solid weeks of hard work. We were out for almost three months, working eight to twelve hours every single day (most days with two or three people working) at *great* expense.

Here's the blog entries to give you an idea of what was involved in those three months:
What I Did On My Summer Vacation June Edition disengage.ca
What I Did On My Summer Vacation July Edition disengage.ca
What I Did On My Summer Vacation August Edition disengage.ca

In no way to I mean to dissuade you; I love my boat, and she has treated me well on this trip so far. We have made all the repairs and upgrades with the intention of living aboard for the next ten years or more, and we are very happy with live aboard!

...just be aware that it can (and will) be a lot more work than you expect. keep telling yourself "adversity builds character" and you'll be fine.
Yeah, I'm sure it can be lots of work to do on a plywood boat, although, the boat I have talked about is built with a foam core (only the bulkheads are wood), so that made me a little bit more interested in this boat.
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Old 12-01-2012, 18:51   #21
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Re: 38ft Trimaran - Too Much to Fix ?

Is that the one in Green Cove Springs? I saw the boat at anchor a few months ago then saw the ad. Thought of going to go look at it, but ended up deciding to build a boat instead.

If you want a professional opinion, let me know.

Jeff
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Old 13-01-2012, 00:41   #22
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Re: 38ft Trimaran - Too Much to Fix ?

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Is that the one in Green Cove Springs? I saw the boat at anchor a few months ago then saw the ad. Thought of going to go look at it, but ended up deciding to build a boat instead.

If you want a professional opinion, let me know.

Jeff
Yes! It's the one in Green cove springs.
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Old 13-01-2012, 07:57   #23
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Re: 38ft Trimaran - Too Much to Fix ?

Drew23, I read your summer vacation links and wow. In the end it looks great. Did you ever do a final tally of the costs to fix up your tri? And were your helpers paid and how would that factor in if they were not? In hindsight do you think it would have been better to pay full price for one that was ready to go?
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Old 15-01-2012, 06:28   #24
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Re: 38ft Trimaran - Too Much to Fix ?

Is this Green Cove Springs, Fl? There aren't a lot of these around, does it happen to have a fixed keel in place of the twin daggerboards? The twin daggers are at the heart of Ed Horstman's design philosophy and I would not accept the fixed keel modification. That said, the tristars are awsome cruising designs. Dave
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Old 15-01-2012, 09:55   #25
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Re: 38ft Trimaran - Too Much to Fix ?

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Is this Green Cove Springs, Fl? There aren't a lot of these around, does it happen to have a fixed keel in place of the twin daggerboards? The twin daggers are at the heart of Ed Horstman's design philosophy and I would not accept the fixed keel modification. That said, the tristars are awsome cruising designs. Dave
Hi!

The one in Green Cove springs is with fixed keel, although the trunks for daggerboards are there if it would help.
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Old 22-01-2012, 10:01   #26
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Re: 38ft Trimaran - Too Much to Fix ?

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Drew you have a beautiful Searunner 37, very impressive the work you have done and the results. We are on our first year of a rebuild of a 41 trimaran, Corinthian 41, fully fiberglass. We anticipated a long rebuild mostly based on funds becoming available for each project. This has worked as I thought it would and I am personally very pleased, we are doing all the work ourselves and like you it gives us confidence in knowing if we are stranded some where with a needed repair we will be able to do the repairs. Frankly this is why I wanted to learn the skills, more than for doing a rebuild/upgrade, I did not want to be out in a foreign land or a distant location vulnerable to others repair skills and fees, really anywhere. I don't have blank checks to write.

Choosing a vessel to recover and bring back to seaworthiness is a tricky proposition and I would not have attempted it if I had already not been involved in commercial boat building; as well as two build projects of large boats over 30' and involved in yet a third boat, bringing an older trimaran back to seaworthy condition.

Our vessel when surveyed had a rebuild value 400K, not the value at time of purchase. We would never be able to purchase such a boat new or even building it on our own. The ability to choose which boat and how much work is involved becomes a reasonable expectation of your own judgement with experience. You will learn when the bones are there and when they aren't. Depending on the boat, this to me is a short cut to a build from scratch.

Experience was my dilemma. I started my website as a result of searching for information, Multihull Dynamics, Inc. If I were anyone longing to do something like the projects mentioned in this thread, to get experience I would search for anyone building a boat within a couple hours drive from my home; go and beg them to let you help them. Or I would find a fiberglass shop, preferably boat building shop and volunteer your time. Who knows you may get good enough and they start paying you, even if you just get a couple hours a week experience it will quickly pay huge dividends. I say all this for the guys who were like me, who don't even have basic construction skills background.

For years I was unsure when to run away and when to take the leap and purchase. Looking back I passed on some boats I should have and passed on some I realize would have been great boats. The biggest lesson I learned is not to purchase until you know yourself you are ready or you have to resources to pay someone with real building skills to work with you to complete the task.

To me clearly there are several good multihulls on the market that are worth more than what it would take to build new and I personally would not buy smaller to avoid a rebuild - upgrade boat, IF I KNEW I HAD THE SKILLS or the resources to hire skilled labor to work with me. Here in Florida you could get a very skilled and experienced worker for about $25/hr give or take a few bucks.

Here is the deal, there is no quick way to the skills you have to get dirty a lot and eventually you will develop them, and frankly if you are reading this thread and are not willing to search out a place to work on at least one boat and get dirty, learn how to avoid the fiberglass itch, all the aspects of rigging, plumbing, electronics, paint, etc... you should not be reading this thread. After you have learned all this - then you search and purchase and do your own boat. My 2 cents, Good Luck
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