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Old 21-11-2015, 00:02   #76
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Re: How old is too old?

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Originally Posted by Dave-Zim View Post
Size - Between 55 - 70'
Location - Europe / Middle East / Indian Ocean islands
Usage - Spend the rest of my life sailing round the world.
Budget - US$500 - 700k

I'm trying to figure out if it's better to spend most of the money on the best and newest boat I can afford with minimal re-fit.
Or, buy something older and spend significant money refurbishing.
If I'm not particularly worried about re-sale value because I intend to spend most of the rest of my life on the yacht, which is the most advantageous way of buying a big cat?
Either way I'm spending the same money, but which gets me the most bang for my buck?
If your buying used anyway (good idea), buy something that leaves you enough to get the systems on it you want: solar, electronics, sails, etc.. A quality built older boat is the direction we took.
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Old 23-11-2015, 09:38   #77
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Re: How old is too old?

The large cat designs (e.g. Lagoon, Leopard, etc) are just now reaching the "old boat" stages for the first time. I think it would be tough to find a boat of this style that is "too old". Anything less than 10 years and well cared for will still be a very nice boat.

I'm currently looking at a 1984 ODay monohull. To me, that is one the edge of "too old". Anything build in this century would seem "brand new" to me.

The largest part of the market is ex-charter boats. These boats are minimally outfitted and very "universal" in their build configurations. They are fairly priced and widely available, but not "very well appointed".

Owner-held catamarans tend to be drastically overpriced, reflecting the love and attention their owners have given. Most often, they are holding out on an unreasonable price in the hopes of recovering their investment, or looking to trade up themselves.

Some have been lucky, though, and found reasonably priced and fantastically outfitted cruising cats. Get your financing in order and start your hunt. If you're lucky, you'll find a motivated seller who will deal for a quick close. Sadly, this most often means someone has fallen to critical illness or has died.
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Old 23-11-2015, 09:46   #78
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Re: How old is too old?

Any fiberglass boat over 30 years old is too old. hardening of hull, stress fractures, and core failures. That is why hard to finance an old hull, not to mention to insure such.
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Old 23-11-2015, 09:55   #79
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Re: How old is too old?

My impression on all boats is at 7-8 years all the "bolt on" stuff should be considered suspect. ie: pumps, electronics, hoses, autopilots, faucets, etc.
Sails, rudder and rigging at maybe 10 years. Engines 10-30 years.
Hull and deck... a long time.... unless hull cored below the waterline.
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Old 23-11-2015, 11:31   #80
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Re: How old is too old?

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My impression on all boats is at 7-8 years all the "bolt on" stuff should be considered suspect. ie: pumps, electronics, hoses, autopilots, faucets, etc.
Sails, rudder and rigging at maybe 10 years. Engines 10-30 years.
Hull and deck... a long time.... unless hull cored below the waterline.

If properly done and the hull hasn't taken on any water, then coring below the waterline is fine, no different than above the waterline.


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Old 23-11-2015, 11:33   #81
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Re: How old is too old?

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Any fiberglass boat over 30 years old is too old. hardening of hull, stress fractures, and core failures. That is why hard to finance an old hull, not to mention to insure such.

I believe this is incorrect. Plenty of 30+ year old hulls that are still going strong. How the boat has been used and the maintenance or lack of will determine the lifespan of a boat.


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Old 23-11-2015, 11:47   #82
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Re: How old is too old?

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I believe this is incorrect. Plenty of 30+ year old hulls that are still going strong. How the boat has been used and the maintenance or lack of will determine the lifespan of a boat.


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Nope. Nothing to do with the care, nor even quality of hull. Just basic fiberglass chemistry and cure rates. As it cures, it becomes brittle. at about 40 year point, brittle enough to crack like an egg shell(ONR findings). Why a lot of old glass boats on long distance cruises just disappear, especially during storms.
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Old 23-11-2015, 12:25   #83
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Re: How old is too old?

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Any fiberglass boat over 30 years old is too old. hardening of hull, stress fractures, and core failures. That is why hard to finance an old hull, not to mention to insure such.
WRONG!!!!!........ Rubbish!!! I continually have to point out wrong, ignorant, misinformation....my boat is 40 years old and better than most 15 year old boats....I have a most knowledgable, well known, great reputation, surveyor friend who has been in the marine field over 40 years... He loves my boat! and would survey it with flying colors..(It has had major refit)..in fact, he did just this in 2010...again, many fine quality constructed, plastic boats built in the '60's and 70's will be around and seaworthy, with proper refits , 100's of years from now.
further: anything old, except a house, is hard to finance..duh!
any old hull can be insured with a satisfactory 1 year old or less survey.
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Old 23-11-2015, 12:30   #84
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Re: How old is too old?

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I believe this is incorrect. Plenty of 30+ year old hulls that are still going strong. How the boat has been used and the maintenance or lack of will determine the lifespan of a boat.


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You are absolutely correct SMJ!
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Old 23-11-2015, 12:48   #85
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Re: How old is too old?

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Nope. Nothing to do with the care, nor even quality of hull. Just basic fiberglass chemistry and cure rates. As it cures, it becomes brittle. at about 40 year point, brittle enough to crack like an egg shell(ONR findings). Why a lot of old glass boats on long distance cruises just disappear, especially during storms.
Please...give us a list of old plastic boats that have disappeared...then provide all the technical details as to why they foundered.
more rubbish...give me the cash to repaint my topsides...I should think $ 7,000 will do, and I'll let you and your engineer friends take 20lb sledge hammers for a day of merciless beating on my beauty... How many old hulls have you sailed in a seaway?
Original, older, quality constructed hulls are better than new..though cored is a different issue, mine is not...I certainly would prefer my hull and deck to many newer production boats...the thing is indestructible...no...bulletproof!
There are many 1000's of old plastic hulls sailing all over..CSY and Hinckley come to mind....according to reed, they should all be sinking just about now...
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Old 23-11-2015, 13:09   #86
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Re: How old is too old?

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Brad, from my experience the quality of build makes all the difference. Our last three catamarans, besides the one we just purchased were all between 15 and 21 years old when purchased. They were two Seawind 1000's and a PDQ 36, all three quality built boats and none of them showed any signs of structural degradation. In my opinion the quality of build makes all the difference.


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I believe this, and number of hulls is irrelevant, there are poorly built boats whether one or three hulls and well built boats, the well built boats will last if not abused, a poorly built boat will last longer if pampered, but even excellent maintenance will eventually be overcome by a shoddy build.
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Old 23-11-2015, 13:11   #87
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Re: How old is too old?

This should be fun ,and I know that it does not quite fit the OP .
I belong to a multihull club In Toronto that was formed in 1972 by a group of home build enthusiasts my father included. They where and are what every laughs at now. Not well finished ,spartan interior, cheap gear and lousy sails . A real rouges gallery of polyester over ply boats . They will not last 100 years perhaps, but several of the original boats are still put to good use every year.The little sport cat (27 ft) that my brother and I built in 86 and sold in 2002 still races and does ok . Yes they can get rot but they are quick and cheap to fix . Would not be my first choice now but we had blast back then.
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Old 23-11-2015, 14:22   #88
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Re: How old is too old?

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Please...give us a list of old plastic boats that have disappeared...then provide all the technical details as to why they foundered.
more rubbish...give me the cash to repaint my topsides...I should think $ 7,000 will do, and I'll let you and your engineer friends take 20lb sledge hammers for a day of merciless beating on my beauty... How many old hulls have you sailed in a seaway?
Original, older, quality constructed hulls are better than new..though cored is a different issue, mine is not...I certainly would prefer my hull and deck to many newer production boats...the thing is indestructible...no...bulletproof!
There are many 1000's of old plastic hulls sailing all over..CSY and Hinckley come to mind....according to reed, they should all be sinking just about now...
I will side with the chemical engineers at DuPont about the life span of fiberglass. Your old boat probably is not subject to the stresses of long distance cruising(which i specified in earlier post). There will come a day when you do stress the hull(hitting bottom, etc) and it will crack. A longitudinal crack will appear in the hull, your keel will start to make sounds, and water will start to form in your bilge. I can understand your denial in order to palm your ancient boat off to someone else before its too late; but thems the facts.
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Old 23-11-2015, 14:53   #89
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Re: How old is too old?

Wow, now it is inevitable that older frp boats will sink due to massive failure of the hull if they bottom out! I didn't realize that the engineers at Dupont have written this caution, nor that they believe that frp is unsuitable for the construction of cruising sailboats. Indeed, from the sound of it the lamination schedules are irrelevant! Fascinating! I also didn't know that for most of my life I have been sailing in death traps that, even upon groundings, must have survived only because they were the exceptions that proved the rule.

PS At what precise age does Dupont say that frp becomes so brittle that it cracks like egg shells? At what point does it crack, say like crystal glass - a bit stronger, but sill unsafe for a boat hull. Indeed, at what age does it crack like plexiglass, or even thin polycarbonate. Since it is apparently a continuum from strong to eggshell in 36 years (the age of Jthaws boat), I can't imagine any frp hull would be safe at even 1/4 that age!
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Old 23-11-2015, 15:21   #90
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Re: How old is too old?

So now they don't splinter and crack from just age...they must be badly stressed a billion cycles then run into a reef to fail....ahhh the wonders of those engineering labs, .... This reminds me of labrats over fed a billion times on some food we consume everyday, and then...you'll get cancer....In addition to siding with my "ancient" marine surveyor friend,...I'll side with all the lovely strong Beautiful ancient boats sailing the seas...notably besides my own, Cape Dory, CSY, Hinckley, Allied, Hood, Westsail, Waquiez, Hallberg Rassy, Swan, Tartan, Pacific Seacraft,...to name just a few. Dupont engineers know nothing of sailboats or their construction,..peddle their tripe on the open sea somewhere....
any hull, new or old, that has been stressed badly, then hits something will suffer consequences...
btw, You haven't quoted us the stories written of all those old plastic boats, sinking, disappearing, foundering and failing, alas cracking... according to you, there should be hundreds of these accounts, perhaps 1000's..................... Bunk!....
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