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Old 17-06-2018, 13:12   #1
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Thinking about a salvaged catamaran

Hi folks.
Mine is a neverending story running after my dream cat but always a few steps behind. Why? Budget of course!! With my 70/80k i know that with patience and compromises i will find something, and i did actually, but at the end i feel like i'll spend an important amount of cash for something that won't fullfill my needs and pleasure.
So i was thiking about a salvaged boat that i would slowly fix myself with some help and finally have something that i'll really like.
Now the problem is that i live in the mediterranean area and as you know we do not have hurricanes here: my option is to get my boat in the caribbean and sail it till here or ship it. First option would be made taking a friend of mine from here very capable with fiberglass repairs and a mechanic: prepare the boat and make the crossing.....ok am i dreaming? Do you think that it's something doable in short time? I know that all depends about the conditions of the vessel, but would you think that a few weeks working on hulls, engines and buying a new mast is something realistic before a crossing? Of course i am talking about doing a minimum just to make the boat ready for the crossing, no interior no cosmetic no nothing that is not strictly related to the sailing itself.
Option number 2, shipping it......any ideas or input about this option?
I am an "adventurer guy" that like challenges.....but i dont want to end up throwing my hard gained money for something that i won't even be able to take back home.
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Old 17-06-2018, 23:30   #2
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Re: Thinking about a salvaged

I did buy a boat out salvage- interior fire damage - and restored it over 3 years. The are several issues with your plan.

First timing. If you can sail it home, buying a hurricane boat probably means you have to leave it the Caribbean until the following spring for the easiest and safest passage home which means storage fees.

Second is what you’re prepared to spend. I doubt you can find something and get it basically functional again for that kind of money and I doubt you can get a loan salvage boat. Most of the salvage boats from last year were pretty new because they were being chartered. In addition most of these boats end up reaching the market through a middle man which inflates their cost.

Having said that if you still want to pursue this then I would begin searching websites that specialize in distress sales including eBay. One such site is usauctions.com
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Old 18-06-2018, 03:22   #3
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Re: Thinking about a salvaged

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Originally Posted by Ostinato View Post
I did buy a boat out salvage- interior fire damage - and restored it over 3 years. The are several issues with your plan.

First timing. If you can sail it home, buying a hurricane boat probably means you have to leave it the Caribbean until the following spring for the easiest and safest passage home which means storage fees.

Second is what you’re prepared to spend. I doubt you can find something and get it basically functional again for that kind of money and I doubt you can get a loan salvage boat. Most of the salvage boats from last year were pretty new because they were being chartered. In addition most of these boats end up reaching the market through a middle man which inflates their cost.

Having said that if you still want to pursue this then I would begin searching websites that specialize in distress sales including eBay. One such site is usauctions.com
Hi Ostinato, thank you for chiming in.
Interesting point the one about the best window for passage: indeed if it's a matter of months storage will be an important voice in expenses. I'll have to see when auctions start/end and make my planning: actually i am still in that phase that have first to consider if the project doable or not.
About the budget: i *think* it should be a fair, at least to make the boat usable and safe for the passage. I mean here you got a few examples:
2015 Robertson & Caine Moorings 4800 Sail New and Used Boats for
2012 Robertson & Caine 3900 Moorings Sail New and Used Boats for
I can't imagine spending more than 3/4k for a used mast: rigging, sails......i saw lot's of very cheap prices online. Then i'll have a few persons with me that wil fix fiberglass and engines. I imagine that the same job made by professionals in the place would cost n times more, but not my case.
Then all the rest of the fix will be made in turkey.

All that said i still wonder if shipping the boat might be an option.
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Old 18-06-2018, 04:48   #4
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Re: Thinking about a salvaged

I have a little information on that too. First there are at least three ways to ship. Via a container (not likely feasible with a cat), on deck as heavy lift cargo, and on deck via float on - float off vessels. The later is probably the most expensive. The heavy lift is probably the most common method and I have been quoted US $15,400 from Geona or Palma to the US Virgins for a 12m cat. I have no data on container shipping costs though I do someone who has done it but sustained threat and unrepairable damage to an aluminum mono-hull.

These shipments are seasonal however. For instance they normally leave the Med to the Caribbean in early to late winter and from the Caribbean to Med in the late spring which may work for you depending on storage fees. They service limited ports of call as well so you'll have to get your boat to it. One advantage to shipping a cat is that you don't need to rent a cradle. Contact 7 Star or Peter and May for more info. I have some contact names if you want them.
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Old 18-06-2018, 04:55   #5
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Re: Thinking about a salvaged

Any of those boats require A LOT of work. They were submerged, the engines are completely useless (will need a complete rebuild), everything electrical requires a complete stripdown and rewire, standing and running rigging plus unknown number of deck fittings that could be missing, plus sails ... this is a HUGE project. HUGE. 70k doesn't even being to cover it. But it is not so much about the money as it is about the ability to get this work done. If you have never attempted a really major refit before, yourself, a project like any of these submerged boats from Irma/Maria would be the WORST way to realize how much work, time, money and unforseenables such a project could bring along.

You need to be very honest with yourself, on your REAL abilities, previous experience, level of knowledge. And then you have to have on top of that, lots of time, or lots of money. Otherwise, just walk away, honestly.
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Old 18-06-2018, 05:32   #6
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Re: Thinking about a salvaged

Considering the damage to many/most of those vessels, you could easily spend $100,000 for just a new rig, unless you're trying to buy a used mast, boom, etc...

I won't go that route again (did it with a smaller boat), as it took more $$ and time than I expected, but IF I were you, the first thing I'd budget for would be a highly rated surveyor - NOT one of theirs - and go over the boat in an extremely detailed fashion, listing everything you find. Then I'd share that with your favorite yard (somebody like Just Catamarans if you're in the US) and find out what the parts will cost. Then go from there....

Best of luck,
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Old 18-06-2018, 05:56   #7
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Re: Thinking about a salvaged

How much are you paying your buddies who do engine and fiberglass work? Looking at those, they aren't a weekend project, then head off to sea.
- If the engines were submerged for a week, I would plan on a full rebuild on both and even then can you get the parts and spares to do it? Can you bring in the tools you need?
- You might be able to find cheap used rigging online...can you get it to the boat. Then how much will the very busy yards charge to set the mast?
- Everything electronic that you consider necessary, will need to be replaced...include the battery bank and power supply that feeds them.

Also having your buddies come in to do work for you puts you in a gray area...will the locals treat it as a you bringing in workers without work visa.

Be very careful when looking at blogs of people who restore boats. You don't see the vast majority of restoration projects that wind up rotting away in someone's back yard.

There are people who do it but they are the rarity and they usually have the experience on prior less challenging projects.
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Old 18-06-2018, 06:21   #8
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Re: Thinking about a salvaged

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Old 18-06-2018, 06:38   #9
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Re: Thinking about a salvaged

Thanx guys, these are the kind of answers i was looking for, still i am not 100% sure about being off budget. Sure the task is way more complicated than i could see it right now, but having the boat delivered.......if the timing is ok.....
What i want to say is that after reading the forum A LOT, i understgood that there are quite different types of boat owners: owners that make the job done by others and can afford it, and the DIY owners that for passion or need do most if not all the repairs/maintainance of the boat by themselves. I also read about crazy prices being told for parts: sometime ago someone was talking about 40/50k mast that i found easily on ebay used for 3k; that was for me the confirmation about the different ways of owning a boat.
I had some classic cars anf just a few months ago i sold my Porsche 993: DIY made me save thousands of €. Other friends of mine with similar cars and different way to maintain them would make for me impossible to afford that cars: i think that this translates to everything, even boats.
If i am able to get the boat delivered to turkey (i have some suggestion on place) i am almost sure that i'll be able to get the job done for a fair price (fyber and engines): all the rest i would do it.......honestly, never done before, never owned a boat before.....but the other option is and old boat filled of compromises that would take off all the pleasure of owning it.
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Old 18-06-2018, 06:44   #10
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Re: Thinking about a salvaged

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
How much are you paying your buddies who do engine and fiberglass work? Looking at those, they aren't a weekend project, then head off to sea.
- If the engines were submerged for a week, I would plan on a full rebuild on both and even then can you get the parts and spares to do it? Can you bring in the tools you need?
- You might be able to find cheap used rigging online...can you get it to the boat. Then how much will the very busy yards charge to set the mast?
- Everything electronic that you consider necessary, will need to be replaced...include the battery bank and power supply that feeds them.

Also having your buddies come in to do work for you puts you in a gray area...will the locals treat it as a you bringing in workers without work visa.

Be very careful when looking at blogs of people who restore boats. You don't see the vast majority of restoration projects that wind up rotting away in someone's back yard.

There are people who do it but they are the rarity and they usually have the experience on prior less challenging projects.
The workers thing is maybe the most complicated issue......will investigate it.
At the momenti'd consider the shipping as the best option IF affordable and IF the boat can be picked up and delivered in the right place.
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Old 18-06-2018, 07:23   #11
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Re: Thinking about a salvaged

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Thanx guys, these are the kind of answers i was looking for, still i am not 100% sure about being off budget. Sure the task is way more complicated than i could see it right now, but having the boat delivered.......if the timing is ok.....
What i want to say is that after reading the forum A LOT, i understgood that there are quite different types of boat owners: owners that make the job done by others and can afford it, and the DIY owners that for passion or need do most if not all the repairs/maintainance of the boat by themselves. I also read about crazy prices being told for parts: sometime ago someone was talking about 40/50k mast that i found easily on ebay used for 3k; that was for me the confirmation about the different ways of owning a boat.
I had some classic cars anf just a few months ago i sold my Porsche 993: DIY made me save thousands of €. Other friends of mine with similar cars and different way to maintain them would make for me impossible to afford that cars: i think that this translates to everything, even boats.
If i am able to get the boat delivered to turkey (i have some suggestion on place) i am almost sure that i'll be able to get the job done for a fair price (fyber and engines): all the rest i would do it.......honestly, never done before, never owned a boat before.....but the other option is and old boat filled of compromises that would take off all the pleasure of owning it.
A big difference with a car is most people have a garage to store the car at no cost and can get it towed in for a modest price. If it just sits there for 3-4 years while they slowly work on it, it's no big deal. Most people don't have a place to store a big catamaran for free and storage yards can be a few thousand per year plus there are projects where you need the yard equipment to move the boat or do things beyond your ability and it can quickly add up

Do some checking around on the shipping price that was mentioned as it seems a little on the low end. We checked on a much smaller 34'x14' cat for transatlantic and it was $12k a few years back, so it could easily be double that for a significantly bigger cat.

Also what are the work rules in Turkey? Can you bring in buddies to do a lot of the work or will they put a stop to it? (I haven't checked so don't know the rules).

Most of the successful major project boats are experienced guys who have access to cheap/free storage and started on smaller boats. There are exceptions but go in understanding what you are getting into. That could easily be a 2-3yr project if you can spend a lot of time at the boat working.

One thing having built a couple of dingies and looked into building a larger boat, the hull is only about 20-30% of the cost of a cruising boat. The pieces and parts to finish it out properly is where it gets pricey. You are looking at a fair amount of work on the hulls and nearly everything else repaired or replaced.

Not trying to discourage you from taking on a project but go in with your eyes open and understand the pitfalls. Most first timers taking on this kind of project fail...you only see the blog posts from the successful ones.
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Old 18-06-2018, 08:21   #12
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Re: Thinking about a salvaged

I think most of those boats sell for far less than asking price. I know of a hurricane damaged 40+ cat that would normally sell for around $350,000 that went for $16,000. I would give you more details but he is a member here and I want to respect his privacy. That boat needed a ton of work but is now floating and repowered.

If you are going to offer on these then go real low.
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Old 18-06-2018, 09:13   #13
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Re: Thinking about a salvaged

I have access to a boat yard in NJ where i live and was looking at the same boats as you except monohulls and here is what I found.


Most insurance auction boats go to pro refurb shops with the bank roll to make it happen and they arent afraid to push prices up.They essentially dont like small timers playing in their sandbox.


Shipping on a 40ft mono hull was about $18k USD to Miami,$22-25k to Carolinas and aprox $28k to Newark or Philadelphia near me. They also said to expect a 40-50% premium for a cat of the same length. I would've went to Miami and used a friend to haul it on a hydraulic trailer to save some $$. But it still was $20k + in shipping for a "bargain" ;-)



I thought about doing it there too but having been involved in 5 projects of similar magnitude (2 mine and 3 family members) I quickly woke up from my dream and realized logistically its impractical. Just the thought of shipping and buying tools sunk me. I didnt even get to material costs. They are a lot more there than here retail and on top of that I get most things wholesale through my uncles marina. Honestly if it wasnt for his marina i dont think I could pull it off here,although I'd probably try ;-)



It can be done but realistically you need boots and connections in the industry on the ground there to make it feasible IMO.


I've since went back to looking closer to home for a bigger boat project and I've found a few.Just because there wasnt a hurricane near you doesn't mean there aren't salvaged boats for sale. Drunks and inexperience does a pretty good job at keeping salvages flowing ;-)



No matter what you choose please do as much research as possible. Its all too easy to fail at one of these projects and I should know because I started 3 and finished 2 myself.I can assure you its a crap day when you realize a chainsaw is the best option ;-) I was lucky as lead was high and Ebay kept my losses to just my pride and time. But i can assure you I've seen guys with losses over $90-100K more than once.
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Old 18-06-2018, 09:13   #14
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Re: Thinking about a salvaged

I will sell you my 41' cat for $80,000. It just needs a new jib.
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Old 18-06-2018, 11:14   #15
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Re: Thinking about a salvaged

[QUOTE=Ostinato;2654187]I did buy a boat out salvage- interior fire damage - and restored it over 3 years. The are several issues with your plan.

First timing. If you can sail it home, buying a hurricane boat probably means you have to leave it the Caribbean until the following spring for the easiest and safest passage home which means storage fees.

Second is what you’re prepared to spend. I doubt you can find something and get it basically functional again for that kind of money and I doubt you can get a loan salvage boat. Most of the salvage boats from last year were pretty new because they were being chartered. In addition most of these boats end up reaching the market through a middle man which inflates their cost.

Having said that if you still want to pursue this then I would begin searching websites that specialize in distress sales including eBay. One such site is usauctions.com[/QUOTe



Sounds ill advised to me. JMHO Take it for what it is worth.
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