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Old 28-01-2014, 07:49   #1
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10 yr old boat preventative maintenance

I'm looking at buying a ten yr old production boat for my learner boat. It will never be used as a bluewater cruising boat, this one is to learn with, 35' or so. Real boat to come later upon retirement and once I know more about my needs / wants.
What needs replacing at ten yrs on a boat meant for day / weekend sailing only, with maybe a two week trip every now and again?
I assume the standing rigging can be checked during survey? Seacocks worry me though, is there a recommended replacement interval, or are they an on condition item? Can they be adequately visually inspected?
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Old 28-01-2014, 07:51   #2
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Re: 10 yr old boat preventative maintenance

A 35' boat isn't a "real" boat?

I'd suggest something smaller for a "learner" boat, so that you can actually learn to sail.
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Old 28-01-2014, 08:00   #3
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Re: 10 yr old boat preventative maintenance

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
A 35' boat isn't a "real" boat?

I'd suggest something smaller for a "learner" boat, so that you can actually learn to sail.
I live three hours from the gulf and therefore need something we can stay comfortably in, family of four for weekends. On military post accommodations when they are available are still $110 a weekend, plus I know I won't get the wife liking it if it's an older, smaller boat, especially if it needs a lot of work.
By real boat, I was trying the head off the naysayers that were going to tell me not to buy a production boat, that if I did the rudder would fall off first, followed shortly there after by the keel and we would sink and die in anything over three foot seas.
I'm very comfortable boating, have run a 36' and a 45' Sportfisher, but don't know squat about sailing. I've got an Engineer here at work that lives and breathes sailing and I'm sure I won't have to pull teeth to get him to teach, plus I had figured on hiring the local school or one of their instructors to teach us on our boat
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Old 28-01-2014, 08:06   #4
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Re: 10 yr old boat preventative maintenance

I actually thought of not replying because of some of the statements in your post: production boats aren't for bluewater? what's a "real boat"?

But here are some of the things you can expect:
  • Rebedding - most sealants will be near the end of their useful life and you will need to remove hardware and rebed with new sealant. This is normal maintenance that is needed on almost any boat. Look up butyl tape on the internet.
  • Stern Tube Hose or Dripless Replacement - Inboard engines need someway to get the shaft out of the boat. Typically this is done through a stern tube that is sealed with a stuffing box or dripless adapter. The life cycle of these items is right around 10 years. So you will have to pull the shaft, replace and reinstall. Not a typically difficult job but doing it right costs money and/or time.
  • Motor mounts - If you are following a preventative maintenance cycle, these will be up around that 10 year mark as well. Again, not too difficult but something that needs to be done.
  • Engine Items - You will likely have to do some work on the engine including replacing/rebuilding water pumps, fuel pumps, hoses, cleaning the heat exchanger, etc.
  • Running Rigging - depending on how much the boat has been used, you will probably have some rope to replace. This can be pricey if you have someone else make of the pieces. Much cheaper if you just buy a roll and do your own splicing.
  • Standing Rigging - Should be OK. Some people to recommend replacing it around 10 years as a preventative maintenance item. But I have also seen boats over 30 years old with the original standing rigging.
  • Bottom Paint - This is also typically the mark where you need to bring it back down to gelcoat and start again. Again, not difficult but it can be labor intensive and expensive if you plan to pay someone else to do it.
  • Electronics - All of the fancy toys will be considered old. Most people will want newer, fancier toys.
  • Batteries - You will probably be up against the life cycle of your batteries as well. Do some research on 6 volt golf cart batteries compared to the likely 4Ds that are on the boat.
  • Hull Reconditioning - Might be time for the first light compounding and a good waxing.
Good luck and fair winds,

Jesse
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Old 28-01-2014, 08:20   #5
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Re: 10 yr old boat preventative maintenance

There's nothing wrong with a production boat. Customs are nice but productions have also sailed all over the planet. Both can sail well and both can sink. It all depends on how you prep them, sail them, and maintain them......even Hunters can hold up well with enough work .....just kidding people relax, just poking fun
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Old 28-01-2014, 08:29   #6
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Re: 10 yr old boat preventative maintenance

Jesse,
Thanks, what I was doing was trying to not let this become a "don't buy a production boat thread" I really was after what you gave me. I'm real familiar with Marine engines, sailing items, not so much. Re-bedding winches etc., I hadn't thought about.
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Old 28-01-2014, 08:30   #7
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Re: 10 yr old boat preventative maintenance

In that case, Jesse's list is a pretty good one.
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Old 28-01-2014, 08:41   #8
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Re: 10 yr old boat preventative maintenance

Pilot,

Condition depends on use, maintenance, and storage location... Just like a 30 yo "barn find" vs same car/plane covered out in a field...

You'll know a fewer trouble boat when you see it.... Obviously if you're looking to make this a positive fun thing for the wife, so bigger/comfy/creature comfort is better there.... 35' should be no problem for you....

Buy something popular that you can turn quickly... Because in the boat selling world...
1) quickly = wow that wasn't as quick as I had hoped...
2) taking a long time (usually) = paying for two boats while only using one, and the non use boat taking up 75%+ of your boat funds
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Old 28-01-2014, 09:56   #9
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Re: 10 yr old boat preventative maintenance

Really for a 10 year old boat, as long as it was not in a charter fleet and not er..."modified" by a named storm, it should be mostly good. Most sailboats really don't get used all that much. Most seems to only get taken out a few times a year.

So neglected items will be a bigger issue. If the rigging looks good, without cracks (rust lines that don't wipe off) on the swaged ends, its probably ok. If the boat was sailed hard/ raced then it could need new standing rigging, but most arn't. But if its been sitting in a slip the dynamic loads on the standing rigging are well within yield limits.

In my mind, the issues would be:

Leaks, because there is always a leaking port, window, seam.
Batteries (because they are batteries)
Non working bilge pumps
prop packing
Maybe critters in the diesel tank (Might need cleaning, but most likely not)
replacing the raw water impeller (they fail soon after you buy a used boat)
Fluids, belts on the engine/fuel system.
Maybe new running rigging (buy a spool and learn to do eye splices) The jib furling line sees lots of use and wears faster then others.
Plus general cleaning, etc.

Most of that can be done little by little.

You will learn sailing faster/ better in small boats, 16' to 18' day sailors. Bigger boats respond slower, mostly. The excitement is always docking and undocking the boat. As I tell folks, you control the rudder, but the wind current controls the bow. Still like everything, it just takes practice.

I might suggest a 22' day sailor ($4k ish) to learn on. Big enough to sail with 4, small enough to not cost much. EASY docking!! Do that for six months to a year and sell it for about what you purchased it for. It costs no more then a pack O sailing lessons and will give you more time sailing. Which is really what is needed, time in the seat.! Then buy the 35' boat.

Big boats have larger loads and you really want to know what your doing winching in the jib, etc. People loose fingers there... Plus the uncontrolled gyb is always fun (not)
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Old 28-01-2014, 13:10   #10
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Re: 10 yr old boat preventative maintenance

Pilot,

What area are you in?

If your primary concern with size is related to the wife and family being comfortable, then I would look at a Catalina 30, Benny 311, Hunter 30, O'day 302 or larger as a starting point. Any of those will have a birth with a door for you and the misses, a back birth and a settee birth for the two kids. Yes, it will be a little cozy but fine. All of those will have decent resale value and you should be able to unload them quickly. I wouldn't go bigger than 36 in most cases for a first boat but since you have power boat experience that might not be too big of a deal. A marina neighbor bought a Catalina 42 for his first boat and he almost never leaves the dock because he can't dock that boat well at all.

Depending on your area, other specifics may change. For instance, on the east coast definitely a shoal draft but on the west a full fin would be fine. So there might be some specific recommendations based on where you live.

Learning to sail is the easy part. Maintaining the boat and learning to dock it well is what's hard.

Good luck and fair winds,

Jesse
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Old 28-01-2014, 14:07   #11
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Re: 10 yr old boat preventative maintenance

I would add to the advice to buy a smaller boat. A 30' boat should fit a family of four and will cost significantly less than a 35' boat, will cost less to slip, maintain, haul, etc. I grew up with my family of five packing into a 30' boat and I never thought of it as small.

Also, a 30' is easier to handle than a 35', and I think most sailors will agree that in many cases the most stressful moments are when you're docking.

Catalina 30 would be an excellent choice. It's very roomy and comfy below for its size, and there are a ton of them on the used market. Lastly, with so many of them out there, you'll have a very knowledgeable community to turn to for advice about everything from rigging to repairs.

Before you buy, run the numbers and go look at a few 30' boats. Some are a lot bigger than others.
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Old 28-01-2014, 14:27   #12
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Re: 10 yr old boat preventative maintenance

I'm in Southern GA. Boat to be kept in panhandle of Fl region. I had considered Jax, but that's just a little too far to drive, and I think there are more places to visit in the Panhandle?
Anyway, I'm not too concerned about docking. I learned on a single screw 36' fishing boat, and I think a sailboat has more rudder effectiveness at slow speeds? If I can get a spring line tied in, it's easy from there
Maintenance is my strong point, plus I should be maintaining mostly on a 10 yr old boat anyway as opposed to doing major repairs assuming I do a good inspection. I'll have a survey done of course, but what what I've seen, I find more that surveyors anyway, except rigging, I don't know rigging but this Engineer I'm talking about, he is / was a rigger, so between him and a surveyor I should have that covered.
I expected to change all fluids, pull the prop shaft and do the cutlass bearing and go to a dripless shaft seal, Didn't expect to need to strip the bottom back to glass though, that has to be a real B****.
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Old 28-01-2014, 14:31   #13
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Re: 10 yr old boat preventative maintenance

if a 10 year boat has anything more wrong with that normal wear and tear you keep looking as there are lots of them
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Old 28-01-2014, 15:26   #14
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Re: 10 yr old boat preventative maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
if a 10 year boat has anything more wrong with that normal wear and tear you keep looking as there are lots of them

I've looked at a few so far. Some honestly look about ready for the boneyard, it's astonishing how run down something can get in ten or twelve years.
Some, a very few, look new, a little wear on the sails etc., but the hull and interior look new. It's amazing how different ten year old boats can be.
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Old 28-01-2014, 16:18   #15
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Re: 10 yr old boat preventative maintenance

As others have said it's condition, condition, condition.

My "new" Beneteau 393 will be 10 years old at the end of this year. I bought it new and frankly think it's in as good condition as it was when I bought it. I have sailed it six months every year going to the Bahamas and then it's stored in the Florida sun (with a sunshade cover) in the summer.

The boat is waxed and the bottom sanded and painted every fall.

In the nearly ten years this is what I've replaced:
new upholstery (didn't like the Beneteau cloth upholstery)
new genoa and main 2013
new windlass motor 2010
new water pump for Yanmar 4JH3E 2014
batteries replaced twice
replaced all blocks with Garhauer blocks (an upgrade, much better than the original Lewmars)
replaced 2 Jabsco heads
200 ft new chain 2014
replaced 2 3 way valves
replaced 1 propane solenoid (actually done in the first year)
replaced 1 macerator pump
dodger, bimini & enclosure re-stitched as needed
all lights replaced with LED lights.
replaced Zantrex 2000 inverter/charger 2009
replaced 1 Lewmar hatch under warranty 2005

That's all off the top of my head. I don't think it's been expensive to maintain the boat. The biggest single cost item was the sails. I think annual storage has been greater than annual maintenance costs. Most years it's just waxing and painting which I did myself. The engine has been a dream. Water pump leaking a bit this year, replaced. Of course oil has been changed religiously.

If someone looks after a boat 10 years is nothing. I had the stick out this year and inspected. All fine. As I said I think it's as good as new.

So look for a ten year old boat that looks as if it's new. They are out there.
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