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Old 16-07-2014, 03:39   #16
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Re: Boat "Flipping," Fiberglass Repair

Not sure how the situation is improved except the owner being realistic about the repair and you doing him a solid.

He's got $7k in the boat and he's got material costs, your labor and yard storage(?)

Keep the relationship professional and make sure he understands the "upper spec" limit on total costs.

If he gets out for $3000 in materials and labor he's only break even at a $10k price point.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 16-07-2014, 11:23   #17
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Re: Boat "Flipping," Fiberglass Repair

Your first advice to scrap it and sell off the good stuff was probably the best advice. You can redo the repair from the outside and probably have a decently safe boat. Trying to hide the evidence of damage on the interior with the liner will be very expensive. Can't see a surveyor missing that and would surely give a buyer second thoughts. Sounds like you are a capable guy and could buy the boat for quite a bit less than this guy has in the boat and come out okay if you did all the work. Can;t see how the owner has any hope of coming out of this above water.

Personally think his biggest mistake was having a brother. The recommendation to buy the boat in the first place would be reason for serious sibling discord.
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Old 16-07-2014, 12:23   #18
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Re: Boat "Flipping," Fiberglass Repair

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Your first advice to scrap it and sell off the good stuff was probably the best advice. You can redo the repair from the outside and probably have a decently safe boat. Trying to hide the evidence of damage on the interior with the liner will be very expensive. Can't see a surveyor missing that and would surely give a buyer second thoughts. Sounds like you are a capable guy and could buy the boat for quite a bit less than this guy has in the boat and come out okay if you did all the work. Can;t see how the owner has any hope of coming out of this above water.

Personally think his biggest mistake was having a brother. The recommendation to buy the boat in the first place would be reason for serious sibling discord.
I've thought about making a lowball offer on it, as my Cal 34 is 730 miles away in Beaufort, NC and I am spending a lot of time near Lake Erie as my mother is getting older (and I have a really cute girlfriend up here who can't move to NC yet.) However, the C30 is certainly not my dream boat and it doesn't compare well in any way to my Cal 34- I think if my Cal 34 had fallen from the jacks it would have put a hole in the ground/asphalt instead of a hole in the boat! The owner still could break even in a few months, which he feels is better than getting a salvage value for it now.

I spent a few hours disconnecting all the systems near the damage and taking apart the nearby cabinetry. Fortunately the black water system wasn't active!! The next step is to gain more exposure to the upper aspect of the hull damage by cutting away the liner where it is already cracked with a sawzall. Then I will grind down to reach good fiberglass and put a nice bevel along the edge back a good six to eight inches from the wound to obtain a good bond with the new lamination. The liner and cabinetry is tabbed to the hull to improve strength, but all the nearby tabbing is sheared and will also need to be repaired.

Anyone can feel free to comment on cost saving or time saving measures as I proceed or if they feel there is a better way to do something, after all I am just a glorified DIY'er and there are lots of people here with extensive salvage experience. After some more grinding I plan to lay up a lamination both on the outside (fair) and inside (a little high for added strength) with 18 oz fiberglass roving which is nicely wetted with West Systems epoxy then a top layer of fiberglass cloth while the roving is still wet. After that I will fair it smooth with Duraglass (the owner already bought this, I prefer 3M but it is expensive.) Then will start many hours with a "torture board." Once fair, I will spray tinted gelcoat (there is a lot of gray in the Catalina white) after first getting the original gelcoat in the best possible condition for a good match. Next I will fix the tabbings, interior liner and cabinetry.

The rest of the boat is in nice shape. I do especially despise the "RV" style curtain that separates the V-berth and the overall "low budget" appointments. Catalina has barely changed the overall interior layout in 30 years and 7,000 boats, maybe I am being overly critical about the interior which is very spacious for a thirty footer.
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Old 17-07-2014, 09:01   #19
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Re: Boat "Flipping," Fiberglass Repair

While waiting to hear from the owner about how he feels about cutting into the liner with a sawzall (and waiting for another check as he is now a little behind after I purchased a bunch of supplies) I am pondering whether I should grind out the rest of the previous repair and start completely over working from the inside to the outside. It would not be feasible to work from the inside on this job due to the liner. The advantage of starting over would be to make sure the proper lamination schedule is used along with the correct resin-resin to hardener ratios-continuous fiberglass roving-proper bevel (12 to 1,) easier to obtain a fair shape, etc. I have no way of knowing with certainty what type of resin was used, it was allegedly West System epoxy.

As the exterior hull has places nearly 8/32 low from fair (meaning about 8 layers of fiberglass shy of proper thickness) the fiberglass strands have been burned through by improper sanding etc which decreases strength. The best repair would be to completely start over, grind down to a 1 to 12 bevel (ie if hull is 1/2 inch thick the bevel would be over 6 inches on either side for best adhesion,) and lay up 16 layers of continuous fiberglass roving/mat then cloth-filler-gelcoat with maximum chemical and mechanical bond, ie not allowing the layers of fiberglass to cure between layers.

The disadvantage of this approach is more materials would be needed along with more labor. I will be using epoxy resin as the repair extends below the waterline and I want to maximize strength.

Once again I suggested that input from Cruisers Forum was to scrap the boat, and gave him an update about labor and supplies thus far. He is free to change his mind at any time and I would return the unused supplies. For complete transparency, I suggested he review this thread before he continues.

Wait until you see how thin the laminate was above the waterline under the bondo! I have thicker fingernails!

At the very least I have saved him from having another hack gelcoat over a repair that could possibly have killed the next owner on Lake Erie, because the repair would certainly have failed when the boat oil-canned into the first steep 5 foot wave. That would likely have resulted in a lawsuit.

When I get through, I want there to be no doubt about the structural integrity of the hull, with photo documentation to prove it. A proper repair insures this.
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Old 17-07-2014, 09:17   #20
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Re: Boat "Flipping," Fiberglass Repair

"waiting for another check as he is now a little behind after I purchased a bunch of supplies"

This isn't the sign of someone who's accepted that it will cost him to make it right. I'm still thinking run don't walk. Before this is over, he will forget all the warnings you gave him and will claim you are just milking the project.
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Old 17-07-2014, 10:00   #21
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Re: Boat "Flipping," Fiberglass Repair

Did this boat come from Muskegon MI? We had a big storm this winter and it blew over ALOT of boats and even took the roof off and downed some rafters on an inside storage building. Just curious.

As to the repairs... A C30 in the Great Lakes area in decent shape is around a $10-15k boat. I know a few C30 owners who feel their boats are worth significantly more, but I know of 3 new (past 2 years) owners in our marina. None pad more than $12k with a diesel, and the one paid $9,200 with an A4 rebuilt in 05. I don't know what the asking prices were for these three boats but I'd guess significantly higher.

My guess is that the boat once reasonably repaired in that area could expect to sell for $6-8k. That's just my thoughts and opinion based off of what I've seen around my area.
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Old 17-07-2014, 10:02   #22
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Re: Boat "Flipping," Fiberglass Repair

Also is the keel bent? How about the rudder? I don't see how on a blow over you could avoid damage in these areas. Just another thought running threw my head.
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Old 17-07-2014, 16:44   #23
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Re: Boat "Flipping," Fiberglass Repair

I hope it doesn't but I suspect this will end badly.

As a "break even" project for him he's throwing good money after bad.

If you have to cut out liners and such, then I presume you have to build them back. And if there is cabinetry, decor to reinstall I just don't see how this gets done for ~$3,000.

Oh well - I look forward to following.

And I agree with you - You gotta take all the old repair out. You don't build a new house on an unknown foundation.
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Old 17-07-2014, 17:20   #24
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Re: Boat "Flipping," Fiberglass Repair

Hmmm.. I have to ask the question: why would anyone pay market level price for a boat with known major damage/repair when there are sound examples readily available?

If this project goes on to completion, I'd wager that there will be substantial losses, to say nothing of the frustration and disappointment for the owner.

A dismal outlook IMO.

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Old 17-07-2014, 18:07   #25
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Re: Boat "Flipping," Fiberglass Repair

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...why would anyone pay market level price for a boat with known major damage/repair when there are sound examples readily available?...
The only way would be for the seller to:

a) sell to a buyer who requires the contract be written in Braille.

and

b) not disclose the damage.

This is the kind of damage/repair that people get sued over.
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Old 17-07-2014, 18:47   #26
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Re: Boat "Flipping," Fiberglass Repair

Catalinas are lightly built boats to begin with. I can't imagine what the guy's brother was thinking of!

I can understand wanting to help out the owner, and I think it is extremely generous of you. I hope the owner gets it that this is a job that is likely to grow like Topsy!

Good luck to the both of you; I think you're going to need it.

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Old 17-07-2014, 19:33   #27
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Re: Boat "Flipping," Fiberglass Repair

Just checking in. I think I have adequately warned the owner about the situation, and while I said he was behind- he hasn't had a chance to react to the $350 worth of supplies I bought yesterday and several longer than expected days I just put in. If I return the supplies, I am still ahead and I will be sure to maintain my interests. I can't help it at this point if the owner eventually loses money on the boat, I'm on the clock.

Additionally, he has asked me today to work on another boat he owns, a nice 2005 Scout 15 worth about $14K. This one is now parked at the family farm, which means I will definitely get paid before he gets the boat back.

He plans to sell the Scout after I redo the gelcoat. Then his cash situation will be more relaxed.

Speaking of the Scout, he had someone (yet another contractor?) redo the gelcoat and it is a little sticky and dull, as though they didn't put wax additive in the final coat. I'm trying to figure out if the best way to resolve this is to spray another coat of gelcoat or put some primer over it and tip and roll it with enamel. Probably gelcoat.

The fun thing about fiberglass is there is a little chemistry, math and artistry involved in most projects and there is always something new to learn.
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Old 17-07-2014, 20:54   #28
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Re: Boat "Flipping," Fiberglass Repair

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After some more grinding I plan to lay up a lamination both on the outside (fair) and inside (a little high for added strength) with 18 oz fiberglass roving which is nicely wetted with West Systems epoxy then a top layer of fiberglass cloth while the roving is still wet. After that I will fair it smooth with Duraglass (the owner already bought this, I prefer 3M but it is expensive.) Then will start many hours with a "torture board." Once fair, I will spray tinted gelcoat (there is a lot of gray in the Catalina white) after first getting the original gelcoat in the best possible condition for a good match. Next I will fix the tabbings, interior liner and cabinetry.


You are planning on using incompatible materials. Stick with all poly finished with gel or all epoxy finished with paint. Fairing in Duraglass is a nightmare, don't even try.
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Old 18-07-2014, 02:49   #29
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Re: Boat "Flipping," Fiberglass Repair

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You are planning on using incompatible materials. Stick with all poly finished with gel or all epoxy finished with paint. Fairing in Duraglass is a nightmare, don't even try.
When Minaret speaks... people listen.

I have read testing on the West Systems site that states that gelcoat will bond to epoxy with the same adhesion that gelcoat bonds to filler material blah blah blah and that at least in shorter term testing in the real world it has performed fine even below the waterline. I'm guessing this is one of those controversial subjects, perhaps West Systems is over-encouraging use of their products. They are making a lot of money and that can influence testing.

Good news then. I can take back all the West Systems stuff and be paid up again! And polyester resin is cheaper than epoxy...

Details are important here, any other recommendations? Thanks about avoiding the duraglass, a lot of people near Lake Erie use it but I don't want to have to struggle needlessly with fairing in the summer heat. And there isn't a marine supply store staffed by ex-boat builders on every block like there is in Beaufort to ask questions. I can't find any, just paint stores. I have used Evercoat's product on smaller areas, is this OK to use on a larger scale? I'd love to have one of your Flexicat 33's but I've made a variety of homemade fairing boards and they will have to do.

What do you think is the best solution for the "sticky situation" with the gelcoat on the Scout? I'm sure someone else has run into this problem. Without having time to research it yet, I would think I could spray another coat of gelcoat on with wax additive and it would then have a nice finish. Or is this cooked and needs to come off or primed somehow and painted over? Priming and painting would be the cheapest fix and the interior gelcoat is OK so it would be functional.

Regarding the keel, it looks like the attachment point was "rattled" a little as is noted in the pictures. I would be worried about the keel bolts. I'll take a measurement from the keel to the deck on both sides and see if it is even.
The rudder escaped harm completely. It is remarkably designed as a lobster line catcher, with too large a gap.

As far as market value is concerned, it is easy to be overly optimistic about the price- it was one of my original points. I think he is looking at asking prices ($18K) and not selling prices. The "Atomic Bomb" is considered the second most valuable power for a C30 behind the Universal 25. It is my understanding that the vast majority of C30's are underpowered and the A4 and M-25 are the only adequately powered engines. Also, this C30 does have almost every recommended upgrade I have read about and all of the important ones. I still think the big moment of truth won't be going over budget fixing it, but rather finding out the vessel isn't worth nearly as much as the investment or that people are put off by the damage history. For an airplane, any damage history kills resale value no matter how well it is repaired. Perhaps it is similar for a holed sailboat.
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Old 18-07-2014, 07:42   #30
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Re: Boat "Flipping," Fiberglass Repair

Here is the rudder- the arrow is where you insert crab pot lines.
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