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Old 02-11-2010, 03:27   #1
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Boat Restoration Project

Hi, I came across this sailboat: 1982 Mao Ta Sun Sea 46, by Ted Brewer
The boat is in a sad condition. It had rained in for months, there's tons of dry rot in 30% of all wood, and the engine is rather "neglected". It is still leaking in around the mast, hatches and ports although the owner has covered the deck with a tarp now. All sea cocks are corroded like hell, their handles are rusted enough to break off when touched. There's de-lamination in the hull below the galley in a spot about the size of my palm. There might be more of it in hidden corners that I could not see.
What would be a fair bid price if I had to replace all wood, through-hulls, rebuild the engine, repair the delam and replace all of the old standing rigging? All electronics are antique or not working. cheers
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:14   #2
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Looks and sounds like a lot of work and a lot of money to restore. I'm of the school that if you have the kind of money it will take to restore a boat like this I'd rather put the restoration money into a different boat in far better shape. The hidden costs in a project like this is not for the uninitiated. At the least a two year time frame is not unreasonable to put a boat like this back together, possibly more. Two plus years better spent working at a job you're trained to do, perhaps some overtime or a second job to add to the boat buying pot would make more sense and reward you with a boat you'd be far more happy with. But if you're a glutton for punishment and aggravation and wear many boat repair hats, throw out a very low ball bid and se what happens.
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:39   #3
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I might be inclined to walk away.
Standing , running and sails 35 to 40 Gs.
electronics 20+
electrical system (Edit) 15+
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:17   #4
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Listen carefully to the other guys, because they are absolutely right on target with my own experience in a refit that has become a rebuild. With roughly 36 months of full-time boat work behind me in the past 60 months, I'm many months from completion; life gets in the way a bit, no matter best intentions. In for a penny, in for a pound, and I have no realistic option except to finish this project if my wife and I are going cruising.

Tasks have often been magnified many times over by the time required to complete the steps required for what seemed on the surface to be a relatively simple undertaking. Time is in the details, which for the most part don't allow for many shortcuts to complete the work correctly. Be sure to factor in insurance, land/water storage, and a place to store tools and supplies ( an 8x10-foot plywood sheet, for example). And for me, the winter climate is not too friendly for boat work.

To make the $numbers work tolearably, I've done 95% of all the work myself. Fortunately, I have the skills and tools to do most of the work, although I move deliberately, seek advice from others and research the unfamiliar. I paid others for some work I believed was better left to more experienced hands. Nevertheless, especially in retrospect, to have paid others for ALL the work I've done thus far would have been madness and instead would have paid for quite a nice boat ready to go.

Finally, I'm in a boatyard where I have seen dreams turn to nightmares when folks tackled "fixer-uppers" and discovered that the realities of the projects were just too daunting and they walked away.

Despite the gloomy realities of the work, I recognize that we will be on a sturdy and pretty boat, and we will be intimately familiar with its systems. Nevertheless, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have taken this path. And we would be cruising, not fixing.

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Old 02-11-2010, 08:43   #5
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:32   #6
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the scary numbers are reduce-able. i KNOW. i am restoring aq formpse 41, 1976. i was given an estimate, 2 yrs ago , of 150,000 dollars and 5 yrs to fix. repIRS WERE A LOT LESS THAN ANTICIPATED.
i am almost finished making a backing plate for my foredeck--and i need chainplates and i need packing gland. 150k??????LOL
i found a good perkins engine USED with decent hours for 2500dollars
had it installed for 3 loaves of fresh bread--i stillhave to make that...
my deck rot was trly a bakcing plate only...yay....
my chainplates ar obviously cracked. 3 of them. so i get to replace those items and back the ones i choose not to replace.

leaky teaky yacht club, a yahoo group, is a group of owners of our taiwanese beauties. much of the restorative work is able to be done on a do it yourself basis to save money--consult them--- nice folks. everyone else will push you away from a project such as this but these folks are just addled enough to have passion for these taiwanese babies. started out just formosas but has grown to include all leaky teakies --we love our boat and we fix and show them off to each other and show our a good resource. makes a good supplement to this forum. adds balance to the taiwanese boat arguments...LOL..i LOVE mine.
i wouldnt trade it for anything.. well, mebbe a vagabond 47... but that is another one of these on steroids..
list what is GOOD about the boat. then lisst waht is BAD about the boat. figure out how you can make the bottom line less by finding used parts and fabricating parts.
figure that a 46 ft boat has abase value ofX dollars. if they WANT XX, shw the list of needs and go from there downward. engine--takeoff 10k. hull--if in GOOD shape is a basic starting plACE. IF HULLNOT SOUND 100 PERCENT--GO FIND ANOTHER BOAT-THERE REALLY ARE MORE OF THESE THAN YOU KNOW. IF THE PASSION HAS HIT YOU--POOR SOUL- DO IT, BUT KNOW THAT THE BOTTOM LINE FOR YOU WIL BE STEEP BUT POSSIBLY WORTH THE EFFORT IN THE LONG RUN--FIGGER THAT THIS BOAT WILL TAKE minimum of 4-6 YRS OF WORK. possibly longer and more money/
i dont know if you are financially well off at present--you will be less so after this job, but you will have a nice cruiser. it will take a lot of time and money. and aggravation.

as the boat is in bad shape-- what is the asking price?

does owner have an inflated and single-minded view of his boat or is he willing to negotiate?

if you can pick this boat up for around 10k you will have a good platform for further work-- IFF the hull is sound. if it isnt-- find one that is and start there.

there are many ways to reduce the bottom line and monies sunk into the boat repairs...there are more than one way to fix these and have an excellent cruiser. it WILL take many years and lots of money. also storage fees.

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Old 02-11-2010, 09:58   #7
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As one who has completely restored a boat (almost), I'd say walk away. There is nothing left to restore!
Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend, but the Kisses of the Enemy are Deceitful! ........
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:22   #8
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I have done a boat restoration. As the Hag says if you are clever and shop you can manage the restoration. Are decks soft? I looked at some boats prior to my project. Saw one choylee 41 no engine, soft decks, no rigging, he wanted 14k. Bad deal. The one I went for was gulfstar 41 need major fiberglass work, engine unknown (but turned out ok) need all new electronics. Now I could do all the work myself and cost me about 15K materials, 12k for boat 5k shipping. Took one year weekends to complete.
yeah 5-10k offer for boat probably 20k to get her going on the cheap.
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Old 02-11-2010, 15:05   #9
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What could possibly go wrong?

Interesting history on that boat. In 1978 I approached Ted Brewer for a custom design, a 45-50' round sterned pilot house cutter which I wanted to build in steel. I had seen "Victory", an earlier design of his, and liked it, and he had done quite a few radius chine steel designs by then. So I took him a 15 page single spaced type written list of what I wanted in my ideal boat, and he came up with my design, which was his design #134. As he was finishing up my design, he was approached by Robert Panco and Reese Palley, who wanted a 45' double ended pilot house cutter in fibreglass to be built in Taiwan.

The result was Brewer design #135, the Pan Oceanic 46, of which maybe 30 were built total by at least 2 different builders, starting in 1980 or '81. Ted didn't always get his royalties, but the one listed by the OP appears to be one of the early ones, mostly by Pancoe. There was also a 43'. 41', and even a 38'. You can still get all the design drawings from Ted... invaluable if you're going to rebuild this one, although they weren't always built to the drawings.

Reese Palley subsequently circumnavigated in his and wrote several books about his voyages.

There is a moderately active list of Oceanics' owners on Yahoo. Common problems are the teak decks and deck core (of course, after 28 years), the black iron fuel tanks, which are built in under the pilot house sole outboard of the engine on either side, and require either gutting the pilot house or removing the engine and then cutting them up with sawzalls to get out, and all the other issues of a long neglected Taiwanese hull.

The upside is they're a wonderful design (I may be a bit biased) strong, comfortable, and sea kindly.

This one may be a bit too far gone unless the OP has some experience and knows what he's getting in for. On the other hand, there may not be all that much else available for him in Singapore, and he probably does have access to some cheap but skilled labor. I don't think I'd attempt it alone, although I built my own boat from scratch without much help... a little over 10% of the total hours were paid help. But if one had competent help cheap and say $40,000 to throw at, one could end up with an awfully nice boat. I don't think it's worth much as is, from the description, probably less than $10,000, and maybe a lot less.

If you want to see what she could look like a little dressed up, have a look at our web site.

Good luck whatever you do,

Best, Bob S/V Restless
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Old 02-11-2010, 19:27   #10
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A lot depends on the price, your skills and your love for such projects.

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Old 02-11-2010, 20:34   #11
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Thank you all for your input and concern. I will go for a more detailed inspection of the boat next week and see what else needs fixing. I did not have the time to check the deck for delam or rot or to take a good look at the rigging. My first impression was that on deck all seemed to be fairly ok. The way the mast is stepped on the steel water tanks gives me some headache. There is a metal plate underneath the mast, but no access to the hull or bilge there. No way to inspect the hull below it. It was not possible to see where and how the keel is attached to the hull. Got to figure that out.
If this round of inspection shows a lot of other issues then I won't bother about getting a surveyor and walk away. I'm not worried about the dry rot and some corrosion. That can be fixed. But the hull and deck must be sound. If not, it's a clear walk-away case.
10 Grand is probably a good offer that can be discussed, but the seller sounds like he got some other ideas. Will keep you posted.
There's a nice 1982 Mao Ta 46 available, which gives me some inspiration. Have a look at how the boat is supposed to look like
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Old 02-11-2010, 20:47   #12
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Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
Do you want to work, or sail?.........i2f
Haha, i want to sail , but i still have to work a couple o' years
cruising life will wait for me.
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Old 02-11-2010, 22:54   #13
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I have built and restored many boats, now I just build them. Many times I had people show up at my door with something they had either just bought or acquired looking for me to do a bit of work on or some advice to point them in the right direction.
What I relay to them is what was relayed to me by one of my boat building mentors. He said
"In this case as with most restoration projects you have the triple option or the ten cent option. The triple option is what ever you think it will cost you in time or money it will cost three times that, more often then not you could and would of built a new one at a third of the final price and effort".
At this point everyone always asks "What's the ten cent option?" To which the reply is "A box of matches"
I don't do or part take in any restorations anymore because I already have seven abandoned dreams left for me to finish where the owner has just thrown in the towel and left the boat in lieu of labour and material costs. I'd be lucky to break even on them.
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Old 03-11-2010, 00:25   #14
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G'day, Mate. No retoration required here. Always been well cared for. Completely ready to go sailing. Cheeres.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:22   #15
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Yes, the 10 cents option works but it would be too late... Sure I like the design and it would work well for my sailing style. The issue is not that I need this boat, but I could buy and fix her up IF the hull & deck are still sound. That is the real question. The damage I found so far sure looks scary as hell, but it is so far a question of the selling price.

The info regarding the diesel tanks and the Oceanic's Owners forum on Yahoo will be very useful. Thanks!

Now I gotta ask the seller where he keeps the match box.
I think he got one at hand already

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