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Old 01-06-2011, 10:34   #1
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Buying a Boat that Once Sunk

Is it ever worth buying a boat that has spent a week under water? I am only asking because it is a nice looking boat, a size I want, new sails, and in my extremly low budget. My common sense says that it will most likely have tons of problems that will keep appearing over time but I thought I would pose this question to you, could it be worth it? My second question is what would it cost to rebuild a motor for this boat or buy a new one? Has anyone had any experience with a project boat like this? This is the boat I am looking at 1978 Hunter 37 Cutter Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Thanks
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:44   #2
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Re: Buying a boat that once sunk

If that one doesn't work out, there is a thread on here with another boat that spent some time under water, FOR FREE.....
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:10   #3
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Re: Buying a boat that once sunk

Had someone try to sell me an old wooden boat once, the strong sales point was that it had sunk once in salt water so there wouldn't be a termite problem as the wood was pickled....

I didn't buy
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:14   #4
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Re: Buying a boat that once sunk

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdog View Post
Is it ever worth buying a boat that has spent a week under water? I am only asking because it is a nice looking boat, a size I want, new sails, and in my extremly low budget. My common sense says that it will most likely have tons of problems that will keep appearing over time but I thought I would pose this question to you, could it be worth it? My second question is what would it cost to rebuild a motor for this boat or buy a new one? Has anyone had any experience with a project boat like this? This is the boat I am looking at 1978 Hunter 37 Cutter Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Thanks
I know a guy that lives in a salvaged power boat. It was in the water a week, and now it's in decent shape. A few systems like the water heater never seem to work right, but the owner (who rents it to my friend) takes it out fishing on occasion. My friend put in a heater from home depot.

Of course sailboats are bit more demanding. These type of questions are properly the bailiwick of a marine surveyor. As a total WAG, I figure that so far the sinking has added five years to the boat's age.
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:52   #5
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Re: Buying a boat that once sunk

Sinking is not a fatal problem. Things like the engine and its systems will need to have been addressed immediately after it was floated. Electronics will be junk. The wiring will be salty and, eventually, probably have to be entirely replaced. Not such a big thing as most boats could stand a rewire after 20 plus years exposure to salt air. Plywood can delaminate but a week under water shouldn't be a great problem unless the plywood was crappy to begin with. If the plywood was junk, the boat is junk and the sinking just did you a favor. Almost everything else on the boat should have been designed to handle salt water and wouldn't be effected though may benefit from a washdown and lubrication.

I'd be more concerned about it being a Hunter than the sinking. You didn't mention how long ago it sunk and whether it was cleaned up and used after the sinking.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:01   #6
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Re: Buying a boat that once sunk

My first question to you would be: How old are you?

Reason I'm asking is that a project that may be worthwhile to a young fellow tends to become something to be avoided as you get older. If you are relatively young, are working and want to put a few years into this one, then I'd say get a survey done. If she is structurally sound, then go for it. Strip out everything and salvage what you can. The dinette table for instance, and some of the cabinet work may just need refinishing. Check out all the electronics in a shop. Rip out the engine unless they can certify that it was properly dealt with with on retrieval and is operational.

Then start building her back up.


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Old 01-06-2011, 12:14   #7
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Re: Buying a boat that once sunk

According to the sales post, the engine was removed because it was junk, and the water came in through the hole. AND...the owner is waiting for an offer to pay the cost to unsink it. If it is the right price consider it hull value only. If you want a project boat there should be better deals out there.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:20   #8
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Re: Buying a boat that once sunk

I'm no expert, as the boat I have is my first, but I grew up along the shore, and my dad had a boat; It seems to me that used, low price (or free for the taking), beat up boats are as tough to find as a stray cat. Owners fall in love, go broke, get disgusted and then watch them rot in the yard. The Marina I am at must have twenty boats that are pure liability. One even has a tree growing from the cockpit!

No engine? Yes, you can find better deals.
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Old 01-06-2011, 14:21   #9
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Re: Buying a boat that once sunk

Hi : First ,investigate what you can buy for the same money and go sailing now . Especially if you don't know too much about sailing and you are not quite talented and knowledgable regarding repair ,replacement and restoration of various boat systems along with their associated costs.
Second reread Roverhi's post.
Third if you just want a live aboard and not too concerned about a complete restoration of a very old boat that that would not be worth much if it had not sunk ,then maybe.
Get some expert advice from some very knowledgable people as to what is involved.
Finally get ready to give up significant portions of your life for very questionable benefit.
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Old 01-06-2011, 14:33   #10
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Re: Buying a boat that once sunk

I would treat it as though you are buying a bare hull with no systems, cause that you are getting Next do a little research and see what that model boat in good shape is selling for, you will have more inversted then that. Do not start with a low end boat, find a decent mid or high end boat so you will have something worth while in the end Figure on stripping all wireing and mechnical and replacing Then decide Dont fool yourself that you can save anything that had been under water It will be a headache
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Old 01-06-2011, 14:35   #11
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Re: Buying a boat that once sunk

If it is a small and simple boat then it might be worth it. If it is larger with more complex systems that can get destroyed by water then forget it....its a fiberglass hull and nothing more.
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Old 01-06-2011, 14:37   #12
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Re: Buying a boat that once sunk

Here's a boat I worked on for the summer of 2004 - my boss raised it from one of the Liverpool docks where it had been sunk for decades - rebuilt it, started using it as a training boat for recovering addicts so he could register it as a charity and bypass a 2 million tax bill he was faced with after a few years skippering charter boats in the Bahamas... or some such story....

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Old 01-06-2011, 14:40   #13
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Re: Buying a boat that once sunk

My 2 cents. I don't know anything about Hunters but if it is a balsa core I'd be real skeptical. Drying it out would take forever. If it's solid FG then that would be better. Foam core would be somewhere in between. Either way tons of work. BOB
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Old 01-06-2011, 18:01   #14
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Could be a heartbreaker...

Its very easy to underestimate the amount of work that can go into a project boat. With this one there could be a huge amount of hidden damage that may come out part by part as you sink your life, your heart and your wallet into the mire.

We don't have cheap boats on the Australian market, but I am still surprised at the time (5 years) and money that I have put into fitting out Boracay. I'll never get that money back. The time has given me some great nostalgia for later...

Its not that cheap. I seem to recall similar boats that have never sunk selling for similar prices.

I had a quick look on sailboatlistings.com and there were a few boats round the 30' mark that would be about the same price point as this one. If I were in your place I'd be ringing the owners of late 70's 37' boats and having a friendly chat. There's a chance that a few of them would put one of them in your hands for way less than what this one will cost to put it in the water.

If you must have a boat now and don't have much money then buy a smaller one in absolutely superb condition and put the difference into the bank for the time when you need a bigger boat. Otherwise there's a pile of really nice older boats that their owners can't sell.
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Old 01-06-2011, 18:17   #15
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Re: Buying a boat that once sunk

Thanks everyone, great advice. I guess I will keep looking. So far the only boats I have found in any sort of usable sailing condition, and in my price range (7,000 max for boat) have been 30ft or less. I would really like to get 35ft or higher boat but may have to wait.
Thanks again
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