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Old 23-03-2011, 13:20   #1
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Cost to Refasten

Hi - I'm looking a 40' sailboat that will need to be refastened, the boat sat for 10+ years as a live aboard. Is it $20k? $100k? - Looking for a ballpark number.

Thanks
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Old 23-03-2011, 17:39   #2
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Re: Cost to refasten

Hi Deepdraft
Wow! That is a question that is almost impossible to answer.
Having had a similar situation on my own 1964 ketch I can only tell you that the real cost may not be in the refastening but in the internal repairs to the frames and new planks etc.
Looking at the marks on the hull, it looks as though you will need to take it back to wood and find out what other damage there is - the marks do not look to be in pairs at each frame.
If the fastenings are steel (looks like it) then they will have rusted into the frames and perhaps split the timbers. Removing them and epoxying the holes would be a big job. If the photo is of the only area that needs attention then the job may not be too big so can you provide a few more details.
Good luck.
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Old 23-03-2011, 17:59   #3
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Re: Cost to refasten

Rickey - This is a 1943 Ketch. At a minimum, she will need to be 75% refastened (yellow Pine on steam bent oak frames), some planks, (or many), new transom, side deck beams, decking, etc. She has been a live aboard for the last 10 years.

It belonged to my Dad 40 years ago and I'd like to bring her back if possible. I know I know... bad idea, but I love this boat.

Thanks.
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Old 23-03-2011, 18:05   #4
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Re: Cost to refasten

Hi Deepdraft, Ricky's right on the money. From the appearance of the hull and those rust stains, it may have more than fastening problems. See if you can get a look from inside to assess the condition of the ribs, split or cracked at the turn of the hull. From the exterior at the stem, garboard area, and transom-bottom-sides intersection, use a small, thin knife and poke around a lot for soft spots. Look for repairs done with Git-Rot and Bondo. I have restored a number of wonderful old wood boats. Some can be a snap and others are ready for the dump. If you find a lot of rot, unless you are a proficient carpenter with lots of spare time, don't even think about it.

As far as screws go, look around. There are places with really good deals on s.s. or bronze wood screws. I came to prefer coarse thread s.s. oval head screws for refastening the old girls. Stainless and bronze (if that's what you have) are so close on the galvanic scale that I found this to be a non-issue. If the boat has iron clinch nails or rivets, you can also still get these if you look around.

Good luck, there's nothing that rides like a wood boat and many of these have woodwork on the interior that you can't buy anymore at any price. The wood is simply gone. Also be aware that if it's planked with white cedar, it's indestructible but has become almost unavailable. If planked with mahogany, it probably has rotten areas but mahogany is readily available at decent prices.
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Old 23-03-2011, 18:12   #5
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Re: Cost to refasten

Looking at your subsequent pictures, it looks like rot around the transom which looks really scary but is often not too difficult to fix. You can often just cut it back an inch or so and install a spanking new shiny mahogany transom. Have laminated in a new transom rib section on a couple of old boats that worked out really well.
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Old 23-03-2011, 18:22   #6
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Re: Cost to refasten

Thanks for the replies... The hull is yellow pine. The boat hasn't been out of the water for 5+ years. I plan on having her surveyed once the weather clears and the owner can get it to a yard.

So is $100k a reasonable worse case estimate to secure the hull / transom and deck?
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Old 23-03-2011, 18:39   #7
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Re: Cost to refasten

From the rust, it looks like she was fastened with galvanized fasteners. No matter what you do, unless you remove these rusty fasteners, they will continue to bleed rust. Really too bad they cut corners on a lot of these older boats and used Galvanized instead of bronze fasteners. Guess they didn't think they'd be around long enough for rust to be a problem.
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Old 23-03-2011, 18:40   #8
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Re: Cost to refasten

I cannot see how you could spend that much on the hull and deck unless you were completely rebuilding her.
I waterproofed my decks last year and replaced a lot of the stringers in the process. New epoxy surface and non-slip decks. Total cost? Less than $1000.
I am planning on spending about $7000 to $10,000 on a hull restoration on my own boat including haul-out, dock fees, materials and labour. I will be doing mosy of the work myself though and it is in Mexico.
I do not know what the labour costs will be for you but make sure you use a qualified shipwright - not just a local carpenter. Refastening boats is not the same as kitchen cabinets - different skills!
Also, commenting on the transom job. Find out what caused the rot in that specific place and build in a solution (drain hole, scupper etc).
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Old 23-03-2011, 18:47   #9
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Re: Cost to refasten

Thanks - I planned on having a yard / shipwright do most of the work, I'll pitch in where possible or allowed to. I'm handy, but NOT a shipwright
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Old 23-03-2011, 19:07   #10
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Re: Cost to refasten

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Thanks - I planned on having a yard / shipwright do most of the work, I'll pitch in where possible or allowed to. I'm handy, but NOT a shipwright
The pleasure in restoring these vessels is doing it yourself and picking up the skills as you go. Shipwrights are clever folk but it's not rocket science; with thought and care you could restore this boat cheaply and have pride of ownership.

It's a completely different story imo if you plan to pay others to do it. It will cost a fortune and the fondness you feel for it will dissapate with every cheque you write. It's a hole that just gets deeper; there's no way out and even stopping digging doesn't help. Trust me on that

It's a vessel well worth saving but only if you view it as a personal enrichment project.
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Old 24-03-2011, 03:41   #11
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Re: Cost to refasten

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Originally Posted by Deepdraft View Post
Thanks for the replies... The hull is yellow pine. The boat hasn't been out of the water for 5+ years. I plan on having her surveyed once the weather clears and the owner can get it to a yard.

So is $100k a reasonable worse case estimate to secure the hull / transom and deck?
G'Day all,

If the boat hasn't been out of the water for 5 years I'd be seriously worried about worm damage below the w/l... this on top of all the other things mentioned above. This is the sort of undertaking that does not stand up to rational analysis... blind love and a friendly bank manager will replace rationality, sometimes, maybe...

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Towlers Bay, NSW, Oz
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Old 25-03-2011, 06:07   #12
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Re: Cost to refasten

When the fasteners are shot, and it certainly appears as though they are...you have whats known as a "iron sick" hull. The oxidation from the fasteners effects the planking and eats away the surrounding wood. ..So not only will this boat require refastening, it will probably need to be re-planked. *The framing will also be effected..My advice would be to... RUN !
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Old 25-03-2011, 06:24   #13
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Re: Cost to refasten

If you have older southern long leaf yellow pine for planking, it's a plus. This stuff is about as rot resistant as you can get. Have taken apart old boats where the YP was the only thing left. Seems to outlast everything but maybe locust. If this boat has been blocked up outside for 5 years and fresh water has gotten to it, the below waterline areas, especially the stem and keel/keelson are very likely rotted. Once the salt saturated wood dries out and fresh water gets in, it rots the opened-up wood really fast. Rot in these areas could make the project not worthwhile.
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Old 25-03-2011, 09:10   #14
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Re: Cost to refasten

The boat is in saltwater in the northwest, (not on the hard). I realize this is probably a lost cause, the survey will confirm, (or not).

Thanks all.
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Old 25-03-2011, 10:59   #15
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Re: Cost to refasten

Well, I agree on the fasteners being galvanized, hence the rust. The planks won't be iron sick but the white oak ribs will be. I deal with this all of the time when restoring wooden yachts. Typically, it's the bolts for the floors that are an issue. Iron sickness can be halted by injecting CPES into each fastener hole, one at a time. Refasten with sliicon bronze and not SS because of the iron oxide already in the holes. Go with the next size uo on fasteners unless they are #16's. If that's the case, setting fasteners in new locations will be prudent. Refastening a 40' carvel planked boat is probably around 100-120 hours of shop time because there are a bunch of fasteners, usually 5000+ and you have several that twist or strip and some that just break. The cost of the fasteners is another consideration. While SS is relatively cheap, it will set up gavlanic corrosion when inserted into a hole impregnated with wet iron oxide and the new fasteners will be gone within a year. SB won't be but isn't cheap. Where in the NW is the boat?
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