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Old 22-05-2012, 17:50   #1
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Deck Work Rough Cost Estimate

I am looking for a boat for retirement, and I saw an Alberg 35 for sale at a VERY good price. I have been following Woodenboat forum for a couple of years, and I know even less about glass boats. Research on the Alberg35 says they can have deck issues with their balsa cored deck. Does this usually mean a complete deck job, or can this type of deck have an area refurbished?? What would a full deck job run? About $10K??

Sorry there are no pictures to help with any replies, but I am just looking for a general answer to help me decide if I want to get into a structural refit.
Many thanks,

barry
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Old 22-05-2012, 18:14   #2
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Re: Deck work rough cost estimate

Don't do it.
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Old 22-05-2012, 18:32   #3
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Great Boat! Does this particular boat need a deck job? crawl around and tap the handle of a large screw driver all over the deck, you want to listen for a lower pitched noise for any significant delamination. Also walk around the deck, is it soft? if not, you should be fine. Cored decks are extremely common, as long as the hardware was mounted properly, "double drilling" the holes, to avoid gettinig the core wet, it should be fine. since this is something you can easily test for, Don't worry unless there is a problem.
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Old 22-05-2012, 18:32   #4
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Re: Deck work rough cost estimate

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Originally Posted by blegh View Post
...I am just looking for a general answer to help me decide if I want to get into a structural refit.
You do not want to get into a structural refit.

Anything made by man has a finite life. For cored composite construction, that life ends when the core fails. In general, there is no way to economically repair a laminate with extensive, widespread core failure. That's not to say it's impossible to repair such damage- just nearly impossible to do so at a justifiable price.

Now, don't take this to mean "ignore the Alberg 35"; they're still good boats. But do be on the lookout for spongy, soft or overly flexible spots, and do ask the surveyor to pay close attention to this issue. If you do buy an older boat with a cored deck, be prepared to remove and reinstall all the deck hardware with appropriate edge-of-hole reinforcements. (It may not be necessary to do so, but you should be prepared for the possibility before you buy.)
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Old 22-05-2012, 18:37   #5
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Re: Deck Work Rough Cost Estimate

Having bought a boat with plenty of deck rot, and gone through the pain of fixing it all: Be ruthless, don't tap, stab. Open that baby up and look inside. It's going to take saws, penetration, and a seriously conservative estimation of what rot is. If the seller prohibits you from cutting holes in the deck, the core is probably rotten, and he doesn't want you to know!
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Old 22-05-2012, 18:38   #6
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Re: Deck Work Rough Cost Estimate

Many surveyors will agree with me that the soft deck deck issue is a cosmetic and not a structural problem. The frame formed from the hull through the chain plates through the standing rigging is the structural framework for most fiberglass constructed vessels. The deck is often an accessory to allow for the dry stowage and not part of the structural frame. You might find that your repair of the deck can be accomplished at your leisure as a inexpensive DIY project and not an urgent task. The soft deck challenges can often be attacked one area at a time. I would be far more concerned about the sound hull, chain plates and standing rigging. Good luck with your wise choices.
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Old 22-05-2012, 18:46   #7
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Re: Deck Work Rough Cost Estimate

Your estimate is low- probably by about half if not more.
We had a couple of small spots that had gone bad where deck hardware wasn't attached the best it could be. We did the work ourselves but when you factor in time away from work to do it and materials, those small areas got really expensive, really quick. It was the yard quote that encouraged us to do it ourselves. It is a horrible job and that's why it would be cost prohibitive to pay someone to do it. The suckier the job the more they charge.
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Old 22-05-2012, 18:46   #8
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Re: Deck Work Rough Cost Estimate

There are no general answers. Problems don't come in usual packages. Assume the deck issues are not critical and you still could have a host of problems. Older boat are NOT new so forget about the reviews. They are not what they were! A nice Alberg 35 would be nice though. If you have not walked on the deck no boat is that good a deal.
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Old 22-05-2012, 18:56   #9
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Re: Deck Work Rough Cost Estimate

So many boats out there w/o problems,pay more now and go sailing. Buy a project boat that will ultimately cost more and you will probably give up after a tremendous expenditure of money and time and never go sailing
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Old 22-05-2012, 18:57   #10
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Re: Deck Work Rough Cost Estimate

Imagine how hard it would be to fix if it were a normal residential construction job and multiply the difficulty, time, suckiness, cost, and discomfort by six.
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Old 22-05-2012, 18:58   #11
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Re: Deck Work Rough Cost Estimate

You will get resin in your hair. You will ruin clothes. You will spend a lot on sticky goops and carbon organic vapor filters. You will wish you had bought a boat without a rotten deck.
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Old 22-05-2012, 19:07   #12
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Re: Deck Work Rough Cost Estimate

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You will get resin in your hair. You will ruin clothes. You will spend a lot on sticky goops and carbon organic vapor filters. You will wish you had bought a boat without a rotten deck.
Tell us how you really feel...haha

I agree though, do not fall in love with a boat you don't own. I'm in the middle of a refit, and if i could turn back time I would have shopped longer and smarter. Falling in love with a designer is not quickest way to go sailing, buying a dry boat is.
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Old 22-05-2012, 19:25   #13
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Re: Deck Work Rough Cost Estimate

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Tell us how you really feel...haha

I agree though, do not fall in love with a boat you don't own. I'm in the middle of a refit, and if i could turn back time I would have shopped longer and smarter. Falling in love with a designer is not quickest way to go sailing, buying a dry boat is.
Thank you all for your very helpful tips. I have neither deep pockets nor inexhaustible hours, so I will proceed with great caution, although how is still unclear: somewhere between tapping with a large screwdriver handle and attacking it with a reciprocating saw. A lot fo room between the two! Freerider has given me much pause to think. I realize I am really taken by Albergs designs. I bought a dodge 1 ton soI could have an engine brake on the Cummins, so i am definitely at risk here.

Thanks again everyone. cheers
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Old 22-05-2012, 19:32   #14
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Re: Deck Work Rough Cost Estimate

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The frame formed from the hull through the chain plates through the standing rigging is the structural framework for most fiberglass constructed vessels. The deck is often an accessory to allow for the dry stowage and not part of the structural frame.
I have to disagree with you there. The deck of a composite sailboat usually forms the compressive flange of the hull girder. If it is significantly weakened, the hull may sag more than intended under the combination of the mast step compression and the head / back stay tensions. That leads to joinery working loose, an inability to maintain stay tension, and accelerated fatigue of the hull structure.

Not all boats are designed with a structural deck, and many that are have sufficient excess strength in the gunwales to not be too badly affected by deck deterioration. But widespread deck delamination or core failure is a serious enough problem to essentially write off the boat as unrepairable in many cases; while it may still be usable in light weather, structural compromise is not acceptable in an offshore cruiser.
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Old 22-05-2012, 19:40   #15
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Re: Deck Work Rough Cost Estimate

I don't think the Albergs have particular deck problems, you just need to exercise the same level of care as you would any boat.

There's one on my dock that's a stunner. Used prices do seem to be very reasonable.
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