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Old 13-07-2011, 12:12   #16
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Re: Hull Thickness too Thin ? I Paid the Deposit - Oops or Not ?

A good survey will likely point out enough negotiating points to pay for the survey and then some...
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Old 13-07-2011, 17:11   #17
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Re: Hull Thickness too Thin ? I Paid the Deposit - Oops or Not ?

Hi all, thanks for your useful advice. For those wanting to see pictures try this ebay link.... Steel Cruiser Dutch Style 30' Inboard Diesel Boat on eBay (end time 13-Jul-11 23:05:46 BST) ... I think the advert has expired but you can still see photos. I have a fairly recent survey which is positive. I feel proceeding with the sale is probably the right thing to do.

Thanks again.

Ben
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Old 13-07-2011, 17:21   #18
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Re: Hull Thickness too Thin ? I Paid the Deposit - Oops or Not ?

As long as the price is right...

Do make sure, as with any older boat purchase, that you have enough money in reserve for a major repair. I'm thinking something like $15k. It might never happen but...

If you do start using the boat in salt water I'd suggest checking the hull and anodes after 6 months or so.
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Old 01-08-2011, 21:54   #19
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Re: Hull Thickness too Thin ? I Paid the Deposit - Oops or Not ?

My advice on this one is to get the original builder's plans and look up the orginal steel plate specs and thicknesses. If I were the surveyor on this project I would recommend and conduct a thorough ultrasonic survey on this vessel, followed by corrosion tests. To me, based on what was written here, the hull thickness seems on the thin side. Before I would publish the survey report I would verify the original specs on the vessel somehow.
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Old 03-08-2011, 14:09   #20
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Re: Hull Thickness too Thin ? I Paid the Deposit - Oops or Not ?

i have seen brand new steel boats that size advertised for sale and they have been proud of the fact that the hull is 3mm, brand new. have you tried to damage steel that thick? it is strong stuff!

my boat took years to build too. it is dutch. reason? because it was originally commissioned as a sailboat...the buyer lost interest...the next buyer specified it as a trawler...what's the problem? i'd regard the fact that your boat took six years to build as a positive. it means that for six years of its life it wasn't sitting in salt water. result!

how many spots on the hull did your surveyor measure? how does he know where the stringers are? if they are horizontal, and if there are no limber holes, then where does the condensation go? no limber holes means no drainage, so the water just collects there and stays there, it lifts the paint, and then corrosion starts. if some salt water got in there too then that is a bigger problem. make sure he takes lots of measurements. as the excellent scott fratcher says, badly corroded steel can be just a few millimeters from healthy steel. so it can be easily missed by a surveyor if he isn't taking enough readings.

have you looked at your portholes? any sign of rust there (on the inside)? are the seals in good shape? another important thing, go and look at the inside of the chain locker. look at it yourself. how does it look? remember that a salty wet chain has been dumped there repeatedly. where did the salt water go? are there drainage holes through the hull beneath the chain? or does it drain into the midship bilge?

there are surveyors and there are surveyors. i originally found this excellent site as a result of an article written by a guy who bought a steel boat that came with a clean bill of sale by a surveyor. it turned out that the boat was a wreck, absolutely rusty all over, and he had to rebuild it.

a friend of mine has been looking for a steel trawler here in europe for almost two years. we've been down to gibraltar to look at an amazing boat built back in the 1960s out of steel. down in the engine room i found a 10" x 10" piece of corrosion probably caused by vibration caused by a bad engine mount. this was covered up by some pads and some heavy containers of engine oil. coincidence or cover-up?
when i crawled into the space under a cabin floor i found 12" of sitting water and strum boxes on the bilge pump pipes that had completely corroded away. scary.

i'd really advise you to put some old clothes on and take a good look around yourself, just to be sure. there are surveyors, and surveyors.

if you do buy the boat then you will learn that steel is easy to work with, and with the right methods of corrosion treatmentand prevention, e.g. phosphoric acid, epoxy paint, etc., that you will have a super strong boat that could potentially last 100 years or more.

if the boat has lived in fresh water for a good part of its life then that is a good thing too.

good luck.
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Old 03-08-2011, 14:19   #21
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Re: Hull Thickness too Thin ? I Paid the Deposit - Oops or Not ?

i just looked at the ebay listing for you...it says that the boat has lived in fresh water. if this is true then it is a very good thing. i'd still look inside the anchor locker and see if there is any rust. you never know, it may have spent 10 years in saltwater with a previous owner.

i think it says that the survey was back in 2008. just be aware that lots can go wrong in 2-3 years. the engine may have overheated, the batteries may have been neglected and need replacement. both of these can be expensive.

if you are spending circa £25k then i'd recommend a survey from a good surveyor. and i mean a steel boat expert.
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Old 03-08-2011, 14:48   #22
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Re: Hull Thickness too Thin ? I Paid the Deposit - Oops or Not ?

I'll second that. The fellow who surveyed Sabre Dance didn't have a clue. Make sure the guy is up to speed on steel boats. It'll save you a lot of grief.
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Old 03-08-2011, 20:09   #23
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Re: Hull Thickness too Thin ? I Paid the Deposit - Oops or Not ?

Yeah, I'll third that. Any surveyor I have used, no matter how good, just didn't have the time to do a very through inspection.

I recommend that you get yourself a very good flashlight, a strong and big flat screw driver, and a ball peen hammer and two days free. I would also take a digital camera to 'see' where you can't get your head. With the boat on the hard try very hard to get at ALL of the bilge areas. Two years ago I poked a white spot on an aluminum boat and my knife went through. Thankfully she was on the hard.

The design thickness of the steel is sufficient, my 33' Ted Brewer sailboat is of 10AWG which is of similar thickness.

Also read this article for comfort
Good Old Boat - Is there a metal yacht in your future? article

Next seek out
METAL BOAT REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE
A DO IT YOURSELF GUIDE

Scott Fratcher
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