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Old 05-04-2015, 20:46   #1
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Loaded question about recovery

I know this is a loaded question, so here goes....How difficult to is to restore a boat that sunk. It is a Prairie 29 ( solid fiberglass) that was underwater for about 10 hours. The engine is up and running strong..

My experience in renovations:

1) My mother's car (98 Chevy Tracker) was under water from Hurricane Sandy for 8 hours and then sat for 2 months. Everyone said it was trashed and that she should have it hauled to the dump. She was devastated from the lose, so I took it upon myself to get it up and running. The engine was fine; no water. The started was frozen, so I took it apart, cleaned it up with JB blaster, clean the brushes, and reinstalled it after testing it. It's been working fine ever since. Water did get into the auto-transmission, so I had to replace it with one from the local junk yard. Other then going through the electrical system with electrical cleaner, and hosing the insides down with bleach & water, the Tracker has been running Gr8. We drive it everyday.

2)I've also Restored a 1972 Triumph TR6 from frame up.

3) Completed 3 home renovation; new plumbing, upgraded or new electrical, adding bathrooms, new roof....etc

4) Owned 2 Diesel-pusher motor-homes, so I'm familiar with the operating systems on a boat; potable water, holding tanks, vac-toilets, propane systems and h2o pressure system.

At this point, I feel I'm pretty mechanically inclined, though I have never restored a boat.
Having a Dad that was a hydraulic engineer always helps!

So, back to my question, would it seem that I have the skills to tackle restoring a boat? I will be doing 90% of the work myself, plus the price is right for the boat. I'm purchasing it from a Salvage company.

Any thoughts, suggestions....prayers....lol

Thanks,
Rich T
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Old 05-04-2015, 20:56   #2
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Re: Loaded question about recovery

IMHO - If you are mechanically inclined and willing to D-I-Y learn new skills you should be able to do the job.
Also, if the boat is actually all fiberglass being underwater is not a great impediment. But unfortunately even boats that seem to be "all fiberglass" usually have some wood or other water absorbing materials as part of their construction. How much these "non-fiberglass" materials have absorbed water and swollen or rotted can make a big difference in how much and how long it takes to restore the boat.
Learning how to work with fiberglass cloth and resin is not rocket science so some time with "how-to" books along with common sense and some mechanical aptitude and you will be able to remove any wetted out portions of the boat and put it back together so it will sail again. Just take your time and think each step through carefully and thoroughly and you will have a nice boat to sail.
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Old 05-04-2015, 21:23   #3
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Re: Loaded question about recovery

If it was in salt water consider the effect on every piece of metal in the boat. I would replace all the wire and electrical busses just because tracking down intermittent issues is so irritating and time consuming.
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Old 05-04-2015, 23:27   #4
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Re: Loaded question about recovery

There's a saying here on CF that a free boat is the most expensive one you'll ever get.

Everything fabric, all books, most everything electric will be history. 10 hrs. is almost one whole tide cycle, lots of sand, mud, worms, larvae, and guck can get in there. Great that the engine is working. Somebody did something right. There will be a lot of work involved, but sometimes it's fun to have a project. Your choice.

Good luck, good luck will help.

Ann
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Old 06-04-2015, 00:29   #5
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Re: Loaded question about recovery

Pretty straight forward really.

As others have posted; toss anything and everything electrical.
Remove all soft furnishing and see what can be recovered with a good fresh water soaking and then washing etc.

Pressure wash / hose out the complete interior with ample fresh water. I wouldn't get to concerned about anything wooden assuming the imersion was in salt water and the wood is either solid or marine ply. Small amounts of salt water doesn't hurt timber.

Exterior shouldn't present any problems that a good fresh water pressure wash won't fix.

Rewire the boat, replace whatever soft furnishing are needed along with whatever has been ruined eg gas fitting and the like.

Should end up with a nice boat!
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Old 06-04-2015, 06:17   #6
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Re: Loaded question about recovery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
There's a saying here on CF that a free boat is the most expensive one you'll ever get.
Very true.

There's another saying: Any project will always cost at least twice as much, and take three times as long, as you expect it to. And if you try to account for that, by multiplying your cost estimate by two and your time estimate by three, then it will STILL cost twice as much, and take three times as long, as THAT.

Just remember that when you buy a project boat you are--first and foremost--buying a project, not a boat. If what you want is to get out on the water as quickly and cheaply as possible, then you would be time and money ahead by buying a boat that is ready to go. If you are looking for a pleasant project to occupy your time for a while, and a happy consequence will be that at the end you have a boat to use, then a project boat is the thing for you.

Good luck, whatever you do.
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Old 06-04-2015, 06:25   #7
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Re: Loaded question about recovery

[QUOTE=bankerboy1;1793952. It is a Prairie 29 ( solid fiberglass) that was underwater for about 10 hours. The engine is up and running strong..

I will be doing 90% of the work myself, plus the price is right for the boat. I'm purchasing it from a Salvage company.

Any thoughts, suggestions....prayers....lol

[/QUOTE]

I'm not sure the price is right at all and was expecting you to say the boat was "free", which would still have been expense for it all given. But it comes down which do you really want to do:

1 - go boating
2 - work on boats
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Old 06-04-2015, 06:43   #8
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Re: Loaded question about recovery

I would say that a LOT has to do with the boats condition before she was sunk, if her deck was full of soft spots, well they are still soft for example.
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Old 06-04-2015, 06:44   #9
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Re: Loaded question about recovery

I worked as a salvage diver for a few years so saw a few boats go up and down. In short, yes it's very doable. The two things that tend to suffer most are electrics and anything made of plywood. However, depending on the quality of any plywood, since the boat was under water for only 10 hours it might be fine. Wiring is probably fine too; you might just have to change out the terminal connections and the batteries, plus any electrical fittings.

Perhaps more important than how long it was under water is whether it has been sat for a while having been salvaged. It's very important to give everything a thorough wash down immediately after salvaging. In fact, if a customer came to us asking us to do a salvage and the yard wasn't ready to take the boat from us we would leave it under water until they were ready.
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Old 06-04-2015, 06:44   #10
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Re: Loaded question about recovery

Might somewhat depend on price. Also is it in water or out? I prefer in water refit as once the boat is in basic shape one can sail when one gets bored of projects. Also go slow on the refit if you do it. Take it step by step not getting too far into the boat until you are sure the basics are sound. For me the strategy on two rebuilds has been (1) make it safe (2) make it comfortable and (3) make it pretty. Once past level one I have been able to sail a rough but safe boat which makes the endless days of projects much more tolerable. In terms of assessing your skills, from what you say I would think you have the skills to do this. But there will be a learning curve. It has helped me to be in or very near to marinas on both rebuilds giving me access to numerous sailors who have been more than willing to teach me what I did not know. Also do your homework before buying. Check key structural as in chainplates, drivetrain (shaft, stern tube/stuffing box) base of mast, and bulkheads. Any indications of problems in these areas would drive price way down for me.
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:46   #11
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Re: Loaded question about recovery

Thanks for all the advise! The boat is actually in the water and floating....lol It appears that it was washed down with fresh water, though not as clean as I would of done it. At this point, I need to research how difficult it is to rebuild a salvage title in the state of FL???
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:07   #12
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Re: Loaded question about recovery

Quote:
Originally Posted by bankerboy1 View Post
I need to research how difficult it is to rebuild a salvage title in the state of FL???
Are you saying that whoever has it now has a salvage title on it? If so, in terms of transferring title after a sale, it is no different than any other title.

If you are saying that there is currently no title on the boat, and you would have to apply for a salvage title, then that's a different matter. If it is already floating then I think whoever re-floated it is the "salvor" as far as the law is concerned, and that person would have to apply for the salvage title.
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:10   #13
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Re: Loaded question about recovery

If you think you will make money on it your are fooling yourself (or you will be making $0.25/hr).

When it comes to resale, it's a 30yr old boat and if you are honest, people will shy away from a boat that was sunk.

Now if it's near free and you just want a project, go for it. Its sounds like you have the skills.
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:29   #14
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Re: Loaded question about recovery

Quote:
Originally Posted by bankerboy1 View Post
I know this is a loaded question, so here goes....How difficult to is to restore a boat that sunk. It is a Prairie 29 ( solid fiberglass) that was underwater for about 10 hours. The engine is up and running strong..

My experience in renovations:

1) My mother's car (98 Chevy Tracker) was under water from Hurricane Sandy for 8 hours and then sat for 2 months. Everyone said it was trashed and that she should have it hauled to the dump. She was devastated from the lose, so I took it upon myself to get it up and running. The engine was fine; no water. The started was frozen, so I took it apart, cleaned it up with JB blaster, clean the brushes, and reinstalled it after testing it. It's been working fine ever since. Water did get into the auto-transmission, so I had to replace it with one from the local junk yard. Other then going through the electrical system with electrical cleaner, and hosing the insides down with bleach & water, the Tracker has been running Gr8. We drive it everyday.

2)I've also Restored a 1972 Triumph TR6 from frame up.

3) Completed 3 home renovation; new plumbing, upgraded or new electrical, adding bathrooms, new roof....etc

4) Owned 2 Diesel-pusher motor-homes, so I'm familiar with the operating systems on a boat; potable water, holding tanks, vac-toilets, propane systems and h2o pressure system.

At this point, I feel I'm pretty mechanically inclined, though I have never restored a boat.
Having a Dad that was a hydraulic engineer always helps!

So, back to my question, would it seem that I have the skills to tackle restoring a boat? I will be doing 90% of the work myself, plus the price is right for the boat. I'm purchasing it from a Salvage company.

Any thoughts, suggestions....prayers....lol

Thanks,
Rich T
I know little about it and probably is difference from place to place? If you hadn't check on any problems with a title since you said savage.
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Old 06-04-2015, 10:00   #15
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Re: Loaded question about recovery

Quote:
Originally Posted by bankerboy1 View Post
. . . . At this point, I need to research how difficult it is to rebuild a salvage title in the state of FL???
The State of Florida is well acquainted with "re-titling" abandoned boats as we probably have more boats on or under our waters than people.

Just drop in to a Florida DMV office in an area where there is a lot of boating and ask them how it is done. The important part of the process is to go to more than one DMV office and get what they believe the process involves. It is quite common that some offices have experienced people who can tell the "straight scoop" but there are also DMV offices where the people don't really know much about boats and this subject. So visit several and you should be able to get the "real" process from one or more of them.

But definitely stay away from "inland" offices and try to visit DMV offices in coastal boating areas for you best chance of getting the straight skinny.
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