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Old 15-04-2012, 22:24   #196
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

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I mean, a boat with a decently working newer engine, a few sails, and a solid hull is not that hard to find (a little damage to the core is not that big of a deal to even my anal as hell father...he still has a soft spot after owning the boat for years). Aside from that everything is basically luxuries, right?

So taking a boat with a decent hull, decent sails, and decent engine...what all left is there to do? I'm really scratching my head and have been for some time now. Not tlaking about upgrades (you could spend millions on those) but strictly bringing the boat back to basic working order (it can sail and won't sink easily).

We just looked at an old spencer 44'. Clean enough inside for my wife (some wood was cracked, a couple drawers had problems opening, no big deal). What I would consider very over-built rigging that looked in good enough shape. Good main and fairly new engine. Had a bunch of other extras I liked (huge water tankage, refrigeration, lectrasan, strong dinghy davits) and some I didn't care as much about (chartplotter, wind meter). It needed at least one new headsail and a bottom paint but then it would be good to go in my estimation. We'd do other things like add a shitload of solar and new battery banks for the electric stuff my wife wants and probably slap on some LED lighting inside...but those are upgrades and I wouldn't consider them part of "refurbing" a boat.
I had a quick look on Yachtworld. There's a Spencer 44 there.
A few thoughts:-
1) The engine may be "newish" but could still have several thousand hours on it. My experience suggests that you could be up for new fuel tanks, filters, lines, filters, controls, batteries etc. Cruisers use their engines heavily. Will that quite old, well used engine stand up to another few thousand hours of heavy use? Will the transmission?
2) Rigging - many insurance companies expect the rigging to be replaced after 12 years. What does yours want? What about the chainplates? Are the bulkheads firmly tabbed to the hull?
3) If there's one "soft spot" there could be a whole lot more. Old boats might not get blisters but the hull integrity may not be that good.
4) Slapping in a few LED's might work or it may need a total rewire.

We're talking about the difference between a boat that will just get you to the other side of the bay, and one that would get you to the other side of the world.
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Old 15-04-2012, 23:37   #197
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

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I am on a limited budget and deathly afraid of buying a boat near our limits and then having a surprise $20k bill for necessary repairs but for the life of me can't think of what would cost $20k. The only expensive things I can think of that I would have to replace are sails and engines and I wouldn't buy a boat that needed those. About all I was able to get in another thread was to maybe add another $3k for re-doing the rigging.
It's the stuff you don't see coming that gets you.
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Old 15-04-2012, 23:44   #198
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

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I had a quick look on Yachtworld. There's a Spencer 44 there.
A few thoughts:-
1) The engine may be "newish" but could still have several thousand hours on it. My experience suggests that you could be up for new fuel tanks, filters, lines, filters, controls, batteries etc. Cruisers use their engines heavily. Will that quite old, well used engine stand up to another few thousand hours of heavy use? Will the transmission?
2) Rigging - many insurance companies expect the rigging to be replaced after 12 years. What does yours want? What about the chainplates? Are the bulkheads firmly tabbed to the hull?
3) If there's one "soft spot" there could be a whole lot more. Old boats might not get blisters but the hull integrity may not be that good.
4) Slapping in a few LED's might work or it may need a total rewire.

We're talking about the difference between a boat that will just get you to the other side of the bay, and one that would get you to the other side of the world.
Sorry, when I meant newer engine I guess I should have been more specific. Brand new engine and transmission and a few other things installed about 5 years ago and has extremely few hours on it. Owner sent me some invoices in PDF, will have to look back through them. I would not consider a 10 year old engine with 2,000 hours a newer engine. I've found plenty of boats with engines installed a few years back with less than 500 hours on them.

I was thinking the battery powered LEDs, with some rechargeable batteries.

This one has small blisters, but from a survey a few years back don't look to be structural. Something in the survey about fresh water causing more blisters which I'd never heard of but could be true. Will have to look into that.

No soft spots on that boat that I could tell...soft spot was on my dad's boat and has been there for almost a decade with no problems yet....

I don't see why I would buy insurance so don't care too much what insurance companies want. I just want to know what will get me one time across the pacific while not sailing hard.

Owner is asking ~$31k for the spencer, FWIW. I think he probably dumped $30k into the boat in the last 7 years. Original owner was the seller's dad....not on yachtworld I don't think. It's a crapload of boat for the money from what I've seen so far, and my wife liked it, but might not be the boat for us. It's at the edge of our budget and if it stops us from sailing it's not the boat for us.

Anyways, don't mean to turn this thread into one about a boat I'm looking at...I've seen plenty of bills for engines and sails and they're shocking but I haven't seen much besides those that's absolutely necessary and really expensive. Standing rigging seems to be the grey area where many on this board say you need all new rigging every X number of years and then I talk with people who race their boats to the limit and they've never replaced practically any standing rigging.
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Old 15-04-2012, 23:46   #199
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

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It's the stuff you don't see coming that gets you.
A few specific examples would really help, if you have the time...
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Old 15-04-2012, 23:49   #200
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

If you are looking at a Spencer 44 you are looking at somewhere over 100k to purchase. Anyone that is experienced at this will recommend that you budget 20% of the purchase price for repair and necessary upgrades.

Spencer built good boats - all are 30 to 45 years old now and few are likely to be ready to sail away. How old is the wiring? Batteries? Rigging age as has already been mentioned? Even running rigging for a 44' boat doesn't come cheap. Has the boat been lived on or only used weekends and a few weeks a year? If the latter you will probably find many items that do not like daily use as they aren't designed for 24/7/365 use - pumps and heads primarily.

Is it a 44 or a 1330?
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Old 15-04-2012, 23:54   #201
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

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A few specific examples would really help, if you have the time...
Anything that uses electricity or has moving parts is suspect until proven otherwise. And some items like rigging that need replacement due to age.

What are your intentions with the boat? Offshore?
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Old 16-04-2012, 00:25   #202
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

My intention/goal is to take a boat from the PNW across the pacific to AUS and then do some coastal cruising in AUS for a while. How long depends on the wife and how much money I can make over the internet. 1-2 years at least, hopefully more.

Who in their right mind would pay $100k for a spencer 44? From what I remember there is only one on market right now over $100k and that guy is delusional and the boat has been on sale for years. In tip-top condition maybe $50-60k. This one is not in top condition but is not a project boat. Asking $30k, as mentioned, and at least $4k or so to buy a new headsail, scrape the bottom, and paint it (bottom painting in WA is expensive due to environmental regulations).

It was used for weekend and vacation use. Some of the standing rigging may be original, never got an answer, but feels very solid. Very beefy. Running rigging is OK but not great. No self-tailing winches which is a big concern to me as I would be mostly single-handing and the sails are quite large. If I needed to replace winches it would be quite expensive. Maybe better to get a gym membership...

Head setup is what I would want with a holding tank that connects to a lectrasan for discharge. Heads are old though.

I believe it is a spencer 44', not a 1330, but don't know all the differences. It's a center cockpit sloop. V-berth, head, dinette, and galley forward of the cockpit. Aft cabin and second head aft of the cockpit.

A lot of people mention "sail away" condition...wondering how subjective that is....
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Old 16-04-2012, 00:41   #203
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

The Spencer 44 pre-dates the 1330, and is actually based on the 42 hull. I was thinking the newer 1330 of which there are a few on Yachtworld for about 120k or so.

If the rigging is original replace it - the last 33 was built in 1972 so it is well past due. Remember that even if you pay only 30k for a Spencer 44 you can easily double that price in upgrades and replacement of various items.

How many boats have you owned?
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Old 16-04-2012, 01:06   #204
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

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The Spencer 44 pre-dates the 1330, and is actually based on the 42 hull. I was thinking the newer 1330 of which there are a few on Yachtworld for about 120k or so.

If the rigging is original replace it - the last 33 was built in 1972 so it is well past due. Remember that even if you pay only 30k for a Spencer 44 you can easily double that price in upgrades and replacement of various items.

How many boats have you owned?
I have only owned one boat, but know a lot of other people who have owned boats.

1968 was the year I believe.

So what would I spend $30+k on necessary refurbishments?

Here is my fear. I fear that a lot of cruisers are too safety-oriented. They are like the parents who are scared of their children being kidnapped by strangers. An almost unheard of occurrence but one that has a huge emotional appeal. I do want to lower my risk, but don't want to pay an exponential price for safety.
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Old 16-04-2012, 02:19   #205
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

Price the rigging wire and turnbuckles for a 44' boat - that's a start. That is a lot of money right there- 5/16" 1 x 19 stainless is about 4.50 per foot, and that is for type 304, 316 is more. For a 44' boat you will need almost 400' if a sloop - ketch add 150 or so feet to that. Swages not included. If you use mechanical fittings you can do it yourself but they are not cheap - for 5/16" wire about $100 each. Turnbuckles for a sloop over $1000 - ketch add $600 or so. Toggles add to that. If you are paying for it to be done add a few thousand.

Running rigging - which you say is old - is expensive as well. 1/2" Sta-Set is almost $2/ft, 5/8" about $2.50/ft. And that is entry level for running rigging.

And that does not take into account sails - are they able to stand up to daily offshore use?

And then there is every mechanical system on the boat.

Even though the boat is about 30k its replacement cost if built today would be 400k or more. And everything you buy at today's prices will relate to that.
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Old 16-04-2012, 05:15   #206
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

I think you will find 4 boats on yacht world. 100k seems to be the money, from what I can see you do get a lot of boat.
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Old 16-04-2012, 09:40   #207
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

I had the motor on my boat surveyed by the most commonly recommended mechanic, one who regularly works on Perkins and paid for extra testing to be sure it was good but three years later I was rebuilding it from the bottom up. The PO had done some very sloppy maintenance and when the engine was opened up to deal with one problem it became apparent that a repower or rebuild was the answer. The surveying mechanic maybe should have seen the signs, maybe I should have, but it was an unexpected thing.

It's the only major one I've experienced but as soon as I bought the boat I had to replace the anchor winch which adds to your bill significantly. Someone else I know discovered their fuel tank was giving out and the only way to get it out was to cut up the galley. They did it themselves and I don't know the cost but it is surprising how many things there are that can surprise you and aren't obvious when you survey. I don't know that you need $30k but you can expect the unexpected. I could use a new headsail but the repower means I'm patching the thing for several years.

It sounds like the vendor has been fixing the boat and bringing everything up which is great but it would be worthwhile determining what hasn't been done and what hasn't been done well.
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Old 16-04-2012, 09:43   #208
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

JM21 - okay, buy the boat, sail to Australia, and report back!
Seriously, I have bought two 1978 boats that were usable when I got them, but I have put alot of time and money into both. But I often muse about how much of what I have done and continue to do is really necessary. Much of what I have done is for my own enjoyment, and reluctance to have my boats look like derelicts.
If the spencer has a decent hull, and a good engine and you can have a decent set of sails by buying one, and paint the bottom. Have a good rigger inspect the standing and running rigging and replace as necessary. Get the necessary safety equipment and go. A few soft spots on decks or hull blister won't really matter, unless you plan on keeping the boat a long time. Then you can deal with them later. You essentially want the boat solid enough to cross the Pacific safely (which isn't a minor feat.) Plus I hear boats go for more $ in Aus than US(?)
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Old 16-04-2012, 09:46   #209
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

JM21 - of course, to successfully own and maintain an old boat on a budget most of all requires good DIY skills on your part. Can you?
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Old 16-04-2012, 10:09   #210
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

Spencer 44 nada is around 33000 . I have also checked a few other models are boats selling for 2 or 3 times nada?
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