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Old 18-07-2009, 19:58   #1
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Thoughts on Full Interior Replacement

I am being offered a 1968 Tartan 35 that a marine mechanic was rebuilding. He has replaced almost all the mechanical components with 2000+ versions. The short list of projects he completed are:
* Yanmar 3GM30F fresh water cooled 27 hp. diesel inboard (2001)
* Dripless stuffing box (2001)
* Waterlift muffler and exaust hose (2001)
* Throttle and shift cables (2001)
* Shaft (2004)
* Cutlass bearing (2004)
* Electrical panel with Hella circuit breakers (2004)
* Mast rewired including antenna (2004)
He ran out of steam/money before the interior was completed. It is original or plywood to allow him to work.

I went to look at the boat today and the hull looks pristine, almost brand new. He told me the deck did have a soft spot he injected epoxy into (~18 months ago) and it is now solid. Rigging needs work, however a roller furling jib is installed and inspection (by me) saw no signs of water on the inside (she is on the hard for past 12+ months).

I have been reading Casey's books, especially about not buying the interior. No fear here as it is lacking a lot. I have about $30k to complete the restorations and the admiral is supporting this option after seeing the boat. I will pay professionals to restore or replace the woodwork (e.g. he used plywood for floors etc. while doing the restoration). The galley needs to be completely replaced with heat, hot water, and sinks are needed.

Sitting inside the boat, I can feel the potential. Looking at the newer boats I have been lately, I do not feel the same. They are new, and nice and feel like a new car. I am not looking for it to be worth 160k when done but a boat I can get 20 years out of would be great (60 year fiberglass?). I am also trying to determine if finishing the interior, replacing the rigging, sails, and completing the rest of the work is a fools errand given the age of the boat. "a silk purse from a sow's ear"

The other option is to buy a newer 34, but that would be 25 years newer, but still older than the equipment he put into it.

Thoughts are appreciated.
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Old 18-07-2009, 20:17   #2
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Tartan Marine didn't build a 35' boat, maybe you mean a 34C..
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Old 18-07-2009, 20:24   #3
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D'oh! You are absolutely correct. It is a Tartan 34 C. My apologies.
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Old 18-07-2009, 21:52   #4
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Reply - to private inquiry - the 35k is for the interior work only. To including galley, hot water, heat (and A/C), flooring, trim. Much of it needs refinish, not replacement.
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Old 18-07-2009, 22:08   #5
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I like the sound of what you've uncovered, Kefaa. If it can be acquired in its present state of refit at the right price, I would not think twice about doing so and completing the restoration. I love a bargain - yeah, I know, sailors are cheap - and I also like extending the useful life of something that has seen better days.

There's a real feeling of satisfaction, I think, in salvaging an old vessel that is otherwise perfectly functional. I would put a lot more stock in the newer systems and components than the year the keel was laid.

If you get her, keep us up to date on your progress as the new interior goes together. Pictures are always welcome.

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Old 18-07-2009, 23:13   #6
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I love these boats personally (I have one), and I'd love to see another member of the fleet restored.

Check your PM...
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Old 18-07-2009, 23:59   #7
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Fix your costs!

Obviously when you completely pull out the interior of a +40 year old boat you will probably find some latent or hidden defects.

I don’t imagine there are many buyers standing in line so do your homework and:

  1. Develop a specific refit design with materials and standards so that you can get a fixed price from a carpenter you trust, to redo the interior.
  2. Once you get that number, assume that their will be hidden defects and add another 35% onto that real number.
  3. Then go back and negotiate purchase price based on a confirmed value of what you will need to spend as a minimum.

Best of luck!

Lastly, not to disparage marine mechanics but they do know how to minimize problems with a shiny hull... so get a full survey on the structural side of the hull/deck system
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Old 19-07-2009, 02:24   #8
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Let me count the days...

It sounds like you have a rough handle on how much it will cost to do your interior, now you need to work out how long it will take.

As a rough calculation I'd suggest working out the number of lineal feet to be rebuilt. For a 34' boat that's 68'.

As a starting figure I'd suggest 40 hours per lineal foot. That gives us 2720 hours or 2-3 years of hard part time work.

If you think that's way out how about 204 lineal feet - sole*2/cabinside*2/overhead*2. And use 10 per foot. Still going to take 2 years part time.

Do you have that much time to spare?

I'd also suggest getting some good dust extraction and scaffolding. Might be expensive but the value to your health: priceless.
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Old 19-07-2009, 04:09   #9
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This may not be an issue, but I've been told it's near impossible to insure a boat that's over 30 years old. Comments?
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Old 19-07-2009, 06:54   #10
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Boracay - You lost me. How did you come up with an average of 40 hours per foot? I cannot find anything even close to that number during refits so more is appreciated.
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Old 19-07-2009, 09:41   #11
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I do not think Boracay is far of in his assessment of 40 hours a foot. I am rebuilding/refitting my boat myself. In order to repair the damaged hull I removed about 2/3 if the interior including some major bulkheads...basically the boat became a bare hull. I have been in the aft stateroom for about 3 weeks and have completed the reinstatement of the bulkheads all of the ruffed out joinery work etc. Next is the firring of the headliner, installing teak veneered 3mm plywood of all joinery, plus finishing the construction of the drawers and doors, electrical fit out, clear coat finishing, installing the headliner the list goes on. I have at least another 3 weeks. I am working on this boat full time and I work about 60 hours a week...say 360 hours. The area in question is about 10 feet long. I would cost would be prohibitive if I was pay to have some one do what I am doing.

It has always been a dream of mine to build a boat. If it is a passion that you have then go for it and be prepared to be tested because it will test your determination. There are so many unfinished dreams out their.

I have include a pic taken about 2 weeks ago it captures work on the to aft lazerrets the beginning of the aft stateroom with the autopilot installed.
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Old 19-07-2009, 09:46   #12
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Use of professionals

Sounds to me as though you have a reasoned, thought-out approach to this project.

Since you're planning to use professionals to do some or most of the actual work on your boat, you'll be minimizing time and risk (if they mis-measure before they cut, they pay for the new stock, etc.) However, you pay for that by increased costs. In my opinion for many portions of a big project it's worth the ticket price - especially getting the boat done and sailing by X date. A finite goal is much much easier to accomplish!

I do have two suggestions: figure out which specific portions of the project you plan to accomplish yourself, and do homework on which professionals you plan to use for the rest of the project, both to make sure they can accomplish the jobs and what their reputation is for cost over-runs, 'discovered' additional work (most projects do find more than planned for, but some yards seem to consistently find a *lot* more), time (do they get it done when promised?), and quality.

Boat yards are often the general contractor for projects - they do a lot of the work in-house, and hire out specific portions to specialists. This can really help getting it done on time, and they know all the local contractors so they can get squeezed into, for example, the busy machinist's schedule 'as a favor'. Again, you may end up paying a price for this - but maybe not because they also can get these contractors for less money than you as an independent, and a good yard knows when it's cheaper to use the specialist and when it's cheaper to use yard laborers.

It's easy to find people hanging around boat yards who can do work on your boat. A lot of them are cruisers, looking to replenish or expand the cruising kitty. And everyone in or near the waterfront will give you a referral to someone, probably their cousin, who can do that - whatever 'that' is. I can't give any advice about being your own general contractor and hiring people to do individual work other than only use contractors whose references you personally check, and get it in writing before you let them near your boat. Which is tough to do, but you really must.

When it comes to the parts you're going to take on, you need to treat yourself as you would a professional you're hiring. You need specific deadlines, and you need to stick to them, to work with the rest of the project schedule. If you plan to do the wiring yourself before the cabinetry is built by the carpenter, it needs to be done before the carpenter is planning to be cutting wood.

I'm guessing, with the plan and research you've been doing, that you already knew all this. But I figured I'd mention it 'cuz I've seen projects fail and become yard wrecks because of not knowing all the options when using professionals.
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Old 19-07-2009, 10:41   #13
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I would think twice. 1968 is a really old boat. Personally I think it;s getting too old for a fiberglass boat to put that much into. you will loose a lot of money, because potential buyers dont care that a lot of stuff was new a few years ago. That old Fiberglass is pretty brittle by now I would think. All chainplates should be replaced, Rudder rebuilt..I cant even think of all the stuff... It sounds like a boat that should be sold for the value of the engine, I guess if you're talking about buying it for less than 10k, willing to spend a lot of hours on it, willing to argue with contractors that make slow progress or dont show up etc etc. How many times have heard about a remodel destroying a marriage? A lot of stress for sure. Are you savvy enough to know if something's being done right?
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Old 19-07-2009, 12:36   #14
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After a lot of thought and planning, I cut the salon out of my boat. The mechanical part of the redo was the easiest part of the job. Installation of new water tanks, relocating the main A.C. unit, relocation of hot water tank and installation of a deep freezer took me a couple weeks working 3 days a week. The woodworking portion was way more than I had planned on.













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Old 19-07-2009, 12:42   #15
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After another 6 months or so and several thousand dollars the salon project was finished.



Then came the galley redo. More $$ and another 6 weeks.




Am I glad I did it, yes. Would I do it again, hell no!
Way more work and cost than I ever expected.
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