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Old 27-01-2007, 22:42   #1
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Truth or False?

I have been reading a lot of the helful tips the folks in this forum has to say about fixing a damaged hull, keel, and working with different types of fiberglass, as well of the concerns of boats that the core has been wet due by an abrasion or a crack in the glass. After absorbing all that very useful information I came up with some simple but general questions. What is fixable and what is not? Can a sailboat be fixed after some very serious damage such as; two 30 inch holes below the water line right in the midle of the boat? Half of the keel destroyed, the rudder is totally gone and finally the boat was flooded to the level of the deck.

The reason of my concern is because I have people telling me; "all boats are fixeble" "as long as it is fibeglass you you can fix almost anything".
I'm sure an individual can patch a hole with fiberglass, however how good is fix? Is the problem fix for cosmetic reason/looks or just fixed to perform like nothing ever happen before to the boat? It is an irresponsible statement by saying "all boats can be fixed as long as the boat is made out of fibergalss?

Another issue is wooden vs. steel mast. Some people tell me "wooden mast requires too much maintenance" while steel mast does not require too much maintenance"
"steel mast are way stronger than wooden mast".

Please forgive me in advance for my ignorance. I'm just a little confused and want to know the truth. Thank you so much for all your tips.
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Old 27-01-2007, 23:19   #2
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First, unlikely you will find a steel mast. Most are wood or aluminum. Second, a wood mast belongs on a wood boat. If you have fibergalss, stick with aluminum spars.
As for the fiberglass, yes, it can be repaired. It can also be as structurally sound as the original hull if done correctly. I have seen holes the size of a beach towel, and struts ripped out of the hull, that were repaired so that you would never know there was damage.
Complete submersion is another story. How far are you willing to go to repair the boat? Toss anything that carries or stores or uses electricity. Expect the engine to be junk. And, expect hidden issues to come up.
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Old 28-01-2007, 00:14   #3
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Is it a labor of love or trying to get a cheep boat?

It is not a cheep boat.
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Old 28-01-2007, 02:04   #4
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The boat wouldn't be cheap. 2/3 of a boats cost is in the hardware, only 1/3 is the hull.
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Old 28-01-2007, 03:06   #5
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I would say that any hull would be repairable............the question is "how economic is it?".

Quote:
two 30 inch holes below the water line right in the midle of the boat? Half of the keel destroyed, the rudder is totally gone and finally the boat was flooded to the level of the deck.
I would guess that unless the owner was capable of fixing it himself then this is unlikely to be an economic proposition........and even then??
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Old 28-01-2007, 07:16   #6
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Quote:
The reason of my concern is because I have people telling me; "all boats are fixeble" "as long as it is fibeglass you you can fix almost anything".
It's probably true. The better question is for the money it will cost would it be cheaper to pay to send it to a land fill and get a different boat to fix. Sometimes it is cheaper to start over.

Not everything possible is worthwhile. People do spend more fixing boats than they are worth in a dollars prespective sometimes. People become emotionally attached to their boats just about all the time. There is also some element that because I want to do something maybe it's not important what it costs.

Few people use their boats to make a living these days. There are quite a few near our house that do and they have a much different approach to boats than the folks on this forum do. We are all correct, but for different reasons.

So the better question to ask yourself is: "Would it be worthwhile to fix this boat?". Depending on who is paying the bill and who is asking the question you'll get a different answer. Saying that doing it youerself won't cost as much isn't always the case. Materials add up to expenses too. Your labor is worth what it is worth. If it is worthless then som are your efforts. It would be hard to say anyone was wrong. It is also possible to attempt to repair something and yet fail. It does not have to be a boat and it does not have to be that broken. Wishing does not make it so.
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Old 28-01-2007, 15:19   #7
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as said above anything is fixable.! the big question is, is it worth it emotionally/financially. if you think either are irrelevent you are wrong. an object is worth what it is worth, financiallyand or emotionally. i know of two people up here in the northeast that are doing just what you are questioning. are they blinded by romatisizm or ideals, i don't know. many people who do these things do it as a labor of love for the boat, because it has always got them home in adverse conditions or because the bnoat has been in the family for so long they cannot part with that part of their lives. if you are contemplating this good luck. hopefully it will be worth it if you are contemplating this endeavor.
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Old 28-01-2007, 15:23   #8
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I agree that anything is fixable. And that includes steel, aluminium, wood, and fiberglass hulls. They all vary in how easy they are to repair. Yes, it is a question of whether it's worth it.
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Old 28-01-2007, 15:38   #9
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Aloha Blue,
My friend salvaged a Coronado 34 locally which is much the condition which you state. He has torn out the entire interior, glassed the huge holes in the side, is replacing the keel which was total ripped off, replacing the rudder, replacing the prop shaft, is soaking the entire Perkins 4-108 in diesel fuel, has redone most the interior bulkheads, redone the floors and has the lead from the keel placed just under where it will eventually be attached. Its been at least 4 years since he dragged it home. He works on it in his spare time and is totally experienced with fiberglass and boats. He wasnt' certain until just a few days ago whether he would actually ever finish the project. Now he thinks he will.
Are you up for that kind of commitment?
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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Old 28-01-2007, 18:03   #10
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Why?

Why would you want to fix a badly damaged boat?
At some point it would be easier, cheaper and better to build a new boat.
Most of the damaged boats that I have seen have been priced beyond economic repair (price + repair cost = more than boat in good condition).
I would suggest doing things the other way round. That is, don't think of repairing a boat so you can use it, think of the use that you have for a boat and then work out what boat meets your needs.
For example: Suppose you want to single hand to the Fiji. A seaworthy boat of around 30' with self steering may suit your needs. There are many boats that come near to this description in various states of repair and price. When you count your pennies carefully you could find that you can afford a good one.
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Old 28-01-2007, 20:54   #11
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Truth or False?

Wow! You have no idea how thankful I am for all the input from you folks! I am a fast learner and I always listen to what people have to say and consider their input before I make a decision.

I would like to introduce myself and tell you folks a little about my dreams. I'm looking to purchase a blue water boat, so that I can go sailing with my wife and my three girls. I'm the type of person that likes to do things myself, in terms of buildings and fixing things. I have been considering purchasing a used boat in good condition. However, many of my friends ask me why I am going to pay a premium price for a boat with equipment, etc that may be outdated already, when I could get a cheap boat and do it myself and have new stuff.

After hearing all those words of wisdom, I have decided to do a comparison and contrast and I started searching, reading boods, talking to sailors and making phone calls to sailboat brokers. I have been doing this research for almost 8 months now and I started to realize that they are correct. Most of the boats that I have seen so far are way over priced and most of their equipment is outdated. However, I found a few boats that need some work and after doing some serious calculations I came with the conclusion that I will be better off purchasing a boat for a reasonable price and then fixing it myself and putting in new equipment.

If you are wondering what boats I have been searching for here we go; CSY 44, Islander Freeport 41, Morgan 41, Gulfstart Independence 52, and Bruce Roberts Ketch 45. Do you think I'm in the right path? Thank you once again for all your help. God bless!
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Old 28-01-2007, 21:37   #12
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My take on this is that you can buy a $100k boat, ready to sail, or you can buy a $50k boat and spend 5 years making it into a $100k boat and, if you put some sort of value on your time, that 5 years will probably have cost you $50k anyway! That isn't meant to discourage you... it is just a perspective. I bought a 50k boat and am slowly converting it... and having fun, but in the long run, i will probably not have saved much over buying a 100k boat.
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Old 28-01-2007, 23:56   #13
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I think Weyalan has the best take on this subject. If you have the abilities, the gear, the love of working with your hands and most importantly, the time, then going the way of doing up an older boat is very rewarding. As Weyalan said, you may spend the $50K extra, but you have what you want, you know it intimately and you have a lot iof satisfactin and pride int he achievement.
Do put into perspective that you have three (presume young) girls and a wife that will also need time. If you are like one we know here, his family has been part of the project. I believe that is important. If you don't make them part of the project, they don't buy into the dream. I know a guy here that spent years building his dream. He was one of those people that could go on vertually no sleep and so he was hardly ever with his wife. Even though he was building at home. The day came when the project finished and he was left with having to get to know his wife(and viseversa) and his wife found she couldn't stand him around and they they seperated and divorced.
Anyway, I wish you the best and if you get into a project, keep us all informed here with progress and photo's.
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Old 29-01-2007, 00:48   #14
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Over pricing...

You have looked for long enough to find that many boats are overpriced.
When I was in the same situation I had already worked out what I wanted and how much I could afford to pay.
I then started making offers that would have appeared low to the owners but were what I could afford.
It took a long time but I finally found the boat that fitted my requirements.
If you look at my blog you can see what I ended up with.
You didn't say where you live, but if it is an area where you can have a home and land beside it where a boat can be renovated then a larger project can be contemplated. It is much easier to fix a boat on the hard and the family can be better involved. Don't forget proper scaffolding around the boat if you do this as a fall can cause serious injuries.
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Old 29-01-2007, 03:31   #15
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Originally Posted by BlueWater1
However, many of my friends ask me why I am going to pay a premium price for a boat with equipment, etc that may be outdated already, when I could get a cheap boat and do it myself and have new stuff.

After hearing all those words of wisdom, I have decided to do a comparison and contrast and I started searching, reading boods, talking to sailors and making phone calls to sailboat brokers. I have been doing this research for almost 8 months now and I started to realize that they are correct. Most of the boats that I have seen so far are way over priced and most of their equipment is outdated. However, I found a few boats that need some work and after doing some serious calculations I came with the conclusion that I will be better off purchasing a boat for a reasonable price and then fixing it myself and putting in new equipment.

If you are wondering what boats I have been searching for here we go; CSY 44, Islander Freeport 41, Morgan 41, Gulfstart Independence 52, and Bruce Roberts Ketch 45. Do you think I'm in the right path? Thank you once again for all your help. God bless!
That's the downside of asking for opnions. they do tend to vary!

FWIW, here's mine!

I think you are intending to go on a right track, just that I would suggest you start with a boat that is basically sound. I.e. still has a keel and has never sunk!

I guess it also depends on your timescale. The vessel I bought was also deliberately basic (cos' the initail cost was cheaper) but also turned out to be the most sound one, albeit it doesn't have a lot of equipment / new gear on board or frilly curtains (actually no curtains - it now has teatowels doing dual use!). My thinking was also that rather than buying someone's old gear (which I may or may not want / will need replacing sooner rather than later) I can buy exactly what I need / want. Basically I am "building on" an already very sound boat, rather than having to rebuild her.

However the key point for me is that although very basic she was completely usable at the outset, just isn't as good as she will be - but I do not intend to be heading off into the WBY within the next couple of years, so I have a few years (or so) time to add stuff to her as and when I want / my bank manager allows (and I can delude myself about the total costs ).........not to say I could not spend a couple of months on her next summer in France (hopefully!). What I am saying is that if I had wanted a boat to go off into the WBY ASAP then I beleive doing everything in one hit with new gear would not have made financial sense for me - I would have been better off paying more for a vessel more fully equipped even if the gear was not exactly what I wanted, and a few things may have needed replacement sooner rather than later.........and replaced as and when I needed to / accepted what I had.

I would suggest making an equipment list that you will eventually want onboard, and pricing up everything including fitting so you can compare like with like on a purely cash basis. Even though I was only looking at one model of boat I found it was the only way to compare boats and to judge which was better overall value (for me). I.e. was it better to have a Radar and a new Mainsail or a New aft bulkhead and an upgraded Mast Support (these are the 2 main known problems on my boat) etc etc.
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