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Old 16-10-2016, 12:31   #1
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De Kleer Fraser 30 as Liveaboard

Hello!

Longtime lurker, first time poster here. I'm a young adult in my 20's looking to purchase a sailboat to use primarily as a liveaboard to save money on rent, but also to explore the PNW and BC Coast by sea. An opportunity has come up for me to purchase a 1980 Fraser 30, built by the De Kleer brothers, for $3000.

Now, apart from sailing and racing 420's in high school, I know quite little about keel boats. I went and looked at the boat a few days ago and brought a friend who is more knowledgeable of sailboats than me, and the boat looks to be in generally good condition. My friend agreed, and pointed me towards a few areas of concern. It's clear that she hasn't been used all too much lately, but would clean up nicely, and, given a few minor galley refurbishments be quite a nice boat. I've attached some photos in the link below I'd rather some more experienced sailors than me tell me what they can decipher. I know it's difficult from photos, sorry!

Photos: Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet

My goals would be to:

1. Liveaboard, and save money on rent. I get that it'll be a bit more uncomfortable than renting a house or room and require more maintence, etc. But, it would halve my rent from 700/month to 300 or whatever moorage fees are (I was quoted $180). I have access to gyms for shower, the docks are centrally located close to amenities, so it would take a minor change of lifestyle but not immense.

2. Sail the BC Coast and maybe beyond. Are the Fraser 30's a suitable boat to encounter pretty rough seas? I'd like to start by exploring more of the central Coast, maybe up into Alaska. All going well, some bigger crossings or trips down to central america to surf would be fun! The previous owner told me that they had sailed it to Hawaii, but I'm not sure how much I trust that...

3. Refurbish the interior to suit my needs. This is more of a desire than need, but I'd like to have a creative project of sorts, and I'm working towards going to architecture school so could use this project as a portfolio piece.

Some concerns I have for the boat are / were:

1. Embedded chainplates. I've heard Fraser's have these, and, although my research didn't show it as being an issue on other Fraser vessels I can't help but wonder if that will become a problem...

2. Propane on board. All my boat friends tell me to be wary of the propane cooktop / heater, yet I see them all over.

3. Rigging. The owner said it would probably need a new main, which is a large cost to be incurred. How large, I don't know. This makes me question the integrity of the rest of the rigging, but I didn't have a keen enough eye to tell. I did inspect them for what I knew and they seemed solid.

4. Delamination around the windows / the cracks in the gelcoat on the hull. You can see it in the photos towards the bow of the boat the damage to the hull.

5. Oh, and the engine is a 9.9 Honda longshaft outboard, that nestles in behind the helm in that compartment. I'm not sure about the benefits of an outboard over an embedded engine...

6. There's also a steering hydraulic leak, which.. I would have no idea how to fix, or how much it might cost, but I'm certainly keen to learn! I don't know how crippling that would be of a problem.

7. Standing Height + light for liveabord. They make the Frasers in pilot house versions which look amazing, but I haven't found one of those for sale in my price range. I can just barely stand tall in the middle of the galley, but towards the sides it dwindles down. I can't see this being an issue except when cooking, because the stovetop is slightly off centre. Would this wear on me eventually?

You're probably reading this thinking 'jeez, this kid knows nothing about boats, this is a terrible idea'. And you may be right. I guess what I'm looking for is a second opinion on whether or not it's a good deal, a good boat that is worthwhile to put effort into and sailing around the waters of the PNW, and, even if I buy it, decide liveaboards aren't for me, and put a bit of money and time into it think that it's re-sale value would hold.

Thank you all for your insights.
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Old 16-10-2016, 12:54   #2
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Re: De Kleer Fraser 30 as Liveaboard

I would do it The priority with winter coming will be to make the boat safe as soon as you buy it.

Not sure what is going on with the heater flue but it needs sorting properly and shouldn't be expensive. That give you safe heat on board.

Don't worry about propane provided some common sense is applied. Cylinder in a gas tight compartment outside (cockpit) which can't vent inside the boat. Replace the rubber hoses to the cylinder, cooker and possibly the heater. Cheap fix. Fit carbon monoxide alarm, again cheap insurance.

Sails and cracks can wait for next year, in fact they will have to as the weather has probably turned against you now, but spend the winter reading about expoxy resin repairs

West System International - Publications: expert guidance for specialist epoxy applications

Again the main sail can wait but keep a sharp lookout on e bay and craigs list for anything that turns up and looks like the right size. Measure the exisiting one to give you an idea. If a cheap but good condition one can be found then they can be altered.

You need a full canvas cover for the cockpit. This will give you an extra room for bike, wet cloths and stuff etc. Very useful. It won't be cheap but a very real benefit if you are living on board in the PNW. Allows the wash boards to be left out but stops the rain blowing in. We have a spray hood and bimini but if we were living on board this would be a priority investment before any interior work. You are unlikely to find a full cockpit cover second hand and any spray hood and dodgers probably isn't going to fit, but do search ask around.

Does the marina allow live aboards btw? you have to establish this first, might at a higher cost to cover electric etc.

An inboard diesel engine would be nice but in the price range you are looking at probably no achievable or if one is available it will be tired. The outboard wouldn't worry me but check the petrol storage area can't vent into the board and build up gasses. Petrol vapour and Propane are both heavier than air and will build up in the bilges if you allow them to.

Find the leak in the hydraulic steering and take the component or hose to an industrial place rather than a chandlers. Even seals in the rams or pump can be cheaply repaired.

Let us know how you get on, whilst most folk seem to be sat in sunny climes, there are a few on here who are north of the 50 deg parallel.

Good luck
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Old 17-10-2016, 17:24   #3
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Re: De Kleer Fraser 30 as Liveaboard

Thank you so much for the insight and suggestions, Pete. I will definitely let you know how it goes! Anxiously waiting out the rain storms and waiting to hear back from the owners...
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