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Old 06-11-2021, 18:26   #1
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Is this a good deal?

Aloha all!

First post here, and I'm looking for some good intel. I have an opportunity to purchase a 1978 Hans Christian 38t at what seems like a good price, but before I get too excited I wanted some input. Seller asking $20k, and I'm mentally prepared to drop another $40k to get her going.
Some details about the boat:

She's been on the hard for the last 5-6 years, and the owner had begun restoring her before purchasing another boat. She was previously left neglected for 13 years in a slip on Kauai.
Hull integrity is SOLID. Had minor blistering after years of neglect, but has been properly taken care of.
Three layers of epoxy paint on the bottom, needs finishing coats of bottom paint.
Current owner removed the teak decking and refinished it with Nytex. Original boom was damaged, and a new one was fabricated (new boom is 11.75" shorter).
Mast and boom currently off the boat; everything appears in good condition, including current standing rigging.
Stern rail and bowsprit are currently off the boat, and need to be rebuilt. Lifelines replaced with aluminum stations and hard rails all along the deck, but need finalizing touches.
Deck blocks, tackle, and winches need some TLC.
Interior is (mostly) in great shape. Needs some refinishing, and liner for the ceiling.
Comes with anchors and used sails, soft doger/bimini, and a few good lines.
Custom fabricated stern attachment for a wind-vane/auto steering.
Chain plates in good condition and don't appear to have any evidence of leaking.
Cockpit teak needs work.
Thru-Hulls are original, but in good condition (will be replaced regardless)
Fuel tank (cast iron) have been polished.
Water tank has been sandblasted and repaired.
Needs a new head and stove.
Steering system is decent, but will need to be properly refurbished, cleaned and greased (probably a new cable too).

Here's the big one: the original Izuzu engine is toast. Prop and shaft are still in good condition, but depending on how we repower, we're potentially looking at new everything (engine, trans, shaft, prop, etc.).
I also plan on gutting current electrical system and replacing everything.

I've worked as a captain and deckhand for the last 15 years on a variety of vessels and am no stranger to dry-dock/Haul outs. I've been sailing on 32' Westsail, 35' Alberg, and 35' Cape Dory in Hawaii over the last year, so while still green to the crusing aspect, I think the Hans checks a lot of boxes for the channel crossings between islands. She's heavy displacement, and I know light winds will be challenging, but overall, I am optimistic that this is a good fixer-upper to get cruising in the next few years.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-11-2021, 20:08   #2
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Re: Is this a good deal?

For the kind of money you are prepared to spend you can be sailing tomorrow on something similar or better, certainly better in light winds. And even on a "ready to sail" boat there will be plenty to fix if that's your thing.
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Old 06-11-2021, 20:34   #3
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Re: Is this a good deal?

Hans Christians are beautiful boats. Could well be worth taking on.
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Old 06-11-2021, 21:14   #4
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Re: Is this a good deal?

Well, $15,000 for the engine by the time you get it all purchased, delivered and installed. Another couple of grand for the head and stove, plus a bottomless pit to replace everything in the electrical system, and paying yard fees while doing all of this.

Then you start to add up all the DYI stuff which you think you can handle. It will still cost something just for the fit-out.

I don't think $40,000 will cover it. In my guess, more like double that. Plus a helluva lot of work.

This is a project boat, and a big one.
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Old 06-11-2021, 21:16   #5
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Re: Is this a good deal?

From the original post;
"Fuel tank (cast iron) have been polished."

Someone posted and deleted their post claiming there is no such thing as a "cast iron fuel tank".

Although they are not commonly used, they have been in the past. Perhaps the OP was referring to "black iron fuel tanks" which would be more specific to the HC38 he is interested in.
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Old 06-11-2021, 22:24   #6
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Re: Is this a good deal?

Welcome to the forum. I would say if that boat was on the mainland, say S.F. Bay somewhere, it might be a lot easier. There, you don't have the used chandlries. Or even good access (cheap) to retail gear.

I restore boats here in Northern Ca. and it's tough. My current project is on the hard here at my ranch, literally 3 ft. from my complete Machine Shop and Wood Shop. Less than a 2 hour drive to all the deals in the Bay area...and it's still tough.
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Old 07-11-2021, 03:36   #7
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Re: Is this a good deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
Well, $15,000 for the engine by the time you get it all purchased, delivered and installed. Another couple of grand for the head and stove, plus a bottomless pit to replace everything in the electrical system, and paying yard fees while doing all of this.

Then you start to add up all the DYI stuff which you think you can handle. It will still cost something just for the fit-out.

I don't think $40,000 will cover it. In my guess, more like double that. Plus a helluva lot of work.

This is a project boat, and a big one.
+1

(And wingssail knows whereof he speaks!) Now where are Spot and markjsmith to weigh in? They are just finishing up/ have just completed full refits respectively...)

Fair winds,
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Old 07-11-2021, 04:52   #8
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Re: Is this a good deal?

Just “finished” a refurb of a boat that was on the hard for over 3000 days in Maryland. In quotes, since I’m not sure a refurb is ever completed. I was lucky and my Perkins was not rotating when I bought the boat, a new beta was gonna be around 14k just for the motor. Still ended up with a few new fuel lines, and a had to rebuild the high pressure fuel pump. My refurb included new fixed windows, new glass in the hatches, new gaskets in the portlights, removal of all the headliners, replacing some, recovering of all the cushions. A few new halyards. Bottom soda blast, and paint, new batteries, new charger

I’m getting ready to work on new exterior canvas.

I spent about 80 days just working on the boat that was an hour away, and I could not sleep aboard due to yard rules.... defender was a life saver, had a great hardware store close by, and a west marine.

The only thing I subbed out was the soda blast.

It a boat, break out another thou, will be common. There many who will say that it’s not worth the trouble and likely the money you will spend you could have bought a boat that’s read to sail. Some folks enjoy working some enjoy sailing. Some enjoy a mix of the both. I’m in the latter category... be ready for frustrations, the project that should take an hour but takes 4 but also be ready for the little victories. The project that ends up being much easier and under budget than you were expecting.

Welcome to the club. .
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Old 07-11-2021, 05:54   #9
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Re: Is this a good deal?

New engine and rigging plus incidentals puts you about $65k. Figure thatís your cost for the HC or similar, whether you spend 65 on one in much better condition, or spend it over time.

We are restoring a neglected Hunter, and in the end it will cost the same as if we had bought one in great condition. The benefit to our approach is that I will known the boat inside and out.
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Old 07-11-2021, 06:47   #10
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Re: Is this a good deal?

That would be a fantastic heavy displacement, long keel, cutter, blue water sailboat. Plan on spending $150,000+ to get her ready for sailing and enjoy.

https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/hans-christian-38t
https://bluewaterboats.org/hans-chri...38-traditional
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Old 07-11-2021, 07:13   #11
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Re: Is this a good deal?

In response to LW77's shout-out

Keep in mind my frame of reference is smaller boats and vintage RV's. My 'main' project boat is a 21 foot kit boat that was in tough shape when I got it 'cheap' from a boatyard. I had to gut it to remove mice droppings and damaged flotation foam and then correct substandard wiring and diagnose water draining from cockpit to cabin. There is a thread about it in the Construction and Refit forum.

I have enjoyed learning new things (curved pattern making, cushion upholstery, marine wiring) and using previously learned skills (basic woodworking, fiber glassing). I am generally pleased with my results from the refit, not '9 coats of varnish bristol' in any sense but 'orders of magnitude' better than the previous kit builder's results...but it did/does keep me off the water.

Sailing-wise I would have been better off spending more money for a more turnkey boat. I would have also done better to have done a little more maintenance on the little boat so I could sail that in the meantime. Little boat is now not seaworthy, bigger one is but takes me enough time to load, drive to lake, rig, and reverse process afterwards that I hesitate to do it without crew or an entirely free day.

Mine was/is still a driveway refit so like Celestial I have my 'shop' nearby, I could not imagine doing this at a marina or on the hard remotely. My youngest has just come up with a happy medium day-sailor that once we repair its issues will probably be our go-to boat for crewed day trips and Felicity will be a weekender. I am also hoping to get the dinghy painted over the winter so I have something to take out solo when time or crew are scarce.
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Old 07-11-2021, 07:14   #12
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Re: Is this a good deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aquanaut_h2o View Post
Aloha all!



First post here, and I'm looking for some good intel. I have an opportunity to purchase a 1978 Hans Christian 38t at what seems like a good price, but before I get too excited I wanted some input. Seller asking $20k, and I'm mentally prepared to drop another $40k to get her going.

Some details about the boat:



She's been on the hard for the last 5-6 years, and the owner had begun restoring her before purchasing another boat. She was previously left neglected for 13 years in a slip on Kauai.

Hull integrity is SOLID. Had minor blistering after years of neglect, but has been properly taken care of.

Three layers of epoxy paint on the bottom, needs finishing coats of bottom paint.

Current owner removed the teak decking and refinished it with Nytex. Original boom was damaged, and a new one was fabricated (new boom is 11.75" shorter).

Mast and boom currently off the boat; everything appears in good condition, including current standing rigging.

Stern rail and bowsprit are currently off the boat, and need to be rebuilt. Lifelines replaced with aluminum stations and hard rails all along the deck, but need finalizing touches.

Deck blocks, tackle, and winches need some TLC.

Interior is (mostly) in great shape. Needs some refinishing, and liner for the ceiling.

Comes with anchors and used sails, soft doger/bimini, and a few good lines.

Custom fabricated stern attachment for a wind-vane/auto steering.

Chain plates in good condition and don't appear to have any evidence of leaking.

Cockpit teak needs work.

Thru-Hulls are original, but in good condition (will be replaced regardless)

Fuel tank (cast iron) have been polished.

Water tank has been sandblasted and repaired.

Needs a new head and stove.

Steering system is decent, but will need to be properly refurbished, cleaned and greased (probably a new cable too).



Here's the big one: the original Izuzu engine is toast. Prop and shaft are still in good condition, but depending on how we repower, we're potentially looking at new everything (engine, trans, shaft, prop, etc.).

I also plan on gutting current electrical system and replacing everything.



I've worked as a captain and deckhand for the last 15 years on a variety of vessels and am no stranger to dry-dock/Haul outs. I've been sailing on 32' Westsail, 35' Alberg, and 35' Cape Dory in Hawaii over the last year, so while still green to the crusing aspect, I think the Hans checks a lot of boxes for the channel crossings between islands. She's heavy displacement, and I know light winds will be challenging, but overall, I am optimistic that this is a good fixer-upper to get cruising in the next few years.



Thoughts?


Is it a good deal , no. Expect loads of Bucks to be needed and a zillion hours.
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Old 07-11-2021, 08:43   #13
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Re: Is this a good deal?

Unless you're just looking for a major project, purely for the fun of it, RUN, DON'T WALK! Even IF you could get her in decent shape for $40K, which I highly doubt, you'd still have $60K plus untold hours of your time in a 44+ year old boat, which is very likely upside down financially.
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Old 07-11-2021, 08:56   #14
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Re: Is this a good deal?

I have looked at quite a few "good deals". All tempting...but I have decided that I want more adventure and enjoyment afloat than addressing repairs and neglect. I just don't want a project under each and every hatch or access point.

The last "Siren" of a boat that tempted me was a lifelong dream and a popular trend-busting 40'er that was advertised as having a "great bottom" and "new rudder". That was a great start but she had the original gas engine. That would mean new controls, tanks/hoses.. understood.

But then, no question, a mast and boom and rigging and resealing of the hull/deck joint expense would be necessary too. Oh.. what about SAILS.. too.

When I put pen to paper: honestly and sadly -- I just couldn't afford her !
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Old 07-11-2021, 09:05   #15
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Re: Is this a good deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danm1 View Post
For the kind of money you are prepared to spend you can be sailing tomorrow on something similar or better, certainly better in light winds. And even on a "ready to sail" boat there will be plenty to fix if that's your thing.
Totally agree with this. Been there, done that. Depends if you want to sail or to work on boats? If you view your refit outlay as leisure entertainment spending, thats fine. It is certain not to be an investment - you will not get it back.
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