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Old 16-08-2019, 01:06   #1
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Termites in the hull.

I am in escrow on a 43 Bruce Roberts built in Trinidad in 1998 using c flex construction. I waited 2.5 months for the boat to be hauled out. After 1550 in survey fees, I got the news that the bottom was in bad shape. Several large blisters and a few somewhat superficial cracks in the glass. Maybe not somewhat superficial. You would think this post should be titled thank god for surveys but in the situation Iím in now, I may make an offer of a dollar. I have about five grand or more invested in it up to and including travel between Maui and Oahu. The in water survey for the most part was good and valued pretty high. It would make a great liveaboard with a great Perkins and a five kw genset that needs about a thousand dollars in repairs. Iíve been living in my conversion van to save money for a great cruiser. I think if I can get the boat with out spending another fistful of thousand dollar bills, I could liveaboard and daysail for my planned five or so years before full time cruising. Iím 39 single no kids and full time captain. If I can get the bottom patched up and painted, with the certainty of it holding water out of the boat, it may be worth it. Thatís my thought process. Offer a dollar and use it near coastal only with epirb in hand. I doubt I would insure it. I doubt I can get full coverage. Unfortunately Iím already emotionally involved with the boat. This post is to tell of my story from my initial offer to this point three months later. Also, thereís not a lot of bells and whistles. The reefer is awesome, sails in good shape minus the Mizzen. Great head. 120 gallons water with water maker and 140 diesel. Very roomy inside. New paint inside and out. New cushions throughout. Two central ac units. Liferaft needs recertification. One gps. One starting battery. No bank batteries. Oven works. Tons of storage. Huge aft berth. Winless. Hot water heater. Etc. the owner is heartbroken of course. The boat sat for at least six years with minimal sail time. Engine started once a week but not generator. Genset locked up. Bottom cleaned monthly. Since it will be on my mooring, Iíd buy more solar and possible wind generator. Iím not sure how much the bottom patch job and more panels, batteries will cost me but Iíll get that estimate tomorrow. They are tenting the boat and nuking the termites. Thereís also a possibility of fixing the bottom professionally in five years when I can save and budget the 20 to 40 thousand to do it right. Iíll move to Oahu and do the majority of the bottom work at that time as my full time job if I take that route.


Wish me luck and I know I should run away. Aloha and mahalo.
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Old 16-08-2019, 04:52   #2
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Re: Termites in the hull.

Don't offer the dollar, you have been lied to and clearly don't understand what the survey findings mean. The boat is not a monolithic glass construction over C-flex, it is a wooden cored boat and can not be "patched". The wooden core has live termites on one side and is wet the other side while the outer skin is delaminated. Since termites don't live underwater (where the core samples were taken) it means the whole wooden core is compromized, including the deck. The boat is unsafe to float, and any tenting and gasing will not save it, nor will it kill the termites in the core.
Repairing the boat would mean replacing the core. That can be done from the outside or from the inside. That involves cutting away all of one of the skins (basicly any fiberglass you see from the outside or the inside has to go, but since the outside is already cracked and blistered that woukd be the logical candidate for replacement), removing the core remains, sanding the remaining skin clean, then replacing the core with foam, balsa or other wood and glueing this new core onto the old skin with thickened epoxy. After this is done you can then laminate a new skin over the core and proceed to fairing and painting. Anything else made of wood on the boat also has to go and be replaced with new. While it is possible to do what I detailed the cost would exceed a new build. This boat is a total loss, uneconomicly to repair and probably even uneconomicly to scrap if it does not have a lead keel.

Just forget the boat and the spent money and go buy the guy who suggested the core samples a bottle of his favorite drink, he saved you from spending your money on a huge liability that would have ruined you.
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Old 16-08-2019, 04:55   #3
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Re: Termites in the hull.

Most boats can be repaired. This is not one of them.
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Old 16-08-2019, 05:25   #4
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Re: Termites in the hull.

Perhaps you have some recourse to reclaim money because the boat was NOT as advertised, not the same material or construction.

Similar thing happened to me. We went to look at a big custom Rudy Chou cat. The hull was advertised as TWO layers of 1/4” Marine grade ply covered with glass inside out. Fortunately while we were enroute to look at the boat the Owner creased a reef and holed an ama exposing the actual construction, we viewed it in the hard. It was clearly only a SINGLE 1/4” ply layer, and other inconsistencies. Fortunately this occurred early and no money changed hands. Good luck.

Quote:
C-Flex is a unidirectional fiberglass building material originally developed for the manufacturing of custom boats. Since its invention, countless structures, marine and otherwise, of all shapes, sizes and complexity have been affordably built using this simple construction method. The design of C-Flex allows any form to be built using simple and inexpensive framing procedures instead of costly molding methods.

Each "plank" of C-Flex contains small semi-rigid rods in the longitudinal direction. These rods allow the fiberglass to hold its form while resin is applied to the cloth. This eliminates the need for a full mold as is used in traditional fiberglass construction.

The C-Flex material system and related application technique can accommodate a wide range of boat building needs, from recreational yachts to commercial fishing boats. In a boat building application it can be used with a temporary framework, a traditional wooden framework, or a permanent and temporary framework combination. The C-flex, a dry fiberglass fabric with longitudinal rods, is typically attached to the framing and then saturated with a slow curing resin. After the resin cures, additional layers of reinforcement are added to develop the full hull thickness.
http://seemanncomposites.com/cflex.htm
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Old 16-08-2019, 05:26   #5
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Re: Termites in the hull.

I would stay away from it if I were you, don't let emotions drive your decision.
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Old 16-08-2019, 05:32   #6
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Re: Termites in the hull.

Never good to be smitten over a boat purchase, especially when you can see major flaws like in this boat. Take a step back and reassess. No matter what you do to this particular boat you can't reasonably fix it properly.

Too many other used boats out there that were properly built and maintained to blow your money and time on a trashed boat hull. If it were a classic (maybe), but then again the hull would have been properly built in the first place.


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Old 16-08-2019, 07:01   #7
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Re: Termites in the hull.

With boats, sometimes free is too expensive. The hull on this boat is compromised. Termites are very difficult to get rid of. My boat was fumigated 4 times and they still thrived. I had to remove every structure containing wood from the boat. In your case, the hull itself is involved. Don't be seduced by the condition of the rest of the boat, the 'bones' are rotten. Take a deep breath, consider that $5k you have invested as tuition for an education in boat buying, and move on.
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Old 16-08-2019, 07:02   #8
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Re: Termites in the hull.

Run! The other way
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Old 16-08-2019, 07:24   #9
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Re: Termites in the hull.

Even if all the termites were killed, how about the structural strength, its got to be a lot less than it was.
Maybe you could freeze the termites to death , below 20* F they are all dead.
Head north haul boat out let it freeze.
https://pests.guru/termites/control/.../freezing.html
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Old 16-08-2019, 08:11   #10
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Re: Termites in the hull.

Run the other way.

I was emotionally invested in a boat that went bad when surveyed, still considered it, my rather gruff (but very talented) surveyor almost yelled at me to get my attention that this boat was a disaster, thank goodness I finally listened. Like you we had round trip air travel / motel / haul / survey fees all invested. I found another boat 6 months later (same model), a few grand cheaper and in great condition.

My buddy taught me his overriding mantra: "THERE IS ALWAYS ANOTHER BOAT" (yes all caps is yelling, I'm yelling at you! ).

As for the $5k you "invested", walking away is your investment paying off hugely!

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Old 16-08-2019, 08:11   #11
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Re: Termites in the hull.

Yes cut your losses and walk away !
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Old 16-08-2019, 08:16   #12
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Re: Termites in the hull.

RUN! RUN! RUN!
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Old 16-08-2019, 08:16   #13
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Re: Termites in the hull.

If you buy it, and I’ll wager you will, please insure it so the eventual environmental cleanup at your mooring site in Lahaina can be cleaned up after the inevitable sinking :-)
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Old 16-08-2019, 08:44   #14
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Re: Termites in the hull.

Really really in love? Pay the dollar, haul it out and prop it up on a nice piece of dirt, build decks around it and call it your boat house.
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Old 16-08-2019, 10:33   #15
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Re: Termites in the hull.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim francis View Post
I am in escrow on a 43 Bruce Roberts built in Trinidad in 1998 using c flex construction. I waited 2.5 months for the boat to be hauled out. After 1550 in survey fees, I got the news that the bottom was in bad shape. Several large blisters and a few somewhat superficial cracks in the glass. Maybe not somewhat superficial. You would think this post should be titled thank god for surveys but in the situation Iím in now, I may make an offer of a dollar. I have about five grand or more invested in it up to and including travel between Maui and Oahu. The in water survey for the most part was good and valued pretty high. It would make a great liveaboard with a great Perkins and a five kw genset that needs about a thousand dollars in repairs. Iíve been living in my conversion van to save money for a great cruiser. I think if I can get the boat with out spending another fistful of thousand dollar bills, I could liveaboard and daysail for my planned five or so years before full time cruising. Iím 39 single no kids and full time captain. If I can get the bottom patched up and painted, with the certainty of it holding water out of the boat, it may be worth it. Thatís my thought process. Offer a dollar and use it near coastal only with epirb in hand. I doubt I would insure it. I doubt I can get full coverage. Unfortunately Iím already emotionally involved with the boat. This post is to tell of my story from my initial offer to this point three months later. Also, thereís not a lot of bells and whistles. The reefer is awesome, sails in good shape minus the Mizzen. Great head. 120 gallons water with water maker and 140 diesel. Very roomy inside. New paint inside and out. New cushions throughout. Two central ac units. Liferaft needs recertification. One gps. One starting battery. No bank batteries. Oven works. Tons of storage. Huge aft berth. Winless. Hot water heater. Etc. the owner is heartbroken of course. The boat sat for at least six years with minimal sail time. Engine started once a week but not generator. Genset locked up. Bottom cleaned monthly. Since it will be on my mooring, Iíd buy more solar and possible wind generator. Iím not sure how much the bottom patch job and more panels, batteries will cost me but Iíll get that estimate tomorrow. They are tenting the boat and nuking the termites. Thereís also a possibility of fixing the bottom professionally in five years when I can save and budget the 20 to 40 thousand to do it right. Iíll move to Oahu and do the majority of the bottom work at that time as my full time job if I take that route.


Wish me luck and I know I should run away. Aloha and mahalo.
Did I miss something? C-flex construction and then speaking of a wood core next to the photos.
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