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Old 19-04-2007, 07:53   #1
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1981 27 Tanzer is it worth bring back to life?

Hi all, Bigjoe here again.

Last night I found a 1981 27 Tanzer. Its been sitting in a farmers field not far from my house for 14 years on a cradle ( steel cradle) The keel looks to be iron or steel, ( its really rusty) most of the bondo stuff has fallen off and there is a 1/8" seperation gap at the rear from the hull, about 3 inches long. The hull cabin roof, and deck overall looks in great shape, no blisters, holes, gouges, and the deck doesn't seem to have any soft spots.(I walked around on it every where tryin to find soft spots I'm 230lbs) It has about a foot of water above the floor boards so its like a 1/4 full. I figure it been like this for many years. All the interiour needs to be gutted and replaced. (thats the eazy part as I'm a cnc programmer and a cabinet maker/interiour millwork guy and have access to a cnc router) All the exteriour wood like the roof grab rail, tiller handle, cabin door,trim etc, floor grate is toast. I suspect this was teak but is way to far gone, I can recreate all thes parts usin the old as templates.

Ok now for the good news. The mast is there and 3 sails in ok condition, All the ropes, riggin, cables, tiller and rudder.( but all ropes will need to be replaced) The cables that run around on the poles on the outer most edge of the deck r in tact as well as the ss railings at the bow. Most of the interiour is fiberglass with cheap lookin wood screwed to it so thats an eazy fix. It has all the cushions for the inside and cockpit, I also have a wife who's amazin with her sewin machine and can copy and make all new. The stove, head, ice box, sink, and all windows look to be in ok shape, or serviceable. It has a motor mount for a outboard, and a ok ss swim ladder.

Now, this is going to be my first sail boat, I can fix and repair almost anything, have tons of tools and the space to do this. Do u guys think its worth the effort? My biggest concern is the keel with all the rust and bondo comming off it, how would this task be approached? Why would there be bondo on the keel anyways? What should I look out for being this boat has had water sitting in the hull? I live in Canada and water freezes for 4 1/2 months a year!!

I'm going to take some pics 2night and post them for a better description on the work that is required. O ya the guy says I can have the boat for 1000.00

Any helpfull advice would be greatly appreciated, if any experienced sailors live in the Tottenham Ontario area and would be willin to come have a look and give me an objective opinion I'd be happy to pay for wings and beers at Mrs. Edgars Home For Wayward Girls in Beeton for your time.
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Old 19-04-2007, 08:29   #2
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good project

It sounds like a good project to me - just don't spend too much money on it. Tanzers were generally well built and most are still sailing today - you will find a loyal owners group at Tanzer 22.
I used to own a Tanzer 8.5 - I kept the keel rust at bay with a wire brush and annual applications of lots of Rustoleum. Some have the keel sandblasted and then apply epoxy to seal but this does not last forever either. It is not unusual to find a little bondo used to fair out bad spots. The gap at the hull is also common and is typically just sealed with silicone caulk.
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Old 19-04-2007, 11:20   #3
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Aloha BigJoe,
If you have the tools, talent and time, go for it. You know that freshwater is the creator of dryrot so any wood that's been underwater needs to be replaced. Try to keep the hull in its original shape when you start tearing out the old stuff so that nothing warps when it doesn't have the bulkheads for stiffening. The compression post is critical so make certain you install something directly under the mast step that extends to the top of the keel that is good and stable. Some boats use a double bulkhead in that area and some use posts. "From a Bare Hull" and "This Old Boat" are good things to refer to for your project.
Kind Regards,
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Old 19-04-2007, 11:25   #4
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The boat is free, as in you're doing the guy favour by taking it off his hand, right?

Rule one of restoration projects: It's never as simple or easy as it first appears. Once things start coming off and you have a good look, all type of surprises appear.
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Old 20-04-2007, 01:49   #5
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I would not recommend it for the first sail boat. Take the $ 1000 and spend it on training and crewing on somebodys elses boat for 1 or 2 seasons. When you get trained up to bareboat you can .........

If it has been there for 14 years I expect that it will be there for next year as well. There is plenty of boats out there that need to be fixed up. After you get into the sailing circles, they will come to you.
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Old 20-04-2007, 02:16   #6
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Although the boat has been on the hard, it has not been dry (flooded bilge). This poses two potential problems:
1. Flooded bilges cause more problems than does floating in water (moisture intrusion).
2. Sitting on stands is harder than floating (distortion).
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 20-04-2007, 05:26   #7
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First of all 1000 is too much. You can get one in decent condition for about 10,000. The guy may actually pay you to haul it away if you are sharp.

Gutting and replacing the interior is a huge job. You will be working for a long long time before you get to sail.

Having said that, these boats have a large amount of interior room and are solid layup, no core. The hull is thick and has a lot of strength in it. Not a bad hull to start with if you want to redesign the interior.

I have a Tanzer 28 which now has an outboard on an outboard bracket, which works fine. You can dump the old inboard and have an incredible amount of room for storage.

If you were to find a stock Tanzer in used but not abused condition, you would probably have a lot of work to get a 25 year old boat into seaworthy condition. This rotted out boat seems like way too much work, better save a few thousand more and buy something with a good interior.
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Old 20-04-2007, 05:49   #8
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Thanks everyone for your helpfull insight. I went with my wife last night to show her and needleess to say she was less than impressed. After talking it over we decided to keep looking for something in much better shape, where perhaps routine maintanence was required rather than a complete overhaul. I could see my self getting sucked into a 1 or 2 or 3 year project where I could of spent the time getting sailing experience. The search continues.....

Cheers all
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