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Old 17-05-2021, 14:35   #1
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Boat buying: hull inspection (with pictures)

I'm looking for a boat and I've slowly started to move off the internet and into actual boatyards (hurray for lockdown easing).

Here are some photos I took of the last boat I looked at way before lockdown. I feel like I've learned a lot about what to look for and how to identify problems since then, but it's still difficult to put theory to practice.

I'd love for some old salts to take a look at these and tell me if the issues I'm seeing are correct (or if there are other issues I've missed!)

***

Rudder: Is that greyish colour at the base of the rudder a sign of something corroding and dripping? In the zoomed photo you can see a crack between the plate and the rudder, and more of that grey/green colour - is that just dirt, or is it a sign of water getting in that crack?

At the top of the rudder there's cracks in the GRP around the pintle plate and looks like a water stain, plus rust around the bolt, so all signs that water has got into that, right?

The prop looks a bit dirty, but fine?

The anode, a bit rusted at the bolts, but fine.

Inside there's cracked interior paint, which I would assume is just age, but then in the next photo you see that it's right next to the chainplate, which has rusty and weeping bolts - Are these bad signs? or are they just cosmetic? if there's no crazing/cracking of gelcoat on the outside of the boat at the same spot, is it okay?

What about the chainplate itself? Is any rust always bad sign?

The through hulls, you can see one seems to have had an oily spill, and another which looks like a not so pretty DIY job, but without a sea trial to inspect how these are working, can I work anything out from these?

In the end I decided this was more of a project than I wanted to take on, but I'm hoping I can still learn a lot from all your replies!
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Old 17-05-2021, 15:46   #2
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Re: Boat buying: hull inspection (with pictures)

Presuming you are new at this, you don’t know what you don’t know. Picture shopping is never an indicator of condition. It’s all about build quality and maintenance history, neither of which any number of pictures can tell you.

Find a boater you can trust (not any of us internet jockeys) and discuss what you want to do, what your price range is and what boats might fit those criteria.
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Old 18-05-2021, 08:23   #3
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Re: Boat buying: hull inspection (with pictures)

When you find one that you are interested in buying, it's time to hire a surveyor. He/she can answer exactly these questions. I can't even give you an amateur's answer when I can't stick my knife blade in the crack.
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Old 18-05-2021, 08:27   #4
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Re: Boat buying: hull inspection (with pictures)

P.S. Global recommendation: Don't buy a project as your first boat. They end up costing more and require that you spend your sailing time on the hard overcoming all the problems that you overlooked when you estimated how long it would take.
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Old 18-05-2021, 08:45   #5
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Re: Boat buying: hull inspection (with pictures)

I'd get a surveyor if I were interested in that boat, but those photos look like every boat out there, and better than a lot of them.


All of those photos would be areas where you'd need a surveyor to look at.
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Old 18-05-2021, 09:30   #6
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Re: Boat buying: hull inspection (with pictures)

As a result of COVID it's a sellers market and has been since last summer. In all likelyhood most of the boats in best conditionin your area are gone. Only a surveyor can tell you what you're getting into. A project boat is not one a new boater should take on unless they are willing to pay for the necessary work. It's Purchase $ + Rep $ = Real Cost vs Budget JMHO
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Old 18-05-2021, 09:43   #7
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Re: Boat buying: hull inspection (with pictures)

I see no OBVIOUS issue. The gudgeon at the rudder base is likely just because it is bronze. Which it should be.
The "Paint" cracking is likely old gel coat which is brittle, shrinks over time and cracks. Or maybe just oil based paint which can do that.
The rudder could very well have some water intrusion. IMO most do.
I cant tell what the "oily spill" is, but it may be a housing with mineral oil in it for a depth sounder?

Bottom line is I see nothing unusual for an old boat and much of it looks better cared for than many boats which may have rusty old gate valves instead of real seacocks. That doesn't mean there is work and risk involved though.
Find a boat, get a good surveyor, be there when he surveys to ask questions.
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Old 18-05-2021, 11:43   #8
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Re: Boat buying: hull inspection (with pictures)

Rad,
I agree with Cheechako, I don't see anything wrong with any of the pictures, not sure why you are calling it a project boat, these look like very normal things to be expected on any older boat. I think you will find these on most if not all boats unless they are quite new or meticulously cared for, but then those boats will sell very quickly and for top dollar.


You can test out the thru hulls in or out of the water, they should turn fairly easily ( or maybe not).


Stainless steel does rust, just much more slowly and very common to find old SS fasteners with rust on them, especially if the chainplates are not well sealed at the deck and maintained that way.
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Old 18-05-2021, 14:46   #9
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Re: Boat buying: hull inspection (with pictures)

Nothing looks obscenely bad there. It's easier to tell if there's issues in person. Given the pictures I wouldn't walk away if you like the boat but would get someone with a lot more experience to have a look.
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Old 18-05-2021, 23:29   #10
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Re: Boat buying: hull inspection (with pictures)

Just wondering wots on the outher side of the chain plate boxes ,how do you access the rest of the bolts ,simple job to replace then all ,if you have fair access , simple answer surveyor .⚓️⛵️
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Old 19-05-2021, 06:42   #11
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Re: Boat buying: hull inspection (with pictures)

My experience: I thought I knew what I wanted! I wanted the most boat at what I could afford, a lot of internet shopping, the first boat I looked at had holes in the hull, the owner never stated in his post or on phone, what a shock. The next boat I looked at looked like a keeper, put a deposit on it and had it surveyed, just prior to the haul out the surveyor took me aside and noted wiring issues, major structural cracks in sole plate and a few other major maintenance issues. So I stopped the haul out, canceled the deal and then waited 8 weeks for my deposit, owner claimed that due to the bottom cleaning he had to do for my inspection he would only return partial deposit. (His day will come). After several other looks I settled on an 87 Hunter 31, nice boat but ití 33 years old, it was surveyed,has low hours, no blisters on the hull, 4 previous owners, but it still needed work. The surveyors list wasnít to bad but the major items that I have done replaced all sanitary piping, replaced pump system on toilet. Added double clamps on every piping connection, new radios, new sheets and lines , cleaned and serviced winches, complete service on the 2 cyl Yanmar, thorough cleaning, new battery charging system. And more. So buying a 1st boat has been an adventure of the wallet. But I went into it knowing money and time were part of the deal. Iíve driven motor launches since I retired so I have a pretty good understanding of what it takes to own a boat (time and money). But I was open minded about it. Youíll know when the right project comes about, sheíll whisper to you. Good luck, and remember itís a home on the water and homes all need work. PS my first ASA course is this weekend, I canít wait.
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Old 26-05-2021, 13:33   #12
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Re: Boat buying: hull inspection (with pictures)

Thanks to everyone.

That's interesting to know it doesn't look like a project, but a reasonable older boat. That kind of thing is exactly what I was hoping for with this post. I don't have an idea of the scale I'm looking at, or how to identify issues vs normal wear and tear.

Like I said, I'm not buying this boat, I'm taking the whole process very slowly and I've got lots more to learn, but everyone's responses have been super useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I see no OBVIOUS issue. The gudgeon at the rudder base is likely just because it is bronze. Which it should be.
The "Paint" cracking is likely old gel coat which is brittle, shrinks over time and cracks. Or maybe just oil based paint which can do that.
The rudder could very well have some water intrusion. IMO most do.
I cant tell what the "oily spill" is, but it may be a housing with mineral oil in it for a depth sounder?

Bottom line is I see nothing unusual for an old boat and much of it looks better cared for than many boats which may have rusty old gate valves instead of real seacocks. That doesn't mean there is work and risk involved though.
Find a boat, get a good surveyor, be there when he surveys to ask questions.
Thanks for going through each of these, and that's good to know about the seacocks. Yes I'll definitely get a surveyor and hopefully a friend to look over the boat when I get to that point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailorman Ed View Post
Rad,
I agree with Cheechako, I don't see anything wrong with any of the pictures, not sure why you are calling it a project boat, these look like very normal things to be expected on any older boat. I think you will find these on most if not all boats unless they are quite new or meticulously cared for, but then those boats will sell very quickly and for top dollar.


You can test out the thru hulls in or out of the water, they should turn fairly easily ( or maybe not).


Stainless steel does rust, just much more slowly and very common to find old SS fasteners with rust on them, especially if the chainplates are not well sealed at the deck and maintained that way.
Thanks that's really useful to know about the through hulls and stainless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Searles View Post
Just wondering wots on the outher side of the chain plate boxes ,how do you access the rest of the bolts ,simple job to replace then all ,if you have fair access , simple answer surveyor .⚓️⛵️
Hmm good question! I can't remember, I don't think I took any more photos of the chainplates. Something to remember to ask the surveyor next time, thank you!
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