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Old 21-06-2021, 05:14   #1
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Refit north of the box

Hello to my fellows!

My hope is I don’t get skewered for asking before a deep search on this topic.

Wife and I considering buying a bit of a project boat. A 50’ cat in need of sails, running rigging, stack pack, teak, sail drive rebuild, genset replaced (10k hours), aircon work, refrigeration work/replace, electrical systems evaluated, all interior headliner and side panels replaced (current color is yellow), nav electronics screens replaced, to name a few. Sounds like she’s rough right? Well she was a luxury charter vessel since born in 2015, in 2019 was well used but well maintained and showed well. Then Covid happened. After viewing in person it is evident the boat has been sitting with minimal-to-no maintenance for over a year.

So, we are looking to potentially revive her. She is in ft Lauderdale currently. If we move on her the aim would be to move her up north ASAP. I know I can keep her locally in south Florida and have plenty of vendor options to get her back on track. The downside is price and the risk of hurricanes.

So the question at hand. Who do you recommend I meet with to discuss the needs list? Someone like Just Catamarans, however north of the box and less costly?

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I really hope your experience and knowledge get me pointed on the right course.

Thank you again.

- Coy
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Old 21-06-2021, 05:53   #2
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Re: Refit north of the box

Good morning, Coy.

The history of first-boat buyers of project boats is not good. The common trajectory is the boat ending up costing more than a ready-to-sail, the project multiplying through overlooked items, and the owners being prevented from sailing for years because all their time is taken up with the project.

You, and this project, could be the exception, but your list of known problems is not encouraging. In addition, this is a big boat, which multiplies both the restoration cost and then the maintenance cost. There's a 65' monohull in a yard near me that has had three owners over the last eight years and still is not in the water.

Particularly if this is a first boat or first live-aboard, consider financing a boat that is ready to sail/live in. You would have spent the same money on materials for your refit, and will get to start on your dream rather than on spending weekends at the yard.
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Old 21-06-2021, 05:55   #3
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Re: Refit north of the box

Another way of looking at this is that the current owner set that low price because he/she realized the cost of refurbishing was too high to tackle.
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Old 21-06-2021, 06:37   #4
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Re: Refit north of the box

Not really offing any advice on who to talk too. but just some thoughts from an outsider looking in, who started working on a 30 year old 38' project boat last august that sat for 9 years...

If it was being used a luxury charter until 2019... what happened in 2 years.

are the sails really shot, IE could you get a few more years of cruising life out of them?

Interior panels. you sure they need replacing or just a good cleaning.

did a mold bomb explode inside?

Teak hard to believe that teak is in that bad of shape after 6 years... is it just cosmetic...

Aircon- if you are up north, might not be as critical

Nav screens- sailors have gotten by for decades with paper charts. Navionics and a cell phone is working for me right now until I can figure out what I want to do...

running rigging. after 6 years of florida use. might be time. you could do an end for end swap on some lines and buy yourself some time. take all the lines home and launder and inspect. if you have a bad halyard. replace, then use the good parts from the old halyard to replace other lines, vang, sheet lines, reefing lines, spare dock lines, ect

if you plan to live aboard, then genset, HVAC, refer, would be very important. but if i was just weekend cruising with the occasional week trip, (specially up north), not so much, and thats work that I could defer.

If you can do some work yourself and not rely on a yard, then you'll end saving money, depends on how you value your time.

since you are thinking about moving it up north. at a minimum you'll need to have the sail drives fixed down south. with no AC its going be uncomfortable until you get north of VA and if you can't sail, then it s a long haul motoring...


It may cost you more to get the work done down south, but the money spent relocating the boat might offset any savings. Unless the boats home is ultimately up north...
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Old 21-06-2021, 06:52   #5
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Re: Refit north of the box

No idea of the initial price of the cat you're talking about, but those projects are large both in terms of time and money. If you've fallen irrationally in love with the boat and feel you MUST buy her and have the funds to hire others to do the work, IMO the first thing you do is look at the quality and reputation of the yard. Because you can go with a cheap option that winds up costing you far more when the work has to be done over (and maybe more than once).

The other thing you'll have to consider is the beam of the boat and what yards are capable of even pulling you out.

In Virginia, Cape Charles has a reasonable reputation and Zimmermans (in Mathews) is top notch. Cheap? No. But you won't have to get the work done a second or third time.

If your desire is to get sailing as soon (and as relatively cheaply) as possible, a "more expensive up front" boat is the better way to roll, IMO.
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Old 21-06-2021, 09:28   #6
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Re: Refit north of the box

Best consider walking away from that one or you will probably live to regret it. Just too much work and will cost far more than you think it will as boat work is very expensive.
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Old 21-06-2021, 09:52   #7
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Re: Refit north of the box

Why-ever would you contemplate such a thing?

You say: "...in need of sails, running rigging, stack pack, teak, sail drive rebuild, genset replaced (10k hours), aircon work, refrigeration work/replace, electrical systems evaluated, all interior headliner and side panels replaced (current color is yellow), nav electronics screens replaced, to name a few."

Has the "need" for replacement of the components of this copious a list been determined by someone with a knowledge of boats? Do YOU have knowledge of boats? Have you done a systematic "scope of work" analysis for the total task complete with costing of each sub-task?

You ask: "Who do you recommend I meet with to discuss the needs list?"

I recommend that you meet with YOU, and teach yourself not only what is involved in such a task, but also the skills to do the work that is required. That sort of learning is "hands on" learning, and you will NOT get it off a forum, or off a website or by sitting in someone's office having your ear bent.

Do take a step back, take a deep breath and re-evaluate how realistic your plan is!

All the best to you :-).

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Old 21-06-2021, 10:30   #8
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Re: Refit north of the box

Quote:
Originally Posted by SillyCs View Post
Hello to my fellows!

My hope is I don’t get skewered for asking before a deep search on this topic.

Wife and I considering buying a bit of a project boat. A 50’ cat in need of sails, running rigging, stack pack, teak, sail drive rebuild, genset replaced (10k hours), aircon work, refrigeration work/replace, electrical systems evaluated, all interior headliner and side panels replaced (current color is yellow), nav electronics screens replaced, to name a few. Sounds like she’s rough right? Well she was a luxury charter vessel since born in 2015, in 2019 was well used but well maintained and showed well. Then Covid happened. After viewing in person it is evident the boat has been sitting with minimal-to-no maintenance for over a year.

So, we are looking to potentially revive her. She is in ft Lauderdale currently. If we move on her the aim would be to move her up north ASAP. I know I can keep her locally in south Florida and have plenty of vendor options to get her back on track. The downside is price and the risk of hurricanes.

So the question at hand. Who do you recommend I meet with to discuss the needs list? Someone like Just Catamarans, however north of the box and less costly?

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I really hope your experience and knowledge get me pointed on the right course.

Thank you again.

- Coy
Given that there seems to be some high ticket refits needed. how much is this boat and what brand is it? A six year old boat that was in decent shape a couple of years ago should not need half of what you've mentioned (at least not for a couple more years) You need to get a good survey of the boat to really understand what you're looking at. You'll want to get it north as soon as possible - the Chesapeake Bay would be a good option. If it were me. I'd hire Auspicious to deliver it north for you as he knows the options up there and can probably steer you in the right direction. He'll also give you some good insight as to what needs immediate attention and what can wait.
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Old 21-06-2021, 10:45   #9
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Re: Refit north of the box

I've lived between Florida and Rhode Island for some time and have no idea what "The Box" is.
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Old 21-06-2021, 10:51   #10
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Re: Refit north of the box

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
I've lived between Florida and Rhode Island for some time and have no idea what "The Box" is.
I assume OP is referring to the "named storm box" common in many marine insurance policies.
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Old 21-06-2021, 10:52   #11
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Refit north of the box

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
I've lived between Florida and Rhode Island for some time and have no idea what "The Box" is.

Lived in FLA 32 years and know the boxes well!


There are two “boxes”. First is when any named storm enters the Caribbean or in the Bahamas no one writes insurance.

Second is less specific- boats north of Grenada, south of Va, or NC or SC or GA pay a premium for being in the hurricane zone

Now ya know!
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Old 21-06-2021, 10:56   #12
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Re: Refit north of the box

Quote:
Originally Posted by SillyCs View Post
Hello to my fellows!



My hope is I don’t get skewered for asking before a deep search on this topic.



Wife and I considering buying a bit of a project boat. A 50’ cat in need of sails, running rigging, stack pack, teak, sail drive rebuild, genset replaced (10k hours), aircon work, refrigeration work/replace, electrical systems evaluated, all interior headliner and side panels replaced (current color is yellow), nav electronics screens replaced, to name a few. Sounds like she’s rough right? Well she was a luxury charter vessel since born in 2015, in 2019 was well used but well maintained and showed well. Then Covid happened. After viewing in person it is evident the boat has been sitting with minimal-to-no maintenance for over a year.



So, we are looking to potentially revive her. She is in ft Lauderdale currently. If we move on her the aim would be to move her up north ASAP. I know I can keep her locally in south Florida and have plenty of vendor options to get her back on track. The downside is price and the risk of hurricanes.



So the question at hand. Who do you recommend I meet with to discuss the needs list? Someone like Just Catamarans, however north of the box and less costly?



Thank you for taking the time to read this. I really hope your experience and knowledge get me pointed on the right course.



Thank you again.



- Coy


Please don’t buy this boat. I have been delivery Capt on 2 of projects like this. Neither ended well. The most recent is still 5 miles from where the new owner purchased her. After 3 months of work and MUCHO money.

The fact that you were successful and accumulated cash to buy an expensive boat provides few transferable skills. Please PM me with a phone number and I will donate 20 min to talk you off the ledge.
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Old 21-06-2021, 11:05   #13
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Re: Refit north of the box

A boat, that was in good shape, sat on the hard for ONE year (even in Florida) is now in such terrible shape it needs all that work? That's hard to believe.

Scorpius sat on the hard for ten years, (including two neglected in Florida before being trucked up to Vancouver) and was in MUCH better shape than you describe.

It seems to me a lot of that work should be deferred until you know a lot more about the boat and this business. There's some really sound advice in some of the preceeding posts.
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Old 21-06-2021, 11:14   #14
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Re: Refit north of the box

I wonder how much of this is actually non-working or truly needs to be replaced, vs just a desire to have the boat and equipment not look used, but instead "new".

A year on the hard should not have been this destructive, on a six year old boat.
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Old 21-06-2021, 12:54   #15
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Re: Refit north of the box

First let me say THANK YOU!.. to each of you. You all have valid points and some require more data.

A bit more:
- I have owned several boats in my lifetime, however not 50 ft cruising cats - so I know little and know a lot of nothing - albeit I am a professional project manager of sorts, just of the flying variety rather than floating. I am not a pro at forums and I am typing this from my phone so please excuse any typos.
- I own an aircraft management company of 20 private jet and turbo prop aircraft (I own the company - not the aircraft), have been a professional pilot for several decades - I bring this up for no other reason than to clarify I want my ship(t) tight and a firm believer in prevent and replace early… I know even then stuff breaks on boats - not completely naive here…
- The vessel is a privilege 50 - the ask is ridiculously high and the sellers price expectations appear to possibly be shifting based on subtle hints from the selling broker (and id hope so based on the vessel not selling for months on end in the hottest market in history) - however see the goal below
- The overall goal was to buy the boat at some lower price which would allow me to then invest additional funds and project management to bring her back to the high standard I know she could be in - say she’s worth XXX in perfect condition - buy her for YYY which is XXX minus refit costs not to exceed XXX - possible?
- does she absolutely need new sails? Maybe not quite yet, tho I’m not a fan of blaring the charter company’s logo on the downwind sails. So yes this could wait.
- the teak? Someone pressure washed it so close that the fibers are missing in so many areas and a splinter hazard. Could we sand down? Perhaps, but I want it as nice as I know the privilege can be.
- The concept was to have much of the work hired out and bimonthly visits to manage and track progress - perhaps this is all a pipe dream… AND I accept this

The boat did not sit on the hard. It sat in the water or so it appears. Is it hard to believe a vessel sitting in the water unused for over a year is looking rough with moldy sails and heavy corrosion? I have Dropbox file to show you from my visit - if interested - pm me and I’ll share.

I will PM with phone to discuss with the person who offered following this post.

I am not a pro at forums and I am typing this from my phone so please excuse any typos.

Again, much gratitude for the wisdom shared.

- Coy
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