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Old 22-07-2018, 01:37   #16
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

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Originally Posted by edge0302 View Post
"Well, I don't have a boat, and I want a boat. This boat is going to cost less to become legally mine than most of my cars did (less than $300 for paperwork according to the concerned state's website) and I've seen boats in far worse apparent condition go for a lot more money."
Many a farmhouse has the rusting hulk of a car that no one would think to try and tow away and rebuild. One serious deficiency in the hull, rig, engine, sails, could sink your dream on a tight budget. Only proceed if you can find a way to properly survey the boat.
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Old 22-07-2018, 03:47   #17
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

Free Boat; Any Downside?

You’re kidding, right?
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Old 22-07-2018, 04:49   #18
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

Johnserr
The goal is to live on it if sound, selling is a last resort.

Dymaxion
How much is it going to cost while it sits there.

Boatpoker
Im not looking to make a profit, I’m looking to get a boat.

gRider
It does not appear to be one of those deals. Transportation would either be towing across the water or towing on a trailer. If it does not go right in the water I wouldn’t bother with it. Also if the boat floats it could theoretically be anchored somewhere free. What more information would you like?

JPACate
I agree, its a mistake to assume things that are free have value. However i wasnt assuming that because it was free. The hypothetical situation is that this boat is structurally sound and needs only cosmetic work and mechanical work I know for sure I can handle. Also this was not a post to provoke a reaction.

John61CT
Didnt think about disposal costs, thank you. Hopefully though it wouldn’t be something I need for a long time.

Iaika
I did plan on both surveying the boat as best I can myself, and, cost permitting hire someone. Otherwise my father used to design/build yachts for some company in connecticut, so I’ll have him along as well.

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No, I am not kidding.
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Old 22-07-2018, 05:19   #19
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

Thank you, Thomm and Iaika for being the only two people either telling me "Make sure you check this..." or at least coming close in pointing out actual boat related things that could potentially be bigger problems than I gave them credit for.
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Old 22-07-2018, 05:41   #20
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

There are kindly souls that do in effect give away their well-cared-for beloved to someone they think is deserving who can't afford her.

But generally speaking, like 95% of the time, it is cheaper to pay even ten times more for a well-maintained boat compared to a "rescue project" version of the same model, many which are worth very high **negative** value.

The key question, is the gap between the condition you want / need the boat to be in, and where it is now.

For example fitting out a boat to cross oceans safely,

without all the electronics many use these days,

can cost tens of thousands, even if the starting point is a well-maintained boat "in Bristol condition" perfectly ready for coastal cruising.

A good surveyor to check for structurally sound hull / any penetrations / keel / rudder / deck joints / mast

should cost maybe a grand.

For me, spending that becomes more important as the boat's price gets cheaper, not less.

But perhaps your dad has those skills + experience, just like the ability to restore an old truck up to off-road expedition standards, DIY labor can make all the difference.

And ongoing monthly costs after she's "perfect" can be as low as a few hundred, but don't expect less than that.
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Old 22-07-2018, 05:43   #21
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

There are free boats then there are the "other" free boats. The "other" ones are so deteriorated (which will require too much time/effort) they are not worth it in the long run. You need to know when to walk away.


Much will be based on your relative experience in assessing and fixing boats. This experience will help you to determine if it is something to walk away from or it is something simple/totally cosmetic and easily fixed.


Smaller boats with simpler systems are easier/less costly to whip back in shape if the boat is structurally sound and most of the working parts are included motors, rigging, mast, boom and sails.


Don't let your emotions (wanting a boat/profits) over ride the gut feeling that its way too much work. Generally you aren't going to make much, if any money on a boat by the time you factor in all the cost involved. There are some opportunities that make this happen, but please at least refurbish the boat to good working condition before selling it to someone else.


Not trying to tell you there are no free boats out there worthy fixing up, but it is on a case by case basis. Can't tell you why people just walk away from there boats but it does happen and you get a good deal. You'll still need to put in some work but you'll gain experience for next free one that comes your way.


Good luck,
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Old 22-07-2018, 05:53   #22
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

Boatpoker
Im not looking to make a profit, I’m looking to get a boat.
[/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE]

Your first post raised the issue of profit.
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Old 22-07-2018, 06:04   #23
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

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Originally Posted by edge0302 View Post
It does not appear to be one of those deals. Transportation would either be towing across the water or towing on a trailer. If it does not go right in the water I wouldn’t bother with it. Also if the boat floats it could theoretically be anchored somewhere free.

FWIW, anchoring for "free" can be fairly expensive. Assuming winter may happen to you, you have to solve winter water, winter waste pump-outs, winter heat...

And even if winter doesn't happen to you, you'll need to get yourself back and forth from shore for work, schlepping supplies, etc... which means you need another boat, and a place to dock it when you're ashore.

Less expensive than marinas, maybe, but depends on if you can stand it.

And even in marinas, solving winter water, winter waste pump-outs, and winter heat -- even personal hygiene in winter -- isn't just falling off a log.

Gets easier in a warm climate... but then ya gotta get the free boat (and you) to the warm climate... and you still have to solve water, waste pump-outs, shore trips and re-supply...

-Chris
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Old 22-07-2018, 06:05   #24
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

I did not think the OP was talking fulltime liveaboard?
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Old 22-07-2018, 06:06   #25
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

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I did not think the OP was talking fulltime liveaboard?
She has another thread going...

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Old 22-07-2018, 06:06   #26
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

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Thank you, Thomm and Iaika for being the only two people either telling me "Make sure you check this..." or at least coming close in pointing out actual boat related things that could potentially be bigger problems than I gave them credit for.
BTW, what type of boat is it?

This can be important because some are simply made better than others. Example, on my old Bristol there are no keel bolts to worry about. Plus it's deck stepped so no possibly rusty mast step. I now have an outboard so no old diesel to worry about any more

The Bristol I paid $2,000 for is still going strong and I have made no structural repairs as of yet

See it from day one until now in link below. Interior sole, bottom (2X), and topside hull has been painted and Alps Mountaineering Sleeping Pads and sheets cover old yellow cushions

http://www.bristol27.com/bristol-spe...5-winter-dream
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Old 22-07-2018, 07:03   #27
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

Hey Lauren,

As others have said "free" boats are usually quite expensive. Keep an open mind to the views of others warning what it might end up costing. I used to be in the camp of "no way, no how I am getting involved in a free boat."

That being said I must now tell you my views have changed since this Winter/Spring cruising the Bahamas. We were cruising with a buddy boat named Patches. The proud captain of said boat was RJ, a really nice guy with some skills more advanced than mine. He is 29 and had already made up his mind he didn't want to work in a cubicle all his life, he wanted to travel and he wanted to do it on the water.

RJ bought Patches for $1.00, yup One Dollar! Yes, he had to do work on the Atomic 4. Yes, he had to work on the electrical system including new batteries (which he scrounged around and got for free). Yes, he needed solar so he bought a single used panel for quite cheap. I could go on and on but I believe all said and done he had less in the boat than most people's two months of mortgage payments.

It can be done, just know the boat, check it carefully then do as much as you can yourself, next move to the friend card and get them to do as much as they can. Pay others as a last resort!

He started a YouTube and while his initial videos are not real smooth and polished, they are informative. He only has 11 total videos and stopped just before leaving Marathon, with us, headed to the Bahamas.

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Old 22-07-2018, 08:31   #28
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

Hi Lauren,

Here's some advice from someone that has undertaken two, major boat fixer upper projects.

First, though it might sound like a joke there is a lot of truth in the advice that a free boat can be the most expensive boat. Whether that is true in your particular case depends on several things.

1. Is the free boat one that was originally a good quality boat and what kind of condition is it in now? For example, is it like a 40 year old Ford Pinto with 300,000 miles on it and needing major work or more like a 10 year old Lexus with 100,000 miles that needs a lot of TLC? I'm guessing somewhere in between but the starting point is the make and model of the boat and how good or bad is it?

2. Condition. I think you don't have the experience to differentiate between a boat that needs a lot of TLC and one that has some serious, expensive to repair, structural problems. Even a great boat can be a write off if it has some expensive problems. Here's my short list of problems, more or less in order of worst to least.

- Structural problems with the hull/deck. Some that can be deal breakers include:
1) Major water leaks into the deck. Most boats the deck is made like a sandwich, fiberglass is the bread and usually some kind of wood in the middle. All boats have dozens of things screwed into the deck and if there are water leaks around the holes the wood inside can rot away. This can be a HUGE problem if the leaks and rot are extensive.
2) Joint between the hull and deck. Boats are usually made in two parts and the deck then attached to the hull. They often leak which is just annoying but especially in cheaper boats, can fail or need to be reattached. Can be a small or large problem depending.
3) Bulkhead attachment. Bulkheads form the walls between the cabins in the boat. They are attached to the underside of the deck and the sides of the hull and are a major part of the strength of the boat. Not a common problem but can be serious.
4) Keel. If external and bolted on you need to make sure the bolts are not loose or corroding away.

- Sails and rigging. The wires supporting the mast have a finite lifespan as do the fittings on the end of the wires. They may look shinny but might be ready to go. Not a deal breaker as $2-$3000 should be enough to do a full replacement on a small - medium sized boat. Good sails are nice but you can get by with used sails that are readily available.

- Engine. If the boat has an inboard, rebuild or replacement can cost thousands or over $10,000 for a new diesel.

3. What are your DIY skills? An older boat will almost certainly need a lot of tinkering with wiring, plumbing, pumps and more. If you have to pay a pro the costs for even minor repairs can add up to hundreds.
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Old 22-07-2018, 08:37   #29
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

boatpoker
true, it did, but I was hoping it would be more read as "getting something from nothing" than literal profit value. It discourages me greatly that most people that seem to reply only thinking about how much something is going to cost instead of ways around the cost. If the boat doesn't have an engine, that must means I get to learn how to put engines in boats as well as cars now.



I do have a means of getting between an anchored boat and the shore, and transporting cargo, so thats not a huge issue. I'm willing to do and learn what it takes to end up doing this as cheaply as I possibly can. I can't just throw money at the problem so I have to approach it differently.


Thank you all sincerely for your replies, I am trying to learn as much as I can.
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Old 22-07-2018, 08:46   #30
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

There is a chain saw and a pick up truck after useful items are removed... then the disposal costs for solid waste. That is if everything goes south. What happens if everything goes well and you keep the boat? Do you intend to sell it or use it? Intentions have everything to do with anything. What is the purpose? I explained to the survivor of what should have been a minor emergency that they could have used the anchor to avoid the waves and beaching along the shore and radio for help as they were close to the marina entrance...
What are the details and your level of experience vs the size and type of boat?
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