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Old 27-07-2018, 10:41   #61
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

My 'free' engine cost me $1000. Burnt out transmission, cracked mixing elbow and broken motor mount. Plus a lot of time on my part to re-configure the mounts in the boat, fuel lines & filters (going from gas to diesel), controls, etc. Still cheaper than any of the alternatives I could find to replace my Atomic 4 after the block rusted through - didn't like 50 years of raw salt water cooling! But now extrapolate that cost to cover a whole boat - the mind boggles at the possibilities, and that doesn't even touch on the possibility of storage/marina fees. Keep your eyes open and keep emotion out of it!
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Old 27-07-2018, 10:44   #62
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

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Originally Posted by mpfetsch View Post
Free boat?
As many have pointed out, nothing is free.
Speaking as one who has made the calculation to give away a boat, and did. And used that same process to acquire a newer boat, perhaps I can offer some observations.

Set up, on your spreadsheet, a calculation of what tasks are necessary to bring the boat to serviceable condition. This includes the tasks that you can see, and even more important, the ones you may not know about.

You need an objective survey. Not what you want to hear, I know, but there are just too many areas of uncertainty to ignore. This will provide you a list of projects to be prioritized, same of which may be a condition of insurability. Cost each one.

Next, enter each variable cost. Marina direct costs, marinas will require insurance. Seasonal costs if you use a boatyard, haulouts, your labor and material cost if you do your own. Cost each one.

Once you have learned to set this up, you are now in a position to evaluate this "free" boat compared to others that have higher present values, but may be better deals.

Good luck!
Good advice but you forgot the punch line .... Add up all the numbers on your spread sheet and triple them. Then you may be within 2 or 3 hundred percent of what it will actually cost in time and money.

PS.
I spent 6hrs yesterday replacing a 14' long AC conductor that had chafed.

I once spent 2 weeks and $2,000 dollars on what started as trying fix a leaking shower tap that eventually had to be removed. Just to get to the back of the tap I had to remove a full bulkhead and it went downhill from there.

I got a million of em'
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Old 27-07-2018, 11:43   #63
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpfetsch View Post
Free boat?
Set up, on your spreadsheet, a calculation of what tasks are necessary to bring the boat to serviceable condition.
I've found that the installation costs (wires, pipes, fasteners, etc) are often as much as the purchase cost of the item you are installing or fixing. So, on your spreadsheet put the cost of the item, and an equal amount for the installation.

Another commenter said to multiply the total by 2 or 3 times. Same idea, just more granularity to do it at the item level.

Second point, as a good rule of thumb, plan on spending 10%-15% of the original cost of the boat each year for maintenance. If that 40 year old boat cost $35,000 when it was new, plan on spending $3500-$5000 a year on maintenance.

(this is why that old 70' race boat which cost 2-3 million when new is unaffordable even if you can get it for $200,000 now)
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Old 27-07-2018, 12:31   #64
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
A local guy here found a Contessa 26 and a dump and resurrected it. It also had a monitor wind vane on it.
Which drives home the point of that it must be the right boat.
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Old 27-07-2018, 13:26   #65
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

I would say, as some other on here, just be careful. Again as other have said, there are cost other than the actual boat. I am a lake sailor, but I found a boat that a guy wanted $1000.00 for. I went took a look and my first reaction was it was trash. But, I offered $800.00 and told him I was going to have the local land fill remove the boat from the trailer for me. I thought the trailer was worth $800.

The night I bought it, I climbed on board to see if there was anything worth saving and found that in fact the boat was sound. It need a refit (cleaning, painting, rigging, almost all systems), but the boat was sound and all the major parts was there. Two years later, I have a boat, that I love and I know all the systems (I/family did 99% of the work).

The above allowed me to save money by doing the work myself, and allowed me to spread the cost out over time. But, my boat sets on its trailer in the side yard unless in use. I have no slip fees etc... And, in the end that $800 boat, has about $6,000.00 into.
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Old 27-07-2018, 14:52   #66
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

Ensure that there are no outstanding charges against the vessel.

I am not sure about US law--but here it is the vessel that owes the money--and that debt stays with the vessel until paid--no matter who owns it or becomes its owner. It is called a lien.

See if there are any registered liens before accepting a gift. Liens are most likely from damage via an insurance company or the charge from storage in the boat yard, or boat repairs, costs of materiel supplied to it, or slippage charges unpaid to date. There may be others unspecified--such as rigging etc.
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Old 27-07-2018, 16:11   #67
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

Lots of good advice - take all of it to heart.

For a current owner a boat may be worth giving away because there is no one to buy it, and the annual mooring and insurance far exceed its value, so why not? The alternative is to pay to haul and dismantle, or just keep paying. It doesn't mean that the boat is not usable, or can't be brought back to usable condition with a little effort. However it is exceedingly rare that such a boat can be brought back using professional labor for anything near the cost of simply buying a different boat in better condition. Even if you value your labor at zero (which may be more than you will get for it when the project is finished - been there) the parts cost alone may bring the total up too high. So when you do that spreadsheet and get a finished cost, take a look at what you could buy today for that money - it will probably not be worth it. As one who built his own boat I can relate to the satisfaction of completion, and the value of the knowledge gained for cruising, but if I had it to do over I would have spent less money on a larger, quality production boat and been cruising a decade earlier. Always consider the alternatives first.

One of the jokers that can bite you is that marinas always require you to have liability insurance on your boat (a requirement of their insurance), and boats that can't pass survey can't get insured. This is another way that owners decide to sell: putting more money into the boat isn't worth it to them. If you plan on doing major repairs you really want the boat in a marina - working at anchor is a PITA. So first determine if you can insure it.

As others have shown it is possible to do what you ask, if you choose the boat carefully and have the time and skills. But my guess is that the majority of people who attempt it don't succeed, and the result can be expensive. Proceed with caution.

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Old 27-07-2018, 20:29   #68
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

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If it turns out to be unsellable - to savvier prospects than yourself - you are liable for the potentially very expensive disposal costs.
Interesting point about disposal. How do people dispose of boats they cat sell?
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Old 27-07-2018, 20:34   #69
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

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Interesting point about disposal. How do people dispose of boats they cat sell?
They run and leave the marina or marsh, beach, river, bay or anchorage holding the bag ..... far too often.
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Old 27-07-2018, 20:48   #70
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

They pay to have the boat hauled out, then sawn apart with chop saws and put in a large waste container and hauled off to the dump. Some things, like a lead keel, can fetch some money at a metal recycler, and sometimes there are some fittings that can be sold at a consignment shop, but it is still probably a net loss.


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Old 28-07-2018, 09:41   #71
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

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…….. but it is still (delete probably) a net loss.
If it were profitable to salvage materials and used hardware from old boats, then discard the rest - it wouldn't be so difficult and expensive to dispose of an old boat, and so many would not be abandoned.
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Old 28-07-2018, 15:46   #72
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

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They run and leave the marina or marsh, beach, river, bay or anchorage holding the bag ..... far too often.


Or as one person on this forum suggested take it out to sea and sink it. Which to me is irresponsible.
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Old 28-07-2018, 16:42   #73
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

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Or as one person on this forum suggested take it out to sea and sink it. Which to me is irresponsible.
Not disagreeing, but I'm curious why. Never thought about it before, but it seems that lots of ships are sunk deliberately to make artificial reefs. If you pump out the fuel and engine oil, what's the harm?
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Old 28-07-2018, 17:18   #74
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

They did a lot more than pump out the fuel and oil. Read about it as itís a very laborious effort and itís far from cheap. Pretty much everything that isnít steel comes out and the rest is cleaned to pretty high standards.
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Old 28-07-2018, 19:13   #75
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Re: Free Boat; Any Downside?

Yeah, I guess you're right. Like I said, I just never thought about it beyond the reef habitat idea. All that plastic - it's a real problem in the oceans right now.
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