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GregMitchell 01-13-2016 05:38 PM

surveyor findings - walk away?
I have a 1991 Storebro 400 SRC in contract.

basic survey was fine. A few little things: frozen windlass, autopilot ?, radar not working. some other items - but all of them pointed to an Owner who doesn't understand preventative maintenance.

Engine survey, VolvoTAMD71Bs, 350 HP at 2500 rpm

WOT 2350
Mosquito fogging for the gold coast on cold start. Clears up. no smoke once engine is warm (possible compression, exhaust gate valves, pre-heater)
both after coolers are heavily corroded
both alternators are dead
multiple line/hose leaks
low idle - causing intermittent engine alarm
one turbo "leaking excessively"

I've ordered a followup compression check.
Waiting on the oil test.

Owner seems interested in making things salable - so lets say he pops for the $25k in possible repairs (after cooler parts are $4700, each)

Oh, and the generator has broken exhaust valve springs - water leak on the head, rusted the springs... (they are exposed so maybe can be changed in place...)

Cosmetically, the boat is ok, although it needs a thorough cleanse and updated textiles. Storebro is a high end euro design, which my wife, frankly, loves. Says it feels like a sailboat inside, which it does in a way. She hates the big american boats like Hatteras, etc. (What, they have a regular couch in here?) Don't even talk to me about boats with plastic finishes inside.

my initial inclination is, this owner didn't take care of his boat, therefore, there are hidden gotchas even the best surveyor will miss and I could be looking at big bills even after these fixes.

mechanic says to get the fixes, assuming compression is ok, then run the engine hard for 2 hours and test the oil again to see if something huge is brewing in those expensive engines.

I like the boat, and know that I'm capable of bringing her back to life and if I get the right price, likely could make this work. Play real hardball on the price? Walk away?

I hate falling in love with a boat.


jwnall 01-13-2016 06:06 PM


Originally Posted by GregMitchell (Post 404154)
I like the boat, and know that I'm capable of bringing her back to life and if I get the right price, likely could make this work. Play real hardball on the price? Walk away?

You know the answer, don't you? Just wanted a few amens from the peanut gallery. :) Play real hardball on the price, and then walk away if necessary.

GregMitchell 01-13-2016 06:12 PM

actually, I'd be interested to hear if someone feels real strong about it either way. the inspector, who spent 12 hours in the engine spaces, was cautiously optimistic.

Xsbank 01-13-2016 06:18 PM

JW nailed it. Everything is neglected, whatever you estimate the repairs to be, double it for the hidden failures/surprises. Don't forget if it has been neglected, you won't get to use it right away, maybe for months until it's fixed.

Don't get sucked into rationalizing the costs; valve repair on the genset might mean replacement. Dead alternators might mean 2 replacements plus a new battery bank.

Then walk if he won't play.

My friend got a 55 Symbol for less than half of asking because a holding tank had failed and the boat stank, plus the doofus who did the mechanical survey said one engine was shot but it turned out to be a leaking turbo gasket(!) He's had it for almost two years and he has probably JUST caught up to fix the neglect, the boat doesn't stink but he probably paid out all the money he saved on purchase price.

BruceK 01-13-2016 06:21 PM

Sounds like the major engine repair and retest can only be done after purchase. If the retest is not good, unfortunately the boat is already yours. Lack of maintenance/faults suggests extended disuse due to boat being unusable. And they are older Volvos.
Good thing is cosmetic updating can be expensive and apart from upholstery you don`t need that. And the wife likes it.
I`d say follow the advice of jwnall. You need to fall out of love with it for now, with due respect to your bank balance.

Ski in NC 01-13-2016 06:23 PM

If the generator has rusted valve springs, it is likely toast, or at least needs to be removed, stripped and rebuilt. Often barely less money than a new unit.

cardude01 01-13-2016 06:26 PM


I think I would fall out of love with that one.

smitty477 01-13-2016 06:39 PM

"actually, I'd be interested to hear if someone feels real strong about it either way"

Boats that are neglected and run outside of their intended parameters are projects not boats. If you have the time , planning capability and cash to handle a multi year project that may be worth more when completed then this boat may be perfect for you. If you want to be happily boating in 6 months and have other life responsibilities which limit your free time you are a more typical boater and would be best to find more of a boat and less of a project.

Good luck and hope this helps

FlyWright 01-13-2016 06:42 PM

With so many boats out there in good shape, the last thing I'd want to buy is someone else's problems. Seems like more of a money pit than most boats.

Buy the boat your brain loves, not the boat your heart longs for.

O C Diver 01-13-2016 06:55 PM

I'd walk away. If you had to buy a motor a year from now, are they available used or rebuilt, and what would a swap cost. Don't think the value of the boat merits the gamble on a motor swap and certainly not a double repower.


sunchaser 01-13-2016 07:59 PM

I did a quick rough estimate to have a pro fix things listed and came up with about $75K, add a 35% contingency.

CPseudonym 01-13-2016 08:12 PM

Let this be a lesson for all you shoppers out there.

Do not EVER fall in love with a boat you do not own.

kulas44 01-13-2016 08:28 PM

I'd probly buy it. Those old Volvos can be expensive, unless you know how to deal with there weak points. The boat has probly been neglected past the point of just regular deferred maintenance. not a problem if you have the skills to "catch it up" but a very big deal if you dont. If you have the knowledge and experience to do this it would be a great boat, probly. From your post I gather that you do not. FIND A DIFFERENT BOAT.

stubones99 01-13-2016 09:42 PM

If it is this one:
1990 Storebro SRC 400 Power Boat For Sale -

Then knocking $100k off will be just about a freebie.

Interesting docking lights on the bow.

RT Firefly 01-13-2016 10:15 PM

IF that is the 1990 Mr. 99 posted, good luck with using the radar from the upper station...

Mystic144 01-13-2016 10:21 PM

Unless you hit the Power Ball I would walk away from this money pit.

IRENE 01-13-2016 10:24 PM

Some great advice has been offered.

I think this brand is too much of an unknown here in the U.S. to justify an extensive (or perhaps any) refit, even if you can buy at a deep discount. This one appears to be unloved and mostly used up. Getting any return on the other end would be difficult, at best. Significant stress and downtime would be certain.

Trust your good intuition and keep on searching. The right boat is out there.

Best Wishes

Capt. Jon 01-13-2016 10:42 PM

Run away! You might pay for 2 or three surveys before you find the right one!

ufish2 01-13-2016 10:46 PM

Greg, two years ago I found myself in the same boat. Ha! Thought I found the boat I was looking for once I reviewed the year old survey. Like you, the previous owner/owners either didn't know how or just didn't maintain the little trawler. I made what I believed to be a ridiculous offer insuring I had sufficient funds to turn the trawler into what I wanted. The offer was surprisingly accepted and with a lot of luck and work the trawler is exactly what we want at this point in our lives. I spent approximately 6 months renovating the interior, engine, and replacing electronics. If you have strong mechanical skills, enjoy spending time renovating something that has not been maintained well, and are able to purchase for a outstanding price I'd say go for it. There are always surprises and usually once you find something you end up finding something else but if you have the skills or the desire to learn you can really keep the costs down. Fortunately I have a friend that is one heck of a diesel mechanic and you can learn an awful lot reading threads on this trawler forum. I suppose it depends on whether or not you want to invest the time and money or want something more turn key. My wife thought I was nuts, but after spending two months in Alaska's Inside Passage I suspect she has changed her mind. Items like radar, windless, or autopilot you may want to update anyway. It is certainly a commitment to see through. I've done 4 renovations now and made money on 3 of 4. There are a lot of boats out there with great intentions that were supposed to be a project that just sat there. I suspect the boat does not have a lot of interested buyers because of the work needed to bring it up to par. Make a RIDICULOUS offer and see what happens. Accept no counter offers and be prepared to walk away. Good luck!

gaston 01-13-2016 10:50 PM


Originally Posted by Capt. Jon (Post 404252)
Run away! You might pay for 2 or three surveys before you find the right one!

2 or 3 LOL I'm up to 6 and starting to think that everything that's on the market is just someone else's problem they are cleansing themselves of .
And when they except an absolute shocking low ball offer I start to run even faster

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