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Old 06-25-2019, 10:17 AM   #1
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34ft Marine Trader Trawler

In the process of purchasing a 34ft Marine Trader Trawler. it is my understanding that the balast consist of concrete. Is this correct?


Also is there a metal rod or other metal component in the lower portion of the hull running from the front of the boat, under the prop and terminating in the bearing for the lower part of the rudder?


Thanks for your help


Joe
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:00 AM   #2
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Joe - I have a 34 CHB which is very similar to a Marine Trader. I'm not aware of any ballast in the boat other then a Lehman 120 engine, 300 gallons of fuel and 150 gallons of fresh water.

On my boat there is a metal plate that runs forward from the bottom of the rudder. It terminates somewhere toward the stern of the boat. In addition to holding on to the rudder it also provides some additional protection for the prop.

My experience is that these boats are solid if they haven't been left outside to rot and are easy to work on.

Good luck on your purchase.
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:13 AM   #3
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34 Marine Trader

Thanks for your help.

Is the metal plate exposed or is it encased in Fiber glass
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:58 AM   #4
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I have never noticed since it always has bottom paint on it. From the hull to the rudder it is most likely exposed plate because fiberglass would not be of benefit. Where it connects to the keel is unknown and in checking I don't have any pictures that would help.

I'm sure someone will be by shortly with that answer.
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:10 PM   #5
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34 Marine Trader

Thanks

On the boat I am looking at there is not indication of any exterior plate.

I am hoping it is encased in the fiber glass as I believe that such a plate would add great strength to the rudder lot bearing

Joe
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:50 PM   #6
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If it helps, here is a a picture of my prop and rudder

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Old 06-25-2019, 02:41 PM   #7
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joe; your picture of the rudder and keel set up looks just like mine 1977 MT
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Old 06-25-2019, 02:47 PM   #8
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joe the ballast is a mix of gravel, sand and cement. the cement isn't a strong mix, not to hard to break apart and that mix is covered with a thin layer of fiber glass
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:14 PM   #9
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34 mARINE tRADER

thanks

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Old 06-25-2019, 05:56 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=yo;777113]joe; your picture of the rudder and keel set up looks just like mine 1977 MT[/QUOTE


Mine too.
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Old 07-03-2019, 05:27 PM   #11
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CHB/ mt 34 cement problem/solution

It is my understanding that these most popular trawlers from the 70s through the 80s all have a concrete ballast layer between the outer hull and a thin fiberglass skin. Water inevitably gets in, if it ever, EVER, overwinters where it freezes , a bulge may appear in the thin layer.

In our 1988 Marine trader, I noticed the bulge, then crack, then 2years later the stink. I cut out the cracked glass layer to reveal 2” of brownish decomposed concrete. I used a wet vac to suck the mess out, that mess was most likely micro marine life, when this was removed the layer of concrete was rock solid.

I read the blog “saving Tortuga” with a mix of horror and admiration. I hope that I have discovered a better approach to “saving” Marine Trader 34’s. These boats earned a special place in trawler history, low cost, high on teak and space, and significantly lighter than a 36’ vessel, which is important for a couple cruising. “Trawler Beach House” provides a wonderful honest account of the integrity of these boats.

While sucking the water and muck out of the bilge I realized that the vac was pulling water through the concrete, I made a sump the size of a coffee can about 3” lower than the concrete base (4lb hand held sledge and chisel ) into which a bilge pump fits perfectly.

Like many owners the material cost of upgrading vastly exceeds the resale value. For me the boat, because of its design integrity and fundamental good workmanship is worth bringing it up to contemporary (ABYC) standards.

To some degree, knowing the flaws, leaves you more prepared for the reality. All my own humble opinion.
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Old 07-03-2019, 05:58 PM   #12
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Keel-protected rudder and prop.
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Old 07-04-2019, 06:45 AM   #13
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I currently have my 34 out of the water and took this photo today. It is quite different to your photo. I do have a metal plate that wraps around and bolts through the keel. This is original, not added afterwards.
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Old 07-04-2019, 04:49 PM   #14
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Or should I say, it “looks” original. We have owned the boat for almost 2/3rds of its life and it was like his when purchased. Unless it was an earlier unfortunate event.
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