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Old 01-19-2015, 09:11 AM   #1
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looking for Marine Trader advise

I'm going to do some trawler shopping this year as I try to sell my Formosa 46 sailboat, and one of the boats of interest is a 43 Marine Trader, twin screw, trunk cabin. Other than yachtworld.com, I have never seen one of these beasties. There is one on the hard not too far from where I live in Norfolk, VA. . It looks pretty un-loved in the pictures. The home port on the transom suggests the boat might have spent some time in fresh water, but obviously home ports can be misleading. I thought I would use this boat as an opportunity to see all the warts that this model of trawler might have. American Diesel lives in this part of the world, so I could arrange with them to look at the Lehmans if I got interested in the boat, and I understand that I am no marine surveyor, either. But, based on your knowledge of the Marine Traders with their infamous leaking windows, what common Marine Trader faults should a common slob like me be looking for when I go see this boat. I have been a sailboat owner for several years, and do most of the work on my own boat. Here is the link to the Marine Trader listing:

Used 1983 Marine Trader 44 Tri Cabin, Virginia - 23005 - BoatTrader.com

I'm also curious as to the connection, if any, between "Marine Trader" and the "Marine Trawler Owners Association". Is this a good group for me to join?
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:42 AM   #2
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I looked at a few when we where shopping for a trawler and the universal advise we received was always check under the windows for wet wood. There are a ton of them afloat and I always liked the look. Check out the MTOA they have a wealth of information on them.
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:44 AM   #3
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Greetings,
MTOA used to be Marine Trader Owners Association but I think it was changed to encompass ALL trawlers and is now called Marine Trawlers OA.
The MT listed doesn't look too bad BUT a good survey is definitely called for. the price seems good.
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:51 AM   #4
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You own a Formosa 46. The same issues that a Taiwan built sailboat has the Marine Trader will have. I looked at the photos of that boat and it looks like very little water intrusion problems. Also the teak decks are nit over the whole boat. If it has lived in fresh water most of it's life that is a plus. Low hours on the Lehmans. Very sparse equipment list.......you are going to need new curtains in the main salon. At that price if it runs well and the generator works buy it, paint the bottom and have some fun!
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:58 AM   #5
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I looked at a 43 about 4 years ago that made that boat look bristol.

And the guy would not take less than $65000.

I loved the size of the boat and layout....but was leaning towards a single.

If I had to do it all over again and I thought I could find one that didn't need so much interior work...I would have that model up on my list along with the Albin 43.

For 39k and ok running engines....that could be a great deal. If you did all the work yourself....add another 30k or so over several years and you would have a really sweet boat.

For liveaboards...if just extended cruising....drop down to the 39 to 40 foot range and there's a better selection usually..not always...
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:11 AM   #6
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I spent a great deal of time looking before I bought mine

that one is a lot of boat for the price if the engines and the generator check out

I would think it would make a great MT
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:16 AM   #7
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Advice? If you own a Formosa then that makes you an expert on these boats too. Isn't there a Marine Trader for sale here on this site for $20k? My concerns on northen freshwater boats is rot, and delamination from freezing water if stored outdoors in the winter. Down south you get just the rot. If you visit Ft.Pierce Fl.(it's 70 degrees right now, so that alone should be a impetus), there's two boatyards on Old Dixie where you can see both old Formosas and Marine Traders (plus other marques) out of the water for you to compare the results of the ravages of time between different builders.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
The MT listed doesn't look too bad BUT a good survey is definitely called for. the price seems good.
Same impression here. The same boat is on YW but no listing of equipment. It looks like a radar dome on the mast but no displays on the upper or lower helms can be seen. The electronics might have been pilfered. Better budget $10-20K for electronics if you plan to cruise. Didn't notice any water damage in the pics. Kind of wondering about the black things on the stern. Assume they are davits but never seen any like that. Hard to tell much from the pics and lack of an equipment list.

As stated, a good survey is a must.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:31 AM   #9
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If you visit Ft.Pierce Fl.(it's 70 degrees right now, so that alone should be a impetus), there's two boatyards on Old Dixie where you can see both old Formosas and Marine Traders (plus other marques) out of the water for you to compare the results of the ravages of time between different builders.
PK calls them boatyards. I think "graveyards" is a better description.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:54 AM   #10
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PK calls them boatyards. I think "graveyards" is a better description.
Lol, one certainly is, but Whiticars is a top notch yard, although along the fence next to the train tracks there's some Riverland candidates including a rigless Formosa. Every time I drive by I wonder how long that old wood black sailboat taking the brunt of the sun and train vibrations can remain standing.
Coming from south Florida it's so nice to still see old boats. All the yards down there that used to have them are mostly gone or gentrified. I'm glad I took so many photos when I had a chance.
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:53 AM   #11
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I think the problem may be the other way around....buying a southern boat and taking it north.

Bought mine in Florida and the thing must have been saturated to every nook and cranny.

One freeze thaw cycle up north and the boat darn near fell apart in every direction.

Not sure which is worse....I would think water damage in an up north boat might show earlier in its life.
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Old 02-14-2015, 09:48 PM   #12
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All old fiberglass over wood boats have rot. All Taiwanese trawlers, regardless of make, with teak decks... Have rot. The hulls are rock solid, solid glass. The fl120 is bulletproof if you don't overheat it.

That being said they are easy to re-core, and fix - if you're handy, and can work on it under cover.
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Old 02-14-2015, 09:56 PM   #13
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My Taiwan boat sitting in a Florida canal developed hydrolysis to the point where I had to grind out a 6 by 6 foot by 1/2 inch deep section out because of severe delamination...almost 1/2 way through the hull.

Not all of the were bulletproof...and thick glass is only as good as the materials and layup.....

My research shows that all in all...my situation was rare...but not the only one with issues.
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Old 02-14-2015, 11:29 PM   #14
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The fl120 is bulletproof if you don't overheat it.
They're bullet proof even if you over heat them. I can't tell you how many over heated Lehman's I've seen and worked on. And I've can't recalling seeing any one sustain any major damage from simply overheating.

In fact I recall one that got so hot for so long that it locked up. After it cooled down and we fixed the reason it overheated we fired it up and it ran just fine.
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Old 02-15-2015, 05:52 AM   #15
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You'll find all you need to know on teak decks if you poke around here.
My own story...we bought our 34' aft cabin MT in the early 90s. Ran the boat until around 2001 or so, when a couple bought it for exactly what we had paid for it, rare but true.

2yrs later we heard that both black iron fuel tanks had rotted through putting roughly 200gals of fuel in the bilge. The decks leak, and when they do, water gathers under the tanks below, and the rest is history. Not sure, but think the owners replaced the tanks with plastic "blivot" style tanks.
I was reminded of that incident while looking at a listing the other day that said something along the lines of "Black fuel tanks look good, as far as you can see!"

At that price, it seems like a great amount of boat, assuming engines are solid.

If it were a year from now, I might've been up there looking at it too

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Old 02-15-2015, 07:44 AM   #16
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Looked at a boat like this and discovered the transom was filled with concrete to balance the boat. The scrap iron in the crete had expanded with rust and pushed the transom loose. We looked a 40+ more boats before buying our sundeck model at a very good price. Lots of work and $$$ later we have a fairly good cruiser. Best advisement is hire a good surveyor that knows old boats. These MT can have many problems. You can get upside down real fast.
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Old 02-15-2015, 11:24 AM   #17
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Looks sweet. At 40 large for a boat over 40 ft long you are going to have some work. This one looks like it may be worth it. No electronics is good. You aren't paying for some old crap - you can buy your own new crap.

Only thing to watch out for would be the fuel tanks. There are two types of Marine Traders: those that have new fuel tanks and those that need them. Everything else is negotiable. Even now, there are plenty of options (dollar-wise) for a boat needing new tanks.

Have a real good surveyor go over it with a fine tooth comb and then make your decision. If you are an "open checkbook" kind of boater, these can be expensive boats. It you are a do-it-yourself-er they are a pleasure. You'll never be bored.

You'll be able to tell a fresh water Marine Trader from a salt water one within a few moments.

I used a guy by the name of Blair W. Bugher as a surveyor a while ago. Just the kind you are looking for...
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Old 04-21-2015, 11:31 AM   #18
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For the Lehmans.. Talk to Jean... If you have a part number, they have it.
Bomac Marine
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Blairsville, Ga 30512
Tel: 954-766-2625 Fax: 706-407-5747
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Old 05-06-2016, 09:51 PM   #19
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looking for info to refit 1989 38 Marine Trader
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Old 05-06-2016, 10:52 PM   #20
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looking for info to refit 1989 38 Marine Trader
Other than you should have lots of cash on hand, what specific information are you looking for?
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