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Old 11-29-2017, 11:16 AM   #1
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38' united ocean 1983 dual cabin trawler

Hello,

I am looking at this boat on saturday any opinions on the make and model?

38' UNITED OCEAN 1983
DUAL CABIN TRAWLER w/perkins diesel
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Old 11-29-2017, 01:18 PM   #2
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After awhile they all look the same. SIGH
You buy, disable the forward shower.... you dont need company showering in a wet head.
This is the Lucie Loo? I saw the video on it.
You are getting at a very good price?
Survey the crap out of it.
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Old 11-29-2017, 02:27 PM   #3
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I am suspecting it was made by Fu Hwa as the interior looks identical to our old Fu Hwa 38' double cabin which was also in MI and also had a Perkins.

The hull is pretty solid and Perkins engines are usually bullet proof. Where you will find issues is with soft decks due to screwed in teak decking, leaky windows, and the cursed black iron fuel tanks which will eventually rust and leak but might last another 20 years on the Great Lakes. Other issues include old wiring and unpulled dead end wiring, old electronics, 30+ year old flax in the stuffing box, drafty sliding doors which also let rain come in, and poor water drainage on the flybridge (drains on the AC power inlets...duh).

Sold the boat and our MI our condo about a year and 1/2 ago. We loved it but the trip from FL to MI was getting tiring. We are now wishing we hadn't sold the boat or the condo but if we buy another boat, it will have no teak and will be no older than 15 yrs.
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Old 11-29-2017, 04:14 PM   #4
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After awhile they all look the same. SIGH
You buy, disable the forward shower.... you dont need company showering in a wet head.
This is the Lucie Loo? I saw the video on it.
You are getting at a very good price?
Survey the crap out of it.
Can you explain not having guest showering in te wet head? It is not the Lucie Loo? What state us she located would like to take a look at the video.
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Old 11-29-2017, 04:17 PM   #5
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I am. concerned about the tanks also are they at least easy to get at if the need replacement? This will be a starter boat for me I am not expecying perfection,.
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Old 11-29-2017, 06:18 PM   #6
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Can you explain not having guest showering in te wet head? It is not the Lucie Loo? What state us she located would like to take a look at the video.
Wet heads are a pain in tail to clean.

I saw the Lucie Loo video on YouTube.
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:37 PM   #7
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The fuel tanks on our Fu Hwa were not that easy to see or get to. What little I could see looked very good but our boat was always Great Lakes. There was access ports if the tanks needed cleaning but they may have been cut by a yard for a previous owner. I was more concerned about the decks than the fuel tanks.
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:59 AM   #8
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The fuel tanks on our Fu Hwa were not that easy to see or get to. What little I could see looked very good but our boat was always Great Lakes. There was access ports if the tanks needed cleaning but they may have been cut by a yard for a previous owner. I was more concerned about the decks than the fuel tanks.
Did you have any issues with your decks? I am concerned about that also. Is it a deal breaker if their are soft spots?
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Old 12-01-2017, 12:05 PM   #9
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Did you have any issues with your decks? I am concerned about that also.
Yes, our surveyor identified 2 spots he thought were going soft.

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Is it a deal breaker if their are soft spots?
Well, first things first. You look at the boat and check it the best you can and then decide on an offer to the seller. The TF Library may have a checklist of things to look for. If you decide you like the boat, you make an offer based on what you can see and what it will cost to repair those items. Your offer should be contingent on a survey and an engine survey if you think it is necessary and then you see what you missed and the surveyors found. You then request the seller to fix the issues or further reduce the price.

Every 30 something year old Taiwanese Tub with teak decks is going to have some soft spots unless it spent all its life under cover.

If soft decks are an issue and the seller is willing to give you a price abatement for them, it doesn't have to be a deal breaker. Most owners who have undertaken teak deck repair find the problem is worse than they were led to believe. For a yard to remove the teak, replace the core and fiberglass over with non skid decking can cost up to $10K on a 38' boat (more if you cover with new teak). If you do the work yourself, maybe 10-20% of that.
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Old 12-02-2017, 02:59 PM   #10
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I looked at the boat today. I really like the boat a lot there isome cosmetics work needed in the cabin areas that need attention. The previous owner put new windows and new freshwater tank and also did work on the flybridge replacing decking and re-fiberglass it. It had newer Canvas. I did smell a diesel smell in the bilge area. I am not sure if that is normal and I am concerned with the tanks I could not see if they were leaking or not but they are the dreaded steel fuel tanks. I don’t know how I would be able to get them out of there without removing engine if they needed to be replaced. I also noticed a slight drip near the stuffing box. Not sure what that would entail To repair it? The owner was Actually a commercial Marine surveyor seemed to be pretty honest about things. The boar was in the water so I was unable to see the bottom but he told me that it was on the hard for one year and he put it back in the water this year and at that time at the bottom repainted and I could tell it was new paint. There were some w water damage Under Neath the windows but you could tell it was from the previous windows which have since been replaced. I did notice that it appears that there was a leak by the sliding door but he did not have the door closed all the way. He started the entrance and they sounded fine to me we had a little bit of white smoke when he started and there was good flow of cooling water. We did not believe the dock but he did put it in forward and reverse and I move back-and-forth. This boat is for sale for $22,000 I am not sure how to proceed as I do like the boat and I’m wondering should I have a survey done?
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Old 12-02-2017, 03:21 PM   #11
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Surveys are cheap and the boat price is cheap.
Get it surveyed and if you are up for a lot of repairs go for it if you like what the survey says.
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Old 12-02-2017, 09:51 PM   #12
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A survey probably won’t help much on the fuel tanks as there is no way a surveyor can get to the tanks to inspect without tearing things out. The smell test will have to suffice. The smell of diesel is not unusual in a thirty plus year old boat and could have been due to other issues such as a sight tube failure. If you are looking at a saltwater boat, the fuel tanks are going to fail at some point and probably sooner rather than later. You probably need to budget for it if you buy the boat.

$22,000 is a fairly low price and doesn’t leave much room to negotiate. A survey will cost $500-1000 and will be required to obtain insurance. There will also be the cost to haul the boat. You need to do the survey if you make an offer.

The sliding doors just do not seal tight and getting water around it is normal. You might be able to minimize it with weather strips.

Having new windows is good. Drips around the stuffing box can normally be treated with new packing material or tightening the packing gland. You might need to repack the rudder too.

Some engine smoke on start up at this time of year doesn’t sound unusual.

All in all, it sounds like a typical Taiwanese Tub and will keep you busy ad infinitude.
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Old 12-03-2017, 12:44 AM   #13
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The diesel smell is a concern. I`d be looking for a source other than the tanks, especially as it seems you cannot eyeball them. A process of elimination, if it`s nothing else it may well be tanks. By definition, you ought be able to see a weeping sightglass.
You need surveys, a mechanical surveyor may be able to progress the issue. Is there diesel on the water in the bilge?
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Old 12-03-2017, 09:26 AM   #14
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If i do have to replace the tanks what would that cost?
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:43 AM   #15
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If original, there are two 200 gallon tanks involved and it is a rather labor intensive operation. Our boat had a lot of stuff mounted on the peg board covering the tank area and there was also some other stuff blocking the tanks. A yard that knows what they are doing might be $5000-7500 per tank. They would probably cut up and remove the pieces of the old tank(s) make measurements and then order the new tanks.

Typically, to keep from removing the engine, smaller tanks are installed but some owners remove the engine and do other maintenance tasks like cleaning and painting the engine room. Some even rebuild the engine. If you just do the tanks you may end up with two 100-150 gal aluminum tanks. That is still plenty of fuel.
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Old 12-03-2017, 02:09 PM   #16
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There are plastic tanks available 150 gals for-about $700 each ? Are they suitable? Get way ahead of myself but just would like an idea before i make an offer.
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Old 12-03-2017, 03:07 PM   #17
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Several boat builders use fiberglass for diesel fuel tanks but not aware of any that use plastic. Does the manufacturer certify these tanks for diesel use? Do they have baffles?

Beyond the material and baffle issue, there is the dimension issue. If you or the boat yard are comfortable building a custom frame and mount, you might be able to use off the shelf tanks.

Most installations fabricate new tanks based on the dimensions of those removed.

Drain on the bottom of the tanks? Inspection port? Sight tubes? Sender unit?

Don't think there is a simple answer to the fuel tank issue.
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Old 12-03-2017, 03:15 PM   #18
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Here is a look at a replacement tank:

150 Gallon Permanent Below Deck Boat Fuel Tank |
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:10 PM   #19
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I believe the tanks you will be removing are saddle (side) tanks and not bottom tanks.

Is that certified for diesel?

Don't think that will work.
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:27 PM   #20
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OMG, I submitted an offer and it was accepted. Its a little sobering to be honest. Now I need to find a surveyor and wait 5 months before I can use her.
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