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Old 07-20-2014, 02:53 PM   #1
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Smile Grenfell 48'

Hey all,

This is my first post to TF and I am excited to start picking the brains of the many qualified boaters whose post I have been reading.

For a little background, my wife and I are seriously considering the live-aboard lifestyle and are wanting our 16mos old daughter to grow up with all the opportunities and challenges that come with living aboard a ship. I have grown up around boats, and both my wife and I are Pacific North Westerners to our core. We currently live in Portland, OR but hail from the Tacoma and Gig Harbor, WA area of the Puget Sound.

In all of my searching for a boat that will be a lifelong legacy I have come across a 1964 Grenfell 48' Pilothouse. I am very impressed by the visual condition of the boat and I believe it possesses all of the amenities we would need to be comfortable, the mechanical for me and the aesthetic for my wife. The only unfortunate part is that I cannot seem to find any auxiliary information about the boat and/or Grenfell boats in general.

Here is the link to the boat:
Gig Harbor Yacht Sales (Gig Harbor, WA)

Can anyone enlighten me to the history of Grenfell and the quality of their builds? It will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Zac, Jenn, and Amiah

(p.s. No one better see this boat listing and try to buy it out from underneath me if I am ignorant to this being an amazing deal!! )
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Old 07-20-2014, 04:33 PM   #2
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I have been aboard several Grenfell boats and found them to be very beautiful when maintained. IMO I think the legacy you are wanting might manifest itself in the form of expensive maintenance of the engine-parts will most likely be difficult to obtain for this engine, woodwork both interior, exterior and hull will take careful monitoring and upkeep. The electronics are old and probably usable but certainly close to minimal and on the edge of parts unavailable. She is a beautiful looking boat that has received a lot of care. Covered moorage since new is one reason it is in such nice looking shape. Finding a surveyor that can give you an honest evaluation of her will be extremely important. I am afraid this legacy will need a deep bank account. My advice would be to move very carefully and slowly on this boat and do lots of research and talking with other Grenfell owners. Talk with the Port Townsend Wooden boat people could be an invaluable connection. Best Wishes.
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:10 PM   #3
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Beautiful. At that price, and if it's in good condition, how can you go wrong? Unlike production boats where there's dozens to choose from- if you like this boat- DON'T take your time, and move slow otherwise somebody else will own your dreamboat. Hire a surveyor and get gone.
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:39 PM   #4
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Gorgeous vessel. With that mid-ships pilothouse, kind-of reminds me of Phil/Fill's Roughwater. An odd one.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:08 PM   #5
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Here's a list of boats built by Thornton Grenfell, but his designs were built by many other PNW yards.

Vessels Built by Grenfell Yachts Ltd.

Lazee Gal (below) is a Grenfell

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http://www.peterarobson.com/PAR1/Mag.../LAZEE_GAL.pdf
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:10 PM   #6
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A live aboard life style is one thing. A live aboard project boat quite another. A 50 year old wooden boat will be a handful. Good luck and be realistic when you start looking her over.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:19 PM   #7
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Here's some history but it may be impossible to read....sorry about that

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Old 07-20-2014, 09:42 PM   #8
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I'm personally familiar with this boat. It is at my yacht club and I know the owner. I would vouch for it being a jewel. I highly doubt that any problems will be found with the wood hull and listening to that engine run will give you an orgasm.

I wish he wouldn't sell, cause I enjoy talking with him but I think it may have to do with the wife. He's had it for around 15 years.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:08 PM   #9
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OFB posted some photos of Grenfell's a while back. Might have even owned one...
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:11 PM   #10
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Say, here is a Grenfell for Marin.

Hi Marin!
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:17 PM   #11
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Appears to be a high-maintenance boat. Be prepared to spend thousands$$ annually to maintain her (I do for mine) beyond berthage, taxes(?), and insurance. What's her hourly fuel cost while cruising, if that's in your plans?
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:51 PM   #12
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She is a beaut! Be careful. Does it come with the boathouse? Is it leased from the Poulsbo Yacht Club? That is huge! Inside this boat is a handful outside it could be unmanageable! Good luck though! I know the feeling of excitement!
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:19 AM   #13
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Thank you all for your thoughtful replies. I certainly don't want to get in over my head and if this boat were a fixer-upper I wouldn't even be considering her. I am very handy and am in the middle of getting my A&P (Airframe and Powerplant)certification to be able to work on and fix airplane engines and systems. Although I realize this is apples and oranges, I believe this will give me an edge when it comes to maintenance and possibly even fabrication of parts.

I also understand that wooden hulls bring extra challenges. Can anyone speak to what I could expect there?

Cruising would certainly be in the future but I would expect to spend a considerable amount of time getting used to the live-aboard lifestyle before taking her to the seas, aside from weekend trips in and out of the Columbia, of course .
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windmist View Post
I'm personally familiar with this boat. It is at my yacht club and I know the owner. I would vouch for it being a jewel. I highly doubt that any problems will be found with the wood hull and listening to that engine run will give you an orgasm.
I am hoping to schedule a visit the first weekend in August. I can promise you that if my family does end up in this boat we would most certainly honor the previous owner and pour everything we have into the vessel.
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:43 AM   #15
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That boat is going to need a covered slip to avoid fast decay.
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:31 AM   #16
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I love the look of all that exterior bright work, but it comes at a price. We have a wooden trawler from the 40s two slips down from us. Her owner maintains her in perfect conditions. To do that all her bright work is freshened up every year. That means all the varnish is lightly sanded and new coats applied. He has every crack or blemish touched up on the hull and topside every year. For me it would be fun the first time I did the bright work and paint but after that it would not be a joy anymore.
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:35 AM   #17
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Before you look at it, check the weather reports. When a hard rain is predicted request the showing to take place at an outside dock where the boat has sat for a few days before you arrive. Then you can see where the teak decks, window frames and through deck and cabin side attachments may be leaking. Are cost effective parts for the Deutz readily available with a capable local diesel mechanic familiar with the engine?

The same broker is selling a DeFever 49 I note. Look it over too.

Years ago I operated a fleet of air cooled Deutz diesels and at the same time owned a gorgeous woodie '71 Trojan 36 in a covered slip. I'll stop there.
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:10 AM   #18
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Say, here is a Grenfell for Marin.

Hi Marin!

Dag-gone if you're not spot-on, NS! I'm going to add that boat to my list of most wannabe trawlers! This is the first time I've seen forward raked windows on the forward cabin! Totally functional!!
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:30 AM   #19
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I am hearing loud and clear the maintenance that will accompany a wood hulled boat. Is that with any wood hull or just more of an antique wood hull?

I am not too worried about the engine (although maybe I should be) due to the fact that I have generous access to major tools, fabrication equipment, and mechanically minded people through my aircraft maintenance training.

@windmist:

Is there a way you could get me in contact with the owner to see if I would even fit the mold for what he was wanting/expecting from a new owner? I would love to chat with him, if at all possible.

-Zac

It sounds like this boat would require a tremendous amount of time and energy from all the members of my family, which, to be honest, is something I was hoping for.

I will let you all know if I am able to schedule a visit.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:24 PM   #20
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@windmist:

Is there a way you could get me in contact with the owner to see if I would even fit the mold for what he was wanting/expecting from a new owner? I would love to chat with him, if at all possible.
I'll try and do that and send you a PM when I get in touch with him. He still works for a living.

As far as maintenance goes, I believe the topsides of the boat are finished in a LPU type of finish. I go by his boat house every time I visit my boat, which is almost every day, and I hardly ever see him working there yet when I look at the boat is appears perfect. This is definitely not a high maintenance boat. However, if you want to keep it looking that way a boathouse would be a must.
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