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Old 01-25-2013, 06:03 PM   #1
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Wooden trawler yearly upkeep costs verses fiberglass

I am looking at a 1969 36' grand banks for 22k that needs some tlc, topside paint and the cabin needs some sprucing up, a recent survey gave it a good bill of health overall and put the value at aprox 50k but my concern is the yearly costs to keep the wood and fastners in good shape for a boat this size. The boat I do buy I would like it be able to last 20 years at least. I need some outside input on this one.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:37 PM   #2
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Depends what you want to do - do you want to work on your boat or use it? The advice we got during our purchase was to run away from woodies unless we were prepared to keep it in a boathouse. We weren't so we did.

Let the flames begin.

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Old 01-25-2013, 07:26 PM   #3
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http://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/s...raft-6833.html

A little light reading to get you started.

FWIW I'm in love with wood boats too. So I parked my fiberglass cruiser next to a classic Chris Craft. He told me if he was concerned with cost he'd never own a woodie. He probably has $50+K tied up in his 30 footer and would be lucky to get mid teens for it if sold.

It's a labor of love and the opposite of an investment.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:54 PM   #4
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I have a 48 year old woodie. I don't think annual upkeep is that onerous once I got on top of it, but it sure does matter to longevity whether your boat is moored under cover. We don't get much snow, but we get 50 inches of rain per year in Olympia. I seriously doubt my boat would be afloat any longer if it had been moored in the open and allowed rain water to get at the bilges, windows, flybridge, you name it. Some folks out this way solve or ameliorate the threat by either mooring under cover or using very extensive canvas systems when covered moorage is not available. In your area, canvas may not hold the weight of snow. There is a 1966 32 out this way which has been on the market for awhile at $24.5K and it looks from the pics to be a beauty. $22K for a 36' needing only some cosmetic care sounds fair.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:20 AM   #5
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Wooden Boat Upkeep

suprahattie,
I would recommend checking out the Grand Banks owners site and looking at the Woodenboat Magazine Forum for informed guidance. Based on my experience, the real cost in buying an old boat is in getting the systems on the boat up to standard, not the cost of the maintaining the hull. However, keeping a wood boat in a covered moorage is a real plus, because they do rot from the top down.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:26 AM   #6
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The joy of a wooden boat is it was designed to be repaired, so If a problem does occur its only a hunk of wood to fit.

Many "GRP" boats are plywood with a layer of glass slobbered over.

This is hard as heck to repair , most needs rebuilding/replacement of a huge area not just a plank.

The Woodie does need a bigger "reserve fund" as some chunks of wood (like the stem or transom) require skill to replace.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:33 AM   #7
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VERY VERY well said FF.

Actually one may need just as big a reserve fund for water damaged deck and cabins on a FG boat
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:04 PM   #8
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I grew up around the old Chris Crafts and really love 'em, and no offense to the guys on here who do own a woodie, but I would never own a wood boat. I think a wood boat is great if you're a handyman DIY'er and would love all the refinishing work that needs to be kept up with.

I think Clint Eastwood said it best in one of his Dirty Harry movies..."A man's got to know his limitations." I'm not that kind of guy. I'm not a wood worker and basically wouldn't know where to start on repairing a wood boat, nor do I have the desire to spend my time keeping it well maintained.

I do know how to run a Makita buffer and that's about all that's need to maintain the hull and deck on my boat.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
The joy of a wooden boat is it was designed to be repaired, so If a problem does occur its only a hunk of wood to fit.

Many "GRP" boats are plywood with a layer of glass slobbered over.

This is hard as heck to repair , most needs rebuilding/replacement of a huge area not just a plank.

The Woodie does need a bigger "reserve fund" as some chunks of wood (like the stem or transom) require skill to replace.
Perhaps homemade plywood boats fit your description, but I invite you to shed that bias and look at Sam Devlin's boats, not to mention my old Tolly and boats such as the legendary Calkins Bartender. They are plywood. Hull repairs, if necessary, are actually quite straight forward. Again, water coming in from the topside is the enemy, as it is for any boat. As I walk the docks in Puget Sound, I do not see a plethora of 40+ year old fiberglass boats other than the occasional tank-like UniFlites. I imagine the same is true in Maine.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:03 PM   #10
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Some marinas in this area (NJ) are refusing wooden boats.

I also remember a wooden boat being given a hard time at a Trawlerfest in MD.

I don't agree but it's something to consider before purchasing.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:16 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by suprahattie View Post
I am looking at a 1969 36' grand banks for 22k that needs some tlc, topside paint and the cabin needs some sprucing up, a recent survey gave it a good bill of health overall and put the value at aprox 50k but my concern is the yearly costs to keep the wood and fastners in good shape for a boat this size. The boat I do buy I would like it be able to last 20 years at least. I need some outside input on this one.
Was this survey a pre-purchase survey done for you, or was it a valuation survey done for the current owner? There is a huge difference. Was it an "out of the water" survey? How many fastenings were pulled? Did the surveyor spend a half-hour going over the hull (outside) with a mallet? Did he/she use a little camera on a stick to peer in behind the tanks and find the soft spots?....because they are there.....typical places for rot to start are not out in plane view, they are hidden...places like the tops of deck beams (where fasteners have allowed fresh water in).

Buying old wooden boats that have not ever been substantially rebuilt is not for the faint of heart.....you need to be mentally and financially (or personally skilled) ready to deal with major problems. There may not be any major problems, perhaps only a bunch of minor ones. But old wooden boats are available cheap for a reason. If you have to pay someone to do all the work involved the cost will be substantial. If you want to do it yourself be careful and find a good adviser......
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:07 PM   #12
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Some marinas in this area (NJ) are refusing wooden boats.
Why?
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:26 PM   #13
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Most leak and need a lot of attention. High risk to sink and be abandoned.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:38 PM   #14
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supra, I bought a woodie and love it. You will to. They have a life about them that fiberglass boats don't have. Generally it's a pain in the butt life, always bitchen and moaning, but when you get them on their good days you can't beat em' for the money. Mine was burnt when I bought it so I took it to the next level. Good luck, Paul
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:48 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by alormaria
Some marinas in this area (NJ) are refusing wooden boats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaucySailoress View Post

Why?
Many yacht harbors (marinas) in and around SF Bay and Delta refuse wood boats. Way too many being abandoned to rot or sink at slip. Ins cos not wanting to insure woodys.

The slow but steady passing of a grand old boat building age...
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:54 AM   #16
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Depends what you want to do - do you want to work on your boat or use it? The advice we got during our purchase was to run away from woodies unless we were prepared to keep it in a boathouse. We weren't so we did.

Let the flames begin.

Hahaha yeah ok!
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:03 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by bobofthenorth
Depends what you want to do - do you want to work on your boat or use it? The advice we got during our purchase was to run away from woodies unless we were prepared to keep it in a boathouse. We weren't so we did.

Let the flames begin.



Quote:
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Hahaha yeah ok!
Hendo Me Mate - Ya got no prob! Yours is not a used woody - It Is a NEW woody... with decades of life ahead!!

Cheers - Art
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:19 AM   #18
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I guess the op ran away and is still running!!!
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:55 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by bobofthenorth
Depends what you want to do - do you want to work on your boat or use it? The advice we got during our purchase was to run away from woodies unless we were prepared to keep it in a boathouse. We weren't so we did.

Let the flames begin.



Hendo Me Mate - Ya got no prob! Yours is not a used woody - It Is a NEW woody... with decades of life ahead!!

Cheers - Art
;-)
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:55 AM   #20
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I guess the op ran away and is still running!!!
No sense of adventure!
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