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Old 04-04-2014, 11:39 PM   #1
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How much can we mod our boats?

Tad's thread about mods to the Willard Vega and an earlier thread on Pilgrim Trawlers bring up an interesting conflict in opinion. Some of us are purists and are faithful to the original design of our boats. Others are already making modifications of all kinds to facilitate our usage, or even just our preference.

Regarding the respect to original full displacement designs, especially Willards, Krogens, Pilgrims, and various LRC's that are really getting old in the tooth, a lot of these boats need serious work on them and while we're spending the bucks, they accept modifications pretty well. With all the new ideas and materials, most boats could be made better or more facilitating without disrespect to the intention of the design. It was only 4 years ago that I took a lot of flack for removing the traditional waist stripe from my Krogen Manatee. Now, I get regular e-mails from other Manatee owners who want to know what mod I'm doing next.

Given that we're probably not going to make planing boats out of FD's, what do we owe to the designer? What do we owe to the design. Are these good old hulls headed the way of the retro-rod, that is, can we modernize them and make changes while not sacrificing the appeal or resale, and maybe even enhance it's value?
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Old 04-05-2014, 12:16 AM   #2
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I don't have any issue with whatever an owner wants to do to make their boat better suit their needs.

The only concern is when something makes the boat un seaworthy. Other than that its fair game.
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Old 04-05-2014, 12:29 AM   #3
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You don't owe anything to the designer. He was paid. You own the boat. They aren't national shrines. I know some disagree but is it better they become derelict boats washed up to shore in Key West? If I was a designer and saw someone able to take what I'd designed decades ago and convert it for their use today then that would make me feel good. I might not personally be fond of some of the modifications but that's fine. I would like seeing new takes on my old designs. I designed them to be used as boats, not for a museum.

As Kevin stated, nothing that structurally makes it unsafe.
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Old 04-05-2014, 06:54 AM   #4
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The old expression is all boats are compromises...

Production boats usually the worst unless they (manufacturer/designer) were targeting a very specific buyer/use.

So modifying a boat to suit your individual want and needs is almost a certainty. many production boat manufacturers just gave up and started offering mods like hardtops for some models...and even though they looked like crap...they became the faster seller with that option...why???? Because many boaters don't want to spend an hour before and after struggling with canvas for an hour ride.

Unless I was a "classic" bat guy...and bought a "classic" boat...sticking with original (especially where the designer or manufacturer really screwed up) would not be in the cards.
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:27 AM   #5
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I can see TAD's "respect to the designer" comment on another thread but your boat is your boat and you basically have the right IMO to modify it any way you want. One must consider safety and the laws of the land (water) and suffer all the decrease in value one's modifications would do to the resale value of a modified boat. But one is free to design most any kind of boat and go down to the sea w it but desecrating a beautiful design by a designer of god like status in the world of boats may be indeed an act of "no respect" and bring about a comment like "OMG look what that guy did to dad's beautiful boat". Worrying about the feelings of designers descendants is probably fly stuff but the legacy of a designer like W Garden is a more or less cherished part of our pleasure boating herritage and should be given at least some "respect".

But in the end ther'e our boats and we should be free to modify away within certain legal and safety limits.

When you buy a new house a lot of things may get "changed" and quite likely to the previous owners disgust but it's your house now. But if the house is somewhat near the equivalent of a Frank Loyd Wright "Water House" some respect may be due.
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Old 04-05-2014, 12:04 PM   #6
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Interesting thought. We were in Friday Harbor this past week and a boat came in that to me was not a brand I recognized. I helped him with lines and asked about the boat and he told me it started out as a 34 CHB pilot house sedan and the original owner had extended the hull 8 feet to have a large cockpit with a hardtop for entertaining. It kind of looked like an older version of a more modern Puget Trawler. I wish now. I had taken a photo of it.
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Old 04-05-2014, 12:59 PM   #7
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You own the boat and can do whatever you want to it. Some modifications might make it dangerous and some might kill the resale value but there's no law against modifying something you own.
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Old 04-05-2014, 02:25 PM   #8
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It seems most boats can benefit from an extension.

However a CHB34 should have her keel lengthened along w the rest of the stern and little less so would probably be beneficial unless a shorter extension was contempleted. Some boats (actually quite a few) have hull lines that don't lend themselves to extensions but w many it works well. Two of the Alaska state ferries were cut straight across near the center and the mod was very successful. Lengthening an Albin 25 by adding to the midsection would require a very complicated cut to keep the lines reasonably fair. Would not be straight across at all. The essayist boats to extend w midsection adds are those w fairly straight lines amidships like probably a Californian. Basically a boat w straight lines where you want to make the cut. Straight lines aft are better for stern extensions and generally are the easiest to extend.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:50 AM   #9
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I'm sure James Krogen drew several different iterations of the Manatee. He originally drew two versions of the beloved 42. A Pacific and an Atlantic. The Atlantic had the pilothouse over the salon. These hull plans were expanded to 50 feet and only one Atlantic was built. So yes, you could change your if you wanted. I would consult with Jimmy Krogen at Traditional Yachts.
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:05 PM   #10
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We did not do any structural wall changes, but we did quite a few interior remodeling/up grade. The Eagle was very cold, stark, shippy when we bought her. We tried to keep same basic look feel of the boat. However, we re varnished, painted, wall papered, new carpeting, curtains, upholstery, lighting, counter tops, sinks, added book shelves, entertainment cabinet.

The biggest noticeable change was the stern deck only had one seat where the propane was stored. We canvas enclosed the area, added a counter top, sink, refrigerator/freezer, and make the sliding door into a pocket door. The salon we added book selves and entertainment cabinet on the starboard side, comfortable plush cushions, thermal curtains, slate counter top with double full sinks, switched to propane stove/oven, modified the dinette table so the sides folded down and can be lowered into coffee table, pad/carpeted the floor, re stain/vanish the teak, textured the ceiling and new bronze tinted windows.


The engine room we installed a new exhaust/muffler/water muffler to cool and quiet the 671 and cool the engine room, and the engines were gone through. Installed the new hold tank and Webasto diesel boiler to keep the boat and engine room at 65+ degrees, painted and carpeted.

Most of the old electronic were taking out and new Raymarine radar, GPS, depth, and re wired the pilot house, re stain/varnish and carpet. So we re did the Eagle from the bow to the stern, and keel to the top of the mast. Took 6 years, 50 grand, as we did it when we had time and money. The Websto heat and canvas where the biggest improvements. So now she is a energy efficient comfortable live aboard, and still a capable long range trawler as hull, super, and running gear are original.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:38 PM   #11
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It's tricky....every case is different. I do think you can revise, refit, or rebuild your boat and add to her usefulness, safety, function, and value. But you should be careful. One warning is that it's really easy to tear a lot out, and really hard(expensive and time consuming) to put it back.

Below are some examples.

Don't do this.....
This was a pretty little Remmem built (and designed) troller. Someone wanted more headroom in the pilothouse so they cut the top off, added 6" pony walls (above the windows), and re-installed the roof.
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A big tug with an extension of the main deck house. You can see they were sympathetic in the addition, echoing original window style and trim. It looks like it belongs....

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But this is nicer, no extension, don't change the exterior at all. It's been gutted and rebuild inside but exterior style is true to the original intent. I think she's just right....

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This is really unhappy looking. This is a big and rather high deckhouse added to a very nice Monk designed motorsailer hull. I can tell she will look top-heavy from every angle....

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Old 04-07-2014, 03:53 PM   #12
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I have never heard of a 42 with a 6-71 DD. Cool, I love the old Detroits.
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:06 PM   #13
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If I'm looking at a boat for the first time and my eye goes to one spot before I see the boat as a whole I have a tendecy to not like it .
I may have just done this to my own boat.I built new wheel house doors and I put some round ports in them because I thought it might look pretty good and give it a little different look.It may have been a mistake. I built the doors with removeable panels and I can go back to the rectangular window if I need to without to much trouble and use the round ports in the cabin side maybe.Sometimes what I think will look good does not look good at all. I'll find out when I install them .
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Pack Mule View Post
Sometimes what I think will look good does not look good at all. I'll find out when I install them .
I think that's what got me involved in PhotoShop to begin with. So far, everything I've done I PhotoShopped first, and then made the mistake.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tad Roberts View Post
IDon't do this.....
This was a pretty little Remmem built (and designed) troller. Someone wanted more headroom in the pilothouse so they cut the top off, added 6" pony walls (above the windows), and re-installed the roof.
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I don't agree. I'm guessing that the addition of 6" meant the owner could have standing room in the pilothouse. Not everyone is petite like me. And by adding that six inches the owner is now able to enjoy his boat without ducking or banging his head.

It was a value addition and frankly one that might not detract from sale value -- if it doesn't leak that is. How many times have we seen folks come in saying they are 6'4" and what boat fits?

So though perhaps not aesthetically pleasing as originally designed, it's not horrid either. At least I don't think so.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:04 PM   #16
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I don't agree. I'm guessing that the addition of 6" meant the owner could have standing room in the pilothouse. Not everyone is petite like me. And by adding that six inches the owner is now able to enjoy his boat without ducking or banging his head.

It was a value addition and frankly one that might not detract from sale value -- if it doesn't leak that is. How many times have we seen folks come in saying they are 6'4" and what boat fits?

So though perhaps not aesthetically pleasing as originally designed, it's not horrid either. At least I don't think so.
Speaking as one who is taller, I agree. Sometimes you start to think all boats were built for those 6' and under.
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