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Old 03-06-2015, 09:13 PM   #1
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Boat history

Is there a way to get a boat history? Where was it made and by what yard. That type of stuff. Obviously the popular boats you know. Nordic Tug, American Tug, were made at a yard that you could track. What about Albins? I know there are at least 2 yards that made them. I believe there's a Taiwan version and an American version. Where are Mainships made? Heritage, Integrity, all great prices compared to Nordic and such. It is scary to plunk down $150 - $200K. At least for me. How can I do the homework that is necessary? Maybe there is a website somewhere? If not, there should be.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:45 PM   #2
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If a boat has been documented the documentation will include the name of the manufacturer, location, and date.

Where it can get tricky is with many of the Taiwan boats. Through the 1970s, 80s, and maybe beyond, the typical build process was to have a parent yard mold the hull and maybe the basic house structure. This will be the name of the manufacturer on the paperwork.

Then the hulls and other structures were trucked or floated to any number of small, family-owned boatyards on Taiwan for completion. This is one reason the quality of many of the Taiwan makes can vary all over the map. One yard might have used good-quality marine ply for the stiffeners in the cabin walls, another yard might have used cut-up packing crates and pallets.

So two very different levels of material quality used in the exact same make and model of boat. The hulls of these boats could be just one number apart.

The only way to find out what was used in a particular boat is to take it apart, which is generally not practical to do.

This is why getting a good survey done on these boats by a surveyor who really knows all the variables in the brand is so important.

This is also why prices can vary a lot in these kinds of boats, as opposed to makes where every boat was made by the same people in the same facility: Grand Banks, Nordic Tug, etc, where the consistency of quality is an advantage of the brand.

That's not to say one can't find a crappy, neglected, abused Grand Banks or Nordic Tug. Any make can be reduced to junk by poor maintenance, bad operation, and neglect. But the "brand" names tend to hold up under less-than-ideal treatmet for longer than some of the other makes.

So far as I know, there is no all-encompassing data base for the histories of production boats. In this respect, it's like buying a used car. You have to judge each one on its own merits. Which is why, again, getting thorough hull/systems and engine surveys done on a boat you are really interested in is essential.
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Old 03-07-2015, 07:35 PM   #3
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A great resource might be the owner's clubs for the given manufacturer. Usually they have a lot of resources and/or close relationships with the manufacturers themselves.
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Old 03-08-2015, 10:16 AM   #4
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boat history

There isn't a lot of info on some boats. Specifically, the Integrity and the Horizon. Best I can tell, the Integrity is from Taiwan and the Horizon is from China. I get the feeling that it's sort of a gamble whether you get good quality or bad quality. I guess going in with eyes open is the first step. Then getting a quality survey is the next step. I don't think you can check what the stringers are made from? My gut tells me to stay with a brand name vessel. Sometimes you just gotta go with your gut!
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Old 03-08-2015, 10:24 AM   #5
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As a point of information, some of the major builders will provide build information and history. As an example, when I purchased my new NT32 in 2006, Nordic Tug provided a CD of some 90 construction photos, from hull layup, all major systems, all the way to finished boat, including the launch and first in-water test at the factory. Probably required in a custom, one-off build, but not something you would expected in a production boat.
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Old 03-08-2015, 10:30 AM   #6
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That is why Nordic is such a good boat and they hold their resale value. I keep swinging back to the Nordic Tug. I love the N37, but they are very pricey. I think the N32 is a great boat and I want one!
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:13 PM   #7
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Hatteras has always been the gold standard for history of a production boat IMO. Contact them with a hull number and they have all the original drawings, wiring diagram, equipment lists etc for every boat they ever made. They've got a great and helpful owners group as well.
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:51 PM   #8
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If I can't afford a used N37, I certainly can not afford any Hatteras. They are great boats.
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Old 03-08-2015, 04:00 PM   #9
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If I can't afford a used N37, I certainly can not afford any Hatteras. They are great boats.
Depends what size and age boat you are looking for. An older , well maintained Hatt can be a real bargain, total cost of ownership wise. The spin-off of their parts department, Sam's Marine, also provides great support (and hosts the owner's forum).
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Old 03-08-2015, 05:54 PM   #10
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When we purchased our NT42 hull #1 two years ago, we were pleasantly surprised to discover a photo album covering the build back in 1995. No idea if the photos were taken by the original owner or by Nordic Tugs.
Very useful for determining what existing equipment is original or added later.
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Old 03-08-2015, 06:05 PM   #11
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By knowing what yard the boat was built in, what does that tell you?
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Old 03-08-2015, 06:14 PM   #12
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By knowing what yard the boat was built in, what does that tell you?
Note much because a good percent of them have gone belly up. But most of us have a curiosity about our boats and want to know everything possible about it.
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Old 03-08-2015, 06:25 PM   #13
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A good survey will do that for you.
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Old 03-08-2015, 06:40 PM   #14
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If I can't afford a used N37, I certainly can not afford any Hatteras. They are great boats.
I was a local, mover captain of a 60's vintage 53' (I think) Hatteras that had a total exterior refit and paint, and an interior cosmetic redo. It was running and all systems worked but needed eventual upgrades....

Just sold for less than $35K....maybe even less than $20 as I never heard the final number.
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