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Old 01-25-2011, 06:24 PM   #1
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crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

Hi all, happy Australia Day!

I'm looking into buying an ex fishing/prawn trawler and hoping to get some thoughts from boating people. Aim is to create a comfortable liveaboard (but not fancy).


I know a little about boats and have fun on a small aluminium dinghy, but besides that I don't know much. I know it could be a big but rewarding project if it comes off, or horribly painful if it goes wrong.


I'm in Sydney and the boat is in Adelaide so I am going to fly down and take a look, problem is I don't really know enough to decide if its worth haul out & survey or to walk away on the spot.




Here she is...*Do you see anything that says run away as fast as I can?
#mce_temp_url#


Apologies for the million questions,


Practical Questions:
Is this boat too big to be singlehanded?
The boat hasnt been antifouled in 5 years, im worried the zincs will be nonexistant, should i be expecting extensive repairs to the hull?
With the cranes and fishing gear removed the boat's draft has gone from 2.2m to 1.7ish, Im guessing i need to replace this weight with more ballast? Is it safe or stupid to bring her back to sydney at 1.7m?
Is a metal boat going to be freezing in winter and an oven in summer?
Since the boat was built in the 60's what do you expect needs replacing - fuel tanks?


Finances:
My plan would be roughly get a $40k loan, $25k for the boat and then 15 for expenses...


How far the 15 stretches is what i'm worried about
- haul out, sandblast & antifoul (no idea of cost yet)
- install holding tank for toilet (no idea)
- replace zincs (no idea)
- mooring guy said roughly $3000
- mooring fee in the dodgy end of sydney harbour $1500
- boat registration $260
- fuel to sydney (think its like 1000 nm?) $3500 (is this realistic?)
- thinking finding a captain to help with delivery would be a very smart investment (no idea)


I'd move back home with the parents (save $11k/yr in rent and save more on utilities/food/not having alcoholic flatmates). So I could afford maybe $20k - 25k a year on boat costs (though $10k/yr would be repayments). Hoping that would be enough.


Other information:
The boat was shortened in its past to meet certain fishing ground regulations - does that just mean its a bit shorter, or will its handling be all stuffed up?
The prop is in a cork snozzle - whatever that means?





Anyone have any people to recommend in Adelaide?


thanks heaps for looking,
Dave
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:39 PM   #2
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RE: crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

Quote:
daavvee wrote:

Hi all, happy Australia Day!


I'm looking into buying an ex fishing/prawn trawler and hoping to get some thoughts from boating people. Aim is to create a comfortable liveaboard (but not fancy).


I know a little about boats and have fun on a small aluminium dinghy, but besides that I don't know much. I know it could be a big but rewarding project if it comes off, or horribly painful if it goes wrong.


I'm in Sydney and the boat is in Adelaide so I am going to fly down and take a look, problem is I don't really know enough to decide if its worth haul out & survey or to walk away on the spot.




Here she is...*Do you see anything that says run away as fast as I can?
#mce_temp_url#


Apologies for the million questions,


Practical Questions:
Is this boat too big to be singlehanded?
The boat hasnt been antifouled in 5 years, im worried the zincs will be nonexistant, should i be expecting extensive repairs to the hull?
With the cranes and fishing gear removed the boat's draft has gone from 2.2m to 1.7ish, Im guessing i need to replace this weight with more ballast? Is it safe or stupid to bring her back to sydney at 1.7m?
Is a metal boat going to be freezing in winter and an oven in summer?
Since the boat was built in the 60's what do you expect needs replacing - fuel tanks?


Finances:
My plan would be roughly get a $40k loan, $25k for the boat and then 15 for expenses...


How far the 15 stretches is what i'm worried about
- haul out, sandblast & antifoul (no idea of cost yet)
- install holding tank for toilet (no idea)
- replace zincs (no idea)
- mooring guy said roughly $3000
- mooring fee in the dodgy end of sydney harbour $1500
- boat registration $260
- fuel to sydney (think its like 1000 nm?) $3500 (is this realistic?)
- thinking finding a captain to help with delivery would be a very smart investment (no idea)


I'd move back home with the parents (save $11k/yr in rent and save more on utilities/food/not having alcoholic flatmates). So I could afford maybe $20k - 25k a year on boat costs (though $10k/yr would be repayments). Hoping that would be enough.


Other information:
The boat was shortened in its past to meet certain fishing ground regulations - does that just mean its a bit shorter, or will its handling be all stuffed up?
The prop is in a cork snozzle - whatever that means?





Anyone have any people to recommend in Adelaide?


thanks heaps for looking,
Dave

I like the purchase price, but I'm not in love with the curtains.

Seriously, a professional survey is the only way to know what you've got there. My guess is that their could be hull and gear damage, given the four or five years sitting in the water. I am willing to be wrong about that, so do get a survey.


The other major concern I have is your capitalization. I don't think, given the size of the vessel, that fifteen thousand is likely to be enough to make her right.


Is 68' too much to single hand? Not if you are a skilled boat handler. If you are not, the first think I would do is get some professional instruction. That's a lot of windage, a lot of tonnage, and has great ability to do damage to other vessels. Think about lots of insurance.

Shortening or lengthening an original design without benefit of a naval architect could seriously effect many aspects of a boats sea worthiness. I would want to see certification of the vessel in her current configuration.

Getting back to the subject of capitalization, I would add that a smaller boat would be a step in the right direction. You really don't need a 68' boat for single handing. A fifty footer could be a fine little home, and a whale of a lot cheaper. I wouldn't buy this particular boat unless you absolutely had to have one that big, and had $150,000 minimum, in my pocket, and a line of credit.

Sorry about the brutal honesty, but I'd rather see you sad than mad.
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:58 PM   #3
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RE: crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

Quote:
Carey wrote:
I like the purchase price, but I'm not in love with the curtains.

Seriously, a professional survey is the only way to know what you've got there. My guess is that their could be hull and gear damage, given the four or five years sitting in the water. I am willing to be wrong about that, so do get a survey.


The other major concern I have is your capitalization. I don't think, given the size of the vessel, that fifteen thousand is likely to be enough to make her right.


Is 68' too much to single hand? Not if you are a skilled boat handler. If you are not, the first think I would do is get some professional instruction. That's a lot of windage, a lot of tonnage, and has great ability to do damage to other vessels. Think about lots of insurance.

Shortening or lengthening an original design without benefit of a naval architect could seriously effect many aspects of a boats sea worthiness. I would want to see certification of the vessel in her current configuration.

Getting back to the subject of capitalization, I would add that a smaller boat would be a step in the right direction. You really don't need a 68' boat for single handing. A fifty footer could be a fine little home, and a whale of a lot cheaper. I wouldn't buy this particular boat unless you absolutely had to have one that big, and had $150,000 minimum, in my pocket, and a line of credit.

Sorry about the brutal honesty, but I'd rather see you sad than mad.



Hi Carey,

It's actually 48 feet instead of 68. I still worry 48 is too big though!

Re Hull and Gear damage, are there things that I can look for before getting a survey (i wouldnt buy it without one, but maybe i can see enough damage to know its not worth it). I don't mind jumping in with a snorkel, but worried i wouldnt be able to see anything after 5 years of growth.

I've read about people with a screwdriver or a hole punch testing the inside of the hull for rust, is that on the right track? Will there be obvious signs where the shaft comes through the hull? (is that called a stuffing box?)

thanks again

Dave

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Old 01-25-2011, 07:03 PM   #4
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RE: crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

When all of those Lovley Australian Ladies come aboard your yacht for the party best give 'em a PFD.

I love you Aussies, always up for an adventure or at least a good "Cork Snozzle". Doesn't a Cork Snozzle have a few X's behind that name indicating that it's a good alcoholic beverage?

Rob Hays
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:24 PM   #5
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RE: crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

Quote:
daavvee wrote:

*
Hi Carey,
It's actually 48 feet instead of 68? Don't know where I got that number. *I still worry 48 is too big though!

Re Hull and Gear damage, are there things that I can look for before getting a survey (i wouldnt buy it without one, but maybe i can see enough damage to know its not worth it). I don't mind jumping in with a snorkel, but worried i wouldnt be able to see anything after 5 years of growth.

I've read about people with a screwdriver or a hole punch testing the inside of the hull for rust, is that on the right track? Will there be obvious signs where the shaft comes through the hull? (is that called a stuffing box?)

thanks again

Dave
DaveSorry about the length discrepency. Not sure how that came about. I'm glad to hear it though. I really like her lines, and can picture a nice on deck cabin behind the existing structure.


48' is big. Not a huge step for me or someone already operating something a little smaller, but as a first boat, I would definitely recommend some personal, professional instruction on boat handling. Even a few hours would make a tremendous difference.


As to potential damaged done to all, it's anyones guess. Anti-fouling paint may have held up, but then the question is zincs, which I assume have also been neglected. I really don't have the knowledge to help you identify with your non-professional steel boat eyes, what might be problematic. An ice pick might help you locate problem areas. Ultra sonic testing is truly the bottom line in determining the integrity of the hull, and it's actual viable thickness. Pitting, severe rust, would be things to look for. Personally, I would find a steel boat expert in your area to do just an integrity analysis, to help you decide whether you want to spend the money on a full survey. I guess if you want to approach a self-survey with a chance of good results, I'd google for everything you can find on the subject of steel boats and how to inspect for damage. I would definitely look under those iron pigs used for ballast, as their contact with the hull would concern me.


Now, let's talk about the engine. Turned over is not running. Diesels, like most engines, need to be run, so, at the very least, there might need to be some damage repair done. The 8V71 is a proven workhorse, worth the effort to keep running. Lots of parts available, and lots of competent mechanics available. Even replacement engines are available at reasonable prices.


Another question that comes to my mind is why this boat went out of service in the first place. Ask the owner.


Be patient here on this forum, and I'm sure my compatriots with more steel boat knowledge will chime in soon.


Cheers and Good Luck!!!

*
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:56 PM   #6
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RE: crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

DaveCheck this site. The first of what will likely be many you will find.
http://www.boatsurveyor.com/Articles...Inspection.htm
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:40 AM   #7
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crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

Quote:
daavvee wrote:


I know a little about boats and have fun on a small aluminium dinghy, but besides that I don't know much.



You asked so..... I think that based on your description of the boat and your description of your boating experience/knowledge this would be a match made in hell.

This has all the key ingredients for a frustrating, disappointing, and costly boating experience.* The boat is old, it's been neglected, it's been partially stripped, it's stability has been changed, it's made of a material about which you know nothing in terms of protecting, maintaining, and repairing, and your boating experience and knowledge is minimal.* The purchase price may be low but, like death and taxes, another sure thing is that you get what you pay for.

Unless you want a shop project to learn about six million skills on and actual boating is not an objective, I suggest you take the route just about every one of us on this forum has taken and start with a boat that you can operate, maintain, repair, and fix with the skill level and knowledge you currently have. This knowledge, by the way, includes knowing when to hire a professional when something proves to be beyond one's own abilities.

If you're interested in this "trawlering" thing--- I hate that name because none of our boats are trawlers but I guess we have to go along with the marketing folks---- I think the sensible approach is to first charter one for a week or whatever to see if you even like the experience.* You might not.* If you don't feel you have the experience to charter a boat--- or the charter companies don't feel you have the experience--- you can always share a charter with someone you know who does have the experience.

Then if you decide you like this kind of boating--- and* bear in mind that the idyllic pictures painted by the boating writers are 90 percent bullsh*t-- owning a boat is a lot of work, frustration, worry, and cash outflow--- then get a boat that best meets what you want to do with a boat.

The number one rule in surviving as a pilot also applies to surviving being a boat owner and operator--- Know Your Limitations.* This includes not buying a boat that's beyond your capabilities.* A challenge is one thing, biting off more than you can chew is another.

If I had a dollar for every boater I have met, heard about, or read about, who bought the wrong boat and had a miserable and VERY expensive time with it and had NONE of the great experiences that for the rest of us make the downside of boating worth putting up with, I'd have enough money to buy that new Fleming 55 we want instead of having to sue Headhustler for it (another story in another thread).

I'm just going on what you've posted so far.* But to me, what you are contemplating sounds like the potentially absolute worst way to get into boating I can think of.

I'm not known for being politically correct or even very nice.* So I'll summarize my opinion thusly--- It's a bad idea.* Don't do it.* If you do you'll soon wish you hadn't but you'll have already spent the money and you won't be able to undo it because nobody else will touch your boat with a ten foot pole so you'll be stuck with it.

You need to buy a boat that fits your abilities and capabilities.* This one isn't it.

*


-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 26th of January 2011 03:46:36 AM
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:39 PM   #8
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crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

Dave,

Welcome. You are right to look at trawlers, but this one is not for you. Everything Marin says is right on the money. If you decide you really want a trawler, then around 35-40ft single or twin diesel and fiberglass. Get one that goes; not something you have to work on before it can move out of the dock.

Let us know what you decide.
Mike

Edit: No offense intended to those with steel/aluminium or wooden boats, but I believe fiberglass is the best choice for a first boat.

-- Edited by Shoalwaters on Wednesday 26th of January 2011 01:42:12 PM
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:53 PM   #9
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RE: crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

Dave,* Sorry to agree with the others but, you have the right idea and the wrong boat.**Way too big, not for handling but for maintaining, she will drain you out!

Too much work and too much money.** Even for free you would probably not be comfortable with the care and feeding of this vessel.

Find something a bit smaller you can use while you improve her and you will have a better boating experience.

Take Care-* Keep posting*we like your enthusiasm.*** JohnP
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:11 AM   #10
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RE: crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

Dave,
There are better buys at home here than that tin bucket.
Not happy with the GM or the big gen sets but they are all saleable items if they are in working order.
The steel bucket work on the stern concerns me, most unusual.
Steel hull that has not been antifouled for that long would require a haul out and an ultrasound.
If all the trawl gear has been removed and weight removed then a bit of ballasting may be required.
If fuel tanks are in good condition, filling her up will put her down in the water a bit.
When I get a chance I will have a better look at the photos , I am presently in WA but back in Qld on Sat.
You never know it may nor be as bad as first impressions.
See if you can find out the designer and builders names , they may be a good source of information.
As it is an Aus registered ship this info should be available.
Benn
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:17 AM   #11
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RE: crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

If you try to take that boat from Adelaide to Sydney I fear you may not be long for this forum *not many safe anchorages on that stretch of coast.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:10 AM   #12
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RE: crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

Hey guys,

Thanks for all of your input, it is greatly appreciated. This is fast becoming a learning exercise instead of a buying one, but still interested to see where it leads. Tried to answer everyone, sorry if I missed things.


Hi Rob,
Mate I think it'll be a while before any girls come on board haha. Mmmmm XXXX brewery - Good times


Hello again Carey,
Yep, I completely agree on getting some on the boat lessons, without knowing the cost I was thinking of getting someone to do the delivery (get me past bass strait at least) and learning me on the way.
I'll contact the owner and see if he knows about the engine issue, I didn't pick the difference - cheers for that.*I suspect the boat went out of service during one of the licence buybacks. He's owned it for 6-7 years and there were licence buybacks in 2004 so i'm guessing thats the cause. Thanks for the link, took a while to get through.


Hi Marin,
Yeah I can be a sucker for punishment sometimes, thanks for your advice. Forgot to mention (because i forgot completely haha) that each year myself and 9 other guys rent out a 45 ft houseboat on the hawkesbury river (sounds kind of wimpy but its bigger than sydney harbour). It's a twin outboard though and there is very little traffic - but i've always found it fun - even when the weather turns. I'll claim the captaincy this time round and practice nautical things. A boat smaller than that would be pretty tight to live on... Regarding the stripping and stability, is fixing that as straightforward as more ballast down below or is it something a naval architect must advise on?
That Fleming is a nice looking boat, if you ever need someone to mind it while you tour inland Australia let us know!


Hi Mike,
Thanks for your thoughts, all the cheap trawlers seem to be wooden hulls, this is the second steel one i've found, after adding up the problems though the fibreglass ones are becoming more reasonable in price. I know wood is a deal breaker unless you are passionate about it, and thought steel was ok? This may be a dumb question - can a fibreglass hull run a hull cooled engine? I really liked the idea of dry stacked exhaust & hull cooling. Along with being a shaft drive it seemed to avoid some expensive problems?


Hi John,
Guess i'll just have to find the right boat! thanks mate. I'd like to call some yards to find out how much this stuff costs... besides antifoul and zincs what needs to be done each year? Is there a maintenance schedule somewhere on the internet I can look up?


Hi Benn,
Sorry whats a GM? is it this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metacentric_height
Are the gensets simply too big? If they were to be removed, should they fit up through a deck hatch or are they entombed?*I'll try and find out the history from the owner. I think he said there was a leak in the brine tank and it was opened up for repair access. Whereabouts are these better boats... offline? Thanks again, hope you didn't get flooded.




wow that took a while, time to sleep


cheers,
dave
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:53 AM   #13
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RE: crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

Do it Davveee, just do it. Get your 8 buddies to help you with the $70K refit, pay for an engine rebuild - $30 K, steam clean the fuel tanks - $10 K, replace the water tanks*-*$15K, Paint the whole shebang - $30 K*and reprime the hull inside and out - $50K. Figure about $30 K for new instruments and radar. In 2018 you should be able to invite the lassies on board for a party.

Or buy a good 32 foot trawler for $120 to 150 K and invite the lassies on aboard in 3 months
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:20 PM   #14
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crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

Dave,
GM General Motors/Detroit Diesel, Jimmy all the same.Good old engine but noisy, thirsty etc.

I know most of the x trawlers out there are timber and really that is nothing to be afraid of.
If they have been maintained in survey up until buy back a reasonable survey will tell you what condition the hull is in.

PM me if you want to chat re boat buying as I have my finger on most of the stuff around Aus. (Note I am a timber boat crazy)
Thanks for the thoughts, my missus didn't get flooded but the water was not far from the house, in the meantime I was in the West running away from cyclones on a rig tender, 3 cyclones in 5 weeks so far , looks like it could be a busy year.
Mind you the boat you are looking at may nor be so bad if the basics are good.

The 8V71 is probably a bit more power than what you would need as a pleasure boat.
Good trawling power especially driving thru a nozzle.
The 2 gen sets are both about 22 kVA for pleasure 1 x *3 cyl Perkins driving a 9 KVA would be adequate.
But they are items you could address down the line.

All in all it is a good way to make a miniscule fortune from a small one but if you have the tenacity and the dollars it could be done.
From the photos there is a fair bit to do before you could leave Adelaide and head for Sydney.

Benn

-- Edited by Tidahapah on Thursday 27th of January 2011 02:34:20 PM
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:35 PM   #15
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RE: crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

HI Dave,
I went through the same thing about 3 years ago, started looking at old steel trawlers as I thought wood was too much work and could be trouble but then an old sea dog gave me some wise words "you will never see a 100 year old steel boat".

Long story short I bought a 65 foot 1966 wooden prawn trawler and haven't looked back but converting her from a commercial boat to pleasure is not cheap and 15 grand will go nowhere. Slipping and antifouling with a few minor repairs will cost you at least 10 grand, the batteries and electrics will more than likely need changing as these boats are designed to have the genie running 24/7.

Mine also has a gm motor but of the 12 cylinder variety, great engine and at 1500 rpm and 8.5 knots she is surprisingly quit and only burns about 35 litres, But the engines only being turned over for the last few years and not ran worries me.

Before buying this boat my experience was some what limited, owned a couple of 16 to 18 ft fishing boats so I was a bit worried if it was too much boat for me but having a farming background and commercial pilots licence helped and the old owners coming with me on my first voyage that was a 3 day steam was invaluable. There is a lot to take in and a few hours is not enough to learn all the Ins and outs of an old boat.

I live in SA so if you need someone to talk too let me know.

Adam
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:57 AM   #16
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RE: crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

Adam,
where have you been hiding we need more of you on this forum to prop up down under members.
especialy timber boat owners.
65 ft thats a big boat, gotta love it.
Give us more details.
Design, builder, timber etc
Pickies please.

Benn
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:54 AM   #17
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RE: crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

thanks guys,
pretty much i wont have the cash for the refit/repairs (which you all already knew haha), so think it'll be a few years before i'm buying a boat.


Hi Andy,
I was wondering about that too, where would you stop along the coast? how many hours do you think the trip might take?



Hi sunchaser,
option two definitely sounds better!


Hi Benn,
Dodging cyclones sounds fun. I'll send you a pm.


Hi Adam,
I'd love to see some pics too. Might be a dumb question but did the prawn smell come out? Do you have a website or something detailing the refit?


i better go, thanks again for all the replies and insight
Dave
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:21 AM   #18
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RE: crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

Now that might just have been one of the most cost-effective web forum exchanges ever. I think you guys might have saved David a bundle, but more importantly, from a labour of love which would have quickly turned to one of hate and despair....
I know someone who started a self-build boat project much too large for him (55 ft), back in 1977 I think. I got my own first boat, a 20 ft trailer yacht, about the same time, and am now into my 5th vessel. It cost him a marriage, a huge amount of time and money....and it is still unfinished - he still does not have a boat.
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:39 PM   #19
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crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

I've seen many folk, well enough folk, that are dazzled by a low price but don't realize there is a reason and do not truly understand how much is involved in keeping a vessel like this afloat. SOme folk have the skills, knowledge and money to deal with this boat, it sounds like you do not, at least not yet.

These folk are often turned off boating entirely. Not boating's fault but they bought trouble and it ate them alive. Those that I've seen make a success of it have some basis to build on, whether construction, welding and steel work or previous similar boatbuilding/repair.

Some time building from scratch is easier than trying to repair and rebuild.

I don't think $15,000 for repairs and such wouldn't even get you started.

Find a smaller and more practical vessel that you can learn on.

If you do decide to pursue this then an absolute must is find a surveyor who is knowledgeable about vessels like this and can keep in mind what you want to do. There are some around who can advise you about what you are in for, level of work, expense.** *It may be off the record but will be invaluable.

Keep this in mind too. It may be different where you are, but where I am , if the boat sinks and causes a lot of pollution you are liable for what could be huge sums. You may not be able to get insurance UNTILL the boat is seaworthy to the insurance company surveyor's satisfaction.

My apologies too about being so negative. You could be the one to pull it off. Just don't be blinded by the low price into jumping into a burning frypan.



-- Edited by C lectric on Friday 28th of January 2011 03:40:45 PM
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Old 01-28-2011, 05:45 PM   #20
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City: Port Lincoln
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Nenad
Vessel Model: Frahnof
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 32
RE: crazy aussie thinking of buying a steel trawler in adelaide

Gday Benn,
Just stumbled across this website recently and it has been good getting a few ideas.
The old girl is built by Tony Franov in Sydney out of iron bark.
Steamed straight down to Port Lincoln where she did tuna poling for about 8 years then converted to prawns for 20 years then finally salmon was its last paying job.
It is a big heavy single screw boat so it has been a very steep learning curve for me but so far I haven't bumped into anything, the pros watch me very closely in the marina.

Gday Dave,
Don't get too turned off by the idea but the purchase price on these old fishing boats is probably the cheapest part, converting them and maintaining them is a big job.
I have had mine for three years and am slowly converting her over but i suspect it will always be a work in progress. The next job on the list is stabilisers and fill in most of the back deck.
It never had the smell of fish and by the amount I am catching I don't think it ever will.Need to take some more recent photos, the crows nest and crane has now been removed.

Adam
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