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Old 03-17-2018, 01:50 PM   #1
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Has anyone bought a bit of a fixer upper??? 46’ Jefferson

Hello all! Last summer we bought a 31’ Mainship and have loved it more than we ever thought we would. Many of you said it was a great starter Boat and we’d eventually wanted larger. We thought that was ridiculous. Well...the Mainship is going up for sale soon because we are looking for a bigger boat. Lol

My wife and I have always wanted a bit of a fixer upper. Our first house was a 1980 that we totally renovated. Now we are in another house that’s a 1988 and are also renovating it as well. We do everything ourselves (except removing popcorn ceilings....awful job). Anyway, we see a lot of larger older travelers that are really just a little neglected and ugly. It would be fun to renovate one. But of course we know if we aren’t careful, the boat could end up costing much more money than we ever planned. So we are looking for something that’s mechanically sound, just need some TLC.

We have a 4 year old little girl and a little boy who will be here in a few weeks. We really want 3 staterooms. Not only so the kids could have their own rooms in case little man sleeps at different times than our daughter, but also so friends could stay with us and the kids could sleep in the V Birth bunks. We plan on keeping this next boat for a very long time.

This brings us to “Therapy”. She’s a 1988 Jefferson 46’. We love everything about the lay out. I love that it has two helms, a large fly and back deck, and lots of room inside. Now, this particular boat has some rather outdated pics and info. A hurricane destroyed the isenglass and blew away most of the cussions on the fly. Bimini is still there. The inside is as pictured except it’s a mess...so dirty. Also it comes with no electronics.

I have videos of the mains firing up with no smoke and the generator running. It’s currently in the water and the owner is using it. Being mechanically inclined, I’d check it out myself. I’d also send oil and gearbox samples out to be analyzed. All systems work except for an AC, has an error code. I’d have the owner have it serviced and make sure it’s working.

Our plan would be to update the interior, remove the built in benches on the fly and use patio furnature and because there’s a helm in the saloon, we’d leave the isenglass off and just keep the bimini for shade.

He is asking $60k. These boats go for $80-100 in nice shape.

We plan on flying from Charlotte to the Boat and moving it to the keys hopefully by the winter. After we get tired of the keys, we want to go to the Bahamas and eventually end up in Southport NC.

Our trips would be about 3-4 days at a time, once or twice a month leaving the boat at transient slips along the way. I think we’d get to New Orleans and leave it there for a bit, taking a break from moving it and focus on getting some work done while enjoying a cool city. Then when we are ready, we’d continue until we want a break again.

I’d love to hear some experiences with anyone who has bought a boat that needed TLC. And as always, and and all opinions are welcome!

Thanks guys.
Steve

Here’s the link:

http://www.boats.com/power-boats/198...erson-6092066/
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Old 03-17-2018, 02:04 PM   #2
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I love working on boats. We currently have a 41’ President. The list of things we have done to it is extremely long. We are currently working on the hull in preparation for a 2 part poly paint job this spring. Have all the old portholes out and am grinding out the damaged areas in the glass. The PO was a charter member of the coalition of the docking impaired. Nothing wrong with buying a fixer upper. Just buy at the right price and then be willing to spend at least twice as much as you think it will possibly cost to finish it. And it will take at least twice as long as you estimate to finish it. I enjoy doing most of the work, the sanding sucks but most of the rest is fun and gives me something to do. Check stringers, etc very thoroughly along with the other major structural items. Glad you had a good experience with the Mainship you bought last year.
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Old 03-17-2018, 04:29 PM   #3
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Why not buy the one in Baltimore for $27,500 if you want a fixer upper?
You can break things down into major categories:
Mechanical: Requires complete set of tools. Experience helpful. Parts costly.
Electronics/Wiring: Instruments are expensive. Wiring easy
Fiberglass: Easy to learn
Woodwork: Requires a well equipped shop

Woodwork on a boat is cabinet level. Requires expertise and equipment. It's the hardest in my book. I can frame a house but I can't make a coffee table and boat interiors are like coffee tables. Expensive teak coffee tables. If you enjoy the work, great.

My current project boat was purchased with 1 engine DOA, 1 transmission inop plugged with rust, 2nd transmission iffy. Original 1985 condition. Original 1985 electronics. I've already rebuilt the transmissions. New exhaust, fuel, and raw water systems currently in process. I enjoy the work.

A very long list of pre and post splash items but it will go in the water 5/31 and we will head off for a month cruise in Aug. Ready or not. Wife has declared there will be no leaks over the bunks.

I'm not convinced there is any huge financial advantage. Restoring is expensive. It's also very very time consuming. Brightwork needs to be completely redone. Teak decks need to be redone. Windows cracked and leak. I could easily spend the season (and next) getting it shipshape.
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Old 03-17-2018, 04:41 PM   #4
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Yea, you could call it that....

https://caribbeansealife.com/about-our-boat/refit/

Enjoy ��
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Old 03-17-2018, 04:47 PM   #5
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I bought a boat which required the following in the first 3 years.

New engine, gearbox, windlass, fuel tanks, batteries, complete rewire, battery charger, hot water tank, re-core the deck, new standing & running rigging, new electronics plus more.

If I sold it now, it would only be worth slightly more than I paid for it, so financially it makes no sense. But if I had the opportunity to do it again, I wouldn't change a thing.
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Old 03-17-2018, 04:48 PM   #6
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Very good advise from Comodave, that the time and money you put into a project boat like this will be WAY higher than you thought possible. And don't plan on getting back much of what you put into the boat when you sell it. The value of the improvements comes from you getting to use and enjoy what you've done to the boat.. Personally, I find big boat projects to be very enjoyable. You just need the time, money and an understanding wife!
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:02 PM   #7
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+1 on the understanding wife. My wife doesn’t even ask what boat parts or accessories cost any more. She just shakes her head and walks away.
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:11 PM   #8
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What? I thought every boat was a fixer upper?
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:19 PM   #9
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The problem with a fixer is that you will never know the true cost until it is done. It is pretty easy to get an estimate of the cost to fix what you can see and what you know is wrong. The problem is that there is almost always something else hiding behind what you are working on that creates more work and more money.

I don’t enjoy rehabbing things. Maybe because my first house was built in 1916 and I used to own a 1984 sailboat with rotten cored decks?

A couple pieces of advice from an old person. 1) make sure you get a good survey, along with a mechanical survey. The information will save you from some surprises and may help with the negotiation. Not to mention that it will be required to insure it anyway. 2). 2 kids are 3-4 times the work of one. Unless you are financially independent and simply fix up houses for fun and don’t have a steady job, be sure that you and your wife are realistic about the time it takes to work on a boat. If you are working on the house, you can always set down a hammer or paint brush to lend a hand with a kid. Not so if you are down at the boat working on it. Babies are just plain hard work.
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Old 03-17-2018, 06:08 PM   #10
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What does "complete blister job" on the bottom mean?
Blisters repaired?
Bottom soda/sand blasted, dried,blisters ground out,properly filled, new epoxy or vinylester layers?
I`d check that,and get the invoices.Opinions vary wildly on blister solutions, but do find out what was done.
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Old 03-17-2018, 07:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoWhat View Post
Why not buy the one in Baltimore for $27,500 if you want a fixer upper?
You can break things down into major categories:
Mechanical: Requires complete set of tools. Experience helpful. Parts costly.
Electronics/Wiring: Instruments are expensive. Wiring easy
Fiberglass: Easy to learn
Woodwork: Requires a well equipped shop

Woodwork on a boat is cabinet level. Requires expertise and equipment. It's the hardest in my book. I can frame a house but I can't make a coffee table and boat interiors are like coffee tables. Expensive teak coffee tables. If you enjoy the work, great.

My current project boat was purchased with 1 engine DOA, 1 transmission inop plugged with rust, 2nd transmission iffy. Original 1985 condition. Original 1985 electronics. I've already rebuilt the transmissions. New exhaust, fuel, and raw water systems currently in process. I enjoy the work.

A very long list of pre and post splash items but it will go in the water 5/31 and we will head off for a month cruise in Aug. Ready or not. Wife has declared there will be no leaks over the bunks.

I'm not convinced there is any huge financial advantage. Restoring is expensive. It's also very very time consuming. Brightwork needs to be completely redone. Teak decks need to be redone. Windows cracked and leak. I could easily spend the season (and next) getting it shipshape.
Ha I went and looked at that one in Baltimore. Not only was it a complete gut job, it had cracks in the fiberglass the length of the bridge on both sides so wide I could stick my finger in it. And soft spots all over the place. I honestly don’t know how it’s still floating.
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Old 03-17-2018, 08:26 PM   #12
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Here in Alaska, this would be a 'steal'. Hell of a price.

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Old 03-17-2018, 09:39 PM   #13
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We definitely understand the, it’ll cost twice as much and take twice as long thing. With the boat I’d imagine it’d take even longer. Our plan is to do this in stages. We’d start with just cleaning and new bedding. Then while on our first trip we’d get a better idea of what kind of furnature we want and have it delivered for the next trip. From there we’d pick a room and focus on that until it’s done then move on. Of course there will be regular boat maintenance. One thing that really surprised me about our Mainship is there literally is always something wrong. Might be small, might be more serious, but there always something. So that’s why we are planning long stops at fun cities for trips to the boat just for catching up on work.

It’s cool to hear so many people enjoy working on their boat. We look at an opportunity to make some pretty awesome memories as a family.

I worry about issues with older big boats. Fuel tanks scare me. I’ve done a lot of reading and I know there are reasonable solutions like using the existing tanks as frames and installing a bunch of small plastic tanks or large bladders. I think that an the mains would be the biggest risk with this boat.

So if this boat passes the oil samples, sea trial and my inspection, what kind of surprises could present itself that, if we had known, would have made us walk away?
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:36 PM   #14
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Well a 46’ fixer will definitely keep you busy, but there isn’t anything wrong with that. Good luck, hope the boat is what you want.
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Old 03-18-2018, 08:46 AM   #15
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Steve

Nothing wrong with a fixer upper. You will always be doing something on the boat anyway. We looked at a lot of boats when we were ready to buy last year. We aren't afraid of doing the work that is needed to bring the boat to the condition we want. The question for us was buy a fixer upper for a good price, then put more money in the boat to make the boat safe reliable and livable. Or just spend more money and get a boat that is turn key ( if there is such a thing )..One way or the other you will spend the money. The question for us was how much we really wanted to refit on a boat or do we just want to enjoy asap. Time is something you can't get back. You sound like you have your eyes wide open. I like the boat in Rockport. We almost bought a 46 instead of a 42.
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Old 03-18-2018, 09:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
What? I thought every boat was a fixer upper?
Exactly--just some more than others.
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Old 03-18-2018, 09:28 AM   #17
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Old 03-18-2018, 09:49 AM   #18
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OP: You just bought the Mainship last summer and you're already moving up?? Wow! That's definitely quick. GLWYS
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Old 03-18-2018, 10:25 AM   #19
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When you buy a boat you either want to buy one that is perfect, or one that is cosmetically “uweooo”. It costs very little to clean up “uweooo”.

When it comes to canvas, cushions, and carpet I prefer it to be Past end of life. This way you can get what you want with out paying twice.

Pictures show some potential water leaks in bunk room so a survey is a must.
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Old 03-18-2018, 10:53 AM   #20
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Just be careful!

Spend the time on your-own and money on professional surveyors so you can get clear idea[s] on what you will actually face once purchased.

Weigh all the options concerning time and $$$ needed to get it into as you like it to be condition.

Calc what costs on top of purchase you will need to put into it. I recommend you take those cost calcs and put at least 30% more on top of them. Then figure out how much of a "loss" you can afford to take when you sell her... cause if you fix her all up and pretty - you will most likely never get all your $$$ back.

To me... the most important portion of being sure as possible that breakdown will not soon happen - IS - the engine$. Ten$ of ten$ of Thousand$$$ could quickly become needed.

Then... if you feel good about the boat.. Go For IT!!!
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