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Old 10-10-2011, 08:00 PM   #1
JP
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Help Needed

Hello everyone!

I'm a trawler newbie and need some advice. *I am looking to live aboard with my two sons, ages 14 and 10. *I am looking at a 1978 42' Californian without a flybridge and a 1979 Marine Trader Sedan Europa. *

The Californian has twin Perkins diesels (approx. 2000 hrs), an 7.5 kw Onan generator, a 2000 w honda generator and a 12v windlass.*No survey is available for the Californian.

The Marine Trader does not come with a generator or a windlass, but it has a single 120hp Lehman (2400 hours and about 200 hours since "top end overhaul"), and an inverter . *A survey from two years ago indicates loose, unterminated connections in the lower helm console and loose unterminated conductors in the engine compartment. *The outlets in the galley and head are not GFCI protected as recommended by the ABYC. Additionally, there is some delamination of the stringers in the engine room, although immediate repair ( 2 years ago) was not recommended at that time.

The Marine Trader is priced about $12,000 less than the Californian, but I would like to address the above-listed deficiencies on the Marine Trader and add a generator.

Opinions?

Thanks!
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:17 PM   #2
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RE: Help Needed

You didn't mention the length on the MT 36,40 or 44? We owned a 36 until a few months ago. The deficiencies you are referring to are absolutely nothing. I can assure you both boats have far greater issues then those. Get a good survey done on whichever boat you pursue and educate yourself much more thoroughly on boat system, etc. so you can make an informed decision. It wouldn't hurt at all to have a buyers broker (like your's truly) knowledgeable in boats and in your case trawlers assist you. *
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:20 PM   #3
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RE: Help Needed

Don't fall in love. And look at lots (more than 2 - preferably more than 20) before you even think about getting serious about any of them.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:23 PM   #4
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RE: Help Needed

You should have professional hull AND engine surveys done on any boat you are seriously contemplating buying. Particularly as you are a newcomer to this kind of boating. Professional hull and engine surveys are not inexpensive but compared to the potential black hole of expenses if you buy a bad boat, they are damn near free.

With regards to the Ford Lehman 120, 2400 hours doesn't sound like very many hours to warrant a top end overhaul. Of course, I don't know what is meant in this case by "top end overhaul." If the guy adjusted the valves, then that's normal maintenance. If he, in fact, had to replace valves and guides or other valve train components, that sounds rather premature given this engine's repuation (we have two of them). So I would wonder about how the engine had been treated during those preceding 2400 hours.

The 7.5kw Onan generator is most likely an MDJE (we have one of those, too) and while they are a pretty reliable unit they are getting very long in the tooth these days and parts and service can be very expensive. They are also noisy and generate both electricity and vibration. iF you are in a hot climate where air conditioning is a must, an MDJE is not really what I'd want to be relying on for this kind of service.

The issues you have described--- no GFI protection on AC outlets, a 12 vdc windlass, a few loose connections--- are small potatoes compared to what could be wrong with either one of these boats. Delaminating engine stringers is not something I would take lightly and boats of this type and vintage are susceptible to a huge array of bank-account draining problems from dry rot in subdecks and cabin sides to leaking windows to--- the list goes on and on and on.

If you are really interested in either one of these boats, spring the thousand or so for professional surveys. It doesn't matter if a boat has or doesn't have an existing survey. It is worthless as far as telling you what you need to know about the boat because you don't know who did it, if they were competent, or what's changed since it was done. The ONLY way to put the best cards in your hand is to have your own surveys done by surveyors YOU choose, not the seller.

Without having professional surveys done you might as well put a photo of each boat on the wall, step off twenty paces, blindfold yourself, and turn around and throw a dart at the wall, and buy whichever boat the dart comes closest to.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:05 PM   #5
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Help Needed

Quote:
JP wrote:
Hello everyone!

The Californian has twin Perkins diesels (approx. 2000 hrs), an 7.5 kw Onan generator, a 2000 w honda generator and a 12v windlass.*No survey is available for the Californian.

The Marine Trader does not come with a generator or a windlass, but it has a single 120hp Lehman (2400 hours and about 200 hours since "top end overhaul"), and an inverter . *A survey from two years ago indicates loose, unterminated connections in the lower helm console and loose unterminated conductors in the engine compartment. *The outlets in the galley and head are not GFCI protected as recommended by the ABYC. Additionally, there is some delamination of the stringers in the engine room, although immediate repair ( 2 years ago) was not recommended at that time.

The Marine Trader is priced about $12,000 less than the Californian, but I would like to address the above-listed deficiencies on the Marine Trader and add a generator.

Opinions?

Thanks!
42' Californian's without a flybridge are very rare, I have seen only one and it's for sale.* If it's the same one, it needs substantial work.* Californians in general are great boats when properly maintained.
Marine Trader - I have friends with MT's, but don't know much about them. Anytime your say delamination and stringers in the same sentence, makes me nervous.
Bottom line
Sounds like both boats need work.
Work equals money
Unless you can do the work yourself, it quickly becomes a money pit.
Whatever you decide, spend the few hundred dollars it costs and get your own survey.


-- Edited by Edelweiss on Monday 10th of October 2011 09:07:30 PM
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:10 PM   #6
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RE: Help Needed

Never go by an old survey. The survey depends a lot on who was paying for it and why the survey was performed. If the survey is performed for an existing owner for insurance purposes, the surveyor may not look all that hard. If a survey is performed for a potential buyer, just about everything is listed including unimportant things like missing light bulbs. I also find it unusual for unterminated connections, loose unterminated conductors in the engine compartment, outlets in the galley and head are not GFCI protected and delamination problems not requiring immediate attention.
Get a survey on anything you buy.
I recently had the hots for a 40' trawler. I hired a surveyor to go over the boat. We had already made arrangements for the boat to be hauled out at a yard immediately after the surveyor did his "in the water survey". Turns out that in about 10 to 12 minutes, the surveyor came up with about $20K in estimated repairs. This included rotted fuel tanks with pin holes in the top, delaminated decks, weak beams and other stuff. This was all before he even cranked the engine which he didn't because we called the survey off and abandoned the boat. This 12 minutes only cost me $100 when I was fully prepared to spend $1,000 to $1300 for a full inspection. I got lucky when I hired this surveyor.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:04 PM   #7
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Help Needed

JP Read your thread and the posts thereafter.* I dont know what district of U.S. you reside... but if you live in North West, may I suggest you look into Tollycraft boats.* Theres plenty on Yachtworld and if you live by Seattle, Craigslist usually has plenty of Tolly for sale.* I must warn you that Im a bit prejudiced toward Tollycraft, seeing as we own a real nice 34 1977 tri cabin Tolly.* IMHO, Tolly made one heck of a stout, comfortable, and sea worthy group of production craft!* That said... as mentioned by others: Take Your Time, look at many boats before coming close to a buying decision, and do spend the money on your own chosen surveyor (once you find a boat to get really serious about).* Also, just to help get yourself*in knowledge... Google David Pascoe and read his reviews.* Hes not end-all on learning about boats, but for a newbie he is a great learning start.* Good luck! - Art *


-- Edited by Art on Monday 10th of October 2011 10:05:57 PM
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Old 10-11-2011, 02:55 AM   #8
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Help Needed

*
JP

I was looking at a MT not too long ago, it also had delaminating stringers. The surveyor said water and oil from the bilge had gotten into the*fittings at the motor mounts and according to his moisture meter, had wicked all the way to the one of the bulkheads. He said the integrity of the hull could easily be compromised in a swell.* He said the cost of repair would be prohibitive, given the age of the boat.

If you find a boat that you like, have a surveyor do a walk through inspection.* It should cost you about $150, but could save you the expense of a full inspection if the surveyor finds a significant problem.

If it the boat checks out ok, then most definitely have a full survey done (you'll probably need one for insurance anyway).You will also want a marine engine surveyor to check the engine, especially for the sea trial. There are so many things that even an experienced boater can miss, it's money well spent.

Be realistic about what you can afford, and don't forget that a lot of folks go by the rule that you will spend around 10% of the purchase price on repairs and upgrades right from the get go.

So, like the other folks here have suggested, take your time, do your homework, and be willing to walk away from a boat (yeah, don't fall in love). You'll find the right one eventually, and that's part of the fun.

I've been looking for about a year now and am just now closing in on two boats.* I usually have about four or five boats on my "need to check out" list.* After a while you learn to deal with the disappointment of finding a walk-away problem with a boat that you have your heart set on.

At some point you might need to adjust your priorities. Sometimes doing so makes a lot more boats available.

That being said, here's a nice MT Europa Sedan, however, she's got twins.

Good luck************** KJ
<h2>**********http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1979.../United-States</h2>



*


-- Edited by KJ on Thursday 13th of October 2011 01:41:46 PM
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:35 PM   #9
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RE: Help Needed

You will spend far more then the $12,000 difference in the price if you have a good generator installed professionally in a boat that is not already wired/plumbed for it, in addition to the other repairs. Not trying to scare you off but if buying and older boat and genset is must, buy on that was already designed with a genset in it. And like everyone else said, have a full survey done. Old surveys are more then worthless, they are a liability....
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:34 AM   #10
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RE: Help Needed

Old surveys have value but only to compare with a new survey. Are all the old problems taken care of or have they been neglected? Maybe some items fixed but others not? Like everyone says here your own PREPURCHASE survey must be done. An insurance survey does not give you the information needed to buy a boat.
Find out what material was used for the fuel tanks, the Californian might have aluminum tanks rather than black iron, however both materials are subject to corrosion.
I also suggest to all newbies to check on getting insurance early in the process, insurance is hard to get for inexperienced boaters on an older boat. Also if you want to finance part of the purchase get that pre-approved.
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:54 AM   #11
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RE: Help Needed

Quote:
Tony B wrote:
Never go by an old survey. The survey depends a lot on who was paying for it and why the survey was performed. If the survey is performed for an existing owner for insurance purposes, the surveyor may not look all that hard. If a survey is performed for a potential buyer, just about everything is listed including unimportant things like missing light bulbs. I also find it unusual for unterminated connections, loose unterminated conductors in the engine compartment, outlets in the galley and head are not GFCI protected and delamination problems not requiring immediate attention.
Get a survey on anything you buy.
I recently had the hots for a 40' trawler. I hired a surveyor to go over the boat. We had already made arrangements for the boat to be hauled out at a yard immediately after the surveyor did his "in the water survey". Turns out that in about 10 to 12 minutes, the surveyor came up with about $20K in estimated repairs. This included rotted fuel tanks with pin holes in the top, delaminated decks, weak beams and other stuff. This was all before he even cranked the engine which he didn't because we called the survey off and abandoned the boat. This 12 minutes only cost me $100 when I was fully prepared to spend $1,000 to $1300 for a full inspection. I got lucky when I hired this surveyor.
*Let me guess.....Roy Newberry????
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