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Old 06-30-2014, 01:04 AM   #1
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Looking at converting this fishing boat: advice please

Hey All!
I'm new here. Thanks for having me. I am a bit of a DIY guy and love boats and fixing them up.

This steel boat has recently come up for sale, I know the guy who is selling it and I am going aboard to look at it tomorrow evening. I have no information about it yet, apart from the picture I have attached here. It will be interesting to see it and hear about it tomorrow.

If I purchase it, the plan is to convert it from a fishing vessel to a pleasure boat.

Any advice for a first time steel boat buyer? what to look for, be aware of? Questions to ask?
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Old 06-30-2014, 02:39 AM   #2
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Corrosion, corrosion, corrosion. You have to measure the thickness of the steel that's left on the hull; being a fish boat it will have a high-time engine. Plan on a total rebuild of everything, depending on how "yacht-like" you want it to be. I have a friend who rebuilt a 65' wooden seine boat - he was into it for over a million Canadian. He kept the hull and the engine, built a new aluminum superstructure and rewired, re plumbed, everything. He was very knowledgeable and experienced and is a commercial captain.

Good luck! Just expect the worst.
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Old 06-30-2014, 07:57 AM   #3
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I wonder why this vessel reminds me of the fishing boat in "the perfect storm"?
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:34 AM   #4
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Thanks Xsbank . Thickness of the hull. I'm not sure anybody in town has an instrument to measure this, but I will ask around. I have a friend who used to survey ships on the Faroe islands. He might be the guy to ask.
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
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I wonder why this vessel reminds me of the fishing boat in "the perfect storm"?
Bill
The boat kinda looks like it's BEEN in a perfect storm doesn't it
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:36 AM   #6
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Thanks Xsbank . Thickness of the hull. I'm not sure anybody in town has an instrument to measure this, but I will ask around. I have a friend who used to survey ships on the Faroe islands. He might be the guy to ask.
I would find out if the vessel had a recent survey that included checking the steel that makes up the hull's thickness. If nobody in town can do this I'd find someone before I made any offer on this vessel.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:16 AM   #7
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Tracked down two guys who can measure hull thickness. One, my friend, is on vacation. The other I have yet to contact. Hope he is in town.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:43 AM   #8
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Contacted the other surveyor who happened to have surveyed exactly THIS boat. What luck!

He was willing to share all the info with me because I was interested in the boat as a pleasure boat, not as a commercial interest.

He said they found no hull corrosion. The hull is 9mm thick all around (original hull thickness). Which he said is sufficient for a personal vessel.

He said the interior is a different story. There is a fair bit of corrosion in the ribs/frames (not sure what you call them in English) and the wood interior would probably all need to be gutted.

This boat has been used in the arctic and I think the cold has caused lots of condensation. Probably why the interior is in such bad shape.

He said that as a commercial prospect his company was not interested in it nor is anybody else. And that is why it's on land, it's to expensive for anybody to bring up to commercial arctic specs (if I understood correctly, the hull must be thicker for fishing ships). However it would do fine as a pleasure boat. " just don't ram icebergs or rocks with it" something I was planning to avoid anyways 😄

SO! I'm goin to look at the ship today with more informed eyes now. Feels good.

P.s. he had no information on the engine.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:57 AM   #9
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Well that's a better starting place now that you talked to the surveyor who checked the vessel. I would still go into this vessel with open Eye's meaning don't let emotion drive you to purchase it. If it's of no value as a fishing boat what makes you think it has much value as a converted pleasure cruiser in it's current condition?
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:28 AM   #10
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At least you have long winter nights to spend working on it. You will need them.

Just to say I am not against doing this as I am doing the same in a minor way, just don't expect it to be easy or expect to be doing anything else for a year or two or more. Evaluate your own skills and resources. Just because she's not going fishing, remember she will carry you and your family and friends in some scary waters so she still has to be seaworthy.
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:31 AM   #11
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You might register here: MetalBoatbuilding.org • Index page
You will learn about welding and foaming etc etc
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:35 AM   #12
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I advise against it unless he is paying you a lot of money to take it off his hands. Most marina and many yards do not like project boats, and you need a loooot/boat full of money to throw at it. My advise is to run.
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:45 AM   #13
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How long is the boat, what is its draft and displacement? Engine model, age, HP, hours and general appearance? Same for genset. What are your cruising plans, entirely separate from THIS boat? What kind if budget do you plan for acquisition and commissioning and later for fuel/ maintenance? Will you need a loan on the boat and will you be insuring it? Have you ever built or rebuilt a smaller boat?

Rehabbing and converting a boat this size is a mammoth undertaking. For comparison, Pooh is fiberglass, 46', 16 tons displacement with 80hp diesel. We spent 9000 man hours and over $50,000 in parts and materials over a period of 5 years to rebuild and convert. Hope you have patience, some relevant skills and a fat bank balance.

On the other hand, if this boat is close to the boat of your dreams, few things are more rewarding than completing such a project and cruising in her. Alas, many boatyards are littered with the abandoned hulls of dreamers who underestimated the size of their project. Don't even think about selling out your project halfway through. It will be worth little more than scrap value until launched and functioning. Do the labor intensive work first; sanding and painting inside and out, rebuilding wood interior. Save the cash intensive parts to last; engine, genset, instruments and electronics.

Waiting with bated breath for results of your first look aboard.
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:55 AM   #14
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Smile

By the way, she has great looking lines. Take some great pix to share with us.
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:11 AM   #15
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When I built my boat, once the hull was done and flipped I thought I was nearly done. What an idiotic thing to say. Getting the house, interior, systems and propulsion done was 80% of the work. Hull building was like 20%.

So starting with a good hull with trashed interior is starting at a pretty low point. More work especially if you keep some systems and structure, and work around that to add new. Or add the work of gutting and removal of systems and structures.

Make rough estimate of project cost and duration, then triple both. If you can tolerate that, maybe project is a go.

Consider just fixing what is necessary to make it comfortable and seaworthy, and drop the idea of making a yacht out of it.

Seen many of these projects start with big dreams and end up abandoned at 25% completion when reality hit.

Not trying to dissuade you, but to get your eyes open.
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:51 AM   #16
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With rust in the interior of the hull & ribs I would beat feet and not look back. Rust never rests and if you don't get all of it removed and the steel that is compromised replaced it will continue to spread. If you have a never ending supply of $$$$ and energy and the required skills then try to estimate the time required to rebuild this boat then double or triple it, because no project like this goes as planned and you'll find a lot of surprises along the way most not good. Good on luck on whatever choice you make.
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Old 06-30-2014, 12:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Fill View Post
I advise against it unless he is paying you a lot of money to take it off his hands. Most marina and many yards do not like project boats, and you need a loooot/boat full of money to throw at it. My advise is to run.
Rust NEVER sleeps.

Bringing back a rusted hull (and you indicate interior is worse) is not a job for a single guy. It's a job for a boatyard that can put a team of men inside and outside and "get her done"

And that takes money. Not a small amount either.

Side note: I was born and raised aboard a 40' steel vessel, built by daddy. When I say rust never sleeps, believe me. Hell, it doesn't even take afternoon naps!

And boats rust from the inside, not outside.
Yours is.

All that said, now there is a miracle compound called Corroseal -- (spelling is probably wrong) that is used to seal the rust and prevent worsening. You'll learn lots about it -- price it now.

Ditto all supplies -- including your sweat.

Interior is big -- very. No one wants to live in a construction zone. And time estimates are ALWAYS optimistic.

As much as I might want a steel hull, not that one. In my opinion that is.

But, if you do go ahead and do it, there will be those cheering you. It should tell you something that the fishermen DO NOT WANT HER. Those guys know boats and use them. If their wisdom says "no" you perhaps should avoid the boat.

It is sad to see the potential wasted, but the work involved is far more extensive at first glance. The question then comes down to:

Do you want to boat, or do you want to fix a boat?
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Old 06-30-2014, 12:18 PM   #18
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You actually have the value of the boat, Zero.
If no one is willing to buy it, why should you?

If it's not salvageable for fishing, do you actually thinks the sea knows what you are doing on the boat?

For a fraction of what you will end up spending, you can come to the US or even Nova Scotia and there will be dozens of boats that will do just what you want, that you can actually use immediately.

I'd even help you bring it back to Greenland.

Good luck, but be more skeptical.
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Old 06-30-2014, 12:36 PM   #19
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You actually have the value of the boat, Zero.
If no one is willing to buy it, why should you?

If it's not salvageable for fishing, do you actually thinks the sea knows what you are doing on the boat?

For a fraction of what you will end up spending, you can come to the US or even Nova Scotia and there will be dozens of boats that will do just what you want, that you can actually use immediately.

I'd even help you bring it back to Greenland.

Good luck, but be more skeptical.
What he said. These type (project) boats you don't buy, owners or yards either give them to you for free, or pay you to take away with promise never to return. Whatever your choice of style or make, they're available.
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:28 PM   #20
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I am very grateful for all the sound advice! Thank you.

I have experience building, welding and restoring, also over a long period of time. My dad and I are completing a large three story 1500m2 (in all) steel framed building. It's taken approx. 3 years and we've built it from the ground up.

I've also completely restored a locally built 19' open fiberglass boat.

I should hope that my experience would allow me to complete a task like this one, large as it is.

I'm definitely not set on buying this boat. All your comments have definitely given me food for thought and I've taken all the skepticism to heart.

I'm not sure what the asking price is but I've been told it is low. Perhaps 4000-6000 USD. I'll find out this evening.

I'll take loads of photos for you guys.


Space to place the boat will be no problem. Boating is built into the culture here so there are boats lying around town everywhere. It will either cost me nothing or next to nothing to have it on land.

The stories of first hand experience with steel boats is exactly what I was hoping for.

All very good comments. Thanks so much!
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