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Old 07-06-2016, 11:11 AM   #1
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older trawlers

So.. if by some act of a higher power I do find a way to own one of these beauties I'm sure she would be older. My funds, if I do find a way to ge the equity out of my house would (guessing) keep me to well under 30k.

A little history, I'm a non traditional woman that owned an HVAC business for most of my adult life. (3rd gen) I did most of the work on my sailboat. Refrigeration, rewiring the engine, panel, and plumbing hot water, battery systems. etc. I'm also an avid woodworker and small wooden boat builder (but wise enough to know own larger)
My son was my right hand in most of this but left this earth at an early age. Of course my daughters are married with children.

I hate hot weather and would want to be in the northern parts of the country. ICW touring seems like fun but not in June - August.


I am interested in trawler construction what to look at and for. Fiberglass is great but hides allot of rot in stringers, transoms, decks..

Yes, I firmly believe in having the Survey when it finally comes to a purchase agreement. but in the meantime.

Casual searching, seems to land me in late 70s to mid 80s boats.. I'm still thinking 28-32 feet. single inboard (with back up outboard)

Just some examples of what I may end up with. Refitting.. NOT a problem but not a life
No where ready or even close to buying!
http://www.powerboatlistings.com/view/11263

http://www.powerboatlistings.com/view/17076


Thanks for reading!
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Old 07-06-2016, 01:58 PM   #2
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older trawlers

If I ever do get the equity from selling my house , I'm quite sure I'll be well under 30k that would seem to land me in the late 70s to mid 80s boats.

Would love to hear thoughts and experiences with older boats.
Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-06-2016, 02:11 PM   #3
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Denise, Older boats can be a great buy. However, you end up trading money spent for time spent working on them. If you have the energy, time, and willingness to learn an entirely new set of skills, they can be wonderful.
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Old 07-06-2016, 02:37 PM   #4
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Hi Dave
Not a problem in that area, my business was HVAC & home improvements my son and I used to build small wooden boats. adapted my skills when I got into larger boats, mechanically refit my sailboat,. Refrgeration, charging fuel, electrical plumbing etc and given that trawlers seem more like campers then any other boat But I need to learn more about trawlers construction even though I would still have a survey when the day comes
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Old 07-06-2016, 03:21 PM   #5
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Deinise - we did a full refit on our 1984 Pearson 303. Working on our trawler isn't much different, although it is much newer. The main difference is a few more systems. The main issues on trawlers will be built much like sailboats - cored or solid hull, cored or solid deck, different cores, etc. Given that the engines are much larger and more expensive, the main things I'd be looking for in an older trawler would be a solid engine and transmission, and lack of water/core damage. That and if it has a generator, making sure that is also in good shape. We've found the other stuff isn't all that difficult or more expensive.
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Old 07-06-2016, 03:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Hi Dave
Not a problem in that area, my business was HVAC & home improvements my son and I used to build small wooden boats. adapted my skills when I got into larger boats, mechanically refit my sailboat,. Refrgeration, charging fuel, electrical plumbing etc and given that trawlers seem more like campers then any other boat But I need to learn more about trawlers construction even though I would still have a survey when the day comes
You have the skills then, it is just the time. With that, an older boat can be a bargain much like a sailboat. The key will be the engine. If it is in good shape the rest of it is no different than an older sailboat in my opinion.
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:27 PM   #7
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I wouldn't hesitate to buy a 75-year-old boat if she was maintained throughout its life. I'd walk away from a three-year-old boat if it had been ignored. All depends on present condition and maintenance history.
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Old 07-06-2016, 05:02 PM   #8
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Even though you have the skills to maintain an old trawler I would avoid some types:


Most Taiwan built trawlers in the 70/80s used plywood constructed superstructures with a thin skin of fiberglass pasted over it in place. This is opposed to the much better construction technique of molding each superstructure component and assembling those components. My Mainship Pilot 34 uses the later technique but it was built in 2003 in the US.


To make matters much worse, some Taiwan builders that used the former technique used crap for plywood, sometimes literally floor sweepings at joints. When water inevitably gets past the fiberglass skin, that crappy plywood rots very quickly and you are left with two thin layers of fiberglass with mush in between.


The good Taiwan built trawlers use real marine plywood. This plywood has all plies filled (the little football shaped plugs you see on the outside is also on the plies on the inside). And they probably seal the corners much better when the fiberglass layer is put on so that 1) It doesn't leak as bad and 2) if it does leak, it doesn't rot because the plywood is much better inside.


I had a friend who owned one of these leaky TTs and the superstructure was falling apart. He was a skilled wood worker. So he took a chainsaw to the super structure and rebuilt it from scratch. You probably don't want to do that.


Unfortunately, you can't easily tell in advance which kind of trawler you have. Certainly a Grand Banks was built with the better technique, but even it is subject to some leakage and rot, always around the windows. But poke around the outside and inside of the superstructure. If you find lots of mush, run don't walk away. And if you do get to a survey, a good surveyor can find much more.


But at the budget you are talking about, maybe it is best to accept some crappy construction and rot, use the boat and when you are tired of it, sell and leave it to some other poor sod. I rather doubt you will find one free of rot.


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Old 07-06-2016, 05:55 PM   #9
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Denise - I did what you are getting ready to do. Older boats are fine as long as they are seaworthy and mechanically sound. You may have to do a lot of clean up and bright work, but that is all of the experience of an older vessel. We bought a '78 Albin Double Cabin that needed appearance work. It rides well and is very stable, and the hull is not a cored hull - which was a reason I avoided another boat that we seriously considered. Do your homework and get a good survey and make sure your contract is contingent on survey and sea trial.

We looked for an older boat on purpose because we like the appearance more than the newer boats, and didn't mind the work. Keep in mind something that I've read here - I look at this as a ten year plan, so I don't have to get everything finished this year.

Good luck.
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:20 PM   #10
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My O'Day had a few wet spots in the deck i knew about, after the survey on her about 10 yrs age and after seeing a few surveyors at work, clearly, the plastic hammer is a very valuable tool! And from experience, moisture meters are not really all that reliable or accurate. Core samples tell allot, but we don't get to drill holes in boats until after we own them!
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:52 PM   #11
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I did what you are considering and ended up with a Prairie 36 Coastal Cruiser. Needs plenty of work but the boat hull and decks are good. Be ready to work on ALL the systems in an old boat but like Island Dreamer, I like the looks of the older boats better in most cases. I couldn't have afforded a newer boat this size right now and have been using mine as we fix her up. I suggest using the boat as is unless a system needs a total replacement. This way you learn what you really need and want as opposed what looks cool and shiny. lol.

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Old 07-06-2016, 07:27 PM   #12
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I'm on my second year of a refit on a 1980 Hershine 37. Close to launch now. Take a look at my blog listed in my avatar, and you will see what rot looks like! I rebuilt bilge,stringers, fuel tanks, transmission, prop, injection pump, most windows and walls. Many of these problems are typical. Why did I do it? Not sure now but ill tell you in a few years!
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:49 PM   #13
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Stringers? Yeah gads! I know how to work fiberglass.. but would rather not do structure unless I really loved a boat that could be "worth" the personal value.

That leads me to ask, how inspect-able is below the sole and behind hull liner/ wall panels on some of these boats?

I was thinking "more" accessible then sailboats.

Thanks!
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:59 PM   #14
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Tollycraft. Excellently built classic boats... good to purchase - if been well cared for. Reasonable prices too! Some are diesel, some gas. Good choice in sizes. May not be too many in your area. But, then again, the "right" one may be for sale near by.
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:18 PM   #15
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Rough... 1977 Mainship Trawler Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:25 PM   #16
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even surveys can miss a severely hydrolyzed bottom that has been sitting in warm water for too long...
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:21 PM   #17
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Make sure you enjoy it in the process. Take it out and run it. Some hidden things won't show up until it is being used, then they can get fixed. Diesels love to run and don't do well when left sitting.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:28 PM   #18
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even surveys can miss a severely hydrolyzed bottom that has been sitting in warm water for too long...
Every time you show/tell things about that unexpected situation ... I feel for you.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:54 PM   #19
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Hated it at first but over the years grew to love it.
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:11 PM   #20
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Well, I bought a 1978 Marine Trader three years ago. Changed the oil, filters and impellers and did the Great Loop, Bahamas three times and spent two summers in the Chesapeake. 14,000 miles +.

In that time the bottom has been painted twice, replaced carpets, refinished a lot of teak. I had to rebuild transmission last year because I waited to long to change out the cooler. This year the generator needed sone maintenance requiring a real mechanic.

That's it. Great older trawler. Take your time, there are some good bargains on good boats.

Good luck,
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