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Old 02-07-2015, 11:32 AM   #1
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Exclamation Problems with Trawlers

Hi Everyone!

We are still searching for a Trawler, spent the last several days in Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey looking at Used Trawlers.

The problems we are finding are as such:
1)Black oil left in tanks or metal shavings, we have seen this when pulling the dip stick out to check the oil.
2)Water damage, rotten aft cabins, headliners removed with rotted wood underneath, teak decks with planks coming up and screw holes exposed.
Can any of this be fixed and if so is it very costly?
Should we just look elsewhere? This has been very discouraging for me and my husband, especially my husband since he would be the repair person for these things.
Also, if we were living aboard does anyone know if any of these could be fixed while we live on aboard or do you think we should have a backup plan?
We also still have two cats that will be aboard with us, where would we put them?!
Sorry, but we need to find something soon and our price range is limited.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:35 AM   #2
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What is your price range?
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:37 AM   #3
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Yes, the things you are seeing are normal

AND

No, the things you are seeing are not normal.

Generally the "you get what you pay for" rule applies.

If you look at higher priced boats they will for the most part be in much better condition.

Sometimes you get lucky and find a bargain, but not often.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:38 AM   #4
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Price Range

Pricing Boats from $25,000 to $40,000 and 40 is pushing it for us with limited funds.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:59 AM   #5
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Problems with Trawlers

Oh. That's a pretty low budget for an up to date liveaboard trawler.

How about expanding your search to houseboats with outboards maybe? Good living space and 4 stroke outboards get decent economy if you run them slow.

You could buy this, sell the giant outboards and replace with two smaller 4 strokes and you are set!

http://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/boa/4833798100.html

Edit: I see they will sell for $8500'without huge outboards also. You can get two new Suzuki 50hp high thrust outboards for $11000. So you have a cool liveaboard with brand new engines for under $20000. 👍

http://gainesville.craigslist.org/bod/4836238640.html
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:15 PM   #6
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That $25-40,000 range will buy you what you're finding right now. Metal shavings in the oil? That's a major Pandora's box. Rotten wood in aft cabin and head liner joists can be repaired by a DIY. Removing the teak decks and fiberglassing over is a long process that can be done by your hubby. Living on board while doing these projects would be extremely difficult. I would take a guess to take a run down trawler and bring it up to livable conditions would be double your initial price of the boat.
Look at same size trawlers that are in good condition with little to no work needed, take that price and subtract what your fix-r-upper is selling for. Difference is a starting point for repairs. Sorry to be so negative. I would build up that boat buying kitty to at least $80,000.00 and buy a boat in far better condition.
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:18 PM   #7
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Used market is tighter in that area now as Sandy took a lot of boats off the market and into the land fill. I had better luck looking in FL if that's an option for you.

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Old 02-07-2015, 01:31 PM   #8
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We just locked in a 1981 40' mainship (debate-ably a trawler, I know) in the lower end of your price range. She has a couple not insignificant engine issues that the seller is going to take care of and plenty of small projects for us to do. We had been casually looking from NC to ME for over a year. They show up, you just have to be a little patient unfortunately.

We did see a number of options in Florida but they were too far for us...

The best of luck in your search!
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Old 02-07-2015, 01:32 PM   #9
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Unhappy Florida Boats

Aren't the boats in Florida generally left out year round in the water?

Shouldn't boats be taken out at least for a month to let the hull dry out?

Its for this reason we haven't looked in Florida even though we have looked at listings online.
What do you think?
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Old 02-07-2015, 01:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katsailing View Post
Aren't the boats in Florida generally left out year round in the water?

Shouldn't boats be taken out at least for a month to let the hull dry out?

We haul ours for the winter once every 4 years.

Our cats dislike the car ride from house to boat, but once aboard they're generally happy. High speed cruising (and maybe turbo whine) isn't their favorite, but otherwise, they just hunker down (as cats are wont to do) until it's quiet again... and then they're back to normal.

You might hum a few bars about what kind of boating you might be intending to do...

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Old 02-07-2015, 01:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
Yes, the things you are seeing are normal

AND

No, the things you are seeing are not normal.

Generally the "you get what you pay for" rule applies.

If you look at higher priced boats they will for the most part be in much better condition.

Sometimes you get lucky and find a bargain, but not often.
Beautiful boat! Your MV Lisas Way, a 2001 Bayliner 4788. What a boat! Alaska is way too far for us and too cold, but glad you enjoy it.
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Old 02-07-2015, 01:44 PM   #12
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My boat is 34 yrs. Old it's only out of the water to get bottom paint it takes a week and is done ever 2 yrs.
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Old 02-07-2015, 01:54 PM   #13
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Bare in mind diesel are harder on oil then gas engines. The color of the oil is pretty much meaningless, unless it's thick like mud.
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:00 PM   #14
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Oil

What do you think would cause the metal shavings in the oil?
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:02 PM   #15
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Lots for thing could I had an engine spin a bearing and another ground down a cam both not good or cheap to fix
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katsailing View Post
Aren't the boats in Florida generally left out year round in the water?

Shouldn't boats be taken out at least for a month to let the hull dry out?

Its for this reason we haven't looked in Florida even though we have looked at listings online.
What do you think?
Yes they are left in the water. No, nothing is accomplished in a month for drying the hull out. If the hull is water tight, then water isn't hurting anything. If water is seeping through somehow, then a little time out of thewater isn't going to change things. Now, that said, most boats in Florida are periodically hauled for service or paint or whatever. At least every couple of years.
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Old 02-07-2015, 04:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katsailing View Post
Aren't the boats in Florida generally left out year round in the water?

Shouldn't boats be taken out at least for a month to let the hull dry out?

Its for this reason we haven't looked in Florida even though we have looked at listings online.
What do you think?
Taking a boat out of the water with bottom paint on it and gel coat under won't dry out in a year if saturated.

Boats in colder water that are out of the water for 5 months or so get saturated slower if at all...the good news.

But boats in the mid Atlantic can be hit or miss if left in all year...just luck of the draw and to a point what manufacturer.

Even a boat with a toasted engine can be a good deal if you get it in good condition but 10 to 20 grand below the competition if it is the pick of the litter. A new engine or rebuilt one may be had and installed for the difference in prices.

Under 50 grand is going to limit you to the 36 foot range which is small to live on for many people. If you try for 40 footers and above...expect a real project boat if the engine is currently running.

There are always great deals that happen along...just depends if you wait or happen to be in the right place at the right time.
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Old 02-07-2015, 05:59 PM   #18
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Greetings,
Mr./Ms kat. You may have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince (ess). The one thing that concerns me is your phrase "...but we need to find something soon..." Finding the "right" boat is not an exercise that should be performed under duress. That, coupled with your budget could easily see you make a bad, bad decision. Buying ANY boat is NOT an investment in any way, shape or form. It's a money losing proposition 98% of the time. Mr. cardude 01's suggestion is well founded. Within your budget and it will get you on the water. Do NOT, NEVER, EVER, NO WAY, NO HOW let emotion enter into a boat buying decision. As mentioned by several of my revered colleagues, take your time and look further afield.
I don't know where you heard a boat has to "dry out" every year but stop listening to that person. Do more homework, slow down, chill, enjoy the chase, relax and mostly...

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Old 02-07-2015, 06:45 PM   #19
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Problems with Trawlers

I thought my houseboat/trawler would make a cool Bahamas boat. Couldn't draw much with the jack plate lifted.

Those big engines burn too much fuel, but two Suzuki 60hp "high thrust" 4 strokes should burn about 1-1.5 GPH at about half power each. Looks like maybe 60hp total will get this hull about 9 knots at 2-3 GPH. Not too bad. And quiet. But wait, there's more-- you have redundancy with the dual outboards if one craps out on you!
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:59 PM   #20
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If the OP is still keeping track here is another opinion which may reinforce others. Many boats of all types with live aboard room in your price range are either major fix its or a few steps from the wreckers and it has nothing to do with the Trawler moniker. Good boats are expensive more so boats that are considered live aboard traveling trawlers. On the other hand, here in Seattle where land based digs are very expensive there are plenty of people living on immobile near derelicts or basically cheaper living space on the water. Have you checked out any old Bayliners?
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