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Old 02-03-2016, 10:31 AM   #1
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Project on eBay - even free not worth it?

There's an interesting (cheap) 1983 35' Chien Hwa on eBay with no reserve and currently at $940 just a 100 or so miles from me (link is below). While I'm not considering it, I am interested from a purely educational standpoint as to what it might take to get this thing running as my wife and I continue to look and learn. Yes, I realize it's pure speculation and there is no way to know for sure.

Clearly the boat needs engine work, worst case rebuilt engine at ~$10k?

Windows show water damage, so replace or reseat most/all of the windows and repair interior water damage. Is there the possibility of black mold or serious damage throughout the boat?

I'm assuming that soft decks are likely, so perhaps most of the deck would need to be cut, re-cored, and then glassed. Either lots of owner time or ~$10-15k for a professional?

No serviceable electronics it appears. Assume heads are shot as well? What are the chances of the electrical system functioning more or less correctly?

Would fuel tanks be another concern?

Are there concerns with the hull, such as blistering? What about the transmission and running gear? More areas for concern I'm assuming.

And then there would be all the cosmetic work...

My conclusion is that paying any amount of money for this boat is probably a losing proposition. Because the seller won't allow a potential buyer to see the boat first, it's impossible to know exactly whats wrong and what's wrong could far exceed the cost of buying a similar boat in acceptable condition. Am I likely correct in my line of thinking?

Or could you buy it, leave it at the marina for the $150 a month, assess it, and if it's too much work just sell it locally for someone who never wants to run it, just live on it?

Thanks for playing along and helping educate me!

1983 Chien Hwa Trawler 35' Perkins 6 3544 Series Diesel MS No Fees No Reserve | eBay
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:53 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. P. Whoo boy! Boat needs work? All of the above (post #1). Could be easy cheap fixes (mechanical) but most probably not. Leaks and cosmetics tend to be very labor intensive so if someone actually prefers working on boats rather than boating...sure. Probably a good project IF the marina will allow you to work on it on their property.
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:55 AM   #3
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Lots of possibilities, most likely the salvage would make the most sense. Oh to be 40 years younger.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:04 AM   #4
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If will take many times more than it cost to build it originally. Sadly this boat isn't misrepresentative of what non-profits often encounter. Now, there are people who donate large items of value to be auctioned on behalf of charities. But then there are those who donate total pieces of junk getting a completely unreasonable receipt for an overvalued donation.

If you're a DIY'er for every dollar you spend, you may get $0.50 value in return but only if you finish the job. For anyone else 25% return is the most you can expect.

It's a huge gamble and without examining it only estimates could be given. Here are mine.

For a DIY'er. Cost to get it to decent shape $25k - $75k. Low end assumes just cosmetics to interior, minor engine repairs, electronics, and minor work throughout. Upper end assumes replace engine and all electronics, hull work, painting, appliances, and much interior work.

For a non-DIY'er just double those numbers $50k - $150k.

I know the intentions of some donating large items like boats and cars is good, but for most it's to get a larger deduction than the value of the item. Otherwise, they'd just sell it and donate the money. The one exception is select items and celebrity items where high dollar bidding will take place and bidders will pay far more due to the cause than they would otherwise. We went to one of those auctions and were just in shock.

Another tricky donation is stock, but in that situation everyone often wins. The person donating chooses a stock that is worth far more than they paid. By not selling it they don't pay the capital gains tax, but they do get to deduct it's current value. The charity gets it's current value.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:47 AM   #5
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Put your back to the boat....then run, run, run.
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Old 02-03-2016, 06:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panhandler View Post
Because the seller won't allow a potential buyer to see the boat first,...
Seriously? You can't see the boat first?
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Old 02-03-2016, 06:04 PM   #7
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That's what the ad says. Supposedly to protect the seller's confidentiality...
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Old 02-03-2016, 06:53 PM   #8
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JMO, this boat is straight up junk. It has a negative value. If you bought it your only way out would be to sue the seller for misrepresentation. fair shape, really ?
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:00 PM   #9
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:43 PM   #10
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Project boats are only worth the effort if you can do the work and enjoy rebuilding more than boating or are of historical or collector value. They rarely make financial sense by any standard.
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyschulman View Post
Project boats are only worth the effort if you can do the work and enjoy rebuilding more than boating or are of historical or collector value. They rarely make financial sense by any standard.
And just because it's old, doesn't mean it's valuable. Guess I've watched too much Pawn Stars, but that line is true. If you're going to take on an older boat to restore then make it one where the name or the style will make it desirable. No Chien Hwa. Restore an old Chris Craft or Post or Hatteras or Grand Banks.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:21 PM   #12
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Thanks, all. Glad to know my initial thoughts were correct!
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Old 02-04-2016, 01:11 AM   #13
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As my grand father would have said cheaper to give it away than pay for the funeral.
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:18 AM   #14
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If you had a pond and room in your backyard......you could reenact the Gilligan's Island episodes
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:36 AM   #15
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If you had a pond and room in your backyard......you could reenact the Gilligan's Island episodes
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:23 AM   #16
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Pull out what is reusable/sell-able, tow to deep waters, "salvage" those reusable through hull fittings, sail away.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:39 AM   #17
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Will be interesting to watch the bidding over the next few days. Up to 1200 or so now. Could see a bidding war develop.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:08 AM   #18
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Prediction. It will sell. The sale will not go through. It will be for sale again.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:17 AM   #19
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I've never heard of a trawler w an IO. It says "inboard outboard". Did they actually make an IO powered trawler?
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:32 AM   #20
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IO part is probably a typo.
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