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Old 11-25-2019, 10:30 AM   #1
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Repair cost opinions

I apologize in advance for asking this question without providing a great deal of specifics.
If you were to guess at the cost of repairing a mid 1980's 44-48 foot trawler with your checkbook only, what would you guess these costs to be?

1.Removal and replacement of steel fuel tanks of roughly 300-500 gallon capacity, one on each side. I understand that many people are simply repairing the tanks now with an outside company coming to your boat and coating the inside of the tank with something durable. I am not sure if this could work so I am saying replacement.

2. If you need to pull the motors to perform tank replacement, I would want the motors and transmissions freshened up as they likely have 35 years and 4,000 to 8,000 hours. Let's assume Caterpillar 3208 375 hp and twin disk.
Let's also assume the castings are fine.

3. Let's also assume that the stringers are wet throughout the engine room and we will replace them during this project as well.

This is my completely wild ass guess at costs.

Removal and replacement of engines $6,000
Removal and replacement of tanks with engines out $8,000
Motor and trans refresh both sides $16,000
Stringer replacement $6,000
Project total $36,000

Does anyone have an opinion of this swag? Does anyone have experience with these costs? Checkbook only, absolutely no work performed by the owner.

This issue keeps coming up in my boat searches and is likely a logical result of my interest and budget. I am not wanting to change either yet at this point. I know this question is going to create some heartburn for some people on the forum. I would appreciate any real life experiences that could be shared with me. Thank you. Bill
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Old 11-25-2019, 11:24 AM   #2
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Your estimate is low IMHO. We did a similar job 3 years ago. We found a leaking fuel tank. Since we had to pull the engine to get to the fuel tanks, we rebuilt the running gear and engine (8400 hours). The engine room, hoses, insulation paneling, etc was also renewed.

Here’s the cost summary and the link to the project. If you add the 400 hours that Lena and I put in at $90/hour, the cost just about doubles.

Tank Fabrication: Includes tax, no transportation $10,529
Engine/Running Gear Rebuild: no transportation costs $12,558
Boat Yard: haul/block/launch, fork lift, crane, some tools and minor parts $4,562
Subcontract Labor: 86 hours $6,240
Stuff: Perf al panels, plywood, parts, more tools, hose, etc $3,800

$37,689

We were under budget on the subcontract labor but that doesn't take into account the 400 plus hours that Lena and I put in. It's difficult to say what costs were specifically for the tank replacement. The engine rebuild is easy to separate out, but not everything is as cut and dry. We had to replace the existing ceiling and wall panels. There was too much damage trying to remove and then reuse them. How do you do this job and not rebuild/replace the thru-hulls, hoses and some wiring? Another area that took additional resources was the re-configuring of the engine room. With each tank 22” shorter, we removed or modified nine mounting platforms. We could have used the existing ones and saved at least a week but how would it have looked?

We also considered the option of handing the project over to someone. We talked to one local yard (Lambs) before hand. They have the ability and resources but at $90/hour and no owner involvement, we estimated the project would have been north of $70,000.

Krogen 42 Fuel Tank Replacement
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Old 11-25-2019, 11:50 AM   #3
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I think you are low all around.For twin engines plan on $10,000 remove and replace
Tanks sound about right,
Engine rebuilds, twins, with transmissions (nothing major major) $25,000

The rest sounds OK, so I think I would add about $25,000 to your "SWAG".

But you can easily cut $10,000 or more from the total by getting involved yourself. Even if you are not a master mechanic you can certainly get the engines ready to lift. Pulling the old tanks especially for replacement is mostly "grunt" work that you can do yourself.

Go ahead and get dirty. Your boat will be out of commission for at least 4 months so what difference does a couple more months make?

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Old 11-25-2019, 12:01 PM   #4
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Low.

More importantly why would you buy so much trouble when good boats can be found. Sure you will pay more than the trash price but worth it IMO.
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Old 11-25-2019, 12:23 PM   #5
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All great opinions, thank you. Larry your post was incredibly detailed and I enjoyed reading the thread on your project. How did the Sherwin-Wiliams work out in the bilge? Would you do it with 2 part poly if you had to do again? When I looked at those pictures and read the descriptions I was reminded of why I do not want to get into anything like this. There was a time that I would have and that time was three artificial joints and two spinal surgeries ago.

I have looked into some steel trawlers that I thought were very nice and did not have any of these problems as far as I could see, but it seems that many on this forum are not big fans of steel trawlers. I am not sure if my being in fresh water changes this equation in their eyes or not. The search goes on, and those steel trawlers are going to get a thorough consideration from me. My biggest reason for being concerned with the negative views of steel trawlers lies in resale prospects and not with condition/upkeep. I need to find a boat that has had all of this stuff already addressed, or buy something newer, or possibly a steel boat from fresh water. Thank you for all of this input! Bill
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Old 11-25-2019, 12:27 PM   #6
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Double or triple.


If haul and 2 coats of bottom paint are north of $2000 these days....


Your work is well beyond....you might be able to keep it close, but as the project progresses, you will get recommendations to go one step further.


Wet stringers might scare all away but major glass guys or yards....like wooden boats not getting hauled anymore...may not be appropriate for a lot of boats...but that is the trend.
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Old 11-25-2019, 12:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moparharn View Post
All great opinions, thank you. Larry your post was incredibly detailed and I enjoyed reading the thread on your project. How did the Sherwin-Wiliams work out in the bilge? Would you do it with 2 part poly if you had to do again? When I looked at those pictures and read the descriptions I was reminded of why I do not want to get into anything like this. There was a time that I would have and that time was three artificial joints and two spinal surgeries ago.

I have looked into some steel trawlers that I thought were very nice and did not have any of these problems as far as I could see, but it seems that many on this forum are not big fans of steel trawlers. I am not sure if my being in fresh water changes this equation in their eyes or not. The search goes on, and those steel trawlers are going to get a thorough consideration from me. My biggest reason for being concerned with the negative views of steel trawlers lies in resale prospects and not with condition/upkeep. I need to find a boat that has had all of this stuff already addressed, or buy something newer, or possibly a steel boat from fresh water. Thank you for all of this input! Bill
Don't shy away from steel construction if it suits you. Many here fear steel because they have no experience with it.
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Old 11-25-2019, 03:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by moparharn View Post
...How did the Sherwin-Wiliams work out in the bilge? Would you do it with 2 part poly if you had to do again?...Bill
Bill: I’d still use an epoxy. It’s held up great and I think it’s more durable and more chemically resistant than a 2 part poly. It’s definitely more user friendly to apply. Using a 2 part poly in a confined area like the bilge/engine room would add an extra level of respiratory protection. When I applied the epoxy, I used a half-face respirator with organic vapor/particulate cartridges. For 2 part poly, I’d use supplied air system which I don’t have.
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Old 11-25-2019, 05:02 PM   #9
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I don't share the skepticism re. steel. Welding instead of glassing. Both skills readily available in most boat yards.

I also wouldn't buy a boat based upon resale value. Enjoy life. We only pass this way once. Boat will depreciate like everything else. I do not keep a spreadsheet of my costs. (my wife might find it)
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Old 11-26-2019, 02:06 PM   #10
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Thank you for the replies. I find your words very helpful.
I kind of like these steel boats. The ones I am looking at are very hard to tell from composite. Well faired and painted with awl grip or Imron.
The epoxy Sherwin sounds like my next ER paint.
Thank you again. Bill
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Old 11-26-2019, 02:30 PM   #11
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The main complaint I have heard of steel boats is when it comes time to inspect and rust correct, the inside furnishings, coverings, cabinets, etc.... were such a pain to remove and replace that inspection was hard and remediation was nearly impossible without tearing apart the boat then rebuilding it.


Obviously if the boat is built this way and decades old....guess how much and how well any repairs/remediation was done?
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:26 AM   #12
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"The main complaint I have heard of steel boats is when it comes time to inspect and rust correct, the inside furnishings, coverings, cabinets, etc.... were such a pain to remove and replace that inspection was hard and remediation was nearly impossible without tearing apart the boat then rebuilding it."

This may be truer of US built work boats than Euro boats that have decades building yacht grade boats.

Taking out (not tearing out) an interior on a boat that was understood to eventually need repainting id a great time to modernize wiring and some systems.

Look for the hull plating stiffeners to be simple flat metal. Not T or L topped as they are very difficult to sand blast under to the hull.
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:40 AM   #13
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Ships are steel. Commercial fishing boats are steel. There's a reason.
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:27 AM   #14
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And the reason most kayaks today are plastic...

Size often dictates construction material.

A HUGE number of commercial boats under 50' are everything but steel.
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:53 AM   #15
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A buddy just got a quote to replace all the hoses on 2 Cummins 6 cycl. Diesels (every single hose on, to and from both engines) . This included new water pumps, expansion tanks, and the rear seal on the port.

It came to a little over 22K. (7K in parts and over 14K in labor (120 hours @ $120/hr).
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Old 11-27-2019, 11:07 AM   #16
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Proof that I couldn't afford boating if I bought what I wanted, had someone else maintain it and buy parts through a servicing center.


Shoestring boating is costly enough....but one does have to realize when it goes from shoestring to unsafe....and change something.
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Old 11-27-2019, 11:22 AM   #17
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I'm not sure what to say. 15 eight hour days? Three weeks? For hoses? Did they R&R the motors? The real main seal is a little involved, but holy cow! Do you say screw it and do it yourself and pray you don't mess up $70,000 in engines? If the engines have to be removed from the boat I can see why this is so ugly, but why would they need removal. Does your friend live in a big $$ area? Bill








Quote:
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A buddy just got a quote to replace all the hoses on 2 Cummins 6 cycl. Diesels (every single hose on, to and from both engines) . This included new water pumps, expansion tanks, and the rear seal on the port.

It came to a little over 22K. (7K in parts and over 14K in labor (120 hours @ $120/hr).
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Old 11-27-2019, 11:25 AM   #18
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Technically they are polyethylene. Eddyline and a few others are the only ones thermalforming plastic. I have owned several Eddylines and they are great designs with a great material. The only issue is during winter padding in ice. The cold plastic can fracture with a good hit. Bill




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And the reason most kayaks today are plastic...

Size often dictates construction material.

A HUGE number of commercial boats under 50' are everything but steel.
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Old 11-27-2019, 12:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
A buddy just got a quote to replace all the hoses on 2 Cummins 6 cycl. Diesels (every single hose on, to and from both engines) . This included new water pumps, expansion tanks, and the rear seal on the port.

It came to a little over 22K. (7K in parts and over 14K in labor (120 hours @ $120/hr).
Much more to this quote than just the hoses.
For hoses, I would think the work could be done in a day, including time for the unavailable part to arrive from the dealer.
How does an expansion tank work on a Cummins?

(I have a Cummins on my Motorhome, but my only expansion tank is on my domestic water system)

Edit: You must mean the overflow collecting tank? On my boat, the TMD40s didn't have any, so I added a pair. Cost about $25 each.
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:36 PM   #20
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Tanks

Many cut the tanks out (piece by piece) reinstall 4 150 gallon tanks...that way that can go in though window. Others cut bottom out and drop tanks....I'd be for cutting them up and removing them...lots of folks have done that.
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