Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-17-2016, 01:21 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Blissboat's Avatar
 
City: Jacksonville Beach, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Shallow Minded
Vessel Model: Shoal Cat
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 345
"Water Damage:" Ask for it by name

Yesterday, after a week or so of text and phone conversations with the seller, I drove two hours up to south Georgia to look at a 1980 Mainship 40 motor cruiser offered at a temptingly low price. I get it that a temptingly low asking price is a signal that the boat has issues. I try my best to discover them in advance by asking lots of specific questions.

In this case, I asked, "Are there any signs of leaks around the hatches or windows?" The seller replied, "No."

The seller lives two hours inland from his marina, and in the opposite direction from me, so he did not plan to meet me at the boat. The dockmaster let me aboard, as arranged, which was when I observed an area of rotten wood peeking out from behind what appeared to be gelcoat, in the aft end of the deckhouse. Okay, I thought, it's not around a window or hatch, but what caused it?

On entering the main salon, water damage was immediately obvious on the interior surfaces of the wood salon bulkheads. But again, the black mold and surface distortion was not specifically around the windows. Eventually I deduced that water or moisture was leaking or wicking through a joint that connects the upper section of the deckhouse (apparently plywood encapsulated with something) to the molded fiberglass deck and lower deckhouse. I hadn't known there was such a joint, but I now realize that it's there and that it can be an issue on that model and vintage of Mainships. Lesson learned.

The model of Mainship I went to see is profiled here: PowerBoat Guide - Mainship 40 Motor Cruiser | Denison Yacht Sales

Another lesson learned: ask specifically about water damage, rather than just asking if there are evident leaks at known points of entry. When the seller answered my original question in the negative, he was technically right. The water damage doesn't seem to stem from leaking windows or hatches.
__________________
Advertisement

Blissboat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2016, 01:32 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 373
Not sure if this is true,and hopefully one of the boat brokers on this site will chime in,but I was told by a broker at a boat show that "all brokers are bound by law to disclose issues truthfully when asked" But he also said the the prospective buyer must ask for the info,such as "Has this boat ever taken on water,sunk,or have been holed". There was no mention in this conversation pertaining to a private seller.
__________________

tinped is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2016, 02:49 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
City: Between Oregon and Alaska
Country: US
Vessel Name: Charlie Harper
Vessel Model: Wheeler Shipyard 83'
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 362
I have found brokers that sell commercial boats in addition to yachts are more forthcoming. Often disclosing problems beyond what were found in surveys. Honest, service oriented boat sellers sometimes sell boats time and again because people go back or recommend their brokerage. They might know the boat history back several owners.
Lepke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2016, 08:01 AM   #4
Guru
 
Pgitug's Avatar
 
City: Punta Gorda, fl
Country: Usa
Vessel Name: Escapade
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 37 2002
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 788
Most successful boat brokers are "Expectation Managers" both in price and cost estimates. But I really have found that they do not "Cover Up" problems.
Pgitug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2016, 10:21 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Donna's Avatar
 
City: Palm Coast
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Southerly
Vessel Model: 1986 Marine Trader 36' Sundeck
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 401
Here is what I found. I knew the was a leak in the main salon, aft window and forward window. I think your question is specifically not about window leaks, ( which was an easy fix for me by pulling the window and re-installing with 4200. )

The main salon area was a different story as it was not leaking from the window. To find this leak, I unscrewed the brightwork around the bridge area to discover no sealant. I sealed it using a silicone caulk albeit temporary to see if that is where the leak was coming from. After a couple of days, I put a water hose on it and sure enough no more leak.

I have found most joint leaks/window leaks are an easy fix for me. Just labor intensive.

My marina has a great harbor master and has given me advice whenever I ask. I am new to "big boats".
Donna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2016, 02:56 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Blissboat's Avatar
 
City: Jacksonville Beach, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Shallow Minded
Vessel Model: Shoal Cat
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 345
"Tinped," "Lepke" and "pgitug" are correct, I think. A broker's duty to disclose material facts is greater than that of the actual seller. And even if a broker is tempted (which some certainly are) to sail close to the ethical wind on disclosure, they have to know it's a risky career strategy over the long haul.

For a boat owner selling on his or her own, the situation is different. They have only one boat to sell, and their need to get that done may be really urgent. Maybe I should have been angry at the gent selling that Mainship. If he had been more up-front, I may have decided to go inspect his boat anyway, but I would have been ready for what I was about to see. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I choose to believe that he feels hard-pressed, and decided to just keep quiet, cross his fingers and hope for the best.

In this situation, I got in my car and drove even though there were several yellow flags. 1) The seller had owned the boat for two years, and knew little about it's previous history. He apparently conducted little due-diligence when bought it. 2) He reported having done practically nothing to it during his ownership. 3) He chose not to come and meet me, the prospective buyer (although he had plausible excuses).

In any case, the south Georgia coast is always beautiful, and on the drive home I had a dynamite shrimp po'boy and cheese grits at Skipper's Fish Camp, in Darien. Far from the worst day I've ever had!

Brokers can be extremely helpful, but broker or no broker, talking directly to the seller matters to me. It allows for higher confidence the boat's history, and is another way to evaluate whether it's been under responsible ownership. But then too, as "Lepke" notes, a broker who happens to be a real veteran sometimes might know a boat's history better than its current owner does!
Blissboat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2016, 09:19 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Blissboat's Avatar
 
City: Jacksonville Beach, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Shallow Minded
Vessel Model: Shoal Cat
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 345
Donna wrote: "The main salon area . . . was not leaking from the window. To find this leak, I unscrewed the brightwork around the bridge area to discover no sealant. I sealed it using a silicone caulk albeit temporary to see if that is where the leak was coming from. After a couple of days, I put a water hose on it and sure enough no more leak."

What kind of boat are you working on?

"My marina has a great harbor master and has given me advice whenever I ask."

One of the best things about the universal boating community is everyone's willingness to be helpful, share experiences, and offer advice. It's true along the waterfront and on this forum. Of course, the advice might not always be exactly right, but the generous quantity more than makes up for a few hiccups here and there!
Blissboat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2016, 07:39 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Donna's Avatar
 
City: Palm Coast
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Southerly
Vessel Model: 1986 Marine Trader 36' Sundeck
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 401
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blissboat View Post
Donna wrote: "The main salon area . . . was not leaking from the window. To find this leak, I unscrewed the brightwork around the bridge area to discover no sealant. I sealed it using a silicone caulk albeit temporary to see if that is where the leak was coming from. After a couple of days, I put a water hose on it and sure enough no more leak."

What kind of boat are you working on?

"My marina has a great harbor master and has given me advice whenever I ask."

One of the best things about the universal boating community is everyone's willingness to be helpful, share experiences, and offer advice. It's true along the waterfront and on this forum. Of course, the advice might not always be exactly right, but the generous quantity more than makes up for a few hiccups here and there!
I am working on a 1986 Marine Trader 36ft. Sundeck. I have only owned her for about 3 weeks. I'm doing most things myself.
Donna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2016, 04:47 PM   #9
Guru
 
BandB's Avatar
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 10,734
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna View Post
I am working on a 1986 Marine Trader 36ft. Sundeck. I have only owned her for about 3 weeks. I'm doing most things myself.
Wifey B: Oooohhh, I'm so in awe. I definitely could not do the things you're doing. And in our family it's not just a girl thing, as Hubby is just as bad as me. We don't even dare buy items that have to be assembled.
BandB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2016, 06:07 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Donna's Avatar
 
City: Palm Coast
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Southerly
Vessel Model: 1986 Marine Trader 36' Sundeck
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 401
Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
Wifey B: Oooohhh, I'm so in awe. I definitely could not do the things you're doing. And in our family it's not just a girl thing, as Hubby is just as bad as me. We don't even dare buy items that have to be assembled.
Aww thank you! I have to confess. Most of my career was spent as a roofer and framer by trade. I now do TV commercials. Quite the career change, but leaves me plenty of time to work on the boat. I learned a ton from that but am finding out electrical,, plumbing, etc are quite different for marine applications. Just research A LOT! And come on here to have some experts answer questions. The people on here are priceless and have saved me much expense and aggravation.
Donna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2016, 07:29 AM   #11
Guru
 
CaptTom's Avatar
 
City: Southern Maine
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Cygnus
Vessel Model: Prairie 36 Coastal Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,222
One teensy little bit of advice (and it's worth exactly what you paid for it!):

A lot of folks avoid silicone sealants on boats.

Before I start a flame war, be aware that some people swear by it. But the argument against it goes like this: Silicone leaves behind a residue or film that's very difficult to remove. When the leak re-appears (as they often do) you'll be unable to get a good seal the 2nd time. There's also been some question as to the durability of silicone sealants, as well as the suggestion that they're not good as adhesives.

Your choice of 4200 for the hatches was a good one. I assume someone has clued you in on the dangers of 5200 (although that too will raise an argument.) Depending on the configuration, you might also have tried butyl tape.

A framer and roofer doing finish work? Finish work is my weakness, although I did that for a living for a while. It's a patience thing. I've always preferred the rough work. If you can do both well, my hat is off to you!
CaptTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2016, 08:48 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Donna's Avatar
 
City: Palm Coast
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Southerly
Vessel Model: 1986 Marine Trader 36' Sundeck
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 401
Thank you Capt. Tom. The silicone was only temporary. I have already removed it as it had not set completely. I knew it wouldn't.

The 4200 was recommended by the harbor master. Not an easy thing to find and I had to order it. I was not comfortable using the 5200 which is readily available be difficult to remove down the road should the need arise.

I'm not a fan of any kind of tape,, I am considering it though.

Finish work I find relaxing. Measure twice, cut once! I am getting tired of all the brightwork though. Rough work for me today. Salvaged a bit of wood from a dumpster across the street from me where they are building a house. I'm going to try my hand at a gang plank!
Donna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2016, 08:54 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Blissboat's Avatar
 
City: Jacksonville Beach, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Shallow Minded
Vessel Model: Shoal Cat
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 345
In response to Donna, Capt. Tom wrote, "If you can do both well, my hat is off to you!"

I say ditto, or Amen!!
Blissboat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2016, 07:54 AM   #14
Guru
 
CaptTom's Avatar
 
City: Southern Maine
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Cygnus
Vessel Model: Prairie 36 Coastal Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,222
Donna, you may not know about butyl tape. It pops up here from time to time, as well as in other forums and magazines. Usually someone posts this link to a very good tutorial about it.

Click through to the last page and there's a discussion about silicone. There's also a way to buy what the author claims is the best quality butyl tape right from that site.

I'm a convert. I have two rolls of the stuff and have found a few other uses for it, in addition to the two hatches I re-bedded with it.
CaptTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2016, 09:09 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Blissboat's Avatar
 
City: Jacksonville Beach, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Shallow Minded
Vessel Model: Shoal Cat
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 345
Thanks to CaptTom for the helpful Compass Marine "How-To" link about butyl tape, and about countersinking holes drilled through gelcoat. That part of the tutorial all by itself was worthwhile. I had never heard about that little trick before, but it makes perfect sense. Makes me wince about every hole I've ever drilled into fiberglass w/ gelcoat.

The Compass Marine gent also seems to have strong views about 5200, to which he refers as "the Devil's Glue."
__________________

Blissboat is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012