Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-21-2013, 11:46 AM   #1
Member
 
City: Norfolk, VA
Country: USA
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 8
Woodie GB as First Live Aboard

Hi Forum:

I have this same question on another forum, but wanted to come over here for some Trawler experets. Lot of info here, sorry for the really long first post.


I'm 39, recently separated (no kids, just pets), think I'm pretty handy and love the water. Please talk me down and give me very candid advice.

When I left house and home, I went to my 21.5' Cuddy Cabin for a month and loved it. There were many challenges, but my cuddy taught me that I love life in the harbor. I'm not that attached to many things, except my dog, bird, clothes and tools. I don't plan to do this forever; I have a plan for next year (Jan 14), but right now I really want to be in the marina. I live in Hampton Roads, Va. I'm an electricalengineer and have an enlisted propulsion plant background from USN.

Next piece of info: I just discovered I like trawlers. I've been looking at cruisers for a couple of years, before making other life changes. I started my live-aboard quest with a 2004 Amberjack 290 that I liked. The deal fell apart because of the owners and I moved on. I also hated the fuel economy. Also, the live aboard aspect didn't work for that boat at all.

So, I looked at a few "practical" options, notably a 31' Trojan and a couple of other boats advertised as live-aboards in my area. That's when it happened - I fell in love with a high maintenance woman.

She's a 1967 32' woodie Grand Banks.

1967 Grand Banks 32 Trawler Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

The romantic sailor loves everything about this boat. I think it's within my capabilities to pilot, lots of great space, fuel sipping economy. She has lots of surface cosmetic neglect, but the engine and bones look great. All the surfaces actually seem solid, in good shape and just need to be either sanded, painted, or shined. All seemingly within my capability. It has this great allure, absolutely stunningly beautiful and I seem to have an abudance of spare time on my hands at this stage of my life.

The owner and I have an accepted offer and I had a sea trial. I've found one of the toughtest marine surveyor's in the area and called him this morning to tell him I wanted to wait for 2 weeks before we do the survey (I'm a federal employee- sequestration). The sea trial impressed the hell out of me.

The survey will cost me nearly 10% of the asking price ($1088 survey, $200 haul out, pressure wash; maybe $150 for fastener removal and replacement; my time and a couple cans of bottom paint, which I've never done before)

I have a lot of wood working equipment and once enjoyed it, though I'm a novice. I love the smell of saw dust and have spare time on my hands and kinda like the idea of having small things to tinker on in the evening when I get to my new home after work. I don't want to get in over my head and someday I will move off of her and need to at least pay off the loan for her. She'll never been in covered moorage and I don't think she ever has.

Here is what I know:
limber holes fore and aft of the engine and 2 ribs aft show soft approx 1/8" depth for about 1.5" diameter near limber hole radius. Visual inspection to me looks like rot, but I don't have a clue what I'm looking at. No weaknesses noted by me in planking from inside engine room.

Underway, I wanted to do a visual inspection of planking and ribs, the engine room was full of a smoke that smelled like oil burning. Owner is listed through a broker, but we've had a few discussions. He stated he replaced the riser and may have dripped some sealant that could be burning off. I'm a little skeptical. Also, seems there should be a blower in there and maybe the surveyor will find it, but I didn'tn see it.

All of the wood topside needs "tlc" the britework broke my heart. A lot of the paint is chipped or cracked and needs to be feathered or stripped and replaced.

The engine is original Lehman 120 hp with 2300 hours.

I really love this boat. I really want to shine her up to her original glory and spend a quality year living aboard her. Then, I don't know what I'll do. There is no local place to shelter her for the winter. She'll need to stay in the water. Beyond my year of solitude, I'll still be able to care for her, lovingly, but again, at this point, I don't think I'll live on her forever.
__________________
Advertisement

BigRalph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 01:58 PM   #2
Guru
 
djmarchand's Avatar
 
City: East Greenwich, RI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bella
Vessel Model: Mainship Pilot 34
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,883
First, get a surveyor that specializes in and knows wooden boats, preferrably someone who built them years ago. Fred Hecklinger in Annapolis would be a good choice or if he has retired, ask him for a recommendation.

The engine room smoke bothers me. It could be serious blowby.

But the price looks good and if the bones prove out, why not!

David
__________________

djmarchand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 02:30 PM   #3
Enigma
 
RT Firefly's Avatar
 
City: Slicker?
Country: Bumpkin?
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 9,996
Greetings,
Welcome aboard Mr. BR. One other thing to keep in mind is that a 45 year old wooden boat may have to be refastened a potentially daunting and not inexpensive task.
__________________
RTF
RT Firefly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 04:15 PM   #4
Guru
 
Phil Fill's Avatar
 
City: Everett Wa
Country: US
Vessel Name: Eagle
Vessel Model: Roughwater 58 pilot house
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,919
Check if it cn be finacined and/or insured and for what the cost?

Many marines do not allow older boats espcially if the appear to be project boats, so might wnat to look for moorage also.

Getting insurance and financing for a live aboard boat is harder. Don't ask me why it just is! So might not mention planning to be a live aboard.

So cover the basics before you spend to much time and money.
Phil Fill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 05:20 PM   #5
Guru
 
dhmeissner's Avatar
 
City: Seattle
Country: North America
Vessel Name: The Promise
Vessel Model: Roughwater 35
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,326
Hi Ralph,

Welcome! Get a survey from a pro, who knows wood boats. You can pay more than the asking price of that yacht to have it re-fastened. Best of luck in your search, remember it's still a buyers market.
__________________
Dave & Suzie - Roughwater 35
http://thepromiserwb1029.org/2012/09...the-promise-2/
dhmeissner is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 07:30 PM   #6
Guru
 
BruceK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 7,573
A possible cause of the smoke/smell in the ER is a leak in the flexible exhaust line. If so there may also be soot on ER surfaces. Hose is expensive, wire reinforced, and less flexible to replace than you might like.
__________________
BruceK
Island Gypsy 36 Europa "Doriana"
Sydney Australia
BruceK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 08:45 PM   #7
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Join the GB owners forum http//www.grandbanksowners.com and ask your questions there. Lots of members with woodies, some dating clear back to the first year, 1966. You'll get definitive answers from experienced people who own these boats rather than guesses from people who don't.

There is an excellent, searchable archives where you can review posts and discussions on every topic imaginable. Pay particular attention to posts from Tom Overs in the UK who restored a wood GB32 from little more than a pile of sticks AND completely overhauled the engine himself. And former shipwright and yard owner Bob Lowe knows more about the care, operation, maintenance, restoration, and upgrading of GBs, wood and glass, than pretty much anyone else on the planet except Mike Negley who's on the other GB owners forum sponsored by Grand Banks itself (GB Beacon).
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 09:38 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
yachtbrokerguy's Avatar


 
City: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Model: I have keys to lots of boats...
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 469
Good advice here, first thing to do is find out if you can insure the boat, it is not likely that you can find financing on an older boat to live on especially a woody.
Then find a marina that will take a wood boat, then think about survey and purchase.
Do not waste your time and money and hopes until the practical considerstions are taken care of.
__________________
Tucker Fallon CPYB
www.yachtbrokerguy.com
yachtbrokerguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2013, 07:06 AM   #9
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,534
Too much to learn to get up to speed on a woodie.

They make great liveaboards as any hassles can be taken care of instantly , IF you can do the work.


One important part of a boat purchase is the "round trip cost" .

Buy it , sell it.

This will be quite low IF you can maintain the boat , insanely high IF a yard does the work.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2013, 09:06 AM   #10
Guru
 
Hendo78's Avatar
 
City: Perth
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: M/V SOLSTICE
Vessel Model: Hendo "Special"
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,275
As much as I am an advocate for restoring a Woodie, IMHO, I don't think this would be suitable for you mate.

Although you have stated you have passion for this, I think you may be underestimating the shear complexity of what is involved. You may find that you could either get bored, overwhelmed or just loose interest and regret the decision. Might be all roses in the beginning but once the honeymoon period is over, you may look at the situation and ... Well .... Start drinking! ;-)

I could be way off left field and under estimate your drive and skills but I have found a woodie (of age) is a Pandora's box.

The 40ft timber boat I am rebuilding is an example of this. I had only originally intended to replace the external timber skin, but upon removing piece by piece it was evident that there were more rotted ribs than sound ribs. This wasn't a major issue for me as its on dry land not water, I don't live on it and I don't have a timeline and have no intention of pissing it off in 12 months. I struggle and question myself about the complexity of the build I am doing but i push through it. I couldn't imagine what I would do if she was floating. Actually yes I could, i would have sunk it and made a new mooring for someone as it would have been impossible to fix lol. Again, I'm basing this on my boat, not the GB for sale ;-)

I'd be happy to share tips and what I am learning through trial and error to help but honestly, i really think you'd be better off buyer a camper trailer and a small tinny to get out on the water with and call the camper trailer home for 12 months.

A woodie certainly is not something you can slap together and piss off in 12 months. You will loose a lot of money mate.

Now in relation to the motor, it could be as simple as someone dripping oil on to the exhaust manifold during an oil refill or leaking rocker cover gaskets or as serious as piston rings or main engine seals etc.

Take the emotion out of it and look at it logically. Don't make excuses or play down issues the surveyer brings up as that will bite you in the arse.

Again, I may be totally wrong as I don't know you or the boat, but, if you intend to piss it off in 12 months and there is a list of things to do including structural fixes, walk away and find something else. Give it a week or two and something else will take your fancy.

Either way you go, hope it works out for you mate

Hendo :-D
__________________
***I use and recommend ANCHOR RIGHT Anchors***
Hendo78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2013, 09:20 AM   #11
Guru
 
Codger2's Avatar
 
City: San Diego
Country: US
Vessel Name: "Sandpiper"
Vessel Model: 2006 42' Ocean Alexander Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5,421
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendo78 View Post
Again, I may be totally wrong as I don't know you or the boat, but, if you intend to piss it off in 12 months and there is a list of things to do including structural fixes, walk away and find something else. Give it a week or two and something else will take your fancy.
Damn good advice! You had better listen!
__________________
Codger2

My passion for improving my boat(s) exceeds my desire to constantly cruise them.
Codger2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2013, 12:28 PM   #12
Member
 
City: Norfolk, VA
Country: USA
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 8
There are really, really good comments here. Thought jerking.

I wonder, if you planned to move aboard, how long did you plan to live aboard? Forever? specific duration?

My plan for Jan 14 is unraveling; I'm hating traffic to that area, because I'm staying in a hotel near there now. Still, don't have enough direct informaiton to swear I'll live on this boat forever.

Don't fall in love before you buy- probably great advice, but doesn't make sense to me. This is not quite spontaneous, but it is more spontaneous than anything I've done in years and yes I kinda want that right now.

This sequastration crap potentially affecting my pay may go on until October. My long-term hotel room is up Mar 7. I very nearly changed my mind again today to proceedign with purchase.

I'm running out of time at this moment to spend time on this forum. I really appreciate your feedback. The link to the GB forum didn't work.
BigRalph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2013, 03:52 PM   #13
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRalph View Post
The link to the GB forum didn't work.
Sorry, wrote it wrong. While all you have to do is Google Grand Banks Owners Forum to find it, the correct link is http://www.grandbanksowners.com
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2013, 01:40 PM   #14
LWW
Veteran Member
 
City: Richmond Va
Country: USA
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 98
The advice of checking for insurance and a marina to live aboard is good advice. I know it first hand. I lived aboard 2 wood boats and that was the constant battle for me and that was back in the late 80s. I'm sure it has only gotten worse with time.Larry
LWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2013, 09:31 PM   #15
Member
 
City: Norfolk, VA
Country: USA
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
First, get a surveyor that specializes in and knows wooden boats, preferrably someone who built them years ago. Fred Hecklinger in Annapolis would be a good choice or if he has retired, ask him for a recommendation.

The engine room smoke bothers me. It could be serious blowby.

But the price looks good and if the bones prove out, why not!

David
David: Mr. Hecklinger was AWESOME to talk to for 15 minutes. He did a great job of scaring me about wood boats, but the shear volume of knowledge that came from this man in a 15 minute phone call was amazing. He told me that there's no way he would charge as much as I've been quoted for the survey and that he would do a preliminary walk around on the boat for a couple of hours to help both of us determine if it were in our best interests to do a survey. That is, he'd do those things if he were local. We agreed I probably didn't want to pay the extra expense of bringing him down here. He gave me a name of someone closer than him. We'll see.

So here is my update, for anyone that cares.

I still LOVE the 67 GB. I looked at a Marine Trader today that would be alright if I were only looking for a live aboard. The inside was spacious and well appointed, but the outside just looked - ug. The decks on that boat made me think the GB has been babied. The teak caulking all needed to be replaced. Also, the hand rails, rub rails and swim platform were stained or something. The seller insisted they were teak, but I didn't like the look at all. I hate to keep saying this, but the mahogany on the transom of the GB and the rub rails and hand rails as existed were much better on a boat that was 20 years older. (The Marine Trader was an '88)

I found a 1993 35' Carver late in the day. It's completely different and the pictures show none of the charm that I find in the GB. However, it's a nice looking boat and may be a better choice for me. The current owner is a liveaboard and I guess there were some fuel issues because she never took the boat out.

Personally, the last 2 days have challenged me. This is not a mental health forum, I realize, however I went to my current boat for an hour today in the harbor and just hung out. Ate some popcorn and looked at the sunset through clouds. I really calmed down and it refocused me for the first time in days. I really want that on a daily basis. If it means I need to scrub and paint some on a wood boat, even if it is drudgery work if it's a boat I love and could love for a long time, it might be worth it. I really love the GB and keep comparing everything to her.

Thanks for welcoming me and I appreciate any help in this quest.
BigRalph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2013, 09:54 PM   #16
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Unless the boat you're looking at has had the transom planks replaced, I believe they are teak, not mahogany. The painted hull planks will be mahogany, however.

There is, or was, a beautiful late 60s GB32 for sale in BC (we saw it in Nanaimo last fall) that has an all-teak (painted) hull. In talking to the owners who had a documented history of the boat, the American Marine Kowloon yard did not have sufficient mahogany on hand when they went to start constructing this particular hull. So rather than hold production up they decided to make the hull planks from teak they had on hand. Absolutely gorgeous boat and the sale price was quite reasonable given the quality and condition of the boat.

We know a number of people in this area with GB woodies. 32' 36' and 42.' Most of them are in outstanding condition and all the ones that are are boathouse-kept. We would never leave a 1960s wood boat-- particularly a GB-- in the weather up here unless we had the time to keep after it all year round.

Given that boathouses for boats this size seem to run an average of $50,000 to purchase up here plus the annual moorage fee, this adds a lot to the cost of getting the boat. But without it the weather will take a continuous toll on the condition of the boat, a toll that needs ongoing care, maintenance, and repair simply to stay abreast of.

Even a fiberglass GB, particularly an older one, has a rainforest of wood on it from the exterior trim and rails to the cabin's internal structure and bulkheads to the multi-component window construction.

We know firsthand after 14 years exactly how much work just this amount of wood requires to keep it in shape. Add in the complex hull structure of a wood GB and the added scrutiny, maintenance, and repair this requires and the challenge and time a woody can demand of its owner(s), and it is simply not a burden we would want to take on.

I love a well designed wood boat as long as it's somebody else's.

Finally, while I have been on a whole lot of beautiful GB32s, some glass some wood, there is no way I would ever consider them suitable for a live-aboard boat. They are simply too small.

A friend bought GB32-7 not long before we bought our boat. He poured a ton of money into it including a new Deere engine, lots of new hull planks, a complete reef-out and re-calk, an entire new flying bridge (he discovered the old one had major rot problems even though they were not apparent when he bought the boat), numerous sistered ribs, and on and on and on. He intended to live on the boat when it was finished.

He moved aboard and lasted maybe six months. He told us that the boat was simply too small. He sold it and bought a GB36, lived on that for awhile, outgrew it, sold it and bought a GB46. Today he lives on shore.
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2013, 10:51 PM   #17
Guru
 
Codger2's Avatar
 
City: San Diego
Country: US
Vessel Name: "Sandpiper"
Vessel Model: 2006 42' Ocean Alexander Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5,421
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
.I love a well designed wood boat as long as it's somebody else's.
__________________
Codger2

My passion for improving my boat(s) exceeds my desire to constantly cruise them.
Codger2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2013, 11:37 PM   #18
Member
 
City: Norfolk, VA
Country: USA
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 8
This is completely different. Any feedback? Newer more modern Carver 350. I also looked at a Marine Trader today and didn't like it, as stated. I still prefer the GB, but it would be stupid if I didn't listen to the advice I'm getting.

Carver 350 MOTOR YACHT boat for sale in Norfolk United States - Ref: 61529 - YachtWorld.com Mobile
BigRalph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2013, 06:18 AM   #19
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,534
All of the wood topside needs "tlc" the britework broke my heart. A lot of the paint is chipped or cracked and needs to be feathered or stripped and replaced.

Crap paint is crap maint or NO maint.

Every woodie only lasts as long as the maint is top knotch.

A leak allows rain water to wet the wood , then dry out.

A sure formula for dry rot.

An all plastic boat is a better choice if YOU don't have time or skills to properly maintain the boats WT integrity.

Woodies are grand , but only if kept up 100%
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2013, 06:27 AM   #20
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRalph View Post
I still prefer the GB, but it would be stupid if I didn't listen to the advice I'm getting.
The only actual advice I can offer is get what your gut tells you is the right boat to get.

The other stuff I related above is just what we have experienced or observed over the years or are our opinions based on what we have learned or experienced.

Regarding the Carver my only comment is that I find a boat without a full walkaround deck to be severely limiting in a variety of situations and so would never have one.
__________________

Marin 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 12:52 PM.


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