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Old 01-25-2016, 12:18 AM   #1
FOG
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Prairie 36 Offer

I have made an offer on a 1981 Prairie 36 that has been accepted and will be going to Sea Trial/Survey on Tuesday. It has twin Perkins 6.354 engines and an Onan genset. It looks to be in good shape for a 35 year boat, but I'm sure the survey will give me some food for thought.

Looking for some feedback from current or previous Prairie 36 owners, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Thanks.
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Old 01-25-2016, 01:51 PM   #2
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Same boat, engines and genset.

Mostly so far it's been all "good". The "bad" and "ugly" parts have all been minor, and mostly thanks to previous owners.

She rolls quite a bit, as any shoal-draft, soft-chined semi-displacement hull will.

With the twin 200 turbo's, I can get up to 12-13 knots, but I wouldn't want to buy the fuel it would take to sustain that. PO ran at 10 knots, threw a hell of a wake and burned a lot of fuel. I cruise at around 7.5 and get pretty good mileage.

It's a very comfortable platform, lots of "indoor" living space. Some might not like the trunk cabin layout because there's almost no cockpit, but we use the flybridge when we want outdoor space.

Overall, after 3 seasons of cruising, we're still as happy with it as the day we bought it. Actually, happier now after some upgrades.

If your offer, sea trials and survey go well, be sure to keep in touch!

- Tom
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:49 PM   #3
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Thanks Tom, I hope it goes well tomorrow and will keep in touch.
I agree with your comment on the trunk cabin, but also looked at a Hatteras LRC with a trunk cabin that had SS side rails around the cabin and a big bimini top that would suffice as a sun deck.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:07 PM   #4
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Great boat, have had ours for 15 years, and don't plan on parting with it anytime soon. Nothing too ugly, but on a 35 year old boat, lots of little bad things will always pop up. Fortunately, many parts are still available, and accessibility in general is excellent.

A couple of water damage related things: check for signs of water damage around the fuel tanks, especially the forward ones (1"x1" wood bracing at bottom). At least on ours, a 1980 model, they filled in behind and in between the tanks with foam which gives the water no place to go. Had to replace the forward port tank a couple of years ago. Also look for water damage on the laminated plywood under windows and doors in salon. Feel around with your fingers, laminate can look good, but the plywood behind might be rotten. If it's the boat I think it is, it's the same almond laminate color we have, still available! Check the port locker in the companionway to the aft cabin and the port hanging locker in the aft cabin as well for water intrusion. Also the two small compartments on the rear wall of the aft stateroom on either side of the bed.

Had the Onan 7.5 KW originally, replaced it with a Northern lights almost a decade ago, highly recommended.

I'm sure the surveyor will have much more to say!....

Good luck and do keep us posted!

Rick
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Old 01-26-2016, 11:14 PM   #5
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I'm a new owner of a '78 model and have found much the same as others have stated. Mine has two side fuel tanks and one forward centerline tank with water tanks on each side forward of the fuel tanks and another water tank in the very back. All tanks are aluminum and have had to have repairs to port fuel tank and need to decide to repair or remove fwd tank. Most problems with my boat are from poor/lack of maintenance. Another problem might be the opening ports. Mine are made of plastic and UV has made them brittle so most are broken, something to look for. I'll be replacing all of them. Mine has Perkins 4-236's and look to be in pretty good shape still with about 2800 hrs each. Still have the Onan genny and it needs work on the fuel system but I believe it will be fine for awhile. Mine also has teak decks which need resealing but are otherwise in pretty good shape. Look out for previous owner wiring mistakes, I've found a few. Depending on how your boat is equipped the A/C system may need work. I've replaced some thru-hulls and the bottom of the hull is 7/8" thick, tough stuff! The hull will probably be ok but lots of things to look at on a 30+ year old boat.

Kevin
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:28 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the feedback. The survey went as well as can be expected for a 35 year old boat, but there were a few surprises. More to come once I have the completed report.
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Old 01-28-2016, 09:12 PM   #7
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Hope it all works out! We have the later Atlantic version of the same hull and love it. Lots of room for a 36 footer. Please share some pictures if you pull the trigger.

Tallswede - where are you docked? We plan to spend a month in Kemah this summer and would love to see her.

Paul
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:30 PM   #8
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I'm at Seabrook Marina on B dock. Give us a holler when you get here.

Kevin
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:08 AM   #9
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@ Fog. How did the offer go? Any feed back?
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Old 02-15-2016, 03:03 AM   #10
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I have decided to pull the trigger on the Prairie 36. I will be taking possession in early March once I return from a trip to CA. Then a trip moving her from New Bern to Wilmington NC where I 'll start with some improvements in preparation for the Great Loop.
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Old 02-15-2016, 06:45 AM   #11
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Congrats FOG! And good luck in your adventure.............you'll love every minute!...maybe not at the time, but, eventually......lol.
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:54 AM   #12
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Congrats! There are quite a few of us Prairie Dogs on this forum now, please reach out whenever you have a question.

Other Prairie/Atlantic Owners: I'm starting to lose track of who I've PM'd and e-mailed, so I'm thinking about making up a list of known Prairie and Atlantic owners. I could send around an e-mail with everybody's name, boat name, hull #, home port and contact information.

Maybe we could share information, our cruising plans, and generally just chit-chat about Prairie ownership.

If you think this is a good idea, PM me. I'll also go through my own PMs and e-mails and reach out to those I've already corresponded with.
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Old 02-15-2016, 12:54 PM   #13
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I think your Prairie owner info idea is great. I'll PM you my info once I return to NC.
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Old 02-15-2016, 01:28 PM   #14
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The Prairie 30 is very wide. What's the beam on the 36?
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Old 02-15-2016, 02:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manyboats View Post
the prairie 30 is very wide. What's the beam on the 36?
13'3".
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Old 02-16-2016, 07:36 AM   #16
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Congrats FOG! and now we need some pictures!
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Old 02-16-2016, 07:47 AM   #17
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Quote:
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The Prairie 30 is very wide. What's the beam on the 36?
Prairie 29/Atlantic 30 is 12' wide.
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Old 02-18-2016, 12:04 AM   #18
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I haven't had the time to take pictures yet. However there some on the broker website - neptuneyachtsales.com
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:00 AM   #19
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Just finished bringing the Prairie 36 from New Bern, NC to Wilmington NC on Friday. It took 3 days and everything went pretty much according to plan. Only exception was running at WOT to try and make a bridge opening schedule, which caused a little overheating with the port engine. The alarm works! Backed her down, she cooled down and we still made the bridge opening.
I'll get some pics up in the next few days.

The Admiral and I like this boat!
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Old 03-13-2016, 11:00 AM   #20
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Good trip! Nice to hear you are bringing her home.

Regarding the engine Oheat. Try switching the radiator caps. Eliminate one as being unable to keep pressure in. Did the overflow tank burp on the port engine?

Check the amount of antifreeze/coolant. Make sure it is to spec. (or at least the same from one engine to the other.) Peak/Antifreeze tester PKFOAB - Read 2 Reviews on Peak #PKFOAB

When you are running both in neutral at the dock, run them up to speed, and go out and put a bucket under each exhaust. Have a helper time how long it takes to fill up a bucket. If the port engine is pumping noticably slower than the stbd, change the impeller. Heck, I would change both anyway! Don't know how old they are!

A good way to find where the heat issues build up is an IR thermometer. Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer With Laser Targeting
These are great to shoot temps from engine part to engine part to compare where heat build up is occurring so you can get an idea what to look for.

A common issue is the water injection elbow in the exhaust. When they get corroded up they restrict the amount of water flowing out of the engine (less cooling) and it effects the whole shebang.

Good luck!
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