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Old 04-06-2015, 10:27 PM   #1
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Too tall to haul, to sick to float

So after lots of searching I have stumbled across a gem in the rough. Its a 89 Cooper Prowler 10meter. Over the winter is sat next to a boat which caught on fire and the 10 meter sustained some smoke damage and a little heat damage. I have yet to personally inspect but the owner said it is a small area paint damage and some fabric. Sad to say the boat has had a repaint.

The owner has dumped a ton of money into it over the years and the pictures are beautiful. My fear is two fold. Fibreglass integrity and hauling the boat the 200 miles home.

Has anyone ever moved a 15' tall Cooper fly bridge long distance? I'm hoping its a superficial wound which makes it sailable. Any tell tale signs to run when it comes down to heat damage?

It is priced to move fast IMO. Still waiting for up close pics of damage
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:39 PM   #2
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did the fire cook the engines? The closer you can putter to home, the fewer power lines or low overpasses you will have to navigate over road.

I have NO knowledge of the chemical changes induced Buy heat in fiberglass but that it was painted over before being offered up for sale raises a really big red flag in my mind. .. just my $0.02

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Old 04-06-2015, 11:00 PM   #3
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The boat was painted years ago... I generally hate painted boats, but the price of this one has me willing to make a exception. Hoping the boat structurally is undamaged just the paint is peeling back from the heat.


The drive line is perfect. The more I think of it, driving to where the boat sits and working on it in the yard would more than likely be the best scenario. Make it sailable get it home and go from there.
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:08 AM   #4
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Painting fiberglass boats is a well-accepted practice. In fact a number of luxury yacht manufacturers today like Delta often forgo gelcoat altogether on their newbuilds. The yacht is intended to be painted from the outset. The advantage of paint is that damaged paint can be touched up back to perfection relatively easily as compared to the process to repair or redo damaged gelcoat.

A number of owners on the Grand Banks owners forum who have older fiberglass GBs have painted them or had them painted. Much, much less expensive than a re-gelcoat job. Our own 1973 fiberglass GB in the PNW will someday get a paint job if we keep it and we have the time to do it.

I have been on a fiberglass yacht that was damaged in a collision and Delta completely restored it. The last step was to paint the boat in their facility on the Duwamish waterway just south of Seattle. The end result was spectacular to say the least. In fact it looked better than gelcoat because Delta was able to fair the fiberglass to absolute perfection before painting the boat (as opposed to getting what you get when a boat comes out of a mold with the gelcoat already on it).

While we have not had direct experience with a fire (a near fire, yes, but not an out-and-out fire), either on board or near us, we know several boaters who have had boats in close proximity to a fire.

In one case, the "only" damage was heavy smoke damage from a sailboat that burned in front of it across the dock, but the bill to completely clean the boat (a GB36), replace all the canvas, heater ducting that got smoke into them, redo the exterior brightwork finish and other smoke damage fixes was in excess of $35,000.

A good friend acquired a 40' sailboat that was newly completed and in a cradle outside the boat's manufacturing plant that burned down right next to it (Uniflite). He got the boat very inexpensively (or free, I can't remember) because of the heat damage to it but he had all the necessary fiberglass, gelcoat, and other skills necessary to fix the problems that had resulted from being so close to the fire. He told me it was a huge job to do it correctly and it took him several years.

Not knowing the extent of the damage to the boat you are interested in, I have no clue if it is a major problem waiting to happen or not. My wife and I would not touch a boat that had fire damage unless the boat was practically being given away and we were confident that the proper repairs were within our skill set (they would not be in the case of fire damage) or within our budget to have professionals do the work.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:56 AM   #5
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On painted boats, the real issues are prep and which paint. An Awlgrip painted boat prepped properly and waxed annually will look great far longer than gel coat. Use cheap paint and it may look terrible after 5 years. Don't do proper prep work and it starts chipping and peeling like my boat did. There are a number of good paints that will give you good results, but nothing makes up for poor prep work.

Regarding the heat damage: get a qualified professional to explain to you the condition of that particular boat before you buy it. Would want to know if that area becomes brittle or is more susceptible to cracking in any way.

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Old 04-07-2015, 07:18 AM   #6
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Wouldn't a $700 survey answer your questions or are you throwing the dice to save $700.
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:21 AM   #7
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Agree totally re the paint issue. We had our Clipper 34 two pack repainted about 5 yrs ago, and it still looks as good as new gelcoat. As to the fire damage…I suspect it it was not heated enough to burn, it is probably ok, but a good sand back before re-painting the area would allow that to be checked. However, even if damaged enough to need repair, it need not be a deal breaker if not a large area. Fibreglass composites are so forgiving in that respect. Just consider the Volvo round the world ocean racing boat, Vestas Air. It ran aground on a coral reef and they are repairing it right now to get back in the race.

How to Repair a $6M Racing Yacht You Sailed Into a Reef | WIRED
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:49 PM   #8
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I've done some research on the hull design of this boat and it seems to be mixed.. Anyone have any positive or negative comments ??

Attached is a pic. The boat will be mostly used on Lake Erie, Detroit river and Lake St. Clair. Till recently I was looking more towards the 32XX series Bayliner but the fit and finish of this one is more up my ally. I love the older teak look in the interiors.

The relative flat bottom has me thinking this boat might be very bobby in the lake and bounce around alto. While the shallow draft would come in handy near shore or if the lake levels drop again.

Loving this site!! Thanks for everyone helping he make the best decision possible towards my next trawler adventure.
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:14 AM   #9
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Polyester when heated excessively will post cure. The plasticizers in the resin can gas off to the point where the laminate becomes very brittle. Get a surveyor with lots of experience inspecting/repairing fire damaged boats.
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Old 04-08-2015, 10:39 AM   #10
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Has anyone ever moved a 15' tall Cooper fly bridge long distance?
Cooper did. They were built in BC. The flying bridge is probably removable.
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Old 04-08-2015, 10:56 AM   #11
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An Awlgrip painted boat prepped properly and waxed annually will look great far longer than gel coat.
I always thought that depended on a few factors. First one is that darker colors will not last as long as light ones. Secondly, how the boat is moored i think makes a difference. If you dock on a t dock and bumpers are continually rubbing against the paint I don't think it'll last as long as if you dock in the middle of a slip with bow and stern lines on the opposite side taking the pressure.

My first point has been told to me on more than one occasion, and the second has always been my assumption. Thoughts?
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:55 PM   #12
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If you dock on a t dock and bumpers are continually rubbing against the paint I don't think it'll last as long as if you dock in the middle of a slip with bow and stern lines on the opposite side taking the pressure.

My first point has been told to me on more than one occasion, and the second has always been my assumption. Thoughts?
Your second point is correct even with gel coat. While our dock was being replaced we were assigned temporary moorage for the winter on the harbor's guest dock (photo). The prevailing winds in our area are from the southeast-southwest and the winter storms can have sustained winds of 45 mph with recorded gusts of up to 80 mph.

We deliberately specified a permanent slip in which the prevailing wind holds us off the dock. But this temporary moorage had the wind pushing us hard onto the dock. Over the course of the winter the constant movement of the boat against the fenders caused the gel coat to be worn thin in a couple of spots.

We don't really care as if we decide to continue to keep this boat we'll eventually have it painted as it really needs it. But gel coat is every bit as susceptible to wear as paint under these conditions.

There was a wood sailboat on the dock with us that winter and I noticed the paint was suffering the same wear as our gelcoat where the hull was pressing hard against the fenders. Of course with a sailboat all the force is concentrated in the small area where the curve of the hull meets the dock.
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Old 04-08-2015, 03:34 PM   #13
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On painted boats, the real issues are prep and which paint. An Awlgrip painted boat prepped properly and waxed annually will look great far longer than gel coat.

Ted
Read the label first...I have an Awlgrip paint job and was specifically told never to wax. In fact I believe there is only one of the Awlgrip family where wax is recommended.
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Old 04-08-2015, 10:07 PM   #14
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Read the label first...I have an Awlgrip paint job and was specifically told never to wax. In fact I believe there is only one of the Awlgrip family where wax is recommended.
That's what I know as well. I've been told that by a couple of Awlgrip applicator's.
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Old 04-09-2015, 12:57 AM   #15
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The general rule of thumb is that all repairs cost two times the estimate and take two times the estimated time to complete. If you are doing it yourself, double those numbers. Working on a sketchy platform? That is just a starting point. Me? I would rather buy a decent boat from a motivated seller. My two cents.

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