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Old 02-15-2016, 01:28 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by refugio View Post
I'm sorry, but I think I'm going to disagree with about everything you mentioned except that neglect causes problems.

Well maintained and with records? Sorry, that's car-think. If the owner maintained it then you might get purchase records for major equipment, and probably owners manuals. If a yard did it, then you'll have a receipt that may say something like "installed xyz: 10 hours". And if you are dealing with a brokerage boat, those records may or may not be on the boat.

And your mechanical analogy is almost completely misguided. The car has a manual. It has an owners forum on the internet and probably a dealer to supply parts. And there were thousands of them made almost exactly the same - by the same workers. Except for a few premium companies like Hatteras, forget about all of that. Even well built boats were done one-off with much of the work done by semi-to-unskilled laborers.

And that's as the boats left the factory. They were then "improved" by the dealer. And they were then butchered by a succession of owners and workers - almost never doing more than fixing what breaks. And then there's the stuff that's broken that you don't know about.

Every single bit and bob on the boat is non-standard and spent its entire life in a harsh environment. Every single bit and bob that was added was...left over from another boat...bought at West Marine (that's the good stuff)...scavenged at a flea market...or repurposed from something at, say, Home Depot.

EVERY material on a boat is unlike ANY material on a car. Wiring is tinned against corrosion. Paints...sealants...the metals themselves...all different.

Those mechanical skills will have some application in working on the engine, and perhaps the windlass. Beyond that, not so much.
I've been working on cars and motorcycles since the late 60's without the internet or forums. I spent 35 years as a machinist/tool maker, getting my start on manual equipment before CNC and mostly on critical defense type work so I think I have an advantage over most when it comes to making things work.

I've talked to people who are living on their boats for under $1000 a month and if one man can do it, so can another. I've never been one to shy away from something because of someone else's opinion.

I appreciate your concerns but don't sell me short on being capable because you really don't know me. I'll be fine.
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Old 02-15-2016, 01:38 AM   #42
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I am a bit of a contrarian about boat ownership. Yes there are some fixed costs like insurance and moorage. However, beyond that the costs can be a lot less than mentioned above. In general boat systems are really pretty simple, although boat yards would like you to believe otherwise. The only thing that makes working on a boat engine more difficult than working on an automotive engine is access. That is true for most systems. But if you know the basics of electrical work, diesel mechanics, fiberglass repair, basic woodworking and painting, you can maintain most boats pretty cheaply. Personally I maintain two cruising boats for a lot less than $300 a month and that includes paying for new goodies. For example, last year it cost me about $300 to paint the topsides and trim on my boat, varnish the cabin house AND paint the bottom. Normal annual engine maintenance runs about $55-$60 (change engine and transmission oil, replace all filters, winterize engine for winter storage). This year I will spend an additional $250 or so to repair a 3'x6' hole in my hull topsides.

If you develop the skills you can maintain a boat for very little.

Well put. Thanks.
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Old 02-15-2016, 01:40 AM   #43
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From a guy who has crawled through literally thousands of boats, this is probably the most realistic answer I have seen to this question.
Someone who has crawled through thousands of boats didn't get there without having to crawl through that first one. We're all capable of learning something new. Even me.
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Old 02-15-2016, 07:00 AM   #44
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Someone who has crawled through thousands of boats didn't get there without having to crawl through that first one. We're all capable of learning something new. Even me.
Very true, and it cost me. Cars are very different than boats. May I suggest you start your education with Marine Survey 101 which will show you a few of the things to look for.
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Old 02-15-2016, 07:16 AM   #45
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I appreciate your concerns but don't sell me short on being capable because you really don't know me. I'll be fine.
Dog,

I like your gutsy can do attitude and not sure anyone is trying to sell you short. On this forum, we see a lot of newbies with a lot of dreams and wild ideas who go out and buy a boat and then realize it is not like they thought it would be. A year later, the boat is back on the market. Your mechanical skills will definitely help you until you find the engine room and other accesses to be too small. To keep your boat up, you will need much more than mechanical skills. You will need to be an electrician, a carpenter, a canvas maker, a painter and even kind of a chemist. And even if you become a marine jack of all trades, there will still be expensive things that break and just can't be repaired anymore or parts are no longer available. In some cases, 4 or 5 hands might be needed to do the work.

We have a TF poster, READY2GO, who with his wife has lived on the hook in the Keys for a few years. I am almost certain he did it for under $1000 per month but not sure if that covered all enhancements he made to his boat. You might want to send him a PM and discuss your plans. They started out in a small sailboat and then moved up to a 36' trawler. I was always amazed they were able to survive in the keys without air conditioning. I believe they are in Texas and trying to downsize now. Here is a link to his blog:

www.mikeandsharondunsworth.blogspot.com

Don't be offended by what you are being told. People are only trying to make you think about what you might be getting into. And they all have different experiences.
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Old 02-15-2016, 07:46 AM   #46
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I do repairs on my truck, an '05 GMC Sierra. It has about 185,000 miles on it and about 80,000 on the motor, which was replaced by the dealer when I bought the truck used.

I've owned it almost 4 years now and have replaced brakes, tie-rod ends, rack & pinion steering, shocks, put new dual exhaust on it and new tires as well as regular maintenance and I've done all the work myself except for the tires. The good thing is that I know all of the parts are new and have been done right.

I"m guessing a used boat will require the same attention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scurvy-yard-dog View Post
I appreciate your concerns but don't sell me short on being capable because you really don't know me. I'll be fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scurvy-yard-dog View Post
Someone who has crawled through thousands of boats didn't get there without having to crawl through that first one. We're all capable of learning something new. Even me.

Don't think anyone trying to diss your skills and willingness; just think most are offering you the insight you'll want to enter into a project like this with eyes wide open.

Imagine doing all that auto work, with one arm, at almost full stretch, in an area you can't actually see into.

And then cars don't have much in the way of plumbing: freshwater, black water, raw water for engine cooling, etc. And rudders are different from wheels. No electrolysis to worry about, usually. And they usually have only one engine. And usually don't have a generator. Nor refrigerators, or cooktops, or...

And so forth.

What you are envisioning is likely possible. Sounds like you're a guy who can do it.

Just so you know...

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Old 02-15-2016, 09:12 AM   #47
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I appreciate your concerns but don't sell me short on being capable because you really don't know me. I'll be fine.
I wasn't selling you short but rather pointing out that mechanical skills have limited application on pleasure boats. There ARE boats, like ex-Army tugs some some ex-industrial boats - with lots of mechanical systems. I would surgically remove my hand to keep it from signing a purchase agreement on a vessel like that, but it might be perfect for you.

Quote:
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Regarding the Endeavor, I have a survey on the boat and there's a lot that the rest of you aren't aware of. I obtained a copy just so I could see what it's all about...
That's either a survey commissioned by the seller (which, given the general neglect of the boat, seems unlikely) or one by a would-be buyer who walked away. While I would certainly read a survey of a boat I was interested in, I (and some others on this forum) feel that I know as much or more about boats as any surveyor. The average survey is laughable - I have one from a boat I bought 35 years ago where he didn't even correctly identify the number of blades on the propeller. They generally do little more than tell you what safety gear is aboard (slightly better is to tell you what safety gear is missing). I would certainly perform an engine oil analysis, but I haven't commissioned a survey on any vessel I've purchased since that one 35 years ago.

The more boats you are on the more attuned your senses will be. That YachtWorld listing, for example, has only a handful of carefully chosen low-rez images of an indeterminate age. But one sniff of the boat will tell me in 3 seconds more about it's overall current condition.

Steve d'Antonio (who sometimes posts on this forum) had a column in the back of PassageMaker magazine with the theme "What's wrong with this photo?". There were usually multiple levels to an answer. The first level was to identify what was the MOST wrong with the picture. The second level was to figure out exactly the issue was (something broken, improperly installed, or with some other sign of distress). The third level was to figure out WHY it got that way. But the real point of the article was what needed to be done to keep something like that from recurring. It was usually something like an improper repair, an improper metal somewhere else, or a leak originating god knows where, or an crummy construction technique that was well hidden (e.g. a poor hull-to-deck joint).

I can't remember all of them, but I'm going to imagine one for illustration purposes - a picture of a large boat battery with a bulge. Being a mechanic you would quickly spot that, but the "answer" was not to swap out the battery but rather what set of conditions contributed to it being overcharged.

You do indeed appear to have a good attitude and perseverance which is great, because owning a boat is a never-ending series of challenges to be overcome. Fortunately there are lots of other boaters who will be willing to offer up an expert opinion. Your first task, then, may simply be learning to identify what advice is truly accurate and useful.
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:39 AM   #48
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No offense taken. I do appreciate the insight.
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:39 AM   #49
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Keep in mind that one reason that boat you're looking at may be available is that the previous owner thought he could do it too.

How often do people have what they believe to be a professional mechanic come work on their boat and it doesn't get fixed in the quoted time or for the price. People get quotes or hear about them from top shipyards and say "that's insane-no way I'm paying that" only to find out later that shipyard really did understand the real cost. Estimating the effort or cost of marine repairs is difficult and many professionals do a lousy job of it.

At any given time there are a lot of boats sitting and not being used because the owner doesn't have the cash at that time to get them repaired.

Living on a boat for $1000 per month isn't the toughest financial challenge. It's funding the major repair such as an engine rebuild or repairing some damage from running across debris in the channel. Just a simple thing. OC Diver coming south a few days ago. Sudden vibration. Prop damage. Haul the boat, get the prop removed, taken to prop shop, back on and back in water. There went one month of your budget. About as minor an incident as one can have but significant when living on very limited funds.
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:18 AM   #50
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Keep in mind that one reason that boat you're looking at may be available is that the previous owner thought he could do it too.

How often do people have what they believe to be a professional mechanic come work on their boat and it doesn't get fixed in the quoted time or for the price. People get quotes or hear about them from top shipyards and say "that's insane-no way I'm paying that" only to find out later that shipyard really did understand the real cost. Estimating the effort or cost of marine repairs is difficult and many professionals do a lousy job of it.

At any given time there are a lot of boats sitting and not being used because the owner doesn't have the cash at that time to get them repaired.

Living on a boat for $1000 per month isn't the toughest financial challenge. It's funding the major repair such as an engine rebuild or repairing some damage from running across debris in the channel. Just a simple thing. OC Diver coming south a few days ago. Sudden vibration. Prop damage. Haul the boat, get the prop removed, taken to prop shop, back on and back in water. There went one month of your budget. About as minor an incident as one can have but significant when living on very limited funds.
Below is a quote in a reply to Refugio on page 2.

My plan is to set $10k to $20k aside just for emergency repairs and then the ongoing maintenance can come of out my budget, which I know I won't use every month.

The $1000 a month is just a budget. I'm already paying taxes, insurance, licensing fees, repairs, fuel, utilities, groceries, maintenance, etc. I'm debt free and know that I can do this. I'm just trying to figure out how cheaply I can do it.
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:24 AM   #51
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Your future previous owner has been hard at work (lifted from an old THT thread):
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:51 AM   #52
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I had to ask for help on THT because I couldn't find the thread, but this one on owner-installed electronics is epic!
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Old 02-15-2016, 12:12 PM   #53
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I don't have a future previous owner but that's nice work. I little silicon will tidy that right up.
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Old 02-15-2016, 12:20 PM   #54
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I don't have a future previous owner but that's nice work. I little silicon will tidy that right up.
When you get your boat....keep silicone far away from it. It's bad news. Eventually whatever you repaired w/ silicone will fail and you'll have to redo the work. Problem is noting will adhere right to whatever had silicone before.

You're kinda guaranteeing a future leak.
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Old 02-15-2016, 12:20 PM   #55
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I don't have a future previous owner but that's nice work. I little silicon will tidy that right up.
If you ever buy a boat , you will be buying it from the previous owner. By definition he will become the...future previous owner.

And check out that THT thread I pointed to...
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