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Old 11-23-2015, 03:08 AM   #1
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Is it difficult to sell a wood Grand Banks?

Hello all.

I have been a lurker on trawlerforums for a while now dreaming of the day when I would have my own. Ive finally found a 1973 Grand Banks 32 which appears to be in great shape from the keel to the deck (professionally rebuilt motor with low hours) and good shape from the deck on up. Now that I am ready to pull the trigger I find I am getting cold feet because it is "almost impossible to sell a wood boat" (See the discussion here and remark by FF).

A wood hull for three years?

Is this true? Should I consider my original purchase price, all my future hours of blood, sweat toil and tears, all work on the boat and expenses a complete loss? Will I be the last one to ever pay anything for this "woody". Am I the only one who love wood anymore?

I'd love to hear any opinions about the resale-ability of of nicely kept wood Grand Banks especially from anyone who is in a position to know or has had experience.

(I agree that its kind of crazy to think about reselling this thing before I even buy it but if there is no market for wood boats perhaps I should just pay more for a glass boat in hopes that it will maintain its value more -or at least not go to 0).

thanks for any opinions on the matter.
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Old 11-23-2015, 06:40 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!

If you expect to buy any boat and recoup your investment to any degree you are mistaken. A boat is an expensive hole in the water that you dump money, time and sweat equity into and generally lose significant money on your investment when you sell it. Yes it will be tougher to sell a wood boat, especially one that is past 40 already. If you don't appreciate a wood boat for what it is and are considering it because of price, fiberglass is probably a better choice for you. How long you plan to own it may weigh more on your decision. If you plan to sell in a few years as this is just a step toward something else, than yes this is probably not the best choice. If you plan to own it for a long time, then the depreciation in dollars may actually be smaller than a fiberglass boat. As a percentage, what cost does this boat have compared to an equivalent fiberglass model?

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Old 11-23-2015, 08:14 AM   #3
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Many boat yards don't remember how to haul, block or work on wood boats today. Unless you are a dedicated wood boat restorer don't buy one.
There is enough going wrong with a 40 YO boat without adding wood.
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Old 11-23-2015, 09:22 AM   #4
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Welcome aboard!

Channel Islands? The ones near Santa Barbara? Anyway, Find out if the hull has ever been re-fastened, how, and who did it. You would need a survey by someone who knows wood boats. They're out there still, but fewer for sure, also sadly many marinas will no longer accept wood boats.

Good luck!
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Old 11-23-2015, 09:28 AM   #5
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A dedicated and experienced wood boat lover is the ideal candidate for this vessel. If you possess those traits and skills then sure, have a hard look. If your background lacks wooden BOAT repair skills I agree with Bayview.

BTW, I have found good wood boat owners enjoy 1960s and 70s Rock Music while their vessel is on the hard being re-planked. Hanging around these types running a screw gun is kinda fun.
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Old 11-23-2015, 09:54 AM   #6
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FWIW - around here in the NE a bunch or marinas had been 'stuck' with wood boats that no one came back to claim.
As a result they require a form of 'guaranteed' removal payment if you are wintering on the hard at these marinas. Similarly their requirements for insurances for slip owners of wooden boat has become more strict.
So I would line up my ducks when it comes to boat insurance and marinas before I finalized a wooden boat purchase.


Good luck with the boat and hope this helps
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:13 AM   #7
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Prolly not too hard if you sell it really really really cheap.

There's two attractive wood boats for sale on our float. A 32GB for $24 and a 37 Chris w twin yanmars for $19. The Chris was $29. They may both be good boats.

If I was in the market for a boat I would consider either of these but the'd have to pass a very through survey and be cheap .. like these. I'm betting the GB could be had for less. Here's the Chris.
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:19 AM   #8
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Nostalgia costs $$$. Lots of $$$$

If you're starting out worrying about value, cost, have ANY expectation of recouping purchase price with a wooden hull then you probably can't afford what's coming down the road for normal maintenance.

JMHO.
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:36 AM   #9
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I'm not too familiar with LA and the marine facilities in that area, but in the PNW there is still a market for quality wooden boats - and there are several small yards that specialize in servicing them.

In the PNW, though, there are also numerous covered moorages - and IMHO that's the only way to slip a wooden boat. Maybe you can keep up with the maintenance in LA where it doesn't rain as much, but an exposed wooden boat can deteriorate at an eye-popping rate.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that - simply because you are asking this question on an internet forum of strangers - you should not own a wooden boat.
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:37 AM   #10
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There once was a beautiful Egg Harbor in a nearby slip. One day it took on water and had to be pumped then hauled. A few months later I drove by the yard where they had it blocked up and the hull boards looked like they were pealing off. I don't know anything about wood boats, but that picture stuck with me and I'm not sure that you could give me one now.

My boat may get blisters or a through-hull fitting my break, but at least I don't have to worry about that kind of damage.
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:46 AM   #11
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One of my insurance clients has owned his 1953 42' Chris Craft since 1987. They live the boat, and keep it kn fresh water on Lake Union. Maintenance has been an ongoing ritual for them- they recently plunked down $30k to refastwn the entire bottom!

Walk carefully in this arena- ask the right questions, and weigh all the factors. Cheap can be very expensive....
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:53 AM   #12
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I have recouped my investment on a plastic boat that I bought cheap, and put a lot of effort in to. No, I did not get paid for my time, but I had a very nice boat for five years and in the end got my money back. It was a Catalina. Between it, a Benetau or a Hunter you can do that. Think Chevy, Ford or Chrysler. If you buy an older one and take care of it you'll get most of your money back. Like everything else, if you buy a new one you lose 25% when you drive it off the lot, so to speak.

Soooo, boating can be done without losing too much money. If you buy a less popular model it gets harder. Buy it right, invest in the right items (you'll never get your money back for that hot tub but you MAY get half of an engine overhaul back) and take care of it so it shows well and the damage can be contained, especially if you can do some or all of the work yourself. You will never recoup running costs, dockage, insurance or maintenance.

It is a labor of love, but there are rewards. If you're on the hook sitting on the deck watching the sunset with the Admirals hand in yours, and a nice cocktail in the other you are reaping those rewards. But, for every one of those days there are three days of cleaning bilges, scraping bottoms and varnishing trim. And you have to keep up with the cash flow.

Now take all that, and add wood. As explained above it's getting less popular by the day. Marinas, insurers can be bothered less and less. There IS a small, almost cult like following of wooden boats. Read Wooden Boat magazine. There are yards, mostly in the NE and PNW that will work on them, and do a good job. Not cheap, even compared to the work on plastic boats. And there will be more work, a lot more. A plastic hull needs some wax, and some anti fouling on the bottom. Worst case the bottom needs to be taken down to fiberglass, some blisters dried and repaired, barrier coated and painted. (Some plastic boats get really bad blisters to the point of being a structural threat, but those can easily be avoided.) Wooden boats will need planks, caulking, REGULAR scraping and painting. At some point ALL the planks will need to be refastened with EXPENSIVE hardware (not available at Home Depot.) There WILL be leaks. And you better get after them QUICKLY or there WILL be rot.

As I said, there are enthusiasts that love old woodies and learn and share the skills to keep them afloat. It's more than a labor of love, it's a lifestyle.

If this is you, go for it. If not, stick with plastic. Bad enough as it is. And yes, I grew up on wooden boats for the first decade or so.

But to answer your question ;-) yes, woodies can be bought (and sold) for a fraction of what similar plastic tubs go for.
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Old 11-23-2015, 12:09 PM   #13
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I have two suggestions if you buy a wood hull boat.....
1. Insure it well
2. Use strong dock lines. They'll keep it from going all the way under.




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Old 11-23-2015, 12:41 PM   #14
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Wow. This is pretty bleak. I have seen so many disparate opinions on the matter. Is there truly NO market for wooden boats.

I understand that owning any boat is an expensive proposition but are they truly " almost impossible to sell" as the other thread indicates?
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Old 11-23-2015, 12:57 PM   #15
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I believe the consensus is that there is a market, but a very small one. There is a reason most boats are now made of something other than wood. There is a reason that wooden boats are significantly cheaper. As someone mentioned earlier, if you need to ask a forum if it's a good idea to buy a wooden boat, you probably shouldn't buy a wooden boat. I don't mean that to be offensive, but I've owned several boats and been around many more for nearly 2 decades. I try to do as much maintenance as I can myself. I'm not an expert, but I've seen enough to know that I wouldn't have one. As another poster mentioned, there are enough things to go wrong on a fiberglass boat...I wouldn't want to add the potential of the thing that makes the boat float rotting out. That is very bad. Fiberglass boats can sink too, but generally not because the bottom rotted away.
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Old 11-23-2015, 01:10 PM   #16
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mplangley,
Don't get too upset. These guys (mostly) don't know anything about wood boats and are just regurgitating what other plastic boat people say.

On the flip side if you were to talk to a wood boat nut their take would be a comlpete opposite of what you hear here.

Try to find a surveyer that specializes in wood but does it all. Don't let them know you're looking at a specific boat and find out what all the downsides of wood boat ownership is .. for each type of construction. I' offer to pay for his time.
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Old 11-23-2015, 01:20 PM   #17
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Thanks manyboats - (and everyone else for that matter even though your dashing my dreams).

Is such a nice boat.

I was planning on negotiating the price today (asking 23k) but now my feet are cold.
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Old 11-23-2015, 01:21 PM   #18
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mplangley--- If you want to know about wood boats and wood GBs in particular, this is the wrong forum to be talking to. Join the Grand Banks owners forum Grand Banks Owner's Resources and ask your questions there. There are a lot of participants on that forum with wood GBs, some of which were near-derelicts when the owners bought them to restore. You will get truly meaningful answers from people who have a lot of experience with wood GBs from owning them or in the case of the forum's founder Bob Lowe, owned a boatyard that specialized in the maintenance, repair, upgrading and restoration of GBs, both wood and glass. Search that forum's archives and you will find discussions on virtually any topic imaginable having to do with wood GBs.
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Old 11-23-2015, 03:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mplangley View Post
Is such a nice boat.

I was planning on negotiating the price today (asking 23k) but now my feet are cold.
Well the photo looks pretty good!

Another aspect to consider is where you intend to moor it, and what activities they may allow or disallow. Particularly if you intend to do your own maintenance. Many marinas have restrictions on sanding, noise, et cetera - which means that you may end up having to pay someone else to do the maintenance that you planned to do yourself.

The boat in the photo looks well cared for, so hopefully there won't be any major restoration required - but keeping it in that condition will require regular work.
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Old 11-23-2015, 03:49 PM   #20
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A wood boat in good shape can be a very good boat. There are maintenance issues though that have to be dealt with. For example I repaint my boat every year to keep it looking good. IF you are a reasonably skilled boat carpenter, then the wood work is pretty easy. On the resale side, you will be fighting an uphill battle because of the lack of knowledge of wood boats these days. That is particularly true with boats like the GB32 and GB36 where there are lots of glass boats of the same model. The result is that the woodies tend to sell for 1/4 to 1/2 or less what equivalent age/condition glass boats sell for. Where a wooden boat will hold its value is in an older classic (pre WWII). However, even with classic boats the time to sell them can be years.

It is easy to repair major damage on a wooden boat though with only basic wood working tools.

My comments are based on my ownership of a 1936 wooden boat.

Just noticed the price. If you only pay around $20K you really don't have much to lose. $20K is pretty much pocket change when it comes to boat ownership (as you will discover).
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