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Old 09-22-2022, 10:36 AM   #1
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Buying a boat with flaws... #2) 1986 Hershine 37

If you read my Gulfstar thread skip this preface

I apologize for length of post in advance.

I expect to buy a 35-50 year old boat that will require a good deal of sweat equity... (Only way I can afford it) as soon as I find the right one.
Planned use: Live aboard in NJ, capable of seasonal trips, to Cape Cod, etc.


I will have a reputable surveyor go over it before I purchase a boat. But before engaging a surveyor, I want, to the best of my ability ascertain the boat is worth being surveyed.



So... Here are pictures and some questions, any and all advice welcome, specific to this model, or more general.

This boat like the Gulfstar has been on the hard for a year.

Regarding the bottom: It's pretty, nice and smooth and with new antifouling paint last year and all the through-hullfittings appear solidly attached and uncorroded. Prop and rudder good, with new anodes.

I was told long term owner had a stroke and boat sat unloved on hard 2010-2015.
Lots of interior water damage from windows and hatches. All leaks have been corrected (windows and ports repaired or replaced, new Bomar hatch over v-berth) except aft entry hatch, which has tarp lashed in place. I visited boat for the first time, after 2 days of torrential wind driven rain. No signs of new water penetration in accessible areas. Below deck spaces also dry.

Previous owners had leaks repaired and basic maintenance, winterizing, etc. done for 5 years. Current owner began stripping damaged interior and cutting new plywood to fit in place, but switched to working on a newly purchased cottage on the Chesapeake. That's as close to the water as the wife has decided she wants to live.

Plus factors:
Ford Lehman 120
Bow Thruster installed 3 years ago on separate battery system with dedicated charging system. joy sticks at both stations.
Engine room, hoses, and wiring seem well maintained. Heater has its own heat exchanger running off the engine. Fuel tank sight glass (clear vertical tubing have fixture shut off valves top and bottom. Engine, transmission and shaft do not have excessive corrosion.

Now the not so good... More interior water damage than I expected, though seems residual, not new,
Plenty of gel coat crazing and spider cracks. Cracking sometimes goes into the fiberglass where horizontal and vertical planes meet-both deck to hull, and deck to cabin.

But very concerning are the cracks around the edges of the flybridge platform- they are long and deep and had moisture present, staining a business card I stuck in edgewise.
See highlighted photos

I have been reading madly about replacing damaged and rotten core on these older trawlers. I am fine with doing the work but not sure about putting a price tag on it given that the boat had a sweat equity price basis from the start.

And this time, the biggest elephants on board, (though there is no smell or sign of leakage) are the two hidden steel fuel tanks which have never been replaced.

The boat was put in the water Saturday, the cylinders bled, fluids changed and engines run for 30 minutes. I'm meeting the owner Friday morning.(Thursday's forecast is for rain and wind. Ideally the interior will be dry, and engine runs like a top.

I will bring my little phenolithic hammer (though it all sounds the same to me, too much loud music when I was younger?), and rent (buy?) an inspection camera that will hopefully give some insight into the condition of the fuel tanks.


Keep getting told invalid link for pictures, dang it. I'll try to fix it later. gotta run.

Limulus
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Old 09-22-2022, 11:45 AM   #2
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I would say that it depends on your willingness to learn fiberglass work, it really isn't too hard with some practice, you pretty much always grind away your mistakes and try again, the level of finish will depend one your level of effort and care. Fiberglass work, especially non-structural work is a good opportunity for building sweat equity if you aren't afraid to itch.

If you plan to hire out all of this work or are forced to hire it out because the boat yard won't let you, it will get very expensive very quickly.

I'm assuming that the water leak damage is mostly cosmetic but dig around a bit and make sure there was no deck joist or hull stringer rot, you will probably find a at least a little in a boat of this age but you don't want to take on a major replacement.

The Hershine has nice lines in my opinion, you are on the right path, researching and asking questions here before you hire a surveyor.
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Old 09-22-2022, 11:50 AM   #3
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Hershine images

Still no go - 65 kb 1000x 750 .jpg cleared cache.... IDK
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Old 09-22-2022, 12:54 PM   #4
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Best day to visit would be Thu during rain If the boat is locked, look in the windows. If you plan on traveling make sure electronics such as MFD are current and working.

Fiber glassing has a short learning curve. Esp. using the West system products. If it is fiberglass, it can be repaired. There are endless YouTube videos with boatworkstoday taking honors for best content (even though he doesn't use West) Spider cracks don't go all the way through. They are cosmetic. Broken tabbing in the ER , transom, or lazarette area would be a red flag.

Interior carpentry is another matter entirely. I am a very experienced rough carpenter. Marine carpentry? No. I can not get 2 pieces of wood to join with an invisible seam. Give me the best router, jointer, planer, table saw available, I will end up with gaps everywhere. Just not my thing. Teak laminating? Not my thing. Upholstery? Not my thing. (Expensive.) Mechanical and electrical, no problem. You can't do it all in a reasonable time frame.

Core work? Doable. If it is small in area then it's a low priority. The boat won't sink. Build up glassing experience first before tackling core.

I think the biggest issue is the time it will take to redo interior. If you spend 2 years on the hard working every weekend you may lose interest. If the boat is in the water and you can use it, then it becomes tolerable.

There is nothing worse than a leaking topside when you are stranded in a harbor somewhere due to torrential rains.
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Old 09-22-2022, 08:06 PM   #5
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Limulus, I bought a 1974 CHB (Clipper), 34 way back in 2002, which had had quite a bit of internal lining damage from water ingress. Fortunately, I am a bit more handy with wood than Sowhat, and I actually virtually completely relined the whole front cabin and most of the walls of the saloon with teak veneer, admittedly using some quarter or half round strips over some joins, and the result was very acceptable, and quite cheap, apart from my time, to do. We enjoyed that boat for 16 years until sold just a few years ago, and the timber work I did was still lookin' good. Just sayin'...
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Old 09-23-2022, 12:35 AM   #6
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photos

Every time I try to upload:

This site canít be reachedThe webpage at https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...anageattach&p= might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address.
ERR_INVALID_HANDLE

What am I doing wrong?
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Old 09-23-2022, 01:55 AM   #7
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Hi Limulus,

With all due respect, I hope you've heard the absolute truism regarding boating in general, and in particular, power boats suitable for liveaboard (unless you love advanced camping and practice bleeding every time you step aboard) and limited coastal cruising:

The most expensive boat you'll ever own will be the least expensive boat you'll ever buy.


Sweat equity be damned. Pay very close attention to the fixed costs of ownership (insurance, moorage, cost of money, fair value of YOUR time, etc.) If, after an HONEST appraisal of these costs, weighed against lost income while you're pursuing this dream, you come out ahead, then go for it. And best of luck in that endeavor. This isn't an inexpensive lifestyle, no matter how you attempt to go about it.

The bottom line is it's going to be YOUR boat, and all the crowdsourced "advice" you get on the WWW influencing your purchase (including mine, for sure) will be owned lock, stock and barrel by yourself once the boat's yours. There'll be multiple anecdotes by some bragging how much DIY they can, and have done, and how inexpensive they portend this DIY effort to be. There will be far fewer anecdotes on line of those that attempt your dream, only to have their boats end up as derelicts in some boat yard, advertised for cheap, in the hopes of snagging another dreamer to get them off the hook.

And nobody, but nobody can diagnose potential flaws in an unseen and unvisited boat, no matter how many pictures you post online. You will truly get what you pay for.

Regards,

Pete
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Old 09-23-2022, 02:21 AM   #8
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Think about how much time you can dedicate to said work and think about if setbacks will cause you to burn out. Boats are tricky animals to work on because nothing is rarely straight and working with compound curves can make for some slow going when doing repairs. As for the tanks I'd try to pick a boat that has a fairly reasonable replacement path like being able to move a motor out of the way vs. demo and rebuild a section of the boat.
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Old 09-23-2022, 05:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jungpeter View Post
Hi Limulus,

With all due respect, I hope you've heard the absolute truism regarding boating in general, and in particular, power boats suitable for liveaboard (unless you love advanced camping and practice bleeding every time you step aboard) and limited coastal cruising:

The most expensive boat you'll ever own will be the least expensive boat you'll ever buy.

The most untrue truism ever

In our case at least.
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Old 09-23-2022, 06:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jungpeter View Post
Hi Limulus,

With all due respect, I hope you've heard the absolute truism regarding boating in general, and in particular, power boats suitable for liveaboard (unless you love advanced camping and practice bleeding every time you step aboard) and limited coastal cruising:

The most expensive boat you'll ever own will be the least expensive boat you'll ever buy.


Sweat equity be damned. Pay very close attention to the fixed costs of ownership (insurance, moorage, cost of money, fair value of YOUR time, etc.) If, after an HONEST appraisal of these costs, weighed against lost income while you're pursuing this dream, you come out ahead, then go for it. And best of luck in that endeavor. This isn't an inexpensive lifestyle, no matter how you attempt to go about it.

The bottom line is it's going to be YOUR boat, and all the crowdsourced "advice" you get on the WWW influencing your purchase (including mine, for sure) will be owned lock, stock and barrel by yourself once the boat's yours. There'll be multiple anecdotes by some bragging how much DIY they can, and have done, and how inexpensive they portend this DIY effort to be. There will be far fewer anecdotes on line of those that attempt your dream, only to have their boats end up as derelicts in some boat yard, advertised for cheap, in the hopes of snagging another dreamer to get them off the hook.

And nobody, but nobody can diagnose potential flaws in an unseen and unvisited boat, no matter how many pictures you post online. You will truly get what you pay for.

Regards,

Pete
+1 - pretty much exactly what we have seen with a majority of owners.
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Old 09-23-2022, 07:18 AM   #11
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Estimating the time of repairs is a huge challenge.

Check out some of the project logs on Lackeysailing.com, I don't know the guy but really enjoy seeing his projects and he always includes how much time he spent on a specific task.
I guess it is fair to call him a shipwright, started amateur and it became his profession, he seems to have a steady stream of projects. It is generous of him to share so much about his projects, in his early stuff he gets into the techniques in greater detail, I think he was figuring out how to do a lot as he went, newer stuff isn't as detailed but he always includes his time. Of course this is the time it takes a pro who is working in a well provisioned shop with tools and common supplies on hand. I would plan to double or triple the time for any given task. The projects are mostly sailboats but some power boats are included and scope runs from a clean and polish to full refits and repowers.
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Old 09-23-2022, 08:40 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Limulus View Post
Every time I try to upload:



This site canít be reachedThe webpage at https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...anageattach&p= might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address.

ERR_INVALID_HANDLE



What am I doing wrong?
Depending upon how you are accessing the forum. Browser on a coumputer, app on a mobile device.
Find the top level of the forum.
From there look for "How To Use The Forum, Site News & Account Concerns"
and finally the stickie "How to Post Pictures"
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Old 09-23-2022, 08:41 AM   #13
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The most untrue truism ever

In our case at least.
Your story isn't complete - someday your boat will be sold and the TCO ledger settled. Your opportunity costs are always compared via an anchor-out to renting a waterfront home, an unusual and extreme test of economy.

Clearly your choices deserve consideration, but I think you are a bit of a unicorn.

Peter

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Old 09-23-2022, 09:09 AM   #14
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You're getting a lot of the same answers for very similar questions as you received in your previous thread:

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...yor-65341.html

Lots of people are trying to assist you, but might I suggest you stick with the same thread and not post a new thread every time you find another boat. People will still want to help, but you'll reduce the duplication of effort getting the same answers again and again from the same and different people who are trying to assist you.

Also, as a suggestion, you may want to post a general idea of the price range you are looking at. If you want to spend less than say $10,000, you are going to be looking at boats with a LOT of flaws, costing $$$$$ to overcome to bring the boat up to state that is both safe for navigation and comfortable to live on. In the case of some boats, it just may not be economically possible, even if you have a free place to work on it, and all the time and patience in the world to learn the skill sets, acquire the tools etc, to do the work. And along the way, you probably won't be able to live aboard while all the work is being accomplished.

In addition, if you post the price range you are considering, members may be able to suggest boats that they know about for you to consider.

jungpeter's post # 7 above nailed it.

The most expensive boat you'll ever own will be the least expensive boat you'll ever buy.

Best of luck in your search.
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Old 09-23-2022, 10:58 AM   #15
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I too am curious to your budget.

We are closing in on our first year buying a budget trawler as I like to put it, so I understand the different advice that people are giving you. After using the boat all season our winter to-do list is vastly different now than when we started in March.

Like mentioned, get whichever boat you end up with be sure it's legal and sea worthy, paint the bottom and be sure the bilge pumps work, then just use it for a while then you'll find out what really should need attention.
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Old 09-23-2022, 11:37 AM   #16
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Reason for posting about specific boats...

Specific boats have specific "issues" as well as general trawler type application issues. I am living for guidance with both. The general trawler type, I as a long time lurker, and not reinventing the wheel type, have a certain degree of awareness.
Boat specific issues, both regarding brand and model issues, and super specific "this boat has...." are also part of my learning curve. I am perfectly comfortable disclosing my financial requirements. This year's Outlay total including 3-4k for winter slip and insurance, has to be under 25k and that includes materials AND any work I can't do myself. I'm wood, fiberglass and epoxy competent, and "youtube tutorial" mechanically capable.
Thanks.
I'm on the boat now. Do any of you remember how it feels to be on a boat swaying to a swell after years away from it? I, it feels so unbelievable.i didn't even realize how much I missed it. 15 years without... I can't even begin to explain.
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Old 09-23-2022, 11:49 AM   #17
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We were in the similar budget range, we looked at a few before we found ours. I wanted one that had at least one of the major projects done. Someone had already removed all the teak decking and fiberglassed it all and did a nice job.
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Old 09-23-2022, 11:13 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Limulus View Post
Specific boats have specific "issues" as well as general trawler type application issues. I am living for guidance with both. The general trawler type, I as a long time lurker, and not reinventing the wheel type, have a certain degree of awareness.
Boat specific issues, both regarding brand and model issues, and super specific "this boat has...." are also part of my learning curve. I am perfectly comfortable disclosing my financial requirements. This year's Outlay total including 3-4k for winter slip and insurance, has to be under 25k and that includes materials AND any work I can't do myself. I'm wood, fiberglass and epoxy competent, and "youtube tutorial" mechanically capable.
Thanks.
I'm on the boat now. Do any of you remember how it feels to be on a boat swaying to a swell after years away from it? I, it feels so unbelievable.i didn't even realize how much I missed it. 15 years without... I can't even begin to explain.

$25k for the first year, all in is going to be a stretch. Enough said on that.


Now as to your last paragraph, I totally get the feeling you have on the boat after 15 years. For us, it was 19 years since we last owned a boat till we purchased our current boat. Four days ago, we celebrated 1 year living aboard. It's awesome! We've been to Glacier Bay and back, plus many shorter trips. 625 engine hours and 4,200 miles in the first year. It's magical.


Guy just bought a Tradewinds 41 that had sat in our marina, in covered moorage for the last 14 years. She sold for a price that is WELL into he realm of what you are speaking of. Twin Lehman 120's. Haven't fired up in over 10 years. Cranked over maybe 8 or 10 turns and fired up! Smoothed out after a few minutes. Smoked a bit at first, but after about 5 or 10 minutes, smoke pretty much stopped. Boat overall is in good shape, but not sure when zincs were replaced last, so that's a BIG IF! Point of this, is they're out there, you just need to find them.
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Old 09-26-2022, 04:52 PM   #19
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buying a boat with flaws

I would check with your insurance agent to make sure you can insure a vessel
that is not currently in seaworthy condition.
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Old 09-26-2022, 06:08 PM   #20
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You can probably get port risk insurance. It means that you canít get underway until it is seaworthy and passed a survey.
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