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Old 03-18-2018, 12:17 PM   #21
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Pretty much every boat we buy is a fixer upper.
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Old 03-18-2018, 02:21 PM   #22
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Pretty much every boat we buy is a fixer upper.
Within a couple years [some brands within even less time passing by ] even a new boat becomes a fixer upper... of some sort.

One of the best statements about boating [paraphrased]:

Even while sitting at the dock having a cold one in the transom; every portion of the boat that will eventually break is in process of getting ready to break!

That can also be said as a similar statement for every material item ever created. Planets, Stars, Universe and, of course, we Humans too!
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Old 03-18-2018, 05:42 PM   #23
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I purchased my current boat as a fixer-upper. (Under $10K). Thought it would take $20-25K to get it where she was respectable. Now that she is finished, it was closer to $35K.

Do I have a boat I know inside and out? Yes
Was there a lot of feeling of accomplishment? Yes

If your budget and time permit. Why not go for it. Just plan for it costing and taking longer than your ďplanĒ anticipated.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 03-18-2018, 06:57 PM   #24
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Great Information!

I am pleased to have found this thread. This is my first post. I am in a similar situation as the original poster, and even looked at the boat he is going for (online)! I have pretty much looked at all of the sub-six figure liveaboards for sale right now. Your experience has made me feel more comfortable about a fixer upper, as all boats always need SOMETHING and cost half again what you would hope. If you are handy, there is an awlful lot you can do yourself as well.

It sounds like as long as the engines and structure are sound, it is up for consideration at least. I got so lucky with my current boat, an old girl in phenomenal condition, that I believe my low priced, well loved craft is out there!
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:09 PM   #25
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No. New boats have enough issues. There seems that there is always something that needs fixing on every boat. Didn't want to acquire a fixer-upper with a long list of to dos.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:53 PM   #26
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Anywhere with any type, size, shape of - - > BOATS!!!

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Old 03-19-2018, 07:06 AM   #27
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I am pleased to have found this thread. This is my first post. I am in a similar situation as the original poster, and even looked at the boat he is going for (online)! I have pretty much looked at all of the sub-six figure liveaboards for sale right now. Your experience has made me feel more comfortable about a fixer upper, as all boats always need SOMETHING and cost half again what you would hope. If you are handy, there is an awlful lot you can do yourself as well.

It sounds like as long as the engines and structure are sound, it is up for consideration at least. I got so lucky with my current boat, an old girl in phenomenal condition, that I believe my low priced, well loved craft is out there!
Same here! You know our current boat was, by far, the smallest and cheapest in Georgetown, SC for the eclipse. Hanging out on the docks at night this one coupe said they didnít have any AC on their beautiful much larger boat. Both systems crapped out. And it was really hot and humid. And there was our little sub $30k boat with both ACís blowing ice cold.

I think the next step for us is to make the trip to see ďTherapyĒ. The add is very out dated and the boatíss actually condition is...really dirty. But I believe itís mechanically sound. We donít want to buy a boat that we have to put on the hard for a year while we work on it. We want something that we can enjoy while tackling while enjoying the boat.

Congrats on yours! Since we seem to have similar interests, can you tell me more about your boat and itís condition?
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:17 AM   #28
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Thanks for all of the comments! I honestly expected most everyone to say thing but “run!” I have always felt that every boat is a fixer upper.

Being that I’m mechanically inclined, I was planning on skipping the survey. I’m going to check out the engines and send oil samples out. That’ll tell me how healthy they are. I can check out the systems out to make sure they work. I’d also hire a diver to take pics of the bottom and running great. A sea trial should also tell me a lot.

The only thing I can’t do is a moisture test. I believe this boat is mostly fiberglass construction. I still need to research that some more. So if it doesn’t have any soft spots or major cracks in the gelcoat, can there still be something so that I can’t see or notice that would be a deal breaker?

Funny story. When we bought our Mainship I had a mechanic check the systems out for me. Everything was fine. The minute after I signed on the dotted line the generator died and wouldn’t restart. Classic!
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:38 AM   #29
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We bought a 42 grand banks for $80k. We've put in $40k so far this year, doing all the labor ourselves. Just about every old boat is a project boat, even if it was well built.
We had a crappy surveyor look through the boat. Even though our surveyor wasn't any good, getting a first and second opinion on most of the systems was extremely valuable; it informed me on many of the things that could go wrong and gave me initial ideas on how to fix them. Also, insurance will require a survey, and for the amount of work we put into it, we choose to insure our boat. We did not have an engine surveyor, simply did an oil sample which came back showing that the engines were 'sound'. Most of a year later, we've replaced all oil coolers, thermostats, repaired heat exchangers, adjusted valve clearances, replaced fresh water pumps, rebuilt raw water pumps, replaced many hoses, installed new alternators and regulators, replaced the port side muffler, and painted parts of the engines. None of this was anticipated.

I highly recommend a haulout. Not only does it give you a good look at the condition of the hull, you will be able to identify all of the zincs (prop shaft, rudder, hull) so that you can purchase new ones for replacement without having to hire a diver multiple times. Together, a survey and haulout should cost max $1500 - totally eclipsed by the total cost of a project boat. A haulout also allows you to evaluate the running gear. Replacing cutlass bearings and performing shaft alignment can get expensive. Replacing shafts or propellers as a result of galvanic corrosion (there is no way to see this without a diver or a haulout) can get ridiculously expensive.

I found many things wrong with the boat that I didn't anticipate. You'll have a list of critical projects and a list of non-critical projects. After you close on the boat you'll want to get started immediately on the non-critical projects because those are often the most exciting (upgrades and such). DO NOT DO THIS. After a few weeks of owning the boat, your critical projects list will have grown considerably. I know it sounds silly, but if you have non-critical projects underway during this time you may become overwhelmed. We had trouble with this - make sure you prioritize.

One example of this is the plumbing. The sanitation lines were run terribly, ensuring permeation and smell. All freshwater plumbing was run with polybutylene (look for grey plastic water lines) that will constantly split and leak - we replaced with PEX. Aluminum water tanks were corroding from the inside out due to chlorinated water - replaced with polyethylene.

We were lucky because our fuel tanks had been replaced with aluminum. On a taiwanese trawler, fuel tanks are one of your biggest concerns. Take a close look - if they're black iron, be prepared to replace them at significant cost.

Sorry to be a downer, just want to make sure you're mentally prepared and don't make the same mistakes we did. Would we buy our boat again, yes - we love it (though some days I would not say that). Best of luck!
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:42 AM   #30
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I concur with the assessment that 'all boats are fixer-uppers'. But if the basics are at least reasonable, and you can stand to look at the rest, and can stand to have things 'in progress', and you can do a lot of the stuff yourselves and afford the rest over time...well, then maybe.

Your reporting that the boat is in TX and you'll bring her home to NC in hops and skips sounds like the potential for undue and unwelcome trouble. Unless you have unlimited time, budget for travel and a place to stay, and a budget for repair, the uncovering or developing of ills will make things difficult and expensive to deal with at a distance.

We were exceedingly lucky to suffer our trip-terminating failure, and find a parking spot, only an hour and a half from home!
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:56 AM   #31
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Steve,

I have the exact same boat. Mine needed work primarily from just sitting and never being used. You will know your boat inside and out after working on it and then cruising. I saw where you said you were thinking about skipping the survey. I would suggest you still do a survey, which will likely uncover items that you haven't found yet. Also, you will likely need a survey for insurance purposes, so might as well spend the money now and potentially find deal killing (or pricing adjusting) issues.

If you do go forward, feel free to reach out if there is something that I may be able to help with. I'm not an expert, but I'm glad to share what I have learned.

Chris
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:58 AM   #32
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Excellent post by Westiculo! I strongly suggest you read it a couple times and take it to heart.

- Get a real survey done by a profession, including a haul out.
- Unless you are a diesel mechanic yourself, get a mechanical survey done by someone experienced in the specific type of engine in that boat.
- Insure it (at least liability insurance)

The costs of the surveyís and haulout are not insignificant, but if you arenít sure you can afford them, I guarantee you canít afford to buy a project boat.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:08 AM   #33
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For my old boat (76) and having near zero experience working on boats, it's been about 80% learning curve. I started in the engine room and am working my way out. Propulsion and electrical, followed by plumbing, curing window leaks, canvas, etc. etc.

I made an interesting discovery - I like the work, sense of tangible accomplishment. Fortunate that I live 1 mile from the boat.

I think with a boat the old saw of "everything takes twice as long and costs twice as much as first planned" is an understatement. A boat is definitionally a depreciating "asset." You gotta love it.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:44 AM   #34
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I had not heard about having the trawler's oil tested, not sure how one would arrange for that but it is good to know. Don't know what to tell you about our '85 Carver 3227, Steve, except we feel really fortunate to have found her for 14k. A steal. She is 36 feet loa, and we live aboard her in Maine on freshwater six months of the year. Her engines run like a top, and we added four solar panels, so we don't even need shore power, which is good, because we don't have any at our slip! We don't have AC in Maine, it is cool enough, I suppose.

We are thinking it is time to go diesel and do some serious year round cruising, such as the Great Loop, or migrating along the east coast with the weather. A trawler may be our huckleberry, or who knows, maybe even a larger Carver with twin Diesels to make the fuel expense feasible. So many choices!
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:34 AM   #35
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I had not heard about having the trawler's oil tested, not sure how one would arrange for that but it is good to know. Don't know what to tell you about our '85 Carver 3227, Steve, except we feel really fortunate to have found her for 14k. A steal. She is 36 feet loa, and we live aboard her in Maine on freshwater six months of the year. Her engines run like a top, and we added four solar panels, so we don't even need shore power, which is good, because we don't have any at our slip! We don't have AC in Maine, it is cool enough, I suppose.

We are thinking it is time to go diesel and do some serious year round cruising, such as the Great Loop, or migrating along the east coast with the weather. A trawler may be our huckleberry, or who knows, maybe even a larger Carver with twin Diesels to make the fuel expense feasible. So many choices!
Freshwater... where?? You pull her for the other six months?
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:00 PM   #36
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What? I thought every boat was a fixer upper?


Well said ! Always something !
But I wouldnít change a thing.lol
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:30 PM   #37
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I had not heard about having the trawler's oil tested, not sure how one would arrange for that but it is good to know.
Blackstone Labs is a very common go-to lab for oil analysis.
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:59 PM   #38
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Freshwater... where?? You pull her for the other six months?
She's on Sebago lake in Maine. Pretty cold for half the year, so the poor girl is up on blocks. Soon though!
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:32 PM   #39
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She's on Sebago lake in Maine. Pretty cold for half the year, so the poor girl is up on blocks. Soon though!
I was in Camden/Rockport/Rockland... late 69 through mid 70's. Still visit occasionally.
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:07 PM   #40
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Spoke to the owner of the boat today. Super nice guy. He owns the boat yard itís in right now. He said they completely fixed the blisters in the hull, about $35k worth along with fixing anything else the boat needed. He had the Boat surveyed a year and a half ago and he sent it to me. The survey came back with a mostly clean bill of health along with a pretty bogus value of $125k. It said the over all condition was above average. Again, this was a year and a half ago.

The owner said heíd have no reservations about taking it from TX to FL right now.

Just giving you guys an update, donít worry Iím going to see for myself the actual condition. I think Iím going to fly down there on Wednesday to take a look and take it for a sea trial.

One thing that we just find out, the hurricane ripped off the radar arch along with the enclosure. He replaced it with a fixed bimini (or whatever itís called). I donít like that I canít mount a radar and it ruins the profile of the boat. At the same time, itís a nice top and the added visibility would be nice.

Hereís the only current pic I have. I have more coming tomorrow.
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