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Old 11-07-2018, 05:19 PM   #1
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Checking in from Chattanooga

Hello!
I got my feet wet owning a number of sailboats, from Hobie Cats to a Morgan 41, but went feet dry 10 years ago.

I'm ready to get back to the water and love the idea of a trawler and adventures seen at a much slower pace.

Currently actively looking for a project boat; because every boat is just a canvas waiting for us to paint on, right?

I'll need lots of advice and I understand the old salts here are the ones to provide it!

Thanks in advance.

Brad
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:54 PM   #2
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Welcome! You will hear lots of folks here say never buy a fixer upper. And that may be the case for many. Two key points if you do want a fixer upper 1) Get it at a good price ie very low compared to 'clean' models of the same boat and 2) You need to be very handy and able to do much of the work - and lets add 3) you must ENJOY doing much of the work yourself. I fall into that category and we recently purchased our first big boat. We went in with eyes wide open, and got it a good price that will allow for the needed upgrades. But I wanted simple non-turbo, non electronic engines, good hull, no exterior teak decks (except covered sundeck) - and that's what we have. Good luck in your search and keep us updated. One of our first cruises is going to be up to Pickwick Lake (from Columbus, MS) and then on up to Chattanooga
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:04 PM   #3
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Hello. Nice to see Chattanooga rep't. We bought a house in Counce, TN, at Pickwick Lake, earlier this year and plan on retiring there in a year or so.

We are desert dwellers for now. Perhaps we will see you on the Tennessee River in a year or so.
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:05 PM   #4
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Thanks FC. I like to work with my hands, have no problems taking engines apart and putting them back in working order. I have limited experience with deck work, but love YouTube and have yet to be let down when looking for an answer from the vast experienced people who also love to help! I appreciate a challenge and look forward to learning lot of new things, even if it's the hard way on occasion.
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:09 PM   #5
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Thanks FC. I like to work with my hands, have no problems taking engines apart and putting them back in working order. I have limited experience with deck work, but love YouTube and have yet to be let down when looking for an answer from the vast experienced people who also love to help! I appreciate a challenge and look forward to learning lot of new things, even if it's the hard way on occasion.
You will do well my friend
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:13 PM   #6
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:13 PM   #7
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by FoxtrotCharlie View Post
Welcome! You will hear lots of folks here say never buy a fixer upper. And that may be the case for many. Two key points if you do want a fixer upper 1) Get it at a good price ie very low compared to 'clean' models of the same boat and 2) You need to be very handy and able to do much of the work - and lets add 3) you must ENJOY doing much of the work yourself. I fall into that category and we recently purchased our first big boat. We went in with eyes wide open, and got it a good price that will allow for the needed upgrades. But I wanted simple non-turbo, non electronic engines, good hull, no exterior teak decks (except covered sundeck) - and that's what we have. Good luck in your search and keep us updated. One of our first cruises is going to be up to Pickwick Lake (from Columbus, MS) and then on up to Chattanooga
+1 We just had our offer excepted for a Handyman Special. I'm heading out Friday for the sea trial.
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:05 PM   #9
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Hello. Nice to see Chattanooga rep't. We bought a house in Counce, TN, at Pickwick Lake, earlier this year and plan on retiring there in a year or so.

We are desert dwellers for now. Perhaps we will see you on the Tennessee River in a year or so.

We moved east from Tucson, AZ after leaving Air Force, so know the desert well. Pickwick looks like a perfect starting spot for lots of TN river adventures!
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Old 11-09-2018, 11:26 PM   #10
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My wife and I grew up living and boating on the water our house is on lake Pontchartrain right out of New Orleans & a year ago after a few years of looking almost everyday we found a beauty right here in our area boat was sitting for 5 years previous owner got Alzheimerís lived out of state & his family had no interest I made a ridiculous offer and to my astonishment it was accepted at the time of purchase it only had one engine definitely a fixer upper it had no less than thousand mud divers nest ,dead batteries, broken windows ,generator inoperable ,dirty ,bad coverings inside ,Bimini shot ,the engine in the boat really just needed impellers 130hp perkins oh yeah btw itís a 40ft DeFever passage-maker 1979 great bones boat I paid 15k for the boat rebuilt the 10kw Isuzu gen set cleaned from top to bottom all new cushions in and out ,new glass ,new Bimini ,new batteries ,new engine ,which I am installing tomorrow that I bought in Indiana for great price actually bought a set two so now I have a spare ,new wiring ,with 3 inverters, new fridge freezer ,new mattressís ,the boat came with auto pilot & Garmin up and down 3 flat screen TVs ,80 inch 3D projection screen ,full galley complete everything you need full size tub in master suite ,shower in front state room ,I bought 14ft HBI with 25hp Suzuki dingy ,new carpet and padding in both state rooms ,new a/c pump new fresh water pump rebuilt windless new wipers fixed hypnotic steering so all I have left to do is paint bottom and I will be ready for the Bahamas and I wonít have 30k in total project did it all right in my back yard so yes I know for sure it could be done I did it with hard work even when the experts said it would cost way more and a 40ft DeFever passagemaker built in USA Downeast 1979 with two brand new rebuilt 130 hp perkins engines and I have a spare one would sell on the open market for 80k so I feel like I saved 50k by taking my time and finding the right fixer upper and finding the right deals so I will tell you follow your dreams it can be done
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Old 11-10-2018, 04:06 AM   #11
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My wife and I grew up living and boating on the water our house is on lake Pontchartrain right out of New Orleans & a year ago after a few years of looking almost everyday we found a beauty right here in our area boat was sitting for 5 years previous owner got Alzheimerís lived out of state & his family had no interest I made a ridiculous offer and to my astonishment it was accepted at the time of purchase it only had one engine definitely a fixer upper it had no less than thousand mud divers nest ,dead batteries, broken windows ,generator inoperable ,dirty ,bad coverings inside ,Bimini shot ,the engine in the boat really just needed impellers 130hp perkins oh yeah btw itís a 40ft DeFever passage-maker 1979 great bones boat I paid 15k for the boat rebuilt the 10kw Isuzu gen set cleaned from top to bottom all new cushions in and out ,new glass ,new Bimini ,new batteries ,new engine ,which I am installing tomorrow that I bought in Indiana for great price actually bought a set two so now I have a spare ,new wiring ,with 3 inverters, new fridge freezer ,new mattressís ,the boat came with auto pilot & Garmin up and down 3 flat screen TVs ,80 inch 3D projection screen ,full galley complete everything you need full size tub in master suite ,shower in front state room ,I bought 14ft HBI with 25hp Suzuki dingy ,new carpet and padding in both state rooms ,new a/c pump new fresh water pump rebuilt windless new wipers fixed hypnotic steering so all I have left to do is paint bottom and I will be ready for the Bahamas and I wonít have 30k in total project did it all right in my back yard so yes I know for sure it could be done I did it with hard work even when the experts said it would cost way more and a 40ft DeFever passagemaker built in USA Downeast 1979 with two brand new rebuilt 130 hp perkins engines and I have a spare one would sell on the open market for 80k so I feel like I saved 50k by taking my time and finding the right fixer upper and finding the right deals so I will tell you follow your dreams it can be done
You just described my dream. I I personally believe that reviving a lost boat and bringing it back to life is part of the experience that excites me. I don’t have the skill or patience to start from scratch but I love the challenge of taking something broken and making it useful again. Getting my hands dirty and learning as I go is all part of the journey

Thanks for the great inspirational message in your post. I wish you well in the next part or you wonderful adventures!
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Old 11-10-2018, 07:38 AM   #12
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You just described my dream. I I personally believe that reviving a lost boat and bringing it back to life is part of the experience that excites me. I donít have the skill or patience to start from scratch but I love the challenge of taking something broken and making it useful again. Getting my hands dirty and learning as I go is all part of the journey

Thanks for the great inspirational message in your post. I wish you well in the next part or you wonderful adventures!


Thanks today the day to install the engine guess we will see I will post pics
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:09 AM   #13
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Brad
When you are hunting keep a lookout for a vessel that was designed initially for your ultimate cruising goals. One thought, a late 70s to late 80s Trojan 36, 40 or 44. The 36 was designed for offshore fishing. Oft forgotten but good bones. What size range are you focusing on?

Given your ground up redo skills a hurricane insurance write off boat is not out of the question. Do you have a place where the vessel can be undercover as you go about your work? Look at a few vessels that fit the bill, but are out of your price range. Make an offer acceptable to you, willing sellers do exist on near project boats.

With time, patience and an understanding mate re-doing a boat is a great alternative to golf and bowling in your retirement years. And yes, many on TF do indeed say don't get a project boat. For the dreamers, ill found skill sets, time limited or faint of heart it remains sound advice.
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:30 AM   #14
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Welcome aboard! I think I'm living on what you described just north of you. Good bones, all the systems in place, just 1 bite at a time in refit. Feel free to reach out as I have many areas you can hone your skills or simply have a beer and look at boat stuff!
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:11 AM   #15
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I've done the "30+ year old boat thing" twice. By the time that your almost finished (you'll likely never get quite there), you'll know exactly where everything is and exactly what everything does. A downside is that you'll have at least as much maintenance experience as operating experience. There are plenty of boats in your area that have never seen salt water and have been kept in a covered slip; very valuable in an old boat. Many won't even be listed for sale. Good luck!
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:22 AM   #16
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check the local marinas for fixer uppers, most are not listed for sale except a sign on the boat. The marina dockmaster can also be an information source.
Also if there’s a work yard some baskets cases may be had for unpayed bills.
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Old 12-01-2018, 07:52 AM   #17
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I've got a couple of good prospects and hope to get down to look at them (on the Gulf Coast) next week. I appreciate the kind words and wisdom and look forward to posting soon that the adventure has started. It's especially good to hear from folks that have experience with the same type of project and speak positively about it. I think the key is going in eyes wide open and having the correct attitude and expectations for sure.
I look forward to meeting you sometime in the not-too-distant future Mike!
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