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Old 09-15-2020, 09:55 AM   #1
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Transitioning from "Dreamer" to "Doer"

Hello, all!

Finally making the transition from lurker to official member, and from daydreaming on the dock to taking the leap to actually owning a (large) boat and cruising.

We had our offer on a 1985 OA 40' Europa accepted and are anxiously awaiting survey and sea trial next week. I'm sure posting on a forum and opening this up for discussion is no way to ease the anxiety, but I'm sure there are some fine folks here that can sympathize with the heady combination of excitement and fear (healthy fear?) that we're experiencing.

A little bit more about us: I am a designer and occasional instructor at the local university. And my husband teaches and farms. (And is a handy mechanic and knows his way around a wiring diagram. I lucked out!) We have one daughter, who is in second grade. Our plans are to spend the next couple summers on the boat exploring the northern stretch of the Mississippi. And this immediate winter, we're going to be brushing up on our navigation and boat handling skills before we take the helm next spring.

Last, but certainly not least, thank you to everyone that has contributed to this forum: I've been reading the threads for the last three years and have gained a lot of insight from all of you. Hopefully, you'll see us out on the water next spring!
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Old 09-15-2020, 10:16 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard. And congrats on your new boat, hoot the survey and sea trial go well. We will absolutely need photos when you close on it.
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Old 09-15-2020, 11:21 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard - you sound excited!

A question: is there a story behind your member name?
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Old 09-15-2020, 11:33 AM   #4
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Welcome aboard and good luck with the upcoming purchase process. If you're able to post the ad for the boat, you're likely to get many thoughts on things to look for or expect as you go through the sea trial and survey. Is this your first large boat purchase? Do you have questions about the process?

Greg.
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Old 09-15-2020, 01:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregBrannon View Post
Welcome aboard and good luck with the upcoming purchase process. If you're able to post the ad for the boat, you're likely to get many thoughts on things to look for or expect as you go through the sea trial and survey. Is this your first large boat purchase? Do you have questions about the process?

Greg.
https://www.boattrader.com/boat/1985...an-40-7561195/

Here is the ad, although I don't think the interior pictures do the interior any favors. (I think she looks better in person, but I am pretty smitten, so my opinion might be biased at this point.) There also aren't any engine room pictures, but the engine room was tidy and impressively clean to our eyes. After looking at ads for the last three years, I normally would have passed over one without pictures of the engine, but the boat was close enough that we went to look at it in person. The owner was also kind enough to start the engines and they sounded healthy. We'll see how they perform next week, but we're not expecting any huge red flags with the engines. (Lehman 135s w/about 6000 hours)

We would definitely love some advice on what to look for at the survey, especially if anyone has knowledge of this particular model. It is our first big boat purchase, so we are definitely newbies. I think we have the general buying process down as far as knowing what kind of paperwork and additional expenses we'll be incurring. (Thank you to the financials/red tape forum for that!) Someone had also posted a link to the marine survey 101, which was also very helpful.

My biggest concerns for the survey are the condition of the bottom and overall structure. (I have a feeling this is where no amount of head knowledge gained by reading is going to help us out. Knowing what to look for is one thing, actually recognizing it in person is another!) Identifying issues in the hull is the area where we have the least amount of confidence.

I'm expecting that we'll do a lot of preventative maintenance on her over the next several years. The teak decks are a huge concern, but I don't think they are a problem yet. The decks have been sealed since the late eighties. She has been stored in a covered slip during the summer and has been stored indoors the last several winters. Hopefully this translates to healthy core on the deck. Same thing with windows and portlights. No evidence of leaking, but I'm anticipating a good amount of work/time to keep them that way. If the sale goes through, look forward to a lot of posts asking for advice on repairs.
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
Welcome aboard. And congrats on your new boat, hoot the survey and sea trial go well. We will absolutely need photos when you close on it.
Thank you! There will definitely be more pictures if the sale goes through. Perhaps I'm superstitious, but it seems unlucky to post pictures that aren't in the ad before closing. Don't want to jinx it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by menzies View Post
Welcome aboard - you sound excited!

A question: is there a story behind your member name?
Definitely excited! Reminds me of having a baby: happy, but also a bit in awe of the responsibility and commitment we're signing up for. *edited to fix a typo. No "singing" will be involved in the purchase of this boat.

And nothing terribly special about my member name. Just my first initial and last name converted to something easy to remember. My husband has a Dutch lineage, so the "10" stands in for "Ten."
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:33 PM   #7
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Always view old teak decks with a jaundiced eye! They can cause many headaches.
Try to get under every square inch of the deck to check for leaks and/or saturation.

I had the same Westerbeke generator and I had some age-related issues with it.
I had the cylinder head off once and a few electrical maintenance gremlins but it did
have a lot of hours on it.
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:02 PM   #8
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Looks nice. Hope it works out for you.
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:11 PM   #9
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Nice looking boat. A one owner boat this age is rare to find. If the owners kept good records and receipts to back up the log book, that will tell you a lot about how the boat was used, maintained and repaired. Too often a term like rebuilt or fully serviced is open to interpretation but receipts will verify and define the work done (or not done). Also a good log will have engine speeds logged along with hours. 6000 hours, if run at the proper speed and load have lots of life left. If they've lived in fresh water all their life, even better. Window frames and decks typically get water under them and cause rot. How much, is the question. Overall, sounds like a good possibility that any issues revealed by the survey will be manageable. Verify, with eyes on, the age and condition of batteries. Cheers.
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:39 PM   #10
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Just based on the photos and the fact she's under cover suggests she's in above average condition. OA are well built boats so the foundation is solid. If the boat has been stored indoors over the winters and under cover in the slip there's a lower probability of issues with the decks (less chance for water intrusion followed by freezing). I'd be surprised if anything with the hull were an issue. Fuel tanks should be examined for rust and leaks.

Leymans are solid engines which tend to last a long time, are relatively easy to maintain, and have plenty of parts available. Better yet are ones that have mainly been in fresh water.

All that said, the survey is critical. Surveys almost always find problems so be prepared. Also, if you complete purchase you will find things as you go, it is inevitable. With a boat of this age you'll need to start replacing parts just due to age. My advice would be to expect to spend 50% of the purchase cost on maintenance and repairs during the first year or two. You might get lucky but it is a 36 year old boat.
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:36 PM   #11
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Thank you all for the suggestions of things to pay special attention to in the survey! Unfortunately, I won't be there, but my husband is getting a list of all the things mentioned.* We're glad the general consensus is "proceed with caution" and not "run away!!!"

(*I'm not sure how to word that without making him sound like the minion in this relationship, but that's not the case at all. Better a stack of notes than to miss something crucial, which seemed really easy to do while in the thick of things on board. I'll see if I can get him to join so he can post himself, but he's usually content reading over my shoulder.)

Slowmo: I have a feeling she'll eat up any budget we'll give her, but it seems like most of the boats mentioned on the forum will do the same at some point. She's about half of what we budgeted for purchase/repairs/updates, so hopefully we have a generous enough cushion to get her fixed up properly. Maybe it would be smarter to get a newer boat and have less wiggle room in the budget, but maybe not. Either way, I'm sure our boat dollars will be gone faster than expected.

KnotYet: gremlins in the generator sound like fun... This one has some pretty low hours, so we may have some issues from not enough use. It sounds like the generator wasn't used much, I guess we'll find out if it was because they had problems with it, or if it didn't get much use because the boat was at the dock.

Swfla: Adding all those things to my list. I did notice one of the portlights had some cracking in the exterior trim. Crossing my fingers that the rot isn't too bad there.
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:56 PM   #12
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Welcome, and congratulations. They are great boats.
We have a 1983 OA Europa we’ve owned for 10 years. It also had been stored under cover and is in good shape. We continued the well-documented routine maintenance and have come nowhere close to that “50% of purchase price”, more like 5%. Of course you can put a lot into a boat. The style and layout suits us. Send me a message with contact info if you like and I’ll send mine and see if I can answer questions. Hollywood here on the forum is another Europa 40 owner.
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Old 09-17-2020, 02:08 AM   #13
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I agree, a quick 50% of purchase price spend on repairs sounds high. But at 6000 hours the Lehmans have done some work,you are buying "unused life", 10,000 hours would be a fair life( yes,13000+ in commercial/charter/constant use is possible), mechanical survey on top of the general one will be useful and covers the genset too. A nice shiny boat that looks loved, I wish you well with it.
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Old 09-17-2020, 04:50 AM   #14
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This appears to be a nice boat. Not many pictures, but looks like there are minimal electronics. I view that as a big plus on an older boat as it means there have been no DIY butcher jobs.

I also noted there is still sheen and reflection in the gelcoat, the byproduct of protected storage. I saw pictures of a 40 year old Willard recently that had been boathouse stored - it makes a huge difference.

The OP has probably already deduced from reading TF, saddle fuel tanks are a common defect and should be closely inspected if possible. I would expect there to be no issues given the covered storage, but should still look for any signs of weeping through the deck fill plates if only for preventative maintenance.

Boat looks like a time capsule. Congrats.

Peter
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:46 AM   #15
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First ask how old batteries are. Then see if you've been lied to. Visual inspection of all batteries. General appearance, bulging sides, date sticker, size and type. Your camera is very helpful here.
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:30 AM   #16
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The Europa style and being under cover provide significant protection for the fuel tanks and the house windows and sidewalls. Around ‘83 the outsides of the wood-frame windows were epoxied, which aslo helps a lot. The tops of the tanks can be inspected with an inspection camera through the dip-stick access panels located in the aft outboard salon floor.
Confirm the engines are 2725E, the 135 hp variant. 120s are 2715E and require some different maintenance items.
Unless the work is confirmed with receipts I would plan on changing main, transmission, and oil coolers for both engines, and all the water hoses. Change belts, oil, coolant, and transmission oil. Replace the damper plates or carry spares and you’ve done most of the renewal items.
Batteries are on-condition, but you should probably plan a 6-year life for starters.
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:56 AM   #17
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Additional items to be considered include engine mounts, shaft alignment, valve adjust, and injector service. If you can change oil and spark plugs you can do all of these. Brian at American Diesel 804-435-4107 can provide a manual, parts, and information.
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:59 AM   #18
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In my earlier post I meant change hoses, etc, for both engines, not change both engines. Edited to reflect that.
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:02 PM   #19
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Wifey B: Welcome aboard. How refreshing to read such a nice initial post where one shares enough information about themselves and the boat in question that we can actually respond intelligently. Now it's all down to the survey. Hopefully good which will mean it can be a great boat for you. Also, glad you have a plan of education but then wouldn't that go with the territory of your backgrounds. Cruising your home area in summers will get you prepared and won't be long until you're wanting to venture further from home.
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:36 PM   #20
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Some general advice would be to ask if you are DIYers or not. If you are then the older boat will be fun since you like to work on the boat. If you are not DIYers then go for the newer boat since paying someone to do the work for you will be very expensive. It all depends on what you like to do. I love working on my boat probably as much as running it. But not everyone like working on boats so they pay someone else to do the work, and it will be expensive.
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