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Old 09-15-2022, 03:32 PM   #1
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1972 GS 36: Buying a boat with flaws... Determining if boat is worth hiring surveyor.

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.

Boat has been on the hard for a year.
Regarding the bottom:

1st) Is the peeled paint a sign of severe blistering, or other serious issue or simply poor prep/application?

2nd) Is there a way to determine myself if the visible crack more than a gel-coat issue(a thin blade does not penetrate beyond what would be accounted for by the coating and listing, but during a torrential rain when pressing on crack, in some places slight flexing movement within maximum 1/2" border of crack is felt and v. small amount of water bleeds up.)

Exterior hull fittings have minimal corrosion and seem very tightly bonded.

Owner states there is one soft spot on Flybridge deck, but otherwise not aware of any more. I will check closely tomorrow generally, and near penetrations.

Owner discovered a leak in potable water tank, and developed a weekend trip work-around to supply pressurized water to sinks and toilet (1) or has used dock supply. I have read the threads regarding the GS water tank and will talk to him further and take a closer look.

120hp Ford Lehman Engine.
States that all filters have been changed regularly, strainers cleaned, etc, and winterized every year, but that no major work has been done in his 5 years of ownership. No problems that he was aware of when last winterized.
Since bypassing water tank, bilges are dry. Pumps and alarm function properly.

No obvious signs of significant interior leaks around hatches port holes or door.

Fridge dead, and generator had not worked since he bought boat.

I have been reading all I can here and elsewhere.

I know it's a lot to ask but any suggestions about things to look at,
and what should be considered deal breakers, for a reasonably competent DIY type with no knowledge of Diesel engines, except running farm tractors (don't run out of fuel)...

If this boat can pass that level of examination, then it may be time to think about finding the right surveyor.

I am looking at one other boat seriously, a Hershine 37 which I will post questions about in the Taiwan thread.

I hope this is an appropriate post.
Thanks, Eric
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Old 09-15-2022, 03:45 PM   #2
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I would expect that there will be some wet core in a boat of that age. It isnít rocket science repairing them just hard physical labor. The Lehmans are almost indestructible. I wouldnít be surprised that there was no major work don on it in 5 years, we had 225s in our last boat and never did anything beyond filters and oil in 5 years. They ran like tops. All the rest is just stuff to be worked on. I would carefully inspect the fuel tanks if they have not been replaced. If they havenít been replaced they are probably about to need replacement. Look at the top of the tank around the filler hose, that is where a lot of rust starts from the filler fitting on deck not being caulked properly. Check the stringers for rot. Those are the big ticket items. The refer and the rest are small stuff compared to new fuel tanks. I take a small phoenolic hammer to tap out the decks looking for wet core. Good deck will give a sharp sound and bad will give a dull thud. The hammer fits in my pocket and doesnít damage the finish of the deck. You may not find absolutely all the wet core but you can easily find the bad stuff. Good luck.
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Old 09-15-2022, 03:48 PM   #3
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I too have done the seat equity purchases since I work on all my toys. When you go to sell there are less dollars lost.

You will need to post a picture of boat, 1972 GS 36. what is that boat? Then the asking price.

If it is on the hard and you are dealing direct with seller I expect a bargain price is expected. The Lehman is usually Bullitt proof and a major cost if not. Does it turn over at least.
Once the price is agreed a survey for insurance will be needed, that will be another hurdle.
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Old 09-15-2022, 11:14 PM   #4
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I did a little Google search as follows:
https://www.google.com/search?client...ar+boats+cored.
It includes both TF and CF discussions which may help.
The crack in the hull concerns me.
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Old 09-16-2022, 04:32 AM   #5
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I'd also be concerned about that crack especially since it also has rub marks right there too. Is that from impact or improper lifting?
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Old 09-16-2022, 07:45 AM   #6
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That crack tells of a serious impact. I'd get a fiberglass guy to look at it before paying a surveyor. Ask around, you want the best fiberglass guy in the area. The yard will know who that is. Shouldn't cost much for an hour of their time.

The chipping bottom paint is not unusual. It's just built up too thick. Subtract the cost of soda blasting (or similar) from your offer.

Good plan to do your own due diligence to the extent possible before paying for a full survey. Just don't let your emotions overrule your common sense. It's very easy to fall in love with a boat, and be blinded to the reality of all the "minor" repairs which turn into major projects.
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Old 09-16-2022, 09:41 AM   #7
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Bottom paint needs to stripped completely off. Start with a new barrier coat. It’s an onerous DIY job.

Crack needs more investigation. If you can see signs of crack on interior fiberglass, I would walk or really lowball the price. A crack that long would indicate severe flexing of hull and I would expect to see some interior tabbing breaks. Repairable but costly unless you are DIY. If it’s just a gouge then it’s just cosmetic.
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Old 09-16-2022, 09:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Bottom paint needs to stripped completely off. Start with a new barrier coat. Itís an onerous DIY job.
FYI to OP. Finding yards that allow DYI work is getting more difficult with each passing year. Sounds like you're looking for swear equity projects. Make sure your area allows the type of work you plan on doing or you'll end up with a hefty yard bill, or a second rate job. For example, I agree the bottom paint in the pictures needs to be taken down to fiberglass. Ideally several coats of epoxy barrier coat applied before bottom paint ($$$$). Or you could just scrape the loose stuff off, give a light sanding and repaint ($$). But you'll be chasing flaking bottom paint forever.

As an observation, fixed ownership costs (berth, insurance,etc.) and many variable costs (fuel, haul, bottom diver, etc) are roughly the same for a good condition boat and a project boat. Advise careful consideration of a project boat. Meter runs while you toil. "Buy cheap, buy twice" is always a risk.

Peter
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Old 09-16-2022, 11:24 AM   #9
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About the crack...

I'm about to go look at the boat again. Thank you all for your input. It's under shrinkwrap which makes everything a little funny to look at.

Oops, I did not post a picture of the boat, just a few issues...

Engine was running when boat was put up a year ago. Totally un-boat related issue kept it from being launched this season, and I am dealing with the owner remotely.

Ran back into the house to grab my soft headed (phenolic, I learned a new vocabulary word) hammer.

Besides the crack, I am concerned about the water tank (hopefully it's connections not the tank). I believe the gas tank is also fiberglass molded into the hull so hopefully no rotting worries there.
I'll post additional information/pictures tonight.
The Marina does "fiberglass repair" but I will certainly ask regarding someone who would be qualified to determine the structural integrity of the hull!

If the marina where the boat is currently does not allow me to work on the boat there, ifnding a place to work on the boat between Kingston NY and Jersey City may turn out to be a major headache. I know Liberty Landing does NOT allow anything but minor repairs. Do so few people bottom paint their own boats these days?

At least it's a gorgeous fall day. Last time was windy and raining.
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Old 09-16-2022, 12:08 PM   #10
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Perhaps it’s my eyes but that does not look like a GB to me. Sorry, you did not say GB! My mistake.
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Old 09-16-2022, 02:02 PM   #11
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Looks like a Gulfstar. If the bottom needs all the bottom paint removed, pay someone who knows what they are doing to soda blast the old paint off. Then do a barrier coat, actually multiple coats, of epoxy. Then do the actual bottom paint. Applying the paint isnít that hard other than crawling around under the boa. And you will save a lot of money DIY.
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Old 09-18-2022, 09:11 AM   #12
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A low price is low for a reason. If the engine is in relatively good shape, then look somewhere else, deck? Not bad... Hull? Ummm...

Sowhat pointed me in the right direction. The crack is not penetrable in the least. Good news, I thought.
But inside I found this. See pictures below.

My reading of this is that there was an incident that caused significant damage at some point that was repaired and painted gray (first two pictures) and then subsequent lifting probably caused flexing leading to exterior crack and the damage visible in first picture. The third picture(upside down for some reason)
is of aluminum fuel tank. Gulfstar 36 in 1972 came with integral glassed fuel and water tanks. If hull flexed enough for the apparent repairs on starboard side of hull, that likely explains the replacement fuel tank and jury-rigged
Water system.

So.... Restorable? But at what price?
Dang it all.
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Old 09-18-2022, 10:35 AM   #13
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Everything is restorable it is just what will the cost be. Personally I think I would pass on this one.
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Old 09-18-2022, 10:27 PM   #14
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Run Forest, Run!

With evidence of a collision, flexing of the hull, and damage to integral fiberglass fuel tank, necessitating the cobbling together of a makeshift fuel and water tank, and an engine that MIGHT be okay, but will not be known until after the sale, after much $$$ spent on resurfacing the hull, systems neglected, and not repaired (fridge, generator, etc) it is apparent that the seller has done little or nothing to maintain the boat. These are just the items that are known. The only way I would even consider it is if the boat were for sale for say $500, the seller just trying to get out from under the yard bill, AND the present location being amenable to keeping the boat there for another year, allowing bottom work to be conducted, and getting the engine running on the hard prior to sale, using a garden hose to supply cooling water while it can at least be started and idled. . . . . . Best of luck, but I'd look elsewhere . . .
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Old 09-18-2022, 11:25 PM   #15
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Good catch on the interior matching the external crack. Suggest you resume searching.
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Old 09-19-2022, 07:31 AM   #16
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I have no idea what this boat costs but find someone who has taken on a similar project and is willing to share their actual costs incurred prior to making a decision on this boat. Marine parts, supplies and components add up quickly and a boat in better shape starts to make more sense.

Sweat equity implies primarily manual labor and incidental supplies are required, when you find yourself months deep into a project, every other trip to the boat includes picking up $100-$200 in supplies all while paying monthly storage, dreams die quickly.
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Old 09-19-2022, 07:50 AM   #17
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Looking for a liveaboard and sea going. Look for a boat with good bones. Make sure the hull is good. This one is not. Be objective, that is from and impact or freeze damage from water in cored side of the boat. The crack in the picture seems to have water run marks starting from it on the right.
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Old 09-19-2022, 08:30 AM   #18
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Agree with all the cautionary observations above. That crack does not look like a cosmetic gouge - it looks like an actual crack in the hull.

That four-bladed prop looks pretty good though - an upgrade from the stock Gulfstar three-blade. Maybe the best thing about the boat!

Any affordable 1970s boat will be a project, to some degree or another. You can find project boats with less to worry about than this one.
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Old 09-19-2022, 10:51 AM   #19
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I have no idea what this boat costs but find someone who has taken on a similar project and is willing to share their actual costs incurred prior to making a decision on this boat. Marine parts, supplies and components add up quickly and a boat in better shape starts to make more sense.
I purchased a project boat in a moment of weakness.
Boat had zero maintenance, had a hole in the keel and broken tabbing from running aground, one transmission was rusted solid, engines wouldn't run...What was i thinking.

Discounting the electronics, I don't think cost was a major factor. The big issue was time. Two years of hard labor before I dared to put it in the water. A month under the boat with a belt sander attacking the multiple layers of bottom paint. Torture.

On the plus side I am now an expert in fiberglass repairs and Lehman engines. The boat has new fresh water system, new exhaust systems, new starters, raw water pumps, raw water filters, dual Racor fuel filters for each engine, new cushions in interior and bridge, new propane system, new props, new windlass, etc,

After 5 years I still have a long list of projects. Hull sides need painting, all topsides need painting, cracked windows need to be replaced, rotten trim around windows is on my procrastination list, Most of the exterior teak needs sanding and multiple coats of varnish.

I don't track costs but I'm sure it's well over $15K but purchase price was extremely low. A similar boat in decent condition would sell for minimum of 30K so I suppose it's a wash.

I'm a retired engineer and I enjoy the projects but I have lost 3 years of boating. If I did not have the spare $15K on hand then the length of time for repairs and upgrades would have been considerably longer.

(My boatyard has a number of project boats that have been bought and sold a number of times. Several of them will be going to auction soon because last owner couldn't pay the yard storage fees. (No, I won't bid on them, my wife has threatened me with painful death))
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Old 09-19-2022, 11:11 AM   #20
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The learning curve was steep, but not costly... Thanks to all for advice.

Gulf Star - Last Shot

Thanks all, boat was cheap, but apparently not as cheap enough to be a viable project. Ah well, unless the seller is willing to gift it, I am moving on. Shame, I liked it but am too old to take the shot. Under 50, maybe.

The missing piece of the story found using "Google Lens". I could not determine when this occurred but happened on Long Island.

I believe the current owner bought her in RI, and was at least one owner removed from the event below, and possibly did not get the full story himselfÖ
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