New to TF and Trawler Life Looking for Advice

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Apr 13, 2021
Vessel Name
What if....
Vessel Make
Grand Banks 36 1974
Let me start with a So Sorry for the Long Post and that I'm well aware I may be opening Pandora's Box when asking for advice. Quick background on me. Ive owned numerous boats over the last 30 years from houseboats to offshore fishing. Ive always admired the Trawlers. the last 30 years in our area Ive always admired a trawler (Grand Banks 36) that was kept in a covered boat shed and she was kept out of water I never seen her on the river or waterway. Close to 10 years ago I had a shift in life with business and family and got out of recreational boating. Recently 60 days ago I found the ole Grand Banks I always admired. Actually a friend of mine actually purchased her 10 years ago. Over the last 5 years this buddy of mine went through some serious life challenges and couldnt keep her up. So there is the setup.

Here are the details of the vessel
1974 Grand Banks 36 Classic Hull 473
Power - Twin (2) Ammarine 404 (John Deere 6404DF)
Generator - Onan 7.5 KW
Hours - 752 Documented and Original

Meticulous Records along with Most of the original owners manuals for all of the equipment

CONCERNS - The boat has been sitting in the water for 2 years with out being started.
The teak is in obvious need of cleaning
NO Visible Rot
She is not taking on water
The window frames (Exterior) have to be replaced (all of them)
The Salon Door Needs Replacing
Teak Swim Platform needs repair or replacement
Shore power works - outlets only I cant seem to get the cabin lights to work
Batteries are DEAD DEAD DEAD
Interior cusions still have plastic wrap on them
I suspect the electric panels need replacing or updating

this is the advice I am seeking
I am very handy wood working no problem
mechanical work - I understand a more than the average bear
I know nothing about diesel engines
So far I have replaced all of the injector boots on both engines and cleaned injectors with nylon brush and diesel fuel

I have made an agreement that I will not purchase this boat until I know that it is mechanically sound (in reason) realizing it hasnt run in 2 years. Remember the boat hasn't run because of personal health challenges of current owner not because she broke down

I have been able to turn the engines over with a breaker bar (both engines) did not feel any grinding or anything that seemed odd.

Oil in both engines look clean, trans fluid looks clean
I could NOT turn the shafts with (cheap strap wrench) I suspect bearings are rusted.

Engine Compartments are super clean
Hot Water Heater Does NOT work

Batteries are shot - looks like they may have been overcharged one looks like it exploded

If I decide to purchase, purchase price will between $10,000 - $15,000 USD

I wasnt in the market for a boat, however always had the dream of having one just not right time in life. I have time to work on this PROJECT I realize the WORST thing for a boat is to sit dormant and unfortunately she has. I am a visionary however I dont want my optimizim to be a costly regretful error.

Im not sure where to start with this project other than

1. Make sure the engines run
2. make sure the transmissions work
3. make sure the screws and shafts are in good working order

Looking for some advice because I DON'T KNOW WHAT I DON'T KNOW

THANKS in advance I do have plenty of pics and will set up a dropbox link or a website with the pics to view

John Cassidy
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Welcome aboard. GBs are good boats in general. But even good boats will deteriorate when left unattended. My best advice would be to get a surveyor to come and give you at least a look over and see what he/she thinks. It will cost you some money but it will give you an idea of whether or not to even think about proceeding with buying the boat. Then you will have an information that you will need to decide whether to buy or not. The surveyor can give you a list of things that need fixing. But before the survey the batteries will need to be working, probably why you have no lights since most lights are DC powered. And in order to do a reasonable survey you will need power on in the boat. You could even temporarily install some batteries to do the survey. Good luck!
Funny how you realize how strong of a kid you were when you were in your 20's at 52 the mother flippin 150lb batteries have kicked my ass
You may find 8D batteries for the start batteries in that age of boat. However they are not needed and are indeed very heavy. A group 31 should start those engines easily. I have 4Ds in my boat but I only keep them since the battery box is glassed into the hull.
here is a link to what the batteries are battery.png

Sounds like it could be a great boat at a great price if you can ensure it's fundamentals are sound. I don't know a ton about Grand Banks, but it sounds like it was re-powered? Would be good to figure out when & by whom if possible. Getting a surveyor out there is a good idea, but you could also just hire a diesel mechanic and a good boat systems guy (maybe with a focus on electrical systems) and pay them for a few hours of their time to get a sense of what's required and what it might cost for the stuff you'd have to hire out.

Take a look at the tanks too, particularly the fuel tanks, which are likely iron, and can be expensive to replace if they are seriously corroded. Often the deck fill fittings leak, and water collects on the top and rusts the tanks out. Could be $15k to replace them.
No not a repower. Actual hours boat was hardly ever used over the last 47 years. I actually know the boat
What’s the beat way to post pics
What’s the beat way to post pics

Go advanced at the bottom of the reply dialog and scroll down to see manage attachments. Click there and a dialog shows up allowing you to browse and upload multiple photos.

I know GBs, both 36 and 42 pretty well. I bet the engines and genny start. If so, the next thig to do it ferret out any rain leaks and associated rot. Usually under windows and on top of fuel tanks where the fuel fill is.

The reason the cabin lights don't come on with shore power is probably because they are battery powered.

What does the boat have for a battery charger?

Has it been regularly serviced by a diver of is the bottom and a running gear a forest? Be sure through hulls are clear before trying to start. Easiest way might be to pop the top off the sea strainers to see if you get flow when you open the previously closed sea cocks.

The best thing to do with the water heater is to pull the heating element out and check it. It is probably rotted out. They are usually not hard to find replacements for.

Do not clean the teak deck using a brush along the grain - got across the grain.

If you get the engines running, warm them up and take and oil sample and send it to Blackstone or another reputable lab. Show us the results.

Oh, and HI, welcome aboard.
a few pics of the 74 GB 36

here are a few pics of the boat


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charging system @rgano

Here are a couple pics of the charging system im sure it is outdated. not sure what the charge pro unit is on the wall in engine room


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not repower 750 actual original hours
Teak decks, left outside, run away, IMO
Ok I know pictures do not tell the story but that looks better than your description. With the skill sets you described, and the time, you could probably get that into a very nice usable boat. Get a survey, you won’t regret it.
If you're handy and want a project boat go for it, if not look for another boat.
Pics look promising, especially if you can deal with the woodwork (teak) stuff.

I think GBs of those years were maybe fiberglass hull with wood deckhouse? Anyway...

It's customary to have a "marine" survey... which may or may not be sufficient for engine info... and its also customary to have a "mechanical" survey for engines and ideally genset too. Both accompanied by an actual sea trial. Latter with oil samples.

Some money invested there will do three things: help you with the stay or run decision, point you toward what needs fixing first (second, third, etc.), and get insurance and maybe financing if necessary.

Learning basic diesel stuff can be relatively easy, especially since I'd guess those engines are naturally aspirated (no after/inter-coolers, no turbo, etc.). Take a course, read a book (Nigel Calder), etc.

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here are a few pics of the boat

I have a 42 GB with twin JDs. Ive learned a few things school of hard knocks. Im in Sequim but boat is kept in Seattle. Happy to commiserate with you anytime

send me an email and I will send you my cell phone. I am looing for a set of unblemished Ammarine 404 manuals. Do you have a set? Im happy to pay to copy them or whatever.

Looks like a great project. :)

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