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Irwin32 06-05-2005 05:30 PM

Nassau 34
I took the jump and bought a Nassua 34 today. built in taiwan in 85. Lots of teak, including decks. I was able to contct one owner who had nothing but praise for the boat - no blisters! The boat I bought, contingent on a survey, is loaded. robertson below deck auto pilot, 5 self tailing winches, refrig, good sails, bimini, dodger, windlass, chartplotter, Martek feathering 3 blade, Yanmar 27 horse, good sails and the list goes on and on. Price was 35K + my ''73 Irwin 32. What do you think? An OK deal? Bring it on.

Jeff_H 06-06-2005 05:45 AM

Nassau 34
Depending on the condition of your Irwin 32 and the condition of the Nassau 34 that sounds like that could be an extremely high price for a 20 year old Taiwan boat. You can expect to find some ‘issues’ with any boat this age. As a very broad generality, unless very well maintained and updated by a previous owner, you might expect to need to address some combination of the following items:

· Sails, chainplates, mast step and associated suporting structure, standing and running rigging that are close to being beyond their useful lifespan,
· an engine that is close to needing a rebuild or replacement,
· worn out or out of date deck, galley, and head hardware,
· worn out upholstery,
· Teak decks at the end of their useful lifespan and some degree of structural sub-deck rot,
· Out of date safety gear,
· electronics that are non operational, or in need of updating,
· electrical and plumbing systems that need repairs, or upgrades to modern standards or replacement.
· Thru hulls and seacocks in need of replacement,
· Blister, fatigue, rudder, rotten bulkheads, failed tabbing, hull deck joint or deck coring problems
· Delamination of the hull from the ballast for a glassed in keel.
· And perhaps a whole range of aesthetic issues.

If the prior owner did the majority of that work or your Irwin 32 was a wreck, then the price is at the upper end of reasonable but, if not, that sounds high price for a boat of that age and lineage.


Silmaril 06-06-2005 03:46 PM

Nassau 34
I''m confused... I did a quick BUCnet price search, and it shows the price range of a ''85 Nassau 34 between $38k - $43k and the price range of a ''73 Irwin 32 between $16k - $19k. Now BUC does not know everything, but it represents the numbers that these boats have sold for recently. I would think that for your Irwin 32 at a low of $16k plus $35k cash, you should be able to get a boat worth about $51k. That puts you in the price range of a nice 34 Saber, a boat that is WAAAYYY better built and designed than the Nassau.

Did I miss something, or did you find the bilge lined with gold nuggets? It sounds to me like you have run into a crafty broker who is looking to make a killing at both ends of the deal. To get all the money for the Nassau he has on his lot, and then later, make a big profit on selling your boat.

Find out what: 1) what is he selling you the Nassau for. The actual number, not the net plus trade in. 2) What is he actually giving you in cash dollars for your boat, again not just some "net" figure. 3) Does he also offer "Convenient Financing" at his brokerage? How competitive are his rates compared to outside lenders? Captive finance programs usually have a substantial kickback to the broker. 4) Did your broker recommend the surveyor? 5) How long has this brokerage had the Nassau in their yard.

Finally, did you go into this deal looking for the Nassau specifically, after doing your due diligence and finding that the Nassau was the boat for you? Or is the Nassau something that the broker steered you towards after finding out a little about the budget and size you were looking for?

As Jeff mentioned, the deal seems a little too staked in someone elses favor. Not knowing the particular boat, this is all just conjecture on my part. But something feels like a foul wind here.

Irwin32 06-06-2005 08:45 PM

Nassau 34

I have eyes and I am able to discern things like worn out decks, rotten bulkheads, failed tabbings, worn out rigging. And you may be surprised that I even know something about electronics and was even smart enough to turn them on and test them. I also know howe to recognize sails that are in good shape (this boat has a fully battened brand new main on cars)

As for mast step etc, what do you think a surveyor is for?

About the only valid comment you make is the interior cushions, which, though certainly not trashed, are a candidate for replacement in a two or three years.

It was the high quality of electronics and canvas and sails that were an attractive feature.

Irwin32 06-06-2005 09:10 PM

Nassau 34

I think you are off the mark in saying the Sabre is way better built. I am familiar with those very fine boats, but i think quality here is comprable.

What do you know about the Nassau?

I am surprised at that price for an Irwin. In my area, I have seen better built boats from that era (like C&C, Ericson and Endeavor) asking around 22K or less. the boats around my area are fresh water, including the one I just bought, and they do stay in better shape because of that.

The surveyor I used is one I have used before. He is well known in my area and has an excellent reputation. He usually is pretty critical, but was very favorable to this boat, its construction, and condition (including those teak decks).

BUC can be very misleading. Since only about 15 of these boats were built, the sale of one can make a big difference in the BUC rating.

Judging from boats in my area, and having looked for quite sometime, I obviously felt this price was fair or I would not have agreed to it.

I guess you experts see things differently.

Irwin32 06-06-2005 09:55 PM

Nassau 34

My BUC research brought somewhat different results. The Nassua''s price range was 38,600 to 42,900. BUC adds 10-15% for a boat above standards, which, as the survey would indicate, is applicable. That brings the price from a low of 42,400 to a high of about 49,300, putting the boat pretty much in the price range I payed. The broker is going to split the sales tax with me so I actually do fall into the range.
Considering a brand new full battened main, complete canvas in very good shape, good, high quality electronics, I think the price is OK.

I guess my 1st post "bring it on" made it sound like I thought I made the deal of the century, which I wrote after some celebration last night. A little testy I agree. I did not get a super deal. I think I got a fair deal.

Going back to the Irwin, 15K on a trade in is OK when you look at the entire picture. To sell the boat myself could easily take a year, meaning money for storage, adds, etc. Broker it and I pay 10% fee for that. Say I sell it after a year at 17K through the broker. Add in his 1700 and my 1200 yard bill (having it hauled, winterized, and stored) and I am not even going to get walk away with the 15k.

From this perspective it looks like a fair deal and I don''t have to hassel with owning two boats at once. Pulling the Irwin up to the dock beside the Nassau - transferring my gear - and sailing away is worth something. The Nassau has been comissioned for the season and is sitting in the water and has already had a shake down cruise

dman 06-07-2005 04:01 AM

Nassau 34
When will you guys learn that when your opinion is asked it better line up with the expectations of the original post.Irwin32 if you already have it figured out why post to begin with.There is nothing anyone one said that I find unreasonable,they are giving you a responce that you asked for and they are some of the more knowledgeable members here.If you do not agree with them just move on without challenging their opinion.

Silmaril 06-07-2005 04:21 AM

Nassau 34

My apologies regarding the build comment on the Nassau. I had seen one a number of years ago, and while the woodwork was pretty, I was not impressed with the glass work on the bulkheads and stringers.

And as I said in my post, the prices in BUC are not perfect. As you said, with a low volume boat like the Nassau, one sale of a boat can make a big swing in the prices listed in BUC. Just sounded like a big ? as far as the money. No offense intended.

One of the biggest concerns I would have is the teak deck. The potential for major issues down the line is very real. Maintenance is a chore, I know, I was a BN on two large Swans with teak and the twice yearly cleaning and oiling was a major pain, and once treated, they stayed slick as a sheet of ice for about one month. The teak on modern fiberglass yachts was added for asthetic reasons alone. It was an attempt to recapture the look of a woodden boat. The method of attachement was generally to drill, oh say a couple of thousand holes in a perfectly good deck, spread sealant, and screw ''em down. Now over the years, the sealant would dry and shrink/crack under the wood. With the number of holes in the deck, if even only 1% went bad, and I would say that after 20+ years, you are looking at maybe 5%, that would leave you with something like 10 to 50 potential leaks that there is no way to repair. Water, wood under deck, viola! a mess!!!!

I have never heard many shining things about the build quality of the Taiwan boats. Horror stories of equipment failures from good looking knock off parts abound.

Finally, there is the resale value. As there were so few made, there must have been some reason for the lack of sales when new. It is rare when a really great boat only sells a few copies. When it comes to the time that you wish to sell, how will the market respond to a boat that so few have been made. The Sabre 34 was made in the hundreds, and has a known reputation for good quality. I understand your point as to your feel regarding the build quality of the Nassau. For an analogy, even a really nice Edsel sells for much less than a comperable BelAire. They were both built well for their day, and the Edsel even touted some superior features, but there is just no market for them. Nobody wants them.

The Nassau is a VERY pretty boat when kept up. It''s just my concern that to take a boat that is a "Knock-off" of a much more expensive boat (Hans Christian) and sell it for roughly half when new, there is more to it than "Cheap Taiwanese Labor" involved.

Irwin32 06-07-2005 08:27 PM

Nassau 34

I admit to being a little aggressive with my original post and for this I apologize. I did indeed ask for a tough response and I got it. Challenging the opinion of the so called "more knowledgeable members" is part of the fun of debate. I do not mean disrespect to Sim or Jeff - they indeed know their stuff. But they are not the ultimate sailing gods whose opinion must be accepted or one should move to a new forum. They can be wrong - they can be biased (like boat design is not a biased issue).

Sorry dman. I am not the kind of guy who just falls in line and is afraid to challenge "accepted thinking"

To me, this is what makes a forum worth coming back to.

Jeff_H 06-08-2005 04:15 AM

Nassau 34
Irwin 32:

Maybe I am mistaken but your original post sounded like you were looking for opinions on your purchase rather than an unqualified congratulations on your purchase. I am really baffeled by the vociferous nature of your replies. Not having seen the boat I was careful to preceed my comments with the qualiication with this statement:

"As a very broad generality, unless very well maintained and updated by a previous owner, you might expect to need to address some combination of the following items:"

Given this qualifier and the qualifiers at the end of my post, I would say that all of the items on my list are valid, even if they each item does not apply specifically to the boat in question. In other words I did not say that the list of conditions potentially present on a 20 year old boat definitely existed on your specific boat.

My comments were not intended to accuse you of being undiscerning as much as it was talking about some of the things that would normally be considered in evaluating the purchase price of a boat of that age and linage. Your comments that you had evaluated the condition of the new mainsail and the electronics were entirely consistent with my comments rather than at odds with them, so I am baffled by your tone which seemed to reflect hurt feelings thatI might suggest that these items should be considered.

That said I am specifically concerned with your comments:

"I have eyes and I am able to discern things like worn out decks, rotten bulkheads, failed tabbings, worn out rigging."


"As for mast step etc, what do you think a surveyor is for?"

With regards to the items on the first list of items, deck problems are not easily detected, even by a knowledgable surveyor. Teak decks as installed on most Taiwanese boats are fastened with thousands of fastenings that penetrate the plywood decks below. The domestic plywoods used in most Asian built boats was a fairly rot and delamination prone material. Freeze/thaw in cold-freshwater climates and UV degradation in tropical areas are hard on the sealants used to protect the deck eventually allowingw water to reach these fastenings. Because teak decks often fail from below, having ''eyes'' tells you little about the remaining lifespan of the deck. The typical method of evaluating the condition of a teak deck is by sounding them out like you would a fiberglass deck only with less reliable results. In other words even if the decks look good and sound out reasonably well the normal lifespan before a major rebuild is something on the order of 25 or so year.

The way most high quality boats are built today, the areas where bulkheads usually begin to rot, and tabbing usually begins to fail, is concealed by finished materials such as cabinetry, decks and trim. Since few surveyors will do destructive testing, and so are unwilling to disassemble a boat enough to see these areas even with good eyes these items are often hard if not impossible to detect.

Standing rigging at or near the ends of its useful (and I emphasize useful) lifespan is not something that can necessarily be visually inspected. Certainly the rigging can be examined for failed terminals and for broken strands, which are the more obvious teletale signs of the end of the lifespan for standing rigging. But standing rigging often fails from fatigue. While anecdotally individual examples of standing rigging may have reportedly survived in use for 30-40 years, if you are going to count on the reliability of your standing rigging through a wide range the wind conditions, then the generally accepted recommendation is to replace standing rigging after 20 or less years of use, no matter how good the rigging looks. This is especially true of the domestically grown varieties of stainless steel rigging typically used on Asian boats.

Mast steps on many Asian boats contain portions of the support system that consist of glassed in wooden components. Over time these elements will often deteriorate. In some cases the failure mode is a slow crushing, which a good surveryor should be able to detect. But in other cases, such as a Tayana that an owner asked me about a few years back, the owner reported that the ''rig suddenly went slack'' and when investigated the glass covering on the mast step support had given way and the wooden block below that covering was found to be completely rotted out.

You did not talk about the condition of the potentially 20 year old Yanmar and the level of dilligence in its maintenance and use.

My overall point here and in my original post is that it is not relevant whether a bad mast step or any other specific problem with any of these so-called "useful lifespan" items is detected by the surveyor. These items all have a fixed life before attention is necessary. Even if these items appear perfect, after twenty years of normal use, they are suspect and as such they affect the fair market value of the boat. Not having seen the boat, or having heard about its history, use and sailing venue, it is hard to say how by how much.

In any event, my post was not intended to impune your discernment, or the quality of your surveyor. Your original post sounded like you had a question about how good a deal you had gotten on the Nassau and my post was solely intended to provide some information that might assist in allowing you to answer that question for yourself. I appologize if my reply was taken as a personal attack. It was not meant in that manner.



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