Advice on an F. Dekker & Son 1963 custom steel boat
I am new to the forum, so maybe I should start by introducing myself. My name is Mark, I live in France, and am a young man, mostly acustomed to travelling around. I have been sailing for quite a few years, and have "boat-hiked" around the med quite a bit, and across the Atlantic once.
I am here today on the forum for a specific reason: a friend's father is selling his sailing boat, which I am considering to purchase, and I am looking for information, and advice about her.
The boat is a dutch built sloop from 1963, with a steel hull. It has a plate in it that reads : "Jachtwerf F. Dekker & Zn Diemerzeedijk Amsterdam Holland 1963". There is no reference to a specific model or series, and from my research I would have to conclude that it is some kind of custom build.
It is a little under 8m LOA, narrow beam (but I didn't measure her), weighs in at 6 tons, with 1 ton of ballast. It is a long-keel, steering is double: there is chain-driven wheel, and an ordinary helm. Halyards are steel, look like 4mm to me. The sail complement is good: main + spare main + storm main; two genoas (and two mainstays to hoist them in butterfly for downwind sailing), a large jib, a medium jib, and a storm jib; a large spinnaker. Most are new, and all the "old" ones have been to the sailmaker in the last year. They are well kept, away from the sun, in the owners home when not sailing (except the main which is bagged).
The current owner was given the boat a little over a year ago (he works in the shipyard here in Marseille harbour). Since then he has done extensive work on it, himself:
-He stripped the deck which apparently was leaking, and replaced it with 12mm marine-grade plywood, coated with epoxy. The deck is finished but still needs painting (the paint is on board and sold with the boat). The tekk around the cockpit is old and damaged, but new wood, screws and sikaflex is also sold with the boat to replace this.
-He hauled it out, sand blasted the hull, and re-painted with multiple coats, including anti-fouling under the waterline (I don't know the exact details of the re-painting, but I would trust his craftsmanship on this, as I do with the work on the deck).
All in all, this is supposed to have cost him 6000€ (the manpower being his own or free help).
Prior to all this, the boat is supposed to have been re-rigged in 2009. The steel on the riggin all looks in fine condition; the mast is aluminium. The engine looks in fine condition, it is a 23 horse power, diesel, 1990s Volvo Penta (I don't have the exact model ref. with me right now).
I have uploaded some photos here : https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B4kyZKdB5yk6aTE1aUpIdDVxUlE&usp=sharing if you care to take a look.
At first, the owner wanted the 6000€ that he has invested in the boat as a sale price, and I didn't really consider the offer as there are many similar and much "younger" boats for sale at comparable prices in Holland. But it seems he is intent on selling it, and is now asking 4000€, which seems more acceptable to me.
I would be buying the boat to live aboard it and sail continuously, mostly alone, maybe with one or maximum two other people. It really is quite small for such a project, but that doesn't really bother me too much.
Firstly, my question to anyone who would care to help me out with this project is: do you know anything about the shipyard/designer "F. Dekker and Sons"? Do you know if this boat is anything like a standard model they have produced over the years, or is it a "one of its kind" boat?
Next, I would love to hear advice about the deal itself. Do you think this is a fair price? Do you expect I will have to invest much in this boat in the next few years to keep it sailing (for instance, it has no form of auto-helm not wind-steering, which will cost at least another 1000€ probably)? Any and all advice/opinions will be much appreciated.
Don't hesitate to ask me for more details if I have forgotten to mention anything important.
Kind regards to all.
Thanks in advance,