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  #1  
Old 12-18-2006
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Looking at a old 30ft boat that is really cheap

OK, I found an old boat that looks like an Alberg 30 other than the hatch is off center to starboard. It is owned by a gentleman in his 90s and his wife just wants to get rid of it. It looks like it was a beautiful boat at one time but I have not yet got to look below deck and I have not yet checked the bottom. The price is about $1000 but it might also be free. It is in a lake that makes it difficult to get her out and work on her. My main concern right now is that the decks are soft (cockpit, both aft rails and the foredeck). It needs other work too which I don't mind doing. The question! Can the decks be fixed? Is it worth even looking at any more? I was thinking I could just cut out the old core and replace it with plywood. Then reglass with epoxy and fillers. I have done lots of glasswork over the years so that isn't a problem. Should I look further at this boat or move on?

Geoff
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Old 12-18-2006
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You have to like the boat and be able to visualize the "after"picture. The biggest danger facing you is underestimation of the project. Evaluate, plan, and budget before you take possession is the rule. The woods are full of half-finished project boats. You should check out (at least) the following things to make sure you really can put it in sailing condition:

Hull:
Below the rails:
It sounds like the boat is floating. That is good!
Is it fair and symmetrical?
Is it solid fiberglass or is it cored? If cored, is it sound?
Condition of ballast? If external, check the bolts.

Above the rails (deck and house):
If the decks are soft, have they damaged any bulkheads or internal structure?
Can you access the top/bottom surface sufficiently to remove the skin?
Is there enough strength left in the deck to retain its shape as you work on re-coring it? (I have come to think of deck work as a do-it-yourself proposition after hearing the very large numbers asked by some yards.)
Condition of hatches?

Exterior woodwork; can you refinish it or must it be replaced?

Rig:
What do you have to do to make it serviceable?
Are the sails complete and serviceable?
Synthetic running rigging doesn't always have to be replaced. Sometimes an overnight soak in detergent and Oxy Clean will do wonders.
Chainplates and their attachments are vital.

Engine and running gear:
Will it run?
What repairs must be made to it?
Check exhaust and cooling carefully.

Plumbing:
Condition of seacocks
Are the hoses OK?
Are tanks serviceable?

Interior:
Woodwork condition?
Upholstery?
(I just finished reclaiming a "boatyard queen" and upholstery was my major outlay.)

In everything, plan for repair and making things serviceable. Don't try to do a detailed restoration. If you can get the boat sailing, it will be easier to keep your morale up.

You must have the boat hauled out to fully assess condition. If you aren't capable of doping things out for yourself, a good surveyor's help will be very valuable.

My test of success is whether you can put it back in serviceable shape without spending more than you might get for it when you have it sailing again.

Best wishes!

Last edited by Goodnewsboy; 12-18-2006 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 12-18-2006
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I have the vision and that is the problem

I can see the boat as she looked in her day. In fact, I have had my eye on the boat for 6 years and thought what a shame to see such a beautiful boat going to waste. The teak needs to be refinished but it doesn't need to be replaced. I don't know about the motor. The main looks OK but dirty. I have heard she has a lot of head sails. I think I will look more into her. I do know that the rudder is a skeg rudder and I am guessing she has a full keel. I have done a lot of work on boats but not sure this isn't too much for me to take on. Thanks for the input.

Geoff
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Old 12-18-2006
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If it's an Alberg 30 you may be interested in this video of a restoration of one of these boats, works good with broadband, you may want to download if you have a slower connection.
http://www.thesailingchannel.com/a-30_refit/index.html
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Old 12-18-2006
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It would be great to see a picture to try to identify this mystery vessel. I too went the really really cheap route (free) for 2 reasons. 1) I could pull apart the boat to make it better than it was. I wouldn't do this with a boat in pristine condition, but when it's a semi-wreck, why not. 2) it was "free". I say "free" because it isn't really free. $200 for bottom paint, $400 for topsides and deck, another $500 in misc. fiber glass repairs, $300 for new wiring and panels, etc. So your boat will NOT be free, but it will have the potential to be built better than it was at production. I could have started with an alberg in OK condition for $10,000 but that kind of money buys a lot of parts... It all comes down to your abilities. time+skills=money+obligations
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Old 12-19-2006
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In life you either have time or money. If you don't have enough money to purchase such a boat, but could possibly revive this one, consider your time and what the end product might be worth. Often, a good cleaning will be a significant part of the project.

The key is to keep serviceability as your goal. Do a good job, but you are not restoring the vessel in detail. That may come later. Get it in sailing condition and sail it!

Last edited by Goodnewsboy; 12-19-2006 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 12-20-2006
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Unless you're sure you have both the time and the skills, or at least are willing to learn the skills....a "free" or "low-cost" boat is often far more expensive than a boat costing slighty more that is in sailable condition. Things you have to consider to see if the boat is worth the investment of time and effort:

1) How much time do you think it will take to restore it. Take whatever number you think of and multiply it by three...that'll be closer to the true time it takes... most people badly underestimate these things.

2) Take that amount of time and multiply it by what you get paid an hour.

3) Do you have the skills, tools, and space to do the restoration work necessary.

4) What parts and materials would you have to purchase/obtain to make the boat sailable? How much will they cost?

In many cases, you will find that going the "free" route is going to be far more expensive than buying a comparable boat that is ready to use.

The real benefit of going the "free" route is if you want to learn how to do all of the work yourself, and see that work as an investment in human capital, that will pay you back later. If you plan on sailing the boat off past the horizon, where most of the repairs will likely fall into your responsibility, then this may be very worthwhile.

Alvah Simon did much of the work re-fitting his boat for an Artic passage... and that may have saved his life....You can read about it in his book, North to the Night.


Deckhanddave- I think your equation would make more sense if it read: time+skills=money-obligations
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Last edited by sailingdog; 12-20-2006 at 07:00 AM.
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Old 12-21-2006
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sailingdog, I meant the equation to read as I wrote it because obligations prevent you from having time to spend working on the boat. Obligations being, a 9-5, family, etc. I see what you mean though, and at the risk of turning this thread into one of those crazy tangents, maybe this makes more sense

time + skills = money + obligations

when you try to find what money gets you:

time + skills - obligations = money

(you have time and skills and no obligations so its the same has having lots of money to hire someone)

time + skills - money = obligations
(meaning you have the time and the skills to get it done but since you don't have any money you have the obligations to that first [and dream of your boat. I think this is the worst iteration of the equation. I've been stuck here for 3 years but I'm free in 5 months] )

skills = money + obligations - time

(this is basically the equation for a professional. They have the money to hire the skills but they have no time to do it themselves.)

time = money + obligations - skills
(while you have the time, the scales are not in your favor since you don't have the skills you need to get you going. This is the position of the armchair sailor, we've all been here. Reading everything you can get on sailing until the day when the equation rebalences)

There are more iterations but I think it goes downhill morally from here.

That was nerdy but I *think* it kind of works. Sorry for the algebra guys.
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Old 12-21-2006
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I have the skills to do the work and I would enjoy doing the work. I also have time to do the work. The major problem is finding a place to do the work and how much work would it really take. I have not taken full inventory of what is needed to be done to the boat. I am going to look further into it. If I could park it next to my house and spend the next year or so working on it, then I wouldn't even think twice. That is not an option. So I will probably continue to dream about her and then decide to buy a but that I can sail now and do smaller projects on as needed.
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Old 12-21-2006
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I did the work on mine for a cobination of reasons. I did not want to spend in dollars the amount needed. I wanted to learn the systems on my boat as that knowledge is transferable to other boats. I have never regretted any time spent on a boat and I can'tsay the same for all the women of my life.
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