Older Boats-How Long will they Last? - Page 7 - SailNet Community

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  #61  
Old 07-11-2007
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The answer is that no one really knows how long a fiberglass boat will last. When I was researching boats recently, I decided that condition was the most important consideration. I bought a 45 year old boat that surveyed very good. It was designed for cruising and heavily built.

My intent is that at the end of 20 years the boat will be in better shape than today, and my costs should still be less than they would be if I had bought a new boat.

I feel an obligation to her to see that she gets everything she needs to continue a great sailing life. She has earned the right to be cared for.
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  #62  
Old 07-11-2007
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How old is my boat??

Last two digits of the hin is 74 but,

the boat was repowered in 1996,

the mast and rigging was replaced in 2006, thanks to hurricane ivan

the most of the interior was replaced in 1988

the winches got replaced in 2001

the sails was replaced in 2003

the hull was barrier coated 2005

so do i have a 33 year old boat, or do i average these years together??
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  #63  
Old 07-11-2007
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Of all the system on a FRP sailboat the hull, baring some disaster, will be the last system to fail. The chainsaw will claim the hull after the engine siezes, the transmission fails, the sails blow out, the deck core rots, the rigging fails, the brightwork gets dull and ... all the other things that can go wrong with an old boat do. Or, some smuck like me will fall in love with the lines of this once beautiful creature and...you know the rest of the story.
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  #64  
Old 12-21-2007
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Life span of GRP

What we call fiberglas actually gets stronger with age. Comparisons of aircraft metal fatigue with monocoque glass reinforced plastic failure is a stretch at best. I wouldn't worry about an old fiberglas boat breaking apart simply from age. A stoutly built boat from the '60's, and '70s will be sailing fine many years from now IF she's pretty enough to someone to be well cared for. I have one of Bill Shaw's Pearsons that we learned to sail on the past 12 years and she has no cracks or groans. She is sailed EVERY weekend 3 seasons in the ocean and at age 30 shows no signs of being "tired". When reaching at hull speed in 6' swells in 18 kts do I think of the hull breaking apart?

No I don't!

The one most important thing you can do to protect the hull of your boat in addition to a quality barrier coat is to keep the bilge bone dry. This is because the pool of water in a bilge is able to migrate into the laminate. I also like a bone dry bilge when I'm at the wheel and something goes bump. When a crew says "bilge is dry"- That's a lot better than "a little water".

A little water??!!! How much? More than before?? Check again!

No water is always best. Fit a drip-less shaft log and track down all the little leaks. Most leaks are a nuisance- at first. They ALL lead to degradation of the boat. If you have water coming in it most likely is wrecking something on its way to the bilge. Don't ignore fresh water leaks from the tanks. Fresh water causes osmosis faster that salt water because it is less dense.

You are off the hook for your GRP hull breaking apart simply from age. Neglect and lack of use are the real killers. Can you afford a yacht? Only if you can pay for it AND use it often too! If you can't sail often you're probably better off chartering-
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  #65  
Old 12-21-2007
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Question A boat can outlive the onwer

When I was younger I had worked for 2 different boat dealers. I seen some old fiberglass (Old for the time). Wood boats have had centuries (Plural) to prove themselves.

Fiberglass only has about a good century (OK, maybe not, it getting there).

There always the if, if this and if that. Heck, I can take a wood boat and with not care it be dead. Proper care it will live on.

What a person need to know is the reliability of the builder.

For example; a Herreshoff or Bruce Roberts designed boat; Fiberglass/Wood that not what matter.

It the Builder!

Many boats may be called by the name of the designer (The person who draw up the plans, like a house architect). I can buy Bruce Roberts plans today! I can build the boat! But, the bottom line ...... How good am I in doing this?

If, the builder try to cut costs and use Elmer's Wood Glue instead of Epoxy then his Herreshoff may not be a good idea.

So, to myself, it not if wood/fiberglass boats are good. I know some will be around after I am gone.

The question; "Is the builder still in business"? or if he dead/whatever; "Did he leave behind a legacy"?
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  #66  
Old 12-22-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene Smith View Post
What we call fiberglas actually gets stronger with age. Comparisons of aircraft metal fatigue with monocoque glass reinforced plastic failure is a stretch at best. I wouldn't worry about an old fiberglas boat breaking apart simply from age. A stoutly built boat from the '60's, and '70s will be sailing fine many years from now IF she's pretty enough to someone to be well cared for. I have one of Bill Shaw's Pearsons that we learned to sail on the past 12 years and she has no cracks or groans. She is sailed EVERY weekend 3 seasons in the ocean and at age 30 shows no signs of being "tired". When reaching at hull speed in 6' swells in 18 kts do I think of the hull breaking apart?
I'm not quite sure how you came up with this idea...but the glass fibers that provide fiberglass with most of its strength get weaker with age...and fatigue with flex and use.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #67  
Old 12-22-2007
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Hmm, my old girl is 46 and if build quality is a major part of survivability, she'll likely outlast me.
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  #68  
Old 12-22-2007
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When I was looking for a boat, I plotted the prices of all the boats I could find in the 35 to 40ft range. It was noticeable that depreciation worked quite well up to twenty years old. Prices stabilised around twenty to thirty years old and then went wild older than 40 years.

I think this means that boats built pre-1960 need a lot of love to keep them on the market, or even afloat. So there are some ancient beauties that are commanding high prices, but there is also a lot of scrap out there pleading for rescue.

Steel and Ali hulls have a scrap value.

Ferro concrete and GRP - how do you dispose of them?
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  #69  
Old 12-22-2007
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A chainsaw and a dumpster. You can sell the lead or iron from the keel though.
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Originally Posted by Idiens View Post
When I was looking for a boat, I plotted the prices of all the boats I could find in the 35 to 40ft range. It was noticeable that depreciation worked quite well up to twenty years old. Prices stabilised around twenty to thirty years old and then went wild older than 40 years.

I think this means that boats built pre-1960 need a lot of love to keep them on the market, or even afloat. So there are some ancient beauties that are commanding high prices, but there is also a lot of scrap out there pleading for rescue.

Steel and Ali hulls have a scrap value.

Ferro concrete and GRP - how do you dispose of them?
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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #70  
Old 11-29-2010
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hmm... the way I see it.. you can always add more fiberglass to reinforce any area that seems to be getting weak. how many of the 100 year old + boats have all thier original planks? I've abused my boat for the last 5 years.. she hasn't had bottom paint in 10 years, she's 1/2" thick at her tops and over one inch at her keel, she shows no blisters, and she still won't flex. granted she was build in a garage in 1971 by a man and his son, she's a good example of how long they can last unattended. she's been neglected as I've been sailing my catalina 27 all over the pacific. I've put over 90,000 miles on my catalina in the past 8 years and just lost her last week in the worst storm southern california has seen in 2 years.. as to why I was out in a storm... santa barbara harbor denied me safe harbor due to lack of funds since I had just lost my wallet and all my money.
let's see how many of the newer thin layup boats are still going strong in 30 or 40 years... I'll bet my thick frp boat is still going... I hope she is anyhow.
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