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post #11 of 13 Old 11-14-2007
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Wed deck repair is expensive..

Wet decks are one of the big reasons some boats are priced so cheaply! Owners are most often too lazy to remove hardwear and re-bed it properly and on a rotating schedule. The end result is that everywhere a screw or bolt goes through the deck, from cleats to stanchions to chain plates, water finds it's way into the decks core and begins to saturate it.

Deck cores, on many production boats, are either plywood or balsa wood sandwiched between two very thin layers of fiberglass. When deck fittings such as port lights, cleats, genoa tracks, stanchions or hatches are not re-sealed, or re-bedded properly, moisture finds it's way into the wooden deck core thus rotting it and causing serious structural problems if ignored for long enough. How do you find a boat like this? 1) It's been for sale for a very, very long time and not sold 2) It's the least expensive or close to the bottom in price for it's type or model

I have personally seen a number of stanchions ripped out of decks and cleats ripped right off the bows of boats due to wet cores over the years and it's not a pretty sight. I also knew a guy who needed to buy "shorter stays because they stretched". His stays had not stretched but rather his deck rotted and the mast was sinking into it thus bottoming out his turn buckles! Now that's a wet deck!

To repair a deck correctly is a very time consuming a laborious job that includes removal of the decks top skin, carving out the old rotted core, glassing in new core then re-laminating the deck side fiberglass. Once you have completed that process, in seven or eight separate locations, and trust me I've over simplified the process by a lot, you then need to re-gelcoat or Awlgrip the deck and then replace the non skid.

Buying a cheap boat is NOT CHEAP it's ill-informed. Listen to the seasoned vets on this and other boards when they say spending a little more up front for a boat in good condition pays off!!

Here's a deck re-core read it and then ask your self if saving a few bucks at the purchase is really worth it:

Deck re-core link:

-Maine Sail / CS-36T

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post #12 of 13 Old 11-14-2007 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by halekai36 View Post
You mention nothing about a good survey? How will you know what to offer if you don't have a handle on the actual condition other than aesthetics. I also think your repair estimates are grossly optimistic. Any boat in the 30 feet range that can be purchased for under 10k will take close to that same amount in repairs rather quickly. Been there done that as have many on this board....

The list below is by no means complete but I have added $ symbols next to each. The symbols represent the costs related to a repair more $ = more money..

Some things to look for:

Wet decks $$$$$$$
Chain plates $$
Bulkheads $$$$
keel joint issues $$$$
running and standing rigging $$$$
electrical system $$$
plumbing system $$
fuel tank and internal condition $$$
sea cocks and through hulls $$$
steering mechanism and condition of $$
Moisture in the rudder? $$$$
cutlass bearing $$
rudder bearing $$
stuffing box $
bilge & stringer condition $
blisters $$
how many layers of bottom paint? $
engine with an oil analysis
oil leaks $$
interior cushions moldy? $$$
Well I haven't seen the boats yet I'm going to see them on Staurday... I'll take the list you wrote with me though... You have some points that is not in my list... Thanx...
There are defect I'm willing to swallow though. Such as bad cushions, bottom paint, old electrical systems, old electronics, etc... Of course, those don't resemble further problems such as moldy cushions can be from leaks and bad air circulation which means bigger problems...

I've got a question here though, tell me if that's the right way...
(?)I've been trying to do my boat visits after rainy days to make any leakage visible...

(?)So far, I've been bringing my tool box with me to remove bolts and screws in certain areas to see their condition. I've seen some rusted ones, those I thought have a water in the core... Some were plainly in good condition. Then, I check the bolt hole with a cotton stick (ear cleaner) to see if there is any moisture or peeling...

(?)I also pull and push stanchions and cleats to see if they move...

(?)I check batteries and wires with a electronic multimeter for shorts and battery life...

(?)I use a plastic spatula to scratch bottom paint to see if it's peeling off ...

(?) Open-close all hatches, companion way, etc. Multiple times to see water, rotting, and their overall condition...

(?) I spin the tiller or wheel... First slowly to feel any rusting on the bearings.... Than really fast to see how they react to fast movement...

(?)If I can I jump on the deck and cocpit to feel any softness and listen for cracking sounds... Otherwise use a plastic hummer to knock around the deck and feel the thickness.

(?) I check for water accumulation or marks around engine compartment, storage areas, bilge, head, cabinets, and under the cushions...

Do you have any more ideas on checking what, where, and how?

Thanks again...

" I refuse to engage in an intellectual battle with an unarmed man!"

Materialism: Buying the things we don't need, with money we don't have, to impress people who don't matter.

Last edited by merttan; 11-14-2007 at 06:55 PM.
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post #13 of 13 Old 11-14-2007
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If you haven't gotten it... get Don Casey's Inspecting the Aging Sailboat. It is an excellent book and will let you do a rough preliminary survey of the boat. This should give you a pretty good idea if the boat is even worth further consideration.


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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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