Does Fiberglass Live Forever? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 19 Old 01-22-2008 Thread Starter
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Does Fiberglass Live Forever?

I read the recent thread about old boats. I have a specific question. How long will a fiberglass boat live? The boat I'm looking at is a 1979. Spent 12 years in fresh water before the last three in salt water. I'm not sure before that. It's about the nicest 79 model I"ve seen. I had actually not wanted anything older than mid 80's. Also what about resale. The boat is listed for around $40,000. Say I buy it and in 5-10 years want to sell. Will someone want a 37 year old boat? Will it still be sturdy at say 40 years old? Thanks
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post #2 of 19 Old 01-22-2008
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There are plenty of "still solid" 40 year old FG boats around! Resale is going to depend on the popularity of the model, the original build quality, and the upkeep over the years.

$40K for a 1979 boat - good or bad? Depends on boat size, make and condition. Remember asking prices tend to be optimistic. if you haven't already, do a Yachtworld.com search for used $40K boats and compare what you are looking at to what comes up.

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post #3 of 19 Old 01-22-2008
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It really depends on the boat, and how well it was constructed and maintained. If you do a search, you'll find several good threads on this, including one that popped up a week or so ago, and had some excellent input from Jeff H.

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post #4 of 19 Old 01-22-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snider View Post
I read the recent thread about old boats. I have a specific question. How long will a fiberglass boat live? The boat I'm looking at is a 1979. Spent 12 years in fresh water before the last three in salt water. I'm not sure before that. It's about the nicest 79 model I"ve seen. I had actually not wanted anything older than mid 80's. Also what about resale. The boat is listed for around $40,000. Say I buy it and in 5-10 years want to sell. Will someone want a 37 year old boat? Will it still be sturdy at say 40 years old? Thanks
Strictly speaking, yours is a question it would take forever to answer...but whether well made FG boats will last forever or only a few hundred years, there are certainly many 40 year old boats whose hulls show no ill effects from the first 40 years, and there's every reason to expect the next 40 years to pass just as well.

There's a dozen makes of boats built in the mid '70s-mid 80's that I would buy in a minute versus considering many of today's production boats, even at the same money..Opps I guess I did that.

SF
Happy owner of 1986 CS 36T
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post #5 of 19 Old 01-22-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snider View Post
I read the recent thread about old boats. I have a specific question. How long will a fiberglass boat live? The boat I'm looking at is a 1979. Spent 12 years in fresh water before the last three in salt water. I'm not sure before that. It's about the nicest 79 model I"ve seen. I had actually not wanted anything older than mid 80's. Also what about resale. The boat is listed for around $40,000. Say I buy it and in 5-10 years want to sell. Will someone want a 37 year old boat? Will it still be sturdy at say 40 years old? Thanks
If it's a well maintained vessel, from a higher quality builder, someone will always want it. I own a 1979 and she was exceptionally well cared for, and is still bomb proof, yet shows very little signs of wear, but she was built well to begin with.

On any boat over 5 -8 years old the most important thing is how it was maintained IMHO. Original build quality counts for a lot too but I've seen some very well built and expensive boats worth a full 1/3 of what they should be because of a lazy owner who let it fall apart and rot..

1979 CS-36 Photos (She's 29 years old)

I guess us CS-36T owner think similarly as we posted at the same time:

Another happy owner of a CS-36!

______
-Maine Sail / CS-36T


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post #6 of 19 Old 01-22-2008 Thread Starter
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post #7 of 19 Old 01-22-2008
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Hey that is one nice cs36. I am just beginning to look at getting a new-to-us- boat and since I live close to Lake Ontario there are a lot of these around the lake. I have heard lots of good things about them but one thing I am wondering is if engine access for routine maintenance is as bad as some claim. Can you fairly readily bleed an air lock? Change an impeller? Get to the raw water filters?. Also, is the V berth big enough for two tall adults?

If there are reasonable answers to these questions I am going to be hunting for the best CS36T I can find on the lake (assuming it isnt too much of a hassle to bring a boat over from Canada where it seems most of them are)

Of course, any other comments would be really appreciated

steve
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Originally Posted by sck5 View Post
Hey that is one nice cs36. I am just beginning to look at getting a new-to-us- boat and since I live close to Lake Ontario there are a lot of these around the lake. I have heard lots of good things about them but one thing I am wondering is if engine access for routine maintenance is as bad as some claim. Can you fairly readily bleed an air lock? Change an impeller? Get to the raw water filters?. Also, is the V berth big enough for two tall adults?

If there are reasonable answers to these questions I am going to be hunting for the best CS36T I can find on the lake (assuming it isnt too much of a hassle to bring a boat over from Canada where it seems most of them are)

Of course, any other comments would be really appreciated

steve
Not to hijack but engine access is fine and you can get to the sides from both the quarter berth and the port lazarette. The front access, which is actually the rear of the engine (v-drive) is via the galley stairs and is very good. Id o all my own engine work and have yet to find something that I can't get to. The access on these is better than many boats of this era but not that of a Catalina! This is a heavy boat, for her size and design, and while she is quite fast she still weighs a LOT more than a Sabre 36 or Catalina 36. Part of the reason for weight is the construction. The stringers for instance are solid fiberglass with no wood to rot out and she also has glass encased foam stringers running up and down the sides of the hull from bow to stern spaced about 12" apart. having owned both a Catalina 36 and a CS-36 I can tell you there is no comparison in the "heft" of construction on the CS when compared to the Catalina. I would feel very comfortable taking my boat across the pond while I would not feel very comfortable in a Catalina 36..

V-berth is fairly roomy but I have not measured it.

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post #9 of 19 Old 01-22-2008
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Haleki,
Sweet boat ! You Maine folks do know boats.

Snider, that's a well equipped Rival 34 that looks in good condition. If I was a halfboater and looking..I'd look hard and dream of being on the way down Caribe on the outside.
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post #10 of 19 Old 01-22-2008
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Will fiberglass last forever?

No. That is the short answer. Enemies of fiberglass include UV rays, fire, intruding water and some nasty chemicals.
The good news is as others have already said. A well maintained boat will hold it's value a lot better than a neglected one.
That said, my Tartan 27' is from 1967 and the FG hull is in good shape and was overbuilt by today's standards.
That is a pretty high asking price but it seems like a nice boat and if all the systems work then what upgrades would you need to do? Of course, you will find some things to fix over time.

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