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  #1  
Old 07-17-2008
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Survey found moisture in deck and cockpit

I had posted some messages earlier about a 1978 Hunter Cherubini (33foot) boat that I was about to purchase. The price is excellent and the interior was totally redone by the owner who happens to make cabinets by trade.

Unfortunately by the time I had sent the offer to the broker, the owner had already accepted another offer conditional of survey. I was pretty dissapointed however.. the other interested party had the survey done and walked away from the deal because of found moisture issues.

According to the broker, the boats hull and inside is fine, but there was moisture found on the balsa cored deck around the fittings. The cockpit however was very very moist and would start delaminating.

Here is my question.. should I also walk away from this boat or use this as a chance to make an already good priced boat a little better deal and fix the issues myself.

I have done some research and to rebed the fixtures seems like a job I could do in the winter while it is covered. (I plan to live aboard the boat year round). The cockpit area I am not sure... I assume its the same but a lot more of it.

The broker seems to think this is a minor issue and that I could even leave it for a year or two. The previous interested party was said to be newbies and not interested in restoring it. (By the way I am a complete newbie to sailing having only just recently finished basic keelboat sailing lessons not to long ago. The broker thinks professionally fixing the issues would be $7kish but the surveyor gave an off the cuff estimate of $20-30k

One final note. I do not have the survey yet as the other interested party that walked is tryiing to sell it to me for $800. I offered $400 and am waiting for the response.

I am nervous about buying a rotten boat as it is my first and i am not a wealthy person by any means.. and I am relying on this to be my home. But I have not been able to find a nicer cared for boat with a beautiful interior, thats 33ft, equiped to live aboard and all for $24k !

Anxious to hear your thoughts.
Thanks

Last edited by dodgydingo; 07-17-2008 at 02:11 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-17-2008
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I'd recommend running away from it. If the deck rot is extensive you are talking a major, major job. Granted it is mostly labor, but there will be considerable expense too. The cockpit sounds like it needs to be completely replaced, unless you have a lot of fibeglass experience this would be beyond most peoples abilities. Get a reputable fiberglas shop to give you a bid to do it, that should be enough to scare you away.

There are so many boats available right now at reasonable prices, keep looking and you'll find another great deal.

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Old 07-17-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodgydingo View Post
I had posted some messages earlier about a 1978 Hunter Cherubini (33foot) boat that I was about to purchase. The price is excellent and the interior was totally redone by the owner who happens to make cabinets by trade.

Unfortunately by the time I had sent the offer to the broker, the owner had already accepted another offer conditional of survey. I was pretty dissapointed however.. the other interested party had the survey done and walked away from the deal because of found moisture issues.

According to the broker, the boats hull and inside is fine, but there was moisture found on the balsa cored deck around the fittings. The cockpit however was very very moist and would start delaminating.

Here is my question.. should I also walk away from this boat or use this as a chance to make an already good priced boat a little better deal and fix the issues myself.

I have done some research and to rebed the fixtures seems like a job I could do in the winter while it is covered. (I plan to live aboard the boat year round). The cockpit area I am not sure... I assume its the same but a lot more of it.

The broker seems to think this is a minor issue and that I could even leave it for a year or two. The previous interested party was said to be newbies and not interested in restoring it. (By the way I am a complete newbie to sailing having only just recently finished basic keelboat sailing lessons not to long ago. The broker thinks professionally fixing the issues would be $7kish but the surveyor gave an off the cuff estimate of $20-30k

One final note. I do not have the survey yet as the other interested party that walked is tryiing to sell it to me for $800. I offered $400 and am waiting for the response.

I am nervous about buying a rotten boat as it is my first and i am not a wealthy person by any means.. and I am relying on this to be my home. But I have not been able to find a nicer cared for boat with a beautiful interior, thats 33ft, equiped to live aboard and all for $24k !

Anxious to hear your thoughts.
Thanks
Don`t believe the broker he ant working for you, your not paying him the seller will if he can find anyone to buy it. If you know who the surveyor is ask him direct if he will sell a copy, as he has done it he may say stay way or it would be Ok if.
Just remember you do get what you pay for.
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Old 07-17-2008
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Keep looking

Cliffs marine sales Port credit

Scorpio 35, $22,500

Bristol 1972, 34ft $25,000

Guess what your hunter is listed here deal pending that must be you.

Hughes 1981, 31 ft, $19,900

This is odd. They list a 30 ft bristol channel cutter custom, 2003, steel hull,pilot house, new universal diesal 20 hours,$22,995 ?????

And theres a whole lot more at good prices. Maybe they are all trashed. your right there not hard to look.

How about Anchor yacht sales also in Port Credit.

Aloha 1978, 28 ft, $14,900

Hughes Nortstar 30, 1978, $14,000

1977 Ranger 33, $26,900

There are about a dozen brokers and clubs in the Toronto area, so much to choose from I don't know how you will decide.

Also I'm not sure if there are good Hunters or what year the good ones end and the bad ones begin. Other people will have more insight on that issue.
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Old 07-17-2008
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get an estimate from a reputable glass shop and double it!
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Old 07-17-2008
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BTW, the other person may not be legally able to sell his survey results to you. Many surveyors have a clause in their surveys that they're copyrighted and not for sale or use by other than the person who commissioned it. Whether this can stand up in court or not is a different story.

Personally, I'd say walk away unless you're either willing to spend the money that re-building the cockpit will cost or willing to do the work yourself.
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Old 07-17-2008
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I would add my voice to those saying to move on...before rebedding fixtures, the deck core needs to be dryed, if its been very wet it may need to be replaced which is a big job, especially expensive if you want the finished result not to look like an obvious hack job. i'd lean more towards the surveyor's estimate tan the broker - remember the brokers job is to get the seller a sale.
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Old 07-17-2008
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I remember reading an article from a surveyor about how many deals go south due to misconceptions.. It really depends how you're going to sail the boat, but depending on it's use a wet deck may be "acceptable".. Not for everyone, I know, especially if you're looking for coastal/offshore.. but have a read anyway:

Edit: That said, I don't want to give the impression that I think a delaminating (or getting there) cockpit is an "appropriate wet deck".. I'd personally probably pass on the boat you mention.

Taken from pcmarinesurveys.com. Bare in mind he's Canadian.

Quote:
BUYING AN OLDER BOAT

I really wanted to call this "Buying an Old Boat" but "Older" seemed more kind.

Each year I find I am surveying older and older boats ( the surveyor isn't getting any younger either ) and its fairly common for me to survey 30 year old sailboats, 30 year old power boats are less common, I wonder where they all went ?.

None of these older boats meet current standards and contrary to popular belief, Transport Canada does not allow for grandfathering of these standards deficiencies. Transport Canada Small Vessel Construction Standard TP1332E states…….

"Existing pleasure craft shall comply with this standard insofar as it is reasonable and practicable to do so".

This admittedly provides some wriggle room but its not something you want to rely on in front of a judge arguing against your insurance company.

As an aside, I have never seen a new boat that's meets standards except for Derek Hatfield's SPIRIT OF CANADA. I know because I did the compliance myself.

More and more of these deals on old boats are being cancelled after the survey report is issued as people see a long list of deficiencies. This list is often enough to scuttle the deal but lets put things in perspective.
Most of these "entry level" boats are in the 27 - 32' size and the systems aboard are quite simple and repairs or updates to equipment need not be outrageously expensive if one is realistic about what needs to be done and what one wants to do. Check out the common issues listed below and make up your own mind.

Rotten balsa core decks

The single most common issue of older sailboats and many power boats! Start by realizing that the deck core is almost certainly wet if not rotten. Repairing this type of damage may cost almost as much as the boat itself so forget about it. Yes the deck may feel spongy as you walk across it and the gelcoat cracks are unsightly but you will not fall through the deck and it won't sink the boat. If you want a fracture free, dry deck core go to the boat show and add another $60k to that $20k you had budgeted for a 28 footer or buy the 20k boat, fix the "needs" and go sailing

Original equipment shorepower systems built with Canadian Tire parts

Many of these boats have domestic style breaker or fuse boxes and solid core copper conductors as opposed to stranded copper, few are grounded properly and fewer are fitted with G.F.C.I.s . A marine panel, a couple of G.F.C.I. outlets and some stranded copper conductors can be had for about $400.00 and is not a complicated installation. Just remember that AC on a boat is not quite the same as AC in a home and the average "electrician" is not aware of the differences.


Corroded electrical systems (AC & DC).

You really can't expect the connectors or conductors on navigation lights, ignition switches, electrical and electronic switches to live in a marine environment for 30 years and maintain their conductivity. You may need some DC conductors and a lot of little ring terminals, butt connectors, breakers and all the other little electrical accessories that make up a reliable electrical system.

Dangerously inadequate engine compartment ventilation systems.

This applies to gasoline powered boats both power and the sailboats with Atomic engines. This one is serious, dangerous and extremely easy to fix for usually less than a $100.00. I still don't understand why more of these boats do not blow up. Consider this….. Out of about 240 surveys a year I seen only one or two properly vented engine compartments in gasoline powered boats.

Improperly installed battery systems

I won't go into the details here (rely on your surveyor for that) but properly installed batteries are rare, I estimate 80% of the older boats I survey have improperly, sometimes dangerously installed batteries. These deficiencies can usually be corrected for about $40.00 and a little sweat.

Improperly installed battery chargers

Same as above… a few bucks and a couple of hours work can usually fix these.

Corroded fuel tanks

Many older boats have fuel tanks that were improperly installed at the factory and more than a few have corroded where you can't see it… on the bottom. If you have this situation it may cost from $300 to $800 to fix the tank but make sure its not going to cost $5k to get it out.

Thirty year old fuel lines

Don't even look, if they have not been changed in 30 years its just plain good sense to do it now….from $100 to a couple of hundred bucks.

Corroded keel bolts

A little surface corrosion is ok but heavily corroded keel bolts are a much more serious and potentially costly issue…pay the surveyor and move on.

Corroded Chainplates

Unfortunately many sailboats are built with the plates inaccessible for inspection. Make them accessible and if you see any corrosion replace them. The expense makes this a potential deal killer.

Saturated or split rudders

Most sailboat rudders are of foam filled construction. Over time this foam gets water saturated and the freeze thaw cycle will separate the foam from the glass skin. The foam begins to disintegrate and then you have a $2,000 rebuild. If the foam is saturated but skin separation is minor you may get away with drilling a hole in the lowest edge of the rudder to permit water to drain before freeze damage occurs over the winter lay-up season. This is such a common condition that many of the older boats have already had their rudders rebuilt.

Aluminum holding tanks (not good)

Aluminum waste tanks used to be standard issue and these are rare on newer boats with good reason. Aluminum and uric acid simply don't go together. A leaking waste tank can spoil your weekend cruise quite effectively. A new polyethylene tank can be had for $300 - $400.00. Installation may be $40.00 or $4000.00.

A common mistake of new boaters is to buy a $30k boat, put another $30k into it then be shocked when they find out its now worth $32k. Think of it this way if you buy a 1988 Chevy and spend $20k on it….what do you have ?
A really nice 1988 Chevy !

So go ahead and buy that CS27 with the wet decks for $13k, fix the electrical issues and go sailing.

PS. The 30 year old, 36' cruising boat that has spent 16 years in the Caribbean and is cruise equipped with inverter, wind generator, solar panels, charge controllers, nine batteries and the associated switching and monitoring equipment is a boat for someone who knows exactly what they are buying. New boaters should stay away from these bargains.

Last edited by TintedChrome; 07-17-2008 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 07-17-2008
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Thank you for all your replies. I still haven't received a copy of the survey so I only know the highlights that the broker has relayed over the phone.

jrd22- I don't know yet but what it sounded like was that the deck was in okay shape and only the fixtures had moisture. I have had a chance to walk around the deck 2 weeks ago and I didn't see any spongyness. It is the cockpit that is the major question for me.

I spoke with a number of friends in the marina and they said rebedding the fixtures was a task I could learn and do over the winter as the project is more time consuming than challenging/expensive.

RXBOT - Believe it or not I have reviewed every boat on that list, as well as almost every boat on yachtworld.com. Even the ones in Michigan or as far south as South Carolina.. I was tempted by some of those you listed such as the Ranger or Scorpio however I was advised to get a boat with Diesel engines and most of these smaller/less expensive boats are Atomic (gas) engines.

That hunter 33 is indeed the one I am looking at. Have you checked out the photos? It is beautiful inside and miles ahead in quality for the price compared to the other boats.

Tinted Chrome - Thanks for that post, very interesting.. It seems to be the same feedback I got from the locals at my marina. Any boat at this price range will be old (approx 30 years) and moisture will inevitably happen on any boat this old up here in Canada.

After reading how-to articles, I feel up to the challenge of rebedding the fixtures.. it is the rotten cockpit that scares me. The surveyor rated the boat at $18,000 as is without any repairs done.. I am wondering if I could just leave the boat as is for a year or two and sell it then/upgrade to something newer/better.
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Old 07-17-2008
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I would walk away fast. There are just too many good boats out there, why get into one with potentially costly issues. As much as you love everything else about it, there is probably one you'd like just as much that you haven't found yet. If there isn't there will me more boats on the market in a couple of months when the season winds down. Take a deep breath and walk.
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