Looking at a 25 year old Great Lakes boat online and trying to decide the realities of fresh water, pulled out of the water, etc., on the rigging, engine, hull, electronics before I buy a plane ticket to check it out.
I know this has been discussed before, but not recently that I could locate. The boat in question has 4500 hours on the diesel, and the original standing rigging. It sounds like the boat was reasonably well maintained, pulled out of the water and covered every year. My rule of thumb out here in the salt water would be that the engine and standing rigging are reaching the end of their useful lives. The hull was painted with Imron several years ago, but not sure if that is good or bad. My plan is to sail it locally on Puget Sound/Straits for the next few years, then head out to who knows where. The question is - how much does fresh water/annual storage really count for on these systems after 25 years?
I also read on one thread that the switch to salt will rapidly run down a fresh water boat, but I can't think why this would be any more true on a fresh water boat than a salt boat.
Finally, anyone have any idea what shipping a boat from Great Lakes to Seattle would cost?
Thanks for any ideas,
Some thoughts: If it's a C&C, have the surveyor check in particular the decks for delamination due to water seeping into the balsa core and going through freeze and thaw cycles. This is true for cored hulls, as well of any type. Have the engine checked for signs of poor winterization.
The rig may be fine, but you are correct in assuming it won't be in salt. Depending on the locale on the Great Lakes, the boat can be thought of as actually 12.5 years old, because GL boats are laid up for up to six months of the year.
Check for brass gate valves and other dodgy stuff indicative of the era. That is a priority, as may be the wiring, which could be untinned house grade Romex or whatnot. Don't be surprised if you find original brown plaid upholstery. The GL environment, while friendly to mildew, isn't in general as hard on boats as is the saltwater environment.
Some people keep their boats ocean-ready. Most don't, because they don't need to. My 1973 Viking 33 is still racing with its original, 36 year old rigging. I will replace it at 40, just because I don't want to push my luck.
Don't expect a lot in the way of current electronics. A lot of people have cathode-ray depthsounders and analog instruments that work because they've never rotted. At the same time, a lot of GL boats are quite dry inside, but their companionways and in some cases their hatches and fixed portlights are NOT adequate to the open ocean and should be reviewed.
The Great Lakes can be as vicious as the ocean, but never for as long, so the boats (except for the racers) aren't worked as hard. So while you may get a "new old boat", expect a lot of renovations, starting with the seacocks and the rigging.