Question about Islander 36 Ribbing - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-26-2010 Thread Starter
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Question about Islander 36 Ribbing

So I am considering purchasing a 1974 Islander 36. I recently went and viewed the boat and noticed that as to be expected with a vessel of this age there are some problems that need to be addressed, however when I looked in the bilge I noticed that the ribbing was cracked in at least one place and bolted back together (see attached picture). Is this something I should worry about? Is an asking price of $10,000 reasonable in the current market? I am of course planning on getting a pre-purchase survey if I decide to move ahead with this boat, but I really would rather not waste the money if this repair is an indicator of a big problem.

Much thanks!




Here is a link to the full resolution image which is much large if you want to see the issue in further detail. http://www.evenhosting.com/sailnet/IMG_2464.JPG
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-26-2010
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I'm not familiar with the Islander 36 nor do I know what caused the damage to the boat you are inspecting, but I would like to share a story about a J29 that I am familiar with.

The J29 ran into a fairly large submerged obstacle, possibly a rock. The bottom of the leading edge of the keel was damaged and, as a result of the forces involved, two "C" shaped cracks appeared in the hull near the root of the keel. The forward crack was the result of the keel pulling away from the hull and the aft crack was the result of the keel pushing into the hull. At least one of the ribs in the bilge was also partially torn away from the hull. The boat did not sink and continued sailing for the rest of the season with no repairs.

It is possible that the Islander 36 you are looking at suffered a similar accident. If so, your ability to see any damage around the root of the keel could be affected if these areas have been subsequently patched over (fairing compound and paint can conceal a multitude of flaws). In the event that the damage you are seeing was the result of a collision, it might be worthwhile to take a very close look at the keel-hull joint.
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-26-2010
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That bilge looks nasty too - You need to know what happened, and ask why it has not been repaired properly. Hotdogs advice regarding the joint is good, and you also want to investigate the hull, stringers etc aft of the keel. Sometimes a hard grounding also affects the interior eg. pantry, so take a look at anything around there too.

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post #4 of 12 Old 04-26-2010
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Those aren't stringers, they're floors. Floors run athwartships and stringers run longitudinally...

I'd recommend you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started, as it will help you determine whether this boat is even worth going ahead further with.

I'd ask if the other floor shown in that photo is damaged. It appears to have a crack showing in the top of it, inline with the crack that was "repaired" on the one that is bolted. I'd point out that bolting a floor together in this manner is not a repair in any real sense of the word. At the least it should have been sistered to another board or ground out and repaired by re-glassing the area.

Are the floors wood cored, which was often the case in older boats? If so, is the core material still good? I seriously doubt it.

Personally, given the color of the bilge water, which is heavily stained with either tannins or rust, and the condition of the two bolts seen in the left side of the photo and the cracked floors, I would pass on this boat.

I'd point out that getting a boat of the same make and model in decent shape is often FAR LESS EXPENSIVE than buying the boat in bad shape and refurbishing it.

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post #5 of 12 Old 04-26-2010
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-26-2010
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Cracked floors in way of the keel attachement are a sign of trouble. The repair shown in the photograph is inadequate. A proper repair is to sister the floor with another one of at least the same dimensions and bond the sistered floor to the surrounding hull shell. However, whatever caused the floor to crack in the first place may cause the sistered floor to crack also. The limber on centerline is in the worst possible location, which is why the crack is near the center of the floor. The floor should have a quarter round limber at each edge of the keel sump and be full depth at centerline.


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post #7 of 12 Old 04-26-2010
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Welcome to Sailnet Paul, PE. Cool website.

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post #8 of 12 Old 04-26-2010
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Ditto what SD & Paul said. Plus, on examination of the floor on the right, it too appears to have been "repaired" as I see several screws in about the same position as the floor on the left.

If you are going to fix a problem, fix it, don't fudge it like this PO did.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-26-2010
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If one picture is all we can judge by, then I'd probably take a pass on this one. In addition to floor issues, those keel bolts look mighty rusted. Islander 36's in decent shape typically go for something in the $30k+ range, so the price of this one might be another good indication of it's condition.

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post #10 of 12 Old 04-26-2010 Thread Starter
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As I was looking this vessel over the keel bolts/bilge issues were the only thing that struck me as anything more than cosmetic. There was some minor blistering on the hull above the water line (five or ten bumps the size of a pea).

A rebuilt engine was installed in 2008 with less than 50 hours on it. New sails in the last 5 years. The insurance survey from 2008 lists the topside, deck, hull, as "good for age" and the bilge is listed as "clean and dry". Under the recommendations the surveyor listed: "The fiberglass tabbing has broken free in several areas where the interior plywood structures are attached to the hull. It is recommended to clean both surfaces and re-attach the fiberglass. This condition has not caused a structural weakness at this time." I'm not sure if this is the bilge condition the surveyor is referring to or not....

The vessel started with an asking price of 29,000 and then dropped from there. I have a very limited budget for getting a boat ($20,000) and I guess what I'm really trying to decide is if this boat is worth making an offer on (I was thinking of offering 6K since they need the boat sold before spring launch at the end of next month) and then dropping 10-14 thousand dollars into it. The owner also informed me that the deck hardware needs re bedding. Any thoughts on the matter?

EDIT: also I forgot to mention that there was this much water in the bilge while the boat was in the yard on stands, although it was after a hard rain, is this normal (I'm thinking it's not)?

Last edited by pos3idon; 04-26-2010 at 07:02 PM.
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