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  #1  
Old 08-23-2006
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Repair Guesses for an offer

OK,

I've found a potential boat - a Passport 40. Which seems to rate well or well enough on this board as an o'r the horizon platform for future dreams. Right now I want to get my skill set back up, do some coastal work for a few years and then perhaps go for that long weekend sail and forget to turn around. I would like to be able to do a repeat of a trip from Miami to CT in a few years for an event.

Anyway - the asking price is low when compared to other P40s. However I did a deck survey today - the broker could not meet me so I could not get below. The boat was ignored for 5 years or so. The teak deck is a mess (about 50% exposed screws, the black stuff (forget what to call it) is hard and cracked, there are visible gaps between boards, etc), the running rigging is terrible (frayed with mold on the surface and inside the lays), the chain plates need to be pulled and rebedded, the toe rail is still good but needs works, the capstan is a manual one and doesn't look like it has been exercised. The pictures that I've seen of below look like it was at least well ventilated. I've my doubts about the engine being anything more than a ballast. She was cleanup up some, so I can only guess how see look before. The broker said something about a new prop, so who knows about the shaft and packing gland. (And yes, if I opt to move forward after going below and poking around I'll get a surveyor!)

So my question on how to estimate the costs of repairs. Oh, I'm in the Katrina Zone and so finding skilled help is damn near impossible and will be for years I'm guessing - they are around but are even more costly. This is my arm chair guess:

Teak Deck - remove & fill all holes, sand, epoxy with nonskid - $15000-$20000
Toe Rail - sand, renew joints, finish - $2000
Chain Plates - Pull, inspect, rebed - $1000
Running Rigging/sheets - Renew 100% - $10,000(?)
Aux Engine - Rebuild (it has sat too for 5 years) - $5000

So, I'm guessing one way to work the offer is to figure out what a well-maintained boat's price is, take 10-15% off of that figure and then subtract the above repair estimates.

Any thoughts would be welcome.

Why a P40? I like Bob Perry designs - they have sweet shearlines (important to me for some reason), nice spoon bows, a modern underwater profile, and a below arrangement that will suit some extended time onboard. The chemical blisters of a Val 40 scare me - and I can not afford one that is a Texas boat. I've looked at Pacific Seacraft and I like them but are a tad outside my price range. I like the Southern Cross 39 (different designer- Gillman if memory serves) but there is only one on the market and too far away - I'm trying to keep to the Gulf of Mexico with the hopes of not having to ship over land.

In general I'm looking for something that is a good solid blue water boat with about 30 feet on the water for speed. I tend to perfer boats without bow pulpits and like cutters even given all of their issues when it comes to tacking.

Thanks in advance.

N.
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Old 08-23-2006
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If the screws are exposed and the caulk has hardened, then it is very likely that the deck is going to have osmosis problems. Water often gets into a fiberglass deck via the screw holes for the teak deck that was overlaid on top of it.

If you haven't gotten a survey on this boat, I would guess that the deck will show moisture problems, if not outright delamination.

The standing rigging sounds like it is completely shot, and needs complete replacement. I'd guess that your estimate is actually low, since the standing rigging is a huge part of the cost of a boat. It also sounds like you're going to have to replace the entire running rigging.

If the rig has been this neglected, then you'll probably need new sails, which you haven't listed... and will set you back at least $7000 for the new headsail and main.

If the topsides are this neglected, then the hull and interior is probably not much better. Also, is there any guarantee that this boat was not submerged or rolled? If it was, the electronics and engine are probably completely shot.

There is a reason this boat is so cheap, compared to other P40s. I would run the HIN of the boat and see if the boat has been declared a salvage boat or not.
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Old 08-24-2006
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Ditto Sailingdog. I would take the average price of several Passport 40's in better condition and compare THAT with what's being asked for here. You've also not added anything in for the aggravation factor of having to wait to get all the necessary work done, along with anything else that will come up, once you start "fixing" things. If the chainplates need rebedding, what else has rotted due to the water they let in? Do you like cabin lights? You may need new ones. And new wiring for them. Pressure water? What sort of crud may be blocking the existing pipes or hoses? Will those need replacing as well? (Plumbing a boat is much more fun BEFORE the bulkheads and furniture are installed.) I'd recommend reading Hewit Schlereth's book on buying a boat to make sure you've at least thought of more of the things (like the sails that Saildog mentions above) that might need consideration.
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Old 08-24-2006
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risky business

Ok Lasailor, I know you asked how to estimate the cost of repairs but you also invited other thoughts so here goes.

As far as estimating repairs for such a neglected boat, you need to absolutely minimize your risk, which I know is part of why you've shared this with us already. To go forward with a market value based offer obviously you need the defect list from the survey and comps from your broker and your own research. However you also need written estimates from multiple referenced sources because of the known seriousness of your current repair list. From what you said that doesn't even seem possible in Katrina land. Practically speaking, repairs may need to be done elsewhere, which means estimates need to be done elsewhere, so the boat may need to be elsewhere too. Or maybe estimators have to come from elsewhere---no forget that one. This boat is getting really complicated.

So I must ask, what is your motivation for buying this particular Passport ? If you get reliable estimates, and accurate information from the survey, and deduct the "reliable" estimates and a fudge factor from the sold comparables, you might still go over budget in short order just from the risk with so many variables. Even if you come in a little under budget you've put a lot of sweat equity in just to manage the repairs.

In the meantime you can spend much smaller bucks and find a well maintained Passport elsewhere with few risks in the deal for you. Yes, you may need to transport it over land but it is a real possibility that this local boat can't even be fixed locally at competitive prices.

IMHO I would beat the bushes and exhaust the viable Gulf Coast supply first. In the time frame you mentioned there will be others coming into the market too. If you've got a knowledgeable boater friend in the elsewhere place that's even better so the buddy can make the first eyeball view before you head out.

Whatever you do on this, best of luck.

Last edited by captnnero; 08-24-2006 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 08-24-2006
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BTW, a lot of boats on the market, especially down in the Gulf Coast are hurricane/storm salvage boats. There is a good website that allows you to check the HIN and see if the boat was declared a total loss. It is probably worth checking this website out, since many unscrupulous sellers won't indicate that the boats were submerged or damaged previously, and in fact may not know that they were.

The site is available here. It is provided through a consortium of insurance companies attempting to fight insurance fraud.
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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.

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Old 08-24-2006
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LAsailor... your estimates are too low for just what you described and I'm sure a survey will turn up more. Walk away from this one. The Passport is an excellent boat for your purposes....but there are a lot better ones around.
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Old 08-24-2006
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my general rule for estimating boat repair costs are to get it as close as I can and then double it.
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Old 08-24-2006
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That boat scares the bejeezers out of me. It is highly likely that the boat was immersed in sea water and once inside, the signs will be immediately apparent.

I would not walk away, but run away from this salvage job.
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Old 08-24-2006
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project boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
BTW, a lot of boats on the market, especially down in the Gulf Coast are hurricane/storm salvage boats. ...
Good point. It's very common to see boats with very low asking prices on the Gulf Coast, sometimes as low as 50% or 33% of the market. Those poor unfortunate sellers usually have the 'caned boats. Also, there's a significant regional effect down south just from the year 'round exposure to the elements. The longer the boat is south the more it adds up.

Then of course there are a bunch of whipped charter boats that come out of the islands so one has to look out for them too. Of course those aren't going to be vessel models like the Passport.

As Lasailor says it seems to have been ignored for about five years. Basically that's enough to kill a boat.

I also like Gene_T's double-the-best-estimate approach also. That shifts the risk towards the current owner of the boat where it belongs.

I know of a rigger who recently beautifully restored an early '70's Ericson 46 from some very serious issues. The E46 is a very rare bird with only 21 built. In decent condition they go for $60K-90K. He got it for $20K on Ebay but he knew what he was looking at and had to truck it from coast to coast. He also had the major skills as a rigger and many industry friends to help restore it in a year at relatively low cost. Sweat equity was very high. However, he recently commented that in the middle of the project he sometimes felt like he would take one measily dollar for it. Keep in mind that he was an industry professional who got that negative on the project.

Last edited by captnnero; 08-24-2006 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 08-24-2006
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I've done more than a few surveys on the 'caned boats for insurance companies. Many of them are in really sad shape. Many more totalled, or should have been.
The salvage companies, man, I know they have a job to do, but I'm not their biggest fan. There are a very few "deals" still out there, if you're very skilled, and have boatloads of time and know exactly what you're doing.
IMHO, within the next year, most of the totalled boats will be stripped of usable fittings and cut up as the salvagers run out of time and money.
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