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post #21 of 24 Old 05-27-2012
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Re: would you buy a "holed" boat?

Originally Posted by Mauryd View Post
I've seen some major resto projects in progress at a shop last week. I was shown 2 big powerboats. A 38' go fast boat and a 30' Fishing boat.

They cut the aft end of the fishing boat right off about 3'-4' forward into the boat. They totally put back a new one on that they made and 2 huge outboards were hung on it. You would never know. Looks perfect.

The go fast boat had the whole bottom delam at high speed and sunk in California. These guys bought the salvage and toally reworked the transom and put a brand new bottom on her with with fiberglass mat, fiberglass cloth, resin, filler, gelcoat, and hard work. Looks brand new.

It's amazing what you can do with fiberglass.

I am doing some small hole repair on a Hobie 16 that I own. One's around softball sized. Then a couple of golfball sized holes as well. Very easy so far. They say the hard part is the prep. So I have that part all done. I start laying glass very soon. Hopefully next week.

I found a site called US Composites. They have very inexpensive resins, fillers, and gelcoat. Try them at: Fiberglass , Composites, Carbon Fiber - U.S. Composites, Inc.. You can find great deals on fiberglass cloth on ebay. Search: "fiberglass cloth"

I'm telling everyone I know doing fiberglass repair about these guys. I have no idea if you are considering doing it yourself or not but you never know. Hope this helps.

Best Regards,

I use Mertons in Massachusetts. I'll check out these other guys though. Thanks for the tip Maury.
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post #22 of 24 Old 05-28-2012
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Re: would you buy a "holed" boat?

denise, I once had a serious bid in on a Sabre 38 that had been storm damaged, a big flap knocked open by a seawall or piling after a hurricane.

What you have to do is figure the price of a proper repair, the inconvenience of it, the likelihood of making it right (often 100% with fiberglass) and then adjust the price. In my case, I'm pretty damn sure the guy who outbid me was nuts, there were just too many uncertainties about what the total repair would get into.

Way before that, I walked away from a "bargain" on an Albin Nimbus, where the PO had quite literally taken a chain saw to one of the ribs in the hull, apparently for better bilge drainage. I'm sure it was repairable, but I really didn't want to know how having one rib stiffer, or not as stiff, as the others might or might not affect the keel and the hull. And I didn't want to know where else his chainsaw might have gone.

Now a boat that looked DROPPED...I'd also pass on that one, no real telling where there's broken glass fibers inside the hull as things flexed.

It really all just depends on the uncertainties and the costs. Hey, maybe there's a reality TV show to be had in this. You know, like American Pickers and Pawn Stars and the storage locker buyers? "Treasure Ship!" :-)
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post #23 of 24 Old 05-28-2012
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Re: would you buy a "holed" boat?

Buying a damaged boat would not put me off at all, but the whole point of buying a damaged boat is to get it for nothing, or next to nothing. Most times these boats are not economic to repair because it includes labor costs.

Lots of people abandon boats and the yards get them for free. Rather than repair a hole, I'd look for a good boat that just needs some clean up that is selling at auction at a boat yard. I wanted to bid on a Tartan 10. I was out of town for the auction. The fellow got it dirt cheap, cleaned it, repainted the boot and cove stripes, gave it some bottom paint and had a very nice boat for cheap.

For repair work, I have had my best success restoring a trailerable boat at my home.

Buying a project boat? I'd think seriously about investing in a trailer or modifying a used trailer for my purposes. Getting a new one built is expensive though. If you see a boat with a good galvanized trailer it is worth a lot. I once saw a triple axle trailer carrying a Catalina 30. It was a great idea and for someone keeping a boat for a long time, it saves a lot on storage. That boat is a bit too slow for me, but the idea has merit.

Doing your own work makes a difference but it has to be done fast. Yard fees will eat you alive. Moving the boat to you residence might be expensive in the short term, but cheap in the long term. Buying a set of poppets or building or modifying a trailer makes this easier too. Factor in the cost, but also consider the value of being able to store your boat at home. Even a boat on a trailer stored at a marina is cheaper than normal dry storage. They can stuff a trailer between two other boats and the yard is using space it could not otherwise use.

Any fiberglass boat can be repaired. I would avoid wooden boats, cold molded, or strip planked, etc.

The key is to pick a good boat to start with. A LeCompte Medalist is a good choice because the hulls are strong. Sabres are well built boats.

In some cases stripping out the entire interior is faster than trying to repair something.

A bigger boat? It is better to have help to get the hole fixed. Finding help is difficult and slow. Workers don't care about your yard fees, they charge a lot and don't work quickly. So the best help would be people you hire directly.

Then try to launch it quickly. It is cheaper to keep a boat in the water than in dry storage. Finish off the inside later.
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post #24 of 24 Old 05-28-2012
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Re: would you buy a "holed" boat?

I would have no problem buying a boat with a hole in it. But that isn't to say I would even take a free boat with a hole. Depending on the extent of the repairs, and the other things wrong with it, while it may be possible to fix a boat from any condition, that doesn't mean it is economical to do so.

For instance, post Katrina my uncles Trip 40 was found in the parking lot of our yacht club. The boat was literly in three pieces, the keel snapped off, the transom was crushed by a tree, and the mast was wrapped around a light pole. This is all reparable damage, but a good used trip was $40,000 and the repair bill would have been more than a new one.

My fathers boat, an Irwin 54' looked pretty good. Just a lot of road rash, the dolphin striker pulled out of the boat, and a broken rudder. We passed on buying it back from the insurance company, but a guy bout it at auction for around $20,000. Since then it has had over $400,000 spet restoring it. While a good boat of the same year would cost 250-300. But as the work progressed they kept finding one more thing wrong with it....

On the other hand, a member of my club just bought a new j-22. It was at nationals this year and got T-boned. Went to Donnie Brennon (US Olympic teams boats right) for a $6,000 repair, and now the boat is in perfect shape.

To me it really depends on the extends of the damage, the cost of the repair, AND the amount a comparable boat in good condition would cost. Sometimes free boats really aren't free.
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