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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-06-2012 06:29 PM
Re: Replacing Chainplates on a Sabre 34

Before I knew the boat had a contract on it, I had contacted Sabre to inquire about what would be the proper way to repair the rotted wood. They asked for pictures and I sent them a few. Here's their response:

In picture #01 I believe that the knee wall is one solid piece that continues down through that shelf into the upper berth back area. In order to achieve the structural integrity you really need to remove that entire piece and replace it with new. The hull sides should be ground to bare glass, and then glass in a new knee wall the entire length. You should use a VE (vinyl-ester) Resin to get a good secondary bond.

I was thinking cutting away the rotted wood and inserting a new piece with dowels or biscuits then tabbing that together by slotting the existing wood and the new wood and "sewing it" with glass tape and resin. Imagine the work involved in having to replace the entire piece? No thanks!
12-05-2012 11:12 AM
Re: Replacing Chainplates on a Sabre 34

Thank you Harry. From everything I've learned, yes, the boat has major problems. The worst could be the wet core in the deck. But it looked like it also needed a new engine. Dave said the engine looked neglected. That could be why the wood rotted too, neglect. Anyway, before I could make an offer someone else did.

Interestingly enough, the boat fell off the Yachtworld listing for a bit then reappeared. I've been told by a friend it's still under contract pending a survey. I wouldn't be surprised if it goes back on the market, unless the buyer wants a serious project boat and gets the boat for next to nothing.

We've postponed the boat search until the house is sold. Then we can decide where to move to and we'll take up the search again (if there's any money left!)
12-04-2012 08:09 PM
Re: Replacing Chainplates on a Sabre 34


As others have guessed, that boat has major problems. The first picture is the port upper shroud chainplate, and it's really bad. The bolts at the bottom end have crushed the plywood -- very rotten. The chainplates themselves are probably in decent shape (but need inspection anyway). Josrulz replaced his for something like $400, so even if they are bad it's not an issue.

What has happened is that the chainplates have been allowed to leak. The water has run into the boat, and soaked the plywood knees, which have rotted. To get them out, you'll be removing cabinetry, and then the knee and glass, and then re-doing. If it's just this one, that may be an OK project (of course, to leak into the boat, it had to leak THROUGH the deck, so you may have deck core rot too -- a bad thing as well). But if it's more than one, you're going to have to pay big time for repairs.

If you go see the boat, each of the 6 chainplate knees are covered with a U-shaped teak cover strip along the edge. They are held on with very small nails. Grab ahold of the teak and pull -- it will come off in your hands. Then you can see the edge of the plywood, and assess the extent of damage. Note that my surveyor did not do this simple task (fortunately, I had and knew what I was getting), so just because a surveyor finds no rot doesn't mean you are all-clear. After you inspect, the covers push right back on.

'79 Sabre 34 MK1
Mill Creek, Annapolis
11-20-2012 09:40 PM
Re: Replacing Chainplates on a Sabre 34

Here's some pics:

11-17-2012 02:46 PM
Re: Replacing Chainplates on a Sabre 34

I'm doing the checks & balances. I don't want to get caught in that trap.

The problem is this, let's say I plan on spending $30K for the boat after all is said and done. If I have to wait until I have $30K on hand, that day may never come. Living on a fixed income means you never get a raise while the price of everything goes up. That's a very real scenario.

But buying anything now will not mean buying something in such bad shape I can't sail for years or that it's going to break me. I won't do that. I have my experience in construction to draw on and that should at least give me enough background to know a disaster when I see it.

Right now I'm pricing out everything I can to see what the materials would add up to for that particular boat to be sailable and be to our liking. I've already started a spreadsheet. Then I'm throwing in labor I can't do and another 10%-20% on top of that. If I arrive outside what comparable S34s are going for, it's time to move on.

Maybe I'll apply for employment at Sabre, learn the skills and use them to help make owning a less painful reality.
11-17-2012 01:30 PM
Maine Sail
Re: Replacing Chainplates on a Sabre 34

Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
Ah, but at what price?
Julie with boats it is pay now or pay later. The cheap fixer upper will ALWAYS cost more in the long run than buying the cleanest, best maintained boat you can find.. Don't be fooled by low prices thinking you are getting a deal.

I have watched far too many people pour gobs of money into a "fixer upper" and still not be "done" or have finished boat yet are sooo upside down in the boat, from a fair market value proposition, that it makes it a very poor investment, not that any boat isn't.

The idea some have that it costs less when fixing it up "pay check to pay check" is also not very sound. You still spend more over time that you would having paid a lump sum for a clean and ready to go boat. It may feel like you paid less, but only in rare occasions would you.

If a boat is rare a "fixer upper" can be a great option but to bring a generic old fiberglass boat from the 70s or 80s back to life when you can buy one already brought back to life for a fraction more than what you'd need to spend is not the best choice. All boats need work even boats in the top 2% so you will ALWAYS have time to putter and work on a boat if that is what you enjoy.

Here's a prime example. A neighbor enlisted my advice when looking at two Catalina 30's. One was in top notch condition, a genuine pristine boat needing nothing but your own fresh linens. The other boat needed nearly everything and was very poorly maintained and cared for but less $$$$$. My neighbor got hung up on the $$$$ aspect and not in the REALITY aspect despite hours of discussions. He fit the true definition of a naive or inexperienced buyer, he knows that now..... .Some things you simply can not teach.

Both boats were the same year, same model and only 8k apart in asking price with the most expensive, at that time, being about 32k asking (not selling). Fast forward three years....

A gear box
A re-power
New standing riging
New Furler
New running rigging
New canvas
New sails
Numerous deck core repairs
Wiring upgrades
Interior cushions
Wet bulkhead repair
Mast Step
Keel repair
Bottom job
etc. etc. etc.

By the time the boat was "close to" as good as the one for 32k, which he likely could have purchased for 29k, he was sooo upside down it was not even laughable.. For the "junker" he paid 24k which was only approx a 5k up front difference. Three years later he had over 60k, 35k in "fixing" into a 24k purchase price Catalina 30.

Sadly the boat was still worth 28-29k just what the one he didn't buy could have been purchased for.... For 5k more the other boat was already there. This little escapade in penny pinching the initial purchase price cost him $25,000.00 more........ Moral of the story, don't be penny wise pound foolish.... A little more up front, on a pristine example of the boat you want, often goes a LOOOOOOONG way....

Any Sabre 34 that needs that type of repair work, rotted bulkheads, HAS NOT BEEN WELL MAINTAINED. I don't even need to see the boat to know that...
11-17-2012 12:10 PM
Re: Replacing Chainplates on a Sabre 34

We own a 1984 Sabre 34, a Mk I just like the 1978. As Maine Sail mentioned, it's very easy to replace the chainplates on the S34-I. We simply unbolted all of them, inspected, and ultimately replaced them. We had Garhauer Marine make us new chainplates, since the price they offered was excellent as was the workmanship.

As others have also mentioned, I would question whether the reduction in price is because there is rot in one or more of the bulkheads to which the chainplates attach. This would cause the repair costs to sky rocket, unless of course you're capable of doing the repair yourself and have the desire to do so.

Hope that helps!
11-17-2012 11:49 AM
Re: Replacing Chainplates on a Sabre 34

Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
I know of a couple really nice S-34 MKI's for sale...
Ah, but at what price?
11-17-2012 11:43 AM
Re: Replacing Chainplates on a Sabre 34

I just re-read the disclaimer: price was just reduced $13,000 to allow for repairs where the shroud's chainplate attaches to the inside of the hull

This sounds like structural repairs to the hull are needed. Scaring me off isn't what concerns me. Buying a huge problem does.
11-17-2012 10:18 AM
Maine Sail
Re: Replacing Chainplates on a Sabre 34

I know of a couple really nice S-34 MKI's for sale...
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