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Thread: Buying a sailboat -- how to minimize maintenance? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-11-2009 03:21 PM
mitiempo The best solution is a boat with all furniture bonded to the hull and no liner whatsoever. Morris for example does this - but it's pretty expensive. Every bulkhead and seat face or cabinet face that touched the hull is glassed in. This gives the strongest hull as liners are usually not glassed in so much as placed on polyester adhesive (or epoxy) and are not adhered everywhere they touch the hull. This gives total access and great strength but at great cost.
12-11-2009 02:49 PM
Sparohok Can manufacturers get rid of liners entirely?

The Beneteau 10R is said to be infused in a two-sided mold so both the interior and exterior of the hull are fair. That reduces the need for cosmetic liners. That does mean that the backing plates and such behind the deck hardware are exposed. I'm not sure what they do about wiring, ducting and the like. I haven't actually been inside a 10R.

The tooling for a two sided mold must be quite expensive and thus needs to be amortized over a large production run. Smaller builders might have trouble emulating this. And I'm afraid that buyers of more cruisy boats will always opt for a the cosmetics of a fully lined boat.

What do y'all think of this? Are there disadvantages I'm overlooking?
12-11-2009 02:33 AM
ArgleBargle jrd22, i think i would kind of agree with you if there werent so many aftemarket add-ons that depreciate quickly and really dont add much in terms of resale value. would also take away some of the fun, I suppose.

somewhere i guess there has to be some feedback or publicity or actual critical reviews that would influence people buying new boats mentioning accessibility to all parts of the inside of the hull as a real issue, make or break, for buying a new boat.

i've never bought a new boat, but i've bought two used sailboats and my family has bought a sailboat and a couple of small power boats and they've all had this issue to a greater or lesser degree.

of course, i could be over-reacting as I usually do - i'm late for my anger management class.
12-10-2009 10:23 PM
jrd22 Interesting thread. In thinking about it I've come to the conclusion that the best way to maximize sailing time vs. maintenance time would be to do what a lot of people do with their cars. Buy a new one every few years. If you bought a new sailboat and used it for 4-5 years you would have minimal maintenance requirements and hopefully no major problems to deal with. Sell it or trade it in on another new one. Not the cheapest way to go if you are strictly looking at dollars, but if you value your time at boatyard rates, and do not enjoy doing maintenance it might not be that much different. You could pick models that are low maintenance by design with the features that you feel are important. Based on the OP's criteria, this might make sense.
12-10-2009 10:22 PM
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
The problem with 10 or 12 bolted in liner modules is that the liner in many boats is very structural. Almost all the internal stiffening is done with the liner and a few bulkheads.
I'm not suggesting that it would be wise to chop out the liner in an existing production boat.
It seems plausible however that a boat could be designed maybe for a little more that would make it easy to unbolt the interior.

How much would it cost to mold in a couple extra stringers, one or two thousand. The boat could ship with different finish levels. If the OP is correct and you had a Hunter with everything sealed up and a New Design where everything was accessible would it sell for a little more?

I'm pretty sure it could be designed.

My yard contact tells me they spend quite a bit of time fighting with access. At first they try to finagle access some how, then they give up and have to cut an access hole. Then carpentry has to fabricate a cover and finish it. Bad access to something as simple as a cabin mounted winch can easily cost a couple hundred extra.
12-10-2009 07:37 PM
mitiempo The problem with 10 or 12 bolted in liner modules is that the liner in many boats is very structural. Almost all the internal stiffening is done with the liner and a few bulkheads.
12-10-2009 07:34 PM
mitiempo David
I hear that a Catalina galley can be removed with a few screws.
12-10-2009 07:23 PM
Originally Posted by tager View Post
You are assuming that maintenance is a chore. If people don't like maintenance, why do wood boats exist?
Actually, this is a complete myth. Wooden boats don't require ANY maintenance. They survive completely on love.
12-10-2009 05:59 PM
tager You are assuming that maintenance is a chore. If people don't like maintenance, why do wood boats exist?
12-10-2009 05:54 PM
davidpm Actually the OP may be on to something. Most of our comments have been about reducing systems to reduce maintenance. While this will work in theory, many of us don't want to give up the convenience these systems offer.
Besides the sheer volume of things that need checking on, 10 water systems for example, another big gripe is how hard it is to get access to many things that need maintenance.
It was a cost saving inspiration to invent the hull liner. It makes building a boat much cheaper. It also makes maintaining it much harder.

What if some enterprising designer took the hull liner concept and took it one step further. Instead of a single liner what if the interior was composed of 10 modules each one of them that could be removed with a electric wrench in 5 minutes. In less than an hour someone could completely gut the interior of their whole boat. Everything would be accessible.
So while we didn't' give up any toys we made it easy to get to and inspect them all.

I have never had an idea regarding boats the hasn't already been done. So which manufacturers did this?
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