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66 ft Bruce Roberts hull to gut and this a good deal?

5968 Views 29 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  capoeirista
Hi There -

My husband and I have run across what looks like a nice deal for a solid hull, and we're all kinds of excited to be purchasing it. We're wondering whether our excitement is short circuiting other parts of our collective brain.

Because this is my first post, the forum software stopped me from submitting a link. If you go to, it's item number 200394919354.

The seller is knowledgeable and willing to help us get it to Chesapeake bay to a haul out where we can gut it and work on renovation over the next year.

What would be a reasonable price to pay for such a hull? I've worked in boatyards and done a lot of construction, so I'm not afraid of the renovation or work. We have a flexible schedule so we can devote a lot of time to it over the next couple of years.

The current plan is to get it to a point where we can liveaboard, then add the sails in a year or so.

We were going to buy a house to renovate, but this looks like it will ultimately be more wonderful, and we've been talking about doing it for a few years now.

Are we nuts? Is it even reasonable to think about doing this?

The second question, besides our questionable sanity, has to do with building the interior so that we can charter it later on. How do I find out the regulations for that? I used to work on a schooner, and the captain told me that she had been built for charter, which made it more expensive - if he sold it, it would go for something like $160k whereas a similar boat without the charter building would run around $80k. Since we're gutting it, I think it would be wise to look into doing that for this size boat.

What other due diligence will I need to do?
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Boat is sold with an Arkansas Bill of Sale only. Arkansas is my home state and it is a no-title state which registers boats only with a bill of sale and not with a title. The boat is currently registered in Arkansas as a 2009 "special construction vessel" (owner built) since I was planning to re-build it as a newly remodeled vessel in an 1990s hull. As a home built Bruce Roberts design vessel you will need to apply for a title in your home state as an owner built vessel or use the bill of sale to obtain a new title if you live in a state that requires titles. This is the standard process for all of the owner built Bruce Roberts boats. In your own state you will probably have the option of registering it as a newly constructed boat or one the same age as the hull, depending on your preference.

NO NO thats not how it works

Is it from Nigera :)
Hi Denise, thanks for asking. We're in Boston right now but may head down to Ft Lauderdale for the winter. We spend a lot of time wherever our clients are. If we can keep our clientele on the East Coast, we might be able to liveaboard and move from project to project. With that being said, we love the West coast too and have clients there as well. (I'd especially love to sail around San Francisco.) Each project takes the better part of a year for the type of site we build. (They're social networks and prototype web applications.)

I'm guessing also from the following post that the no-title state thing that the seller was saying is in error? How does it work then? (He said that CT, PA, WI and Arkansas were all no-title states where the ownership was transferred with a bill of sale.)

Once again, I'm grateful I found you guys.

Thanks again,

I dont know What those engines are, but it looks like TOAST, and to replace them could run you Over $12,000 Each, and thats Not getting Those out or the New ones in... it looks like it would make a nice Burning man sorta thingy :-( sorry..
"Hurricane" boats

I live in East Texas. Between here and the coast and east to Florida there are plenty left over from Rita and Ike and Katrina. Some of them are nice boats. Having said that ALL of them require skill sets that you either have or don't. I know of a few that were reclaimed by people who knew what they are doing and they are fine. BUT the people who bought and restored the boats have little or no need to pay other people for repairs. If you can do fiberglass work, engine work, weld, sew chshions, paint, and are an above average rigger then you couyld probably find a good hull (and yes it may have holes in it) and a year or so later have a completed boat that costs a tenth of what it was worth before the hurricane. However, if you have to hire out any of the work then that is going to drastically change the value of the boat to you. If you pay $1000 for a nice 40 foot hull but can't do any of the work youcould probably find a good boat with few or no problems sitting in a slip somethere for less money than paying someone else to restore one. And keep in mind that the costs of renovation go up exponentially according to the size of the boat. A couple of thousand dollars on a 23 footer is not bad; $300K on a 65 footer would bankrupt most folks.
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Thanks for the input. These are wise words indeed and I appreciate that you took the time to reply.

We can pretty much cover everything, including electrical, but excluding diesel. I grew up in a fiberglass factory, my father-in-law and I can do woodwork, I've run electrical on a very large boat (motor) and houses. What I think would be the bee's knees would be to find something that has woodwork that would cause a lot of pain for others to do. We can do exquisite woodwork and that would probably wind up being our trademark. We also have some unfair advantages like access to some great rapid prototyping machines to do inlays.

This thread has been very helpful for us to not only narrowly escape a nasty situation, but also help us focus on where our strengths are. We only need one boat to start with. Somewhere there's a perfect one that has badly degraded woodwork, electrical and fiberglass that needs some love.

Thank you all so much!

Take your time, and watch for the Perfect one for you.
Stay in touch here and post Lots of pics,, we like Pics :D
they take up lots of space, so we dont have to Read so much :p

You may find reading "Occupation Circumnavigator" by Lars Hassler a useful resource.

I know you said you were not interested in chartering but building and selling. Lars had a brand new boat built and kept track of his costs while sailing it for 10 years.
Very interesting read. Give you an idea of the cost of things.
Lee, any time you want to check title, sale, or registration laws, look for the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) on the web. If they're not in charge of boats in that state--they'll have a reference to the right department. There's nothing like getting the hard facts from the people who enforce them, to clear things up in a hurry.

And, by the way, NJ has become apparerntly the first state in the US to require proof of proficiency from ANY boater coming into state waters. You need either a NJ boater's card, or one from your own home state. No more exemptions for folks born before a certain date, or just passing through.
It took me five years and 20,000 hours to completely rebuild a 19 foot wooden sloop. I made many new friends who helped me and sailed this little jewel for 17 years. When it was time for another major rebuild, I gave it away to a younger sailor who had stars in his eyes like I did. If you love a particular boat enough, the huge investment of money and time may be worth it. It was for me because I used the heck out of it, it looked like a goldplater from the past and sailed like a witch.
You've probably all seen this, but I just found it and cannot stop reading it. It's at arachnoid dot com slash sailbook (I still can't post a link.)

It's an ebook called *Confessions of a Long-Distance Sailor*, and it's an account of a software developer going around the world on his boat - like we hope to be. I'm completely caught up in it. He goes into great detail about what his life's like, what breaks, what's great, anchorage tales - all kinds of things. Have any of you read it? If so what do you think of it?

On Amazon, there are two *Occupation Navigator* books listed by Lars Hassler. One is *Occupation Navigator: Sailing Around the World* - out of print but available used, and the other is *Occupation Navigator: How to Finance a Lifestyle. 10 Years on the Seven Seas with S/Y Jennifer - which is out of print and unavailable. I've ordered the available one, and will keep an eye out for the other. The covers are different, but the blurbs sound similar enough that they may be different editions of the same book.

I eagerly await its arrival.

I'm certainly not above chartering. I enjoyed working on the charter schooner a *LOT* - I think it was my favorite job ever. Don't want to sound like I'm ruling anything out completely.

@hellosailor - Thanks for the info! I appreciate it. Is this where I'll find out info on charter regulations for rebuilding boats?

@tubatooter1940 - Do you have any pics? I'd love to see them and I heard somewhere that they're much liked by the sailnet denizens! Is it really true that the sound of waves slapping against the hull is very different than the sound of fiberglass or metal? I bet she was gorgeous!

Thank you all for your replies here. I'm floored by the wealth of knowledge you are willing to share and how valuable it is!
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