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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
advice on buying a boat that needs work

Hello forum!
This is a long story and I'm not sure where to start because I'm new to this forum and to sailing. So I'll go in chronological order: Went sailing with a friend, anchored in Charleston near a run down looking 1977 33' Morgan Out Island. Found out that the owner wanted to get rid of it, for $500. My buddy and I went over to take a look at it, it's a foot deep in h2o. My friend, who has been a sailor for 20 years and a live aboard for 15+ years said, "knowing what I know now, if i was in your position, I would seriously buying this boat." My position is this: I'm 22 years old, about to finish college in a year, and want to live aboard after I graduate. After some investigating, the story on this boat is that it was a older guys boat, he died and his wife didn't want it. It's been sitting in the harbor at anchor ever since (about a year).
So basically I want a second (third, fourth, fifth) opinion about this whole situation. $500 seems to be a borderline giveaway although the boat needs a lot of attention. My hombre says it's likely the water on the interior is simply getting in from around the prop shaft since it likely hasn't been flaxed in so long, eventually the batteries died and the bilge pump went offline. He says all the exterior parts important for sailing seem to be okay, minus the sails.
The initial goal is obviously pump out the water and installing a working bilge/battery. Then it will need a lot of trashing out of basically everything that's not built in and airing out. Question: what should I expect at that point? Lots of rot? I've read that salt water and/or too much water is not conducive to rot. Would pressure washing the interior with bleach be the next step (as another friend suggested)?
My initial goal is to get it in a liveable condition such that I can stay on it (at anchor) while continuing repairs and then sail-able condition down the road.
Does this seem doable/ a good idea? Any comments or advice are welcomed.
 

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The short answer is that you will spend way more money and time than it will ever be worth. You may not be able to live on it for years. And you can find a 33 OI in liveable condition for around 10,000 or so. Worth it? NO!
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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This boat, in decent shape, and WITH a suit of sails is worth $15K-$20K.

1970 morgan (Sail) Boats For Sale

A suit of sails will run you $2-$5K

The interior cushions could run you $3K-$6K

Are the cabinets sound?

How does the rigging (running and standing) look?

How about the engine?

You make no mention of any equipment (GPS/VHF/etc.)

What do YOU plan to do with her - Sail, or use as a floating condo?

You already know that it floats (but not for long).

In your position, I would probably offer to take it away for free, and see what happens. Be prepared though, you may end up PAYING for disposal.
 
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
eherlihy,
I was using 20-25k as my baseline prices,
what is the general consensus on used sails? (my friend recommended, he said $200-300 for a used mainsail)
interior cushions: never would've guessed that much, good thing i asked.
cabinets seems to be okay... besides being partially under h2o, I stood on them to avoid the water,
standing rigging is good according to my hombre, looked to be of similar condition as his boat,
running rigging may be okay, did not notice,
engine is probably shot (right?)
I didn't notice and equipment, the compass is missing so probably everything else is too....
I want floating condo in the short run, and a boat to learn on longer term.
How much does disposal usually run, you know, just in case it comes to that.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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If the compass was removed by the previous (late) owner, and it is in pristine condition in storage - that is a very good sign. If the compass is simply missing, that is a very bad sign. Ask the surviving spouse.

How big is your bank account? Don't tell me, but realize that a boat like this will surely make it smaller.

I have given you my assessment; I say it is worth ~$10K less, and the equipment that you need will likely cost 5X more than your amigo says... It's your money.

If the engine is sitting in water, it may, or may not, be toast. If the water is touching the oil pan, it should not be a deal killer. If the water is covering the starter, I would not give this boat a second look, and walk away.
 

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Forgive me, I couldn't resist; :)

Bacon Sails in MD has 4 used Main sails for this boat. Prices range from $425 to $1500

The $425 one;
MAIN 7.0 oz DACRON BY TRITON SAILS. GROMMETS ON COVERED ROPE LUFF. HARDWARE REMOVED. 1/2" ROUND NYLON SLUGS WEBBED TO GROMMETS ON COVERED ROPE FOOT. LEECH/FOOT LINES. CUNNINGHAM CRINGLE. REEFS UP 5' 6" & 10'. PEEL OFF NUMBERS, DRAFT STRIPES AND "PDQ 36" INSIGNIA. DUTCHMAN SYSTEM INSTALLED. TAKES FOUR FULL BATTENS - BATTENS & HARDWARE NOT INCLUDED. SEVERAL PEEL OFF PATCHES UP TO 2" DIAMETER. FEW SEWN ON PATCHES UP TO 3" x 35". MODERATE STAIN/SOIL. GOOD. BLUE BAG. 38 lbs.
The $1500 one;
MAIN 7.9 oz DACRON BY NORTH. 3/4" FLAT NYLON SLIDES WEBBED ON COVERED ROPE LUFF. LOOSE FOOTED. LEECH/FOOT LINES. CUNNINGHAM CRINGLE. REEFS UP 5' 10" & 13' 3". PEEL OFF NUMBERS, DRAFT STRIPES & "TARTAN 31" INSIGNIA. TAKES TWO FULL & TWO STANDARD BATTENS - NOT INCLUDED. MINOR STORAGE STAIN/SOIL. NEW/USED
They also have 47 Jibs for this boat. Prices range from $95 to $1995

The $95 jib is described;
CATALINA 30 TRI-RADIAL GENOA, 5 OZ. SOFT MYLAR, BY NORTH. 7/32" LUFF TAPE FOR SLOTTED STAY. LEACH AND FOOT LINES. TELLTALE WINDOW. PEEL-OFF DRAFT STRIPES AND NUMBERS. SPREADER REINFORCEMENT PATCH. LEACH TABLING NEEDS REPLACING. HEAVY RAIL MARKS. SOILED. STAINED. IN BLUE BAG. EXCEPT FOR LEACH, FAIR. AS IS.
The $1995 one is described as follows;
MYLAR/KEVLAR 4.3 oz JIB BY MAINE SAILING. 3/16" LUFF TAPE FOR SLOT. LEECH AND FOOT LINES. 3 VERTICAL BATTENS - NOT INCLUDED. TELLTALE WINDOW, DRAFT STRIPES. NO BAG. NEW/UNUSED. ASKING..
To net it out, a suit of used sails could cost you anywhere from $550 to $3500
 

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Re: advice on buying a boat that needs work

Hello knowledgeable forum!
This is a long story and I'm not sure where to start because I'm new to this forum and to sailing........... it's a foot deep in h2o. My friend, who has been a sailor for 20 years and a live aboard for 15+ years said, "knowing what I know now, if i was in your position, I would seriously buying this boat."................
.
Blunt, Do Not get this boat, go find a boat that is in liveable and ready to sail condition, i think your your Friend is letting you down, IMNSHO, walk away get a boat that just need to be cleaned and sailed, you will have so much more fun, and spend much less, you said your new to sailing and this forum, start reading, then keep on reading, you will learn a lot and in the end you too will see this is not the boat you need.
 

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I would pass on it,been there done that,right now in todays market you can buy a pretty nice boat for about half what you will end up spending on this one not counting a lot of your own blood, sweat and tears,even a nice boat that has been mantained constantly needs work,money and attention,by the time you completely go thru the entire boat it will be time to start over,although boat values are taking a beating right now,parts ,supplies and boat yards get more expencive daily
 

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Its called a survey and a spreadsheet. The survey will identify the condition of what's there and you build a spreadsheet for what it wil cost you for repairs. Don't forget to budget your hours of labor, which will be a lot more than you can imagine at this point. Then ask yourself do I want to spend that much on this boat.
You probably should assume that the boat has had no maintenance for more than a year and that the water intrusion is from multiple locations, not just the packing gland. Fixing rot can be a very expensive and time consuming project.
Good luck,
John
 

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buying a boat like this is an entirely irresponsible stupid decision rife with peril with little chance of success.
If i was 22, i'd be all over this wreck.
Hell, if i was closer i would be all over this wreck now.
I'd haggle the price down to 4 bills just for propriety's sake, point and click my way through purchasing a full complement of Don Casey's books on Amazon, pump out the water while I wait for the books to show up, and start poking and prodding the dark and murky parts and making my punch list.
Chances are it is not as good as you think it is, which is twice as good as it has any right to be, so it will still be three times as much work and four times as much money as you ever dreamed it would cost...
but it sure beats the hell out of living in an apartment, and it won't depreciate any faster than the anonymous toyota corolla you will be driving ten years from now on your way to your job in the cube farm waiting out the next 30 years until retirement and calculating your 401(k) daily while working on excuses to exlain what the hell went wrong with your life, which is exactly what will happen if you start walking away from hopeless causes and unrequited fantasy at 22.
I'm not saying these other guys are wrong, but who the hell wants to tell their grandkids stories that start, "Y'know, I almost bought a big old wreck of a boat for $500 one time,'
"Wow! What happened then, grampa?"
"I chickened out and played it safe."
"Oh. I'm gonna go talk to my other grampa now- he's gonna show me how to open a beer bottle with my teeth!"
 

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DrSeawell,

Take two hundred dollars, buy a lawn tractor and pull your " Hombre"'s head out of his ass.
Any vessel that's been partially submerged is a losing proposition since all the mechanical, plumbing and electrical will need replacement or repair. The shaft log leak may or not be the cause but any engine that's been submerged can be used as a mooring anchor.
 

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"What happened then Grampa?"
Well, I spent the next 4 years trying to make this pile of dung into a boat, but i went broke and then never did get to go sailing because i spent the next 2 years getting sinus surgery to remove the infections caused by the mold and mildew i didn't protect myself from.
"Oh, I'm gonna go talk to my other Grampa, you know, the one who bought the same boat for 12,000 and has been sailing ever since!"
 
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