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May God Bless You
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
im looking at a boat that is on the hard and has a bilge full of water. Now that its winter the water has turned to ice. How much damage could this do the the fibreglass of the hull?
 

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im looking at a boat that is on the hard and has a bilge full of water. Now that its winter the water has turned to ice. How much damage could this do the the fibreglass of the hull?
So how did the bilge fill up with water...some kind of a fluke accident or just poor housekeeping by the owner? If the latter, what else could be wrong with the boat?
 

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Serious threat of hull deformation from the weight -- [Fudd] be v-e-w-w-w-y-y-y careful. [/Fudd]
 

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Bill SV Rangatira
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So how did the bilge fill up with water...some kind of a fluke accident or just poor housekeeping by the owner? If the latter, what else could be wrong with the boat?
the good thing is the water stayed there long enough to freeze so no hull leaks
but you chould check for locations of ingress
if you have access to a moisture meter you should check the core on deck and look for water marks at the chainplates
and anywhere else rain leakage is not a deal braker as long as you don't have soft decks
the other issue is hardware not bedded properly

mainesail has a real good tutorial on bedding deck hardware
Paging Mainsail for link?
 

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if you have access to a moisture meter you should check the core on deck and look for water marks at the chain plates
and anywhere else rain leakage is not a deal breaker as long as you don't have soft decks
When it warms up. A moisture meter is not accurate in freezing weather.
 

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Old soul
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It depends on many factors. Impact could range from none at all to quite serious. It depends on the shape of the bilge, the speed at which the water froze, the build quality of the boat, and probably a few other factors I'm not thinking of.

I've had this happen to me. Never had any damage. In my case the bilge was big and wide, and freeze happened slowly. Ice damages by expanding while it freezes, so as long as the water has an easy dimension to expand into the odds of damage is small(er). I now always dump a bunch of antifreeze (plumbers) into the bilge as part of my winterizing process.

I would want to get the water out. Melt it with heat if you can. Salt or antifreeze would help as well. And I would examine the bilge, keel, and hull very closely in the Spring. As others have said, I would want to know how the water got into the bilge. Could be a sign of serious problems with deck, thru hulls, or hull in general.
 

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May God Bless You
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So how did the bilge fill up with water...some kind of a fluke accident or just poor housekeeping by the owner? If the latter, what else could be wrong with the boat?
The boat has been on the hard now for 3 years. The owner has not paid his yard bills. The yard manager says that he owes the same amount that he is asking for the boat. The boat is Canadian and its just across the line in NY. It seems that the owner cannot cross the border to get to the boat. The hole in the deck for the mast must have let the water in. The bilge is full of motor oil floating on top of the ice/water mix. The head door is stuck (from ice lifting the cabin sole?) Im sure that the cabin sole structural has been damaged, and the motor is full of water, as the motor is in the bilge. I know this much, but i am wondering what damage might have been done to the bilge and keel, as the after part of the keel is hollow and deep.

HUGHES 38-3 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

thanks
jon
 

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Master Mariner
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Even were you to get this boat for free, I'd think this one could become the proverbial hole in the water in which to pour money. I would not go near this boat, for any price.
 

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I bought a boat which had a significant amount of ice water which caused a few small issues but nothing major. As MikeO said with a larger open bilge as water freezes it has room to expand. In you case if the motor is under water I would have second thoughts.
 

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Water in the bilge is probably the least of your problems; dump in rock salt and pump it out.

The motor may be trash due to freeze/thaw damage or may have been trash and leaking oil before the boat was abandoned at the yard. You also may need to replace all the interior wood/plywood components including bulkheads.

Good project if you have a lot of free time, and cash you don't mind throwing away.

Does the yard hold the title or is it still held by the original owner. Sort out the title any liens before even thinking about taking this on.

A dock neighbor of mine took on a project like this, the yard held the title and it was cheaper for the yard to give the boat away rather than pay for a dumpster. He did a beautiful restoration, but it took a lot of time.
 

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I've seen what's been said here already. Some boats that have been neglected with ice in the bilge didn't have any problems. A friends Bayfield 32C when he got it was a repo and the bilge was full and frozen. We simply thawed and pumped it out. No issues, stress cracks, deformation ect.

I've seen another in a local yard that was full above the floor boards and froze solid. Once getting down off the boat there was a very clear crack in the fiberglass of the hull right down the center... didn't look good for that boat. It's cases like these that make me want to go around to the yard queen boats with a drill and poke some water letter outter holes. It'd be doing many owners and future owners a very big favor. However, that'd be a pretty big step to take without an owners permission.
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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Ice can split a fiberglass hull open like a ripe melon. Depends on how much ice, how cold, hull strength, and whether the ice can "push up" into the cabin rather than forcing out against the hull. Coupla millimeters of ice in a hairline crack eventually can level a mountain, so the answer is "it depends".

Ignoring any questions of damage, bear in mind that in NY boats are titled property. If that boat is Canadian titled, the yard owner would need to file a "warehouseman's lien" against the owner, citing the unpaid storage fees against the auction value of the boat, and apply for NYS title. Which might be a mountain of paperwork for a Canadian boat.

If he hasn't ALREADY filed for title and obtained it? You may never be able to. Tell him to call you back after he has title to the boat. If he doesn't want to spend $25 putting antifreeze in the bilge to preserve the boat? That tells you what he thinks the boat is really worth.

In the immortal words of Monty Python, "Run away! Run away!"
 

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Yes, ice can do a lot of damage.



I agree with the above - there are many boats to choose from, why pick one with issues of both damage and possibly ownership.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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im looking at a boat that is on the hard and has a bilge full of water. Now that its winter the water has turned to ice. How much damage could this do the the fibreglass of the hull?
and
The boat has been on the hard now for 3 years. The owner has not paid his yard bills. The yard manager says that he owes the same amount that he is asking for the boat. The boat is Canadian and its just across the line in NY. It seems that the owner cannot cross the border to get to the boat. The hole in the deck for the mast must have let the water in. The bilge is full of motor oil floating on top of the ice/water mix. The head door is stuck (from ice lifting the cabin sole?) Im sure that the cabin sole structural has been damaged, and the motor is full of water, as the motor is in the bilge. I know this much, but i am wondering what damage might have been done to the bilge and keel, as the after part of the keel is hollow and deep.
..lead me to believe that this would make a nice reef, or a planter, or spare parts collection for somebody with a Hughes 38-3.
 
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