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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took the jump and bought a Nassua 34 today. built in taiwan in 85. Lots of teak, including decks. I was able to contct one owner who had nothing but praise for the boat - no blisters! The boat I bought, contingent on a survey, is loaded. robertson below deck auto pilot, 5 self tailing winches, refrig, good sails, bimini, dodger, windlass, chartplotter, Martek feathering 3 blade, Yanmar 27 horse, good sails and the list goes on and on. Price was 35K + my ''73 Irwin 32. What do you think? An OK deal? Bring it on.
 

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Depending on the condition of your Irwin 32 and the condition of the Nassau 34 that sounds like that could be an extremely high price for a 20 year old Taiwan boat. You can expect to find some ‘issues’ with any boat this age. As a very broad generality, unless very well maintained and updated by a previous owner, you might expect to need to address some combination of the following items:

· Sails, chainplates, mast step and associated suporting structure, standing and running rigging that are close to being beyond their useful lifespan,
· an engine that is close to needing a rebuild or replacement,
· worn out or out of date deck, galley, and head hardware,
· worn out upholstery,
· Teak decks at the end of their useful lifespan and some degree of structural sub-deck rot,
· Out of date safety gear,
· electronics that are non operational, or in need of updating,
· electrical and plumbing systems that need repairs, or upgrades to modern standards or replacement.
· Thru hulls and seacocks in need of replacement,
· Blister, fatigue, rudder, rotten bulkheads, failed tabbing, hull deck joint or deck coring problems
· Delamination of the hull from the ballast for a glassed in keel.
· And perhaps a whole range of aesthetic issues.

If the prior owner did the majority of that work or your Irwin 32 was a wreck, then the price is at the upper end of reasonable but, if not, that sounds high price for a boat of that age and lineage.

Respectfully,
Jeff
 

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I''m confused... I did a quick BUCnet price search, and it shows the price range of a ''85 Nassau 34 between $38k - $43k and the price range of a ''73 Irwin 32 between $16k - $19k. Now BUC does not know everything, but it represents the numbers that these boats have sold for recently. I would think that for your Irwin 32 at a low of $16k plus $35k cash, you should be able to get a boat worth about $51k. That puts you in the price range of a nice 34 Saber, a boat that is WAAAYYY better built and designed than the Nassau.

Did I miss something, or did you find the bilge lined with gold nuggets? It sounds to me like you have run into a crafty broker who is looking to make a killing at both ends of the deal. To get all the money for the Nassau he has on his lot, and then later, make a big profit on selling your boat.

Find out what: 1) what is he selling you the Nassau for. The actual number, not the net plus trade in. 2) What is he actually giving you in cash dollars for your boat, again not just some "net" figure. 3) Does he also offer "Convenient Financing" at his brokerage? How competitive are his rates compared to outside lenders? Captive finance programs usually have a substantial kickback to the broker. 4) Did your broker recommend the surveyor? 5) How long has this brokerage had the Nassau in their yard.

Finally, did you go into this deal looking for the Nassau specifically, after doing your due diligence and finding that the Nassau was the boat for you? Or is the Nassau something that the broker steered you towards after finding out a little about the budget and size you were looking for?

As Jeff mentioned, the deal seems a little too staked in someone elses favor. Not knowing the particular boat, this is all just conjecture on my part. But something feels like a foul wind here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jeff,

I have eyes and I am able to discern things like worn out decks, rotten bulkheads, failed tabbings, worn out rigging. And you may be surprised that I even know something about electronics and was even smart enough to turn them on and test them. I also know howe to recognize sails that are in good shape (this boat has a fully battened brand new main on cars)

As for mast step etc, what do you think a surveyor is for?

About the only valid comment you make is the interior cushions, which, though certainly not trashed, are a candidate for replacement in a two or three years.

It was the high quality of electronics and canvas and sails that were an attractive feature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Silmaril,

I think you are off the mark in saying the Sabre is way better built. I am familiar with those very fine boats, but i think quality here is comprable.

What do you know about the Nassau?

I am surprised at that price for an Irwin. In my area, I have seen better built boats from that era (like C&C, Ericson and Endeavor) asking around 22K or less. the boats around my area are fresh water, including the one I just bought, and they do stay in better shape because of that.

The surveyor I used is one I have used before. He is well known in my area and has an excellent reputation. He usually is pretty critical, but was very favorable to this boat, its construction, and condition (including those teak decks).

BUC can be very misleading. Since only about 15 of these boats were built, the sale of one can make a big difference in the BUC rating.

Judging from boats in my area, and having looked for quite sometime, I obviously felt this price was fair or I would not have agreed to it.

I guess you experts see things differently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Similaril

My BUC research brought somewhat different results. The Nassua''s price range was 38,600 to 42,900. BUC adds 10-15% for a boat above standards, which, as the survey would indicate, is applicable. That brings the price from a low of 42,400 to a high of about 49,300, putting the boat pretty much in the price range I payed. The broker is going to split the sales tax with me so I actually do fall into the range.
Considering a brand new full battened main, complete canvas in very good shape, good, high quality electronics, I think the price is OK.

I guess my 1st post "bring it on" made it sound like I thought I made the deal of the century, which I wrote after some celebration last night. A little testy I agree. I did not get a super deal. I think I got a fair deal.

Going back to the Irwin, 15K on a trade in is OK when you look at the entire picture. To sell the boat myself could easily take a year, meaning money for storage, adds, etc. Broker it and I pay 10% fee for that. Say I sell it after a year at 17K through the broker. Add in his 1700 and my 1200 yard bill (having it hauled, winterized, and stored) and I am not even going to get walk away with the 15k.

From this perspective it looks like a fair deal and I don''t have to hassel with owning two boats at once. Pulling the Irwin up to the dock beside the Nassau - transferring my gear - and sailing away is worth something. The Nassau has been comissioned for the season and is sitting in the water and has already had a shake down cruise
 

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When will you guys learn that when your opinion is asked it better line up with the expectations of the original post.Irwin32 if you already have it figured out why post to begin with.There is nothing anyone one said that I find unreasonable,they are giving you a responce that you asked for and they are some of the more knowledgeable members here.If you do not agree with them just move on without challenging their opinion.
 

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Irwin32

My apologies regarding the build comment on the Nassau. I had seen one a number of years ago, and while the woodwork was pretty, I was not impressed with the glass work on the bulkheads and stringers.

And as I said in my post, the prices in BUC are not perfect. As you said, with a low volume boat like the Nassau, one sale of a boat can make a big swing in the prices listed in BUC. Just sounded like a big ? as far as the money. No offense intended.

One of the biggest concerns I would have is the teak deck. The potential for major issues down the line is very real. Maintenance is a chore, I know, I was a BN on two large Swans with teak and the twice yearly cleaning and oiling was a major pain, and once treated, they stayed slick as a sheet of ice for about one month. The teak on modern fiberglass yachts was added for asthetic reasons alone. It was an attempt to recapture the look of a woodden boat. The method of attachement was generally to drill, oh say a couple of thousand holes in a perfectly good deck, spread sealant, and screw ''em down. Now over the years, the sealant would dry and shrink/crack under the wood. With the number of holes in the deck, if even only 1% went bad, and I would say that after 20+ years, you are looking at maybe 5%, that would leave you with something like 10 to 50 potential leaks that there is no way to repair. Water, wood under deck, viola! a mess!!!!

I have never heard many shining things about the build quality of the Taiwan boats. Horror stories of equipment failures from good looking knock off parts abound.

Finally, there is the resale value. As there were so few made, there must have been some reason for the lack of sales when new. It is rare when a really great boat only sells a few copies. When it comes to the time that you wish to sell, how will the market respond to a boat that so few have been made. The Sabre 34 was made in the hundreds, and has a known reputation for good quality. I understand your point as to your feel regarding the build quality of the Nassau. For an analogy, even a really nice Edsel sells for much less than a comperable BelAire. They were both built well for their day, and the Edsel even touted some superior features, but there is just no market for them. Nobody wants them.

The Nassau is a VERY pretty boat when kept up. It''s just my concern that to take a boat that is a "Knock-off" of a much more expensive boat (Hans Christian) and sell it for roughly half when new, there is more to it than "Cheap Taiwanese Labor" involved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
dman

I admit to being a little aggressive with my original post and for this I apologize. I did indeed ask for a tough response and I got it. Challenging the opinion of the so called "more knowledgeable members" is part of the fun of debate. I do not mean disrespect to Sim or Jeff - they indeed know their stuff. But they are not the ultimate sailing gods whose opinion must be accepted or one should move to a new forum. They can be wrong - they can be biased (like boat design is not a biased issue).

Sorry dman. I am not the kind of guy who just falls in line and is afraid to challenge "accepted thinking"

To me, this is what makes a forum worth coming back to.
 

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Irwin 32:

Maybe I am mistaken but your original post sounded like you were looking for opinions on your purchase rather than an unqualified congratulations on your purchase. I am really baffeled by the vociferous nature of your replies. Not having seen the boat I was careful to preceed my comments with the qualiication with this statement:

"As a very broad generality, unless very well maintained and updated by a previous owner, you might expect to need to address some combination of the following items:"

Given this qualifier and the qualifiers at the end of my post, I would say that all of the items on my list are valid, even if they each item does not apply specifically to the boat in question. In other words I did not say that the list of conditions potentially present on a 20 year old boat definitely existed on your specific boat.

My comments were not intended to accuse you of being undiscerning as much as it was talking about some of the things that would normally be considered in evaluating the purchase price of a boat of that age and linage. Your comments that you had evaluated the condition of the new mainsail and the electronics were entirely consistent with my comments rather than at odds with them, so I am baffled by your tone which seemed to reflect hurt feelings thatI might suggest that these items should be considered.

That said I am specifically concerned with your comments:

"I have eyes and I am able to discern things like worn out decks, rotten bulkheads, failed tabbings, worn out rigging."

And:

"As for mast step etc, what do you think a surveyor is for?"

With regards to the items on the first list of items, deck problems are not easily detected, even by a knowledgable surveyor. Teak decks as installed on most Taiwanese boats are fastened with thousands of fastenings that penetrate the plywood decks below. The domestic plywoods used in most Asian built boats was a fairly rot and delamination prone material. Freeze/thaw in cold-freshwater climates and UV degradation in tropical areas are hard on the sealants used to protect the deck eventually allowingw water to reach these fastenings. Because teak decks often fail from below, having ''eyes'' tells you little about the remaining lifespan of the deck. The typical method of evaluating the condition of a teak deck is by sounding them out like you would a fiberglass deck only with less reliable results. In other words even if the decks look good and sound out reasonably well the normal lifespan before a major rebuild is something on the order of 25 or so year.

The way most high quality boats are built today, the areas where bulkheads usually begin to rot, and tabbing usually begins to fail, is concealed by finished materials such as cabinetry, decks and trim. Since few surveyors will do destructive testing, and so are unwilling to disassemble a boat enough to see these areas even with good eyes these items are often hard if not impossible to detect.

Standing rigging at or near the ends of its useful (and I emphasize useful) lifespan is not something that can necessarily be visually inspected. Certainly the rigging can be examined for failed terminals and for broken strands, which are the more obvious teletale signs of the end of the lifespan for standing rigging. But standing rigging often fails from fatigue. While anecdotally individual examples of standing rigging may have reportedly survived in use for 30-40 years, if you are going to count on the reliability of your standing rigging through a wide range the wind conditions, then the generally accepted recommendation is to replace standing rigging after 20 or less years of use, no matter how good the rigging looks. This is especially true of the domestically grown varieties of stainless steel rigging typically used on Asian boats.

Mast steps on many Asian boats contain portions of the support system that consist of glassed in wooden components. Over time these elements will often deteriorate. In some cases the failure mode is a slow crushing, which a good surveryor should be able to detect. But in other cases, such as a Tayana that an owner asked me about a few years back, the owner reported that the ''rig suddenly went slack'' and when investigated the glass covering on the mast step support had given way and the wooden block below that covering was found to be completely rotted out.

You did not talk about the condition of the potentially 20 year old Yanmar and the level of dilligence in its maintenance and use.


My overall point here and in my original post is that it is not relevant whether a bad mast step or any other specific problem with any of these so-called "useful lifespan" items is detected by the surveyor. These items all have a fixed life before attention is necessary. Even if these items appear perfect, after twenty years of normal use, they are suspect and as such they affect the fair market value of the boat. Not having seen the boat, or having heard about its history, use and sailing venue, it is hard to say how by how much.

In any event, my post was not intended to impune your discernment, or the quality of your surveyor. Your original post sounded like you had a question about how good a deal you had gotten on the Nassau and my post was solely intended to provide some information that might assist in allowing you to answer that question for yourself. I appologize if my reply was taken as a personal attack. It was not meant in that manner.

Respectfully,

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Jeff,

First, after an evening of celebration, my initial post was indeed a bit aggressive for which I apologize, as it set the tone for this thread (it has been fun, though. A little fireworks keeps a forum alive).

I did find your response to be a bit insulting as it insinuated I did not know enough to check the obvious - such as working electronics, rotted chain plates, etc. I have been around boats a long time and I can discern quality. This boat is not a Valiant, but it is a well built boat. I am not claiming the depth of knowledge you have, but I am no beginner.

As a salt water sailor, you may not appreciate how long things, like standing rigging, will last on a fresh water boat. I went to Palmer Johnson to replace some standing rigging on my Irwin just because it was 20 years old. They thought I was nuts. I am sure you will agree that PJ was a very reputable builder and maintainer of yachts. Non racing rig failures on the Great Lakes are very rare, despite numerous squalls with winds of 40+ knots.

My deck core is balsa. I agree with you that teak decks - especially ones that overlay a glass deck - are a source of concern. I always swore that I would not ever own a boat with teak decks, but much of the other strengths of this boat made me decide to go ahead anyways. This included discussions with several owners of teak decks that are around 20 years old. Again, fresh water makes a big difference.
I realize it means constant vigilance and maintenace. I retire tomorrow, so I will have the time.

Actually, all this broo ha ha made me go out and do some additional research. I am satisfied. I will never be able to afford a Valiant or a Hans Christianson. At this time in my life 50k is it.

My surveyor has seen a Nassua 40 and was not impressed and went into my survey with a negative attitude. He is not the kind of guy to say "I was wrong", but he really did like this boat''s quality and condition. He did my Irwin 12 years ago, and while his survey did not reflect his personal feeling for the boat, his conversation with me was highly critical of Irwin quality. In many ways I agree with him, despite the fact the boat has served me very well for 12 years, and I do like the boat.

I think I got a boat built well enough (my surveyor agrees) to make the trip to Bermuda and with all the extras I need to cruise comfortably. Where can one find that, ready to go now, for 50k?

Add to that I don''t have to hang around all summer trying to sell my old boat. It is a good example of an Irwin 32 with good sails (brand new jib). I am guessing it will be listed around 20K, but considering the comments I made earlier in this thread regarding a trade in, I am content. I would hope the boat yard make some money on this deal. There may be a time when I will be back to do business -this is my second purchase from them. If they don''t get something out of the deal they won''t be around the next time I am looking for a new boat. I think the deal I made was fair - not a steal. I think this boat is an excellent fit for me at this time. Not my first choice - but I can''t afford my first choice.
 

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If you are still up for some opinions I will throw mine in about teak decks on a fiberglass boat.They should never be there to begin with as water, no matter how well looked after,will get through.Teak decks belong on wooden boats,perforating a core deck makes no sense,except that it looks pretty untill it is torn up with half the boat to be repaired.It is construction of that nature that makes people feel like it is quality that they are looking at and not poor boat building.If these things were epoxied in I could see it(but still luke warm) ,but the ones I have seen were all screwed in.Anyone worth anything knows you do not drill holes in the cored material boatbuilding 101,and not just a couple of holes but hundreds and just not in a small area but all over the boat.Freshwater or salt doesn`t mean beans when your talking about water intrusion.Many surveyors will miss this problem.All in all it`s bad construction period.
 

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dman,
Agreed that screwing teak planking over cored decks is a serious liability. However, teak is the best non-skid surface for decks and adds a unique aesthetic character to a quality-built boat. Many boatowners (including myself) take great pride in their teak decks and if maintained properly, will last well over 30 years. This means not applying oils or finishes which break down the polysulfide caulking, but simply rinsing with sea water and cleaning across the grain.

Before buying my Nauticat, I found very few (if any other) builders, secure teak to a solid glass substrate. Nauticats have planked teak decks, screwed & bunged to a SOLID fiberglass deck. This is an exception to your blanket statement re: teak decking only belongs on wooden boats. There is no coring anywhere on these boats, therefore, the screws do not pose the problems inherent with teak overlaid on cored decks.

Best regards, Steve
 

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Trueblue Yes there is the exception of teak on solid glass ,that is why I kept harping about cored decks because 99.9% are cored.I should of figured that making a blanket statement that effects 99.9% of this type of construction is not good enough,I always overlook the loopholes.I did think that I was referring to cored decks and probably anyone else reading it as well.This statement was part of my whole rant and was not meant to be extracted and taken out of context.BTW I happen to love Nauticats as they are one of my favourite boats for the type of sailing I do.These other manufactures try and dazzle the public showing decks like these but like I have said before their quality is only skin deep and leads to the problems of this type of constuction with their cored decks.Oh by the way I wasn`t totally honest saying Nauticat was one of my favourite boats ,it IS my favourite boat builder.I hope you are enjoying that beast and don`t make me use a lawyer the next time I post.LOL
 

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First of all, I apologize if my original comment struck you as insulting. That was never my intent.

On the other hand I simply do not see where you are coming from you say that the original post was insulting. I went back and reread it and, at least as I read it, nowhere does it insinuate that you did not know enough to check the obvious such as electronics, etc. What it said is that when dealing with older boats, there are a range of items that have a limited practical lifespan and that those items should be considered in figuring the price of the boat. The preamble to that list indicated that if these items are in good shape, maintained, or have been replaced, then they are less relevant. I left it to you to draw your own conclusion about the condition of these items and how relevant they were.

Other than that, I do want to point out that fresh water is more of a problem with teak decks than salt water. The iodine in saltwater acts as a mild rot inhibitor. Also the fact that fresh water freezes at a higher temperature means that the sealants are exposed to more frequent freeze thaw cycles which is harder on sealants.

In the end you do not need to prove to us whether you got a good deal or not. As long as you are happy, that is all that really counts. In the end, after you have owned the boat as long as you want, and used her as you see fit, and then resold her, only then will you have a sense of how good deal you actually got. And even then, probably only you will be able to say whether you got a good deal or not since none of us will be able to evaluate whether the cost of owning the boat was equal to the enjoyment that she gave you.

Jeff
 

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Irwin32, I think i''m looking at your irwin 32 as a first time boat owner... you seem very positive on how it treated you. Any cautions for me as i consider purchasing it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If you are moving it to Chicago this weekend, you did buy the boat and for the money, I think you got a great deal - rumor has it you paid less for it than they gave me on a trade.

No real cautions - I had the boat up and working well. The anchor is NOT attached to the anchor line coming out of the howse pipe on deck. Something to look at before going to Chicago.

Your cruising range under power is short - about 60 -75 miles. The tank is tilted wrong and does not get all the gas out. For long trips I would carry 6 gallons on the stern ladder and fill the tank at around 60 miles. I guess that is a caution.

Also, look through the stuff on the Atomic 4. It is a good engine. Put Marvel Mystery Oil into the gas - somewhere the amount is in all the literature or go to Moyer Marine web site forum and ask them. It was fully tuned late last year with a new coil. The impeller looked real good to me this year so I left it in, but there is a brand new one in the loose parts I gave to Bill M.

I was ready to take that boat up to the North Channel for the summer - in fact I was leaving 7/1 - so it should be good to go,
 

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I noticed that there is a 1984 Nassau 34 for sale for $35000 on SailBoatListings dot com

Of course this is now almost a year since the original poster bought his boat so prices are different.

I noticed that this boat listed there has an all fiberglass deck with no teak except for trim like hand rails and hatch covers. I wonder if this is how the deck was originally or if a previous owner pulled up the teak decking and refinished the fg underneath.

Some poster above has said that Taiwanese boats were not good quality. I wonder if that generalization is true of the Ta Shing boat company that produced the often praised HANS CHRISTIAN 43 and BABA 30?


I noticed that even the Nassau 34 was designed by George Stadel of the father and son Stadell design team who designed such boats as the HANS CHRISTIAN 43, SHANNON 38, VAGABOND 42, WESTWIND 42 and WESTWIND 38.
I guess some might say that the Nassau 34 has a "partial pedigree" due to quality design, even if the quality of construction and hardware were of questionable quality.
 

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Has anyone swapped their chain plates? Where did you locate replacements? Fabrication? I enjoy my Nassau 34, yes she's old, but then, so am I. Please contact me Tim Claseman 3615639283 or [email protected]. Thanks.
 
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