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Run or buy

Discussion in 'Mid-Size Boats' started by Danno1, Feb 15, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Danno1


    Joined Jun 10, 2014
    2 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Toledo
    I’m looking at a ‘92 335. Had some Hull damage from Irma. But was professionally repaired. The interior is dirty the boat had been unused for a couple years. There is a small area (about 4”x4”) of rot at the bottom of the port bulkhead. The rudder post wobbles and the rudder is weeping rusty water. The owner wants 18k. Do I even, invest in a survey or keep my money and keep shopping?

  2. SailormanDan


    Joined Jan 24, 2009
    404 posts, 76 likes
    1981 Cherubini Hunter 27
    US Belle Haven Marina, VA
    You want to spend your time sailing, not working on it. Sounds fixable but expensive. Definitely get a survey (My insurance originally required one).
    I vote "No", keep looking. :)

    Danno1 likes this.
  3. John Tubb

    John Tubb

    Joined Feb 14, 2017
    619 posts, 126 likes
    O'Day 25
    US Guntersville, AL
  4. Don S/V ILLusion

    Don S/V ILLusion

    Joined Sep 25, 2008
    4,989 posts, 240 likes
    Alden 50
    US Sarasota, Florida
    People buy boats for different reasons and with different budgets. If you want a cheap project with some likely surprises and likely additional $$$, it sounds like a good candidate.

    Hurricane hull damage can be a euphemism for 'it sank'

    Danno1, Will Gilmore and jon hansen like this.
  5. Maine Sail

    Maine Sail Moderator

    Joined Feb 6, 1998
    10,617 posts, 469 likes
    Canadian Sailcraft 36T
    US Casco Bay, ME
    I have a customer who made a rash Craig's List decision about 8 years ago, and bought a hurricane damaged boat. Not only was the full extent of the damage not clearly disclosed, and kept haunting him, the boat was not insurable because it was considered sunk and totaled. No matter what insurer he tried the minute he gave them the HIN, "sorry not insurable". Long and short his good deal cost him huge money...

    I'd vote to keep looking and to use a surveyor when you get to that point..

    Danno1, Gene Neill and jon hansen like this.
  6. shemandr


    Joined Jan 1, 2006
    3,368 posts, 491 likes
    Marblehead Skiff 14'
    US Greenport, NY
    I would like to echo Don's post. Hurricane damage can take in a lot. Even if it didn't sink it could have been filled with water causing approximately the same damage. Rotting bulkhead says water intrusion. If it fell off it's jack stands look for all kinds of tabbing failure - not just hull damage. There was likely an insurance claim. Maybe you can follow up on that before spending more money on checking it out.

    Danno1 and jon hansen like this.
  7. Kermit


    Joined Jul 31, 2010
    4,473 posts, 1,615 likes
    Hunter 260
    US Lake Murray Sailing Club, SC
    Ask @B757Captain about repairing a boat with hurricane damage. He seems to be very much glad he’s repairing his. But, not to put words in his mouth, I doubt very seriously he’d recommend it. Maybe he’ll see this tag while in Japan and respond.

    Danno1 likes this.
  8. leo310


    Joined Dec 15, 2006
    68 posts, 19 likes
    Catalina Catlina 310
    CA Campbell River BC
    If you can get the HIN # and go to your insurance agent they can look it up to see if any claims or write off was recorded.
    This will cost you time and $$$ and could be more than the boat is worth.

    Danno1 likes this.
  9. nightowle


    Joined Aug 28, 2006
    209 posts, 20 likes
    Bavaria 35E
    US seattle
    Check the HIN for insurability, get a survey (which will turn up other defects), and then offer $12k. See where that goes.

    Danno1 likes this.
  10. B757Captain


    Joined May 8, 2013
    207 posts, 97 likes
    Hunter 40
    US Dataw Island, SC
    Konnichi-wa Danno,

    First off, thanks Kermie for the shout-out!

    As Kermie said, I'm in the middle of repairs to my 1986 Hunter 40. If you want to see what's "under the skin" of these era boats - which I'd say a '92 fits - take a gander here:

    Having "been there, done that, doing that", if you don't mind I'll throw in a few words:
    First, the boat is 25 years old. It will need work. Even if it was in "pristine" condition, it will need lots of work. Not kidding here. If you can do all the work yourself, and I really mean ALL the work, it might be worth looking farther (not saying buy yet!!). If you have to pay a yard to do the work, the labor costs will very rapidly exceed what you would spend on a boat 10 years newer. Not to mention parts (more on them in a minute) ;)

    Second, from your description, the boat is definitely not in pristine condition. Lots of boats wind up for sale because the present owner has lost interest. That means he didn't lose interest the day before, it really means he lost interest quite some time prior. That means he stopped spending money for upkeep then. Add that time to the perceived time you think it has been neglected.

    Third, your description of rudder issues is worrisome to me for several reasons. Weeping rusty water could mean a relatively simple repair, but remember the rudder has a SS frame inside connecting to the rudder post, and SS doesn't mean rust-free, just rust-resistant! You might get into the repair and find the rudder needs replacement because the inner frame is done-for. There alone is 1/3rd or over your purchase price if you have to pay to have it done. Loose bearings are a problem for several reasons, including sourcing parts and labor costs. Not many of us have the skillset to tackle that kind of project.

    Fourth, the bulkhead damage. Not necessarily water intrusion though it might well be. Are you sure it's rot or just delamination? I ask because I have replaced all my bulkheads and not one had a bad case of rot. Hunter uses marine ply here but many times the ply has a laminate skin which peels and looks bad but the bulkhead underneath is still ok. I'm replacing mine because I had a few spots where the bulkheads were getting soft (just a few, and nowhere close to structurally deficient). The worst was the aft head bulkhead which looked terrible due to delam from water exposure (internal from the shower) but it was still structurally ok. That said, the bulkheads are still 25 years old and might need attention.

    Fifth, repair yards. I will not get into my feeling about repair yards here (for more, look on my thread - Kermie will back me up here) , but be cautious!!! Be skeptical!!! For more info about what might be found under the pretty paint I go into that in some depth in my thread. Most yards are honest but they all work to a price and labor hours add up quickly, so the repair might or might not be up to your standards.

    Sixth, parts. It's a 25 year old boat. There will be no way you can keep the boat original. Parts just do not exist anymore. That means every time you need to repair something it will require alterations to make a new part or piece fit, or fabrication work to redesign an entire system.

    Last (and I will step down from my soapbox), if you still want to proceed definitely get a survey! But be cautious here too! Before I bought my boat (and several times during 12 years of ownership) I have had surveys done. The list of things multiple surveyors missed is much longer than the list of things they found. Not knocking surveyors here, but there is so much hidden behind the surface that they just can't see it all. And everything they miss you will eventually find, probably the hard way.

    I'm not trying to scare you off but just trying - from a firsthand experience point-of-view - give you a realistic idea of what you can expect. If you like to and want to take on a project, and can do the work yourself, I say don't walk away yet. But if you think based on price you're getting a good deal and can pay someone a little to fix it up for you then the asking price is about 18K too high! Then it's time to run. Fast.

    Hope this helps!


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  11. markwbird


    Joined Nov 26, 2012
    805 posts, 142 likes
    Hunter 34
    US Berkeley
    Find a good boat in good shape. There is nothing more expensive than a "cheap boat". By the time you fix everything (an that will be never if she sank) it will have cost you more than a boat already good to go.

    Danno1 and Kermit like this.
  12. Kermit


    Joined Jul 31, 2010
    4,473 posts, 1,615 likes
    Hunter 260
    US Lake Murray Sailing Club, SC
    @Danno1, I’m not one to give advice. Mostly because I don’t know a heckuva a lot about much of anything. But my advice here is to reread every word @B757Captain wrote in this thread. I’ve never once seen him express any sign of regret for taking on his project. But I’ve never once seen him encourage anyone to follow in his footsteps. He is larger than life to me.
    P.S. His boat is only about 2 hours from me. One of the reasons I’ve never considered going to meet him is that all I could possibly do to help him is to slow him down.

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  13. Brian D

    Brian D Moderator

    Joined Feb 17, 2006
    3,891 posts, 578 likes
    Lancer 27PS
    US MCB Camp Pendleton, Ca KF6BL

    Seriously, unless you want to spend tons of money and time I would suggest finding a boat that is already in sail-able condition.