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Looking at a boat...that sank!

Feb 27, 2021
20
O'Day 30 Wilmington
Good morning! I hope some of you can share your thoughts. My wife and I have had two sailboats, both trailerable and in the 21-22 foot range. While we have been without a boat for the 10-12 years, our kids are grown and out of school so we are ready to look for another boat. We want on in the 30-35 foot range that we can weekend on and do an occasional week long trips.

Yesterday I went and looked at a 1980 East Orient 32. It really was a beautiful boat. The teak clearly needs refinishing and the outside really needs a good washing. Of all the boats we have looed at, I would say that this one appears to be in the best shape...no soft/rotten floors in the cabin, running rigging not in tatters, sails appear in good shape, overall the boat appears clean, without any odors below, and the engine started right up, though the batter seemed a little weak.

However, not long after I arrived the owner informed me this boat had once sank. Apparently, in 2008 it sank in fresh water in a storm that blew it into a jetty. Within 48 hours the boat had been raised and dehumidifiers and heaters were installed. It was repaired and splashed in 2013. I could not find evidence of any rotting wood or signs of water. All doors swing freely and close without any issue. Again, the diesel started right up.

I am unclear if the wiring was replaced. I know the 12-volt system works. He had previously told me that there was an issue with the shore power and batter charger...he believes that once he installs his new batter charger that the issue should be cleared up. Does this sound reasonable?

How concerned would you be with a boat that sank in fresh water some 13 years earlier? Are there some things you would look at/inspect closer? If we more forward with this boat we will most definitely get a survey. He also said that it did not have a salvage title...which was one of my concerns.

Any thoughts, suggestions would be welcomed.

- PJ
 

DougM

.
Jul 24, 2005
2,183
Beneteau 323 Manistee, MI
If the boat had truly been sunk for only 48 hours, and was immediately subjected to the drying out process, it would be worth pursuing further. That said, its still a 42 year old boat, and a survey will highlight some potential problems. If you are willing to accept some of that, have some DIY skills and money, take the risk.
 
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Jan 1, 2006
6,097
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Why not buy an un-sunk Hunter 32 or 34? It sounds like you're ready to enjoy some cruising time. Why spend that time re-varnishing?
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,847
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
I think I know this boat. Did this boat sink on Lake Ontario?

While not as damaging as salt water, fresh water can have its own damaging effects.

The wiring will certainly be suspect unless all the connectors were heat sealed, which I doubt. Count on rewiring the boat.

Even though it has been many years, the cushions and fabric will likely need replacing.

There are many nooks and crannies in boat in which mildew and mold can hide. Cleaning those areas is difficult.

These are not necessarily deal killers, but should be reflected in the price. Also this is a fairly unique boat with a limited resell market.
 
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Feb 27, 2021
20
O'Day 30 Wilmington
Why not buy an un-sunk Hunter 32 or 34? It sounds like you're ready to enjoy some cruising time. Why spend that time re-varnishing?
I have looked at some Hunter, and similar boats online, and have talked with some of the sellers, but nothing yet in our wheelhouse. As a woodworker...I am also a sucker for beautiful wood on a boat!
 
Feb 27, 2021
20
O'Day 30 Wilmington
I think I know this boat. Did this boat sink on Lake Ontario?

While not as damaging as salt water, fresh water can have its own damaging effects.

The wiring will certainly be suspect unless all the connectors were heat sealed, which I doubt. Count on rewiring the boat.

Even though it has been many years, the cushions and fabric will likely need replacing.

There are many nooks and crannies in boat in which mildew and mold can hide. Cleaning those areas is difficult.

These are not necessarily deal killers, but should be reflected in the price. Also this is a fairly unique boat with a limited resell market.
Yea, I believe Lake Ontario is correct! I think the wiring is a big concern for me. When he told me the sinking story I was both concerned and surprised. Concerned on what it might mean...but honestly surprised at how good it looked. I understand about hidden areas and issues hiding there.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,847
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Here's the story as I recall it. I do not know the owner of the boat you are looking at. The owner of the other boat involved is a friend of mine.

The boat was moored in Oswego, NY along with several other boats. The moorings there are not regulated. The harbor has a break wall and is exposed to the West with about 120 miles of fetch between Oswego and Toronto. When a front moves through the wind can really pipe up with gusts in to the 40s and 50s.

Another boat (a Pearson 26) broke its mooring and dragged down on the East Orient 32 which then drug its mooring. Both boats ended up on the pier which was protected by riprap. The boat was removed very quickly, within a day or two. As I recall the winds from the storm abated quickly, so there was not a long period of pounding on the rocks which limited the physical damage.

After the boat was salvaged, I believe it was hauled to the owner's home where he took several years to repair and restore it. The boat was a retirement boat with the owner's planning on cruising. I last saw the boat at Fair Point Marina in Fair Haven, NY about 5 or 6 years ago. It appeared to be in pretty good shape.

As a side note, the Pearson was insured under a home owner's policy and the East Orient insured by BoatUS. The other company was pretty unresponsive to the situation and the owner was quite frustrated by the process. BoatUS took charge of the salvage and arranged for a crane to remove both boats from the water. The moral of this part of the story is insure your boat with a yacht policy from an insurance company that knows how to deal with boats.

If you haven't done so already, do some research on Taiwanese built sailboats. A lot of boats were built there in the 70s and 80s, some well built, others not so well built. I don't know where the East Orient stands in this regard. Cheoy Lees, Hans Christians, Babas, Some Bob Perry designed boats were built in Taiwan as well others.
 
Feb 27, 2021
20
O'Day 30 Wilmington
Here's the story as I recall it. I do not know the owner of the boat you are looking at. The owner of the other boat involved is a friend of mine.

The boat was moored in Oswego, NY along with several other boats. The moorings there are not regulated. The harbor has a break wall and is exposed to the West with about 120 miles of fetch between Oswego and Toronto. When a front moves through the wind can really pipe up with gusts in to the 40s and 50s.

Another boat (a Pearson 26) broke its mooring and dragged down on the East Orient 32 which then drug its mooring. Both boats ended up on the pier which was protected by riprap. The boat was removed very quickly, within a day or two. As I recall the winds from the storm abated quickly, so there was not a long period of pounding on the rocks which limited the physical damage.

After the boat was salvaged, I believe it was hauled to the owner's home where he took several years to repair and restore it. The boat was a retirement boat with the owner's planning on cruising. I last saw the boat at Fair Point Marina in Fair Haven, NY about 5 or 6 years ago. It appeared to be in pretty good shape.

As a side note, the Pearson was insured under a home owner's policy and the East Orient insured by BoatUS. The other company was pretty unresponsive to the situation and the owner was quite frustrated by the process. BoatUS took charge of the salvage and arranged for a crane to remove both boats from the water. The moral of this part of the story is insure your boat with a yacht policy from an insurance company that knows how to deal with boats.

If you haven't done so already, do some research on Taiwanese built sailboats. A lot of boats were built there in the 70s and 80s, some well built, others not so well built. I don't know where the East Orient stands in this regard. Cheoy Lees, Hans Christians, Babas, Some Bob Perry designed boats were built in Taiwan as well others.
Yea, your story sounds just like what he told me ..which is good! . I think for various reasons they scrapped their retirement sailing plans and have moved down to NC near children. Health issues have led to selling the boat.

I know it was built by Young Sun... interestingly, we almost bought a 42 or 48 foot Young Sun following Hurricane Hugo...until our broker was featured on Charleston's" Low Country's Most Wanted"!
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,128
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Buying a boat can be a crapshoot or a wonderful experience. It sounds like the boat had issues. It is an older boat. The story says the owner cared about his boat to recover it and repair it to the condition you see.

I would inspect the hull, rudder and keel for proper repair from any storm damage both outside and inside the boat.

Water affects the wires not just the connectors. Look at all the electrical. If not comfortable have a marine electrician inspect the systems.

Project boats require time. Some of us are not comfortable doing this. Others enjoy the adventure.
 
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capta

.
Jun 4, 2009
4,309
Pearson 530 Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
It is my understanding that once a boat has been declared a total loss, it goes into an insurance company data base and becomes nearly impossible to get hull insurance on.
 
Feb 27, 2021
20
O'Day 30 Wilmington
It is my understanding that once a boat has been declared a total loss, it goes into an insurance company data base and becomes nearly impossible to get hull insurance on.
Yea, that is kinda what I understood. I expected it then to have a salvage, or some kind of phrase, title. Owner says nothing different about title. But... that is certainly on my list to check on if we keep looking at this boat.
 
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Dec 28, 2015
1,357
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
drying techniques are very effective but if they don't have access to areas they are ineffective. Trapped moisture in the core would be my primary reason to not consider a submersed boat (assuming it was submersed below its deck). Elderly boats have a tough enough time with core rot from water intrusion through penetrations...they don't need additional help from emersion.
 
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Jan 11, 2014
7,847
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
drying techniques are very effective but if they don't have access to areas they are ineffective. Trapped moisture in the core would be my primary reason to not consider a submersed boat (assuming it was submersed below its deck). Elderly boats have a tough enough time with core rot from water intrusion through penetrations...they don't need additional help from emersion.
I saw the boat after it sunk. My specific recollections are a little fuzzy, but I don't think it was on bottom. The two boats washed up on a bank of riprap protecting a pier. The water in that part of the harbor was less than 7 or 8 feet deep, so it is quite likely that the deck was never completely submerged or deeply submerged.

There was likely some hull damage from the rocks which allow water to enter the interior. The Pearson 26 was declared a loss because its value was fairly low so it was easy to reach the loss level. The boat in question was worth more, so it may not have been a total loss.

The boat was built in Taiwan, I doubt that it has a cored hull, the deck is a different story. A good competent surveyor can assess the deck moisture levels. I would be inclined to not tell the surveyor about its history until after he has done the preliminary assessment. Keep the surveyor unbiased.

Ask the current owner about the insurance and who he is insured by. The insurance company may be willing to continue coverage with a new owner.