To do it or not to do it...

Forbsie

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I have the offer of this derelict 27' motor cruiser that is currently sitting in a field. Structurally it looked fine but the interior needs loads of work, which is exactly what I want (Call me mad, whydoncha?). Anyway, last Friday I got a truck with the biggest Hiab I've ever seen to pick it up with the intention of taking it down to Eel Pie Island at Twickenham. As I was puting the 2nd strap on, the driver drew my attention to the fact that there was a great hole in the fibreglass hull just to port of the engine.
Looking at it again today, I could cut a hole in the lower deck and try to repair the damage which must have been done when they put it in that field in the first place. They dropped it onto the edge of a sleeper!
This would be my first ever boat and I've wanted one since I was 18 and was going to build a motor launch to accommodate the engine out of my rusting Wolseley 1500.
The question is should I go ahead with this or just try to buy a wreck that is already floating? Is there anywhere west of Twickenham where I could repair/re-fit it over the summer on dry land? I could take it to Burnham-on-Crouch where I am a member of a club but it is too far.
Any suggestions most welcome!
 

hlb

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Well you have not said how much it is. But work on boats costs allot more than you think. Better to buy something that you can see running and improve from there IMHO.

Have you sent off Your Stamped. SAE and cheque. Yet.

Haydn
 

Forbsie

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"Take it away and you can have it", he said. I've done the costings on mooring, slip charges, engine work, etc. all of which could be paid for with the money I'll save not being in the pub. Unfortunately it would be moored between two of my favourites. It is just such a nice looking boat.
 

aztec

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grab the bull by the ...wosnames, go for it, repairing it will not be too hard. you will need to invest time, but the biggest problem will be where to put it...if you have space, and the motivation to do it ..crack on! this is the sort of spirit i was brought up with. good luk and if i can offer any help contact me.

regards,steve.
 
G

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When i wer a lad up't north (In Mellor near Accrington !) Mi dad used to tell me that taking our old broom speedboat out was like standing under a cold shower ripping up £5 notes. These days its just the same but the notes have got a lot lot bigger!

A project like this will take twice as long and cost twice as much as you budget. If you are going to get enjoyment from getting this craft sea worthy again then go or it. If on the other hand you are looking at this as a project to get you on the water cheaply I think you will be disapointed.

As advised above it will be cheaper to buy a floating running boat and improve it while you use it. Its just like old cars- I spent 3 years and 5k restoring a 30 year old landrover when it was finished it had a market value of just 2k.( I did it for the challenge not the money)

Good luck with what ever you decide to do.
 
G

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I vote you go for it. If you've played with old cars before and done a bit of DIY you'll manage. Anything can be fixed if you are practical and there is great satifaction in saving an old boat and getting her afloat again.

A lot of people will tell you to forget it, it's too far gone, too expensive to fix etc. It may well be too far gone for them to do anything with it. It would cost them too much to have it repaired. Look at it and work out whether you can do it. It's only a boat after all, it wasn't built by NASA. So long as your repairs leave the hull as strong as it was originally you'll have nothing to worry about.

Go to your local yard and talk to some people who work on their own boats. Find out what they have done, how they did it and so on.

My boat had a 16 x 5 foot hole in it last summer. Now I'm working out where the sofa should go. I'm not a boat builder, nor am I very rich. I'm just a practical sort of bloke and I enjoy having a project to play with.
 

boomer

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Forbsie - listen to me - forget it. Can you hear me? FORGET IT!

Years ago HWKE went behind my back and bought a huge boat for the price of a Marmite sandwich. Trouble was it was in 12 feet of water in Whitehaven. Absolute bargain. We had it raised, spent seven years b*****ing about with it, spending money etc etc. But never got to use it or sell it and the last I heard it had sunk again somewhere else. You have been warned.
 

chippie

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If you feel you can give it the commitment it needs go for it.
One advantage of having it out of the water is that it will be easier to et to and from for those to and fro type of jobs. I have seen a couple of pamphlets put out by west systems on repairing fibreglass boats which may prove helpful,also a recent book on repairs might be available from your library.
One other thing, if at all possible try to organise a solid period of working time on her at the start(perhaps a week off )as getting a head start can mean more is done before the rest of your life starts to intrude again.
Good luck.
 

trev

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Depends on whether you want to go boating or just mess about with boats.
Projects like these tend to be on going, open ended and cost more than the value of the whole (or hole).
But if fixing things is your bag.........

Trev
 

byron

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Only because I am there to guide you Andy. Look at today if I hadn't been there to hold the soldering iron you'd still be there.

ô¿ô
My wife has not given me permission to express any opinion here
 

Forbsie

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Thanks Andrew,
I don't think that it's too far gone. The hole only worries me because I have never worked with fibreglass. The engine (Ford 2.1 Diesel) needs work or poss. replacing and the interior needs tidying up but basically it looks to be a fairly sound boat (famous last words!).
 

Forbsie

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Thanks Chippie,
That is exactly my intention. One week off at the start and another when I put her on a slip to do the engine and undersides.
 

Forbsie

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Thanks Mark, I do know what you mean. A friend of mine bought a 72' yacht a number of years ago only to discover that half of one side was rotten - cost a fortune.
My motivation is not particularly to get on the water cheaply (although I'm definitely not rolling in it) and absolutely not to make money out of it. My mother used to say that the best part of a holiday is looking at the brochures. Being the dutiful son, I have taken her advice by buying the brochures (PBO, etc) every month. So I can either carry on buying these mags for another 30 years or actually bite the bullet and do something constructive.
I have looked at other boats on the water but they have either been too finished (a hose down and they're fine) or too much of a challenge for a first try.
 

Forbsie

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Thanks Steve, I looked at your site last week and, although not in the same league, what you are doing with Fast Monarch has given a great boost to my motivation for this project.
I can see myself being a great pain to you all on this board with countless questions over the coming months.
 

byron

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Forbsie, you will not be a pain, those of us that don't have the commitment or the expertise to handle such a task will be fascinated to see how you get on. Andy Pocock is doing up the 1940 Portsmouth Harbour Launch even as I write. I am always fascinated to see what he has done, its also great fun helping find period pieces for the boat. I help him by making the Tea and Coffee because he will not trust me with a hammer, he seems to want to screw things in even though I explain a 6" nail is just as good.

ô¿ô
My wife has not given me permission to express any opinion here
 

hlb

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Still say. Dont do it. Unless money and time are no object.
I buy a house every now and then. Thinking to spend £500 on it. Six months later and five grand. It's looking some bit right.
But houses are easy and parts very cheap.
Once bought a clinker built pilot boat that some one had been rebuilding for years. Done a good job on it, but not finished. I worked on it for weeks and could not tell the difference. So stuck it in the paper. Some guys came along, said they were going to undo the years of work that had been done on it and turn it into a fishing boat. Boat transporter man just laughed, he made his money out of transporting knackered boats from one place to another. They never go in the water, he said.
Anyway I did make 500 quid on the deal so who am I to judge!

Have you sent off Your Stamped. SAE and cheque. Yet.

Haydn
 

Forbsie

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I understand what you are saying, Haydn. Money is certainly an object but I need something constructive to do with my time. This may give you an indication of where I am coming from.
I took out a personal lease on a Land Rover Freelander. All together, I suppose I spent about 15 grand over 3 years at thich point I would have handed it back had some b*****d not stolen it from me 2 weeks before the end date. Because I don't drive a great deal (I walk to work), I decided to buy something that I really wanted - a Merc 280SL roadster - for about twice the deposit of a new car. I expect to have costs maintaining it but at least I am not maintaining the lifestyle of some salesman or finance company exec and I really love the car.
If I don't do this I'll spend the money anyway. It is not a complex boat although there is ample challenge for me as a first attempt.
I am frequently heard to say "If it costs £12,000 to send a fire engine out, how much does it cost not to send it out?"
 

hlb

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Cant argue with you then. You seem to know what your doing. Get some help or read up about the fiberglassing though before you start. It's not rocket science but needs to be done right. Good luck.

Have you sent off Your Stamped. SAE and cheque. Yet.

Haydn
 
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