Boat purchase, 40’ home built

General boating discussion
Sea word
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:27 am

Boat purchase, 40’ home built

#1

Post by Sea word » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:19 pm

Hey there folks, new here. I’m looking at a boat purchase, a little crazy for me. I’ve only owned one other aluminum boat, it was a marathon river racing tunnel hull. If you’re unfamiliar with what that is, I suggest a google, they are pretty wild!

But, now I’m older and looking at my first proper yacht. As a life long aluminum welder, I’m attracted to the material. I’ve negotiated what I think is a good deal on this home build. It’s 40x12 and has a V hull, the bow is pointy under that shovel nose, and it’s powered with twin 4cl Isuzu diesels with Volvo 270 drives. After looking in the bilge I believe at one point it may have had V drives, as you can see the patches where that used to be. She’s in a shallow area with many hazards now, which may have been what necessitated the switch to outdrives. The general layout is great, with a large bed area in the pilothouse, but the rest of boat is a bit funky. No black or gray water tanks, sink and shower drain overboard and the toilet is just a portable unit. Fine by me, I’ll be installing a composter anyway.

Anyway, thought I’d throw this up and see what y’all think and if ya have any suggestions.
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Sea word
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:27 am

Re: Boat purchase, 40’ home built

#2

Post by Sea word » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:26 pm

Before anyone asks, the owner of this boat passed away, and there is very little known about it. So I have no idea what it’s made out of, when it was started, or thicknesses or anything. The title says 2005 but it seems a lot older than that.

Krisinak
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:33 pm

Re: Boat purchase, 40’ home built

#3

Post by Krisinak » Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:55 am

excellent! have fun, cool boat.post more photos.

kmorin
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Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:37 am
Location: Kenai, Alaska

Re: Boat purchase, 40’ home built

#4

Post by kmorin » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:33 pm

Sea word,
I'd make some remarks about buying a home built boat where the owner/builder's records may not be available to either interview or documenting the project as it was built?

First, in my experience is to verify the alloys used; if possible? You may not know about the huge alloy scandal some years ago in the PNW? but essentially lots of builders/owners were burned severely when a mill lost control of the alloy spec - and distributed 'junk'/off-spec material that lead to losses of entire boats, more than a few reputations and quite a few builders having to close.

I'm not implying this hull's metal was in that lot- I'm showing a good reason to try to find out how the alloy you have has performed? To do that a "bilge and bottom" inspection is in order. If the bilges are just bare metal? things are looking up... but if the bottom is not clean as well- your potential purchase may not be a good investment?

Any corrosion in either location is an indication of some error in the #1 Alloy?; #2 Build?; #3 fitting out? ; #4 Mooring location and shore power related issues?

So, having been involved in designing, building, repairing and remodeling welded aluminum boats for a while; I'd suggest the bilge and bottom were key and critical areas to know about before you buy.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
kmorin

Sea word
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:27 am

Re: Boat purchase, 40’ home built

#5

Post by Sea word » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:21 am

Are your concerns based mainly on salt water use or any and all? There appeared to be zero corrosion in bilge and we aren’t in salt here. The bottom is painted but I dunno, seems like good metal.

kmorin
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Re: Boat purchase, 40’ home built

#6

Post by kmorin » Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:10 pm

Sea word, not based on salt or no salt.

Corrosion can be from several sources and cleaning the bilge with soap and water (first) then rinsing and seeing clean uniform surface of aluminum gives you a "go-ahead" from that worry. We've seen copper and brass/bronze fitting in fuel, water and other systems- including on engines- contribute to bilge corrosion. We've seen the 'wrong' rubber in belts, hoses and bedding strips for tanks contribute to corrosion and we've seen tanks or engine mounts bedding strips contribute to corrosion- we've seen onboard wiring error or insulation failures lead to corrosion inside hulls: so looking at clean (washed or pressure washed is good) metal is the key result to tell you things about the build and alloy's performance that are favorable.

outside the hull, even if it means hauling the hull on a trailer and pressure washing the bottom paint to insure its 'stuck' to the metal and looking for 'blisters' or corrosion sites under the paint- loose or flaked off paint in area; help confirm the bottom paint was applied correctly (a very big deal), was the right kind (we've read about and seen lots of owners who didn't understand that not all bottom coatings are created for aluminum boats!). And last- if there are no blisters, or loose patches that helps confirm there isn't likely to be stray current corrosion sites as these tend to end up lifting bottom paints, and creating corrosion pits that are conic- wider at the surface and narrower as they go into the metal- (bottom panel) and the paint won't adhere to these patches.

However, all these are just common sense precautions- if the builder did his work well? and knew enough about the work at hand.... the boat may be absolutely fine? However, since he's not handy to talk about or document the build?? I'm following Ronald Reagan's advice "Trust but Verify" in reply to your question to the Forum about the advisability of your proposed purchase?

I have seen all the conditions and events in my post, and helped repair, correct the building errors that lead to damage of these types above and they can happen in fresh water as well as salt.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
kmorin

Sea word
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:27 am

Re: Boat purchase, 40’ home built

#7

Post by Sea word » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:56 pm

Cool thanks for the input. Took another look today and while I can’t fully inspect the bottom as it’s floating, the bilge in all areas seems to be bright bare metal with not a flake or dust of white nasty anywhere I can see. I wasn’t aware that wrong rubber can cause issues! Makes sense though. Another bonus is that this boat has sat where it is for a very long time, without any shore power or other boats around it so it hasn’t been close to any currents either correct or otherwise. It seems good, although i can say that the topside paints were not applied correctly as they are peeling a bit here and there, so that doesn’t bode well for the bottom but who knows. We will haul it out soon and tell for sure. I committed to buy it so the risk is mine, cross your fingers! Worst case I think for the price I paid I could maybe scrap it out and break even.
Now I need to read up on proper electrical and metal isolation! Do you have any resources that will help me educate myself on that? I’ll check YouTube university.....

kmorin
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Re: Boat purchase, 40’ home built

#8

Post by kmorin » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:22 pm

sea word,
first our archives here at the AAB.com Forum have a wealth of info on isolation/insulation and wiring methods that are needed for a welded aluminum boat.

Also Ike's site for new builders has more info than you can read if that's all you did for a month. http://newboatbuilders.com/ there are links to be found that will help in ways you might not even knew you needed.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
kmorin

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