1968 Bertram 20' Moppie - definitely a project

Discussion in 'Projects & Proposals' started by 1968 20 Bertram Mopie, May 20, 2019.

  1. 1968 20 Bertram Mopie
    Joined: May 2019
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    Location: Sea Isle City NJ

    1968 20 Bertram Mopie New Member

    I have recently taken ownership of a 1968 Bertram 20' Moppie in South Jersey near Sea Isle City. The issue is that has been sitting outside (uncovered) for the past 30 years. I had a surveyor take a look as the hull last week and he said the stringers, transom, deck, hull is full of moisture. His meter max-ed out at a reading of 999 and that is what came up when he checked the various structures.

    Should I invest in this hull - seems like it is a "Total" deconstruction and rebuild.

    Surveyor told me I have three options: 1. invest and understand, you will spend a lot more than the boat is worth; or 2. post for $5k (inclusive of trailer - which is actually fairly new and only has 50 miles or less on it); or 3. sell the trailer, part out the boat (i.e., windshield, lights, brackets, etc) and scrap the hull.

    Please let me know your thoughts -

    Jeff
     

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  2. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Re your options, may I ask a few questions?
    What is the condition of the engine? Is it re-buildable, or will you have to source another engine elsewhere?
    Similarly, what about the outdrive leg?
    The transom is most probably cored with plywood, and if it has high moisture readings, then the wood must be rotten and will need to be replaced - which will be quite a big job already.
    I know some later Bertrams have balsa cored topsides above the chine - are your topsides cored or single skin?
    I would hope that the hull bottom is single skin - but if the whole hull has high moisture readings, and the hull has not been near the water for 30 years, then this suggests that the hull bottom is cored as well.
    Does the hull flex anywhere, which would suggest that the outer skin is delaminating from the core?
    Re the deck, does it feel spongy to walk on, or is it reasonably firm, despite the high moisture readings?
    If the hull is all cored, soggy and flexing, then you have a huge amount of work to do under Option 1 - you will have to decide if it is worthwhile doing this.
    One advantage in the boats favour is that she is pretty much a 'classic', but even classics reach a stage where they are not economic to re-build emotionally, never mind financially.
     
  3. 1968 20 Bertram Mopie
    Joined: May 2019
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    Location: Sea Isle City NJ

    1968 20 Bertram Mopie New Member

    thanks for the questions and response - so here goes:
    - the engine might be salvageable, but very rusted and all of the accessories (i.e., alternator, starter, etc) would need to be replaces... but I was told that it was winterized (albeit that was 30 years ago)
    - the outdrive would need to be rebuilt or replaced
    - I did not mention that there is a hole in the bottom of the boat (this was a result of moving the boat from blocks to the trailer - so my father-in-law told us)... and because of this hole, it is very clear that the hull is not solid fiberglass and does have a plywood core - hence the moisture)
    - regarding flex of the hull, the surveyor did not mention this and to me, it does not seem to flex at all and appears pretty sturdy
    - the deck feels pretty good.. no major flexing, but it is full of pretty harsh spider cracks.... and given the stringers have moisture and surveyor said those would need to be replaced... the deck would need to come out and be replaced.

    I think I am answering my own question, there is ALOT of work here and money as you mentioned.

    Jeff
     
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  4. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Re getting more replies, it might also be worthwhile posting this in the Powerboats Forum as well as 'Projects and Proposals'?

    That does sound rather ominous, having a (wet) plywood cored hull bottom.
    But - if there is no obvious flexing (there is probably a lot of fiberglass there as well as the core - later boats would have been built more lightly) then it might be worthwhile just doing the minimum to get her 'up and running' again, at least to test her out.
    Would you still want to be able to cruise at say 20 knots?
    If a lesser speed is acceptable, then rather than rebuilding the engine and the leg, it might be worthwhile just carrying out repairs to the transom, building a bracket for an O/B motor, acquiring a suitably sized O/B motor and then going pottering about in her?

    If you just listen to the $$'s aspect, then the most logical thing to do is to probably sell the trailer, and break up the boat (in the same fashion as scrapping a car for parts to sell) - but then you won't have any boat to go pottering about in.
     
  5. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Not balsa cored ? They do have a deep vee those old girls, reckon taking weight out would be inviting a tippy boat.
     
  6. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Hi Jeff,
    Great looking boat.... you know you want it & only 20' so problems are small-ish. If you feel within your capabilities why not. May be an optical illusion but the starboard side view seems a little iffy at the forward set of bottom rollers- could be corrected or just be intersection of strakes and trailer frame.
    Maybe take a look at some o the facebook pages that pertain to rebuilds to see what you may be up for- Old School Haines Old School Haines Boats https://www.facebook.com/groups/1523342404579568/ is a good one and rotting wrecks Aussie rotting wreck's to glory https://www.facebook.com/groups/1775072352710160/ another.

    All the best from Jeff
     
  7. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    No way did they ply core this boat.
     
  8. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    So OP, come back with the real core story. I very much doubt any core exists in this hull.

    I don't profess to be a Bertram expert, but I doubt they cored these in '68.
     
  9. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I see what you mean, it does appear the internal stringers are no longer doing the job. A not uncommon sight. This is much of the problem with these restorations, the hull goes out of shape from rotted internals, and sitting for years with uneven support. The question is, will it regain the shape if properly cradled. I guess you are largely going by eye, to decide.
     
  10. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor


  11. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Pretty quiet after my core comment.
     
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