Assessing a previously sunken boat

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by WFB, Feb 16, 2023.

  1. WFB
    Joined: Feb 2023
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    Location: South Florida

    WFB New Member

    I'm looking at a 48 ft ocean yachts sportfish that was sunk about 12 years ago. I assume it was sitting in about 6 ft of fresh water for about 2 to 3 months.
    The engines, all mechanical systems, and wiring have been replaced. The above waterline hull and bridge structures use a divinycell core fiberglass material. Also any wood will be suspect.

    My question is - is there techniques to inspect these materials for separation and water absorption or should I just walk. I'll employ a qualified surveyor, but not sure what capabilities I should request other than a very high level of competance with a moisture meter. All mechanical and electronic systems are in better condition than comparable age boats, and hence the consideration.
     
  2. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Welcome to the Forum WFB.

    Re the divinycell core, are the bulkheads also built using this core?
    What about the floors (the vertical transverse frames that support the sole forward of the deckhouse) - are they also foam core, or maybe timber / plywood overlaminated with fibreglass?
    Where are the known areas of wood?
    In view of how all the systems have been replaced (and I presume that they are now functioning normally), and that this happened 12 years ago, then it does sound like this vessel is definitely worthy of further consideration.
    You could perhaps initially engage a surveyor to do moisture readings in all the possibly suspect areas of the hull / deck / structure, and then if these look promising, ask that a full pre-purchase condition survey be carried out?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2023
  3. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    Get the boat electronically surveyed. I think there are a few surveyors that use infrared in Florida. It won't be cheap, but would give you lotsa peace of mind and insurance against you paying the demo bill in 6 months..

    Tap testing the entire hull is not going to tell you much about inside core delamination, so when at sea; you'll always wonder if the bow can take a run of head seas, and I would hate that.

    Your surveyor can also tap test and then if you find delam; walk vs testing it all. But I'd want the infrared to see if they can see any water...

    Any wooden decks should also be electronically surveyed, bulkheads and stringers, where accessible.

    I don't know if our surveyors who post here have experience wih it, but AAC in FL does it. I am not affiliated.

    I imagine there are quite a few boats there now in this status. Good luck.
     
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  4. WFB
    Joined: Feb 2023
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    Location: South Florida

    WFB New Member

    Thanks for the help. I'm probably going to walk. It will be too hard to get to all the places that could be compromised and I don't think the seller will come down in price enough to cover the unknowns.
     
  5. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell . . . _ _ _ . . . _ _ _

    Just make a survey part of your purchasing agreement.
    Negotiate with the seller, 50/50 cost split or (s)he pays it all, negotiate.
    Then you'll know.
     
  6. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    How much is the seller asking for the boat?
    Do you have any photos of her that you can post on here?
    It might be well worthwhile if you take a bit of a gamble re the cost of a survey if you do like most aspects of the boat, and hopefully the survey will be able to get to / assess the areas that you think might be compromised?
     
  7. kapnD
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: hawaii, usa

    kapnD Senior Member

    I have recovered a couple of sunken boats, and brought them back to far better condition than they were in before the sinking, so yes it is possible that you’re looking at a solid vessel, or maybe not?
    The best indicator of the boats condition will be it’s capabilities. Your sea trial should be a voyage of several days duration, putting all systems to hard testing.
     
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  8. WFB
    Joined: Feb 2023
    Posts: 3
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    Location: South Florida

    WFB New Member

    I just looked at the boat. It looks pretty solid overall, but most of the interior cabinetry and other woodwork was painted or missing. Could be replaced and brought back by the right guy, but more that I want to take on. And the wife would never be happy. The price I had previously negotiated was too high for me and what I would be willing to pay now after seeing it would have offended the owner. Also the comment about head seas and worrying about future delaminating have me concerned.
     
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