Humidity found in the amas of a Racing-Cruising Trimaran...

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by Skip JayR, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. Skip JayR
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    Skip JayR Tri Enthusiast

    Hi, folks ! - I hope to post in the right segment. :) as the 3-hull boat I have some questions was built with different materials:

    1. mainhull: airex sandwich with uni directional (U.D.) glass type "E" epoxy carbon reinforced
    2. beams: red cedar strip planked with U.D. carbon and U.D. Glass type "E" epoxy
    3. Amas: compressed shape in plywood marine, for deck was used sandwich airex with reinforced "E" glass epoxy
    I have some very basic questions about this racing-cruising trimaran which was built 16 years ago by a small boat warft in South Europe. The boat is for sales now... and is deposited on land since end of 2013.

    Shortly (in August 2015) during an inspection the owner found different parts of the amas (outriggers) with humidity and water, same outside as inside. I just got the photos, see attachments...

    The prize for this 38 footer has been dropped down heavily (-70% of the original sales prize) as the owner neither has the mood nor the nerves to repair all the different damages.

    As I look for a Trimaran "living + working" it would be a good starter project, as it has astern cabin (double berth) plus foreship cabin (double berth), with fully stand hight of 1.9 meter in the saloon.

    I know that at least 3 other boats of this type had been built (USA, Belgium, Netherlands). So I have some other videos knowing about the seaworthyness and potentials of this boat.

    The boat in the pictures got the European CE classification, the highest class A (Ocean going vessel with up to 4 meters wave). Very astonishing for a single built Trimaran. Not too bad, as some European insurances demand a CE certification.

    So the simple question for now before I order a naval engineer to make a detailled survey:

    • Is it worth to think about buying this boat and refit the amas ?
    (Rec.: As the owner says there are many different segments to repair. He already gave me a pre-calculation for the costs. The investments would be roughly 50% of the reduced sales prize. So in total after the repairs I'd got a boat with 45% of the original sales prize.)

    Mostly there are hidden traps. So I seriously have the question:
    • Would it make more sense to refit the damages or build two new amas ?
    (Rec.: New built amas can be re-designed with wave piercing bows and foils. As for now the boat has a central daggerboard with wing rotation mast.)

    Now comes the cold winter in Europe, and I wonder what will happen with this boat during freezing coldness standing outside unprotected ??

    • When can the boat be repaired earlierst ?
    (Rec.: I have my doubts that there is anywhere a warft with a big hall to heat it over winter. So the plywood can dry out. I suppose earlierst the boat can be repaired after European spring time in 2016, right ?)

    Clearly I cannot repair the boat by myself. Neither I have the time, nor I have the knowledge, nor the infrastructure. I could learn all this as I come from engineering, but as my profession in medias does not allow it, I'd have to overhand it to a specialist/warft which can handle such "sensitive boats".

    Tks for giving attention and some feedbacks...
    ------------
    P.S.: In the photos you see some text comments to get a better understanding. Some of the damages from outside have been protected provisionally.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Skip That is an attractive boat to look at. Also an attractive dream to cruise on. That one may not be so attractive to own.

    It is conventional wisdom, here on the forum and in real life, to run not walk away from deals like this one. But it is attractive. After all the rig, hardware, the electronics, the sails are probably worth more than the asking price. That is the stuff that delusions are made of. Yes all those things have real value but they are worthless if the boat itself is questionable or perhaps untrustworthy.

    If you had three of four years time to make the hulls new again, and if you did all the work yourself, then you might have a deal worth doing. But then you will not get to sail her for all that time. If you have the work professionally done, there is no telling what the material and labor might cost. Preliminary estimates are just estimates, not guaranteed prices.

    I urge you to engage an independent professional surveyor to examine every inch of the boat before you make the commitment to buy it.
     
  3. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Agreed with what's been said and will add, these decisions are best simply looked at as hard honest answers, about your skill sets, budget, time allowances and building site accommodation. If any real money is being asked, a survey is a must and done by someone you know or is well known with this type.
     
  4. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Those floats look beyond economical repair. I'm thinking from your description that they are "tortured" ply with an airex deck. I would base assumptions on having foam sandwich floats recreated at a quoted/estimated price and a generous allowance for fitting. Given that that might be a 80-110k boat up & running that a 60-75k offer might be accepted on.... if the seller has dropped 70%.... say asking 25/30k?....... I wouldn't look at it unless it was in the 12-15 range.
    Depending on location & skills available custom composite fabrications cost upwards of 600 per meter square starting with simple contact molded off melamine sheet... once curves are compounded with fairing & painting process 2-3k pm2 can be typical of reasonably weighted foam e glass laminates which add up quite quickly.... this make a typical secondhand tri or cat great value if structure is fine but repair/s come at new cost plus big F factor in pulling the old stuff off & putting back at that "add on" assuming that plans & laminate specs are available for the new works at a reasonable rate or if original plans available for that option.
    If you got it for 10 & enjoyed it on the mooring & locally respecting the shortcomings... and employed directly a tradesperson/tech in low cost premises to recreate the hulls required for fit up in the yard later it could work at some risk.... multis are just that, on a multiplier of square meters & therefore $$/.
    If some joker in the yard tells you they can sort at low cost.. be very wary... they just may be the next barnacle to attach to you and that boat.

    Jeff.
     
  5. Skip JayR
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    Skip JayR Tri Enthusiast

    Tks guys (messabout, PAR, waikikin) ! I appreciate your thoughts.

    Yes, in tendency your opinions are something going into my own direction.

    I could count all the "movable materials", e.g. aluminium wing rotation mast, bow sprit, sails (screacher with top down furling, storm jib), life raft, epirb, vhf/AIS, autopilot, navigation electronics, stoven, water pump system/deckshower etc. etc. and calculate an "ebay prize". Thats it.

    I suppose the little boat warft which built it in South Europe 1 1/2 decades ago didnt take care fully for using "completly dried plywood marine". It looks for me as a production failure. Time for pledging repayment/compensation by warranty is gone. Thats the historically part.

    As the boat was not sailed from 2005-2010 (stored on land), end of 2013 till today (stored on land)... but got a bigger refit in 2010/2011 (mashine, electric, antifouling, trampolins) I wonder why the damages are being found so lately within an inspection this summer ? Such damages of rotten plywood as seen in the photos take years to build up.

    Very pitty for this beauty. But so is life... we all become "old bones" and one day we must die, some at young age others can become 96. So it goes even with boats, too.

    It might become an interesting project having all the technical infrastructure, e.g. a fully equipped workshop, a heated hall to build two new amas, ... I'd love to do this handcraftsman work, but yet I am not a pensionist. Such a project must wait 15 years at least for me.

    As then I would stretch the original design 3-4 foot and build them with wave piering bows plus uplifting foils, so I'd get a high performing cruising-racer of 41 ft, fully foil assisted with wing rotation mast and T-rudder.

    I suppose the total investment will be something in the range I could buy now a fully refitted 40 foot trimaran, e.g. the sister ship of legendary Trimaran Verbatim-Bullfrog... a Crowther 40. - Its he Trimaran AveGitana-SharkAngels...
    [​IMG]

    It was for sales since one year.
    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=634588223328483&id=536355233151783

    ... and in the market on yachtingworld.

    It seems the boat just was sold at a good prize - http://bit.ly/1MNmI3k . I didnt like this boat to buy as I'd have no stand hight and no seperated cabin. I have to work on the boat... so I look for a floor design as seen with the 38 foot boat we talk about now.

    I suppose I just have one simply question open: Shall I invest in a naval engineer surevy + consulting advisory contract with the designer to proof what we speculate around ? - It would be an investment of 4% of the sales prize now. Naturally I dont like to waste 4% for nothing good. :)

    Over weekend I will put all infos (videos, pictures) together and will send the fully documentation to the designer (unluckily he didnt consult the boatwarft that time so he does not know about the Tri). Let's see what he will tell.

    The basic decision must be done: Order a survey by a naval engineer ? Yes :!: or no :?:

    And next weeks I can proof: Is the owner willing to drop the prize down ? - I suppose the repairs can be done earlierst in spring/summer 2016 the boat has dried out after sunny days. So yes, something around 15-20,000 would be the maximum to pay.
     
  6. Skip JayR
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    Skip JayR Tri Enthusiast

    Jeff, tks giving some parameters about the costs. What about the "orientation prizes" for resin infusion method of such amas in the size of 38-41 ft ? - Regularly with infusion method the production costs drop, isnt ? - The fairing and painting can be of lower costs, too. Right ?

    A mould for resign infusion method (as seen in the vid) to produce the amas could be used again for following boats, too. So with 2nd and 3rd boat the prize drops heavily, isnt ?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5RfCfMEQHI
     
  7. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    I am not experienced in resin infusion beyond a couple of test panels....so infusion only is the laminating process and requires a sealed mold at greater effort for two hulls only, a simple set of forms/stations with battens are quick and adequate for foam sandwich, the fairing process through to smooth, fair and shiny may be marginally cheaper by one initial "bulk out" screed only if the infusion job is very neat- still every inch needs work unless you invest in female tooling- for two hulls very exxy & chance of selling extra hulls very unlikely I feel with tooling sitting around... costing storage.
    There may be options for developing hulls from table molded panels but this seems to come at some compromise & needs development by experienced practicioner to get the shape you need like a Kelsal, Constant camber or Cylinder molding technique, probably just better to mold the shape you need to original lines and arrive at a known point in design at minimum cost.

    Jeff.
     
  8. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Skip, as you know this build method and particularly the wooden elements are not well suited to neglect. They break down quickly once damage goes unattended. You're seeing the results of serious neglect, all of which is repairable, but again it's the honest answers you have to provide yourself, some of which you just plain will not like, that you'll have to dance with.

    Yeah, it's fixable and if I was a younger man, I'd consider a project like this for eventual resale, but the margin would be difficult to enjoy without some strict controls and choices. As a fix 'er up enjoy it along the way type of thing, well, this will probably be more costly, but you get something out of it (itching, dust, second mortgage, etc.).

    I don't think I'd remake the hulls, as you have a built in set of molds on hand, with some rotten stuff attached. They could be jigged up and the outer skins preserved, so new or repaired inner works can be applied.

    The survey is a must, though it is a crapshoot as to if it's a waste of money or not. I wish I had my money back on every survey I've had done, on boats I didn't buy. This is why most surveyors (including me) ask for their fee up front, as you're probably not going to like what you hear.

    Work up the costs, time, materials, etc. and get an assessment of the current condition and required (not desired) repairs. This will probably force your decision. Lastly and I'm sure you know, don't let your heart get involved. Look at it strictly as a business decision, so those special eye glasses don't come to play. You know, those special glasses that let you only see what you want to see, maybe rose colored . . .
     
  9. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Don't make a commitment to a survey at least until you hear from the designer.
     
  10. Rumars
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    Rumars Senior Member

    I think that for this decision other factors are more important.
    1. Condition of the rest of the boat. It makes no sense to buy it if there is osmosis in the main hull, or you need to rebuild the interior, or other problems resulting from neglect (coroded electrics, seized engine, mold, etc.)
    2. Location of the boat. Where is it? Can it remain there for a while longer and at what cost? What is the available infrastructure for boat repair?

    The amas are the least of your problems. At 38 feet you cut the amas off the boat yourself with a saw, load them on a truck and ship them to a builder somewhere to be used as plugs for new amas in your desired build method. Ask for a quote for building new amas if you supply the male mould and deck. In Europe you have the choice of countless yards from france to poland, for any build method and technology you can imagine.
    But this only works if the boat can stay where it is until next summer and if the location has somebody to install the new amas in the spring/summer. All at reasonable cost. If you have to move the boat now, or the rent is very high it does not make sense.

    As for the survey I would skip it until I see the boat in person. If the interior is not rotted, all of the equipment ok at first sight and functional and I still like the boat, then I would hire the surveyor. And he still might find some problems wich would prevent me from buying the boat, like osmosis, delaminated deck, waterlogged core, or other hidden defects that I did not see myself.
    So my advice is to invest some time and money and inspect the boat yourself. Take lots of pictures and notes, make a list about what you think needs changing, ask about prices for storage, look around. Then go home, look at the pictures and think about how it would be to live aboard and what you consider needs done to the interior so you can live/work there. Things like new or extended electrical systems, toilet, shower, holding tanks, kitchen, etc. can break the deal if you are not looking for a multi year project. If the boat was a racer-weekender you might have only basic electrics, a pot-a-portie and a basic kitchen with a campstove. This will not work if you want to live and work from the boat. Calculate how much time and money you will need to bring the boat in your desired condition. It is one thing to have the boat sail-ready and another to have it live/work aboard ready.
    If you are still satisfied then negociate with the owner, then hire surveyor, then negociate again until agreement.
     
  11. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I mis-read the title as "humility found in a trimaran" :D It promised to be a philosophical journey ! :)
     
  12. Skip JayR
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    Skip JayR Tri Enthusiast

    Be efficient and start a new thread with that topic :_) :D
     
  13. Skip JayR
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    Skip JayR Tri Enthusiast

    Thats the way I will handle it... over weekend I will prepare all photo materials, videos etc. .... and overhand it to the designer. As he yet has not seen the boat as not being involved in the building process he might be curiously about to see the details.

    Will report, so long this designer does not expect a pre-payment within an advisory consulting contract and keeps silent about.
     
  14. Skip JayR
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    Skip JayR Tri Enthusiast

    Keeping a cool head...

    Luckily I have to see it as an investment. As it becomes "living + working", its not for pleasure and privately fun. This helps me to keep a "cool head".

    Yes... seeing such a boat with "pinkey glasses" is a risky thing. Especially when you have seen some nice videos of this boat under sails before knowing about this "rotten wood diseaster".

    I know a video of the sister ship pacing along with 17 knots under spinnaker. So the brain starts spinning and dreaming around, indeed.
    This sister boat (see picture) has been sailed intensively in UK, Netherlands, France, Portugal, Spain, Canary Island, Grenada/Martinique, St Maarten/Dom Rep., Bahamas, Cuba and Jamaica. So I'd trust this kind of boat and its seaworthyness.

    As I was professionally skipper I had to maintain bigger boats for owners. So I know about the dramas going over years when it lacks of financially reserves or the will to invest... and to see how it damages the substance of the yacht heavily. So I am proofen ! :)
     

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  15. Skip JayR
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    Skip JayR Tri Enthusiast

    The good thing: this boat is being sold by an European importer of Trimarans (one of the world leading brands). The owner of this company has sailed this trimaran actively during regattas. Its not just a broker deal... he cant afford to betray me as he would risk to damage his own image too heavily as he has a multihull sailing academy, too (beside his multihull trader business).

    Lets see !
     
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