Ping FAST FRED

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Maineac, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. Maineac
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: Carib, ME & Cali

    Maineac Junior Member

    I am currently down to the short strokes on the purchase of a Uniflite Navy 50. It's in the water, and I have a number of design questions. I don't want to post improperly or raise the ire of moderators.

    Can someone straighten me out? I know boats, and have gutted and refitted 2 power and 4 sail, from repairing massive hull holes to diesel installations. I just cannot find much info on this hull:

    http://www.iboats.com/sites/opyacht...?listing_page=listing_sum_manufacturer_3.html

    That was the prior offering over a year ago. I am buying FSBO. I'm a sucker for workboats and lobster styles. It's a 1976 with a 6-71 "supercharged" according to the seller. I also know diesels, but smaller sailboat forms of Perkins, Yanmar and Volvo.

    I want to make sure I'm not making some kind of mistake. I'm not asking for anyone's "blessing," just additional info that doesn't seem to be out there.

    Anyone else want to chime in with comments, GREAT! The boat was offered last year for $130,000.00, reduced to $78,000.00. The buyer is leaving the country and highly motivated to sell (National Geographic employee). The boat was refitted for an Alaskan trip, but that expedition was cancelled. 6-71 with 580hrs. since rebuild. Seller's motivation is to "clear his desk" before leaving for parts unknown for Nat'l Geo (I verified all this, he's pretty famous). Looks like a tax writeoff for him. The selling price will likely be $40K or less.
     
  2. TollyWally
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: Fox Island

    TollyWally Senior Member

    Uniflights are a well respected hull. A bit of a hermorphadite they were marketed and sold both as commercial boats and yachts. Sounds like a good value for the money.
     
  3. Gilbert
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: Cathlamet, WA

    Gilbert Senior Member

    As you probably know the "supercharged" is no doubt the standard blower found on all 2 cycle Detroit Diesels.
    You may not know that the government's fiberglass contracts required clear gel coat so the hull could be inspected for voids in the laminate and repaired. Then they were painted. Military fiberglass vessels had very little in the way of osmosis problems because of this.
    That's about it for my insight on your question. I hope it helps. I toured the plant, I think in the mid 80's and they were still making these hulls then.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Maineac
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: Carib, ME & Cali

    Maineac Junior Member

    Every comment, good or bad, is helpful. I'm 4000 miles away from the boat, and my son and his buddy, both commercial fishermen, are headed for inspection right now. It'll be a financed deal with a couple caveats, with haulout and survey after closing. I'm willing to take some marginal risk in purchase if he'll hold paper subject to. Seller is leaving the country friday, though, and wants the deal done no matter what. I've got the transaction covered.

    C'mon guys. Talk to me. The boys are on the boat at this very minute.
     
  5. Maineac
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: Carib, ME & Cali

    Maineac Junior Member

    Is there any way to PM or contact someone via email? I've tried the email route throught this system and it doesn't seem to work.
     
  6. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Click on someones Nick, a popup opens, send a PM or mail, smile... it sounds like a bargain buy.
    edit: I do┬┤nt know if you are able to send PM as a newbie!? Shall i "ping Fast Fred" for you? I sent a PM to FF!
    Regards
    Richard
     
  7. Maineac
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: Carib, ME & Cali

    Maineac Junior Member

    No, I couldn't get it to work. You may be right about the new thing. Please do let FF know I'm sticking my head into a Navy 50 and would like to come out with both ears. If the deal is going down, it's going down tomorrow. Thanks!
     
  8. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    I gave him a message per PM. He switched off the possibility to receive mail!
    btw: looks very sound and proper that boat.
    Regards
    Richard
     
  9. JohnTT
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: Atlantic

    JohnTT Junior Member

    My understanding is that some - but not all - Uniflites were made with a special fire proof resin that was specd on the Vietnam river patrol boats they made. This resin blistered badly - and worse - had problems with bond strength.

    The problem drove Uniflite into bankruptcy.

    John
     
  10. Maineac
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: Carib, ME & Cali

    Maineac Junior Member

    Yup, got that covered. And I've done several blister jobs. Did a 22' BW Renegade once that was COVERED in blisters. Sorry, but those boats don't impress me at all. Cheesy chopper gun hulls with foam. This one's got a few blisters but nothing radically bad. Nothing bigger than thumb size, and ony a few. Might even be just gelcoat blisters. Uniflite built the Valiant sailboats for a few years and turned out some of the notorious moonscapes when that resin began to rear it's ugly head. The consensus has been that there is no real structural issue, but most surveyors will recommend a peel of the top laminate(s) and re-glass to err on the side of caution. There are, however, a large number of heavily blistered Valiants still crossing oceans, with no indication of any potential structural failures.
     
  11. JohnTT
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: Atlantic

    JohnTT Junior Member

    Again - working on distant memory - but I think the Valiants were not built with the fire proof resin (and had blisters but not structural problems as typical of that era). The fire proof resin problems were much worse. But - the boat you're looking at clearly has lasted a bunch of decades. If it was going to come apart you'd think it would have happened by now.

    John
     
  12. Maineac
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: Carib, ME & Cali

    Maineac Junior Member

    The Valiants were built with fire retardant resin. From about 1976 to somewhere down the line. Might've simply been a defective resin, but I was pretty certain that it was the same issue. Ever see a bad one? 3 to 6" blisters EVERYWHERE, particularly below the waterline in warmer climates.

    I think we're good on that issue, though. Now if I can figure out where the 40 gallons of diesel lying in the starboard compartment amidships came from we'll by stylin'. No worries. The boys are there explaining how much it will cost to cut out the 250 gallon fuel tank and replace it, reglass the deck, etc. I've got a feeling, since I've done it before, it'll be a fairly easy job that might simply require replacing a fitting or two. They can't tell, and I told the owner to pump out the tank and bilge, then we'll talk final price & terms.
     
  13. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    "This resin blistered badly - and worse - had problems with bond strength.

    The problem drove Uniflite into bankruptcy."

    Not quite . In 73 the Arabs and Jews were having a bit of a war and the price of oil went up. As did many commodities,.And GRP resin went way up due to its oil content .

    Hetron FR ( Fire Retardant) resin was made with a compound that worked 100% , great strength and no blisters.

    It took 3 years to create a cheaper FR resin , and indeed it had problems.

    So if a boat is Hetron FR and built before 76 or so there is ZERO problems , blisters etc.

    Uniflights problems were far more than just blistering .

    Interesting that the Navy laminations are all roving , no layer of mat between layers , really strong , but required skills beyond the usual boat builder cheap street labor.

    FF
     

  14. Maineac
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: Carib, ME & Cali

    Maineac Junior Member

    So, Fred, what do you think? A 33 year old hull, a 42 Year old 671 with 700+ hours on the rebuild, and the seller claims he's down to $49,000.00 with the starboard fuel tank leaking from somewhere. He says the tanks are on a curve and not sitting directly on a shelf. They're stainless, but I'm going to guess they're older than the conversion job.

    I am a sucker for this boat. The guys (my son and his Alaskan buddy) say the blisters are all on the starboard side and all small. They don't really concern me.

    Deal has to go down this morning, Pacific time. I'm on Atlantic Standard Time, and 1000 miles south of Florida. What I'm looking at is 72 year old engine technology and a 33 year old hull. Other than that, she seems to be a beauty. The deck nonskid has to go, apparently peeling up with soft spots under where it held water against the deck. Drying and glasswork. No big deal. We'll probably haul immediately, soda blast and barrier coat the bottom, and start considering a repower with a Deere or whatever Mac Pettegrow (Pettegrow Yachts, Maine) will sell me wholesale and ship to California. He's retired, but I bet I can get him and Alice out of the snow to help with the repower. Thoughts?
     
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