Surveying a hull??

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by ted655, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. ted655
    Joined: May 2003
    Posts: 640
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    Location: Butte La Rose, LA.

    ted655 Senior Member

    I am going to look at a steel hulled boat next week (11-22-06).50' X 15' shallow (40") draft houseboat. No idea of type or thickness of plating.
    This boat was new in 1964. All the assurance of the seller aside, I want to know as much as possible about the hull. So how about a few rips on hull surveying? Boat IS drydocked on supports. Total exterior access. Not sandblasted yet. Appears from pictures that present coating is intact. Boat appears to hve been maintained thru the years.
    Is a welders chipping hammer good to "sound" the hull? Other tool or methods? What pitch sounds reveal what conditions? How do I determine thin metal, even if it shows no exterior signs. There will be many areas that only exterior testing is possible.
    Boy, any tips will help. Thanks.
     
  2. timgoz
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: SW PA USA

    timgoz Senior Member

    If you can swing it financially, get a surveyor. He should have an instrument able to check plate thickness. One with alot of work with smaller steel vessels would be best.

    I would be extrememely concerned if much of the interior (your likely trouble spot) could not be viewed. If possible make some of the unviewable interior "viewable" by removing some interior fixtures.

    Hope its a good boat. My two trips (over 2000 miles combined, 1 land & 1 air) to check out used steel boats, were both total disappointments. Unknowledgeable, if not outright missleading brokers, & boats in horrible condidtion.

    I think you probably have a better idea of what your getting into, as an owner ,hopefully, will be more honest & forthright. She sure sounds roomy.

    Take care.

    TGoz
     
  3. ted655
    Joined: May 2003
    Posts: 640
    Likes: 14, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 122
    Location: Butte La Rose, LA.

    ted655 Senior Member

    850 mi. one way. I hope it's a good one. It's not a bargaun (too good to be true) price. Maybe that's a good sign.Not possible to get the survey or the ultrasoubd. Thar's why I need the "old" methods. Give me some tips if you know any. Thanks,
     
  4. timgoz
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: SW PA USA

    timgoz Senior Member

    Ted,

    The boats I saw needed nothing but a glance in one case & a quick boarding and look around in the other, to determine there state. But as I said, they were both horrendous.

    Check out yachtsurvey.com. That might help, or at least get you into links & such for your info search.

    Out of curiosity, where is the boat located?

    TGoz
     
  5. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Any problems with the hull will not be on the outside (as far as rust is concerened) you will find rusting problems inside and not under the engine. It will usually be in small corners where water has sat and can not drain away. Underneath water tanks for instance. If there has been a water leak from a window etc this can pool some where and rust.

    The good news is that its not so difficult to repair. Cutting out a section of steel in say 4-5 mm and welding in a new piece is easy. My friends wife has decided to do just this on there 40 foot sloop. He is cutting and she has learned how to weld by practice alone,-- and tips from others.

    The biggest problem is removing interior fitting and fixtures, the plating job is easy.

    If there is a section that looks iffy you could put a drill through it to see its thickness. This of course depends on the owners permission. It can be sealed after with welding or temporary with a nut and bolt. Coal tar epoxy will be your new friend!!
     
  6. ted655
    Joined: May 2003
    Posts: 640
    Likes: 14, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 122
    Location: Butte La Rose, LA.

    ted655 Senior Member

    ==="Out of curiosity, where is the boat located?"================
    In Kentucky.
    Of course things get lost in translation. BUT.... as I'm told, the boat is ready to be blasted & coated. I ,(as a matter of fact), I want it coated with coal tar epoxy if I buy it. In fact I want to do it myself (if you want something done right....).
    I got busy and Googled a $400.00 ultrasound thickness guage. Just not sure if ir could get here in time. This isn't my 1st metal boat. My main concern on this one is the age and the possible electrolis over the years IF (being a houseboat especially) people over the years ran shore power improperly with no regards to anode replacement. Rust is one thing(cut & patch), but a "thin" hull is WAY another thing!
     

  7. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    Like Jack said, the inside is where the problems probably are. Where water puddles is questionable, but anywhere below the waterline can be constantly wet from condensation, as generally the river/lake temperature will be cooler than the air, and the air is generally pretty watersaturated and will condense on the steel. Take some good flashlights and a mirror that will let you see where you can't normally see. The chipping hammer or a ballpeen is a good idea also. After 42 years, any innaccesable areas are highly suspect. Any pitting can be a problem also, even if it has been cleaned up and recoated. If the hull steel is 1/8" thick, a pit can easily be half that deep, leaving you with 1/16". Deeper pits or pits on pits can leave you with lots of pinholes. Sam
     
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