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Mark Tunnicliffe

Hull too thin on Dutch barge?

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I'm interested in buying a 63ft x 11ish 1930 Dutch barge advertised on Apolloduck, surveyed in 2013, the hull found to be in 'Good Condition' (Seller has supplied me with survey). However the hull bottom (built with 5mm plate), registered thicknesses of 4.2 mm in places, towards bow. She has been overplated in these areas (slight pitting, but good conditon). The surveyor had very restricted internal access to hull though, so could not comment on condition of the inside of hull, bilge etc. He recommended no work necessary anywhere, as despite thinning (where noted) the plating was sound.

Lovely boat generally, beautifully maintained, but is it a timebomb?

I'm new to boating, and need a good live aboard (I won't be cruising). And I'm tempted by this boat, but will it soon need new overplating, or worse, cropping and replacing? I've been told insurers may not touch a boat with less 4mm or less .....

PS to my original post - the areas of 4.2mm are original plating, not overplating.

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PPS - I do apologise - I need to amend above. Re-reading survey, I should quote directly: " Bottom and Bilge plating - overplating from turn of bilge to below waterline, minot pitting all in good condition. New overplating from amidships to stern, with existing plating in good condition. side shell plating all in good condition with overplating to turn of bilge to jyust below waterline. When built, wearstrips were rivetted to the sideshell to just below waterline generally with a depth of around 300mm. When worn it is not possibe to remove and replate, hence the doubling gives triple platig to these areas. With the vessel being used on Cat D waters only this is not a problem. Also wear plates port and starboard to the bow in 3mm."

- I'm not sure what the last couple of points mean?

Thanks for anyone's informed feedback!

14 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Well that was 6 years ago, whats it like today is whats important.

Absolutely!

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22 minutes ago, Mark Tunnicliffe said:

Lovely boat generally, beautifully maintained, but is it a timebomb?

Buying any boat is a 'financial timebomb' buying a 1930s iron boat with a 'marginal survey' from 6 years ago means that there is potentially a very short fuse on said time-bomb.

 

Pays' your money and have it lifted out and a FULL survey.

You can spend a £1000 now and walk away when you find out the condition it is in.

You can spend a £1000 now and be pleased about the condition it is in.

You can do without a new survey and in a couple of years time when you need to spend £20,000 on having it over-plated think "why me, why, O'why did I buy it".

 

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6 minutes ago, Mark Tunnicliffe said:

With the vessel being used on Cat D waters only this is not a problem. Also wear plates port and starboard to the bow in 3mm."

- I'm not sure what the last couple of points mean?

It probably means that so much overplating has been added that it is not safe to take it in anything other than Cat D waters.

 

Cat D waters are basically 'sheltered waters, canals, rivers and lakes with no waves above 300mm in height'

So don't be tempted to take it down the Thames and out to sea.

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Ah, survey 2013, that's a problem, The only way to know the condition now is to get the hull surveyed. There really is no other way I'm afraid. Overplating is pretty much inevitable with a metal boat a few years old and is not something I would personally worry about. I would, however. worry about a hull that is randomly patched all over the place and I would also like to see the state of the rivets. Dutch barges have a lot of rivets and they are usually countersunk so areas of wear, turn of the bilge and other places can leave rivets with precious little head holding them in. That's not meant to worry you, There are beautiful, elderly barges all over the place in good condition but regular inspection is just normal (or should be)  If its possible to lift a few areas of flooring then do so, what happens in damp dark places is seldom good and it also makes it damned hard to weld bits of hull if you can't get to the other side to watch for smouldering things. If all is acceptable after a survey and you do go for it then get some decent paint on it whilst its out of the water. Good luck.

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2 hours ago, zenataomm said:

"Time Bomb" …… excellent name for any boat really.

 

I always thought "Negative Investment" would be an appropriate name, that or "Narrow Escape 😁

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21 minutes ago, cuthound said:

I always thought "Negative Investment" would be an appropriate name,

 

Ah, someone who agrees with me at last on this! 

 

I was only squabbling about it again the other day with someone (boater sam I think) who was describing a boat as an 'investment' while I hold it is no such thing, it is an 'expense'. 

 

 

Edited by Mike the Boilerman
Spelling.
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5 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Ah, someone who agrees with me at last on this! 

 

I was only squabbling about it agin the other day with someone (boater sam I think) who was describing a boat as an 'investment' while I hold it is no such thing, it is an 'expense'. 

 

 

Exactly Mike, but what a great way to waste money eh? you keep on telling them down there and I will do the same up here, that way it wont get to crowded, and we should also tell every boater that London is a fantastic place to go and live in a boat😈

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59 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Ah, someone who agrees with me at last on this! 

 

I was only squabbling about it again the other day with someone (boater sam I think) who was describing a boat as an 'investment' while I hold it is no such thing, it is an 'expense'. 

 

 

 

Ah, but what an enjoyable and relaxing way to lose money boating is 😁

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7 hours ago, Mark Tunnicliffe said:

I'm interested in buying a 63ft x 11ish 1930 Dutch barge advertised on Apolloduck, surveyed in 2013, the hull found to be in 'Good Condition' (Seller has supplied me with survey). However the hull bottom (built with 5mm plate), registered thicknesses of 4.2 mm in places, towards bow. She has been overplated in these areas (slight pitting, but good conditon). The surveyor had very restricted internal access to hull though, so could not comment on condition of the inside of hull, bilge etc. He recommended no work necessary anywhere, as despite thinning (where noted) the plating was sound.

Lovely boat generally, beautifully maintained, but is it a timebomb?

I'm new to boating, and need a good live aboard (I won't be cruising). And I'm tempted by this boat, but will it soon need new overplating, or worse, cropping and replacing? I've been told insurers may not touch a boat with less 4mm or less .....

PS to my original post - the areas of 4.2mm are original plating, not overplating.

As you're new to boats I'm wondering why you would want to get involved in a vintage craft which is likely to need a lot of maintenance? Also as you say you won't be cruising and only living on it, why not look at some newer but less stylish broad beam boats? Lots on the market.

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2 hours ago, cuthound said:

 

………….………. or "Narrow Escape 😁

Surely "Narrow Escape" is what you'd call the one you didn't buy?

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Is this barge in uk or holland. On the continent it’s normal to buy subject to survey and the contract will allow you to walk away and have your deposit returned if there are problems with the boat. Often the seller will put these right but you should certainly not consider accepting a 6 year old survey as insurance complies would be very wary of a survey this old. On my 100 year old barge I had to have a survey every 7 years. 4 mm in usually the minimum an insurance company looks for and overplaying is normal as long as the surveyor is happy with it.

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5 minutes ago, Dav and Pen said:

Is this barge in uk or holland. On the continent it’s normal to buy subject to survey and the contract will allow you to walk away and have your deposit returned if there are problems with the boat. Often the seller will put these right but you should certainly not consider accepting a 6 year old survey as insurance complies would be very wary of a survey this old. On my 100 year old barge I had to have a survey every 7 years. 4 mm in usually the minimum an insurance company looks for and overplaying is normal as long as the surveyor is happy with it.

 

4mm may be the minimum for fully comp insurance here, but the norm on the continent for a surveyor's satisfaction is 3mm, so in general the vendor wouldn't be putting it right at their expense if it was just above that thickness.

 

Also it's not just the age of the survey, it's the fact that it's not your survey. Unless you commission a survey yourself most insurance companies won't accept it. You shouldn't accept it either because you don't know if it's all correct. I met a bloke once at Penton Hook on the Thames who had bought a barge on the strength of the vendor's survey only to find out later that the hull thickness figures had been doctored. 

Edited by blackrose

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2 hours ago, cuthound said:

 

I always thought "Negative Investment" would be an appropriate name, that or "Narrow Escape 😁

I always chuckle when I see that NB named "No Problem".  Surely the most ridiculous name for a boat, ever.

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13 hours ago, blackrose said:

 

4mm may be the minimum for fully comp insurance here, but the norm on the continent for a surveyor's satisfaction is 3mm, 

Interesting. Do you mean Netherlands, Belgium and France for example. I always thought 4mm was universally accepted as the minimum.

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Many salty-water boats are built with 4 or 5mm steel hulls (and some even 3mm) and it is the norm to get insurance on them.

 

Canal boats have much harder lives 'graunching' over shopping trolley's, sliding along concrete walls, T-Boning other boats, being T-boned by other boats, general bumps and scrapes in which 'thin' steel can be perforated. (protruding bolts in walls etc).

 

There is (was) a South African boat builder building 'frameless' steel boats up to 65 feet long using 4mm steel for the Hull & Deck and 3mm for the 'topsides'

 

 

Frameless Steel Boat.JPG

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38 minutes ago, jenevers said:

I always thought 4mm was universally accepted as the minimum.

 

And I always thought 4mm was only required by UK insurance companies when insuring canal boats specifically. 

 

  • Horror 1

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Thanks to everyone - I think, in my mind, I began to answer my own question as I wrote it! The boat is in UK, by the way. I would always have had my own full survey done, just didnt; want to waste time and money on one if it was likely to be a horror show.  I'm skipping this barge - lovely as it is, as many thousands of pounds cropping the hull and replating seems imminent, especially after reading the wise counsel here. And I should stop telling people I'm new to boating. I've lived on a steel boat for 3 years now but count myself as a newbie compared with many of my salty neighbours. A Dutch barge has begun to appeal for a few reasons (though extreme agedness worries me) - a wheel house for vantage point and light, and I guess shear character. While a widebeam canal boat has been top of the list, I can't help feeling they're a bit featureless, inseide and out (Cue outraged feedback!) Anyway, eyes open for the next 'dreamboat' ....

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31 minutes ago, Mark Tunnicliffe said:

While a widebeam canal boat has been top of the list, I can't help feeling they're a bit featureless, inseide and out (Cue outraged feedback!) Anyway, eyes open for the next 'dreamboat' ....

Skip+boat.jpg

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