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Horace42

Death throes of rusty boat

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On 07/02/2020 at 16:07, Graham Davis said:

33 years ago you bought a steel boat and didn't know that it was going to get rusty? Really?? Sorry, but I find that very difficult to believe.
And you've only had it blacked 3 times? Frankly I'm not surprised the surveyor has condemned it. As he is obviously a wiser and better informed man then you I would suggest following his advise might be a good idea.

1/ Yes, the thickness that stops the water getting in.
2/ See 1.

3/ No,

It might seem like I am arguing with you, sorry, but the advice to follow surveyor commendations to replate my boat is not a good idea according Alan and his article on replating. To my mind the surveyor is only 'wiser and better informed' in respect of protecting his own arse...sod the client.

 

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On 07/02/2020 at 17:27, Bee said:

You have had the boat 30+ years. IF you had bought it brand new it would very likely need some plating by now so you have done well with it. Do you like the boat? Enough to give it another 30 + years? If you do then get it overplated. Do you Really like it? then get the old steel removed and new put in (you might find this then leads to a re- fit as well). With a survey like that its really just a project boat and worth E Bay auction money - a few thousand at most. Your questions have pretty much been answered by others but a steel boat really is endlessly repairable if the owner wants to do it. If you go to Holland there are very many old (and ancient) iron and steel boats still in use, some of these are not classics either but because they are useful they get repaired.

Thanks Bee. I think you have summed it up quite well.

You mention eBay - I will have a look.

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On 07/02/2020 at 17:31, David Mack said:

Cutting out and replacing plate is the gold standard treatment for thinning hull plate, but is disruptive to the internal fitout and can be costly. The alternative is overplating - welding a new steel skin over the existing bottom and sides up to just above the water line. The detractors will point out that corrosion can still occur between the old and new skins, and that the added weight can make a boat sit dangerously low in the water if there are ventilation openings in the hull sides. On the other hand there are hundreds of replated boats around the system, which have been given a new lease of life. Martin Kedian, occasional contributer here, reckons he can overplate without doing any damage to internal fitout or hull insulation, and is prepared to give prices on his website. Have a chat with him via http://www.kedianengineering.co.uk.

The you can decide whether to get the work done, or sell the boat as is.

Thanks David. I will check out Kedian - but honestly as part of a puzzle to complete the picture,  rather than any serious intention having the work done.

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Overplating is fine, as long as it is done properly. I cannot understand why some people seem to have an agenda to try to prove otherwise.

  • Greenie 2

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On 07/02/2020 at 17:59, Alan de Enfield said:

Full article here :

Text deleted

https://www.iims.org.uk/the-dangers-of-overplating/

Alan.   I think I read your original article. It was one of the reasons I decided not to have my boat replated.

No regrets. If I find one, I will let the new owner decide what to do with it.

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9 minutes ago, Keeping Up said:

Overplating is fine, as long as it is done properly. I cannot understand why some people seem to have an agenda to try to prove otherwise.

 

I think you have answered your own question with your caveat. How does anyone know (or better, prove) it has been "done properly"?

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@Horace42 Good luck in your new home. If you can put/have the boat put in a marina or other group mooring near your target destination for a few months whilst you look for your new place you might find it a great way to meet like minded people in your new neighbourhood - although EOG is a lot of peoples dream the social aspect of boating can be really nice in a new area. If your kids don't live anywhere near water there is no shame in renting a furnished place for a few months before buying your next property. Being a 'chain free' buyer is good!

xx

Edited by TheMenagerieAfloat

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On 07/02/2020 at 20:41, cheshire~rose said:

 

May I ask what was the idea in investing in blacking 3 times was for? 

 

Did you think the fish would complain about the hull looking a bit shabby? 

 

If you do not feel you were warned about keeping a boat protected from rust then why invest in blacking at all?

I vaguely recall I was told (by boatyards, mariners, BSS MOT people, paint-makers etc) that blacking was required for insurance purposes. 

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Just now, Horace42 said:

I vaguely recall I was told (by boatyards, mariners, BSS MOT people, paint-makers etc) that blacking was required for insurance purposes. 

It looks as if over the last 30 odd years you have consistently had some very poor advice.

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On 07/02/2020 at 20:45, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

 

I'm shocked so many here could not see his tongue stuck so firmly in cheek saying this...
 

So many fantastic rises to the bait, he got! 

 

Thanks Mike - a direct hit!

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On 07/02/2020 at 21:18, Alan de Enfield said:

I've only had one survey (my 1st 'big boat') the survey was excellent, we bought the boat and then found serious issues that took £20k+ to resolve and all of which the surveyor had 'passed with flying colours'.

Engaged a marine lawyer who went thru the survey and basically said - "don't waste your money going to court, the 'small print' absolves him from any errors and omissions, and basically the survey is just an opinion and not legally binding".

Have purchased (probably) 18 or 20 boats since (we normally replace them every couple of years) and never had a condition survey.

 

Add in the recurrent failures of BSS Examiners to even move out of the saloon, let alone see the Fire extinguisher are 10 years out of date, or other 'tests' I've set and I have little respect for the term 'surveyor'.

 

It won't be long before the money I've saved on surveys will buy me a new boat.

 

When we bought the Catamaran in Croatia (it was a £250k boat) we told the broker we did not want a survey, he insisted, I insisted, & in the end he paid for it to go over to Italy and be lifted out (nowhere in Croatia could lift it with 23 foot beam) and have as survey. He was not prepared to sell it and potentially sully his name by selling a 'bad-boat'.

 

The only fault found was a crack in the cross-trees which had already shown up whilst on its mooring when the broker arranged a rigging survey.

 

 

Screenshot (63).png

Yes Alan, I agree with you wholeheartedly about the surveyor... . Yes an 'opinion' - not traceable to any national standards for hull thickness - but based on many years of experience - and delivered with smug arrogance....a waste of money .... but regretfully a procedure embedded in the boat ownership 'system'.

As you probably know know better than me, CRT with compulsory 3rd party insurance, and the insurers particularly for fully comp, make regular surveys mandatory for valuation.

 

Having jumped through the hoops I am insured  ...... except in my case .... although the insurance company might have to pay me for the 'loss' of my boat, and CRT for cost of emergency removal of an obstruction to navigation), there is a risk they might ague I am not insured for the latter, and sue me to recover their costs in excess of the insured value.

 

It all comes down to trust I suppose....or lack of in my case.

All on the more reason to give up boating.

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On 07/02/2020 at 22:05, TheMenagerieAfloat said:

I did wonder but was a little surprised at someone who knew what a blinking mess their hull was likely to be having it surveyed themselves prior to sale - makes it harder to say 'I'm sure it's fine' Shirley? 

Yes! it was tongue -in-cheek on my part. Sorry.... it is my dry sense of humour frivolously creeping into a serious question about the longevity of a steel narrowboat.

 

........... and please don't call me Shirley!

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On 08/02/2020 at 09:47, Bee said:

As Rose Narrowboats says, local conditions, stray volts and internal dryness are important. Its the stray volts that are so hard to know about. Is it this that causes pitting? I understand the anode and cathode bit (well sort of) but as I understand it local bits of carbon, slag(?) and just plain old 'stuff' within the steel is enough to start a pit, you do not have to have an iffy electrical system on the boat or your neighbours boat. The only way that I know to deal with this is paint, my experience is that once you paint the pit it stops it developing but I cannot remember every pit on the boat so who knows? How is it that HMS Belfast is still afloat? or any other steel boat sitting in corrosive salt water?

Interesting point about stray electrics --- my boat at the end of my garden (unused and occupied for most of the year) is permanently connected to a 230vac land line (but fitted with galvanic isolators)

If pitting takes place in the unpainted areas, even a brand new boat can have bare patches due to scratches - where the electric current focuses - then I imagine my boat would be full of holes by now - but is not - being absolutely dry in the bilge.  Rain-water gets into the engine bilge when the covers are not on - and is pumped out when necessary.

 

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Surveys are a bit like MOT's or services, limited in what they (can) cover and are only valid for a short time. If I was a surveyor I would have no idea if the bottom of the water tank / fuel tank / black water tank was about to drop out, only a best guess at the bottom of the gas locker, state of the skin fittings, hidden electrics, state of the bottom of the boat unless floorboards were liftable and adequacy of the insulation. That still leaves crushed olives in gas pipes, clarifier lying on a rusty screw and starting to weep (yes) and that's before you get to engine, gearbox and an awful lot more. I have sympathy for surveyors, engineers and buyers  I think there is a job for an old geezer with no qualifications but genuine experience (And not just someone trotting out the same old myths) who could give a pretty good opinion on a boat. I would also like to add that I am too lazy, too easy to bribe, too busy and am frequently out of the country!.

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2 minutes ago, Horace42 said:

Interesting point about stray electrics --- my boat at the end of my garden (unused and occupied for most of the year) is permanently connected to a 230vac land line (but fitted with galvanic isolators)

If pitting takes place in the unpainted areas, even a brand new boat can have bare patches due to scratches - where the electric current focuses - then I imagine my boat would be full of holes by now - but is not - being absolutely dry in the bilge.  Rain-water gets into the engine bilge when the covers are not on - and is pumped out when necessary.

 

It is a puzzle why some boats corrode and some don't. Its a shame no one has found some sort of chemical or metal that can be bunged into the molten metal to make it less rustable that is cheap and doesn't have any drawbacks. In the meantime I think we have to rely on paint.

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4 minutes ago, Bee said:

It is a puzzle why some boats corrode and some don't. Its a shame no one has found some sort of chemical or metal that can be bunged into the molten metal to make it less rustable that is cheap and doesn't have any drawbacks. In the meantime I think we have to rely on paint.

Monel, Stainless steel, aluminium, etc (even GRP)

There are plenty of materials that are non-rusting but I doubt many narrowboaters would be prepared to pay the price.

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2 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Monel, Stainless steel, aluminium, etc (even GRP)

There are plenty of materials that are non-rusting but I doubt many narrowboaters would be prepared to pay the price.

Steel is cheap and straightforward to build with but I'm not sure if its as good as heavy GRP (or some sort of resin bonded composite or laminate material) Many houseboats in Holland are built on concrete bases and plenty of marina finger pontoons are stainless steel or even plastic of some sort. I think  canal boaters are very conservative when it comes to different materials and are happy to keep welding patches on.

  • Happy 1

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1 minute ago, Bee said:

I think  canal boaters are very conservative when it comes to different materials and are happy to keep welding patches on.

No question about that.

 

But I think that canal boating is seen as a 'cheap' way of boating and using steel allows for inexpensive boats to be built.

 

There is always the old saying "buy right and buy once", or "buy cheap and pay forever"

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23 hours ago, Sea Dog said:

May I take this opportunity, and I'm sure I speak for many here, to wish you all the very best with your sale and for your forthcoming career as a land lubber. It sounds to me like you've had your money's worth and more from "Willpower" and, notwithstanding your inattention to her bottom ;), she's given you great service and a bundle of happy memories.  Good luck Horace! :)

Thanks Sea Dog for your kind thoughts. No complaints - and many happy years of boating. Goodness knows how much money (and time working on it) we have spent.  An ignorance stemming from a simple 3 question philosophy on life when we have a free choice:

Do we want it?

Can we afford it?

Do we need it? 

If a definite yes-yes-yes, then we go for it.

Only 1 'no' usually kills it.

 

Edit.  Re  keeping our boat, it gets 3 no's.

Edited by Horace42
ps added

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18 hours ago, TheMenagerieAfloat said:

@Horace42 Good luck in your new home. If you can put/have the boat put in a marina or other group mooring near your target destination for a few months whilst you look for your new place you might find it a great way to meet like minded people in your new neighbourhood - although EOG is a lot of peoples dream the social aspect of boating can be really nice in a new area. If your kids don't live anywhere near water there is no shame in renting a furnished place for a few months before buying your next property. Being a 'chain free' buyer is good!

xx

Thanks. There's great merit in what you say. A temporary marina makes sense if we 'live' on our boat in between selling and buying.

Many years ago - first thinking of moving but in those days to a canal-side property  - we would find a place for sale - moor  up moor - knock on the door with a hold-all full of money and pay cash.

51 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Monel, Stainless steel, aluminium, etc (even GRP)

There are plenty of materials that are non-rusting but I doubt many narrowboaters would be prepared to pay the price.

But what is the price? Do you have any prices for non-rusting metal?

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6 minutes ago, Horace42 said:

 

But what is the price? Do you have any prices for non-rusting metal?

 

The most common and cheapest non-rusting metal is stainless steel.

 

I'd guess stainless is about three times the price of ordinary mild steel. And about three times as expensive to fabricate and weld.

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Horace42 said:

Do you have any prices for non-rusting metal?

There are already NB's manufactured in Aluminium 'as standard'

Some NB's have been manufactured in Stainless Steel s 'one-offs'

 

Ac series of articles about having an Alu one built.

 

https://livingonanarrowboat.co.uk/building-an-aluminium-narrowboat-part-1/

 

Several Aluminium ones for sale here :

 

https://www.newsnow.co.uk/classifieds/boats-for-sale/sea-otter-boats-for-sale.html

 

"2nd hand there is not a huge difference in price to a 'tin-slug', take into account no (never) blacking, and no corrosion its not much of a price difference

 

https://www.yachtworld.co.uk/boats/2007/sea-otter-41-3645510/?utm_source=newsnow&utm_medium=paid-feed&utm_campaign=rubrikk_group

 

 

 

A member of this forum (Paul) had one and had it fully equipped and was extremely happy with it.

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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2 hours ago, Bee said:

  I think there is a job for an old geezer with no qualifications but genuine experience (And not just someone trotting out the same old myths) who could give a pretty good opinion on a boat. I would also like to add that I am too lazy, too easy to bribe, too busy and am frequently out of the country!.

I was lucky enough to know one when I bought mine. He was in the process (and still is) of revamping an old working boat, knew everything there was to know about boats and diesels.  We walked round the old tub as far as we could, hit it with a hammer here and there, sneered at the engine bay and bought it.  No survey.  Luckily we had another friend who was a welder and between the three of us we got the thing sorted out.  He won't touch the engine any more as he reckons he's too old to bend himself into the space - he specialises in ancient monsters that live in proper engine rooms these days....  the trouble with old geezers is that they age at the same rate that I do.

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On 08/02/2020 at 18:00, Keeping Up said:

Overplating is fine, as long as it is done properly. I cannot understand why some people seem to have an agenda to try to prove otherwise.

 

On 08/02/2020 at 18:11, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

I think you have answered your own question with your caveat. How does anyone know (or better, prove) it has been "done properly"?

 

Indeed. In my opinion it is better to buy a boat (at the right price) that is in need of overplating and get it overplated by the company of your choice, than buy an overplated one with unknown provenance.

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