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Honest opinions on boat


AJby3
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Hi everyone, I could use some brutally honest opinions on a boat my partner found and wants to go see. I think it needs blacking and an engine service.

 

My partner wants to see it based only on the price, and I'm super worried it's a potential death trap. It's from 1976!

 

This is the boat in question: https://www.greathaywoodboatsales.co.uk/shop/cedar/

 

Any thoughts and options will be gratefully received (even if it's don't touch it with a barge pole!). Thank you

Edited by AJby3
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No specification for the base plate, hull, cabin side & roof thickness so probably very thin by today's standards, maybe only 3 to 5mm or less in places. If no welding/overplating (as to see invoices) I would suspect bad pitting so a survey may be very wise. At least a hull survey.

 

Also no idea why the gearbox is not identified so maybe its an odd one or a Hurth.

 

I would want to have a very good inspection of it before even making a preliminary offer.

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For its age it looks Ok, very dated but OK.

 

What is missing is all the 'boat' information, what is provided is the 'its a house' information.

 

Engine service records

Any invoices for 'work done' ?

Boat safety certificate (in date, expires when ?)

When last blacked ?

Any previous surveys ?

Metal thicknesses ?

 

Before you can insure it then it will need a full survey before the insurers will consider it so you may as well have one done before you buy it.

Its 45 years old, its unlikely to be in 'top' condition do you have spare money in the budget to do £2,000 / £5000/ £10,000  of work ?

 

Edit to add, just found another page that answers some of those questions.

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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Not been serviced for four years - suggests either negligence - or been in a marina - with landline power.

Looks tidy inside and out - but that could indcate being tarted up for sale, thereby covering up many sins or not.

Needs a thorough inspection by someone who knows plus a good (=thorough) survey?

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Get a hull survey at the least, this will cost you around £650 - £750 at gt Haywood facility.

It's a good starter boat, you should be able to get at least the cost of the survey off the price

Or if you wanted to take a risk, offer around £12500 to buy now no comebacks

At the end of the day if the hull survey says it's in "fair condition" then you will get all of your money back £15k in a couple of years anyway.

The survey will all but gaurantee that for you.

Also bear in mind all surveyor will say in their reports that's something needs looking at, and this is a bit of further leverage on the price.

You can always make small improvements to the toilet / bathroom over the next few months or years.

Go for it, its tidy, clean , dry and very usable.

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8 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

....What is missing is all the 'boat' information, ...

 

Engine service records

Any invoices for 'work done' ?

Boat safety certificate (in date, expires when ?)

When last blacked ?

Any previous surveys ?

Metal thicknesses ?

Brochure says engine serviced 2016; BSC July 2021; blacked 2017.

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Get the hull and engine surveyed, make sure there’s a comfortable amount of steel between the inside and the canal, and that the engine isn’t about to fall apart. Get a new BSC done as a condition of sale, make sure its not going to explode/burst into flames/give you CO poisoning. Apart from that, pretty much everything else is cosmetic, and if you like it, you like it. 

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Our first ever potential purchase the surveyor just looked at it and said don't even Lift it out of the water. End of survey. Good advice.

 

The boat you mention looks okay for the money, but be mindful of the comments you have received as requested. Have alook but think with open mind before proceeding to the next stage. It might be a belter.
 

 

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Very similar to my own early 80s boat. Be sure it’s solid and you know what you are taking on.  A survey is a must. It may even save you money in the end as usually any bad points on the survey can be used to negotiate on price.  Projects can be fun.

 

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If you go to inspect the boat tell them you expect the engine to be stone cold and also the start battery. When you get there feel them to make sure they are. This weather it shoudl start within 30 seconds of cranking but when cool it might need 30 seconds of glow plus before you try to start it.  If it starts fairly quickly then the compressions are likely to be OK. If it takes ages and smokes for more than about five to ten minutes after starting the engine probably needs attention. Could be anything from valve clearances (cheap) through glowplugs, faulty injectors to  a worn out engine. hence you being advised to ask for an engine survey.

 

If the battery or the engine feels warm they are probably trying to hide something.

  • Greenie 1
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4 minutes ago, Nightwatch said:

Our first ever potential purchase the surveyor just looked at it and said don't even Lift it out of the water. End of survey. Good advice.

 

The boat you mention looks okay for the money, but be mindful of the comments you have received as requested. Have alook but think with open mind before proceeding to the next stage. It might be a belter.
 

 

It's worse than buying a car - but then  I come from the days when peeps knoew something about cars (no disrespec' to you...)

 

There's so muc so called technology around and so little understanding from folks (- why should there be, anyway).

With a car there's usually general knowledge in the marketplace for folks to say "don't buy a.. because of ..." But with boats and builders, there's no standard design, no industry standards; just opinions.

 

Now with current economic conditions peeps are looking for lower cost of living - and untill the bubble bursts (regulations that is), there are a lot of folks chasing too few boats and a lot will get unstuck.

 

This boat has the advantage that it's quite old and many will say OOOOooo No. However it may be quite sound - but can you take the risk.

 

Nice carpets and attractive layout may hide a multitude of sins OR it may mean it's been loved and may be someone has not spotted it because of its age.

Thus some suggestions (in no particular order)

 

Be there when the survey is done

TALK TO the surveyor and ask what he's checking and why

Run the engine

See if the batteries are charging

Lift some carpet in SEVERAL places and look at the condition of the floor beneath

Look in the engine bay - is it clean, no water or is it a heap of rust.

 

I've run out of suggestions - get involved, you're buying a lifestyle not a sofa and two chairs....

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1 hour ago, Karen Lea Rainey said:

 

Go for it, its tidy, clean , dry and very usable.

 

How do you know this from the photos? It may have bilges half full of water for all we know.

6 minutes ago, OldGoat said:

 

Lift some carpet in SEVERAL places and look at the condition of the floor beneath (Yes, and ideally an inspection hatch to see if there's any water or dampness down there)

Look in the engine bay - is it clean, no water or is it a heap of rust.

 

 

Edited by blackrose
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It's less than £15k, look on apollo duck, Ebay etc, I dont think you'll  do better for your money.

It's pretty tidy inside, it's obviously been somebody's pride and joy with reasonable care taken.

This boat will be snapped up within a few days for sure.

What steel narrowboat can you find for less than 15k, there ain't a lotta choice out there you know!

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Nixon is not a boat builder I have heard of, but that probably doesn't matter. Cabin doesn't have much tumblehome, which means it is more spacious inside but perhaps more likely to catch the cabin top corners on arched bridges.

Looks a bargain at the price though.

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42 minutes ago, Karen Lea Rainey said:

It's less than £15k, look on apollo duck, Ebay etc, I dont think you'll  do better for your money.

It's pretty tidy inside, it's obviously been somebody's pride and joy with reasonable care taken.

This boat will be snapped up within a few days for sure.

What steel narrowboat can you find for less than 15k, there ain't a lotta choice out there you know!

 

Yes, but that tidy "pride & joy" could be sitting on a hull of newly painted wafer thin steel, in which case £15k is a complete rip-off. We just don't know from the photos. 

4 minutes ago, AJby3 said:

Excellent collective advice. We now have a sound checklist, and I feel more confident about going to see it ?.

 

if you're interested after seeing it then definitely get a survey.

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Could well be a money pit shed. Its very old, could be a very thin steel shell  when built with loss of lots of  metal due to 46 years of rust inside and out. Never heard of Nixon, there is a Hixon, but could be a back garden one off fabricator.

Wood top is a maintenance nightmare.

If hull is sound and engine runs well could be worth £10k.  Find out who owns it, the private owner or Great Heywood broker, if its the broker, he has probably paid £3k - £6k for it.

TD'

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41 minutes ago, OldGoat said:

It's low priced because because experienced folk will see it's a wooden top and needs a complete new cabin. Ince there is water ingress a steel top is the only practical solution - but then once done the boat is worth a lot more.

 

 

 

I thought that could be the case but could not see any definitive clues in the photos although one might show rippling under what might be a painted fabric cabin side. I thought the "ripples" looked more like reflections in the gloss of the towpath & edging.

 

Its still something to be aware of.

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16 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

If you go to inspect the boat tell them you expect the engine to be stone cold and also the start battery. When you get there feel them to make sure they are. This weather it shoudl start within 30 seconds of cranking but when cool it might need 30 seconds of glow plus before you try to start it.  If it starts fairly quickly then the compressions are likely to be OK. If it takes ages and smokes for more than about five to ten minutes after starting the engine probably needs attention. Could be anything from valve clearances (cheap) through glowplugs, faulty injectors to  a worn out engine. hence you being advised to ask for an engine survey.

 

If the battery or the engine feels warm they are probably trying to hide something.

My test (in anything but freezing weather) is to start the engine from cold without allowing glowplugs any working time, if it's not running within 30 seconds (and fairly smoke free after another 30 seconds) then I have know I need to investigate the engine condition. although to be fair I am a stickler for wanting engines to be perfect.

On my last boat we arrived having left it untouched for 3 months, jumped up & down on the deckboard to break the ice so we could lift it and turn the isolator on, turned the key straight to start and 10 seconds later it fired up with a single puff of smoke that cleared instantly, overall I was happy especially considering I knew that the starter battery was the one originally fitted to the boat when it was built 28 years earlier (sadly the starter battery finally gave up a week before we sold the boat and we had to sell it with a new battery)

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