Jump to content

Buying: ironworks maker? wooden cabin? Advice needed!


Featured Posts

Hi everyone,

 

I'm new to the forum so please forgive me if I somehow posted this in the wrong place.

 

I'm looking to buy my first boat and came across an ad that looks like my perfect, ideal one: lovely interior, desired layout, in my price range etc.

 

BUT it hasn't been blacked since 2016 AND it's a wooden cabin, which I don't know much about. How worrying are those things? I've read extreme opinions both ways about wooden cabins... This one looks in great condition on the photos but I'm not an expert so I need advice: what to look for? Do you have any recommendations for a surveyor who knows enough about wooden cabins to spot hidden flaws (the boat is in Oxford ATM)?

 

I have read as much as I can about this but all the posts I found about this on this forum were at least 8 years old hence this new thread.

 

Also, it's got a Lister Petter SW2 engine, which — again— I don't know if it's a good or a bad thing.

 

I hope it's ok to ask these questions here — I'm new to all this and I want to find a boat I can call home for the next few years! Don't mind having to work on it/learn DIY skills/spend some money on it but I'm not rich so can't afford to buy the wrong boat! All the threads I've read so far were very helpful and friendly so I hope you'll be able to help.

 

Many thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum

 

A boat that has not been blacked since 2016 AND has a wooden cabin is likely to be a bit of a can of worms. That is not to say it might be ok for someone capable to fixing stuff themselves but you have to ask why it has not been blacked and if an important piece of maintenance like that has not been completed then what else has been neglected? 

 

Wooden cabins need some regular care to keep them rot free and watertight. A nice old engine that may be absolutely fine for years to come but if it has not had a regular oil change then has it reduced its life and how easy is it to get parts? 

 

These are all things that I am not that familiar with myself. Yes if you are considering buying then get a survey done. I don't know if Elliot Berry of Marsurv Surveys would be able to help you but he knows about old boats. 

 

Perhaps your description of the boat will ring bells with someone who knows more about it and can answer your questions more specifically. It might mean you decide that you save the cost of a survey for a different boat, or it might be that this one just needs some TLC which you can do yourself. 

 

Hopefully someone will be along soon to add some more suggestions 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would add that before you think about a surveyor or anything you really need to visit the boat yourself. You can't buy a boat from photos alone.

 

Poke your finger into any places that look like damp may have affected the wood top. Smell the boat inside - if the superstructure is damp or affected by rot you will smell it. If it smells of fresh paint ask what that is covering up and why the blacking was not attended to rather than cosmetic stuff. 

 

If you are not close enough to visit then ask if someone else who is would be willing to give you an opinion before you travel 

  • Greenie 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

All wooden cabins  leak, sooner or later.  Once the leaks start they rot, fairly quickly,   if they are not sorted out.

The Lister-Petter SW2 is a water cooled version of the almost unbreakable SR2, and share many parts.  They were not a common engine.  We had one for 5 years with the only problem in that time  being the crankshaft oil seal, which was a PITA to get to, but simple to fix.  The Jabsco cooling pump impellers may now be hard to find.  MES (Midlands) can tell you about spares.

 

N

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like the sort of boat that might interest someone like me.  Not necessarily a good thing for anyone else though. I quite enjoy a project, I like character over boring common sense, I don't mind a challenge and I can weld well enough to stick a plate on a boat (might be ugly though)  I also have a shed full of spanners and am not too scared of old machinery. However I got there by bitter experience so unless you want to spend months up to your knees in rotten wood, bits of obsolete engine and quite possibly water I would keep looking. Good luck.

  • Greenie 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to CWDF.

Lister engines of that generation are often described as "bomb-proof" and have the reputation of going on for ever.

Wooden cabins, less so!

Is this boat on sale with a broker? Perhaps you could post the advert and/or photos so that we can see it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hi. Thank you for those answers. No it's sold by a private seller — and of course I'm planning to go have a look (would never buy a boat over photos only!), although now everyone's telling me to stay away from wooden tops I might just give up on this one...

This is the link: https://www.apolloduck.com/boat/ironworks-48-traditional-for-sale/663268

Edited by A Mad Belgian
Link to post
Share on other sites

It does have some style, and the long cabin means that it would offer plenty of living space for a boat that length. I would guess that much depends on how well the top has been maintained.

It looks overpriced for an elderly wooden-topper, but then I've read that most boats are priced high at the moment as there is a great demand for them.

Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

It seems to have a cross bed, maybe not so good for those taller than 5ft 6in.

A good point - though I am 5'10" and can stretch out fully in ours.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, A Mad Belgian said:

Hi. Thank you for those answers. No it's sold by a private seller — and of course I'm planning to go have a look (would never buy a boat over photos only!), although now everyone's telling me to stay away from wooden tops I might just give up on this one...

This is the link: https://www.apolloduck.com/boat/ironworks-48-traditional-for-sale/663268

It certainly looks a much loved and cared for boat. It has a charm to it.

 

The question I would be asking is how long as the seller owned it and what is their reason for selling it. 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Iron works was a name used by a chap called Jim Palin, who built  a few sail away boats around the river Stort around the 1990, they were low freeboard boats with tall boxy cabins, and did use the old Lister engines. May not be of course.

Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, cheshire~rose said:

It certainly looks a much loved and cared for boat. It has a charm to it.

 

The question I would be asking is how long as the seller owned it and what is their reason for selling it. 

 

 

Since 2016 says the advert.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, bizzard said:

Iron works was a name used by a chap called Jim Palin, who built  a few sail away boats around the river Stort around the 1990, they were low freeboard boats with tall boxy cabins, and did use the old Lister engines. May not be of course.

Oh thanks, that's interesting information! Were his boats good, do you reckon?

 

Thanks everyone for all your replies, it's helpful indeed

Edited by A Mad Belgian
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, A Mad Belgian said:

Oh thanks, that's interesting information! Were his boats good, do you reckon?

 

Thanks everyone for all your replies, it's helpful indeed

He was quite a good welder. I used to pick up his welding rods from my supplier. He built a couple of boats here at Stortford, a couple at Kecksies farm Sawbridgeworth and a couple I think at Nazing. Most I think he welded steel tops on them, but he may have supplied just the hulls for others to fit wooden tops.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It does look nice!

If a hull survey shows plenty of meat left on the hull then it may be worth trying a lower offer.

Bear in mind though that a wooden top will require fairly constant attention to keep it watertight.

There is a neglected wooden top moored near me,and it looks dreadful.Delaminating ply and plastic sheeting over various parts obviously to try to keep rain out.

If you are able to keep on top of the extra work required to maintain the top,then it could be ok.

  • Greenie 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks to be a nice boat, if the top is regularly maintained you should have no problems with it and on this style of craft with a tall cabin it won't roll as much as one made of steel. You may be able to get the price down as a timber top isn't as appealing to many prospective buyers. 

  Have a viewing and get a survey if you like it. This surveyor might be worth a call as i know he is familiar with timber cabins.

20201112_185547.jpg

  • Greenie 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks interesting. Now if I was thinking seriously in that boat I would try to get a bit knocked off and use the change to buy the tools needed to maintain it . Do I need another boat? Nah. Nice though.....

Link to post
Share on other sites

This comment from the seller makes me wonder strange that just paint stopped the damp? if it was all fibre encased then how/why did he strip back to bare wood, cynic moi!

"I have stripped it back to bare wood and repainted it once in five years and the ply was still in excellent condition. The boat is also a lot warmer and less damp as a result. "

Link to post
Share on other sites

I’d suggest a re-skin in steel, this will be a permanent solution to future leak and rot issues. It involves removal of the outer wooden framing, followed by the fitting of a steel skin over the existing wooden cabin. Many early boats built by Malcolm Braine had wooden tops, the fibre glass coating was an interim solution until successor Graham Edgson pioneered the re-skin process at Norton Canes.

Just a thought.....

Dave

  • Happy 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for helpful answers, I have decided to stay away from the wooden top after all... one more technical question though: any opinion about a

 

"Vintage (1973) single cylinder Sabb GG Engine" for a 37ft NB? Is that a no no or good enough on principle?

 

It is so hard making one's mind up when buying a first boat, and still being a complete newbie!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, A Mad Belgian said:

Thank you everyone for helpful answers, I have decided to stay away from the wooden top after all... one more technical question though: any opinion about a

 

"Vintage (1973) single cylinder Sabb GG Engine" for a 37ft NB? Is that a no no or good enough on principle?

 

It is so hard making one's mind up when buying a first boat, and still being a complete newbie!!

10HP plenty enough for canals, especially if it has a reduction on the gearbox and not 1.1 direct drive.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, A Mad Belgian said:

Thank you everyone for helpful answers, I have decided to stay away from the wooden top after all... one more technical question though: any opinion about a

 

"Vintage (1973) single cylinder Sabb GG Engine" for a 37ft NB? Is that a no no or good enough on principle?

 

It is so hard making one's mind up when buying a first boat, and still being a complete newbie!!

 

Is that just the engine, or is there a boat wrapped around the engine ?

 

If it is just the engine, you are not allowed to fit 'any old engine', on 'leisure vessels' as there are laws about using only emission approved engines since 1998.

The SABB is an engine used in the likes of lifeboats and sea going boats

Link to post
Share on other sites

hi. There is a boat wrapped around the engine :-D: https://www.apolloduck.com/boat/narrow-boats-traditional-for-sale/663939

Boat is 1993 though, engine is 1973 so don't know the story there..

So if there's a boat around it does it sound ok? Cheers!

31 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Is that just the engine, or is there a boat wrapped around the engine ?

 

If it is just the engine, you are not allowed to fit 'any old engine', on 'leisure vessels' as there are laws about using only emission approved engines since 1998.

The SABB is an engine used in the likes of lifeboats and sea going boats

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.