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New to boating and would appreciate some views please! Looking getting our first boat and have seen a Springer. Hull 3.2 thickness when new and recent survey shows it to be  3.1/3.2  over 30 years later and no other problems - sounds good but one of us is very wary of the thin hull of Springers - any thoughts from those who are more experienced than us (which is just about everyone on the planet)! Many thanks in advance for all thoughts and views - they will be much appreciated. 

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Springers have been getting people on the water for a very long time. There are plenty of boat snobs about who state they don't like them. I feel though I have never owned one they are great boats if you are not a badge buyer. It sounds a good one to me from your limited post so if the price is fair I would go for it.

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Many insurers refuse to insure with a hull below 4mm.

Obviously owners of Springers with 3mm hulls are managing to find insurance - so I would suggest you identify and have lined up a broker who knows the boat history / survey report before you actually agree to buy it.

 

No point having a boat without insurance.

 

There is however an alternative route - you can insure the boat 3rd party only without any need for a survey or minimum hull thicknesses. This insurance is sufficient to get a licence.

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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For it to have lost no more than 0.1mm anywhere after 30 years would be a bit unusual (!)

However steel loss isn't quite as straightforward as that - a key issue is pitting - even if most of the steel surrounding the pits is almost as good as new.

Does the survey give an idea of how pitted it is, and what the maximum depth of the worst pits are.

If there were (say) 2mm pitting, then there is of course only just over 1mm of steel at those points.

If the "recent survey" is by the seller, or the agent of the seller, like a brokerage), you need to consider very carefully who's interest it is in to report so little wastage.

Edited by alan_fincher

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As Alan F says forget about steel thickness it's all about pitting.  The one good thing about Springers, especially the smaller ones, is you can get a good look at the hull without crawling on your back under the baseplate (owing to the V shaped hull).  The V shape is also one reason why there's a lot of old Springers still about you can generally black the entire hull without too much trouble even if docking is a bit more of an issue.  I know of one 55 footer from the early 70's, hull is still all original.  The flip side is because they were built to a budget Springers occupy the bottom of the market where poor maintenance is common.  

 

The fit out on many Springers was extremely good.  I and doubtless many others would be very happy to own an all original Springer but most of them have been hacked about now.  If yours is one such don't underestimate the time trouble and expense of tidying up a poor interior.   

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1 minute ago, juragirl said:

Thank you everyone for the info so far. There is very slight pitting which does not affect hull integrity apparently....

Interesting choice of words.

 

True - the hulls integrity is not affected until the thickness of the steel reaches 0.00mm

You may have a 3.0mm thick base plate with 2.9mm deep pits and you could quite correctly say the integrity is not compromised - but you'd not get it insured (fully comp) 

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Just now, Alan de Enfield said:

Interesting choice of words.

 

True - the hulls integrity is not affected until the thickness of the steel reaches 0.00mm

You may have a 3.0mm thick base plate with 2.9mm deep pits and you could quite correctly say the integrity is not compromised - but you'd not get it insured (fully comp) 

Prudent words.

On the other hand, it's been floating for 30 years, so the surveyor (presumably an experienced [professional) must have thought that there was no reason for it top cease doing so.

I's suggest that Jura gets a survey done herself.

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12 minutes ago, juragirl said:

Thank you everyone for the info so far. There is very slight pitting which does not affect hull integrity apparently....

How deep does it say the pits are?

 

If it doesn't say, then I wouldn't pay a lot of attention to the survey, frankly.

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thank you - yes I would have a survey done if we were to go forward but I need to decide whether to make an offer - hull survey fairly recent and done professionally

slight surface pitting it says!

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Just now, juragirl said:

hull survey fairly recent and done professionally

What exactly does it say about pitting - how much, and maximum depth of the worst?

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1 minute ago, juragirl said:

thank you - yes I would have a survey done if we were to go forward but I need to decide whether to make an offer - hull survey fairly recent and done professionally

slight surface pitting it says!

Is the boat advertised in a place where we can see details, e.g. Apollo Duck or eBay?

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We know that Springer used some good old steel from gasometers but I cannot believe that after 30 years there are not some serious pits.

We had a few thin Springers on the marina, lifting them in slings often broke the steel hull just behind the doorway, the angled chine just creased up.

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I take it from these posts that you haven't commissioned your own survey. If you are happy with the interior and the engine then you could just ask for a hull survey. This is significantly cheaper than a full survey. We have turned down two boats so far even though we were more than happy with the interiors and engines of both boats. The hull survey showed up an overplate on one boat which was enough, for us, to walk away and the other boat had about two millimeters of sideways movement in the rear bearing and some quite deep pitting that brought at least two test points to 3.1mm of steel from 6mm so we turned that one down as well. We are about to get a third boat surveyed on the 19th. Hopefully this one will be okay.

 

Personally I wouldn't trust any survey, reportedly, carried out by an owner or a broker. Get your own for your own peace of mind. 

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19 minutes ago, Boater Sam said:

We know that Springer used some good old steel from gasometers

 

Do you have a reference for that please? 

 

I ask because it seems highly unlikely to me that that nice Mr Springer would go scratching about recovering scrap steel from demolished gasometers to build a few boats when most of his prolific output MUST have been made from new steel. How many gasometers were actually demolished during his period of trading anyway? Very few if any, I'd bet! I think it's more likely to be an 'urban myth'.

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13 minutes ago, pete.i said:

We have turned down two boats so far even though we were more than happy with the interiors and engines of both boats. The hull survey showed up an overplate on one boat which was enough, for us, to walk away and the other boat had about two millimeters of sideways movement in the rear bearing and some quite deep pitting that brought at least two test points to 3.1mm of steel from 6mm so we turned that one down as well. We are about to get a third boat surveyed on the 19th. Hopefully this one will be okay.

 

One of the problems for people operating at the 40 year old 'Springer end of the market' that continually having surveys done at £500-£1000 a time soon eats away at their already meagre budget - at some time you will either have to accept a boat for what it is and negotiate as hard as possible, or, spend all your budget on surveyors costs and end up with no boat and no money.

 

15 minutes ago, pete.i said:

Personally I wouldn't trust any survey, reportedly, carried out by an owner or a broker. Get your own for your own peace of mind

Repeat this in BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS

 

Personally I wouldn't waste my money on a survey my last 18 boats have been bought sans-survey, however I do accept that newbies do get a false sense of security and belief that they can blame the surveyor if it all goes wrong so sleep better at night.

 

There was recently a thread about the 'lack of security' buying from a broker gives you- surveyors are just as good at 'wriggling'

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5 minutes ago, juragirl said:

Thank you everyone! Here is the link to the boat I looked at - obviously I would not be offering the price asked https://www.apolloduck.com/boat/springer-34-cruiser-stern/531319

You know, you could be on to a good 'un here - the list of work recently done is impressive - as long as the hull is sound.

   Now, I'm not an expert on Springers, but I have always taken an interest in them and used to own one. To the best of my knowledge, Springer's used 3mm steel throughout only in their smaller "Water Bug" range, of which this is not one. A more typical steel thickness for a 34-footer would have been 5 (baseplate)/ 5 (hull and possibly superstructure))/ 3 (roof).  Have you got evidence that this one was built with 3mm(ish) plate (probably, in those days, one-eighth of an inch) throughout? 

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1 minute ago, juragirl said:

Hi - only the survey which says all plate was originally 3.2... Could it have been 5 originally?

I did say "to the best of my knowledge", so possibly, yes. How did the surveyor find out, I wonder?

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1 minute ago, juragirl said:

Hi - only the survey which says all plate was originally 3.2... Could it have been 5 originally?

If it was 5mm, and is now 3.1/3.2mm + pitting then it is of more concern than if it had been originally 3.2 mm.

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Totally agree! Survey says it was originally 3.2 - I have no idea how they would know...would it not be strange however that the whole hull and sides are 3.1/3.2 if it had been 5 originally - surely some bits would be thicker....

 

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40 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Do you have a reference for that please? 

 

I ask because it seems highly unlikely to me that that nice Mr Springer would go scratching about recovering scrap steel from demolished gasometers to build a few boats when most of his prolific output MUST have been made from new steel. How many gasometers were actually demolished during his period of trading anyway? Very few if any, I'd bet! I think it's more likely to be an 'urban myth'.

I haven't time to check now, but I think it was mentioned in the definitive book 'Boatbuilders Of Market Harborough'. Lest we forget, Sam Springer had Del-Boy tendencies, and if he spotted a deal, such as good steel going cheap, he'd probably go for it.

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Just now, juragirl said:

Survey says it was originally 3.2 - I have no idea how they would know

It is unlikely that the surveyor would know.

 

A surveyor will just invent stuff to 'fill the boxes', it doesn't mean that anything he writes is either correct or sacrosanct.

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I understand thank you. Just think it would be odd for it to have been 5 all over and now be 3.1/3.2 all over - surely some bits would still be 5!!!!!

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