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Thread: Steel Hull Maintenance.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tony B's Avatar
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    Steel Hull Maintenance.

    I have a new boat neighbor that bought a 1960-ish steel hull houseboat.

    He is totally unfamiliar with houseboats or anything other than bass boats. I some corrosion on deck and welds, which probably aren't that bad - maybe. he is getting all sorts of bad info from the guy who sold him the boat who is also on this dock.

    I recommended he haul-out and have the yard check out the hull for him. The previous owner (PO), said it was rediculous. The boat is just fine. The PO also told him the yard haul-out was $4000. I told him it was more like $450 - $500. Anyway, I talked him into going to the yard today (by car) and ask for himself. The yard said $505 for the haul-out.

    Anyway, the yard told him pretty much what I said, not just about the haulout but also bottom paint about every 4 years and new oudrive boot about every 5 years.

    When we got back. he saw the PO and told PO what he was going to do. The PO insists that the water up here on the little tennessee is so pure that the boat wont rust, the bottom paint is good for 8 years and the boot shouldnt have to be replaced until he sees signs of leaking.

    Of course, I disagree with PO and so I am staying out of this.

    Now I am just curious about the following and would like your input just for my own info.

    How long is bottom paint good for assuming the boat has not moved in the last 4 years? No way of knowing what paint was applied last.

    How long is reasonable and safe for outdrive boot to last?

    Would you do as I would in that before I spent another penny on remodeling, I would have the haul-out done to inspect the steel hull, bottom paint and replace boot all at the same time?

    I am not familiar with steel hulls.
    The new owner never had a surveyor. The PO bought the boat a year ago and his surveyor used a lot of info from a previous survey ( 4 years earlier) and referenced it for areas he could not check.

    Am I thinking rationally or did I recommend he throw money away on hull inspection, boot and bottom job.
    Houseboater at Heart
    1986 Mainship 36 Dual Cabin Pointed Ended House Boat

  2. #2
    Senior Member easttnboater's Avatar
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    I am sure OHB will chime in here at some point. I owned a 1976 steel hulled Summerset for about 8 yrs, so here is my 2 cents:

    1. Steel hulled boats mainly rust from the inside. So, the purity of the water has nothing to do with it.
    2. The rust that is visible on the deck and welds needs to be dealt with ASAP. Rust never sleeps on a steel hulled boat.
    3. A good coal tar epoxy bottom job can easily last over eight years.
    4. The longevity of the boots depends on if the outdrives are in the shade or in the sun. They can last up to a decade. It depends on the model of the outdrive if you want to risk that or not.
    5. He needs someone there that is knowledgeable about steel hulled boats when the boat is hauled out to do an inspection.
    6. He will find it difficult, if not impossible, to get insurance for it.

    Unless it is an exceptional steel hulled boat he got screwed. Even if it is an exceptional boat, he still got screwed unless he can unload it on another newbie.

    Have him read the Newbie warning sticky on the Houseboat forum page.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BananaTom's Avatar
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    I am afraid the new boat owner got screwed by the PO.

    Unless he paid $4000 for the boat.
    Which is why the PO told him the cost of a haul out is the price of the boat.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tony B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by easttnboater View Post
    .....
    3. A good coal tar epoxy bottom job can easily last over eight years.

    4. The longevity of the boots depends on if the outdrives are in the shade or in the sun. They can last up to a decade. It depends on the model of the outdrive if you want to risk that or not.
    ..............
    Thanks

    I have been enlightened, especially items 3 and 4..
    Houseboater at Heart
    1986 Mainship 36 Dual Cabin Pointed Ended House Boat

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tony B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BananaTom View Post
    I am afraid the new boat owner got screwed by the PO.

    Unless he paid $4000 for the boat.
    Which is why the PO told him the cost of a haul out is the price of the boat.
    I believe you are 100% correct.
    I figured the PO lied about the cost of haul-out so as discourage the new owner from hauling out.

    He paid about $6000 for it which I thought was way too much. He knew nothing about boats and the seller really took advantage of him.

    I had already told him that he may very well be the last owner of that boat.

    Thanks for the input.
    Houseboater at Heart
    1986 Mainship 36 Dual Cabin Pointed Ended House Boat

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tony B's Avatar
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    NEW QUESTION - rip up floor?

    The haul-out, bottom job etc. is probably more than the new owner can handle at this time.
    He wants to remodel the interior first since he can buy lumber and paneling little at a time and maybe put off the haul-out/bottom job for about 3 months.

    My question is:

    Is it practical to rip up the floor in sections to inspect the inside of the hull.
    He is going to replace some of it anyway. I have never looked below the floor in a houseboat so I wouldn't know what to expect.

    Is the floor plywood resting on 2X's or it screwed to steel?

    Thanks in advance
    Houseboater at Heart
    1986 Mainship 36 Dual Cabin Pointed Ended House Boat

  7. #7
    Super Moderator OLD HOUSEBOATER's Avatar
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    MY Gawd

    Most steel boats unless they are in pristine condition have a NEGATIVE value

    http://www.houseboatmagazine.com/for...D-THIS-WARNING

    This is the lead post in Houseboating Magazine Forum This was authored over 20 years ago. Latest revision was in 2012

    If the the new owner was misled, he should get a lawyer, he probably has a fraud case.

    Can't believe this is happening in 2016. Did he even try to get insurance before buying the boat? He will end up paying disposal costs.
    Last edited by OLD HOUSEBOATER; 02-04-2016 at 07:43 PM.
    The fries are cold so we gave you extra.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tony B's Avatar
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    OHB

    Here is the short version:

    The seller has a houseboat in this marina and is a full time live-aboard. His daughter and son-in-law moved up from Florida when S-I-L became unemployed. The seller then bought the steel hull in question for his daughter and her family to live on until they got a job. They have 2 kids and she was pregnant with twins. Hubby got a job and they were looking for a house to rent. Some how, unbeknownst to me, they crossed paths. The buyer was thinking of buying a houseboat and living aboard. Sooooooooooo, the buyer bought the houseboat in question and the sellers' family moved into his house on a rental basis.
    The buyer is not familiar with larger boats - he has only owned bass boats in the past. he was enthrawled with the size of the houseboat (43') and figured he could fix it up. Not knowing anything about houseboats in general, not to mention steel hulls, led to his situation.

    Thanks for the input, I have relayed the info to the buyer. I think he might become a member to this forum
    Houseboater at Heart
    1986 Mainship 36 Dual Cabin Pointed Ended House Boat

  9. #9
    Senior Member easttnboater's Avatar
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    Assuming he is not going to try to undo the deal and he wants to make the best of it, then here is my next 2 cents worth:

    1. Assuming that he is going to live aboard it and never move it.
    2. Assuming that it is not presently taking on water.
    3. Assuming that he can get an emergency haul out if it starts taking on water.

    Then,

    1. I would not haul it out.
    2. I would wire brush the visible corrosion and paint it.
    3. I would spruce up the interior, but would spend the absolute minimal money. Remodeling it would be out.
    4. Live on it until it starts to leak.
    5. Start saving money for the disposal cost.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tony B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by easttnboater View Post
    Assuming he is not going to try to undo the deal and he wants to make the best of it, then here is my next 2 cents worth:

    1. Assuming that he is going to live aboard it and never move it. Check
    2. Assuming that it is not presently taking on water.Check
    3. Assuming that he can get an emergency haul out if it starts taking on water. Check
    Then,

    1. I would not haul it out. He probably will in a few months
    2. I would wire brush the visible corrosion and paint it. Check
    3. I would spruce up the interior, but would spend the absolute minimal money. Remodeling it would be out. Check, with some remodeling - nothing major
    4. Live on it until it starts to leak. Dont know yet
    5. Start saving money for the disposal cost.
    Thats a biggie


    I'm just guessing on how this will play out. He really ought to join this forum. Right now he is disgusted and uncertain and will make the best of it.
    Last edited by Tony B; 02-05-2016 at 06:52 AM.
    Houseboater at Heart
    1986 Mainship 36 Dual Cabin Pointed Ended House Boat

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