Joining the GB family

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Joining the GB family

Postby taime1 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:18 pm

Hi everyone,

We happened across a listing for a 1984 GB36 classic this summer while on vacation. We took a look at her and while she needs some cosmetic work, I fell in lover with her and haven't stopped thinking about her since. At first, I wasn't sure if it would be large enough for our family of four, but then we are coming from years of 26-foot MacGregor sailors and we've made them work just fine. So, after a bit of negotiation and a lot of stretching out the wallet, this weekend is the sea trial. If that goes well, it will be the survey followed by the purchase to close in the spring.

So having read up on many of the informative posts here, I will be paying particular attention to the teak decks, which do need some love in the form of bung replacement and some bedding (will be getting a Fein tool or similar), the windows, and of course the potentially rusty fuel tanks.

I've spoken to the boat's mechanic for the last 15 years, and he is of the opinion that everything is in great shape. The engine was repowered in 2004 and has about 1000 hours. I can't remember which model was put in. It has a bow thruster, also recently rebuilt - I like that. The genset has a go-home feature, which is also neat.

So I am happy to take in any sage advice and am trying desperately to contain my excitement.

Cheers,

Sylvain :mrgreen:
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Re: Joining the GB family

Postby bill.read » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:12 am

Hello Sylvain,

I hope your sea trial went as good as expected. At this stage of your potential purchase it is difficult to offer much in the way of "sage advice" since very little is known of the specifics of this particular boat with exception of its model year. If I can offer any advice, it would be to not let the excitement of the future purchase cloud the realities of ownership of a 32 year old boat. With that said, learn as much as you can about the systems of the boat. Document and take pictures to allow the information to be shared with others to gain experienced insight as potential issues. Boat problems can get very expensive very quickly and it is imperative to know the limits of your operating budget and self maintenance abilities. To many of this forum and the GB Facebook group, the pleasure of taking care of the boat can rival the joy on the water while others want to experience the cruising part and leave the repairs and maintenance to others. You'll have to discover where you find the best fit for you. As you know, owning a Grand Banks can bring out a passion that can be difficult to understand by others.
Best of luck to you,

Bill
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Re: Joining the GB family

Postby taime1 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:28 pm

Thanks, that's great advice. Today's sea trial went well. The engine and mechanical components seem to be running in excellent order. The engine is an American Diesel 135, installed in 2004 with about 1000 hours. The genset is an Onan and ran all items nicely.

The big concern I have is with the teak decks, which are in pretty rough shape. I hope they can be saved, but I know very little about teak decks. I researched this site for options on how to repair. There are some sections of the deck where the teak slats appear to be touching and all of the sealant is gone. I think it is possible to regroove those areas, but I am not entirely sure how to go about doing that, or if these can be saved. Happy to hear what others think.

Here are a few pictures…

[attachment=1]IMG_0726-min.JPG[/attachment]

[attachment=0]IMG_0727-min.JPG[/attachment]

[attachment=2]IMG_0718-min.JPG[/attachment]

[attachment=3]IMG_0717-min.JPG[/attachment]
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Re: Joining the GB family

Postby JoMeKe » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:27 am

Silvain,

It is always great to meet prospective owners and see their excitement in owning one of these great boats. We have loved both of the ones we have owned.

But at the risk of raining on your parade, while the decks from the surface look salvageable, my concern would be underneath the teak. Are any of the planks buckling up? How much plank thickness is remaining (how many times has the deck been sanded)? Did your surveyor take any moisture readings of the subdeck from below? Are there any signs of water stains on the headliner in the forward berth for example. With so much caulking and so many bungs missing, my fear is water intrusion into the substrate. Once there, water can migrate along strange and unexpected routes. I was involved in a deal a couple of years ago where there was persistent staining of the forward headliner. We searched and searched, sealed and caulked unto we thought we must have stopped any water intrusion points. But the stain returned. We ended up taking the headliner out (once out it rarely goes back in so we had to have a new headliner made), which involved taking the top several ceiling planks out as well along the inside of the hull before we could finally determine where the water was coming from. And this was on a newer boat that had nice looking, well maintained decks.

All that is to say look closely for any signs of moisture intrusion based on the condition of the decks in your photos. I don't mean to be gloom and doom, but you came for honest frank advice. We wouldn't be doing you any favors by saying all looks good and doable with minimal cost. It may turn out to be fine, but dig deeply.

Good luck. I hope it all works out in your favor. They are truly great boats.
Ken Bowles
NW Explorations
Bellingham/Seattle, WA
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Re: Joining the GB family

Postby bill.read » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:38 am

Hello Sylvain,

I have never seen a deck in such a poor condition as shown in your photos, but my experience is limited to 6 years. I hope others in the forum will respond to your posting and provide you with advice and recommendations. The deck photos show it has been sanded to the point where the groove no longer exists, hence, the narrow space between the adjacent boards. It appears someone attempted to make the deck look normal by apply sealant in a broad application with out success. I would be very concerned about the amount of water intrusion to the core from this failed deck. Have you looked inside on the headliner, and above the windows for indications of leakage. I have attached photos of what new teak boards look like and my deck after 30 years with no apparent sanding. Another question is where is this boat located?
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Re: Joining the GB family

Postby taime1 » Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:24 pm

JoMeKe wrote:

> ...All that is to say look closely for any signs of moisture intrusion based
> on the condition of the decks in your photos. I don't mean to be gloom and
> doom, but you came for honest frank advice. We wouldn't be doing you any
> favors by saying all looks good and doable with minimal cost. It may turn
> out to be fine, but dig deeply.
>
> Good luck. I hope it all works out in your favor. They are truly great
> boats.


Thanks JoMeKe - I appreciate this very much and honest and frank is exactly what I want from this. I'd rather have the bubble burst now than get into something way over my head, well mostly way over my wallet, and regret it and be stuck with it.

I did look for signs of water intrusion, but did not see any. I too am worried about the condition of the decks underneath. That water has to go somewhere which may well be the substructure. I didn't feel much in the way of soft spots, but I can only imagine that there would have to be some.

The survey has not yet taken place. It should take place sometime this week or next week. I can always back out before the survey takes place, which might save a few dollars, but I do want to see this through to the end. I can admit to having fallen in love with the boat and have been dreaming about it since setting foot aboard. That said, I can't afford to dump a whole pile of money into the boat, on top of the asking price...even though that's exactly what we all do ;) However, I am still reasonably reasonable. I am the first to admit that I have boat disease, have had it a long time, and I am happy to report that I will probably always have it. In fact, I wouldn't want it any other way.

I am fairly handy, when things are mostly easy to do. I want to learn all about teak decks, diesel engines and generators. I come from sailboats and gas engines, so the transition seems to be a natural one. I have done all of my own maintenance, not a mechanic, nor do I pretend to be one, but can handle many of the regular items.

But yes, these decks do worry me. And yes, I think these boats are awesome. I've been on a number of other ones, but there is something special about the GBs.
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Re: Joining the GB family

Postby taime1 » Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:33 pm

bill.read wrote:
> Hello Sylvain,
>
> I have never seen a deck in such a poor condition as shown in your photos,
> but my experience is limited to 6 years. I hope others in the forum will
> respond to your posting and provide you with advice and recommendations.
> The deck photos show it has been sanded to the point where the groove no
> longer exists, hence, the narrow space between the adjacent boards. It
> appears someone attempted to make the deck look normal by apply sealant in
> a broad application with out success. I would be very concerned about the
> amount of water intrusion to the core from this failed deck. Have you
> looked inside on the headliner, and above the windows for indications of
> leakage. I have attached photos of what new teak boards look like and my
> deck after 30 years with no apparent sanding. Another question is where is
> this boat located?

Thanks Bill - I agree with your sentiment, but hope the damage is somehow minimal and that the decks can be saved. Otherwise, I simply might have to move on and find something else to obsess over.

How wide are the gaps supposed to be? How can I measure the depth of the wood?

The boat is located about two hours away, so it is a little difficult for me to just go over and take a look and things. I am in all likelihood going ahead with a survey, if only to clense my soul in coming this close to closing a deal on a GB.

The boat is located in Kingston Ontario Canada. I am in Ottawa. It's going into winter storage by the end of this week.

I did take a look for water intrusion, but saw no signs of it. Maybe I had blinders on, but none of the tell tale signs seemed to be there.
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Re: Joining the GB family

Postby bill.read » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:20 pm

Sylvain,

The original deck boards are 1 7/8" wide, 1/2" thick with a groove of 1/4" x 1/4". I've seen some specs listed as 2" wide, 5/8" thick with a groove of 5/16". The boards can be measured by lifting the lazerette hatches and measuring the perimeter board. If you have access to a moisture meter, you can do a preliminary test on the current state of the deck and core. A reading taken now may be different than one taken in the spring after a period of winterizing drying. It is in your best interest to have a qualified marine survey done before making a committment to purchase. The cost is minor compared to the overall purchase price and repair possibilities.

Best of luck,
Bill
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Re: Joining the GB family

Postby taime1 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:41 am

Thanks Bill,

I am in the process of setting up the survey in the coming weeks. I have provided this concern to the surveyor for his consideration during the survey process. I was considering backing out of the offer and survey, but I like the boat enough that I would really like to see it through.

The deck and substructure may well be a deal breaker for me because the offer I put in was under the assumption that the deck was sound and the teak had enough life left in them to be viable for a considerable number of years yet. I am also coming to the realization that the cost of teak replacement are astronomical, and simply not something I can bear.

One alternative is to take the teak out and fiberglass and go with non-skid. Personally, I don't mind the look and ease of use, but I have read that the boat value maybe significantly reduced by doing this. Is there some sort of rule of thumb to evaluate this?

I am trying to figure out if the valuation of the boat is too high. I have noticed a few similar models on Yachtworld in the $85K range, that seem to be in overall better shape on the outside. I am working in Canadian dollars, which bring these boats closer to $100K. I am not certain what the "fair market price" might be for the early 80's GBs. Or, if I purchase for X amount in current condition, what can I realistically sell the boat for if I make improvements and bring back the maintenance to what the boat deserves.

The one I am looking at has cosmetic issues everywhere you look, and more importantly, other issues in the teak deck and substructure that potentially extend well beyond cosmetics.

So many things to consider, it gets overwhelming at times. But it's fun and I love it.

Boat disease is the greatest thing ever.
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Re: Joining the GB family

Postby bill.read » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:45 pm

Hello Sylvain,

The last photo you attached showed places where a couple of the boards have broken across from the screws that appear to be driven completely through the wood and another where there is a split following the grain of the wood. This damage may be the result of a compromise of the core and should be carefully looked at by the surveyor. I initially considered purchasing another GB 36 6 years ago that was a 1989 model. Extreme damage to the deck was due to improper cleaning using a power washer. The groove seams were standing proud by almost 1/4". Researching the cost to repair/replace showed the cost would have been in excess of $30,000.00 USD and would have added little to a potential resale value for me. The only reason to complete this activity would have been for my personal satisfaction and pride in the boat. I chose not to pursue the purchase since the broker felt as if the deck issue did not affect the asking price. Many GB owners opt to replace teak decks or factory ordered fiberglass in areas of hot weather. The general consensus is that stripping the teak off and replacing with non skid has value only in the warmer climates and adversely affects the resale value in other areas. The marine surveyor should provide an approximate market value of the boat in its present condition. It is a fact of boat life that you will never recoup the costs of improvements made to a boat. The improvements made should reflect what is best for you and safe enjoyable operations. Best rule of thumb is to buy the smallest boat you can afford because the cost of ownership will continue as long as you have it. It's been stated that one should allow 10% of purchase price for annual boat costs and for me that has come close to being true, maybe not every year, but some years.

Bill
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Re: Joining the GB family

Postby taime1 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:29 pm

Thanks Bill,

I spoke to someone from TDS who gave me a couple of numbers to consider. The first, is $180/square foot for the teak deck repair. The GB 360 has 251 square feet of deck. That's just north of $45K for materials and installation, in USD. Materials alone are in around the $130/square foot. That's still a little over $32K.

Given these two numbers, there is no way I can justify that expenditure in addition to the cost of the boat itself, at least not at the current asking price. Personally, I don't mind if the boat goes from teak to non-skid. For me, it's more about function than looks and glassing over is much less maintenance. That said, I fully respect and admire those who take pride in caring for their teak and nothing is quite as lovely as a well kept teak deck.

In the end, I think the owner is over-valuing the boat and under estimating the repairs it requires. Decks and, in particular, neglected and most likely leaking decks are more than just cosmetic issues.

The survey is tentatively set for October 14, so until then, I can keep researching and dreaming.
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Re: Joining the GB family

Postby bill.read » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:25 pm

Sylvain,

You are in the same situation I was years ago. I kept the dream alive with continue research and eventually I found what was best for me.

Best of luck,

Bill
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Re: Joining the GB family

Postby FrugalWife » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:56 pm

I, too, own an older GB 36. The decks are worn not from sanding but from chronic cleaning as the prior owner liked a very clean boat. That was great when it was time to put it up for sale and I was certainly thrilled to find a very clean, well maintained boat. But ... the decks are worn. I immediately ceased cleaning the decks except for a gentle scrubbing each season. I have had to remove/re-seat a fair number of decking screws because of bungs popping off but that is only time consuming not money consuming. Several feet of TDS has gone into the deck also over the years but I thus far have been able to avoid a complete rehab of the deck although it is on my mental list to do in the next couple years before things get out of hand. With a deck like that and your comments that there are a multitude of cosmetic issues it would be my personal opinion that the boat is significantly overpriced. Typical cosmetic issues are poor varnish on the exterior pieces, worn out upholstery, finish on interior sole worn out, etc. It is also no small task to bring all the brightwork back to where you want people to see it, again it is a DIY task that is way more time than it is money but you gotta love scraping, sanding, varnishing and maybe more importantly being on your knees for hours at a time! You have the option of bowing out after the survey due to condition report whether it be the the deck damage (and it is damaged) or other things, or you can negotiate a price adjusted downward to reflect for the cost of repairing/rebuilding the decks. Always best to remember --> it's a boat! Boats are not easily sold and virtually never sell at their asking price. Also remember, if you were to buy it now the current owner will not have to pay winter storage fees which will run probably about US$3,000.

Good luck,
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Re: Joining the GB family

Postby taime1 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:25 am

Thanks FrugalWife,

I am quickly learning just how much these issues cost to repair. It turns out that making repairs to rotten decks is not cheap either. I was quoted (sight unseen and ballpark) about $30K for a full lower deck replacement. It did include the non-skid and you would end up with an almost entirely new deck. My preoccupation now is just how rotten that deck really is.

The preparation work I can mostly handle. I don't know how much I would be willing and able to cut into rotten deck sections and replace them. I will be researching how to do that, but I may need to leave it to the pros. The other consideration on working the decks is that the boat needs to be covered to do that work, so there's a haul out and some interior storage to figure out.

I will have some time before and during the survey to check things out again. I will be looking for any accesses to see/feel under the deck. I understand that the lazarette is a good spot to see under the deck. There may also be cupboards and spots in the cabin that will get sightlines there as well. The engine room may also provide access under the decks.

There is a fellow acting as a bit of a broker who mentioned there may be a soft spot or two. I find it harder to tell where they are with the teak decking acting as a bit of a brace, but will try to pay more attention to it for the next visit.

Sure hope the survey will provide an accurate assessment of the deck's condition.
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