Where to Find Damaged Boats
the project to take about a year to complete.
The boat, however, had other ideas, and the
job, start to finish, took him a little over two
years, working every spare minute of every
day. The cost, not including his own labor,
was a little less than half of what a new boat
would have cost.
Would Netting do it again? “Looking back
on it, no,” he says. “We did a lot of work and
took some pretty big chances.”
Paying someone else to repair a storm-
damaged boat is rarely cost effective. Repair
yards routinely charge $85 per hour and up,
and the labor can run to hundreds of hours.
It can cost thousands just to rewire a 35-foot
boat. Even experienced repair yards that buy
storm-damaged boats can get in over their
heads and find costs getting out of hand.
As one boatyard owner joked: “How do
you make a million dollars repairing storm-
damaged boats? Start with 2 million dollars.”
Still, in the aftermath of a major storm,
hope often emerges, and new dreams are
born amidst the destruction. Auction sites
have pages of mangled boats that can be had
for a fraction of their pre-damage value, and
some of the deals seem too good to pass up.
But before you consider buying a CTL, ask
yourself these questions:
such as cushions, bedding, and carpeting,
will have to be thrown away. Wooden bulkheads may be waterlogged and will begin to
rot and need replacing. Steering systems and
engine controls will likely be damaged as well.
It’s safer to assume the worst for a saltwater-submerged boat.
Still, some people are up for the challenge.
Years ago, member Dave Netting bought
a 35-foot O’Day sailboat that ended its
previous life during a hurricane by crashing through breaking waves onto the rocky
Maine coast. Netting knew the boat needed
serious repairs and didn’t even bother to
have a marine surveyor inspect it. When it
finally arrived, he described it as a seaweed-filled hole with a boat around it. The boat,
while admittedly a mess, was certainly a bargain. Netting’s experience with fiberglass and
woodworking was limited and he expected
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