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Thread: 50 year old fiberglass! When does the last owner get stuck with garbage?

  1. #1
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    50 year old fiberglass! When does the last owner get stuck with garbage?

    Iím looking at a 1971 E27 locally. 50 years old right around the corner. Surely even the best maintained boats have a final shelf life?
    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Found this with a quick web search-
    http://www.ericgreeneassociates.com/..._Longevity.pdf

    Like some other high-quality boats, Ericson Yachts used quality layup procedures and good engineering. I would no qualms about a "50 year old E-27".
    There are guys around the nation rebuilding frp boats dating from the 60's, and once refitted they are better than new.
    (Of course, given the low quality of many of the new production boats these days, that is depressingly easy to believe. )

    Even boats built thinly are lasting well, and I know a guy locally who has rebuilt several Venture 21's into fast day sailer/racers, and is using the basic hull with no added layup. He does put better rigging on them than the original undersized wiring, tho.

    Looking around our 150 boat moorage, the only "deterioration" I see on boats dating back to the 70's and earlier is the outer layer of gel coat. The UV slowly thins it out to where owners have to paint their decks & cabins.

    Get a good survey and move forward, or not, but not due to any fears about the basic construction somehow going away.

    I also know a couple that has repainted their 60's Cal 40 and raced it a lot -- to Hawaii and back several times. No structural problems at all.

    Good pedigree is important, and an Ericson gives you that.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
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    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

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    Principal Partner Kenneth K's Avatar
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    One man's junk is another man's......

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour..._ZqTnSD07TBZn9
    Ken
    '85 E32-3 "Mariah" #641
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    "Saltwater is the cure; sweat, tears, or the sea......"

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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth K View Post
    One man's junk is another man's......

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour..._ZqTnSD07TBZn9
    Yup - I've followed that channel since the beginning. It's excellent.
    Apart from the value of the hundreds and hundreds of volunteer labor hours, I think he's into the rebuild for abt $100k by now ... and he's only abt half way through
    E32-3 #655
    Traveller
    Knoxville, TN

  5. #5
    kapnkd kapnkd's Avatar
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    She was purchased new from a dealer in Ft. Lauderdale. We kept her at the Miami Yacht Club until 1980 when we moved to Sarasota. She remained at Marina Jacks until moving to Grosse Ile, Michigan at the Ford Yacht Club (SE Michigan)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel View Post
    Iím looking at a 1971 E27 locally. 50 years old right around the corner. Surely even the best maintained boats have a final shelf life?
    Thoughts?
    Everything pre-1973 (before the 1st oil crisis) was built with lots of fiberglass beef. Costs were down and they really werenít that sure about the then new material. Knowing what we do today, those early boats were over engineered by todayís standards. Resin costs escalated in Ď74 And material costs had to be addressed which led to things such as the tri-axle grid and more.

    Youíll find the older pre-73 boats are going to be heavy and generously solid with glass and resin layup. Most importantly, with ANY OLD boat, is a GOOD marine survey.

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