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Author Topic:   Swamped Whaler full of water
martyn1075 posted 11-09-2013 01:57 AM ET (US)   Profile for martyn1075   Send Email to martyn1075  
I found a 1991 Whaler Walkaround that has been sitting on a rack for about 4-5 years. This whole time it has not been covered. Where I live we accumulate a lot of rain water per year. I was told the boat was filled with water including the cabin. Since it was on dry land I asked why would it now just drain out the drain holes? Apparently it sits flat. When the forklift removed the whaler from its spot the boat was on an angle. The water drained out with force out of all three holes. It had to be about 10 minutes straight before let up. Inside the cabin the water line was about an inch from the top of the cuddy seats. It drained about 4 inches and then stopped. The rest I guess was trapped. Theroetically is this kind of standing water going to damage the hull? We are talking about 4 years in this state. It was like bath tub with water unable to be removed. What I think happen here was since the boat was stored flat the the rain water collected filled up the bilge and fish boxes continued up the channel over the tank cavity submerged it so badly it continued through into the cabin where it filled up some more. Water from the cabin was decreased only to a certain level and then it stopped draining. I would say about 6-8 inches is still trapped in the cabin. The water can easily be removed with releasing the drain plug but can this seriously damage the boat?
Ridge Runner posted 11-09-2013 05:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ridge Runner  Send Email to Ridge Runner     
That's a lot of water which would have put stress on the boat in a very different way than it was designed. Four or five years also means a lot of freeze/thaw cycles - can you see any major stress cracks? How was the boat stored on land? Was it on in a rack or up on blocks? If up on blocks the block that is under the front keel would have add a lot of additional weight and you need to look and see if there is any damage or compression...

1 US Gallon of water = approx. 8.35 lb - if you can calculate the volume by some measurements and guesses you could get an rough idea of how much weight the boat was subject to. Since you know the water level you could measure the area in plug the numbers into this this calculator volcalchtm.htm

martyn1075 posted 11-09-2013 07:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
Thanks Ridge, the freezing is a good point. We don't get too many of them but I guess its not how many but the severity of one bad one might be all it takes.
Diagnosing may be difficult as it could potentially freeze up in areas we could not visibly see all that easily such as the tank area. However the tank from where I could see it was in fantastic shape considering. Its a grey metal tank the fittings looked to be in clean working order but inside Im not so sure. Old gas with ethanol not sure can be trusted nor the gas in the tank that is a given.

The calculator is fantastic. Keep in mind its not a complete box where the water is been held but more like channels or chambers of water. However some areas hold more than we think. On average I estimated about 30 cubic feet in the cabin alone. That is 5L 3W 2D which equals out to be 224 gallons of water in the cabin! Lets not forget it seems to be over flowing it was backed up into the center cavity of the boat which Im not sure the actual size but is probably considerable and of course the bildges and fish boxes. If we estimate 12-1 cubic feet which I think may be shy of reality the water in gallons would be in the 90-112 gallons of water?

In total we may be looking at 336 gallons of water trapped inside a hull for 4 years. If we take Ridges calculation of 8.35 lb per 1 gallon the total weight is 2805 lbs? Could this be correct? The boat is 2500 lbs dry with engine 500 gear etc this boat operates at 3400 lbs. Its basically holding another boat its same size in weight. Think of another 21 Whaler Walkround sitting on top of it. It seems a little extreme but unless I have over calculated we can assume about 2800 lbs of water!


martyn1075 posted 11-09-2013 07:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
The boat is stored on a dry rack obviously ironic how its not exactly dry. The boat is supported by two full length beams much like a bunk trailer setup.
jimh posted 11-09-2013 08:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The accumulation of so much water in the cockpit and cabin of a nice, newer Boston Whaler boat is a shame. That the water was left standing for five years is a crime.

Having water in the cabin would be the equivalent to having the boat hull in the water. I would expect that the gel coat would tend to take up some water. Do you see any sign of the gel coat blistering or having other evidence of being under water for five years without a protective layer? There is also concern about mildew, mold, or other growth in area that will be hard to reach for cleaning.

Buckda posted 11-09-2013 09:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
We do not know how long the water was actually sitting there. It could have accumulated slowly over time and the volume you saw was the culmination of 4 years of minor accumulation.

That being said, there is cause to proceed carefully. I would check to see if electrical connections were affected by the water levels.

Given the general state of neglect, the offer I would tender would provide generous room for repairs to address unknown problems that may arise from this neglect.

IF the water were in there for 4 years, I would expect some indication of blistering in the gelcoat. Is that present?

Binkster posted 11-09-2013 12:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkster  Send Email to Binkster     
why doesn't someone remove the drain plug. Duh!!
wezie posted 11-09-2013 01:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for wezie  Send Email to wezie     
Other peoples problems, unless you choose to adopt them for your very own.
You will always have a doubt, or two.

martyn1075 posted 11-09-2013 02:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
My next visit I will check more closely for blistering. I didn't really check for it I was more in shock by the amount of water exiting this boat. I wish I had taken a video for you guys. At that point I decided to quickly jump in the boat to investigate where and how this water was traveling. I wouldn't let it off the hook for blisters the dirt was hiding the gelcoat really badly. However the lower half of the boat was in really good shape I didn't see any problems with gelcoat issues there as well hear any sounds as I was knocking in areas of the boat that you would check first for damage.

My main concern would be the center cavity of the hull. Is the tank of a Reebok haul designed in the same fashion of a classic hull Whaler? If water was sitting in this fashion of a classic outrage the foam around the tank would absorb some water. The floor board maybe rotted and soft as well. The floor was strong. The batteries are gone so I would need to install a battery to test electrical.


Russ 13 posted 11-09-2013 04:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Russ 13  Send Email to Russ 13     
All that mess & Mercury powered....
Todays Bid:....
$ 500.00
mkelly posted 11-09-2013 09:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for mkelly  Send Email to mkelly     
I wouldn't get near it without a full analysis of water in the hull....I believe there are scientific measuring instruments that some guys on this site might know about, or contact your local marine/fiberglass experts, they can test moisture content I just haven't done it myself. Even if the hull is dry & sound, you'll still have $15K worth of electrical & mechanical redo's....still might be worth it.
martyn1075 posted 11-09-2013 10:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
I want to know, what is that growth under the water? It looks like a piece of kelp. The water is entirely from rain it accumulated that way. Its just bizarre and disgusting. Almost like a horror flick. The forklift operator asked how to get the water out I told him you just have to unplug it if you can find it. I was debating it but it was just too nasty to take a chance. I didn't have any gloves with me and who knows what sort bacteria has formed. Thats another problem mold not just in the fabric liner but also in covered areas like the gas tank. Maybe 1K and gut it like a reno house. By the time your done maybe 11-12K. These boats around here sell for 18-20 with original power good power 26-30.


jimh posted 11-09-2013 11:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Make a ridiculously low offer; offer $1 for the boat. When you have the title, go at it with a power washer. You might be able to wash it up in value to a few thousand dollars in short order.
Buckda posted 11-10-2013 07:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
That kind of neglect, is it under a mechanics lien? Seems almost abandoned. The scum and mildew should clean up with some good scrubbing. I agree with the $1k offer idea. If they take a really low offer, you could even part it out and make money.
Dave Sutton posted 11-10-2013 07:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dave Sutton  Send Email to Dave Sutton     
Although it looks bad, my bet is that there's nothing there that a pressure washer and a bucket of TSP in hot water and a scrub brush wouldn't cure.

Really.... it doesn't look much different than my 25 Frontier did when I bought it. Just filthy. I really *really* doubt that there's anything seriously wrong with the hull, contemplating how many of these boats sit at moorings with water in their hulls year after year after year. This was deeper, but it's just water. Drain it out and forget about it, and see how the boat cleans up.

Take time to clean one square foot of it both topside and down below, and see how it comes out. My guess is that a week of elbow grease would produce a decent result. You would get 90% of the final result after two hours with a pressure washer.



boatdryver posted 11-10-2013 10:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
there must be a very sad story behind this


PeteB88 posted 11-10-2013 12:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Follow your gut, take a chance - doubt whoever has it wants to tackle the job. Offer $100 bucks or so with use of the facility (assuming marina)
Jerry Townsend posted 11-10-2013 04:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Martyn - I doubt that any freezing would cause a problem in Vancouver - as while it may freeze, it would not be "hard" freeze. The maximum damage from a freeze occurs at about -4 F, where the expansion is maximized.

As others have mentioned, a bit of time with a pressure washer should really help. --- Jerry/Idaho

PeteB88 posted 11-10-2013 04:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Two strongly affirmative votes from CW guys who know - Dave and Jerry.
andygere posted 11-10-2013 06:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
The green stuff is some type of algae and probably pretty harmless. Aside from the headliner (which a good upholstery shop could replace), I think the rest of it will probably clean up pretty well, albeit with some effort. There's a lot to like about this boat if you are getting for a good price, particularly the nice hard top. Can the enclosure be salvaged? These are well built boats with a lot of nice features. If you can get it cheap, I think you can get a nice boat out of it without losing your shirt. The 200 Merc is a simple motor but a strong runner. If she goes, have all of the oiling system tubing replaced right away.
Whalrman posted 11-11-2013 10:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalrman  Send Email to Whalrman     
This is a good find and as stated offer a low bid, worst case the answer is no. If you do end up with her don't use a pressure washer on her because that will just drive more moisture into areas you really don't want to. Use a product from Starbrite called mold and mildew stain remover. Just spray it on and watch it work. Wash with a soap solution afterwards. As far as the pool of water inside just pour a cup of bleach in the water and stir it slowly. Yea some will say you can't use bleach with fiberglass but, it won't be too strong and will dissipate and take care of any bacteria. Keep us posted as to this project.
Powergroove803 posted 11-12-2013 12:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Powergroove803  Send Email to Powergroove803     
"Its but a meer fleshwound"
Buy it dort cheap and enjoy!
Binkster posted 11-12-2013 02:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkster  Send Email to Binkster     
Have you contacted the owner, and is it actually for sale.
About 7 or 8 years ago I found a, as I remember, I think a 23' Outrage with a forward shelter. It was sitting in a fenced farm field on an old trailer. It was impossible to get within 50 yards of the boat, no open fences anywhere in the vicinity. The farmhouse was about 500 yards away and back from the road, and also behind the fence, with two larges closed gates in front. I would pass by occasionally on my way to the interstate. and it was always the same. Then one time they had a hay for sale sign in the yard and the gate was open. So I stopped and called the number. Sure the boat was for sale, for 2 thousand dollars, but there was no title. Well, I said I wanted to look at the boat anyway, which I did. The boat and the trailer was sitting level, all the plugs were in and it was collecting rainwater for over 5 years. The condition was about what you describe. Water was sitting on top of the floor. I got the transom plug out, water shot out like a firehose. I came back a few days later, and checked the boat out, the floor was mushy. As in many boats the floor backing is plywood. This made my really not interested, as the price was too high and the boat had no title.
Before you get to involve in this boat you're looking at get the facts from the owner. They might be ignorant as to the condition, and it might not be worth your while.


MattInSanDiego posted 11-12-2013 04:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for MattInSanDiego  Send Email to MattInSanDiego     
The waterline should be close to parallel to the gunnel. I bet there is a ton of water in that hull.
martyn1075 posted 11-12-2013 08:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
Rich the boat has a complicated story thats for sure. I can't divulge anything but the information about this boat with the wieght of water was my real concern natually its not how many of us store our boats for good reason. The information received has been exactly what I was looking for so thank you.

Even though its been neglected I have to really think there is a purpose behind it. I don't think the boat is held back by choice. Its not really the kind of boat that this happens to. I want to save the thing and make it a decent little boat again.

jcdawg83 posted 11-14-2013 02:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for jcdawg83    
Martyn, a friend of mine bought a 26' sailboat that had sunk for $300. I don't mean it had some water in it, I mean sunk to the bottom and laid on it's side three quarters submerged for about a year. The cockpit drain had become clogged with leaves and the boat simply filled up with rain and sank.

We re floated it by using a huge pump to pump out the cabin and a winch to right the boat enough that water would not run over the gunwale as we pumped out the cabin. We found a large turtle and several catfish in the cabin as we pumped it out.

Once the boat was floating, we tied it to a nearby dock, pressure washed the deck and hull, and put another smaller pump in the cabin and began hosing out the year's worth of mud and pumping it out. After we got about 90% of the dirt and debris out of the boat, a day of cleaning with soap and water found the cabin and boat in surprisingly good condition. He replaced the electrical bus and switches, the wiring was fine and all lights worked as soon as a battery was installed. The boat is now docked at the downtown marina in Charleston, SC and is perfectly fine.

Bottom line, if you can get it cheap, buy it. Fiberglass is a very tough product and can stand up to a lot of abuse. Think of all the boats you see at marinas that sit in the water for years with no one ever moving them or cleaning them. I don't think water sitting in a boat is any worse than water outside of a boat. Even if you find water in the foam, you can get it out. The worst case is that the boat is too far gone (I don't think it is) and you part it out. If you can get the boat for $1-2000, you can easily get that back in parts.

Bulldog posted 11-16-2013 05:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bulldog  Send Email to Bulldog     
Any other boat would probably be trash, I am thinking along the same lines as others , should be checked bought cheap gone over and back on the water! That is one of my favorite models!......Jack
elenakagan posted 11-23-2013 05:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for elenakagan  Send Email to elenakagan     
"boat" term applied very loosely, appears to be a biohazard.
andygere posted 11-23-2013 05:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Martyn, did you buy the boat?
martyn1075 posted 11-23-2013 10:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
Nope not yet. Hopefully but delicate situation. Some third party stuff.

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