Opportunity to buy back my old boat.....BUT???

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Tin Man

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LOCATION
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Background:

I sold my 2017 Alumacraft last year. I used the funds towards the purchase of a new 2023 Tracker Pro Guide V16SC....which is exactly what I wanted and is a great boat!
I spent much time and $$ building out the Alumacraft. It has a 2017 Karavan painted trailer and a 2017 Yamaha 25 with tiller, long shaft, elec. start (and pull start) and power trim. Nice motor! I was planning on keeping it for the long haul. But lack of storage (rods, batteries, etc), tiller, and recently retired, moved me towards purchasing a new boat.

Opportunity:

The person who purchased my Alumacraft recently contacted me and said he covered the boat soon after purchase and left it covered all winter (in SoCal). He did not check on the boat even though it was in his back yard. He never used the boat, and I can verify this as the boat quagga seal (for lake entry) from when I sold it to him is still attached. He said/assumed since it was a waterproof cover, the boat would be fine. He felt very embarrassed about not checking on boat and leaving plug in. He is new to boat ownership and is not comfortable makingh any repairs. He just wants to sell it and move on.

Well.....the cover pooled with water and water ended up inside the boat. Drain plug was left in and bilged pump turned off, and the interior filled close to 1/2 way up from stern to mid ship. Water filled the battery box and corroded the battery. Not sure if that would have shorted the battery and damaged the motor since motor is connected to battery. Plywood floors, covered in vinyl, were submerged in water for 7 mos or so. The factory sprayed in flotation foam was also submerged during this same time. Those appear to be the two major issues with the boat. All else appears to be in same condition as I sold it, with the exception of the powder coating flaking off in some areas of the gunnel extrusion.

He offered it to me at a VERY reduced priced (several thousands) from the purchase price.

Now....I am considering purchasing, repairing and keeping as a second boat or selling after repaired.

I guess Kenneth Grahame's quote applies to me (and I'm sure most bon this forum).....

There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats” (Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows)

Thoughts on my potential but back?

I have attached some pics of the damage (boat's current condition).
 

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Does this type of original foam absorb water? If so, why would builders use foam that absorbs water?
Would it have to be removed and replaced? Can it be dried out in the HOT desert sun!
 
I think it would likely be fine once dried out. You may see some new warpage in the flooring and decks. Most all foam will eventually hold some water, but it takes many years. Boats are made to get wet, after all.

My Tracker still has all the original foam in it, it sat outside long enough at one point to completely ruin the original decks and carpet. The foam is bone dry.

Fresh water is a pretty poor conductor, probably just put a small discharge on the battery, which is likely shot from sitting dead, but I doubt if it hurt any of the outboard electronics.
 
Does this type of original foam absorb water? If so, why would builders use foam that absorbs water?
Would it have to be removed and replaced? Can it be dried out in the HOT desert sun!
From what I’ve read, all foam absorbs water eventually. Polystyrene is worse than Urethane.

I think you know the boat better than we do so you need to make the call if it’s worth repairing and flipping. Just keep in mind that the economy stinks right now and many people don’t have extra cash to spend on toys.
 
My experience is that the water logged foam will not dry out. Even if it did, it is now a sponge.

To me, the boats cover the same fishing “needs”. Can handle the same water bodies, etc. When would you use this over the Tracker? To me, it seems to call for fix up and re-sell.
 
My experience is that the water logged foam will not dry out. Even if it did, it is now a sponge.

To me, the boats cover the same fishing “needs”. Can handle the same water bodies, etc. When would you use this over the Tracker? To me, it seems to call for fix up and re-sell.T
Yes, both boats cover pretty much the same uses. However, the Alumacraft could be my saltwater boat whenever I have feel the need to visit the ocean. It's a 100 mile trip so not very often.

I did remove the floors when I owned the boat but can not recall if there was foam beneath the floor. I know foam is in port and starboard rear side boxes and also forward bench. If this is correct, then maybe only the foam in rear boxes were in contact with water, but clearly not submerged.
 
I have the Alumacraft V14, same year, and the original owner kept it docked at a lake all summer. I removed the floors to do electrical work and discovered that the foam under the floor and in the pods was wet and starting to rot the plywood. Not soaked through, but apparently they pour the foam in and lay the deck right on top of it while the foam is wet. This was this spring; I bought it in July 2023 and have never left it in uncovered in the rain. Scraped it all out and replaced it with blueboard. That design left no passage for water which entered between the gunwales and deck to drain; rainwater just filled up the foam and soaked the plywood. If I had not seen it, the floors would have eventually rotted. If your boat had been sitting for any length of time with water covering the floors, I'd say you would have to remove the foam under the floors and in the stern pods. Not a great design.

Must have been tough to see it neglected like that. It is obvious you took a lot of care in tricking it out. I took your idea for the instrument console and made on for my boat, thanks.
 
My experience is that the water logged foam will not dry out. Even if it did, it is now a sponge.
Where I live, I would agree but in a low humidity area the foam will dry. Will it have the same properties as new foam I don't know. If it's properly stored from now on as it once was, I think it could be ok.
 
Where I live, I would agree but in a low humidity area the foam will dry. Will it have the same properties as new foam I don't know. If it's properly stored from now on as it once was, I think it could be ok.
The one big mistake I made with my first restoration, was reusing old foam that was dry. Even though water was never left in the boat, it blistered the paint on the plywood in a few years, followed by rot. Like I said, becomes like a sponge.
 
The one big mistake I made with my first restoration, was reusing old foam that was dry. Even though water was never left in the boat, it blistered the paint on the plywood in a few years, followed by rot. Like I said, becomes like a sponge.
Once the foam is wet, what changes the foam to make it become "spongy?"
 
Some boats have open cell foam. IF in a truly dry place, it will dry out after a month or two.

Some boats have closed cell foam, but they cut the top of it flat before installing the decking. That foam will catch water and it takes a VERY long time to dry out, like years.

Some boats have really good, uncut closed cell foam, and even after a situation like yours, it won't get waterlogged.

I have had all three, but don't know what yours is like. Store it with the nose up high and see if it continues to drip. Maybe it's okay.

If I bought it back, It would be for a discount that covers your original sales effort plus pulling the floor and replacing the foam, which I would guess would be $3k or more, but this is business for me, so your situation may be different.
 
Some boats have open cell foam. IF in a truly dry place, it will dry out after a month or two.

Some boats have closed cell foam, but they cut the top of it flat before installing the decking. That foam will catch water and it takes a VERY long time to dry out, like years.

Some boats have really good, uncut closed cell foam, and even after a situation like yours, it won't get waterlogged.

I have had all three, but don't know what yours is like. Store it with the nose up high and see if it continues to drip. Maybe it's okay.

If I bought it back, It would be for a discount that covers your original sales effort plus pulling the floor and replacing the foam, which I would guess would be $3k or more, but this is business for me, so your situation may be different.
He's willing to accept $3K for it as is. Heck, the 2017 Yamaha F25 LWTC (220 hrs) may be worth close to that?
 
Well, you asked for our thoughts. The price is good. I would enjoy working on that boat to fix the water damage. Because I wouldn't want two boats, the big question I would have is the hassle of selling it to get my money back.
 
Well, you asked for our thoughts. The price is good. I would enjoy working on that boat to fix the water damage. Because I wouldn't want two boats, the big question I would have is the hassle of selling it to get my money back.
I agree....I'm tempted to buy back and repair, and maybe use it as an Ocean/Bay boat down in LA/SD. Both cruising my old sailing grounds and maybe some halibut fishing in the LB oil island area. However, the salt water will quickly corrode trailer...especially for a painted trailer/freshwater boat. Saltwater use will cause resale price to go down quite a bit. Decisions, decisions!
 
keep thinking about it, but no decision as of yet. I guess, as someone mentioned, it is so similar to what I already have, it does not provide any different use options, other than maybe salt water, which would be very limited use
 

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