Rotted floor/stringers on 1999 370. Help!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SkiPharmer, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. SkiPharmer

    SkiPharmer Active Member

    206
    Jul 27, 2014
    St. Croix River, MN
    "Apres Ski" is a 1995 Sea Ray Sundancer 330, Twin 454 MerCruiser V-Drives
    Twin 7.4 Liter Mercruisers V-drives
    I posting this on behalf of a friend of mine. He bought a 1999 370 Sundancer this past summer. Survey showed that one of the stringers inside the cabin in the mid bilge had rot. So bad you could poke your finger through it. When I saw/heard this I thought it was a bizarre place for rot, especially since the boat and bilge was spotless. He bought from via broker from Marine Max. He had the local marina that it was at givr him an estimate for repair..$4000. The seller took that off the price and the sale continued. he now keeps the boat at my marina (different marina that gave the first estimate)and is going to have them do the work. They pulled it into the shop this week and uncovered much more rot. The floor under the aft cabin is rotted and there is white mold growing all underneath there. My buddy is devastated. They are now thinking $10,000-$20,000 to repair depending on what they keep peeling back. The shop says the stringers involved are holding the floor up and are not involved with the engine. Attached are a few pics. The water you see is coming out of the wood as it thaws (we are in MN). What would you do? What can he do? They think the boat either sunk or somehow got water in and it never drained. The bilge looked great cause it was discovered that they repainted it. You can see how they painted over it, covering water stains? This was discovered by my marina. Sad case. Gorgeous boat otherwise. Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    You will get a lot of feedback I am sure. The stringers midships may not hold the engines, but they are the entire structure for the hull. That cost estimate may actually be low. Cruisers are very hard to completely rebuild stringers. One of the CSR members here did a full rebuild of stringers and transom on his 268 I think. So he may have some idea of his costs. This may be a situation of cutting losses, depending on what he paid for the boat. Not good.
     
  3. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    First I think I might throw up - after that I don't know what he could do, you almost certainly have to fix it, no way to sell it at this point, at least not for any real $$. Obviously the survey missed this, or at least missed the extent of the rot. Have a conversation with Marine Max, maybe they can help with fixing it. You can bet the previous owner knew about it and that is why he got rid of it - you wonder if Marina Max knew how bad it is.

    Some how fix it and enjoy the boat or take an unbelievable hit on selling it.
     
  4. bobeast

    bobeast Dance the Tide SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 22, 2017
    Isleton, CA
    2002 310DA
    350 MPI w/V-drives
    Chances are very good, the cost to repair will exceed the value of the boat. If that is the case then the unfortunate truth is that he is going to have to walk away with whatever he can get from salvage.

    It does look like there may have been some fraud but I am not equipped to advise on any legal recourse. A lawyer might be in his future but do not discuss the particulars of that on an open forum, at least until after the matter is settled.
     
  5. 370Dancer

    370Dancer Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Florida - Alabama
    1998 370 Sundancer
    380hp MAG MPI Gen VI with V drives
    Make sure they are not calling the white foam under the floor in the mid cabin mold. I discovered the hard way what a leaking ice maker line can do over a period of years, where it was leaking between the outer hull and the inner hull, which feeds to...... the floor under the mid cabin, which is normally filled with flotation foam from the engine bulkhead to the keel to the front bulkhead. I discovered mine when unscrewing the water heater under the aft settee, and had a 3 inch head of water coming out of the screw holes. Took a while to figure out the the water was coming from such a large and non-accessible space.
    I wound up removing the mid cabin table leg mount, and cut a hole to the keel through the foam. Vacuumed out water for days. It also rotted the cockpit flooring in the coaming lockers behind the ice maker where Sea Ray had neglected to completely wrap the plywood with fiberglass. I cut all that out, and replaced with 3/4 marine ply SATURATED with resin and glass mat. I then ripped all the carpeting out of those coaming lockers, and painted the entire space with bilge paint. no more standing water, no more mold, no more rot.
     
  6. SkiPharmer

    SkiPharmer Active Member

    206
    Jul 27, 2014
    St. Croix River, MN
    "Apres Ski" is a 1995 Sea Ray Sundancer 330, Twin 454 MerCruiser V-Drives
    Twin 7.4 Liter Mercruisers V-drives
    Did you have stringer involvement?
     
  7. Riptide III

    Riptide III Active Member

    555
    Dec 8, 2007
    Dartmouth MA
    1997 Sea Ray 400DA
    Cat 3116 TA
    1994 Sea Ray Laguna CC 250 Tohatsu
    :
    Could the source be the fresh water tank leak? Not familiar with the location on the 370.
     
  8. Nauti-Kal

    Nauti-Kal Member

    95
    Jan 29, 2016
    LK St. Clair, St. Clair River, Lake Huron, LK Erie
    1996 370 Sundancer
    Raymarine C120 Multifunction
    Twin Mercruiser 7.4 V Drive
    after peeling back all the rot, do you know where the water is coming from?
    I have a 1996 370DA and mine has water in the same area and I can't seem to find where its coming from. no rot (yet). looks like i need to get this fixed before it rots!
     
  9. glenncal1

    glenncal1 Member

    76
    Nov 6, 2009
    colorado
    2000 380AC
    Twin Merc 7.4 Horizons
    I would certainly have your buddy contact the surveyor and possibly make a claim on his errors and omissions insurance if he has it. That is certainly a major problem to have missed.
     
  10. 370Dancer

    370Dancer Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Florida - Alabama
    1998 370 Sundancer
    380hp MAG MPI Gen VI with V drives
    No stringer stuff. I did have a Chris Craft 28 flybridge once upon a time that was from Canada. Apparently the way it was dry stored in the winter allowed fresh water in the forward bilge, and did rot the stringers on that one. I took a month, and we "sistered" new stringers into the boat, front to back. It worked out pretty well, and the new owner had her for many years, with no nasty phone calls.
    If you have stringer failure, you need to locate the spot where a hole was drilled without sealing, and then water intruded to saturate that spot. I cannot tell from your photos where your damage actually is.
     
  11. 370Dancer

    370Dancer Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Florida - Alabama
    1998 370 Sundancer
    380hp MAG MPI Gen VI with V drives
    The water tank is under the forward Vee berth. It could leak into the mid bilge via the holes cut for the air conditioner hoses. I think there would be a lot of wet carpet before it damaged the mid bilge.
     
    Riptide III likes this.
  12. El Capitan

    El Capitan Active Member

    539
    Jul 9, 2014
    Chicago IL./Vero Beach, Fl
    1970 SRV 180 w 2.5L Mercruiser.
    2000 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer
    120HP Mercruiser
    It’s a total loss. Make sure it’s insured then sink it.

    “Where there’s smoke there’s fire.”

    Where there’s one rotten stringer...
     
  13. DWABoat

    DWABoat Active Member

    289
    Aug 13, 2019
    S Louisiana
    2001 280 Sundancer
    1989 220CC Cuddy Cabin
    Twin 4.3 w/Alpha Ones
    5.7 Mercruiser Alpha One
    I have dealt with hidden rot, although on a much smaller boat (24ft).

    It is amazing how water can wick through plywood to the other side of the boat. You can bet the farm that rotten wood permeates that boat in all directions.

    Considering the money involved with that type of purchase, I would go ahead and consult with an attorney. If no legal options were available, sell it as a project boat and cut losses.
     
  14. DWABoat

    DWABoat Active Member

    289
    Aug 13, 2019
    S Louisiana
    2001 280 Sundancer
    1989 220CC Cuddy Cabin
    Twin 4.3 w/Alpha Ones
    5.7 Mercruiser Alpha One
    Captain,

    I realize you are only joking about the insurance thing... :) ....but, even if someone was planning a nefarious scheme like that (sinking, burning, theft, etc), insurance companies would require a survey prior to coverage. Oh well...Plan B?

    BTW...I completely agree on the total loss issue. Buying used boats is such a pain in the arse for “non-wealthy” people like me that really love boating. We always end up getting someone else’s rubbish. I am very frustrated that some schmuck out there sold his boat knowing it was trashed and knowing some poor soul would buy it not knowing it was trashed.

    Ski, please make sure your bud understands I feel his pain. Probably all of us do. I have been in his position before on a lesser scale and it feels terrible. Took me 12 years to repair the rotted boat. Remind him that a pleasure boat will never be a good financial investment - it will always cost lots of money. Sometimes a lot up front and sometimes a lot over a long time. In his case, the expense is coming up front.
     
  15. Ididntdoit

    Ididntdoit Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    New England & South Florida
    Boatless
    Boatless
    I get the "total loss" thing.......but this guy likely paid 50-60k for this boat - what if he blew an engine on the first cruise? sink it? No, put a new 10k (likely more) motor in it and move on......same thing here - fix it right and move on - as he is finding out, problems like this get more involved as you dig, but I assure you, there is an end - and its not "every piece of wood in the boat" I know its too late, but the BIG mistake here was accepting the boat in the first place - plenty of used boats for sale - it seems people get "vested" in a boat after paying for a survey. As for the repainted bilge, its common to freshen up the paint on an older boat so it shows better - that doesn't necessarily prove any ill intent on the part of the PO.
     
    tdschafer likes this.
  16. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

    783
    Sep 12, 2009
    IL
    281
    V8
    Per the OP the surveyor found the rot. Guy should have had the seller fix before purchase.
     
  17. SkiPharmer

    SkiPharmer Active Member

    206
    Jul 27, 2014
    St. Croix River, MN
    "Apres Ski" is a 1995 Sea Ray Sundancer 330, Twin 454 MerCruiser V-Drives
    Twin 7.4 Liter Mercruisers V-drives
    He paid $81,000...the seller than took $4000 off to fix it
     
  18. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    Like BillK, my first reaction would probably be to throw up.
    Next, if it’s an otherwise good boat, I would have to figure out a way to get it fixed properly and then plan on holding on to the boat for a while to make it worth it.
    If the rest of the boat isn’t too good I would try to figure out how to cut my losses.
    Occasionally we’ll see someone post on here about a boat they are thinking of buying where a surveyor or other knowledgeable source points out repairs that the boat needs.
    The poster will often add that the seller is willing to take money off of the sale price for the buyer to get the things fixed or replaced.
    IMHO: The most sound advice that the poster gets is to have the seller make the repairs as a condition of sale because everything usually costs way more than they think it will.
    While it kind of sucks for your friend, hopefully this thread will save the next potential buyer nightmare.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
    SkiPharmer, Chris-380 and PlayDate like this.
  19. DWABoat

    DWABoat Active Member

    289
    Aug 13, 2019
    S Louisiana
    2001 280 Sundancer
    1989 220CC Cuddy Cabin
    Twin 4.3 w/Alpha Ones
    5.7 Mercruiser Alpha One
    I can agree with you recommending fixing the boat, if the new owner can do a lot of the work himself. That is what I did. Complete decks, engine room area, and total transom. It was a lot of labor. Materials weren’t off bad. If I had to pay someone, it would have been foolish of me to do so. The labor alone would have been twice the value of the boat.

    When I said “total loss” I guess I should have stated it differently. If he will have to pay an extreme amount of labor and material to have all the fiberglass work, it would likely be better to sell it as a salvage or to someone looking for a project. He can recoup some of his purchase price, combine that with what he would have paid on labor, and find a good boat. I speak from personal experience here. If they are digging sections of the walls from that boat, there is likely going to be rot, lots of rot. That is labor cost. Lots of labor cost.
    Good point. I will condition my “Total Loss” comment to insurance company terminology. If a person with the time, tools, and skill wanted to redo all the fiberglass in the boat, it would be possible. If, however, a person had to pay labor and materials, probably not advisable.

    I have seen rotten wood like that in two different boats. By the time the wood got as bad as the picture shows, it was real bad all over.

    As far as my schmuck comment, I guess 27 years as a cop has degraded my view of humanity a little! I hope you are right about the seller.
     
  20. El Capitan

    El Capitan Active Member

    539
    Jul 9, 2014
    Chicago IL./Vero Beach, Fl
    1970 SRV 180 w 2.5L Mercruiser.
    2000 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer
    120HP Mercruiser
    The first estimate of $4000 to fix a stringer was incorrect. The second estimate of $10k-$20k to repair will prove incorrect again IMO.

    Ive seen estimates for stringer, mounts, deck, or transom rot combinations that start at $30k and up as high as $75k.

    When total cost exceeds the value insurance appraisals deem the vehicle as a total loss. I assumed the owner had insurance.
     
    SkiPharmer and DWABoat like this.

Share This Page

Show Sidebar