83 36 foot tri cabin questions.

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swampman
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83 36 foot tri cabin questions.

Post by swampman » Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:22 pm

Looking for input on common issues on a 36 foot trojan tri (364) . A friend of mine has offered me this boat at a great price including slip for the summer . Its definitely a fixer upper which im ok with, but I want to understand what im getting into. I have no experience with a boat this big or inboards , but I am an auto mechanic by trade and not afraid of fixing things. I spent about 3 hours today crawling through it and here's what I know for sure . Port engine block is cracked and repaired with marine epoxy looks like freeze damage . It has been operating like this for several seasons without issues per owner . its a 260 hp chevy . I would plan on replacing the block and have talked with marina about crane service in/out . I can see I would have to remove salon floor , kitchen area, and salon roof access panel . would like any input on what this might entail that may not be obvious to me yet . Looks like bottom of water heater below forward salon floor is rusted and may be an issue. one of my big questions is , Does the transom have a wood core on this model ? it has a strange sound to me when tapping it and if it were an inboard/ outboard I would think its rotted, but since its an inboard im not sure of transom construction . It has a soft spot on the starboard side deck towards the front , can see it was leaking at the bow rail mounting and has been sealed , minor water damage /marks in front v berth. Also minor water damage on aft cabin starboard side looks like from cabin side window. owner has this area disassembled in attempt to seal and claims its fixed. Needs general tlc and clean up but owner has been pretty good about mechanical maintenance , all new water hoses , plugs ,wires, belts etc in the engine compartment.. Reputable marina has done maintenance for several years and they seem pretty familiar with this boat and owner because he has been good about mechanical upkeep.
would appreciate any input / advice I can get as I know im about to dive in over my head and im probably too dumb to realize how deep.

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Re: 83 36 foot tri cabin questions.

Post by P-Dogg » Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:09 am

swampman wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:22 pm
I know im about to dive in over my head and im probably too dumb to realize how deep.
Well, this sums up 99% of boat purchasers. You are a step ahead though, because you realize it!

Dunno what the deal is with the transom, but it is not cored -- on those boats, nothing below the rub rail is.

As for the water heater, if you shop very carefully you can find a 19 or 20 gallon water heater that will fit through a door. The problem will be getting the old one out. I had to remove the outer shell and insulation to get it out of tbe cabin door. Of course, if you pop the top to change engines, that would be the time to change the water heater.

These boats are easy to work on. You can search my posts for fresh water tank install and underwater exhaust replacement for some advice on tasks that yku might face.

And ill pass along my standard advice. Run down to your local bookstore or ISP and get yourself a copy of nigel calder's boatowners mechanical and electrical handbook.

Welcome to the forum. Pics always welcome.
I needed a less expensive hobby, so I bought a boat!

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Re: 83 36 foot tri cabin questions.

Post by RWS » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:08 am

To TRULY find out what you are getting into, DO A LEGITIMATE SURVEY.

This will eliminate the possible bad and expensive surprises.

RWS
1983 Trojan International 10 Meter
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Re: 83 36 foot tri cabin questions.

Post by swampman » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:42 am

I know the boat needs work and a lot of it . But the price im getting it for allows for a lot of room to make further investment and honestly it looks like a solid platform and easy to work on . I know you guys won't get this or believe it but I feel im a good enough mechanic and have enough common sense to evaluate this myself given the price . I could likely part it out and get my money back. I've restored a 21 foot sea ray that was a mess and I learned a lot . But sea rays are more common and easier to dig up information on . Thank you for the information on the transom. I pulled some trim tab and swim platform mount screws and also came to the conclusion the transom wasn't cored , hence why it sounds hollow compared to an I/O. Im just an auto mechanic , single , one income and would otherwise never be able to afford a boat this size. Im literally getting it for 1/10the price I've seen them go for , I inspected it in the water last season and in storage this week and the owner has pointed out what he knows is wrong as he is a friend. I spent 3 hours in it pulling up everything I could and crawling through the bilge doing my own amateur survey , but a boat this size has all kinds of stuff going on im not used too . Im just looking for some help figuring that out as I feel a survey to tell me most of what I already know is a waste of money I don't have that in the future could go towards fixing something .
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Re: 83 36 foot tri cabin questions.

Post by kallen » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:13 am

Remember what boat stands for. BREAK OUT ANOTHER THOUSAND

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Re: 83 36 foot tri cabin questions.

Post by P-Dogg » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:10 pm

kallen wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:13 am
Remember what boat stands for. BREAK OUT ANOTHER THOUSAND
Sometimes it is spelled with two t's, as in

Break
Out
Another
Ten
Thousand
I needed a less expensive hobby, so I bought a boat!

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Re: 83 36 foot tri cabin questions.

Post by P-Dogg » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:12 pm

kallen wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:13 am
Remember what boat stands for. BREAK OUT ANOTHER THOUSAND
Shoot, this is just a fill-up...
I needed a less expensive hobby, so I bought a boat!

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Re: 83 36 foot tri cabin questions.

Post by swampman » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:01 am

I guess ill give up on getting useful information out of you folks . I know the Acronyms. I was hoping for some first hand input from other owners on specific issues. The lack of support and insinuations that this is just a money pit and not worthy of love and restoration / is that a signature of you Trojan owners ? maybe I should just stick with my sea rays. I could put 20 grand into this boat and likely still come out ahead for what im getting it for. I don't have that kind of money laying around , but im willing to spend 10 years doing it . Is a little helpful support too much to ask from this group? Do you all feel the need to think you know so much better than me that the best you got is break out another thousand? If that's the case well then ,, Mr. Moderator just delete my account . I could get better advice talking to a billy goat .

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Re: 83 36 foot tri cabin questions.

Post by P-Dogg » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:45 am

Well its unfortunate that you feel that way. Hopefully youll decide to stick around. If you do so, time and time again youll see folks think that something great happened to them because they got a whale of a deal on a boat. Most people have no idea what they are getting into (recall i gave you some credit for that). Boats are sold cheaply for a reason -- it has become cheaper for the owner to have the second happiest day of his life by losing money on the sale than it is to keep paying to keep the boat. Instead of window shopping like i did for two years before i got serious, at which time i looked at ELEVEN boats (all 1980 to 1985 tricabs) before buying one, they come here and it's obvious that they havent read a single post before becoming boat owners. It gets tiring, so please forgive us.

Regardless, the costs, to properly maintain a boat anyway, are real. I looked at ten boats that were floating POSs because they were not maintained. Consider how much a tricab would cost jf bought new today. Maybe $300,000, at the very minimum? Could easily be twice that, i never price new boats. Then consider that something on the order of 5% of the purchase price as a good estimate for the cost of routine maintenance for a year. That's $15,000 a year -- well over a grand month -- before you ever so much as put a dime into the fuel tank, just for upkeep. Oh, and where i live, five months of the year its too cold to use the boat without re-winterizing the engines at least when you return to the dock.

If you can get over the reality check, you will find yourself among friends.
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Re: 83 36 foot tri cabin questions.

Post by prowlersfish » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:37 am

swampman wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:01 am
I guess ill give up on getting useful information out of you folks . I know the Acronyms. I was hoping for some first hand input from other owners on specific issues. The lack of support and insinuations that this is just a money pit and not worthy of love and restoration / is that a signature of you Trojan owners ? maybe I should just stick with my sea rays. I could put 20 grand into this boat and likely still come out ahead for what im getting it for. I don't have that kind of money laying around , but im willing to spend 10 years doing it . Is a little helpful support too much to ask from this group? Do you all feel the need to think you know so much better than me that the best you got is break out another thousand? If that's the case well then ,, Mr. Moderator just delete my account . I could get better advice talking to a billy goat .
I think they where just trying to give you a heads up on how costly boating Can be . You did say you maybe jump over your head . If you want info Ask questions . You may get different answers from different folks here . You may or may not like all the answers . You got some good advice on the water heater . A survey is never a bad idea . PDogg spent $$$ on them to avoid boats with issues . With that said I feel he was too picky :D , But the boat had to suit him not me , you or anyone else .

I don't agree your going to spend a grand a month . Of couse you could if you wanted to as boat toys are fun and not cheap LOL I have been boating for 45 years or so . 20 as a Trojan owner . worked at and help run a yard . And would e happy to answer any questions , as would anyone here . I also would add Beacon marine the sites sponsor is a great resource for those hard to find Trojan parts and for info.

If someone rubs you the wrong way just ignore it , as they mean well . We are here to help and share a common interest . So welcome to the forum . And ask away

One last thing you said something about the James river . Where are you at ? I live off the lower James and do boat there some . But mainly in the Bay .

So chill out and enjoy
TROJAN F36 Conv.
6BTA Cummins diesels
Life is to short for a ugly boat :D
2009 TROJAN RENDEZVOUS
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Re: 83 36 foot tri cabin questions.

Post by rickalan35 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:11 am

Dear Swampman,

I owned a tri-cabin for 16 years. During that period of time besides absolutely loving it, I also spent a lot of time working on it which I enjoyed because I could always visualize what the finished result would be.

In my view, the hulls on these boats were so well constructed that they outlasted not only the competition but also "themselves." I love the way Trojan manufactured using fiberglass. You will not find a superior design nor finer workmanship. They made a fantastic, essentially bulletproof hull. The finish was also top notch and they tend to look very good today, so many years later. From the look of your's it is one of the very late seventies or early eighties models.

But as the years go by, unfortunately nothing can prevent the wood and the mechanics from aging. I rarely see an old Trojan today without an extensive restoration history of the teak trim, marine plywood floors (especially the rear sole) and a various shopping list of completed mechanical repairs which include engines, generator, toilets, wiring, appliances and controls.

Looking back now and armed with the knowledge that these TriCabins are financially rarely valued very highly, I might wait around for one to come up for sale that had already received most of the mechanical restoration, floor restoration and component replacement. You would probably need to spend between ten thousand and fifteen thousand to buy one, but they will ride and run like a $150,000 vessel.

It will cost you under a thousand for a good marine survey. This survey will tell you what requires repair/replacement. The surveyor (resist the urge to punch him) will come up with a long list of stuff, much of which you won't give a damn about ("this boat has a hangnail") and the rest of his list will give you a pretty good idea of how much it will cost you to do what actually "needs" to be done.

We all spend money on our boats just like we do our other hobbies. I loved my tricabin so much, I didn't mind spending it. Plus I managed to get the boat to the point where everything was in pretty good shape.

I found myself kind of hankering for a more modern Trojan after having studied them and six years ago I almost bought a 13 meter boat that has been featured here on the forum recently. But by accident I stumbled across the 11 meter boat I own now and liked so much that I actually sold my beloved Tricabin for her.

Boats will never make sense unless you are a boater. The do make sense to "boaters."

You will receive all kinds of comments from the crew here on the forum about boats being a hole in the water that we all throw money into. That's because we all sometimes ask ourselves, "What the hell is wrong with me?" But you won't see any of them getting out of the hobby anytime soon. Misery loves company.

Best of luck Swampman. Ask away if there are specific questions and I will try my best to give you my opinions.

Rick
Trojan 1994 370 Express, 502 Bluewaters

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Re: 83 36 foot tri cabin questions.

Post by kallen » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:12 am

Sorry you feel that way. The intent was to make you aware of what the expenses will be. I don"t think anyone said DON"T buy it just be prepared to spend thousands of dollars just to get the boat in the water and running. You also said that a engine block had a repaired crack. That alone will be about $4.000.00 by the time you are finished if not more due to how the engine has to come out.. The reason I"am replying to this thread is because of personnel experience. If you can do a lot of work your self and have the time and money GO for it. Don"t have high expectations for the first year as there will be many unforeseen problems and expenses. Prioritize whats necessary for the first season and enjoy. Defiantly get a survey as it will inform you what is immediately necessary. Insurance companies will request a survey to insure the boat. The marina will want insurance on your boat in case something happens.How much will next seasons dockage,and winterization be. Once again more expenses that you cannot ignore. Hopefully you will stick around and enjoy the forum and keep us informed on your progress. 21 years with my boat and still not finished doing the things that I want to do.

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Re: 83 36 foot tri cabin questions.

Post by swampman » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:47 am

Thank you to those few who really want to add some real life input on these models . This isn't my first rodeo , just my first trojan . First thing I did in regards to my future with this boat is nail down storage and slip costs with the marina , and evaluate the work needed to pull an engine . I have also asked the marina to give me a cost on hoist service , getting the engine block in /out. I will dissemble it to a shortblock. pull salon floor and roof and have it ready for them .Its well within my ability to do this . I will build a 350 block I already have to stock specs , swap sheetmetal ,oil pan and equipment , check the heads , do a valve job and get a solid port engine back in it . if I have to strip it to a bare block and carry it /out the salon doorway and build a new engine in the salon , build an a frame and lower it , well I can do it that way to . I was glad to hear there's no coring below the water line. That's the kinda stuff im looking for . Id like to hear the stringers and bulkheads are not prone to rot , they sound solid , engine room looks good , some honest input on this would be appreciated , obviously I don't know every inch yet but im really trying . Im a master auto tech of 25 years and not to be arrogant , but that knowledge and experience carries a man a long way into other areas , electrical , plumbing, fabrication, fiberglass repair , welding etc , all comes with the job when you do what I do . What I am humbly asking is for concise first hand experience on any issues I may not have mentioned that are prevalent on early 80's tri cabin's . I have already identified a lot and if some of you all could translate that into the notion that im serious and competent that would be great .

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Re: 83 36 foot tri cabin questions.

Post by prowlersfish » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:12 am

Its good you looked at some costs . You sound like your very hands on and that's a must on a older boat or a large check book :D .

Your brought out the stringers . Something that should be looked at in any boat of that age .

Remember no one knows what you can and cannot do . I love the question "Is something I can do myself" without have a clue if they can use a screw driver or not . With that said you sound like you have the skill set . just be open minded to advice . And read between the lines .


Reading your first post one would not have a clue as to you having a lot experience or a 20 something dreamer . I was once that 20 year old and now well I am a bit older and hopefully wiser ,but some days I have to wonder .
TROJAN F36 Conv.
6BTA Cummins diesels
Life is to short for a ugly boat :D
2009 TROJAN RENDEZVOUS
Port Kinsale 2010 & 2011. Solomons get together 2011.

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Re: 83 36 foot tri cabin questions.

Post by swampman » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:25 am

rickalan35 wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:11 am
Dear Swampman,

I owned a tri-cabin for 16 years. During that period of time besides absolutely loving it, I also spent a lot of time working on it which I enjoyed because I could always visualize what the finished result would be.

In my view, the hulls on these boats were so well constructed that they outlasted not only the competition but also "themselves." I love the way Trojan manufactured using fiberglass. You will not find a superior design nor finer workmanship. They made a fantastic, essentially bulletproof hull. The finish was also top notch and they tend to look very good today, so many years later. From the look of your's it is one of the very late seventies or early eighties models.

But as the years go by, unfortunately nothing can prevent the wood and the mechanics from aging. I rarely see an old Trojan today without an extensive restoration history of the teak trim, marine plywood floors (especially the rear sole) and a various shopping list of completed mechanical repairs which include engines, generator, toilets, wiring, appliances and controls.

Looking back now and armed with the knowledge that these TriCabins are financially rarely valued very highly, I might wait around for one to come up for sale that had already received most of the mechanical restoration, floor restoration and component replacement. You would probably need to spend between ten thousand and fifteen thousand to buy one, but they will ride and run like a $150,000 vessel.

It will cost you under a thousand for a good marine survey. This survey will tell you what requires repair/replacement. The surveyor (resist the urge to punch him) will come up with a long list of stuff, much of which you won't give a damn about ("this boat has a hangnail") and the rest of his list will give you a pretty good idea of how much it will cost you to do what actually "needs" to be done.

We all spend money on our boats just like we do our other hobbies. I loved my tricabin so much, I didn't mind spending it. Plus I managed to get the boat to the point where everything was in pretty good shape.

I found myself kind of hankering for a more modern Trojan after having studied them and six years ago I almost bought a 13 meter boat that has been featured here on the forum recently. But by accident I stumbled across the 11 meter boat I own now and liked so much that I actually sold my beloved Tricabin for her.

Boats will never make sense unless you are a boater. The do make sense to "boaters."

You will receive all kinds of comments from the crew here on the forum about boats being a hole in the water that we all throw money into. That's because we all sometimes ask ourselves, "What the hell is wrong with me?" But you won't see any of them getting out of the hobby anytime soon. Misery loves company.

Best of luck Swampman. Ask away if there are specific questions and I will try my best to give you my opinions.

Rick
Thank you , the reassurance that these are solid and well built boats is the kind on information im looking for . Im currently a sea ray guy, also a Harley guy , both of which I've come to understand are junk compared to other market offerings , but thankfully im a mechanic, I can fix things and I love them anyways. General negativity about how much boating costs , and how a survey is mandatory to identify issues is not helpful to me at this point . Confirmation that this is a solid well built platform to invest thousands of dollars and year of work into is what I need , if indeed it is true .

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