28 Foot Force Project

Discussion in 'Hawaiian Fishing Forum' started by HelluvaBoater, Mar 7, 2012.

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  1. HelluvaBoater

    I'm 26 and 2 years ago I got a 18 foot Force with a 2 foot extension. I've been on other boats, but this is the first one I own. About a year ago, I had some trouble with one of the stingers separating from the inside of the hull. The boat is a 1991 made in Hilo, Hawaii. I didn't know much about fiberglass at the time, so I decided to hire someone to fix it / teach me to fix it. Being on an island, there aren't too many options for repair guys. I called a guy in the phone book and he came out and looked at my boat. He was in his 70's and told me about how for the last 40 years, he had been making surf boats and doing boat building in California and Hawaii.

    For the last year, I've been working on the boat with him. I've learned a ton about fiberglass. We had to cut the deck out, repair the stinger, reinforce the hull from the inside and outside, sand and fair the outside, replace the deck, fair and gelcoat everything.... Since we were doing so much work to the boat I decided to go ahead and "restore" the whole boat with a paint job. We also built a custom cabin, re-gelcoated and splattered the deck. I got a lot of new stainless hardware, did the windows, insulated the fish box, all new electronics, wiring, lights, rub rail, batteries, kicker motor, and MUCH more. Now, it's a nice little boat that you actually stay DRY in out here. It was finished about a month ago, more or less. Still doing some final touches...











    Doing this, I realized how much I enjoy working on boats (especially after seeing the final product). So, I have been keeping my eyes open for a bigger project for a while now. A 20 foot boat is nice, but for the extended trips I'd like to do, bigger would be better.

    About 6 weeks ago, ago there was an ad on Craigslist for a 28 foot boat that needed a new transom. It was the same brand that I already had, only 28 feet long instead of 20. It also is a 2001 instead of a 1991 and is large enough for a flybridge. In fact, it used to have one. It seemed really cheap since blank hulls for this boat usually go for $43K new. The guy only wanted $10K...
    I called the seller and he told me that the boat was used as a fishing charter. They were returning back to the Kapaa ramp one day with a few people on board and out of nowhere, there was a rogue wave that came up the stern, causing them to broach and capsize. It happened right outside the breakers and luckily everyone made it to shore ok.

    Now, it's kind of a mystery that this thing capsized because this kind of boat is notorious around here for being able to handle rough water. Even the coast guard was stumped about how this happened in 4 to 5 footers. They said it would have been hard to capsize the boat if you were TRYING TO, given the conditions. I'm thinking all that weight of crew on one side, fish, and ice, gear, maybe too much speed downswell, and a couple guys up on the flybridge may have all contributed to the capsize. I'm also curious as to whether there was water inside the hull, weighing it down. After inspecting the bottom of the boat, I noticed it did have a LOT of thru hull fittings in there... More than I would think are usual. No way to tell but we all know these are good boats. I guess just a freak accident

    Eventually, the wind blew the capsized boat into the reef. The bow was sticking staight in the air and the top of the transom bounced on the reef for about 8 hours.

    (see video)

    Eventually, the tide rose and they were able to drag it up on the beach with a jet ski and load it on a trailer with a front end loader.
    Really, the only badly damaged things were the transom and the cabin. Of course, all the electronics, wiring, steering, will need to be replaced.

    Being a little crazy and understanding that one of the most amazing things about fiberglass is it's repairability, I decided to buy the boat and aluminum trailer and try to fix it. I got them both for $6800. I also have to pay $1500 to have it shipped to me, so I'm in it a total of $8300. The trailer will need new axles eventually, but I figure the trailer alone was probably close to that $8300 when now, so I figured its a pretty good deal.

    The boat was originally setup for twin diesels, but I think we'll be converting the transom into a bracket to hold outboards. This is for cost reasons. A battery box will also need to be constructed just forward of the transom.

    The great thing about these boats is that they are solid fiberglass, except for the transom and some other small stuff. The manufacturer has a mold for the cab and another mold for the flybridge, so I can just buy those and won't have to build them myself. Those will just pop on. I will have to add windows though.

    I figure...
    $8300 for boat + trailer
    $5000 for transom repair
    $4000 for electronics
    $1800 for cab
    $800 for windows
    $2200 for flybridge
    $1000 for flybridge ladder
    $2000 for new helm + hoses + outboard cylinder
    $25000 for new outboards

    That gives me a total of about $50k. Now, half of that is two brand new Yamaha 150's. I would like to use Yamaha 200's, but damn they are expensive. I am considering used/rebuilt outboards. It looks like I can get a pair of rebuilt Mercury 2-stroke 200's for $17K.


    But, I really don't want 2-strokes.
    That'd knock $8K off the total and put me at $43K. With new outboards the total would be about $50K.
    Brand new, a blank hull would $43K. With new outboards and an aluminum trailer, I'd think this boat would go for about $75K.

    hawaii boats - all classifieds "force" - craigslist

    Good deal or not, I'm already committed to this. The boat arrives today. I'll try to post pictures of progress here and there.

    I'll get better pictures when the boat arrives, but here's what I have for now.


    If I were to do this with a brand new hull, it would be at least $87,800...

    $8000 trailer
    $43000 blank hull (new)
    $4000 for electronics
    $1800 for cab
    $800 for windows
    $2200 for flybridge
    $1000 for flybridge ladder
    $2000 for new helm + hoses + outboard cylinder
    $25000 for new outboards

    .... that's not counting all the other stuff like fuel tanks, steering wheel, pole holder, hardware, bow rail, etc.

    Not sure how much it will end up costing in the long run but I'm hoping this is a chance for me to get something that I always considered unattainable.

    What do you guys think?

    Mahalo for any comments.

    What do you think.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
    marlyn and skipjackrobert like this.
  2. Gil Marlin

    That looks like a great project boat. While you're doing all the work maybe you'll find a deal on some motors. 2 strokes are lighter and cheaper, it just depends on what your needs are. Good luck and show us some progress photos as you work on her...
  3. hiroshi808

    I actually seen that boat on the reef.
    Plus it was a nice boat indeed when it was functioning.
    Mostly used for charters. I dunno what errors was taken. BUt i felt really bad and surprised.
    Good luck on your project! I would like to see the progress in the works...

    What did you do with your other boat?

    Thanks for sharing the Photo's! I sold alot of lures to the Captain he killed it on my lures! :2gunsfiring_v1: Its To Bad what happen! I heard there was a 360+ lb guy and the Capt 200 lb on the fly-bridge they stopped right behind the breakers to take down the outriggers when a wave maybe 3 foot when over the reef and surprisingly hit them hard and rocked the boat one direction but when it rocked back everyone 4 on deck and the two on the fly bridge try to catch their balance it flipped over! Surprising the transom extension broke off i'm not sure if it was a 4 foot or 5 foot but I question who did the job? I thought that area should be more strong than the rest??? These boats are good ridding with twin diesel inboards with fuel and ice all that weight inside the hull makes a good ride! I don't think it will ride as nice with out boards! Just My 2cents:hali_olutta:
    Good Luck! Aloha!
  5. J_B

    That's a killer deal you got on the 28' Force. I know the guy who owned um before. Was a sweet ride will be nice to see it brought back to life. Keep us updated on the progress. I heard it was a freak deal when it flipped coming in Kapaa channel, the wave doubled up at anchors to 8 foot and hit them broad side. He was in a bad part of the channel though so it was a combo effect.

  6. J_B


    You back on Kauai?
  7. HelluvaBoater

    Aloha Bird,

    It's matt from maui. I got many of your lures before and have caught countless fish on them.
    It IS a real shame what happened. I think we both got a pretty fair deal for each other considering all the damage, the work I have to do,...
    The diesels fell out when the boat capzied. Those were recovered shortly after but i'm not sure if they were salvaged. It is still setup for twin diesels and I would prefer to have twin diesels installed. It had dual twin 200 volvo pentas diesels in it before. Wouldnt it be expensive to run twin diesels over twin outboards especially if u cant get offroad diesel?
    The transom actually did not break off. The top of it showly chipped away over a period of 8 hours. That was the part of the boat that was banging agains the rocks. The bow was straight in the air... You'd have to see this video to really understand how the damage occured:
    I will be posting updates. More pics when I get it to the house. It comes in today, but might not pick it up til tomorrow since the parking area is a big mud hole right now.
  8. LundieF

    Why can't you get offroad diesel?
  9. HelluvaBoater

    I'm in Kihei how do i arrange that? I tried HFN but they declined my app.

    Is there a truck that comes out to Kihei?
  10. HelluvaBoater

    Since we are just finishing it I am going to use it for the next year or so then decide which i like better when the 28 is done. On the 20 footer with a 100hp yami i was spending around $160 on gas for a 16 hour trip. if the 28 footer is too expensive to run i'll probably sell it.
  11. LundieF

    That's weird, did they say why they declined it? You've got a commercial license right? Those guys should love commercial fishermen, thats $$$$ for them
  12. HelluvaBoater

    I did not ask, but i am assuming because i did it under my persoal name now that you mention that. i do have a commerical license. Guess I might call them and explain and try again. The app was before I own diesel so i could probably get it if I really tried.

    But, diesel engines are just so damn expensive. I would love to have twin diesels. Since it's already setup for that.

    Anyone have any advice on twin diesels? I know cummins has factory reman diesels but I cant find any for marine apps. Would this be best with twin 200's or twin 150 diesels?
  13. HelluvaBoater

    I guess it might be possible to meet da truck at Maalaea and just launch out of there, dont know if they do that
  14. J_B

    With the right diesel setup it should burn 1 gallon per hour for each engine. I doubt you could get better fuel economy with outboards. The diesel are expensive, but you could get some used and save $$$. Twin 200's Volvo get some older models and get them rebuilt or find some that have already been rebuilt. Just my 3cents I don't own a boat with diesel power but almost everyone I know has Volvo's.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  15. Kauaihunter

    If you're gonna keep the boat, outboards are fine in my opinion. You are gonna use it so set it up how you want. The diesels definitely burn less fuel but that doesn't mean their cheaper. They are more efficient. If you do the math and compare your total investment including maintenance and fuel for a given period of time you can really see which is better moneywise for you.
  16. HelluvaBoater

  17. Kauaihunter

    If you're gonna run a charter or fish commercially and will do it for as long as you're able to, get the diesels.

    If you're gonna be a weekend warrior, once or twice a month get the outboards.

    The diesels need a lot of time to make the fuel savings pay off the initial investment, even then it'll be tough to do. If you're not burning tanks and tanks of fuel you'll never justify going with the diesel. I say this from a total cost over time standpoint. Has nothing to do with gas being better than diesel. I'd be in the same predicament and want the diesels instead.

    Single screw is another option. :-O

    Howzit Matt Right-on Bra! Good to hear from you! I would stick with diesels you'll have a much better Boat in rough Seas! Good Luck!

    Howzit Jake Yea I'm back from my trip with Joe Yee! We had a great 3 weeks in Thailand! I got Joe to ride in a Tuk-Tuk For the first time not bad for a 83 year old guy! He's been there several times in the 80's 90's and last time 2004 to visit his Thai Friends that fished with him in the Past in the HIBC!:hali_olutta: Aloha

    Attached Files:

  19. HelluvaBoater

    Shootz I really want diesels but theyre just so expensive! Anyone got any rebuilt diesels around here???

    I usually go on 2 and some times 3-day trips and want to use the boat as long as I can. Plus I like the idea of gas savings and a better handling boat
  20. jma1978