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Thread: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

  1. #1

    Default Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    I ran across this boat in both craigslist and ebay. It's a 34' ketch or yawl in Deltaville, Virginia, made in 1968 by Balco Yacht Co. in Dundalk, MD. I haven't gone down to see it. Judging from what you see here, how salvageable might this boat be? I realize that there are probably other hidden issues elsewhere in the boat, I'm just curious what the cracks and missing bits in the photo tell you about how repairable the boat looks.



    here's a photo from the other side:

    https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/KqkAA...TW/s-l1600.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    It's wood. Everything's repairable. I think the question would be is it worth your time? What would be your goal there? How broad are your skill sets and how deep are your pockets? It kinda looks to me like someone got started and realized what they'd gotten into and stepped away.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    It's more about you, your skills, and re$ources 34' is a big boat. Rigging = small fortune, sails, engine.. galley electric plumbing. lumber sourcing. space and place to work. ...
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    It looks like someone cut the horn timber off and removed the ouiter stern post. I would look for a boat in better condition to invest my time and money into. If this boat was of historical design significance it might be worth investigating, but it's probably not.

    The keel appears to be constructed with steam bent laminates bolted together and are coming apart. The planks are pulling away from the rabbit so the screws aren't holding, couple of potential reasons for that. Rotten keel, wasted fasteners or both.

    The builder didnt take the time to fair in the keel plus the bolts are in the way, (or is it a keelson?). It looks like a quick build from a little know builder. Even if this was a free boat I would pass. I like the hardware and engine for 500.
    Last edited by navydog; 02-12-2018 at 01:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    The planking looks excellent, laid out well , no sign of fastening hinkiness.
    An un conventional keel ,swept up like that.
    I would want to un do the whole mechanical shindig and upgrade it anyway, so what has been taken apart is allowing one to get a better peek.
    It has a Perkins Perama....

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    If you get aboard, first thing to look at is under the sole....floors, frames, keel bolts.

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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    A well fiberglassed deck can save a boat. Seeing rainwater NOT getting in is a good thing.

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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    I wonder what happens aft where the keel appears cut off.

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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    I think there is a keelson still in place holding the planks. Someone created a really bad place to make a butt joint in the keel.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    Thanks for the replies so far. I may go look at it on Saturday - an excuse for a road trip, if nothing else. The yard where it's located has a history of working on wooden boats, and I'll ask them for a quote on what the repairs would take if I like the boat enough.

    The boatyard that built it was called Balco Yacht Company, of Dundalk, Maryland. Mostly what I found on the web were ads for motor boats that they built. Apparently they folded in 1970, based on this ad (top right corner). Their street address is no longer valid, and google maps shows a derelict boatyard where they were located.

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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    For the cost of fixing this boat by a yard, you could buy a nice boat in good condition and be sailing when the weather breaks. Maybe like this boat, sail her home in May; http://m.sailboatlistings.com/view/45354
    Last edited by navydog; 02-12-2018 at 02:20 PM.

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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    For the cost of fixing this boat by a yard, you could buy a nice boat in good condition and be sailing when the weather breaks. Maybe like this boat, sail her home in May; http://m.sailboatlistings.com/view/45354
    I quite like the description, that starts with the three bilge pumps....

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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    Yea, If you cannot fix the boat yourself, fuggetaboutit.
    That SnS has 4 bilge pumps ,but no mention of an engine!

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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    Ya me too, but it's not my monkeys, not my circus. Still I rather a boat that has potential.
    A call to the marina where the SnS is and they could tell you how often the bilge pump runs and what is the condition of the boat. Swan Creek Marina.

    Here another one. Ralph's own boat:
    http://m.sailboatlistings.com/view/57026

    These boats might not be in perfect condition, but at least you get to start with something worth fixing.
    Last edited by navydog; 02-12-2018 at 03:16 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    I apprenticed at Balco. H.K. Lagare was the owner and designer. Smartest man I ever met.
    Ratus ratus bilgeous snipeous!

    You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
    Mahatma Gandhi

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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by willyd View Post
    Thanks for the replies so far. I may go look at it on Saturday - an excuse for a road trip, if nothing else. The yard where it's located has a history of working on wooden boats, and I'll ask them for a quote on what the repairs would take if I like the boat enough.

    The boatyard that built it was called Balco Yacht Company, of Dundalk, Maryland. Mostly what I found on the web were ads for motor boats that they built. Apparently they folded in 1970, based on this ad (top right corner). Their street address is no longer valid, and google maps shows a derelict boatyard where they were located.
    It was adjacent to the Owens Yacht Company (who he despised) The Balco shop building was demolished just a few years ago, The Village of Sheltered Harbor is now being build on the grounds.
    Ratus ratus bilgeous snipeous!

    You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
    Mahatma Gandhi

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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Adams View Post
    I apprenticed at Balco. H.K. Lagare was the owner and designer. Smartest man I ever met.
    Maybe you could fill in as to how the keel was built. Is there a third keelson on top of what is seen to form a rabbit?

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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    Years of labor and tens of thousands will certainly be needed. The result is uncertain.
    If you want to go sailing rather than deal with a self-composting boat, there are lots of useful older boats on the market. Here's one that's asking $18K.
    http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1975...g#.WoH8yqinGM8

    Last edited by JimConlin; 02-12-2018 at 04:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    Yep, then there's those plastic boats. I bet there are 500 of them near by for him to chose from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimConlin View Post
    Years of labor and tens of thousands will certainly be needed. The result is uncertain.
    If you want to go sailing rather than deal with a self-composting boat, there are lots of useful older boats on the market. Here's one that's asking $18K.
    http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1975...g#.WoH8yqinGM8
    Willy only because you asked, thoughts. RUN! Don't look back!

    if you had said you already own the boat, you would probably find lots of support and encouragement. But looking at that boat, you don't even have to know about wooden boats to know it's going to need the national debt to get her ship shape and seaworthy again!

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  21. #21

    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    OK, I am picking up a vibe that you don't think I should get involved in this boat. Thanks for your help. I, in fact, do own a lowly fiberglass vessel, a 1964 Whitby 25, so I'll be staying with her and her with me for the time being.

    I would like to hear more about Balco, I'd never heard of them before, and I find it interesting that they were still making wooden boats at the end of the 60s, in Baltimore.

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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by willyd View Post
    OK, I am picking up a vibe that you don't think I should get involved in this boat. Thanks for your help. I, in fact, do own a lowly fiberglass vessel, a 1964 Whitby 25, so I'll be staying with her and her with me for the time being.

    I would like to hear more about Balco, I'd never heard of them before, and I find it interesting that they were still making wooden boats at the end of the 60s, in Baltimore.
    They were making wood ones, albeit plywood ones, next door at Owens also. Balco actually was a fairly early adopter of FRP, he built a 40 foot hull from wood, covered it with linoleum and created a mold from it. The "plug" was finished off and was last seen on the lower Chesapeake. These were named "Sea Barons". I still have the blue prints around somewhere. Mr. Legare fell off one of these and broke his hip. Complications resulted in him going blind and the shut down of the new construction. He continued to operate Balco Yacht Company as a repair yard and marina into the early 80's.
    Ratus ratus bilgeous snipeous!

    You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
    Mahatma Gandhi

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Adams View Post
    They were making wood ones, albeit plywood ones, next door at Owens also. Balco actually was a fairly early adopter of FRP, he built a 40 foot hull from wood, covered it with linoleum and created a mold from it. The "plug" was finished off and was last seen on the lower Chesapeake. These were named "Sea Barons". I still have the blue prints around somewhere. Mr. Legare fell off one of these and broke his hip. Complications resulted in him going blind and the shut down of the new construction. He continued to operate Balco Yacht Company as a repair yard and marina into the early 80's.
    Willy, here you go! brand new!! and at the price they're trying for, it's still probably way less than it would cost to restore the boat in Virginia https://www.nwswb.edu/nordic-folkboat/

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    Last edited by DeniseO30; 02-13-2018 at 01:47 PM.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  24. #24

    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    Willy, here you go! brand new!! and at the price they're trying for, it's still probably way less than it would cost to restore the boat in Virginia https://www.nwswb.edu/nordic-folkboat/

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Better (cheaper) yet, how about this one:



    advertised here: http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1950...g#.WoM543xJmUm

    I found another one of these for $61,000, so I'm wondering why this one is $57,500 cheaper? Apparently it was in the water up until November. Anyone in Maine want to go check it out for me? I'll pay for gas or dinner or gambling debts or whatever.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by willyd View Post
    Better (cheaper) yet, how about this one:



    advertised here: http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1950...g#.WoM543xJmUm

    I found another one of these for $61,000, so I'm wondering why this one is $57,500 cheaper? Apparently it was in the water up until November. Anyone in Maine want to go check it out for me? I'll pay for gas or dinner or gambling debts or whatever.
    South Jersey this is the one I wanted to tell you about and it's free https://cnj.craigslist.org/boa/d/fre...494857699.html

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    South Jersey this is the one I wanted to tell you about and it's free https://cnj.craigslist.org/boa/d/fre...494857699.html

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Looks like a deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    Looks like a deal.
    If I may ask, Willy, where are you actually located?

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    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  28. #28

    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    I'm about 8 miles up the Severn from Annapolis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willyd View Post
    I'm about 8 miles up the Severn from Annapolis.
    Well you are certainly surrounded by thousands and thousands of boats!! If you're on Facebook the group there allows for sale ads and some pretty nice wooden boats get posted,. one was in Maine and it was free, and there's also a couple other groups you could join

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by willyd View Post
    Better (cheaper) yet, how about this one:



    advertised here: http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1950...g#.WoM543xJmUm

    I found another one of these for $61,000, so I'm wondering why this one is $57,500 cheaper? Apparently it was in the water up until November. Anyone in Maine want to go check it out for me? I'll pay for gas or dinner or gambling debts or whatever.
    Could be a good boat, better than the first at first blush. It could also be four years and $30,000 worth of effort. Hard to tell from a couple pictures.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsjpd1 View Post
    Could be a good boat, better than the first at first blush. It could also be four years and $30,000 worth of effort. Hard to tell from a couple pictures.
    In older wooden sailboats the keel timber, deadwood, stern post, stem are all suspect to hidden rot.

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    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Balco 34 - your thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by jsjpd1 View Post
    Could be a good boat, better than the first at first blush. It could also be four years and $30,000 worth of effort. Hard to tell from a couple pictures.
    Buying an old boat sight unseen would be the definition of insanity. The 28 in Me has some problems from the deck down on the starboard side below the winch. The planks aren't fair and it looks like the it could be a few things going on there. The frames are gone, the fasteners are gone the planks are soft or a combination of the three. I never like seeing rust streaking down the side.
    Last edited by navydog; 02-14-2018 at 09:24 AM.

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