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Old 08-12-2016, 15:45   #1
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Thumbs up Advice on a Catalina 27

Figured I should just start a new thread about this as we are narrowing our boat search down and nearly decided on this one:

1983 Catalina 27 with the Atomic 4 Diesel (800 hours on the gauge)
$8,999
http://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/60948


Very clean boat overall! His reasons for selling seem rather personal, and I'd rather not share. I just spent an hour doing a self survey and have 5 questions... Here are my questions, most concerning first:


1. The bulkhead forward of the v-berth at the bow seems to have been sealed from the inside and I see a slight remnant of a water stain. (See picture with red arrows). When I look from the outside, the forward most 2 stanchions on the bow have movement and deck appears swollen underneath them. Is this a wood core deck or bulkhead underneath these stanchions and should I assume it's rotten / any info on this particular repair project?


2. If you lay in the two aft quarter berths and look up, you will see moisture running along the ceiling on the fiberglass corners that form the cockpit. I looked closer (everywhere) and couldn't figure out if it was just condensation or not. It's been raining hard for 24 hours here. But, that's a lot of sweating if that's all it is. Typical or no?


3. The owner recently had the bottom paint done (August 2016). Claimed he planned for just paint, but discovered multiple blisters and the barrier coat was replaced. I'm trying to get a hold of the yard that did the work. Questions I should ask? I'm aware of the Catalina smile issue. Current owner doesn't know what that is. When i looked at the keel bolts in the bilge, they appeared brand new. Kinda makes me wonder. Bilge had water in it. The owner claims it's never dry due to the water in the hose flushing back in. Again, typical? True? An issue? I saw no signs of corrosion whatsoever in there.


4. I know the mast step is a wood core on this boat. I saw no signs of deck damage, swelling, soft spots or malformation anywhere near the step from above or below and no signs of leaking. The top deck looked perfect nearly everywhere. The mast step was hinged with a pin at the front. Mast step has been rebuilt? I didn't think hinged was standard on this boat?


5. The wind speed indicator and speedometer don't work - don't care too much. The wind speed gauge is wet inside. Guessing the issue is with the gauge - where to buy - how much? And, the speedometer is lit up / LED but doesn't work. Is this a thru hull plug? Where is it? I couldn't find it...



Other things... it has a new head. I'm asking the guy who did it if he replaced through-hull, valve etc. Doubt it. Engine hours seem suspicious. Though the engine looked and ran very clean! Sails are all moderate/nice. Furling, but not a Genoa. Spinnaker looks new. He has the dodger, it just wasn't attached. Lots of other things. Ask if you think I missed something super important. Seems like a good price considering how clean it was. Claims it has bad weather helm... I think that's just the design though.
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Old 08-12-2016, 16:21   #2
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Re: Advice on a Catalina 27

One glaring question: the "Atomic 4 Diesel"...ain't no such thing! The venerable A-4 is a petrol engine.

Jim

PS Not really up to date here, but that price should reflect a very nice C-27, one with few if any flaws.
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Old 08-12-2016, 16:22   #3
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Re: Advice on a Catalina 27

I should clarify... it is a Diesel. That was a typo and it's been too long to edit.


What's odd, it says Atomic on a few engine components - like the water pump for example. Maybe this was a drop in replacement? Maybe that explains the only 800 hours.


Seriously though... it's a diesel. Glow plugs, injectors and all.
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Old 08-12-2016, 16:29   #4
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Re: Advice on a Catalina 27

http://www.ewmanchester.com/CalDocs/...s%20Manual.pdf
Nothing on that boat that can't be fixed . Is it wheel or tiller ?
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Old 08-12-2016, 16:31   #5
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Re: Advice on a Catalina 27

Quote:
Originally Posted by markwesti View Post
Ok... this explains my confusion. Thanks!
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Old 08-12-2016, 16:51   #6
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Re: Advice on a Catalina 27

There is an active Catalina 27 association. Might want to ask there. International Catalina 27/270 Association
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Old 08-12-2016, 17:07   #7
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Re: Advice on a Catalina 27

I would agree with Stu. Most Catalina's have very active groups, and certainly the 27 has one. They produced a lot of them.
Nothing sounds too bad by your descriptions, but the group would know everything to look for and be able to better answer your questions. Price's can be checked and are dependent on market as well.
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Old 08-12-2016, 17:18   #8
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Re: Advice on a Catalina 27

Alright... i'm looking there later tonight.


One cool thing about this boat -- he just did the Astoria to Newport trip in it! I think the guy was in his 60s / 70s and had the nads to cross the Columbia river bar in a C27. I believe he has a fair amount of experience... but still pretty cool to hear. I know the 27 is not a blue water cruiser. But i'll be excited to have it for bay cruising and maybe I'll take it out of Newport this summer if I get it.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:43   #9
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Re: Advice on a Catalina 27

Water will find the lowest point, the water in the quarter berths may be from a window leak, or from some screw/bolt holes from some other deck mounted item that got into the core from outside, ran a little ways and got out via a ceiling light.

If the foredeck depresses when you lean on the pulpit, I'd bet there is core damage under the stanchions. I had a 1984 O'Day 23 with that issue. It is not necessarily that hard to repair, but will take two people. You will need to remove the pulpit, remove ALL the damaged core, fill with thickened epoxy, possibly do a little gel coat and redrill the bolt holes.

I my case, the deck oozed water from the stanchion bases when I leaned on them (A few days after a heavy rain). The damaged core went back about an inch to 2 inches. I cut out the top fireglass that was under the stanchion base (Leave the lower piece intact!) to make removal of the rotten core material easier and just filled with epoxy, since it was covered by the bases anyway. However, if you have leaks there, check the chain plates, lifeline stanchions, any and all deck mounted hardware for similar issues.
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Old 09-12-2016, 09:35   #10
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Re: Advice on a Catalina 27

Teaching ab initio on Catalina 27s I developed a hearty dislike for them. They were "built down to a price", and in the Vancouver BC area they tended to sell, when new, to those who didn't know the difference between a travel trailer and a sailboat.

For a toy, they are fine, but they can turn and bite you (as any boat can) if you over-press them. My dislike of them stems in large part from the fact that they turn and bite you without warning. "Pitbull of the seas" - docile one moment, snarly the next. Experienced sailors don't permit themselves to let their boats get over-pressed, but novices in Catalina 27s - Beware!

This deplorable conduct stems directly from trying to jam too much accommodation onto a short waterline. When the Catalina 27 was designed that was a fundamental design problem for those wishing to sell into the nether reaches of the market.!

I have a long list of "differences" with this particular design, but I own freely that many people taught on Catalina 27s went on to better boats and became excellent sailors.

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Old 09-12-2016, 09:41   #11
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Re: Advice on a Catalina 27

Quote:
Originally Posted by OS2Dude View Post
Water will find the lowest point, the water in the quarter berths may be from a window leak, or from some screw/bolt holes from some other deck mounted item that got into the core from outside, ran a little ways and got out via a ceiling light.

If the foredeck depresses when you lean on the pulpit, I'd bet there is core damage under the stanchions. I had a 1984 O'Day 23 with that issue. It is not necessarily that hard to repair, but will take two people. You will need to remove the pulpit, remove ALL the damaged core, fill with thickened epoxy, possibly do a little gel coat and redrill the bolt holes.

I my case, the deck oozed water from the stanchion bases when I leaned on them (A few days after a heavy rain). The damaged core went back about an inch to 2 inches. I cut out the top fireglass that was under the stanchion base (Leave the lower piece intact!) to make removal of the rotten core material easier and just filled with epoxy, since it was covered by the bases anyway. However, if you have leaks there, check the chain plates, lifeline stanchions, any and all deck mounted hardware for similar issues.

FYI to previous question from @markwesti: It's a tiller! Which is my personal preference.


On the foredeck stanchions, they don't really depress - they can't. They are raised / swollen from underneath above the height of the deck. The inside edges were raised about about 1/8th inch in the air (fiber glass was cracked / broken around them). Sorry... didn't get a close up pic on it. I almost wonder if they were hit/pulled on... and then water is seeping in and swelling. Guessing you're right... and there's a core damage there. Glad to hear it's maybe just a couple of nice weekends at the marina?

Good Old Boat - Stanchion repair article


The berths have no windows anywhere near them. There is deck mounted hardware all around the cockpit/berths, I checked every one and couldn't see leakage. After reading more last night, I think it's coming from the companionway. Sounds like those leak a lot on the Catalinas. It's been raining hard here for days. He has a snap on canvas companionway cover. I think the water must have been running down/thru that and making it's way down the corners of the berths.
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:03   #12
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Re: Advice on a Catalina 27

Thanks for the detailed description.

Seems pretty typical for an older C27. There is nothing there that would stop me from sailing that boat...except the price. Around here the C27 sells very cheap, about half the asking price on the ad. However, in all fairness, many/most have an outboard or gas engine. You are paying a big premium for that diesel, so it had better be in good shape.

Expect leaks, deck rot, blisters, no working electronics, and wow those plaid cushions.

So, my feedback is that its too much $ for what you are getting. I would pay half the asking price, at most, and only because of the diesel.

I would rather see you in a similar C&C27 if you could find one with the yanmar option. That is IMHO a better boat in many ways, and around here the market is flooded with them, so they can be picked up around $5k-$7k cdn.

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Old 09-12-2016, 13:32   #13
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Re: Advice on a Catalina 27

Since the OP is in Northwest I would suggest a US27 to consider as an alternative to C27. They had a factory in Washington state I believe and sold many on the West coast. Although not as many of them were made as C27s they are really under the radar type of a boat. Very solidly built, decent hardware for its class, easy to sail and can be found for very short money as they are not as well known as Catalinas and subsequently are not specifically looked for by the potential buyers. And most had a diesel to begin with although by now it would be very long in the tooth but probably still usable if not destroyed by POs.

But I also agree that the asking price for that C27 is considerably on the high side. One would expect one even in good shape to be at about $5K asking and to sell for $3-4K or thereabouts. And for well under that if in questionable shape. There are literally tens of thousands of 27-28footers of that vintage for sale and not as many potential buyers. I would even go up a few feet to 30' and look for one in that price range. These 3ft make considerable difference in accomodations, comfort, etc. without adding much, if anything to the price or future ownership costs.
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Old 09-12-2016, 13:33   #14
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Re: Advice on a Catalina 27

I'm with Jim and others, big price for an early 80s catalina. Especially with soft spots in the deck and possible crashed bow. I wouldn't worry about the quarterbirth water runs. Just sounds like leaky port lights. Do some searching.
Good luck.
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Old 09-12-2016, 14:57   #15
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Re: Advice on a Catalina 27

Man... the price comments baffle me! Keep in mind, I pointed out everything even slightly off I could find - that soft spot is mostly all there is. If I didn't mention it, it's pretty much perfect and I was very thorough.


Not attached to the idea of a Catalina 27 specifically. But, I have to ask... where exactly are we finding these $5-$6k early 80s Catalinas? I spent hours this week searching and calling about every 27 from WA to FL. I've looked at literally around 50 of them - mostly (but not all) online. The price on this one seems about 30%-50% UNDER market for one in good but not excellent shape and that seems to be completely opposite of opinions.



Look...
Catalina 27 boats for sale - YachtWorld
Catalina 27 boats for sale - BoatTrader.com

Some of the lower CR examples:
http://holland.craigslist.org/boa/5855518899.html
http://norfolk.craigslist.org/boa/5872977652.html
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/boa/5902445391.html
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/boa/5884430622.html
https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bod/5898265879.html


Local sources (not online - within 2 hours) - I've seen 3:
1. $7k, 1983, diesel "in need of TLC", no furler, needs new sails with a trailer
2. $5k, 1980, no engine at all, needs TLC no trailer
3. $6k, 1978, outboard, no sails, but otherwise, nice shape with a trailer - didn't see interior


Is everyone smoking crack who tries to sell their Catalina or what? Also, maybe it's just expected I'm going to offer 25% low minimum when it comes to a boat?
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