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Old 24-06-2015, 10:38   #1
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Novice Buyer Question: 1980 Tanzer 7.5M (25 foot)

I've been lurking around these forums for over a year now and finally getting around to making my first post. I am a complete novice to sailing and was told a small Tanzer would be a good boat to learn to sail on. The bar I set for my first boat is quite low (i.e. has to float, disposable price range in case I wreck it, etc.) and I came across a number of options including this one:

1980 Tanzer Sailboat For Sale | sailboats | Ottawa | Kijiji

The boat over all seems to be in decent condition aside from what seems to be hairline surface cracks. I attached some photos to get some opinions as to whether what I observed is serious or simply cosmetic. If I was purchasing a boat in the 30k range I would have it surveyed no question however at a $1,800 price point it hardly seems worth the $500 expense.

Thank you in advance for any insight you can provide.

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Old 24-06-2015, 16:42   #2
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Re: Novice Buyer Question: 1980 Tanzer 7.5M (25 foot)

The basic design is good and well proven. Even though the price is low I would still have it surveyed or gone over by someone with experience. Gel coat cracks like that while not pretty are not uncommon and usually don't effect the structure.
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Old 24-06-2015, 17:00   #3
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Re: Novice Buyer Question: 1980 Tanzer 7.5M (25 foot)

If you are mechanically inclined, and read and understand the available "self survey" list I wouldn't worry about a survey on that small a purchase either. Tanzer had a good rep when they were in business.
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Old 25-06-2015, 11:26   #4
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Re: Novice Buyer Question: 1980 Tanzer 7.5M (25 foot)

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
If you are mechanically inclined, and read and understand the available "self survey" list I wouldn't worry about a survey on that small a purchase either. Tanzer had a good rep when they were in business.
Thank you for taking the time to reply to my questions here. I am definitely mechanically inclined although I would like to review the self survey list. Is there a sticky on this forum with the self survey questions included? I apologize in advance for my ignorance although I do catch on quickly.
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Old 25-06-2015, 11:34   #5
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Re: Novice Buyer Question: 1980 Tanzer 7.5M (25 foot)

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
The basic design is good and well proven. Even though the price is low I would still have it surveyed or gone over by someone with experience. Gel coat cracks like that while not pretty are not uncommon and usually don't effect the structure.
Hi Robert, thank you for taking the time to reply to my novice (and probably obvious questions). I did a little research before coming on here and discovered that these cracks may very will be gel coat however community confirmation definitely makes me feel better. I can't help but feel like researching boat issues online is not dissimilar to Google'ing your own medical symptoms. Online research as a lay person may be able to help you ask more pointed questions although consultation with a doctor (i.e. sailer) is still a safe bet before treatment.
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Old 25-06-2015, 11:35   #6
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Re: Novice Buyer Question: 1980 Tanzer 7.5M (25 foot)

I'm not sure where the "self-survey list" is, but Don Casey's "Inspecting the Aging Sailboat" is a good resource. That's what we used to self-survey our Bristol 24 (which has similar cracks).
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Old 25-06-2015, 11:45   #7
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Re: Novice Buyer Question: 1980 Tanzer 7.5M (25 foot)

The boat looks like a reasonably good deal.

Unfortunately you will likely need insurance to keep a boat at any marina in Ontario. You need a recent survey (generally less than 8-10 years) to get insurance on a boat in Ontario.

Make sure you contact some insurance companies before making an offer without a survey.

Coincidentally, I'm located in Nepean (my house, not my boat)- which I can see is where this boat is located.

Pm me if you need any local help, I'll see what I can do.

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Old 25-06-2015, 11:57   #8
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Re: Novice Buyer Question: 1980 Tanzer 7.5M (25 foot)

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Unfortunately you will likely need insurance to keep a boat at any marina in Ontario. You need a recent survey (generally less than 8-10 years) to get insurance on a boat in Ontario.
This is a great tip. I will ask the Seller as well where his current insurance is held since the boat is being stored at the Nepean Sailing Club. Do you happen to know if a policy can simply be transferred to a new owner?

Also I noticed that it is significantly cheaper to get a slip on U.S. side of the St. Lawrence near Thousand Islands. According to the marina staff over there Canadians do park Canadian boats. Can you shed any light on this?
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Old 25-06-2015, 12:05   #9
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Re: Novice Buyer Question: 1980 Tanzer 7.5M (25 foot)

Someone on here has a link to a good survey check list.
Here's a read:
Marine Survey 101, Do your own marine survey
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Old 25-06-2015, 12:32   #10
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Re: Novice Buyer Question: 1980 Tanzer 7.5M (25 foot)

No, I don't believe insurance can be transferred over, I've tried that twice, once buying, once selling- no luck. A trick you can use is to ask the seller if he has a survey less than 10 years old, perhaps from when he bought the boat. My experience is insurance companies will accept that.

As far as the US side of the St Lawrence, I can't comment. I'm sure it must be cheaper than any where near Ottawa. Maybe try Ogdensburgh? If you're in Ottawa, maybe keep her in Nepean. My brother kept his Alberg 22 on the river and found plenty of real estate to keep him entertained for about 2 years.

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Old 25-06-2015, 12:41   #11
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Re: Novice Buyer Question: 1980 Tanzer 7.5M (25 foot)

For a boat that size, you can often get cheap insurance from your auto policy holder here in the states with no survey etc. Not sure about Canada.
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Old 25-06-2015, 13:24   #12
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Re: Novice Buyer Question: 1980 Tanzer 7.5M (25 foot)

I used to own a Tanzer 8.5 that had many cracks in the gelcoat that seemingly were the result of the gelcoat being applied too thick. The cracks were just cosmetic as the boat was very solid.
Since you appear to be in Ontario you should check out the auction of unclaimed boats from the Crate Marine bankruptcy. There are a number of saiboats including some Tanzers and you can bid on line. It is happening this weekend.
See http://www.danburyauctions.com/code/...t_Auction.html

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Old 25-06-2015, 13:39   #13
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Re: Novice Buyer Question: 1980 Tanzer 7.5M (25 foot)

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
For a boat that size, you can often get cheap insurance from your auto policy holder here in the states with no survey etc. Not sure about Canada.
Cheech might be right about this, the Tanzer might be small enough for your home and auto policy. As long as you're aware you can't do anything in Ontario without insurance- that's the main thing.

Tanzers are great beginners boats and will perform well on the local rivers where a larger sailboat (ahem- like a Fantasia 35) can be a bit of a liability and pita.

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Old 25-06-2015, 13:47   #14
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Re: Novice Buyer Question: 1980 Tanzer 7.5M (25 foot)

Yes, get the Casey's book that Cthoops recommended in #6. Check for red flags around that gelcoat crazing: soft/squishy underfoot, hollow sounding when tapped with a ball peen, lifeline stanchion is not rigidly affixed. You should at least ask the seller to take you out sailing on the boat. If he refuses, that is a serious warning for a buyer who has never owned a sailboat.


Marinas require insurance that protects other boats from the damage that yours might inflict - aka, liability insurance. Usually inspections are not required for that level of insurance. Inspections usually are required if you are purchasing protection against your own loss, like if your boat sinks due to it's own ruptured seacock or burns due to faulty wiring.


You should get the marina requirements and an insurance quote before you buy a boat. You should also understand the tax, registration, and licensing requirements before you buy, too.
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Old 25-06-2015, 14:00   #15
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Re: Novice Buyer Question: 1980 Tanzer 7.5M (25 foot)

Jwing, I have never been able to secure liability insurance in Ontario without a survey- believe me, I've tried. I consider surveys for 40 year old boats nonsense, as I find I generally know more about old sailboats than the surveyor. They exist just to help the insurance company divest themselves of liability in the event of an incident. All they want is a paper trail they're not interested in quality or content.

Have you recently acquired insurance for a 30+ year old sailboat in Ontario without a survey? Or did this happen in a less regulated part of the world? Like the United States.



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