In general if stuff is on the edge of its working life span, you'll want to replace stuff prior to it packing up. If the boat was not sailed often, all the running rigging
probably needs replacing. No fun when you lose a shackle and have a sail go crashing down (or up... as it were.)
corrodes and cracks in the rig. Working life of chain plates, wire shrouds and terminals ranges between 10-15 years. After which things are on borrowed time. Good idea to go through and find out what you have. It is disconcerting to have a hairline crack in a nicopress fitting, it is more so when you realize it has been there a long time!
Corroded masts need a pair of educated eyes to say whether they are safe or not. Worn out, corroded or electrolysis
eaten rudder parts
are also something you have to look out for. The actual condition of the rudder
and tiller/tillerhead is important. Sort of stuck without it. (Bring a bucket and some rope
Boom goosenecks that are worn out, or rivets that are breaking... screws that have corroded away, or worked loose are all safety
hazards. Chafed through, way undersized topping lifts are something else that can ruin your day. So can worn out clam cleats
on travellers, and most anywhere else!
Through hulls that are eaten up by electrolysis
, and hoses that are shot need attention. Get a bag of wooden plugs before going exploring. Basically if the hoses doesn't look new... replace. Pay attention to your shaft log hose too. Hard to replace that one! If the shaft packing doesn't stay in for very long, look into the engine
mounts and bolts. Mine only had two loose bolts holding it in... fun!
lead to rotten core
in the decks, and bulkheads. If your chain plates bolt to your bulkheads, they need to be in tip top shape. If your interior
damage from the top down... you'll want to do a lot of looking and digging around the bulkheads. Compression
posts and beams need to be in good shape to carry the load of the mast
steps need to be strong. (both the ones you climb, and the ones the mast sits on!)
The rest is pretty much cosmetic, so long as the hull
is sound the basic mechanicals are there.
Work out and service
item, and check over the engine
and electrical system
The worst parts
, will be those that are hardest to reach and maintain. If it is hard to do, most folks don't do what is required and wait until whatever it is breaks. If it wasn't used often, and it has the original engine... it is probably a rusty contancorous beast. If it has been repowered, you'll need to look at the quality of the installation
. Particularly the engine bed
stringers, and the engineering of the exhaust
Really though, get a SAMS or NAMS certified surveyor
to look over the boat when she is out of the water
. You'll probably need one to get insurance
anyway... may as well find out what you are getting into ahead of time.
I didn't (on this boat... surveyed the one I didn't buy... !) and have a much bigger project
than I thought I was getting into. Here are a few pictures and words that show what you can end up getting into. I consider myself pretty good with mechanical stuff, had not really thought through the scale and time involved to bring one back. It's been a year of working weekends, and a year since I've been sailing. Pearson Triton - Pylasteki