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Old 07-10-2012, 21:27   #1
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Sabre 34 - 1st boat should we?

OK. We are TIRED of the club scene. Very tired.

We want to sail when WE want to.

We have looked at many available boats in the 30+ foot range in the Chesapeake Bay, MD and VA area.

We are within days of making an offer on a 34ft 1978 Sabre. She is in fairly good shape - above average.

Any thoughts on the Sabre of this age?

We have sailed in the 28 foot version of this boat (Mk 1) and the only issue we had with her was both port and starboard amidships leaks at the deck/hull joints.

Thanks in advance.

-DJ
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Old 07-10-2012, 21:57   #2
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Re: Sabre 34 - 1st boat should we?

Sorry I can't help you with specifics for a Sabre but just the usual cautions for any boat of that age. Hopefully a Sabre owner will chime in with more.

One of the biggies are leaks into deck fittings like stanchions, sail tracks and such. Over time most of these tend to leak and water soaks into the core material in the deck. More time and the deck can delaminate which, depending on the severity, can be expensive or very time consuming to fix.

Check rigging, chainplates, sails and all the other expensive items. If the rigging has not been replaced in 15 years, sails are old, etc just make sure to calculate the replacement costs in the price.

If you have specific questions take pictures and post more here.

Good luck.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:21   #3
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If there is significant cash trading hands on the purchase of this sailboat, aquire a survey on the sailboat. An insurance company will no doubt require one anyway. A few hundred dollars spent on a good survey is always a logical step before closing.

Give a list to the current owner of major items on the sailboat. Have the owner check off on everything that is in good order. Hand this list to the surveyor. If the survey comes back not as advertised, you have a pre-agreement the survey bill is paid by the seller, not you.
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:19   #4
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Re: Sabre 34 - 1st boat should we?

Go for it. Remember that all sailboats are a labor of love and the day you buy it is the day you will start paying for it. If you go in thinking, "I can afford $500 a month, every month, every year." you will be able to keep a 34 foot boat in great shape.

Going in it is best if the boat is regularly sailed or has been only recently laid up. The longer it is stagnant the better chance there may be more costly things wrong.

The regular sailer should be able to take you out next weekend, even if there is a list of "to-dos" on the boat.

I agree with getting a survey if the boat is pricey or if you plan to do it yourself use a methodical checklist to go through everything. The main items for me that are a no go.

- bad hull - osmosis, soft or leaky decks - Yes fixable but not by me. I wanna sail not overhaul boats
- Bad rig - mast cracks, worn out/corroded mast steps etc.
- Bad engine

Everything else is pretty negotiable.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:21   #5
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Before buying my Tartan, I was VERY close to buying a Sabre 34 here in Florida. My research found that the mast step was prone to issues. The boat I looked at had major osmosis below the water line and engine issues. There is an active Sabre group on Yahoo, that may be a good resource.

IMHO, spring for the surveyor. I bought my boat "in the low $20's" and had a survey done. First you need it for insurance. Second, it is a second set of objective eyes looking at the boat. I did an in the water pre-survey, so I felt comfortable spending the money on a professional surveyor.

Bill
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:25   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif
Go for it. Remember that all sailboats are a labor of love and the day you buy it is the day you will start paying for it. If you go in thinking, "I can afford $500 a month, every month, every year." you will be able to keep a 34 foot boat in great shape.

Going in it is best if the boat is regularly sailed or has been only recently laid up. The longer it is stagnant the better chance there may be more costly things wrong.

The regular sailer should be able to take you out next weekend, even if there is a list of "to-dos" on the boat.

I agree with getting a survey if the boat is pricey or if you plan to do it yourself use a methodical checklist to go through everything. The main items for me that are a no go.

- bad hull - osmosis, soft or leaky decks - Yes fixable but not by me. I wanna sail not overhaul boats
- Bad rig - mast cracks, worn out/corroded mast steps etc.
- Bad engine

Everything else is pretty negotiable.
Add to that list a good compliment of sails. A set of sails will save a new owner a bunch of money.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:47   #7
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Thanks all.

I will be getting a marine survey AND sea trial.

All looks in decent shape. Main and 155 jib look good. Main is fully battened She has an assym spinnaker though I have not seen it. Original Volvo looks like a tank and in good shape. Huge flywheel. Only has two blade prop fixed.

Don't know much about it, but she has a Dutchman reefing system on her. Looks good in concept. Not sure on function.

Sheet tracks look to have good seals. Stations might need to be reseated in a few locations. Cabin top was redone a few years ago.

CQR and a Bruce anchor on board. Sixty feet of chain and plenty of rhode.

Two banks of batts and new distribution and breakers. AC elect updated too.

Ice box needs some work.

Has lectrasan head system.

Need some newer electronics and basic cosmetics on cabin and cockpit.

Mast stepping and cabin seal looked good but will look for the survey to be sure.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:58   #8
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Re: Sabre 34 - 1st boat should we?

Sounds promising. We have friends w/ a Sabre 34, and they love it. The Dutchman's a good system. If the Lectrasan hasn't been maintained properly it could give you trouble, but you can always overhaul it or convert back to a holding tank. Just be sure to figure this out before your first cruise....
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:38   #9
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Re: Sabre 34 - 1st boat should we?

We owned a 1981 Sabre 34 for 11 years. Great boat.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:01   #10
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Re: Sabre 34 - 1st boat should we?

Sabre's are great boats and have an above average build quality. The challenge with a boat that's this old is that 35 years is a long time for any piece of equipment. Think of a 35 year old car.

I'd get from the owner a list of what has been replaced and the year (because if it's original, there's a reasonable chance that you'll need to replace it during your ownership).


-- Standing rigging
-- Chain plates
-- Sails
-- Running rigging
-- Keel bolts
-- Spreaders and gooseneck
-- Genoa furler
-- Steering gear and rudder bearing
-- Fuel tank
-- Engine
-- Cutless bearing and stuffing box
-- Seacocks (although most Sabres came with Spartan that may last forever)
-- Cushions
-- Hoses
-- Head
-- Wiring


Carl
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:58   #11
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Great post Carl, however a properly maintained well built sailboat should not suffer the years the way any car would. 35 years is not old in boat years if well cared for.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:26   #12
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Re: Sabre 34 - 1st boat should we?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryMayo View Post
Great post Carl, however a properly maintained well built sailboat should not suffer the years the way any car would. 35 years is not old in boat years if well cared for.
But a word of caution to the potential buyer: if the sails are ancient ($5-8K), the engine is 35 yr old ($10k), the rigging is 35 yr old ($6k), the rudder full of water ($1k?), the tanks need replaced ($2-3k?) and the hull has blisters ($5k?), the toerail leaks ($XXX?)...etc etc just sayin....
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Old 08-10-2012, 22:45   #13
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But a word of caution to the potential buyer: if the sails are ancient ($5-8K), the engine is 35 yr old ($10k), the rigging is 35 yr old ($6k), the rudder full of water ($1k?), the tanks need replaced ($2-3k?) and the hull has blisters ($5k?), the toerail leaks ($XXX?)...etc etc just sayin....
Survey Survey Survey!
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Old 09-10-2012, 20:31   #14
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Thanks for all the wisdom.

Offer was accepted.

Survey next Tuesday or Wednesday.

I will try to update as we move along.

Best
DJ
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:01   #15
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Re: Sabre 34 - 1st boat should we?

Very cool. Good luck and do keep us posted.
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