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Old 04-11-2010, 15:18   #1
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Need Advice Quickly

You always know its going to be a doozy when someone needs advice quick..
This is no exception.
Found a 27' sailboat in a backyard that was undergoing retrofit, 75% of interior woodwork done. Looks good. New anti-fouling paint on bottom. Mast lying on blocks looks ok. no idea what manufacturer of boat is.

NOTHING else done. No motor, no wheel, no sails, nothing. Also the other little thing it is 75 miles from the closest ocean.

question is: should I run away or put unknown amount of dollars into it?
I am getting it for free.

I am really looking for something to cruise to Hawaii in. Don't know if 27' is big enough.

thanks for any and all advice, I will even accept uncontrolled laughter

and yes I am on a timeline, have till Friday afternoon to let the owner know if I want it.

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Old 04-11-2010, 15:28   #2
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Run away. Run away far. Tell the owner that if he pays you $10,000 you will take it off his hands... maybe. Actually, scratch that. Run away.

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Old 04-11-2010, 15:29   #3
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As for size, Robin Lee Graham sailes 7/8 of the way around the world in a 24' daysailer.
If it's free and you can do the work, then I would say go for it. When you get done, you will know a lot more about your boat than most owners do.
Remember, it's going to be slow going to do ir right...
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Old 04-11-2010, 15:40   #4
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Depending on what sort of cruising you want to do, size is irrelevant. 27 feet is ample for someone who lives a spartan lifestyle & doesn't care for refrigeration.
A motor would probably be the most expensive part of a refit, but again, what sort of cruising do you want to do? There are more than a few people with boats that size who have removed the inboard in favour of an outboard, just to get in & out of the harbour. The Pardey's prefer no motor at all.
So, it all depends...
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Old 04-11-2010, 15:47   #5
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How does the rudder look?
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Old 04-11-2010, 15:57   #6
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Originally Posted by Alansdream View Post
and yes I am on a timeline, have till Friday afternoon to let the owner know if I want it.
Or else? Why till Friday? Timelines and boats....not good.

No trailer? How will you move it? How much will it cost to have it moved?
Where will you work on it? At your home, or pay $ monthly for a place?
How much would you be willing to spend for sails, and an engine? (OB?) Sails and an outboard could easily cost $5K+
What else is missing?

If the boat is free, and you are willing to invest time and $$$, it might be a great deal. It would be nice to know what you are looking at. Does the seller/er-giver- have the title? It should say what it is on the title.

27 feet of boat is a bit small for heading to Hawaii (at least for me), but as mentioned above, it depends on the boat and the skill of the sailor. But definitely might be a nice boat to sail in your area.
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Old 04-11-2010, 16:16   #7
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Originally Posted by Alansdream View Post
You always know its going to be a doozy when someone needs advice quick..

This is no exception.

Firstly I would need somewhere conveniant to me to work on her (no 100 mile round trips).

If you post a picture a fair chance that someone will ID her, will help judge if the boat capable of the voyage to Hawaii. Whether you would be onboard her is another thing.

Although I suspect she will fall in the category of "if you need to ask........", I can see why a tempter

My take is that the owner is as important as the boat. could be that the work undertaken to date means you would be building on solid foundations (which keeps her in the tempter category ). but could be that owner long ago reached the limit of his bodging skills and what has not deterioated from neglect will need to be redone anyway (that one firmly in the run away category ).

If someone's dreams have simply moved away from them and is looking for a good home will be able to judge by talking with the owner on what he has done / what still needs to be done. If he is realistic about her condition (and bores you with what and how he did things ) and about his plans for the work still to do then I would consider it still a tempter. If he is simply looking to get rid ASAP with no interest in her or is talking down the work I would avoid.

No sails is a bummer. but probably need new rigging anyway. Engine? that size of boat I would be happier with a reliable new(ish) outboard than a so so old inboard.

"no wheel" would be a concern, depending on whether simply missing a wheel. or means the mechanism has also been removed. probably also worth checking the rudder / fixings closely or at least finding out why the wheel was gone. be interesting to learn how / why / where the missing bits went.

Probably won't be economically viable. nor quick. but doubt if anything older would be if then equipping / fixing her up for more than home waters coastal cruising.

Tempters. should be a law against them
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Old 04-11-2010, 16:24   #8
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No wheel? Maybe a tiller??? Don't Catalina 27's (and others) have tiller steering?
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Old 04-11-2010, 17:11   #9
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I'm assuming your somewhat familiar with boats and have some handyman skills and when you say "Looks good" means you checked it out... not just glanced in the cabin.
What I would be curious about is if its that far from the water and has no equipment, is not finished etc... why is the bottom freshly painted.... (I'm assuming you mean anti-foul).
So contact a truck co' with a wagon and big Hiab lift and cost the transfer by road to where you want it... and then to the sea... if viable and YOU are happy with what YOU see.. Go for it
Sails can be picked up second hand if you search... 2 x mains and 2 x Genoa, 1 No;1 jib and a storm sail....if your going roller reef go for hank on jibs and replace the hanks with slides (there are doubters but it works very well for me).
You can save money using galvanised wire for the standing rigging... onderfull stuff.. 20% stronger than the equivilant stainless, lasts longer, bends, easy to DIY your own rigging, use galvanised bottle screws designed for the 'eyes'.
Anchors can be picked up second hand... (someone upgrading). Chain and Anchor plait...
Coupla hand GPS, 2 x bulkhead compasses and a VHF radio... SSB.... also any other gadget you think you may need.
A good 3 man inflatable dinghy that'll fit on the foredeck.
A 5-6hp O/B on the back with a charging unit, a coupla 25 litre clip on tanks and your good to go...
Except for the WHEEL.... explain more
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Old 04-11-2010, 17:23   #10
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MacGregor 26's aside, a wheel on a boat that small would be unusual. See if there is a rudderhead for a tiller to attach to.

Post a photo if you can.

What is your experience sailing and maintaining sailboats?
A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground no one would think to try and refloat it.
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Old 04-11-2010, 17:40   #11
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Alan - some pictures?

Impossible to say anything as it is. Material? Condition? Etc..

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Old 04-11-2010, 17:46   #12
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If you forget about the inside for a moment and focus on the outside. The trick would be to get is sailing as soon as possible and spend a season day sailing. At least you get to actually use it then.

At the end of the season, pull it out again then focus on the inside. Breaking the project into two managable segments would make it easier on you financially and practicaly.

Not all small yachts have a wheel. You should be able to tiller steer it regarless.

A 5-9hp outboard will solve your engine problem.

Yes you could cruise to Hawaii in an even smaller boat. However, the design is what is important.

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Old 04-11-2010, 18:48   #13
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When and if you get to Hawaii, then what? there are probably 100,000 boats from 25-35 feet for sale there right now. A plane ticket is one hell of a lot cheaper! I'd take a pass unless you have lots of time, more than a few $ and are prepared to use her for local gunkholing... good Luck! Capt Phil
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Old 04-11-2010, 20:27   #14
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Aloha and good luck,
Many 27 foot boats and smaller have sailed to Hawaii. Check and in Hawaii to see what's available. No, there are not as many boats registered in Hawaii as there are in the state of Kentucky so it is pretty slim pickings here and boats are not cheap.
Find out who made the boat. It matters a great deal and so does the year it was built. Don't be pressured.
kind regards,
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Old 04-11-2010, 22:06   #15
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hi all,
thanks for the insights and I will try to answer some of the questions that came up.
the boat is sitting in the back of a foreclosed home. Bank wants the boat out NOW. I can move it 200 yards to a relatives house, (they said one year). no idea if I can move it with my truck and a trailer. 10 minute drive to my house. Southern california location so can work on it almost every week. (wife and kids and Checkbook) Have zero experience with a sailboat, looking at the comment about the no wheel, yes I can see it probably has a tiller. The rudder seems very secure and is free moving. I was able to look under the flooring and it appears to be solid without dry rot. There was some work being done on two spots on the deck. There is resin/fiberglass repair that has been sanded but not painted. I did not get any pics. Looking at the hull, I did not see any blisters, but again the bottom has had new paint, a gray, very rough paint. I am pretty good with handyman skills and I have fixed alot of things by simply getting a bigger hammer.
thanks again

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