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Old 04-04-2014, 05:22   #1
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Watch outs

I知 looking at purchasing a 25-27 foot sailboat to enjoy with my family this summer.* Ideally Id like to spend about 10K on one.* I see many available for this price, but I知 seriously concerned I知 going to buy something that痴 going to sink the second time out.

I know very little in terms of correct sailing terminology, but I would love to know a couple of 電efinitely don稚 buy if...* For instance - **if you tap the cockpit floor with a hammer and it makes a certain sound don稚 buy.

*

Basically, what are the key repairs that would cost more than the boat to repair?*

*

I知 not afraid to do a fair amount of repairs myself, but the big 塗ire a specialist repairs are the ones Im interested in learning about.

*

I haven't searched the site yet. And admittedly, I should and will. Regardless, still interested in your thoughts.

Thanks

Chris

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Old 04-04-2014, 05:43   #2
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Re: Watch outs

You need to get to talk to a surveyor, become buddies with someone knowledgeable, join some kind of sailing club or get a book or two on surveying something like "surveying an old sailboat".
I think for the money you can spend, you should be able to find a good, sound boat that needs only cosmetic work and normal maintenance for the time being. I must qualify that with the fact that I have never myself bought a sailboat in the size you are looking at.
Hey, but often it takes an answer to a post to get it kicked off and going if nothing else.
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Old 04-04-2014, 05:50   #3
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Re: Watch outs

Chris Your questions are almost impossible to answer and I think if you supplied a whole lot more information about your sailing background, where you sail, who will sail with you, how mechanically inclined you are and on and on and on I might be able to address some of your concerns but you seem to be starting at "ground zero". There are a lot of good books about this but you have to start somewhere. There are a thousand boats out there that could fit your bill. So..where to begin? Are you sure you are ready to buy a boat? Perhaps you should start with lessons or a basic course or a basic book.You wrote "I haven't searched the site yet. And admittedly, I should and will. Regardless, still interested in your thoughts." I think that is the best advice right there...but you are basically saying you know next to nothing (which is fine--we all start somewhere and sometime) but can you just imagine an online forum about buying a car or a house or a computer where a person essentially says "I want a computer (house..car). What should I buy?" and then writes "I haven't searched the site yet. And admittedly, I should and will. Regardless, still interested in your thoughts." Well here are my thoughts--start learning as much as you can by exploring and reading and looking at boats for sale in boatyards...take lessons and then before you go out solicting a whole lot of free advice you will be better equipped to ask the right questions and we (at least "I") will be better equipped to provide some direction. If your buggest fear is that the boat will sink your second time out, I'd like to know what may happen on the first time out? Sinking a boat is pretty hard to do--yes it happens but if the water is warm and you can swim or you are wearing a pfd you may very well be okay--and if you are near to shore, just run the boat aground...but seriously, start somewhere and come back with more explicit questions other than about tapping the cockpit floor to listen to a "certain sound".... and then we'll (or at least I will) try to help....but you are not ready to buy a boat now and in all candor...I am not ready to take much more time to share my thoughts or ideas with you until you show some more initiative...sailing is about lifetime learning and to a great extent about self sufficiency so please--get started somewhere (now you are nowhere) and then come back with specific questions. Thanks.
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Old 04-04-2014, 06:48   #4
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Re: Watch outs

Hi Aha may,

Good questions and legitimate concerns for a new boater and a first time buyer. See my comments below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aha may View Post
I知 looking at purchasing a 25-27 foot sailboat to enjoy with my family this summer.* Ideally Id like to spend about 10K on one.* I see many available for this price, but I知 seriously concerned I知 going to buy something that痴 going to sink the second time out.

I know very little in terms of correct sailing terminology, but I would love to know a couple of 電efinitely don稚 buy if...* For instance - **if you tap the cockpit floor with a hammer and it makes a certain sound don稚 buy.

The right sound has a kind of a ring to it like tonk. The wrong sound kind of dull, thunk. Get a nice, new piece of oak wood and tap it with a hammer to hear what a good sound is.

What and why this is? One of the big potential problems and one that could be a deal breaker, is rotten or separated core. Most boats on the deck and maybe the cabin are made like a sandwich, with fiberglass on the outsides and some kind of wood in the middle. When you drill through the glass to install things on the boat like winches, cleats and such that can allow water to get into the wood core that can lead to rot and delamination. When this is serious you can usually tell by the tap test.

I would not say it is a 100% do not buy. Will depend on where you find it and how serious it is.

*

Basically, what are the key repairs that would cost more than the boat to repair?*

Not too many that will cost more than the boat as long as you get the right price. Really bad deck core rot and delamination is one. Really bad blisters in the hull another. For a small boat replacing the mast AND rigging might be another.

*

I知 not afraid to do a fair amount of repairs myself, but the big 塗ire a specialist repairs are the ones Im interested in learning about.

What are your skill levels? What repairs can you do with your current skills: plumbing, electrical, carpentry, fiberglass, engine/mechanical? How well do you learn new repair skills?

I haven't searched the site yet. And admittedly, I should and will. Regardless, still interested in your thoughts.

The suggestion to find a local sailor who can help is a good one.

Thanks

Chris

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Old 04-04-2014, 08:21   #5
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Re: Watch outs

Okay* I admit, as I posted that, I kinda felt it was lacking. (I kinda whipped it up while the boos wasn稚 looking)

*

I値l try to fill in some blanks

*

I have only one year of sailing self taught under my belt.* I currently own a 17 Siren sailboat.* It痴 a little tippy (and small) for my family痴 liking and so I would like to go up a size to 25-29 .

*

I plan on taking an official basic sailing course before taking my new boat out this year.* I know the basics, but I知 not a fool and I know I need to learn hands on from experienced folk.

*

I know very little about the construction of these boats, and I fear that an older boat (of which it seems I値l only be able to afford), might have hidden issues that could prove to be very costly.* I am very competent and handy, and, barring any specialty tools, with a repair manual in hand I can make many repairs myself.

*

That being said,* I wouldn稚 be adverse to spending a weekend repairing electrical issues, or replacing hardware, or whathaveyou, but I知 not all that sure I would like to be cutting the entire cockpit out to reframe it ( if that`s even a repair).

*

Anyhow, I do apologize for submitting such a newbie post, I do have a lot of research to do but I do value the experience you guys would have as well.

*

The boat Im looking for would be something me, my wife, my two young kids and my dog could spend our weekends on. I have a slip at a marina for the 2014 year that will accommodate up to 30`foot.

*

Im really just interested in knowing key things to watch for when reading already prepped surveys (some ads have them), as well as some tips on what to do when I check out some boats.

*

*

Thanks,

*

*

*
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:18   #6
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Re: Watch outs

Thanks skipmac. That's exactly what I'm looking for.

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Old 04-04-2014, 09:30   #7
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Re: Watch outs

Rent boats until you are absolutely clear on the concepts. You will spend less money and have more time to spend with your family.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:04   #8
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Re: Watch outs

You might want to zero in on two or three specific boat models that appeal to you, and then focus on the specific issues they could have. You'll get more usable responses to your questions the more specific they get.

Go on yachtworld.com and use the "Advanced Search" feature to see what's on the market. A Catalina 27 would be a good place to start.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:11   #9
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Re: Watch outs

Here are some things to look for. I agree that you need to do a LOT more research. So, it seems do you. Go for it with caution and preparation - unless you asked your mom "which girl should I marry?"

Boat Inspection Trip Tips - SailboatOwners.com

Good luck.
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Old 04-04-2014, 16:59   #10
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Re: Watch outs

First: Order this book.
Don Casey's "Complete illustrated sailboat maintenance manual"
Second:
Read it Twice
Third:
Lots of boats in your range will have an "Atomic 4" engine
Don't be scared, buy"Moyer Marine Atomic 4 Manual"
Fourth:
Ask lots of questions here, that's how I found the above 3
Fifth:
If Health and Finances allow it, Just Do It
I wish I did before some recent setbacks.
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Old 04-04-2014, 17:08   #11
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Re: Watch outs

This showcases the very reason for having a professional survey done before buying. No amount of reading or studying or well intentioned internet tips will prepare you to be your own surveyor. That would be foolhardy in the extreme.
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Old 04-04-2014, 17:16   #12
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Re: Watch outs

Don Casey has another book that I think would be better for your purposes called Inspecting the Aging Sailboat. http://www.amazon.com/Inspecting-Sai...ords=don+casey Although this would still be no substitute for a real survey, you could at least hopefully determine if the boat was actually worth spending the money for a survey on.

You could easily find a Catalina 25 or 27 that is in very good condition for that kind of money. I see nice ones regularly in the $5000 range. We just bought a 25 in not bad condition for $800. We expect to have it in nice condition and sailing all said and done for under $4000, but we do all our own work and have a lot of experience. If you don't have those skills I would suggest spending a bit more and buying one that someone else has already fixed up otherwise you run the risk that while you are fiddling in the boat yard trying to get the boat up to par your family is losing interest in the venture altogether.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 04-04-2014, 17:22   #13
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Re: Watch outs

My own experiences with "gross anatomy"

1. Keel attachment. Check keel bolts for tightness and corrosion. If boat is on stands, check keel/hull joint for cracks and signs of movement.

2. Hull blisters/osmosis. If more than 6-8 blisters, or if larger than 2" diameter, keep looking.

3 Standing rigging. Check chain plates (shroud connections) for signs of leaks and movement. In general, exposed chain plates are preferable to "thru deck" as they are easier to inspect/maintain. Failure is disastrous, repairs can be expensive/time consuming. Ditto for fore and aft stay terminations. Check condition of standing rig terminations (sta-lock type or swaged) for rust and surface cracks. Check for "fish-hooks" on wire. Any of the above are a good size investment to replace.


4. Mast step. If keel mounted (thru deck mast) check for corrosion, or rot if wooden step. If deck mounted, check deck support beam, and/or supporting bulkheads for rot or soft spots. Check to see if bulkhead tabs are solidly attached to hull.

5. Decks. Check for soft spots or lamination failures. (see hammer test in above post)

6. Thru-Hulls. Check for proper installation and operability of sea-cocks. Look for signs of rot in inboard fairing blocks which can indicate leaks and possible issues with cored hulls.

7 Electrical Wiring. Check for proper terminals and a generally "workman like" appearance. Rats nest wiring indicates poor maintenance and practices with several owners problems to deal with for a reliable system.

8. Cosmetic issues are generally a sign of lack of maintenance but many times only skin-deep. Paint and varnish are cheap. Check bulkheads and casework (cabinets etc) for rot at the hull line. Sand and varnish... cheap. Bulkhead replacement not!

9. As stated in earlier posts... Get a knowledgeable individual to take a look with you the first few times... Most marinas have a few old-salts with a bristol boat who are more than happy to pass along their knowledge. After a few sick boats, you will know what to look for.

10. Don't fall in love with a boats lines, and forget to check the important stuff. Too easy to do. And we have all done it at one time or another

Hope this helps... Good luck.
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Old 04-04-2014, 18:28   #14
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Re: Watch outs

Lots of good advice. I like the one that says "spend a little more to get a used boat in tip top condition" I just sold a 97 Compac 23. Ready to sail- everything up and running, for much less than 10K. New paint, brightwork good, new rigging. They are there, you just have to look.
In the past I have bought many an old boat, including a Catalina 27. Be very careful getting a boat that was a 70's or 80's boat without a surveyor. In fact, I wouldn't do it. And find your own surveyor- not one that the seller just happens to know. Deck and hull are dealbreakers, as well as corroded mast, rigging etc. IMHO, and having done just exactly that and having to scrap the boat after multiple hours.....
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Old 05-04-2014, 05:42   #15
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Re: Watch outs

Thanks guys. That's exactly what I need for a direction for a starting point. I have my 17' to start the year, so I'm not in a huge rush. Unfortunately, I'm the type of personality that jumps at something that looks like a good deal. I'll just have to try to hold back a bit. I'll learn what I can from what you guys have offered, do my own "little" survey on interesting boats and if they pass the basics I'll get a real survey.

Thanks again. I'll let you know what I end up with.
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