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Old 01-01-2015, 14:31   #1
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Question Getting my feet wet, need advice. Cat27 or Paceship 26?

Ahoy everyone!
This is my first post to the forum. My New Year's Resolution this year is operation: liveaboard! Isn't that exciting?
Anyway, a little background. I'm a 31 y/0 male living just outside of Detroit in Windsor, Ontario. I recently moved home after spending nearly 10 years travelling across Canada and working as a chef. I now how a steady and well-paying enough job to start considering my dream of the last 2 years, the liveaboard lifestyle! Well, here goes.

First off, I've quit smoking in order to minimize the cost of my life. I am going to miss it, but it's either smokes or a boat, and that's a no-brainer, really.

My rent here is really cheap at the moment, and it could become even easier next month, as my mum is going out of town for 2 months, and I can stay at her place for free. I'm not locked into a lease in my apartment, so 30 days notice is all it takes.

I've checked out the city's marina online, and they seem to have all of the right amenities and a good price. They even have 25' slips available. Waiting list for 30' slips though Cost is reasonable, $1600 for the season (I'm assuming that's 6 months). Still don't know if they allow winter liveaboards but I'll find out soon. If not there are options in my area.

So, this is going to be my first boat. YAY! While I'm really excited, the shear volume of knowledge is daunting. However, I'm absolutely willing to take it on. Not to sound too arrogant, but I'm young, smart, and confident in my abilities. I'm mechanically inclined, can cook anything, and was raised by a diy-everything carpenter family.

So here we are, at the point where you guys all seem to say, "Okay..GO!" SO!, I have reached out to two different people selling potentially perfect boats. Both are around the same price, and both are similar. One, a 1978 Catalina 27, 1978 Catalina 27 sailboat for sale in Michigan, and the other, a 1975 Paceship 26, Good shape,moving out | sailboats | Windsor Region | Kijiji .

At this point, I'm leaning towards the Paceship, but I was hoping to get some opinions on both boats from everyone based on the ads. I still haven't looked at either one, but will be in the next couple of days.

Does anybody have any opinions on either of these boats?
Can someone tell me what the owner means by "15 Hp downsized to 8 Hp."
Is this an inboard or outboard engine? Any good? I know that the Paceship could be either one.

Looking forward to becoming a new member of this fantastic community. Can't wait to share the vistas of the Caribe with you.

- Christian
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:43   #2
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Re: Getting my feet wet, need advice. Cat27 or Paceship 26?

Welcome to the community! Great story, thanks for sharing. As to your career...I see a "Cooking Aboard" cookbook coming soon??:-). As to what sailboat to buy, a sailboat built in the early to mid 70's is a great choice. Assuming they have a fiberglass hull. I can share what we went through in restoring our 1972 36' Gulfstar Motor Sailor if interested. We are full-time live aboards of 3 months now. Best decision made!!!! We will be cruising soon!

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Old 07-01-2015, 08:59   #3
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Re: Getting my feet wet, need advice. Cat27 or Paceship 26?

Catalina 27s are relatively roomy inside, for their length. That's partly thanks to the construction with the white plastic liner, rather than fitted cabinetry, which makes it feel light and roomy.

As for the engine, he might have taken the 14hp out and put in an 8, or simply stuck an outboard on. The latter is quite common. In fact most liveaboards of this age seem to have a dubious outboard stuck on the back, making for very dubious motoring properties.

That's another point in the Catalina's favour. A working inboard engine, even if it is an Atomic Bomb.

I suggest you really need to stand inside both boats, and imagine yourself living in that space.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:48   #4
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Re: Getting my feet wet, need advice. Cat27 or Paceship 26?

Cat 27 all the way. The Paceship is a lovely boat, but they were designed, believe it or not, as offshore racers. They are narrow and extremely tender (i.e. tippy). I have a good friend who has one...step aboard and the whole boat rolls considerably. It's not a good choice for a live aboard boat due to that quality and it's relative lack of interior space for it's length.

If I were you I'd also look around for a Catalina 30. Dramatically more space, more stable, just a better boat to live on.

One thing to consider in your search is the challenges of living aboard in colder climates. If you can find a boat that is insulated, or can easily be insulated, that's a huge plus. Also having some means of heating the boat other than electrical is a good thing as power on docks does go off. So diesel heater is a good option, if you can find a boat with it. If you can find a boat with a custom cover that goes with it, even better. While it may be dark inside, shrink wrapping is expensive and you're going to want one or the other to trap heat and keep snow from piling up on your deck which will make the boat dangerous, cold, and will lead to assorted maintenance issues in the spring from ice issues.
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Old 07-01-2015, 12:25   #5
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Re: Getting my feet wet, need advice. Cat27 or Paceship 26?

Thanks for the info guys. Unfortunately the Catalina is no longer available. But my search has broadened as well. I will be looking at a 1975 Bayfield 25 as well. I really like the full keel and wood finishes on the Bayfield, although I'm worried that it's going to be the earlier model that doesn't have standing headroom.

The reason I am still learning towards the Paceship though is that I think it's actually the best bang for my buck. It looks to be in the best shape, and comes with the least amount of work that needs to be done to it. The Bayfield has recently been stripped down and has had all of the teak replaced. But it hasn't been put back together yet. It has a new head that has to be installed, a 1990 Vire 12 engine that was winterized a decade ago and needs to be worked on AS WELL AS a 9.9 Merc outboard. Cushions need apolstery, and the whole boat probably needs to be gone over with a fine toothed comb. Don't think it comes with any instruments either. That being said, it IS half the price of the Paceship. Although the owner of the Paceship is willing to do owner financing. Another plus.

As for what I'm going to do in the winter, I'm actually still thinking about that. The main issue is that the city Marina I plan on staying at is seasonal, and my workplace is in the city. I don't drive so I have to figure out where I'm going to go at that point. One option is to put the boat on the hard for the winter months. I have a cousin who owns a house in the city that he only uses for the summer. I could cradle it in his backyard or driveway and offer to take care of the house in the mean time. The other option is to try living on the hook through the winter, which I suspect would be pretty tough. I could try and find a winter Marina in the county that is open year round but then I'd have to get my driver's licence and get a car. Finally, the last option is to head south. At that point I should have been able to put away a couple to a few thousand dollars, which could probably get me started cruising. While I'm cruising I plan on blogging and offering on board fine dining dinners for two. Might even get around to that Cruisers Cookbook
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Old 07-01-2015, 12:47   #6
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Re: Getting my feet wet, need advice. Cat27 or Paceship 26?

Always a million Catalina 27s for sale. Keep your eyes open. I would second the comments about a Catalina 30. Very roomy.

The question is, is this for a liveaboard, or will you be sailing it?

You've got to understand the degree of bullshit that you get in the average sailboat ad.

Downsized from 15hp to 8hp : So the original engine broke and he put in a smaller one. How is this a sales point? The boat used to have a powerful engine? Great! Why not just say it's got an 8hp?

I've got a Ferrari F40 for sale. Used to have a V12 in it (now got a Honda Civic engine). Form an orderly queue, everyone.

Engine was winterised 10 years ago : It's siezed solid, will never run again, and lurks down below in a pool of rust, oil, and disintegrating wiring. He stuck an outboard on the back. Now the boat handles like a pig because you've got the weight of the inboard, AND an outboard, on it.

The best I've seen was a car ad, and I quote : "Excellent pre-accident condition"

Looking at ads, and descriptions by owners, is almost worthless. Most of the time you'll find that the condition falls way short of described. 10% of the time, maybe, it's what you expected, or better.
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Old 07-01-2015, 13:31   #7
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Re: Getting my feet wet, need advice. Cat27 or Paceship 26?

My biggest problem right now is location. Being in Windsor, ON is kind of limiting when it comes to boat hunting, as I don't drive. (backpacked for 10 years and never got around to keep up that licence.) My options are basically what I have available for purchase here in Windsor, or over in Detroit, MI, and even getting over there to look at a boat would be a big PITA.

Very good points, MarkSF. I totally agree with you. I am buying this boat to make it my primary residence, so that's why I'm leaning towards the Paceship. It has a RUNNING inboard (even if it has been a little underpowered) which I've confirmed with the owner and is basically turnkey.

Another reason I'm definitely leaning towards the Paceship is because of the owner financing. The owner wants $4500 for it, but is willing to do $1000 deposit and $500 payments. This will SERIOUSLY help me out in terms of funds to actually work on the boat after purchase and slip fees. I've calculated everything out, and I can afford to confidently drop the deposit on this by the end of the month. Once I get the boat in the water in April, I'll have about 1600 - 2000 a month to play with for working on her.

I know that the Paceship might be a little leaner than some other boats, a little racier, but from what I understand she's built really well and would be a good choice. The keel-stepped mast is pretty unique in a boat of this size, and she is one of the Nova Scotia-built Paceships, so she has a solid reputation in terms of the hull construction and seaworthiness. 6'1" headroom, galley, enclosed head, lots of storage...basically everything a sailor needs. And for $4500, there's all relatively new (2006) sails and rigging, instruments including tillerpilot, VHF, GPS, Depth and wind, new cushions and a new bimini top. Also, although not really recent anymore, she was surveyed about 10 years ago and that survey is available. Being Windsor, ON she's been a freshwater boat all her life, and gets hauled every single winter for a cleaning and a hull waxing, and gets stored indoors, so I'd be VERY surprised if there are any blemishes in the fibreglass.

Would I prefer to find a Catalina 30, an Alberg 30 or a Nosuch 26 or 30 in this condition/price range in Windsor? Probably. But for $4500 I think it's still a good buy. But who knows? I could look at her and HATE her! That's why I'm still going to check out that Bayfield 25 as well. Just in case.
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Old 07-01-2015, 14:35   #8
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Re: Getting my feet wet, need advice. Cat27 or Paceship 26?

Well, from the description of the Paceship, it sounds great.

I'm of the opinion that paying for a survey on a boat of that price is probably not worth the outlay. I suggest getting a copy of this :

http://www.amazon.com/Caseys-Complet.../dp/0071462848

which includes chapters on inspecting older sailboats. I think you can also get just the inspection parts in a separate, cheaper book (this book is a compendium of several smaller books by the same author) but the maintenance chapters are so good I think it's worth having the whole thing.

Edit : yes, here's the inspection book only :

http://www.amazon.com/Inspecting-Sai...aging+sailboat
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Old 07-01-2015, 14:42   #9
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Re: Getting my feet wet, need advice. Cat27 or Paceship 26?

Thanks!
Yeah, I found a copy of This Old Boat, which I've been perusing through. I've also been reading and watching a LOT of stuff online about what to look for when checking out the boats. I think I've got a good general understanding of what to look for. At $4500 and under, I know it's not worth it to get surveyed, especially with a KIND of recent one on the books for it. As long as the hull and engine are fine, and the equipment is as advertised, then it should be a good buy at that price for the Paceship.
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Old 07-01-2015, 14:48   #10
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Re: Getting my feet wet, need advice. Cat27 or Paceship 26?

http://content.westmarine.com/docume...anceManual.pdf

Turns out West Marine has that part of the book available for free on their website lol!

Chalk one up for West Marine! haha!
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Old 11-01-2015, 07:34   #11
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Re: Getting my feet wet, need advice. Cat27 or Paceship 26?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispyfish View Post
I know that the Paceship might be a little leaner than some other boats, a little racier, but from what I understand she's built really well and would be a good choice. The keel-stepped mast is pretty unique in a boat of this size, and she is one of the Nova Scotia-built Paceships, so she has a solid reputation in terms of the hull construction and seaworthiness. 6'1" headroom, galley, enclosed head, lots of storage...basically everything a sailor needs. And for $4500, there's all relatively new (2006) sails and rigging, instruments including tillerpilot, VHF, GPS, Depth and wind, new cushions and a new bimini top. Also, although not really recent anymore, she was surveyed about 10 years ago and that survey is available. Being Windsor, ON she's been a freshwater boat all her life, and gets hauled every single winter for a cleaning and a hull waxing, and gets stored indoors, so I'd be VERY surprised if there are any blemishes in the fibreglass.
You are right, they are good boats and they sail beautifully. Very fast for their time and what they are.

On the issue of wood, which you mentioned about another boat. Just don't do it if you can avoid it. Maintaining exterior wood on a boat is a very time consuming task. Doing it on a boat what you paid @ $5k for is almost a fool's errand unless you actually love doing it and are in love with the boat.

If you can find a way to be land based during the winter I strongly urge you to do so, at least for the first year or two of owning the boat. You're going to find all sorts of things wrong with the boat because that's just the nature of older boats, and discovering those in the deep dark cold of winter and trying to deal with them can be a real challenge.

Also, the more comfortable you are with living on the boat and having figured out how survive at it day to day, the easier winter will be. It can be challenging down here in Maryland. I bet up in Ontario the difficulties mount exponentially around some aspects of it.

In fact, given the ice issue, I bet there are very few places where people keep their boats in the water year round at all due to the risks. Here in Annapolis, during the cold snap we had, four boats sunk from broken rudder post seals.
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Old 11-01-2015, 10:18   #12
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Re: Getting my feet wet, need advice. Cat27 or Paceship 26?

Thanks for the advice, Suijin.
Yeah, I know that maintaining the wood could be a pain in the butt. But it wouldn't be that big of a deal for me. My uncle runs the family lumber business, and has added a Marine Supply to it, which is pretty awesome sauce for a guy who wants to live aboard.
But yeah, the wood was part of the reason why I opted against that Bayfield 25. Also, lack of standing headroom. I'm JUST shy of 6' tall, so the majority of 25' boats just aren't big enough. There's a really decent O'Day 25' in my neck of the woods as well that's a good price and well equipped, but it only has something like 5'8" headroom, which is just too short.
I did get a chance to go and look at that Paceship...sort of. It was -17C and blizzarding when I did. She's on the hard on a cradle in a shipyard, albeit unwrapped I didn't open her up because I didn't want her to get full of snow, so I just had a really good look at the hull. She's obviously in need of a good sanding and anti-fouling below the waterline, but the gelcoat and deck above are beautiful, look brand new. Same with any rigging I could see...looked brand new. Also, her name is painted across the side of the stern, so I finally know her name...Intrépido.
One big point of concern for me was that the keel had a very small amount of separation from the hull, towards the stern. About 4 - 6 inches long, if memory serves me. I took a good look at it and it doesn't look like there's any impact damage, and there isn't any damage anywhere else on the keel. I'm thinking that it's just a bit of a cosmetic "smile" as these boats tend to get when they get older, but just to be sure, I'm going to have to take a really good look at the bilge and keel bolts next week. Did some research, and it's most likely not a big deal, but could potentially be bad, especially considering the encapsulated iron keel. Although, from what I understand, they actually used to sink the iron keel into a slurry of resin in these boats, so even if there's a bit of separation it probably wouldn't have water intrusion. Still, going to have to make absolutely sure that it's sound. And, if I decide to get her, then I know my first job in the Spring is going to be cleaning and filling that joint with epoxy, on top of sanding and antifouling.
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Old 11-01-2015, 10:35   #13
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Re: Getting my feet wet, need advice. Cat27 or Paceship 26?

Between those two.. the Cat 27. It's popular, more beamy and can be resold as it's a popular boat.
This may be important as living aboard may not be all that fun in a very small boat in your location in the winter!


Maybe the Paceship has one of those OMC inboard "saildrive" things? If so they are a PITA from what I've heard. If that boat has keel separation then it is probably a bolt on keel.... which wouldn't match up with "...they actually used to sink the iron keel into a slurry of resin in these boats,..." ??
If it's actually a "smile" in the hull, that is from grounding or hitting something and the Catalinas do it also.
The Paceship being such an unknown boat... my guess is it ought to be worth maybe half of what the Cat is worth.... or free. Seen a lot of that in the last few years. I actually could have got a Cat 27 with a diesel engine for free summer before last. owner was moving out of state and down to the last days and couldnt sell it at $3500 asking.... but that's unusual.
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Old 15-01-2015, 00:59   #14
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Re: Getting my feet wet, need advice. Cat27 or Paceship 26?

Time for an update...

You are right about the keel, Cheechako. It's is bolted on, so that means I'll be having a good look at the keep bolts when I go to take a look at her again this Friday. The PO said that he did check them last season and that they were fine. Also mentioned that he changed the zincs, painted the hull "with some type of marine paint," had sealed the crack (more of a very slight separation) between the keel and the stub, and waxed the deck. He also mentioned that he has been maintaining the OMC according to the manual, and it runs perfectly.

Cheechako, in terms or Paceship being an unknown design, that's actually not entirely true. To be honest, it's one of the things that got me most excited about the boat in the first place. Paceships were built out of Nova Scotia (Yeah, I'm a proud canuck, eh!), and have a great reputation. Designed by the famed C. Raymond Hunt, the company eventually sold the Paceship name to AMF and the mold for the PY26 to Tanzer, which became the Tanzer 27.

The Nova Scotia-built Paceships are supposed to be the best of the three. I even read that AMF discontinued the PY23 and PY26 soon after acquiring the company, as they couldn't cut the cost of the design enough make it marketable. That tells you how overbuilt she was lol.

Basically, unless there isn't something catastrophically wrong that I can find during my inspection on Friday, then I'm going to lock it down.
Thus my cruising life begins...
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Old 17-01-2015, 11:25   #15
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Re: Getting my feet wet, need advice. Cat27 or Paceship 26?

Update: there were issues with the Paceship

Engine leaking oil everywhere...saildrive corrosion, keel joint separation with evidence of water intrusion.

Really too bad too. It was hull #21.

Oh well. The search continues!
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