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Old 26-03-2020, 18:56   #1
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Any advice on a 1981 Cheoy Lee 35?

I'm looking very closely at a rather inexpensive Cheoy Lee as named in the title. It's close to where I live and ready to sail. It doesn't have a lot of the amenities that a liveaboard would but for the price I can do a lot of additions on my own.

Can anyone give advice on specifics to look for when viewing and sailing the boat? The owner is a boat mechanic, so it's well-maintained.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 26-03-2020, 19:14   #2
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Re: Any advice on a 1981 Cheoy Lee 35?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iSaint View Post
I'm looking very closely at a rather inexpensive Cheoy Lee as named in the title. It's close to where I live and ready to sail. It doesn't have a lot of the amenities that a liveaboard would but for the price I can do a lot of additions on my own.

Can anyone give advice on specifics to look for when viewing and sailing the boat? The owner is a boat mechanic, so it's well-maintained.

Thanks in advance!
If memory serves (and the older I get the less it does!) this is one of the Cheoy Lee's with a fiberglass hull, and plywood deck. If it is, check very carefully for rot at the hull deck joint. If there is any evidence of water intrusion, run away.

What can happen when the hull and deck come apart...

https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/artic...nd-3290823.php
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Old 26-03-2020, 19:20   #3
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Re: Any advice on a 1981 Cheoy Lee 35?

He said there are no leaks. He has been working on the decking and has epoxied it. I'll look more closely tomorrow. Thanks!
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Old 26-03-2020, 19:39   #4
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Re: Any advice on a 1981 Cheoy Lee 35?

Read this before you go look at it.
Marine Survey 101, pre-survey inspection
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Old Yesterday, 08:26   #5
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Re: Any advice on a 1981 Cheoy Lee 35?

Personally I would avoid it.
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Old Yesterday, 08:29   #6
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Re: Any advice on a 1981 Cheoy Lee 35?

I used to have a 36. Very well built but ss-fittings need thorough checking - especially chainplates. Separation of hull/keel - difficult to inspect and tighten keelbolts. Filled the crack with expoy and shredded gas-fiber and then generously fiberglassed the whole area about two feet up and down.
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Old Yesterday, 08:45   #7
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Re: Any advice on a 1981 Cheoy Lee 35?

Cheoy Lee had some lovely designs they used back then. But every one I looked at had issues. The non marine, luan plywood used just falls apart, a lot of chopper gun glassing was used as well. Many were built without deck molds so they are glassed over plywood. I don't know your particular model but my guess is it's no different.

Bottom line for me is if super cheap and you just want to use it until it falls apart, OK. But don't sink a bunch of money into it thinking you are going to make it whole.
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Old Yesterday, 09:43   #8
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Re: Any advice on a 1981 Cheoy Lee 35?

I have a 1977 offshore 41. Sails like a dream. Very good construction. No deck issues. Had to replace the chainplates. If there is a delamination of any of the interior plywood, you can repair that as you wish. I would not worry too much about cosmetics. No blisters on the hull. They are solid boats.
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Old Yesterday, 09:46   #9
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Re: Any advice on a 1981 Cheoy Lee 35?

Thank you SO MUCH, Boatpoker! I'm doing major maintenance of my oldie-and-goodie Tartan 34, hull 147 and really appreciate all the guidance this survey format gives me to double check things I might not seek out while she is on the hard. She's stout, in generally good repair as I have had her about 20 years, but your link has improved my eyesight, so to speak, with which to look at her.



Enjoy your boating season, everyone. It's a great way to maintain "physical" distancing" while I encourage you all to maintain SOCIAL connections electronically and by other non-physical means. We are all in this together!
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Old Yesterday, 09:49   #10
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Re: Any advice on a 1981 Cheoy Lee 35?

Indeed, I made a PDF of the Presurvey inspection which I will print to keep in my log for future reference when my brain cells don't recall all the details. Again, many thanks.
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Old Yesterday, 14:08   #11
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Re: Any advice on a 1981 Cheoy Lee 35?

CaptVR here. You said he epoxied the decks. Did he remove the teak decking, replace the bad plywood found and then epoxied the decks. How much cloth did he use for decking finish. Or did he epoxy over the existing teak, and paint. If the original teak was not removed, no leaks now, will not stop the green house effect from rotting all underlying decks and deck beams. Your decks will continue to rot. Even if you do not do a survey, which is foolish in itself, higher one just for a deck inspection, a $100 spent now would save the price of the vessel. I have surveyed some of these, that deck damage was so bad the repairs far exceeded what the value of the vessel would be after the work was completed. This guys work might be gangbuster and it may be covering a total rebuild needed. If your not able to do the rebuild yourself, depending on the yard you would take it to, could easily cost $10k plus if all needed replacement. These were very good boats, sailed like a witch, great little off shore boats. The main drawbacks were the teak over ply decks and the wood spars. You never mentioned if the had been changed to aluminum. If that's the case, mast and rigging could cost in the neighborhood of another. 8 to $10K. Spend another hundred or two and hire a rigger to do an aloft and rigging inspection. Don't want to be a wet blanket, but keep your dreams but be realistic in repairs and maintenance. Hope I gave you some insight. Capt. Vince Rakstis, Ret MS
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Old Yesterday, 14:37   #12
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Re: Any advice on a 1981 Cheoy Lee 35?

Nearly 50 years old boat,,,,,,,,, I believe that is the definition of a hole in the water.
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Old Yesterday, 14:42   #13
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Re: Any advice on a 1981 Cheoy Lee 35?

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CaptVR here. You said he epoxied the decks. Did he remove the teak decking, replace the bad plywood found and then epoxied the decks. How much cloth did he use for decking finish. Or did he epoxy over the existing teak, and paint. If the original teak was not removed, no leaks now, will not stop the green house effect from rotting all underlying decks and deck beams. Your decks will continue to rot. Even if you do not do a survey, which is foolish in itself, higher one just for a deck inspection, a $100 spent now would save the price of the vessel. I have surveyed some of these, that deck damage was so bad the repairs far exceeded what the value of the vessel would be after the work was completed. This guys work might be gangbuster and it may be covering a total rebuild needed. If your not able to do the rebuild yourself, depending on the yard you would take it to, could easily cost $10k plus if all needed replacement. These were very good boats, sailed like a witch, great little off shore boats. The main drawbacks were the teak over ply decks and the wood spars. You never mentioned if the had been changed to aluminum. If that's the case, mast and rigging could cost in the neighborhood of another. 8 to $10K. Spend another hundred or two and hire a rigger to do an aloft and rigging inspection. Don't want to be a wet blanket, but keep your dreams but be realistic in repairs and maintenance. Hope I gave you some insight. Capt. Vince Rakstis, Ret MS
Mast is aluminum.

He pulled teak up and cleaned underneath, replaced some but no real rotting or leaking issues anywhere.
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Old Yesterday, 15:46   #14
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Re: Any advice on a 1981 Cheoy Lee 35?

Great boats. Used to sail one in he in early 80s, did a China Sea Race in her as well as cruising in Phillipines.
Another friend bought one in mid 90s and we did a lot of sailing around HK / Macao and he did a China Sea Race in her. Still sails around HK and runs charters. Sawadee.
Check out the Chevy Lee owners Assoc., very useful but be aware of numerous upgrades and options. Original had timber mast, some had increased mast height for light air performance but they were more tender because of that.
Check the compression post and it’s bedding on the keel, probably typical issues for 40 year old boats but generally they were very solidly built.
Many close models, but not the same sailing qualities as the 35 from early 80s
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Old Yesterday, 15:47   #15
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Re: Any advice on a 1981 Cheoy Lee 35?

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Originally Posted by iSaint View Post
I'm looking very closely at a rather inexpensive Cheoy Lee as named in the title. It's close to where I live and ready to sail. It doesn't have a lot of the amenities that a liveaboard would but for the price I can do a lot of additions on my own.

Can anyone give advice on specifics to look for when viewing and sailing the boat? The owner is a boat mechanic, so it's well-maintained.

Thanks in advance!
https://www.cheoyleeassociation.com/RestorationIssues/restoration.htm
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