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Old 02-01-2009, 10:22   #1
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buying 39 privilege 1988 / anything to look for

Any things I should look for in getting a 20 year old 1988 39 privilege?
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Old 02-01-2009, 11:45   #2
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Fuel & water tanks because they are stainless steel (they fail at the welds)
Check the wood frames around the fixed windows in the salon for signs of leaks and wood deterioration
Electrical & fuel systems for compliance with standards
Has the standing rigging been replaced recently? ever replaced?
Did they replace all of the headliner or just some of it?
Generator installation - you never know who did they installation or their level of skill / knowledge
Engine hours sound very low for a 20 year old boat - are the meters working, are they the original meters or have they been replaced?
There's a lot more to look at, make sure you get a survey.
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Old 10-01-2009, 14:51   #3
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Great boat

Our 92/93 was an ex-charter boat and not well maintained. Spend the money on a reputable surveyor, preferably one who has knowledge of this boat and references. They should document most of the issues. Some you won't find until well after purchase ;~}

In our case she needed a bottom peel because of blistering. A big expense but now that it's done we shouldn't have to worry for years to come.

I recommend a serious look at the wiring. Most of the factory stuff was not tinned wire. Also being euro built the boat would have had to been converted to 120v. In our case they did nothing but change out the 30amp input plug, so I'm putting in a new AC pannel and upgrading the wiring.

At that age your hatches (if not already replaced) may need work. Someone in the yard (when our hulls were drying out) managed to put thier foot thru one of ours.

The headliner material is likely shot. This vinyl stuff had a foam backing that deteriorates over time. Lots of posts around on how folks have dealt with it.

Engine wise (ours had twin Yanmar 3gm30f's) it can be a struggle to change impellers on your water pump">raw water pump. I find it easier just to remove the entire pump. Tensioning belts or checking anything on the front of the engine is tough.

Check the water heater element and wiring for corrosion too.

Overall the P39 is a solid boat that sails well. Has the biggest cockpit of any 39 footer, and is very comfortable. Likely the best value cat you can find.

Island Hops
Green Cay Marina, St. Croix
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Old 10-01-2009, 17:40   #4
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Check out the cabin liner. Most cabin liners go after ten to twelve years because the foam backing fails.

Check the floor of the chain locker for sponginess in the center nacelle.

Check the windlass motor for corrosion in the chain locker.

Check the standing rigging for broken strands of wire. We have diamond stays that have needed replacement several times.

Check the toggle on bottom of the headstay furler. Ours cracked after sailing up the Red Sea.

Check the turnbuckles to see if they are right or left handed. Check if they are coarse or fine threads on the turnbuckles. If you have coarse threaded french turnbuckles, they will eventually require replacement.

Our wiring was always good on board our Privilege 39, and we had no significant electrical problems.

Check for leaks around the large lexan windows in salon and forward cabins as the caulking may fail after a time.

Overall, the privilege is a strong well built boat. I have no complaints about mine.

Consider adding parachute sea anchor chainplates - see details at the following URL: STROM MANAGEMENT FOR CRUISERS
At the bottom of the page there is a drawing of the chainplates.

Check the exhaust elbows on the exhaust manifolds. They will likely require replacement if they are more than three years old.

Enjoy your Privilege 39. It will take you anywhere you want to go.
Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:55   #5
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Thanks IslandHops

I do appreciate the help Take care and Happy New Year Hope to see you out island hopping
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Old 12-01-2009, 19:18   #6
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Good Luck great boat you will love her....Just really check the fuel tanks closely they sit on a flat platform with no space between the tank and the fiberglass. We found out that water (salt water probably) gets under the tank and over time it pits the stainless causing weeping from the tank.(this will drive you nuts, it took forever to find the leak) and it was only confirmed once the tank came out. big messy job you can do it yourself but it must come through the aft berth. ( then put spacers in after the tank is fixed)This only happened to our port side tank, not sure but we believe the boat took on some water prior to us owning will also find a number of junction boxes in the engine rooms and the forward holds. open them all the wires are numbered but it is like a birds nest and I had some rusting...we had to redo all of that....We also have some bottom blistering. All that said she is a stable great boat that will take you anywere so have fun and enjoy and best of luck.
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Old 13-01-2009, 04:12   #7
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I apreciate your taking the time to reply will keep a look out for you Ed
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