Re: Someone's giving me an Islander 24'
Your biggest problems may be the chainplates, which are heavy metal straps that connect the rigging to the hull on each side of the boat. If the material they are bolted into is the hull, or the bulkheads, you need to examine that very carefully. if it is wood that has rotted, literally the mast can pull them out and really ruin your day.
Then there's the deck, particularly where the mast is stepped on it and around that area. If it is mushy form water getting into the core, again, the mast can come down and really ruin your day.
Last is the interior woodwork, the settee bases, the bulkheads, all of it. If it has taken water damage and is unsound, the repair can be huge. To fix that properly you need to unbuild what is rotten, and then rebuild with proper marine grade lumber, not just plywood from Home Depot.
And then there's the rigging itself. If you run a white terrycloth over the cables, and ANY part of the cloth is torn off by "meathooks", the cabling all needs to be replaced. Not a huge expense on a 24'er but still, not cheap.
Could be a great adventure, and Islanders are generally well-behaved soundly built boats. The rule of thumb is that any work you do on a boat will cost 2-4x more than you think it will, and it will take 2-4x longer than you think, too. And that's optimistic.
Take a long hard look at it, put down some numbers of paper for what you think materials or repairs will cost, go to a diner (or bar<G>) and think it over carefully before you decide. If you take it home but change your mind later--that's a big expensive piece to haul to the landfill.
There can be other surprises, small problems that require expensive repairs to the rudder or keel, but that's an awful lot to get into with so little time. Boats can get very expensive, or you can get very lucky.