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Old 12-07-2003
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Sooner or Later (a boat)???

I mostly agree with Sailingfool. A Catalina 27 is a good first boat. They sail well enough and responsive enough to teach you a lot about sailing. They are robust enough to stand up to some new comer abuse. A 1972 Catalina 27 is about as depreciated as a boat can get and still be sailable. (nothing pejoritive intended there) The C27''s are comparatively easy to buy and sell. Owning the Catalina 27 for a few years will allow you to make mistakes on a boat that is cheap to repair and own. Learning to maintain a simple boat like the Catalina and will save you a lot of money in bad moves when you buy your ultimate boat.

Like Sailingfool, I am not sure about the asking price. Here in Annapolis, $8000 will buy you a mid-1970''s Cat 27 with full racing hardware and instrument upgrades and with a full racing bottom, and sails and rigging in a condition suitable for the higher loads of racing. These boats often have new keel bolts and have had some fairly expensive structural beefing up. While it would cost a fair amount to transport one of these boats to your lake,my first reaction is that the boat in question sounds a bit over priced. Still the cost of owning a boat like this, if and only if, it is in sound and well maintained condition to begin with, for a few years is so small compared to the lessons learned that it would make sense to buy the boat even if you end up paying a grand or more over the market value of the boat.

I also agree with sailingfool''s recommendation to get the boat surveyed. If this boat has keel bolt problems or needs new standing rigging, the combined costs are well in excess of the value of the boat.

Good luck,
Jeff
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