It's great to hear you are considering joining the enlightened group of us CS27 owners. We took the plunge four years ago and have CS27 #1409 which is a 1978 model. Here are my thoughts on what to look for:
1. The boat is 32 years old so don't expect perfection.
2. Check out the bottom for blisters but don't be too scared by a few along the waterline. I have some blisters on mine along the waterline at the stern. The largest is about the size of a quarter. No issues for me.
3. There may be some moisture in the deck, particularly around the electrical through deck fittngs for the mast lights, VHF, etc. My surveyor's moisture meter showed some on mine but he thought it was trifling and not a cause for concern.
4. I had one cockpit seat that was soft. It didn't show in the survey but I noticed it give a bit when I stepped on it and it didn't give the reassuring solid "thunk" when it hit it with a mallet. We went two seasons then I took it home over the winter and recored it. Not very difficult at all. send me a message if you need help.
5. Check out the motor mounts to ensure they are sound and the engne is lined up. I assume it has the YSB8 in it. Recognize that parts are getting harder to find for the YSB8 but it is a simple engine that will run virtually forever. (It does run rough) Having said that, we replaced our YSB8 last year with a new Yanmar 2GM15 to get more HP for some of our long treks across Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. Not a good $$$ decision but we love the boat and we are happy with the new engine.
Make sure you start the engne and take if for a short run if it is in the water.
6. The keel is cast iron vs lead which is used in many boats. Cast iron is less expensive and slightly less dense so lead is preferable but... big deal. There was some rust showing on my keel so I ground it down to bare metal and applied 5 coats of Interprotect 2000 to it. So far, so good.
7. Does the boat you are considering have one large and one small deadlight (window) on each side or three small deadlights. Thet changed sometime in 1977 / 1978. I think they found the unsupported span of the large deadlight was causing more deck movement than desired and moved to put some fibreglass support in place of the large deadlight. I have seem many CS27s with the large deadlight with no issues.
8. The seacocks are likely gate valves instead of ball valves. This is not acceptable on newer boats but was common on earlier boats. I changed all of mine to proper flanged seacocks in 2008. It isn't too hard although it cost a bit of money. "Mainesail" has a great website showing how to do it.
When I inspected the gate valves after tearing them out, they were in perfect condition.
9. The icebox is poorly insulated. Most come up with some way to improve insulation through temporary or semipermanent means.
10. A survey would be a good investment... you will likely need it for insurance anyway.
Check out Ewan Cambell's comments
on the CS27. Peter at Holland Marine Products (HMP
) on Lakeshore Blvd in Toronto is also very knowledgable and he has most factory parts that you may eventually need.
I get many compliments on our boat. CS27 is known to be a very strong boat robustly built by a good company. The wide beam makes for lots of room inside although at the expense of deck space.
I am biased, but I doubt that you will find a better boat for your purpose. Although we only cruise with two of us on board, it will accommodate three comfortably.
Even though you will love this boat, take a credit card with a high limit to the 2010 Toronto Boat Show and pick up some deals on things you will want / need.
Let us know how you make out.