The boat was free. I've done a great deal of reading and have owned a 17 foot O'Day DS for years.
My biggest bugaboo is the wet core question... the cockpit sole flexes a bit (but only a bit), but Casey's plastic hammer-tap-test yields no information to my un-trained ear. I also question the integrity of the mast step, cuddy floor and stringers. The standing rigging (shrouds & stays) is not really a big problem for me to assess, but I do want an informed opinion on how the spreaders are attached to the mast (seems amateurish and too floppy to me) and the chainplates looked over.
I've heard from a registered local surveyor who has agreed to give me a couple hours (at his location) at a very fair price. If I get from this what I hope to get, I'll have a much better sense of whether this boat is worth fixing, and if so, what specifically needs attention and at what likely cost and degree of effort.
I'll post my experiences after the inspection takes place Halloween weekend.