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Old 12-11-2009
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Age and Seaworthiness?

I wasn't sure where to put this...it could have been more appropriate in the "Boat reviews"

I've read of quite a few folks sailing 20, and 30+ boats with no problems and then I see critical sounding posts saying "You want to sail a 30 year-old boat where?" I'm certain that maintenance and generally how hard you sail have a lot to do with total lifespan, but what factors come into play when asking "is this boat just too old?"

My Coronado 25 was built in '69 so it's 40 years old, pushing 41. I've looked and looked and looked and it seems to be in good shape. I've poked and scratched and can't find any soft spots, only minimal cracking in the gel coat.

The worst thing I can say about it is that the wiring was a mess, but I've fixed nearly all of it, the teak and accomodations need refinishing and the thru-hulls were done in the old "wooden doughnut" method and they look kind of old.

I don't plan on blue-water sailing this boat, maybe one day I'll poke my head out of the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay for a quick look, but that's about it.

I guess what I'm asking is what does time do to weaken a boat, that is unseen, that I should be concerned about? How can I tell how strong the boat is? Does the hull simply experience fatigue? The standing rigging has been replaced, but it's the original mast. Should I worry?

I hope I'm making sense here, thanks.
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