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post #8 of Old 09-21-2010
Learning the HARD way...
eherlihy's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Boston / Ft Myers Area
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Things to check;
  • Clear Title - no yard fees or anything else. Make sure that the seller understands that you expect a NOTARIZED bill of sale, should the sale complete.
  • Keel Bolts - should all be present, and not corroded. - If possible, check the keel to see that it cannot move with relation to the boat.
  • Rudder/Wheel - move vigorously from stop to stop. Make sure that rudder Pintles & Grudgeons/Bearings are OK.
  • Outboard - start it, rev it, put it in gear (don't leave the dock), take it out of gear, stop it, raise it, lower it. make sure everything works.
  • Chainplates - make sure that they are solid, and firmly anchored where they belong.
  • Rigging - should be serviceable, but not new (and not mickey-moused).
  • Sails - raise them at the dock. There should not be holes, rips or tears.
  • Ask at the marina office if the owner is up to date on his account.

Even though the boat is only $1700, a survey would still be advisable.

Here is an illustration of why:

Here is a picture of two of the keel bolts in the bilge, as I saw them when I first looked at the boat;

Yes, the bilge was dirty, but I figured that I could clean that up.

During survey, I noticed that the keel didn't quite look right. To me, it seemed that the keel was off center about ". Here is a pic that I took during the survey of the keel stub joint;

Several people present (yard manager, broker, and IIRC even the surveyor) said that was normal. I persisted and the surveyor and I eventually discovered that the keel could rock side to side about 1/8". The survey came to an early end.

... and here are the exact same pair of bolts after the keel had been dropped;

You can see another keel bolt to the left that is in similar condition. Of the eight keel bolts, THREE were OK. The keel bolt in the right of this picture is an example of what I consider to be OK.

Bottom line is that this repair is costing the current owner (not me!) over $8K to get this fixed.

Good luck!!

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USCG Licensed OUPV Captain, ASA 101/103/104/105/106/118 Instructor - Also certified in Marine Electrical Systems

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Last edited by eherlihy; 09-21-2010 at 10:53 AM. Reason: Keel - Bilge
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