So, I've manage to eliminate almost my entire list of candidate boats for one reason or other.
There is a Tartan 27 that I still have to look at. My impression from walking the docks was of an old boat that has been diligently maintained. Could use some freshening, but the important stuff has been cared for. When the broker and I showed up to look at it, the owner had 'forgotten we were coming' and lent it to a friend for the day. I'd just eliminate it without looking, but I do like Tartans. :/
And a single Cat. 27 that also shows promise in photos, similar price. But it is a bit of a drive so I haven't tried to see it yet.
However, I ran across a Helms 27 that caught my eye. It has been completely restored (finished in 2010): fresh shiny awlgrip topsides, bottom fair clean and painted, deck felt solid, new deck paint/nonskid, good varnish on the brightwork, deck hardware in great shape, new chainplates, the interior redone, new cushions, a repower in 2010 as well. I spent quite a time looking at everything with an "it's so shiny what are they hiding?" eye. But no real problems stood out. It was quite pleasant to crawl through overall. But for two things:
1. I can't find ANY reliable information on these boats other than a few hundred were made in the early 80's. Does anyone have any experience or insight on these? I'd be daysailing/weekending coastal Maine.
2. The repower: they replaced the conventional inboard with a Beta diesel and saildrive unit. Both brand new. But I have zero experience with this type of installation. It looked well done.
The boat is on the hard, and wasn't launched last season. The owner finished the restore, sailed that summer. Never launched in 2011 and then put it on the market.
Anyone with any insight on the Helms?