Re: First boat: Cal 2-27, Pearson 28 or Islander 28?
I have a Cal 2-27. They're good boats. Very roomy for their size (they're actually about 26.5' LOA), and well built for that vintage. Self-tailing winches are about $1K a pop, so that makes this particular boat that much nicer. Somehow, I can't imagine it costing $3K to change a head gasket; it's just not that big a job, particularly on a little engine like this. If you have any mechanical inclination at all, you can probable do the job yourself. Or, look around and see if you can get someone to give you a more reasonable bid. You can probably save a bundle by pulling the engine yourself and taking it to a shop for the head gasket, and whatever else it needs. Then re-install the engine and have a mechanic align it once you've done all the reconnecting, et cetera. Or, as you said, take the opportunity to fiddle around with electric propulsion. When/if the Yanmar in my boat ever dies, I'll likely replace it with an electric unit; problem is that with just a modicum of maintenance a diesel auxiliary can easily out-live its owner.
That said, if you are really new to sailing, I wouldn't buy that big a boat right now. Instead, get yourself a sloop-rigged dinghy of some sort (FJ, 470, Thistle, Lido, Coronado 15, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera), and sail the bejesus out of it for a year or so. THEN, look at "yachts". You'll be in a much better position to make some intelligent choices about which boats would really be a good fit for you, AND you'll have the sailing skills to have a lot more fun with your new toy. Such a plan may sound like delaying your "dream" for a bit, but in the long run you'll probably save yourself a lot of headaches.
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Last edited by SlowButSteady; 10-30-2012 at 01:59 AM.