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Old 01-20-2013
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Re: For a family of 4 - Islander 28 vs Catalina 30

FINALLY had a chance to see the Islander 28 today, and WOW, what a disappointment. It was actually kind of disheartening.

She was bottoming out in the bay where she was docked, which made getting aboard interesting because she had settled about 2 1/2 feet from the dock, and my wife isn't particularly tall. Once we were aboard, the cockpit wasn't bad, though the exterior woodwork all seemed in worse shape than I had expected. No soft spots were noted on the deck, but the sail covers both looked like they'd seen better days (I chalked that up to Sandy). So far, things weren't looking too bad. Then we went inside.

One of the first things I did was to pull back the rug and check the bilge, and it was full of water. Not only was it full to capacity, but both layers of floorboards over it were VERY damp. Upon closer inspection, there was clear evidence of at least 6-8" of water having been in the bottom of the cabin (there's a line that goes all around the woodwork at the bottom of the settees, the nav station, and the bulkheads), and comparing the pictures that are in the listing to those I took today, it seems clear that the water is recent (my guess is the hurricane). It doesn't seem to have gone as high as the engine, but the folding table is ruined and it's hard to tell what damage happened to the bottom of the bulkheads. The port side chainplates also show a lot of water entry issues, and the washers backing the chainplate bolts are sunken in pretty far into the bulkheads. Fortunately, though, the bulkhead still seem solid. However, it's clear by comparing the pictures that the bulkhead had previously gotten wet around the port forward chainplate, but that it has gotten a lot worse. The port side windows/ports also seem to have problems, and the nav station is both warped and there's a huge crack on the forward side.

It's such a shame, because she was really a beautiful boat, and I really was very excited to go see her. My theory is that there's a hole somewhere and, when she sits on the bottom (as was the case today), the water drains out to just at the bilge level. But when the tide is in, or when there's a storm that gives more water under the boat, then she takes on more water until she's sitting on the bottom again, so she's just filling and emptying with water as the tide changes (the tidal change in that area of the bay is only about 8-10"). Unfortunately, there's no way to prove this other than to move her to a marina (she's at a private dock) and have her hauled, if she even makes it as far as the marina without sinking. I don't think she's worth that kind of investment, at least not at what the seller has thusfar been willing to take. If I can get him to come down REALLY low, then maybe. But, otherwise, I think I'm off to find another prospect.

Anyone know of an S2 9.2C or another center cockpit boat that's in decent shape and available for under $10K? My wife was aboard a 9.2C recently and she loved it. Otherwise, I think we're probably looking at Catalina 30's or Hunter 30's/33's from the Cherubini era, or MAYBE an S2 9.2A if I can find one in decent shape. I'm open to other suggestions, too!
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Last edited by jimgo; 01-20-2013 at 12:12 AM.
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