Oh how the plot thickens!!
Okay so, I've posted a few threads about this boat and that boat and made it known that I am full of wicked sailing lust and in danger of buying a junk boat high in the New Mexico desert where I have no way to give 'er a try. A boat which I will have to sit on for a year or two while I go through it, spruce it up, in between getting other projects out of the way and selling the odd used car here and there to raise money for one that will drag the beast I will soon mention. I have lots of skills and access to things like welders, milling machines, lathes, carpentry tools, bits and pieces of aluminum, plastics, and stainless steel tubing, etc.
I have looked at a boat I have been communicating about with the seller, it is an Albin Express 26, said to displace 3,968 pounds. It's mounted on a homemade trailer that was originally designed to haul cars or a tractor/bobcat. The trailer is well designed, sturdy, and could use a paint job, dual axles with a braking system that I will rebuild just to be sure.
Neither have indication of ever seeing salt water. The standing rig is very corrosion free the shrouds/back&forestays look very good. Around the chainplates, clean as a whistle. The mast is deck stepped and the bulkhead under it is very solid with no indication of water leaks. There is some sag in the headliner forward of the cockpit hatch where two vents are located either side of the hull centerline. The vents need replacement due to UV damage and embrittlement of plastic parts, just so happens I have some stainless tubing and flange material that would make good replacements along with the original vent hoods. The teak around the hatch and under the mainsheet traveler need refinishing (and maybe repair at the hatch), but the beam under the traveler looks/feels solid. The cockpit roof feels very solid when my 270 pound carcass bears down on it, even around the leaky brittle ceiling vents. Nothing sounds hollow either, There are cracks in the gel coat on the deck, randomly distributed here and there, two small impact sites on the cabin (about 3" diameter "spiders"), and on some inside curvatures in the cockpit fore and aft ends of the seats. They look like they are age related to me, due to long term flexing of the hull and thermal expansion cycles for the last 30 years.
The worst thing I could find in the running rigging is that all the halyards are bad but he has three new ones he purchased a while back and never installed. Some of the sheaves have uv damage, but my Tanzer 16 has the same look about them and they work fine after being run for the first season I had sailed it. They even look shiny like a normal well used sheave might want to look. There are some blocks with bad sheaves on the cabin top that look to be used for a spinnaker, which it does not have (just a whisker pole). All the cam cleats are aluminum and stainless and are good. Other cleats/locks are all metal and look good as well. 4 non tailing winches, 2 on either side of the companionway, the pawls sound a little dry (after years of sitting in the sun), but they run smooth and have no slop in them. Don't know the ratios on them, and they are set too close together I believe, being side by side. It has what looks to be a combination speed and wind indicator black box on one side of the cockpit whose best feature is the hole that a new unit can go into.
The compass on the other side looks good except there is a powdery red residue in the fluid deposited around the card support/pin area and on top of the card where it sits in the sun. Literally it looks like dust on an otherwise pristine card. There is a VHF radio, I bet the Potentiometers and the Switches need to be replaced. It has a full compliment of navigation lights
The iron keel needs some attention to the joint, topside hardware is excellent, no signs of stress or strain in the bilge/keel interface, but it does need sealing. No evidence in rudder or keel of any atrocities being committed. The hull has been sanded for painting, looks smooth and free of blemishes gel coat is good except a small area on the bow where it was sanded away and a small patch where it possibly pranged the trailer while being loaded. Topside is bolted all around as is the interior bulkhead under the step plate, non of which look strained. The majority of these bolts also attach rails which hold the tackle for the foresail configurations. No matter how far I shoved my head into holes and compartments, I could find no evidence of leakage or deformity of the deck/hull joint. There are pads and blocks all over the cabin for the internally hung halyards, very spiffy, solid, and neat.
There is a storm jib that looks new, a number one also good, and what may be a number 2, the genoa is a 155% and looks to be most used. The mainsail cloth, head and clew fixtures look like new very little wear in the rings and the fabric has a good feel to it (starchy stiff and smooth like the hot press has not worn off it). I did not unlay it for inspection. The sheets are weathered but healthy.
The original galley equipment is non existant, but was marginal anyway. The water tank is not plumbed to the faucet but they are both there. It has no motor but a transom mount is there His asking price is half of the lowest priced equivalent I can find. You could throw the new halyards on it and sail it a season if you wished, I have little doubt of that. I could spruce it up with decent paint, make the interior more appealing, and attend to some of the brightwork, to the tune of another 1200 bucks (including one used outboard over those years of waiting), and all other factors considered, I could get my money back if I had to chicken out for whatever reason.
That's the way I see it. Now here is the part where you read this and indicate whether or not I am being a fool, dealing with this very accurately, making all the right judgements, etc. This being sorely needed for the ensuing debate with my significant other as to whether or not my assessments are sound and whether or not it's worth the risk. Especially the part where it does not hurt to do this now even though we are a couple years from being able to enjoy that ultimate pleasure of floating it on the water. Because if I don't take this first step I may never be able to take it all (being 56 this year and all).
I only ask this favor because this is my first time making a commitment to a vessel of this size. And surely her doubt of my knowledge must be at least proportional to the sense of intimidation and excitement I felt messing around high up in the air on a trailer laden boat that will challenge me in several ways and possibly reward me in even more.