Originally Posted by bobperry
I am more used to, "Professional guitar players world wide choose Gibson."
What tha?? You mean professional guitar players choose TAYLOR!
On a more serious note, I love the Masons. Gorgeous boats. Top notch yard in Taiwan (Ta Shing). Gorgeous woodwork down below.
We (mom and dad) ended up settling on a Tayana 42, though I suspect many of the things to look for would be the same. If it has teak decks, see how low they are. You can tell this by looking at the distance under the stanchions or through deck hardware where they don't wear and if there is a bung missing, the depth there. A refit on teak decks would be extremely expensive (we were quoted close to $20,000... and I am not sure that was low). If fiberglass decks, walk it with your heels and see if there are any soft spots - especially around hatches, stanchions, and chain plates. Check the chain plates and any extrusions through the wood for dark spots (water seepage). You wont be able to check for blisters in the water, but you can give the engine a good one-over. Pull the dipstick and check the oil. Pull the transmission dipstick. Take a mirror and look up under her for oil seepage.
Many of the taiwanese boats come with black iron tanks. THose are renowned for corroding from the inside out. If it still has black iron, which it may, consider what would be involved to pull it. I will tell you that on some boats, the cost and effort to do so is extraordinary. I would also check the wiring given the age of the boat. It will most likely be stranded copper (not tinned) and look for corrosion of hot spots. We ended up pulling EVERY strand of wire on the outside and rewiring the boat, but the inside seemed fine.
Another thing to look for are the stringers. Make sure they are still in good shape. Many of the tayana 42s had a problem with the stringers under the shower getting wet and needing replacement.
Has the rigging been replaced? What is the shape of the stays?
We had a guy in our marina in Cedar Mills (where they make the Valiants... Bob might have heard of that boat??) that basically totally rebuilt a M43. He was a very knowledgeable sailor and spent pretty much every day on it. He also had the backing and experience of the guys at Valiant for help. I have no idea how much money and time he put into that boat, but when he was done, it was drop-dead gorgeous. I LOVE the Masons and pretty much anything PAE puts out... especially the Nordhavns which are their principle boats now. But when considering a vintage boat like this, I would make sure I had a nice bank account, the experience to work on boats, or both. Is it worth it? To me it would be. To others, maybe not.
Other boats to consider from the same yard (off the top of my head) are the Taswells and the Pandas. I have spent time on both. The Panda is an absolutely gorgeous boat with unparalleled joinery below. The Taswells are the same, though I fine the Pandas (like the 38) more to my liking. However, in both cases, the owners had considerable money and time at their disposal. One was a multimillionaire and long since 'retired', the other was probably pretty close though he still periodically worked.
Other owners of these boats may have different experiences, but the way I see it when dealing with these boats, is that you either have a lot of money or a lot of time (and experience). Even if the later, you will probably be looking at a lot of money to get her back to pristine condition. The opposite side of this is that if the boat is already in pristine condition, you may not have as much of the issues. However, you will pay a lot more for it.