a little advice please catalina 25 - SailNet Community

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Old 06-23-2013
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a little advice please catalina 25

ok well we finished our sailing class and looking at buying a 25' catalina that needs some work so hers some of things wrong with it
1) has separation in the keel and a lot of rust
2)the sole needs replaced,and the balsa is mushy. this is my biggest concern
3) bulk head in the salon has a lot of crack in it.

our plan is too buy two boats one we can sail and one as a project boat so we can learn to do our own repairs. how big a deal is it to replace the sole and balsa.
I have wood working experience but have never done fiberglass.
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Old 06-23-2013
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Hi and welcome!
Sounds like you should find another boat. Plenty of boats to be had these days that don't need that much work. Just my opinion. Find a good little boat and go sailing!
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Old 06-23-2013
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Re: a little advice please catalina 25

I'd agree.

The Catalina 25 is a very common production boat and there are a lot of them out there. It's also generally sold at pretty low prices. Keep looking and find one in better shape.

I really liked the Catalina 25 that I used to own. It's simple and sails pretty nicely.
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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: a little advice please catalina 25

Quote:
Originally Posted by newbie139 View Post
ok well we finished our sailing class and looking at buying a 25' catalina that needs some work so hers some of things wrong with it
1) has separation in the keel and a lot of rust
2)the sole needs replaced,and the balsa is mushy. this is my biggest concern
3) bulk head in the salon has a lot of crack in it.

our plan is too buy two boats one we can sail and one as a project boat so we can learn to do our own repairs. how big a deal is it to replace the sole and balsa.
I have wood working experience but have never done fiberglass.
This sounds like a nightmare. I agree with those who say find a solid boat. They are being practically given away.
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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: a little advice please catalina 25

Quote:
Originally Posted by newbie139 View Post
ok well we finished our sailing class and looking at buying a 25' catalina that needs some work so hers some of things wrong with it
1) has separation in the keel and a lot of rust
2)the sole needs replaced,and the balsa is mushy. this is my biggest concern
3) bulk head in the salon has a lot of crack in it.
I'm normally one to defend buying project boats, mostly because I did and I've enjoyed working on it immensely, but this sounds like a nightmare.

My opinion is that you have to take the value and amount of labor you are going to put into a boat and decide if it's worth it or not. For the repairs you are talking about here, you will likely spend over the value of the boat in components alone (not to mention labor). You may learn a bit about fiberglassing, but you are going to end up frustrated with a boat you will probably end up scrapping. I'd also consider that if those items are on the "big problem" list, there are seemingly smaller ones all over that will need to be repaired, those can add up quick.

If you want to find a boat to work on, I'd make a list of boats you want and use a site like searchtempest.com to watch for them each day. Keep an eye out for stuff that is cosmetically rough but structurally still sound, you can find good deals and learn how to make minor repairs while enjoying it. You can learn the lessons you want to learn still and invest it in a boat that's worth it.

Any one of the items you listed above is not a minor repair (except the coring depending on how much needs to be repaired). Personally, they would have to be giving it away in that condition and, even then, I'd take it to a salvage yard.

Last edited by Shinook; 06-24-2013 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: a little advice please catalina 25

Just a bit of self serving here, but try Catalina - Capri - 25s International Association This is the association for the Catalina 25 (and 250, and Capri 25). If you have your heart set on a Catalina 25 (and I can see why), the association (I don't think it's wrong me plugging it here since I have no financial interest in it) holds manuals, tips, tricks, and repair information all in one place. Joining the association is inexpensive (I think $22/year), and gets your discounts at major retailers, and insurance, as well as signs you up for the Catalina Mainsheet magazine (again I make no money on this).

Keel smiles are a COMMON problem with the fixed keel Catalina 25, but purchase should be with the knowledge that there are extreme examples, that should not be considered... You can search the forum on the association without joining and see what extremes they get to. Without realizing that there is a ton of work to get them right again, this could be a deal breaker for you if you aren't up to the work.

The cabin sole is a cosmetic problem, I wouldn't worry about, except if it came from LOTS of standing water. Which would lead to water laying on the keel bolts (rust perhaps)... The keel is bolted through a solid fiberglass keel support, and you'd be able to see the heads and get an idea how much standing water has been in there... rebedding keel bolts is a lot of work as well.

When you say soft core, I think you mean deck? That I'd run screaming from. That's just me, but I'd rather not have to cut out large portions of deck and have to reglass.

A fellow association member just did as you suggest, bought a boat that needed a ton of work (and there is nothing wrong with it, if you plan on a year or so before you splash)... and he also purchased a "spare" for parts, essentially making one boat from 2. You may want to hit him up for thoughts. I can't find his username off the bat, but again the forum over there is free, so you could fish for information free.

The Catalina 25 is a great starter "large" trailer sailor. It's not really to be trailer launched each time (it can be done, its just a LOT of work)... it IS great for a boat slip, and is a decent sailing boat. It's very forgiving, and parts are still readily available for these.

You can also call on the knowledge of the association to help you find a boat that is at a decent cost, with less work. There are even some for sale by members that have been lovingly cared for.
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Last edited by SHNOOL; 06-24-2013 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 06-24-2013
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a little advice please catalina 25

If you are already looking at the 25, I would strongly recommend considering a Catalina 27. The extra 2 ft matter and are just enough to give the boat big boat features (full head, inboard engine, cabin space) while staying under 30ft. Look for one with an inboard diesel having low hours and with sails in good shape. I own one and love it.
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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: a little advice please catalina 25

I think you guys are being too harsh. How much is he offering you to haul the boat away?

On a serious note, I've been hunting down my own boat and right now it is very definitely a buyers market. You can find a sail away condition boat for the cost of the summer's marina slip around here.
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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: a little advice please catalina 25

I agree with pretty much everything everyone has said. Repairs to that particular C25 sounds like they may cost you more than the boat is worth, depending on the age of the boat (you don't mention the age). The "Catalina Smile" is not uncommon for C25's. It does need to be fixed, but as was said above, in most cases it isn't catestrophic by any means. The other issues are the big ones for me. Soggy anything (deck, cabin sole, etc.) means water intrusion. And the big problem is, you won't know exactly how pervasive it is until you've cut it open and started the work. If you're truly looking for a project, and don't care about the return on the investment, then it might not be a bad choice. Otherwise, I'd keep looking.

From a bigger picture perspective, Alex and Schnool hit it on the head. C25's are great boats! They aren't ocean-crossers, but they are fun boats for their intended purposes. As a former owner and former member of the C25 owner's association, I'll also second Schnool's recommendation - the folks there are fantastic, and they have LOTS of C25-specific information. Be sure to come back here, too though!
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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: a little advice please catalina 25

Just an observation, if you are looking at buying two boats why not combine the 'kitty' and buy one boat that is closer to bristol? I am sure you will still have plenty of opportunities to DIY work on the vessel and as it was mentioned you will probably have fewer headaches. If they are willing to give you the boat you can part it out, learn a bit about de-construction and how they are put together and raise some extra dough for your boat on ebay in the process.
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