I personally would prefer a solid FRP hull but some cored hulls of that vintage are still as dry and sound as the day they were built. it all depends on the builder. In those days a QC program was a rare thing and some builders built great boats on Tuesday and crap on Thursday. Any boat with a cored hull (whatever it's cored with) should be out of the water for 48hrs before survey.
Boat Poker, you make some interesting points especially the 48 hours on the hard before a survey is initiated. This was part of my concern as well, in that I believe there is always saturation before de-lamination and the possibility that it could be missed in the survey. Of course I wouldn’t have the expertise of Dave Pascoe ( Cheap Shot… Sorry ) to make the determination. There are posts on this forum regarding saturated hull cores that do give me pause, one in particular by Sailing Dog with respect to a mounting screw for a bilge pump that created an enormous amount of saturation. I know this probably seems a little paranoid for the purchase of a <30k boat but for me it’s probably equivalent to Bill Gates buying a Billion dollar boat (can’t comment on Larry Ellison). Anyway the boat in question is a Tartan 33 which has coring below the waterline and is one of the boats on my short list. As I put the pluses and minuses down on paper I am counting the cored hull as a minus. It’s not a deal breaker but it definitely has my attention.
While I am at it I thought I would throw out some of my thoughts on my short list and see if I can get any additional feedback. What I like about the Tartan is the Scheel keel which gives shallow draft without some of the pitfalls of the wing keel although it is a double edged sword in that the pointing ability of the boat is compromised. I like the cockpit configuration of the boat and I just like the way the boat looks…sweet lines topsides anyway, down below not so much but definitely acceptable. The downside is I don’t think it would be a great light air boat which I kinda need, doesn’t point well and then there’s the cored hull issue.
Other boats on the short list are the Beneteau First series from the mid eighties, 345,325,305 in that order.
The only ones I am considering are the tiller steered shoal draft versions. While I don’t find these quite as aesthetically pleasing as the Tartan they are quite acceptable in that regard and I find that the interior layout below to be superior. I believe that the 325 and 345 even with the shoal draft would point higher and sail faster in light wind than any of the other boats on my list but I am guessing on the basis of PHRF ratings and not on actual experience.
The other boats rounding out the list are the Niagara 31, the Ericson 32-3 and finally the Pearson 10m simply because it is local, can be bought cheap and Dan Pfiefer has a terrific support site, otherwise I really wouldn’t consider the Pearson because of the draft.