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gjbrnhll 11-25-2013 03:35 PM

Cape Dory 25 - Project boat
I have talked an owner of a 1974 Cape Dory 25 to let her go for a very good price.


Missing a jib. He has no idea if the plumbing or electrical works or not (though the water pump works). The boat needs some teak wood work done on the outside as well as some minor fiberglass work done, which he has agreed to help me with. The boat has been on the hard for about 4 years now (is that bad?) and he has stripped some of the old paint off the bottom. The vessel is set up for an outboard, but one is not included.

The hull is solid but where one of the supports it rests on there is an indentation into the hull. The guy says that that will pop back out when it's pulled off. Is that true?

The decks are solid and it's pretty clean.

I wanted to get a quality boat and a bit of a fixer upper (I have the time and energy. I have done a lot of boat maintenance research, but have no actual experience).

Is this boat too much for a novice craftsman with a low budget?

azguy 11-25-2013 04:03 PM

Re: Cape Dory 25 - Project boat
Question is, what's a very good price and what kind of fiberglass work needs to be done..?

How about the standing and running rigging, lines can be expensive and add up quickly as well as sails...

An outboard is gonna cost $500+

Lastly, what is your budget to get her back in the water..?

gjbrnhll 11-25-2013 04:16 PM

Re: Cape Dory 25 - Project boat
Very good price: 900

Rigging lines are there but probably could be updated

I just moved and am still looking for a job but I can throw about 300 at her right now and then more once I get a job. No kids, wife, or girlfriend. This would be my only hobby

There's a bit of fiberglass damage on the starboard cockpit that is well above the waterline.

CalebD 11-25-2013 04:37 PM

Re: Cape Dory 25 - Project boat

Originally Posted by gjbrnhll (Post 1158778)
The hull is solid but where one of the supports it rests on there is an indentation into the hull. The guy says that that will pop back out when it's pulled off. Is that true?

It is likely that any indentations will pop back out after a short while in the water.


Originally Posted by gjbrnhll (Post 1158778)
Is this boat too much for a novice craftsman with a low budget?

That depends on how much it is going to cost you on an annual ongoing basis. The price of the boat is just the entry fee before summer and winter storage costs. Where do you intend to keep the boat in the summer and winter seasons?
Keeping a boat about that size at a boatyard just for the winter in my area costs about $1k/year. Having a working trailer for a boat can save you a lot if you have your own yard space.

If you can afford the ongoing fees then you can afford to buy the boat and put a little time & money into it.

By the way, $900 is not a fantastic deal for this boat considering it is missing a jib, an outboard motor and has fiberglass damage in the cockpit. You could spend $2K for a new jib & outboard which might be a good price for this boat IF it was in very good condition.

jdpmus 11-25-2013 05:37 PM

Re: Cape Dory 25 - Project boat
I took on such a project 4 years ago, purchasing mine for $3500. To get it back in top shape I put in around 11k. Mine had an outboard (2 cycle Johnson 6) and a set of very used sails. Teak was pretty sad but the fiberglass was in good shape considering her age. A lot of elbow grease was involved, but we knew that going in (this is our 3rd sailboat). Here on an inland lake the slip fees are $2500 + per year; insurance and twice-yearly bottom cleaning add another $500.

Anyone who thinks sailing is a budget-friendly activity just isn't paying attention.

Faster 11-25-2013 06:55 PM

Re: Cape Dory 25 - Project boat
If you're out of work can you support taking over the yard storage fees? Do you know what they are? Will you be liable for any back fees as a new owner?

Don't want to rain on your parade but you need to look ahead to ALL the real costs of fixing, using, maintaining and supporting your 'inexpensive' project. If you're handy, don't have to pay anyone else labour there could be a good result.. but you have to have some resources to pull it off...

Shinook 11-25-2013 08:40 PM

Re: Cape Dory 25 - Project boat
Be wary of letting prior owners help you with work as a part of any deal. I've done that twice now and will never do it again, the work always ends up sloppy and poorly done. I've had to redo all of it.

I would buy it as is and get someone else to help you.

As for the CD25, most of the boats Cape Dory made came well constructed (relatively to other manufacturers, anyway) and will take a lot of abuse. I know some people here will scoff at the age of the designs, but overall the construction quality is good...

That said, the earlier models (pre 76/77) that I've looked at were not built as well as later models. It seems to me that the better years for Cape Dory boats are around 79 to 85, earlier than that had more flaws and later than that may as well. That's a blanket statement and isn't always true, but it is generally, based on what I've seen and observed.

The biggest thing to look out for, aside from typical fiberglass boat issues (decks, blistering, etc), are the chainplate backings. For a period of time, Cape Dory made their chainplate backings out of mild steel and many have corroded badly. The backings on our boat are fine, mostly because the fittings were properly bedded by the factory and didn't leak onto the steel, so they haven't corroded badly. In other cases, prior owners rebedded the hardware wrong, resulting in bad corrosion of the backing plates, some so bad they flaked apart. I know a lot of people knock Cape Dory for this decision, but TBH I'd have done the same thing, at least steel is easy to inspect for corrosion, stainless not so much. That said, if they are corroded badly, it is a non-trivial repair. If the chainplates remained bedded properly, this shouldn't be an issue.

azguy 11-25-2013 09:04 PM

Re: Cape Dory 25 - Project boat
I'm all for dreams and fixing up a boat is romantic as hell, but $300 isn't going to do anything at all. I was hoping you were going to say $3,000

Markwesti 11-25-2013 09:08 PM

Re: Cape Dory 25 - Project boat
Don't over think it , go for it . What could go wrong ?

kwaltersmi 11-26-2013 09:52 AM

Re: Cape Dory 25 - Project boat

Originally Posted by gjbrnhll (Post 1158778)
Is this boat too much for a novice craftsman with a low budget?

Sounds like an ideal fixer-upper/first boat for a single guy with time and an intention to get money. Only you can make the judgement about how this might fit with your budget.

I had didn't have the money to fix up my first boat, but I offered $400 anyway and she was mine. I put in sweat equity and not much else and sold her 1.5 years later for $2500. In the short amount of time, she introduced me to sailing. I've never once regretted buying that old boat. In fact, it's one of the best things I ever did for myself and my family. They say there's nothing more expensive than a cheap boat, which many can attest to, but apparently I bucked that trend.

A word of caution: Even if fixing up the CD25 won't require much in terms of new/upgraded parts, having the right tools to do the job is often the limiting factor. Tools are expensive if you don't have them or can't borrow them.

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